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Full Disclosure: I am a massive fan of the Souls series and have played each one to completion multiple times. This may bias and skew my views and wording in this review, but I will go over things that some people may not like as well.

Bloodborne: The RRU Review


And here we are, almost two months after the game had come out, and I'm only just starting to review it? Lexi, why is that? Because I wanted to have an air of professionalism in this review, I wanted to actually FINISH the game to the extent it has to offer before tackling what seems like an impossible task of reviewing it fairly and honestly. Because of the recent kerfluffle between games journalism and consumers of said media, I have decided to not give any of my reviews going forward a numerical score at the end, simply stating if I enjoyed the game or if I believe you should play it at some point. Let's begin, shall we?

The Graphics/Presentation


We start with what seems to be the most unimportant part of most games, the graphics and presentation of the title. From the sample image up top, one would notice that the game doesn't exactly have the brightest color palette. It's a large variety of greys and browns, set against the background of a cold Victorian setting. Normally, I'm the first person to complain when a game isn't colorful enough but I really do believe that the 'lack' of color present in Bloodborne is one of it's greatest strengths - to a point. Exploring the same dull Victorian environments does get a little bit dull after a while, and the largely repetitive backdrops don't do much to help easy that dullness.

However, right when you start to get extremely bored by the same gothic buildings, the game starts to throw curveballs at you. There's a short section near the start where you're exploring a small woods with a Witch's abode right at the end, complete with peasant village and ever-autumn graveyard against the backdrop of falling leaves. A section shortly after this takes place primarily in a forest; a dark and sickly place crawling with werewolves and Lovecraftian horrors. All of this seems to tie together the world of Yharnam (and Yahar'ghul) into a cohesive package, thematically and tonally similar throughout the experience. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the world of Yharnam might be one of the most thickly detailed gameworlds of all time. Coffins and enemies dot the streets, statues and plague-stricken NPCs seem to block progress and create new openings. There are very few parts, if any, that aren't intricately detailed in some fashion or another, and it shows how dedicated the Fromsoft A-Team are towards believable world cohesion. The entire world seems to connect in a fantastic and intuitive way, beyond transporting between Reality and The Hunter's Dream.


But graphics are only a small part of the overall game experience. What of the Gameplay and Story, how well are they done? Well, to start out with; those familiar with the Souls style of combat won't be disappointed here, and will feel right at home when they first pick up their controller to fight the beasts of Yharnam. The controls will feel immediately familiar -if a bit changed. from the previous titles. R1 and R2 remain your main attacking buttons, but the left side of the controller has been changed big-time. As there are no shields in the world of Bloodborne, L1 will instead activate your weapon's "Trick Mode", which can have a variety of effects. For one of the earliest weapons in the game, for instance, it could turn a cane into a serrated whip that gains bonus damage against those infected with the Beast Plague that infest Yharnam's every corner. L2 has turned from a parry button into the dedicated button to use your firearm. Firearms, in a Souls game? Are they overpowered? Surprisingly, they're not. In Bloodborne, your firearms are mainly used for defense, rather than offense. Every shot has the capacity to stun an enemy, but very rarely do they ever actually do enough damage to be considered a viable means of offense. Indeed, their main use is to "parry" enemies into a state where you can walk up to them and press R1, executing a brutal Visceral attack and doing a large chunk of damage to them. Other than the addition of Guns, the other biggest change from classic Souls gameplay is the pace of the combat. It's brutally fast-paced, requiring pitch-perfect timings on every dodge and every attack. Bosses are relentless and barely ever give you time to recover from their onslaught of attacks, leading the player to go on the offensive almost all the time. This seems to be exacerbated by a system called "Rally", wherein if you're hit by an enemy, you can attack them to regain a small amount of lost health; attacking them fast enough could even result in you gaining the entirety of the damage dealt to you back. You can never gain health with this mechanic that you had lost prior to that specific damage, however.

The story, as with almost every game directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki by this point is dark, depressing, and vague. The hallmarks of a From Software story are all here, and it's up to the player to discover how deep into the lore and history of the universe that they want to dig. From the very outset of the story, we know very little. Just an old man with bandages over his eyes telling us how we need a "blood ministration" and how we need to "sign a contract" in order to obtain it. After creating our character, we're thrust into the world with no prior information, just watching a werewolf burn in a puddle of oil for some reason; symbolically showing us that our own beast-plague was burned away by the Blood Ministration. After we awake, we find ourselves in a clinic, with a note nearby that simply reads "Seek Paleblood, transcend the hunt" Nothing in the game ever explains to us what Paleblood is outright, and that's endemic to the entire series. Miyazaki will never outright tell you important parts of the story, and instead allow the gameplay and item descriptions to speak for themselves, forming the story in a more organic and voluntary way than most AAA Games full of cutscenes and unskippable dialogue do. This is both one of the game's greatest strengths, and greatest weaknesses; the average player is going to have very little idea of the story during their first few playthroughs, and will have to resort to online lore explanation videos to gain the most out of their game.

Overall, and my final thoughts on the game.


Bloodborne is easily one of the most hyped games of 2015, and it shows. It had one of the largest launches of a From Software game to this day, despite only having been released on the Playstation 4. Despite a few minor technical shortcomings (Framerate, Loading Times, Frame Timing), it stands as a fantastic testament to the power of the next-gen consoles, in relation to the dated hardware of the last-gen machines from both Sony and Microsoft.

-Fantastic Fromsoft Gameplay evolved just enough to feel fresh again.
-Story told purely through exploration and gameplay, almost no cutscenes to speak of outside of the beginning and ending.
-Gorgeous Gothic-Victorian world.
-Same Risk/Reward fair difficulty of the Souls series.

-Awful load times pre-patch.
-Playstation 4 exclusive.
-30fps, no possibility of increasing. Often falls below.
-Vague story with little to keep those who prefer cutscenes interested.
-Difficult, but not overly so. May not sit well with some people.

Overall, I think this is an excellent addition to the Playstation 4's library, and is definitely worthy of a purchase if you have the system and the money to spare.


My top 5 favorite Shiny Pokemon designs.

So, as some of you are aware, I'm a pretty big fan of Pokemon, having started all the way back in Crystal, and playing almost every Gen mere days after they release. And what's one of the rarest things ever, to a Pokemon fan? Shiny Pokemon, also known as Alternate Colored Pokemon. These monsters have a 1/4096 (1/8192 prior to Generation VI, X and Y) chance of being a different color to their normal pallete, and this is known as Shininess.

So what are my personal favorite Shiny Color Palletes? Well, it's time to make a top five, isn't it?

5: Buneary/Lopunny


So, shiny Lopunny. I'm not really sure what there is to say here. It's pale tan fuzz becomes a very bright pink, while it's normal fur just darkens ever so slightly. As reference Here is what Buneary looks like normally.

4: Giratina


Ah, Giratina, the Renegade Pokemon. The area you live in, the distortion world, is an entire reverse of the nornal Pokemon world. So how fitting is it that your shiny form is also a reversion of your normal color scheme? (Bonus points for the Blue, as Blue is pretty much my favorite color)

3: Porygon-Z


Porygon-Z, one of my favorite normal types of all time. You have such a beast Special Attack stat, while your speed stat is such a...almost terrible base 100! Regardless, Porygon-Z has a pretty cool shiny, pretty similar (without the Gold) to Giratina's shiny, while it's default coloration is just plain ol' Blue and Red!

2: Hydreigon


You know, despite disliking shiny Espeon so much, I find myself really weirdly compelled by shiny Hydreigon. I'm not sure if it's because I really, REALLY love Hydreigon how it is (probably my second favorite dragon type of all time) or because the purple goes really well with the green, but somehow it just looks...right to me. Unlike Espeon. For reference, here is what normal Hydreigon looks like.

1: Flygon


For those of you who have talked Pokemon with me for any amount of time, you all should know that Flygon is pretty much my favorite Pokemon of all time. So, it should only be fair that it gets one of the best shinies of all time, too. In-game, the light blue works so well with the light green of it's skin and works to create something that's pretty much one of the most beautiful things to see in the games. Normal Flygon doesn't look too bad, either.

(If you guys want, I can buff this up into a top 10, as well. Just wanted to do a top 5, to see if you guys liked it)


Bungie Fires Martin O'Donnell

I'm saddened to say that Bungie's board of directors terminated me without cause on April 11, 2014.

— Marty O'Donnell (@MartyTheElder) April 16, 2014

(RRU needs better Twitter integration)

I can't hide it. I still have a soft spot for the games I grew up with, even if I don't necessarily enjoy those types of games anymore. Halo was one from my childhood. Quite a big part, in fact. A very large part was the incredible soundtrack constructed by Martin O'Donnell.

This tweet confirms that the King of the Ivory Tower has been removed from his throne. It's a sad, unfitting end to one of the greatest musical legacies in gaming.

Reports are saying that Marty finished his work with Destiny, but nothing can confirm the official reason for his termination. Even the official statement seems to be more like mockery of the current situation.

Let's hope he can find somewhere new and exciting soon. I'll post more if anything develops.

Additional Source: VG247


The LEGO Movie Videogame

Before we start; I don't like to insult or say harsh things about Game Developers. They work hard, long hours with minimal pay, and usually to little payoff. I'm sure with this game they worked their absolute hardest. However, I don't think it's right to ever let a game just slide away with cardinal sins, and so I will be brutal if need be. Not because I hate the devs, but because I hope that, if I can't teach them what's wrong, I can help prevent future devs from making the same mistakes.

Furthermore, this is my first TT Game since LEGO Star Wars The Complete Saga.

I'm ashamed right now. I'm ashamed of the fact I'm a Game Designer. I'm ashamed of the fact I'm a LEGO fan. I'm ashamed of the fact I wasted 10 hours on a game that may just be the very antithesis of my existence.

The LEGO Movie was incredible, to say the least. In my own opinion, a film that can start right in the ranks of Disney and Pixar classics, and my own personal favourite animated movie of all time. It was a film that went beyond simple product-placement and actually gave us significant, strong messages and a story filled with laughs, tears and heaps of heart-warming moments.

The LEGO Movie Video Game has none of these.

You're getting no images with this review. If I had to slog through this thing in its entirety, you can slog through my raving and ranting as payback.

I went into this game hoping for the best. I ignored the comments and reviews, and I simply hoped that TT would do this game justice. A perfect trifecta between Movie, Game and Toys is virtually unknown in modern times. The LEGO Movie is an incredible movie as discussed before, and the LEGO sets for the movie are equally as magnificent, and some of the most fun sets to build to date.

This game doesn't belong.

My journey started with the immediate discovery of incompetence on the UI team. "The ability to change the graphics settings? Why would anybody ever need to change those *before* you start the first level? That's crazy talk! Why, what a coincidence that EA did the exact same thing with a few of their games! It's not like we're both going to make an evil, soulless, money-sucking game, correct?"


So, you finally decide to start a new game. 4 save slots is pretty standard for console ports, so I can't really fault it, especially since you'd be insane enough to even considering using one save slot and play the game. What happens next is absolutely incredible.

Traveler's Tales decided the smartest thing to do was to take clips from The LEGO Movie, cut them up, compress them and play them onscreen at about 1/3 the size of the actually screen with massive black bars. And so help you if you dare want to use subtitles, those suckers will go right in the middle of the video.


The definition of laze in the dictionary can probably be changed from whatever it is now to "Traveler's Tales' Business Plan". Unfortunately, what comes next explains where their entire development time was spent.

TT Games assume that you're a moron. And, I don't mean a kid. Kids, unlike what many developers seem to think, are actually intelligent and can actually dissect and learn game patterns very quickly, sometimes faster than adults. Just look at the "Zelda" generation. No, TT Games assumes you're a complete nitwit who needs to be dragged along on their one-way amusement park.

In fact, that's the exact feeling I got from playing this game. It's Disneyland Simulator mixed with Pants Simulator (we'll talk about that a little later). See, you've got these "Hub" worlds, and they act like the different sections of the Disneyland park. There's little mini-attractions here and there, and people begging you to spend your "hard" earned money on them, and they link up to some big rides which aren't worth the ticket price you paid to enter.

Not only do they insult you with simple help messages, and not only do they use a trail of uncollectable green studs to show you the "correct" path, but the characters will go out of their way, good or bad, to tell you EXACTLY WHAT TO DO. And it's not like the challenges are incredibly difficult either. In many cases, they're telling you to do the most obvious thing you've already done multiple times in the same level. Apparently, this is linked to the "Dynamic" level of hints, which apparently makes it more annoying than "On". I decided though, in order to give you guys the best review possible, I'd stick with Dynamic, and see what'd happen.


When the hints are telling you to do things that either; A) you've already done, B) are not an objective on this level or you lack the character to do something, or C) refuse to show up when they actually are required (for some new gameplay element that was not introduced properly), you know you have a very broken hint system. The saddest thing is that, the only point at which I had *some* enjoyment with the game was when the hints simply disappeared into the void. Frankly, I wish they stayed that way.

Did I say that the options menu is hilariously broken yet? When an option (specifically Refresh Rate) appears twice, and you put most of your important configuration settings into an entirely different menu, you've got a big problem. And, what about those massive frame-drops during the hacking mini-game, or when you're fighting a Micro-Manager?

There's just so many awful moments in this game, and one of them made the lack of attention to QA apparent. I was in Cloud Cuckooland, and I had already been introduced to characters sliding whenever they touched uneven terrain. It was an animation bug, but not major. It didn't become a problem until I was supposed to face off with a robot goon with a rocket launcher.

I had just gotten Unikitty and Wildstyle stuck in separate parts of the geometry (don't ask me how), and Benny lacked a gun at this point, so I couldn't kill them to reset them. The robot goon needed to shoot these three silver objects, and to do that, you need to move your character behind each object and let him fire upon it "by accident". Simple enough, right? Apparently TT Games felt it in the best interest to send any competent programmers on holidays early before they decided to code the robot goon's AI. The Goon looks for the character in the shortest distance to itself, and fires upon that. Of course, both Unikitty and Wildstyle, who were stuck in geometry, happened to be closer to the Goon than Benny.

Eventually I got Wildstyle unstuck, only to encounter the same problem, but not because of Unikitty. Because either Wildstyle or Benny would sometimes, when controlled by the AI, stray to the side of the silver objects a little bit, apparently that counted as them being closer to the Goon, who would then shoot promptly to the side of the silver object. Everything is tedious with TT.

Hell, this same AI problem occurred with a code section later in the game. The game has two of those annoying, badly designed jumping puzzles, where you need to jump onto the correct buttons in sequence, with the camera in a locked position at an awkward angle while you still have platforming physics. Unikitty felt she needed to be the star of the show while I was trying to complete the nine digit code however, and so it took a LOT of attempts of trying to move Unikitty, who would quickly move back onto the keypad.

I could go on about the AI, but there's far more problems. We don't even need to continue discussing the repetitive gameplay; TT tried to mix it up by adding platforming sections (with wall-kicks and climbing), turret sections, falling-through-space sections and more, but everyone of these new mechanics is both one-dimensional and wasted. Nothing is coherent or consistent. It feels as though TT tried to build this game out of a LEGO Duplo, a LEGO Friends and a LEGO Junior set, and couldn't quite figure out why the parts didn't stick together right.

Anyone who plays Ratchet & Clank would remember the huge amounts of inflation between R&C and R&C3. What happened was that instead of making a single bolt worth a single bolt, Insomniac gave the engine leeway to come up with appropriate, random number values, so that the player wasn't constantly having to collect single bolt after single bolt. This was to avoid repetitiveness and make people feel more powerful due to the larger numbers.

I can't quite figure out why TT Games have attempted the same thing, but they did, and it's jarring to say the least. The stud values remain the same; silver for 10, gold for 100, blue for 1000 and purple for 10,000. For some reason, though, in 10 minutes of play, I was already pushing 200,000 studs. The massive increase in inflation has naturally caused character prices to explode, with the most expensive costing a million a piece, and the lowest ones between 50,000 and 200,000.

Let's just talk about the characters in this game. TT Games proudly boasts how they have so many characters. Something like 90? Less than the amount they have in Star Wars: The Complete Saga though. The process of purchasing new characters is a real pain the rear. After collecting the "appropriate" amount of studs, you must either find the character in the world, or open the character selection screen (which seems to be available when it feels like, rather than when it should), scroll over to them, press the button twice, and then watch a long and pointless animation as it purchases your character. So help you if you want to buy more than one character, because you'll be waiting at that menu for a long time.

The increase in potential party characters is nice, if only wasted. You're only allowed extra party members in certain locations based on the story (and how much memory TT managed to waste on background effects). They can sometimes help, but usually you only need two people, and for most of the game you'll find yourself playing with two characters. The weirdest thing is they've modified the AI; firstly, the AI makes little to no attempt to follow you when you need it to, and vice-verse. It could be because this new system is supposed to allow you to have two characters doing actions at the same time and allow for seamless transitions, but it really doesn't work as advertised. Secondly, the AI is now capable of killing everything except the last enemy in the room. And, when I say it can't kill the last enemy, what I mean is that it stubbornly refuses to take any action at all. It just stands there like an garish rapscallion, watching you try to do the menial task of the hour and getting interrupt by the enemy.

There really is just so much narm I want to talk about, but for size I'll need to cut down; the hacking minigame is the one mechanic I actually had FUN with, but it was less a "I'm so excited to be doing this!" fun and more like a "At least this is better than the crap I was doing before..." fun. The Pants mechanic, which allows you to have permanent special abilities for characters that wear pants (think the Star Wars hats if they were combined with powerups). The very lowest aspect of the game, and the one that highlights my argument the best is both the Master Builds and the Construction Builds. Master Builds simply require you to swing the camera around three times and then let go of a button. How that even constitutes as gameplay is beyond me. The Construction Builds, on the other hand, require you to look at a model, then look at a bunch of parts and select the one that should fit.

Easy, right?

Oh wait, there's a timelimit that's counting down your stud reward for both taking your time and getting the answer wrong. Oh wait, the controls are both hyper-sensetive and super-sluggish, so your chance of selecting the correct button quickly is very low. Oh wait, it regularly makes the bricks flip over and distorts them in some way to make selection harder.


The worst part, however, is the story. I'm going to be very blunt. It's bad. It's terrible.

What Traveler's Tales do probably isn't Game Development. I think they may actually be butchers who just discovered how to use a computer. The amount of story they chopped up, jokes they ruined and the clearest and saddest irony of how The LEGO Movie Videogame goes completely against the morals and messages of The LEGO Movie, to the point they actually cut out the sequences in the movie that talk about those morals and messages is just pure disgusting.

I'm going to wrap up here without even mentioning the other plethora of problems, because the longer I stay here to write the sicker I get. This game is a success. It's on a level of success far higher than Bioshock or Spec Ops: The Line. What it deconstructs is the art of lazy game making. It shows us, up front and center the grim reality of what the industry has become, and gives the player a chance to come to their senses and realise their mistake.

Except, that was all unintentional.

This is clearly the worst game I've played. Unlike Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing or WarZ, this wasn't made by people who were technically and theoretically incompetent. TT Games are responsible for my favourite Crash Bandicoot game of all time. This isn't due to a lack of good source material or assets, since The LEGO Group would have given them everything they needed, and the core message and ideas of the Movie were some of the strongest I've seen in a long while. What we have here is a game that blindly lies to your face; it shows you an experience that looks fun, but lacks any kind of subtance, and yet assumes it can stand amongst the greats. It abuses the LEGO logo, using that to ride the waves of success, without realising the deadly whirlpool of boredom that it's surfing over.

The recent trend for big developers is to stop being creative and be safe, and do things as fast possible, over trying to do things to the credit of the idea (i.e. giving the original idea the respect it deserves). This game encapsulates everything wrong with that trend. The saddest thing is that you can tell people tried, but for whatever reason, the management of this game was lacking, and every fault in this product can be squarely blamed on the Creative Director. This game, and all TT Games as of recent seem to be stuck in the same trend as many, MANY developments. Instead of studying why a mechanic works, they look at how it works, and try to copy it without realising what made the mechanic fun in the first place. That's become extremely evident here.

Do not buy this game. If you really must, watch videos on YouTube. Watch the Movie and then move on with your lives, because this is one experience you do not need to have.


Now, I've heard of some pretty bad things about the Xbox One, but this takes the cake.

Apparently, a five-year-old was able to break into his father's Xbox Live account by filling the password section with spaces.

Let me repeat that. This kid spammed the spacebar to play his dad's games.

So, this kid discovered the trick, and got away with it until shortly after Christmas (no idea on why it took so long for the news to pick it up). His parents (finally) realized their son was playing games he wasn't supposed to, and the father (who works in computer security) asked him how he did it.

Basically, after the console is given a bad password, there's a password verification screen. Spam a bunch of spaces and you're in.

Microsoft discovered this backdoor and promptly fixed it, and bestowing on the young lad four new games, $50 (likely in Xbox Live), and a year's Gold membership on Live. The boy is also mentioned on a list of security researchers in March this year.

Moral of the story? "Newer" does not always mean "more secure".

Sources: http://www.10news.com/news/5-year-old-ocean-beach-exposes-microsoft-xbox-vulnerability

So, Amy Hennig, one of the more talented writers in the industry, has been "let go" and doesn't work at Naughty Dog anymore. According to her, she was "forced out" by Neal Druckmann, who was the lead writer for "The Last of Us" Which was my personal Game of the Year of 2013.

Now, this is a mixed bag. On one hand, one of the best writers in the industry is out of a job, but on the OTHER HAND, if square sees potential in her, they could potentially hire her again, and set her to work on writing a new Legacy of Kain game, possibly ending the franchise once and for all with an amazing sendoff.

Sources: http://kotaku.com/uncharted-writer-leaves-naughty-dog-1536681820


This is purgatory. The Catholics were right, plain and simple. It exists and the Internet is living in it. THE INFINITE MONKEY THEOREM GIVEN LIFE AND IT'S HORRIBLY GLORIOUS.

This "Social experiment" involves some coding, an emulator, a Twitch livestream, and everyone's sanity as the Internet goes forth to complete Pokemon Red by inputting controls via chat. Sounds like a fun time, right?

Well, it's not that simple. There's about a 20-second lag between text and input, meaning that "a" you entered may release your starter. OH WAIT THAT HAPPENED.

PLUS, this hellish ordeal attracted the attention of MILLIONS, and currently has 60,000 ACTIVE VIEWERS, able to say "down" as many times as they want.

This stream has gathered a lot of attention, from Reddit (obviously) to Tumblr, with groups fully devoted to the tropes and incidents of RoboRed and giving life to many frequently used things (like the Helix Fossil). It's a madhouse.


Stay away from this stream if you value your sanity. In fact, don't even read this post, just report it, shred the evidence. Gouge your eyes out. Burn the servers, KILL THE INTERNET.



UPDATE: It appears that now there's a vote to see which direction the player will move in. Seeing as we've been in Silph Co. for almost a day, this COULD mean progress.

UPDATE 2: The Road So Far.

Click the link below VVV



Goat Simulator 2014


Thank me later.

SERIOUSLY THOUGH! Game Jam has just finished up, right around the world. I'm pretty upset I didn't get to participate due to commitments this year, but thankfully the results of my local Game Jam, as well as many others are starting to show up, and it looks like this was a pretty good year for Indie Development.

If you'd like to find out more and get involved, you can visit http://globalgamejam.org/ and see where your local jammers are getting together for the next Game Jam. Otherwise, browse the site and see some of the incredible content that comes out of 3/4 days of hard work, with people you've never met on a strict budget.


Yeah yeah, I know guys, I need to talk about the games, but there were SO many games that even trying to get it all down in a draft version is difficult. We will come to it, I promise, but right now I want to clear out some other stuff just so I don't miss anything. And while we're on the subject of apologies, I just recently found out that a few things I may have said before were wrong. As I said, I was tired and sore, so it's likely that I've muddled words. The Kinect 2.0 WAS featured, although I never found my way to it, and the PS4 controllers are USB plugs as far as I know right now, and a recent announcement stated that basic functions should work for PC. Sorry guys.

So, we've got consoles out of the way, and games are coming soon as there's a lot in that area to cover. But what was the Expo itself like? Well, from my last update and, if you're listening to my Facebook/on the Skype group, you'd know I was pretty damn impressed with it. While it might be a little bit of excitement from it being my first Expo and from having the privilege of actually working there, there was plenty of good things to say about the Expo that I'm sure anybody who attended would certainly agree with...even if there were also a few minor problems here and there...

There is quite a lot to this as well, so this particular update might also need to be cut into parts.

The Cosplay

I know what you're thinking; "Why jump directly into the cosplay? It's not even the main part of Expo!" Well, my fellow gaming chums, working around gamers, you start to notice just how many people put an amazing amount of effort into looking their best for these expos, and with two cosplay competitions AND a parade dedicated for cosplayers to join in, you could just tell that it was one of the focuses for this year's EB Expo.

Although I wasn't able to take pictures as I was focusing on helping people with the game (I really wanted to with all the Alice, RWBY, Halo, Slenderman and some other cool cosplayers), you'll need to do a little searching on Twitter to see what I'm on about, but people went for broke this time around. Notable cosplayers included the Cerberus group who were hired (I think) by EA to dress up in full army/marnie uniform and stand around EA's proud tank, Ubisoft's hired cosplayers as Edward from AC4 and 3 different Aiden Pearces from Watch Dogs, one guy as an old school Robin who popped up on all 3 days, an amazing Steampunk Alice, a fully decked out ODST, an extremely tall and creepy Slederman, 2 Lollypop Chainsaw cosplayers and even more.

The caliber for costume quality was really high this year, and it seems like, with most games off-limits for taking photos, most people were really happy to go and ask the cosplayers for a quick snap. Of course, there were a few gender-benders, with males playing as Elizabeth (Bioshock: Infinite), Ruby Rose (RWBY) and a princess, and MANY female Assassins. Ultimately though, everbody was doing it for the fun, and it certainly gave a pretty exciting Expo a lot more life.

The Layout - Inside the Main Hall

This year's EB Expo had a pretty big dedicated space. You can still catch a glimpse of the floor plan on the EB Expo website, so check that out if you really want to know what was and wasn't there. Unfortunately, with having lots of cool things, space becomes a problem, and this year's floor plan could have been maybe slightly improved.

The biggest flaw was a bottleneck just outside the Battlefield/Ubisoft booths, that lead to the rest of the Expo as well as the main entrances for the normal audience. The people who designed the original convention hall weirdly decided on sticking a circular arena with a large rectangle hall. The problem is then obviously that the big "doorway" (except there's no door) between the two is pretty limited in size so that it fits with the circular arena's curvature. The big problem came when Ubisoft's Just Dance stage amassed GIANT crowds of people wanting to embarrass themselves or watch the others embarrassing themselves, and both Assassin's Creed and Battlefield having parts of their lines in the way of that "doorway". The already limited space quickly became clogged with people, and so getting through that section during the busier parts of the day could be an absolute nightmare, especially for the cosplayers, people who bought any sharp items at the EB Megastore (such as the various Gears of War replica Lancers) or disabled people.

One other problem was that people did have trouble finding certain things. I had plenty of people asking how to get to the EA booth, since that was tucked away in a corner reservedly, which is a really weird thing for EA to do (to be fair, they were really pushing Battlefield, every EB Game's employee had "Battlefield" on their shirt, and Ubisoft did buy out most of the EB Expo). The cafe(s) were also pretty well hidden, and it took a little getting used to when you need to find toilets, which were almost always met with long queues due to how small they were (admittedly more a problem with the venue than the organisation).

That all said though, there are some positives to the layout. Each developer/publisher/manufacturer got what seemed to be the appropriate amount of space, and each used it well (well, most of them did). The Loveseat section was a blessing, and combined with the other community stage, there was plenty of space for developers, publishers and other people to start interacting with large audiences. There was quite a large section dedicated to retro gaming which was really sweet, and the indie guys got a fantastic area which, while sadly left in the corner near the retro gaming section, displayed a lot of talent and promise from the Australian developers.

The Layout - Outside the Main Hall

EB Expo didn't just have the one little space for gamers to muddle around in. This time, EB Games offers two other arenas as well as a few other attractions on the outside which were well planned.

EB Expo featured many gaming tournaments (one my friend and I attempted to join and subsequently got our arses kicked in), and so a whole arena was dedicated to League of Legends. While I didn't spent too much time in it, the people there were very excited, and there was lots of computers and noise, so presumably the people who did spend time there enjoyed it.

The EB Action Arena was of course for the big announcements and stage shows, and it had quite the queue. While it probably doesn't begin to compare to the size of the E3 arena, it was one of the largest rooms I've been in ever, and with a couple thousand seats available as well as stands, and a pretty big stage and some massive screens, it did the job well. The strobe, pyrotechnic, smoke and other light effects were all very well done, and the camera work was top notch. Also, a blessing for them having toilets inside the action arena; I'm sure a lot of us s*** our pants when we got to see some live gameplay for inFamous: Second Son.

Ubisoft went all out this year at the EB Expo, and their monument to this was the Pirate Ship ride, one of those big carnival rides where you get on a big boat-thing and it swings back and forth, getting to almost 45-degree angles. Armed by my friends who announced some displeasure at working on it in the hot sun (which I thought was beautiful weather), it was very successful, if it was a little bit hidden (you had to go off the beaten path to actually find it, despite its impressive size). Also there was a game of Lazer Tag which was placed inside a big stadium. Although they never actually got spectators to sit and watch the people playing, the course seemed to be a lot of fun, even with the mixed reviews.


There's plenty more that needs to be said, but I've got to wrap this one up here, else I might just passed out and send you all an unintelligible string of letters, numbers and symbols. Having worked in an environment which I would describe as a "ear-worm breeding ground", noise made up a big part of this years Expo, and I know what worked and didn't.

Firstly, allow me to explain; Ubisoft's Just Dance floor was LOUD. It had to be to try and attract as many people as possible over the sounds of everything WB was doing on the other side of the arena and Battlefield's tank. I was working directly behind the Just Dance floor, so you can imagine how deafening that might have been. To be fair, there were plenty of good songs played every once in a while and I struck up a bit of a dancing strut every once in a while, and it felt a little disheartening knowing that The Crew, the station I mainly worked at, was completely silent (aside from me giving out hints and instructions, and people telling other people how much they suck for hitting them during the multiplayer segment of the demo) with all of the people listening to the headsets. Would have appreciated some Glitch Mob or something to keep the mood up so we could compete with Just Dance's audience...

WB Games cranked it loud, and every explosion in Mad Max sounded like actual, real life explosions. I actually think I received permanent ear damage when I was watching the live demo up close due to how insanely high the volume was cranked up. Hell, many of the people I worked with thought something had dropped or broken, only to look at the WB TV screen and seen that they were just playing their stuff loud and proud. Battlefield pumped up massive audiences for free (and supposedly super rare) T-Shirts every 20 minutes, and they got hundreds of people to cheer like crazy for them.

EA games hired two DJ chicks to come in and play some debatably awesome songs, but much cooler was the highly pimped out Red Bull DJ van, which was stood on a platform, and boasting massive speakers played some absolutely incredible tracks. Meanwhile, the various tournaments were of course giving out their very fast paced and exciting commentary to draw people in.

Most of the above audio worked well, if maybe just a tad too loud at times. Unfortunately, as you might expect, there was some draining sounds...the announcements. I know it's a sad thing, but the amount of kids that got lost at the arena was an exercise in masochism as you had to bare through the hundreds of announcements each day. You'd think they'd start selling leashes at the front door. It was pretty funny when certain announcements clashed and were read over the top of each other, meaning neither could be heard, but when it got in the way of developer commentaries and live playthroughs, it was pretty upsetting.


We do have so much more to talk about, and with time we will cover it all, but at least you've now got a general idea about the place that EB Expo 2013 was. Any of the bad points made were ultimately minor to the overall experience, and indeed the good decisions shine through and are a testament to the amount of planning, organisation and work done by both the EB staff, and the staff of all the vendors who featured. I'd be more than happy to work in that kind of environment any day of the weak, and I look forward to doing it all over again.

Coming up, we'll have much more to talk about, including those awesome games, the Oculus Rift, the audience and media, the various stage shows I did attend, the prizes on offer and much more. Stay tuned guys!


Well guys, you might have noticed my absence as of recent, and in big part it's due to my involvement with the EB Expo 2013, which I'm going to give you a nice insight to. It was one hell of a massive and crazy thing, and while it can't really compare to the likes of E3 or Gamescom, it was the biggest convention in Australia (as far as gaming is concerned), and it certainly showed. Working for Ubisoft game me a nice VIP pass to get through on things fast, so I was able to give quite a lot of what was featured at EB Expo a go, and today, while I can't show you anything (photography was mostly banned, in case anybody claimed that a picture taken out of context looked bad", I certainly give you everything you'd want to here. Welcome to McJobless' Ultimate EB Expo 2013 Wrap-Up.

Because I'm very tired, and there's a HUGE amount to cover, I'm splitting this all up into parts. This is part 1, covering what you probably were most interested in; the very hardware you'll be using to play your awesome new games in the coming year. That said, stuff like the Oculus Rift will likely get covered in another part.

The Consoles: PS4 vs Xbox One

The biggest selling point of the show, without a doubt, was indeed the consoles, and actually being able to use them was in itself an amazing feeling, as I was one of the first people in Australia to use a PS4 to play Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. So, without further ado, let's break them apart and see what stood up as the proud warrior.

(Quick note: I'll talk about the controllers shortly. They're actually pretty damn awesome, and I want to compare them separately)


Sony's confidence in the console is at an all time high, since unlike their main competitor at Microsoft, they were more than happy to leave the consoles out in the open for people to touch, lift and give a very good look at. The PS4 itself weighs as much as two slim PS2s, and is about the same size as one of them. To be fair, it's actually significantly light for something packing as much power as it does. Sony was quite happy to show off about ~20 titles for the PS4, and while a fair majority were indie, there were some quite beastly games such as AC4 and Drive Club on offer. The console is a savage beast and it devours anything you throw at it with ease. It might not top a computer with 2 Titans and an i7, but it can still stand up to the best of the rest and fight back.

The PS4's main menu interface is pretty simple after you get the hang of it, but getting to it was of course by accident, so in all possibility the interface was limited on purpose in case anybody stole the console. The power and disc access buttons are not actually buttons, but seem to be more like sensors that require you to simply hold your finger over a very slim light. This might be the console's one fault, in that the On/Off switch is so tiny, but it's rather minute to the overall advantages it has to offer. Another minor problem is that the lights on the console don't change colour when it changes state, which means figuring if the console is on or off can be tricky. Especially considering the PS4 is actually super quiet. It's almost impossible to hear the thing running, which I think is quite incredible.

For those who want the PS4 to stand up, it currently doesn't look like an option due to the slanted sides and the absence of any kind of hole to screw a stand in. That's not necessarily a bad thing, seeing as the PS1 couldn't stand either. I couldn't unfortunately get a picture of the back of the console so I could remember specifically how much ports the console has, but needless to say HDMI, Ethernet and a minimum of 2 USB slots are definitely there. The PS4 uses the same tray-less disc loading system as the PS3, the controller ports do (from someone who doesn't own a PS3) seem to use the same connectors as the PS3.

Xbox One

Microsoft played it safe, and put their new console behind what seemed like bullet-proof glass. The console seems to be roughly the same size as an original arcade Xbox 360, and my guess would be that weight is the same. The console has the same power button as the Xbox 360 S, which is the silver button you need only lightly tap to turn off and on. There definitely is a disc tray, so don't worry about any rumours floating around regarding Microsoft going all digital just yet. It seems like the exhaust vents make up a significant portion of the consoles design, which is actually kind of cool, even though the console itself sported an odd sort of brown-ish colour.

To my dismay, the Xbox One is actually a pretty powerful box. Although my time spent around with it was fairly limited to just one game and watching over the shoulders of others, there were no freezes, stutters or slow-downs, and everything looked consistently beautiful at what seemed to be either a stable 30/60FPS (hard to recall). Microsoft wasn't going to let Sony have all the pretty visuals this time around, so they've pushed back, and their demos were entirely focused on AAA games including Dead Rising 3, Titanfall, Ryse and Forza 5. They certainly gave us the eye-candy, and you can find out about gameplay a little later onwards, but know that, for all the jokes we may have made earlier in the year, Microsoft does seem to have at least some kind of ground to stand on. For now...

I was able to take a very quick sneak peak at the menu interface, which is indeed based off the infamously "popular" Metro interface. Hooray. Sony's wasn't much better, if I'm honest, but at least theirs was a consistent colour scheme. The clashing blues and greens were quite the eyesore. However, it's quite obvious the interface was entirely built for Kinect 2.0, which strangely enough did seem to be absent from the EB Expo (either it was hidden away deep inside the Microsoft fortress, or they were scared of the Oculus Rift...).

Other Stuff

Of course, they weren't the only gaming platforms to feature. nVIDIA absolutely pushed it's GeForce GTX line of GPUs for all of the Ubisoft PCs, with all of the boxes giving off the green glowing words through a small window, "GEFORCE GTX". Meanwhile, many other manufacturers featured, including Dell's Alienware and Origin Systems all providing hundreds of boxes to the event. Nintendo brought along its Wii U and 3DS, and Sony played the hand-held market with its PS VIta. Sony also brought along a lot of PS3s showcasing Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus and GT6, giving us the idea that there's still life in that poor old console. Ubisoft also brought along iPads to show off some of the smaller mobile games available.

The Controllers

Sony and Microsoft are both proud of their new controller designs, and their both quite sophisticated and are significant improvements over the previous gen. But which one wins the bragging rights?

PS4 Controller

Sony's offering fixed my major problem with all Playstation controllers up until that point; in the words of Master Chief, "It feels like LEGO". They were stiff, hard bastards (*giggling*) and it could really strain the fingers if you were on a gaming spree. Thankfully, Sony has finally found my list of things they need to do before I consider buying their last gen console, and now the thumbsticks and buttons are a lot smoother and easier on the fingers. The thumbsticks themselves are now made out of a different material to previous iterations, making them much softer which will increase the amount of time you can use them before your thumbs completely snap. At first, I didn't understand the round circle on top of the thumbsticks, but it made control a lot easier when I finally got into intensive action bits. I can also confirm that the D-Pad is now slightly less annoying.

Of course, while you would want to know more about the "Options" and "Share" button, the later being disabled and the former I talked about the results of earlier, what you really want to know is how the touch-pad works. Well, frankly at this moment, I didn't play any games that actually had a use for it. inFamous: Second Son will make use of it, but there was no gameplay demo avaliable at EB Expo, and so it became a useless waste of space for the time being. That said, as a touch screen it has an interesting feel; it's not glass like any old iPod. It's kind of like the plastic of the console itself, and its feel is very distinguishable from the rest of the controller, so using it shouldn't be difficult, provided you were blessed with the gift of three hands. As much as I don't like to, I need to say something negative in that actually getting your hand onto the touchpad during gameplay is an exercise in masochism, as it's likely you'll need to release control of movement if you're right handed (which is trying to operate all the other buttons and your view). Of course, I could be wrong, so we'll just need to wait and see what happens in the not-so-far future.

Xbox Controller

The new Xbox controller is, as I thought it might, pretty well done. Despite the weaknesses of the console that still exist, the controller is one redeeming point in its favour. Just like the PS4 controller, the buttons have been softened up a little bit to help ease off the strain of long-session gaming. The D-Pad is no long the ridiculous single piece of plastic used in the original 360 design, and now resembles that of the Playstation's singular buttons. As weird as it sounds, the impulse triggers actually are kind of cool, giving more precise vibration for when you fire a gun or something similar. The new ergonomic design of the controller actually feels kind of nice in your hands. Hell, the thumbsticks are made from a new material that feels something special.

Of course, it's not all perfect. The weird plastic-glassy bit at the top doesn't make a lick of sense and offers no practical function (that I know of), aside from making the controller taller than it needs to be (the guide button could easily still have been placed in the middle of the controller). These new buttons, "Menu" and "View" did nothing at all when I used them, which was likely disabled features. These replaced the Start/Select buttons too, so how this is going to affect gameplay with any games that needed the Select button for leader-scores or the mini-map should be interesting. That all said though, the controller was fairly light, considering how heavy the old 360 controller was, and the black colour scheme is pretty cool, even if Sony has been doing it for years now.

Other Stuff

Unlike Activision, who gave all CoD players the Xbox One controller, Ubisoft opted to stick with the most traditional Xbox 360 Afterglow AX.1 controller, a nice glowing aftermarket controller that I also own, and I've found to be quite reliable. Meanwhile, the mouser and keyboard warriors were fighting for controller, with Razer and several smaller manufacturers demonstrating their brand new products. From what I tried out, there was some super awesome stuff out there that I'm jealous of, including one mouse that had the Xbox buttons on its side, and a keyboard that came with a hand fan, to help you get rid of the sweat from a big gaming session. There was just so much variety, it's become more of a choice in what you don't need, as opposed to what you want, which in itself I think is kind of cool that even our peripherals have become super advanced.


We have lots more to talk about, but right now, a very tired and sore McJobess has just wrapped up the thoughts on the consoles and the controllers. Being one of the first to try this stuff is a unique feeling. It's likely that, with my memory the way it is, I've got facts muddled up and confused, but overall, despite what seemed like the Xbox's rather large popularity (ultimately for the games, not the console itself), the PS4 has won me over several times during the Expo, and while I'll still be trying to get a good gaming PC first and foremost, my sights are clearly set on getting a PS4 in the near future, but maybe even getting an Xbox, just to see if they can expand on the positives and defeat those evil preconceptions the majority of us still have. It's too early to call this generation won just yet, but we know who is in the clear lead. Now we just have to see the games.


E3 2013: Microsoft Press Conference

Instead of the initial 15 promised titles, we were told there would be 13 Next-Gen exclusive titles.

Right out of the gate was Konami. They launched the conference with "Metal Gear Solid V - The Phantom Pain". Interesting, they showed off their "Fox Engine", which boasted features such as:

  • Open-World
  • Stealth
  • Real-Time Weather
  • Transport
  • "Tactical Espionage" Redefined
  • Strategic Freedom
  • Realistic Passage of Time
  • Deeper stealth action
  • Dynamic "CQC" (Unknown what CQC is at this point)

Then, to EVERYBODY'S surprise, Xbox 360 got some new stuff. They launched the newest version of the Xbox 360 console, apparently which will be running side-by-side (read: two separate and actively supported consoles) with the Xbox One. We weren't given a price point, but they boasted a shiny new appearance to match the Xbox One and announce it's on sale right now. Furthermore, Xbox Live Gold Members who move up to the Xbox One (and possibly all Xbox Live Gold Members on Xbox One) will recieve 2 free game downloads per month. The first titles are reported to be Assassin's Creed 2 and Halo 3.

Microsoft reported that there are still titles coming to the Xbox 360, including the 360 version of World of Tanks, alongside Dark Souls 2 (supposedly a 360 exclusive) and a new indie game, "Max - Curse of Brotherhood". which seems to be a cute little platformer.

Microsoft moved on then to a title which was teased way back in 2010/2011, Ryse. Ryse is an Xbox One Exclusive (at launch) by CryTek. They've changed the game from first person to third person God-of-War-style, but weird was the amount of quick-time events. CryTek boss has said that they are actually special moves (executions) but players may also use manual attacks as well, and that the speed of gameplay was increased during the demo. Nonetheless, graphics were flashy.

Microsoft was of course going to appeal to its fans, and announced that Killer Instinct would indeed be coming to the console as an Xbox One Exclusive. Furthermore, Insomniac Game announced their Xbox One exclusive title, "Sunset Overdrive". It seems to be an open-world, caricature-graphic zombie game with a twist; firstly there seems to be a lot of focus on these "skyrails" in the air, increasing speed of gameplay. More interestingly though was the weapon, powered by what appeared to be a deadly Fanta...should be interesting.

Forza 5 revealed itself, having a McLaren inside the studio, and declaring an "end to AI". They talked about "Drive-atar", a system which is able to replicate your own movements, allowing the game to play exactly like you, and in turn modify the opponent AI to better suit your own gameplay style. While it is definitely an interesting feature, it was revealed to be cloud-based, which may mean you need to be online to play this game.

Microsoft wanted to stress its commitment to Indie Developers, by revealing several new Indie games for the Xbox One:

  • Minecraft - Xbox One edition
  • Quantum Break - a game where players get to choose the events of a companion TV show
  • D4 - Episodic Murder Mystery (making use of cell shading)
  • Project Spark -a Smart Glass-based world builder

Microsoft then went on to talk about the Smart Glass itself. It's native to the Xbox One, and has a few new features. Smart Match uses a variety of recorded data (skill level, playtime etc) to match you to different multiplayer matches across games. Furthermore, they also revealed Game DV, a recording application. Using the "Upload Studio", you are able to record the previous 31 seconds, add commentary and share your highlights to the cloud. Furthermore, they also revealed their partnership with Twitch, so you can now broadcast games live and use your Kinect to record your own commentary and video feed alongside the recording of your game.

Then to top it off, the also revealed that Xbox One will use real world currency finally, that they have removed the friend limit, and if one person on the Xbox One console have Xbox Live, everybody on the console gets the benefits.

A few more games were talked about; Crimson Dragon trailer played without audio, then Dead Rising 3 was revealed as an Xbox One exclusive title, boasting larger environments, more customisability and new artillery strikes. CD Projekt Red talked about how The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will integrate with Xbox One, as players can use Smart Glass and Kinect to control many aspects of the game.

Battlefield 4's reveal was unfortunately lacking. It was revealed as multiplatform, but the game refused to play for 2 minutes, leading to an awkward situation where it looked like DICE would need to save it for the EA Press Conference. Eventually the game did startup, and later it was revealed that Xbox One would be getting Second Assault, the first map-pack, first.

Below, a new indie title was revealed as an Xbox One exclusive, and Black Tusk Studios provided an ingame cutscene to demonstrate the power of the console. 343 then provided a Halo teaser (did not specifically say '5'), reminding us about Spartan Assault for PC and the Spielberg Halo TV show.

They finally revealed that the Xbox One console would be available in November for much of the word, at around $500US, 500Euros and 430Pounds.

Last up, Respawn Entertainment gave us Titanfall, a FPS with a focus on mech combat, and revealed that it would be released in Spring, 2014.

Overall, certainly much better than the previous few years, but whether or not Microsoft has done enough is yet to be revealed. Stand-by for the Sony conference later today.

PS: Let's have a quick look at the Bingo card: http://prntscr.com/1999yh

Not bad.


It's been a while since out last news report, but I couldn't let this one slip by.

We all know Microsoft brought out its latest "entertainment package", the Xbox One, yes? Well, they wanted a website specifically for the device. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the domain(s) is parked by a guy in Britain...from at least 2 years ago.

xboxone.com and xboxone.net are both owned by a man from Britain, and as it turns out, the webarchive indicates that the site may have existed as far back as 2002, as a fan site for the original Xbox.

Microsoft has lodged a complaint with the National Arbitration Forums (case number 1501205) for both domains on the 23/5/2013, and as yet no decision has been made.




Web Archives, 2002

NAF (Enter the case number above


Technically, this would fall under "Tech News", but since we don't have that yet, I may as well put this here. That and james is doing a fine job with LEGO News as it is.

You know all of those Android-powered things that people keep talking about lately (Google Glass, the Ouya, etc.)? Well, here's another one fr the masses.

Apparently, NVIDIA (the guys who make good Graphics Cards and tablet CPUs) revealed a handheld gaming device set for release this June, known as the Shield. However, the pre-ordering date went from May 20th to TODAY.


The specs we were given look nothing short of impressive: NVIDIA's powerful Tegra 4 processor (Used in a few high-end tablet PCs) will give it plenty of gaming power, which we will see through a 5-inch screen with 720p HD display, HDMI output, plus the capability to stream onto your computer. You'll have 2 GB of RAM (commonplace in most of the latest phones at the moment) with 16 GB of storage to start with, and a microSD slot for more. Also, this thing will run Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) and have stereo speakers. No word on a touchscreen, though. But with your standard console buttons (Not seen: four rear shoulder buttons), who's complaining? And all of this will be powered by three Li-ion batteries with a life of up to 15 hours.

Now, you're likely looking at those specs and thinking "Whoop-dee-doo Basil, but what does it all mean???"

Well, I'll tell you: a crazy-good gaming experience. This thing'll be GREAT for any handheld phone game you throw at it. And with a physical controller, you can't go wrong.

The Shield will be released with a starting price of $350 USD and will mostly be found online, but you could also try to pick it up at GameStop if you're into that kind of thing...

SO, what do you guys think?





Review: Soul Sacrifice Demo

So some of you may have heard about the Playstation Vita? Sony's little machine that couldn't? It really deserves some more games, as It's current library is rather....lacking, to say the least. When I first heard of Soul Sacrifice, I was ecstatic. Keiji Inafune, the man behind Megaman, working on a new game? A portable Monster Hunter game on a system that Capcom have gone on record saying there won't be any on? It's a dream come true.

So does it live up to the hype that surrounded it?


Title Screen

So...The title screen. It does the standard Capcom thing of some creepy voice saying the Game's name as it loads. And after loading up and choosing our character, we come to this little fellow.


Librom, the evil demonic book thing

You see, Librom was the book of the sorcerer who imprisoned you in the cage. Apparently by reading it, You can gain the secrets of becoming a sorcerer, and eventually overthrowing Magusar himself. No...the story isn't one of the strong points of this game. What's probably the greatest thing it has going for it is the Combat and Lore....Oh jesus, the combat and lore...


My hero, Alexis, encountering the first boss, the "Jack-O-Lantern"

The combat...Is fluid as HELL. You assign certain "Offerings" to the face buttons (Square, Triangle, Circle) and press said button to use it. Each offering has a certain ammount of uses you can do per stage, which get refilled once you've completed it. If you do overuse an offering, It's destroyed (Lost) and you must use "Lacrima" To unlock it for use again. Each offering has it's own unique use in-game. My main go-to power is the Ice Sword, which attacks fast, does not-very-spectacular damage, and dissipates within 25 seconds.

One of the most pushed features of this game are the "Black Rites" where you sacrifice a part of your OWN BODY to perform an ESPECIALLY damaging attack to the enemies. During the demo, I only had one unlocked. In order to use it, I had to sacrifice my skin, which permanently reduced my defense by 50%. (Until I repaired the damage with Lacrima. I assume they put that in so using Black Rites would be a BIT more appealing)


The Black Rite in action

Another strong point in the game is the ability to either Sacrifice or Save defeated enemies. Upon saving them, you gain their Life Energy, which from my understanding, increases your overall maximum health per level. If you decide to Sacrifice them instead, you get their Magic Energy. From my understanding, Magic Levels allow you to equip different gear and such. The Demo didn't REALLY do a good job explaining the difference between the two.


Alexis, Sacrificing the Jack-O-Lantern from earlier

And now...we get to the lore. I'm usually uninterested in lore in Video Games, mainly because nobody could ever REALLY seem to pull it off correctly. But Soul Sacrifice...Each Enemy, Location, Person, And Boss is chronicled. And they ALL have interesting stories behind them. You'll learn to cringe every time the Silver Chalice shows up...

And last but certainly not least...This game looks DAMN good! These are probably the best graphics I've seen on the Vita ever! Character models are very detailed. ESPECIALLY during the sections between reading the Book, when you control your character from the first person.


Said first person view. Look at the detail!


Our Heroine, Alexis, ready to kick ass and take names!

In an overall view? I LOVED this demo. You can save your progress, and carry it on into the full game, unlike most demos. I've put SO much time into this, it's unbelievable.


Review copyright Alexis Wynter, 2013 (Copyright not actually pending and not actually ever existing)


Review: Bioshock: Infinite


"The mind of the subject will desperately struggle to create memories where none exist..." ~ Rosalind Lutece

Wow. Just. Wow.

For 5 years, this game had been sitting in the cooking pot, awaiting the day it would finally see the light. It was delayed 3 times. Some people started to lose hope, believing Irrational Games could never do the impossible; create a sequel equal to or better than the original.

They did it.


Bioshock: Infinite is art. If all games are art, than Bioshock: Infinite is Monet's Water Lilies. It's an emotional rollercoaster that actually works, which is surprising with the amount of desensitisation in this current day and age. If you can't be bothered to read the rest of this review, then just know I'm going to recommend you buy it, and you buy it now. Get immersed in it, because there's so much there for you to analyse and consider. The team should be applauded for its effort.


When I want a story in games, there's only two developers I can trust to always deliver something akin to the depth and complexity of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, or anything of George Orwell. Chris Avellone and Obsidian, and the writing team at Irrational.

The twists and turns in the story arc serve to twist our emotions. It's not a straight path; there are some massive complications and plot twists I won't reveal, but needless to say, one in particular had me chocking up. The story starts off slow and breesy, which is a good thing, as it helps us get more associated with the world that we'll be tearing up over the next 10+ hours. Pacing in this game is, more or less, just as it should be. Tension is something the game plays with, and you'll probably find yourself more than once wanting to break into the game, pull out your machine gun and just kill everything (not in frustration), which is actually a good thing (it means they're successfully drawing on your emotions).


Character development is, except for a few tragic enemy archtypes, bang on the money. The game makes sure not to give you all the details at once, instead lightly dropping out hints here and there. The characters seem to capture the best (worst) qualities of previous Bioshock characters, which enhances the plot and the themes of the game, particularly American Exceptionalism, which entangles subthemes such as racism and religion. Now, it's slightly depressing that Songbird is the only character not to be given a history (the other Heavy Hitters are detailed in the artbook/guidebook), but it's made up for with the complex relationship between Booker, Elizabeth and Songbird. Comstock himself is also a highly convoluted and deeply intriguing character, and you'll be longing for more of him the more you play.


I admit it. I value story over gameplay. That said, this game doesn't disappoint in either department; gameplay is addicting. The skyhook and skyrails are one of the greatest editions to modern day gaming, and if they do not feature as a rollercoaster sometime in the future, I will be highly unimpressed. This game's action sequences are fast-paced, but definitely manageable. I recommend playing on Easy or Normal first, so you can experiment with the skyrails and skyhooks and explore the levels well without the looming threat of perma-death that comes with the game's 1999 Mode (if you don't have any ingame money; you must pay to revive, even on Easy, although the rates change between level). The game does not have regenerating health, although early on you do receive a shield with regenerating energy; generally, it doesn't last long unless you upgrade it with Infusions, special bottles in the world that allow you to increase you Health/Salt/Shield bars, so or don't worry too much if you're not a fan of regenerating elements.


Gun customisation is barely there, but this isn't the game for it. The weapons are nicely varied, and though I found myself in love with the Carbine and the Shotgun, the signature weapons include a gun that fires bouncing projectiles, several explosive weapons that make you grin with malevolent glee, the Pepper Grinder machinegun (they were right to make it rare, because it is HIGHLY OP), but most importantly, the very awesome Skyhook as your melee weapon. Hold down the melee button, and you will perform some of the most brutal moves I have seen in a game since Mortal Kombat.

The Vigors, replacing Plasmids, are fun and extremely helpful. There's no more Pipe-hero hacking; Possession does the job for you, and the fact it can make those amazing Motorized Patriots your allies, and make human enemies commit suicide, is quite fantastic. Murder of Crows is possibly the most fun to use, but I find Undertow also works well. The other change to the formula is the removal of Tonics, and the addition of Gears. You can only have one Gear for each different body part (Head, Torso, Arms, Boots), but this adds an element of strategy that is well received. Do keep checking in and changing your gears, as they can really make things much easier (or harder) for you in combat.


Of course, the big thing that everyone was worried about is Elizabeth. Well, I can tell you, she's the best kind of NPC you can have. You don't have to manage her at all. She'll do whatever she wants, and occasionally throw you some ammo, salts (replacing EVE) or med-kits (replacing ADAM). She can also bring in new elements to the battlefield (usually about 2 at a time), such as hooks for you to leap on to and gain a nice sniping vantage point, new weapons, turrets and Patriots and other things to really help you with the battle before you. She won't fight, but that would just take away from all the combat potential you have.


Irrational promised that the PC version would look beyond beautiful. Let's just give that a quick check.




You can't have a game without at least some niggling issues, and this isn't exempt. As I mentioned before, the lack of detail on the Songbird is disheartening, but it's more than likely we might see something come of it in the upcomming DLC. There's not as many battle locations which have the skyrails, so do take advantage of them if you find one. The Boys of Silence are sadly not as awesome as we thought they would be, and add a rather clunky stealth element to an otherwise primarily action game, which doesn't really work here. 1999 is not *as* hard as promised. The ending is, without analysing it, confusing at first, and there are some gaping plot holes, but considering what kind of ending they went with, it's not a huge deal as no-one else has yet pulled it off perfectly either. The PC lacks manual saves, which isn't a problem if you plan to play this game in one or two long sessions like I do, but if you need to constantly quit out, it's going to be a frustrating mess for you. The two-weapon limit is depressing, considering the wide range of weapons.


The biggest issue for me is length. The game is around 10-15 hours, depending on difficulty and if you go exploring. The big problem I have with this is that, the original Bioshock was about the same length, but because of the setting and the rather dull combat (in comparison to this), it felt longer than it actually was. But here, everything is so open, so bright, so fun, it really does feel like a short experience, which is sad considering the amount of content from previous trailers which has been cut for this final version. Thankfully, we are getting DLC, which will hopefully knock up the length to above 20 hours, and give us a lot more skyrails to play on.


The above problems aren't so massive in the long-run. The game could have been better if they were addressed, but really, this game is already perfect the way it is. This is a game you MUST play before you die, especially for upcoming game designers.



Sources: Bioshock Infinite Logo: http://wikicheats.gametrailers.com/images/6/60/BioShock_Infinite_Banner.jpg

EA CEO Resigns


It's official. John Riccitiello (a difficult name to write) has decided to jump ship. On March 30th, he'll officially be leaving the company. Until his replacement is found, Larry Probst has been named as the temporal replacement by the Executive Board.

This is John's second time leaving the company; his stint between 1997 to 2004 was arguable the greatest years of EA, giving us some classic games and rising to become one of the greatest publishers. He left to start his own equity firm, but eventually came back in 2007.

It's likely this is caused by several things that you may or may not have heard about EA in the past few year:

  • EA being named "Worst Company in America"
  • EA losing its place on the NASDAQ-100 (with share prices going from $60 right down to $20 over Riccitiello's second CEO period)
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic (particularly making an MMO out of a single player RPG and the entire move to F2P)
  • Mass Effect 3 (particularly how it handled PR over the ending and DLC)
  • SimCity (except a report on that sooner or later)

So, now we play the waiting game to see if a new CEO will rise who knows what they're doing. I certainly hope so. EA has a long way to climb to get back to the top.






Nintendo Renews An Interesting Trademark

So, who here remembers Eternal Darkness? If I remember correctly, it was a Gamecube launch title, and by GOD was it amazing. It was the first "M" rated game to be published by nintendo, and it had some of the best horror I've SEEN in a game. (It had a sanity meter before it was cool)

Nintendo recently renewed the Trademark for the game. Could this be a sequel? A remake for the WiiU? Or just nintendo trying to keep it's own IP secure? We'll know soon enough, I wager.

Sources: http://www.gamnesia.com/news/nintendo-extends-the-trademark-for-eternal-darkness

Interesting "game" found on the internet

So, I was browsing Kotaku today, and I noticed they had something on a game they found. It wasn't a full article, just a little thing on the sidebar. It has to do with Gender Dysphoria, and how it affects those that are affected by it.

I thought it was a very good teaching tool, and a glimpse into the lives of people like me. Go check it out. Who knows? Maybe you'll learn a little bit more about our lives and how we live them.

(Link is in the source)

Sources: http://explode.cutely.co/twine/dysphoria.html#6

Seeing as I enjoy the Assassin's Creed franchise, and seeing that there are a few Creed fans within this community (and partly because jamesster keeps getting to all the good stuff for LEGO news), I've decided to write up on the latest in these games.

In case you haven't noticed, there was a pretty big leak this week for AC4, in the form of a premier trailer. You see, good old Ubisoft was going to keep this trailer under wraps until Monday (March 5th), when they would also reveal the release date and some other tidbits for the masses...


After this beauty got leaked, we discovered that the release date will be October 29, 2013 (just one day shy of a year after AC3), the game will focus on another new face--Edward Kenway, grandpappy of Connor--and it's assumed it will SOMEHOW still follow the Desmond Miles storyline. Maybe he had a long lost brother? maybe his father goes into the Animus? If so, we'd get more John de Lancie voice acting! :D

As well, we get an actual title for the game (other than just a number): Black Flag.

On that note, we have a new theme: PIRATES. Freaking PIRATES. It'll be in the Caribbean sometime in the 1700's. (We could give it an alternate title of AC4: On Stranger Tides :P )

So that rumor of AC4 being set in Brazil was bogus, and McJobless seems to be correct about "not trusting a Ubisoft employee" for everything.

Anyway, The game will also be shipping for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, PC and Wii U, as well as whatever "Next-gen console" Microsoft will be dishing out.

So there we have it! I now understand why McJobless threw up when he heard of AC4 coming out so soon. Your actions have been justified, but I still anticipate the next one, as long as it isn't half-assed like most sequels right after are.

Sources: http://gamingillustrated.com/assassins-creed-4-trailer-leaked-and-major-details-revealed/



Obsidian Could Do Another Star Wars RPG

:lol: If you're a Star Wars and a Gaming Fan, chances are KotORII was one of, it not your most, favourite Star Wars video games. Yeah, it wasn't exactly "perfect", but Obsidian took what BioWare started, ran with it, added a whole new dimension of complexity and intrigue to it, and released something beautiful.

Well, it looks like, even after Disney stated they would shift more focus onto mobile and casual games ( > :(), Obsidian, according to CEO Feargus Urquhart, is gearing up to do another RPG set in the Star Wars universe. Now, let's not get ahead of ourselves here, they haven't exactly confirmed it's happening. Right now they're lobbying to get the rights to make this game a reality. LucasArts is keen on the pitch, but it will be up to Disney to make the final decision.

Now, we all know about EA and BioWare making the rather infamous TOR MMO. Obsidian has asked to develop their game in another time period, particularly between the events of Episode 3 and 4, but they want to be careful, and really only tease to the events of the movies. With Chris Avellone penning the story, you know it's going to be awesome.

If you've never played KotORII and want to see why it's possibly one of the greatest Western RPGs, you can check out a highly in-depth text and image Let's Play (some videos and audio recordings included), with complete analysis of the characters, their motives, the stories, deleted content and just about anything you could want to know about the game HERE, thanks to Scorchy at Let's Play Archive.





Assassin's Creed 4 Confirmed

Well, that tears it, Ubisoft. If you can't even bother to fix your previous games before you go on ahead and type up about new ones, we can't be friends anymore.

Ubisoft has announced another AC game to be coming anytime between April 1st to sometime next year. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot talked a lot about how the game will be totally new and fresh, although considering that's what they said about AC3, and they lied about the PC version and many features ingame, I don't think it's right to trust a Ubisoft employee. Ubisoft stated that sales of AC3 were around the $12 million mark. Quite frankly, I believe they're lying, but nonetheless that's what has been reported.

In December of last year, one employee mentioned the next game could be set in Brazil, and he was never confirmed or denied.







The Witcher 3 announced!

Let's get this out of the way. Zephy is a MASSIVE Witcher Fangirl. I've red 2/3 of the books (Too lazy to learn polish just to read the last one, luckily the U.S edition is coming out July 1st of this year.) I've played the games (Well, only a little of 2) And this had me stoked.

Let's go a few weeks back, during the teens of january. CD Projekt Red released a teaser trailer for "Cyberpunk" which got most people hard with anticipation, but left me with a sour taste. Prerendered trailers always seem to overglorify the games that they are made for. Case in point: Dead Island. The trailer made it out to be an emotional journey, but it ended up just being a bunch of drunk people in a zombie version of Borderlands 2.

But, I digress. Back in the Cyberpunk trailer, near the end, there was a hint to TW3 Existance, but almost nobody caught it. On twitter, if I recall, a CDPR employee said "Yeah, we're going to reveal something soon, but on a more...established franchise" (Paraphrased).

And Lo! The new issue of Gameinformer (Which I should be recieving soon) features The Witcher 3 as it's cover story. Apparently, it runs on a new engine, Is 20x bigger than Witcher 2, and is going to be open world with seamless loading.

Holy. s***. It also pretty much confirms the next generation of consoles, as it states it's being released on "All High-End platforms available"

Also, beard.

Sources: http://kotaku.com/5981680/the-witcher-3-announced-first-artwork-revealed

An Even Longer Time Ago... SWTOR

Well guys. Sorry this took so long. I've been kinda playing some games I got for xmas and....ehhhh...

So, what game am I reviewing today? (Well it's more of a first impressions, but you get the idea) If the title didn't give it away, I'm playing...


So...The Old Republic. I've been wanting to play this game for a while, actually. I think it went F2P rather recently, and that's the only way I was able to play, seeing as I REALLY don't wish to pay like...20$ for a subscription. It's a Bioware game, so I went in with HIGH expectations for the story, and god I wasn't disappointed.


^My Character^

The character creation system is standard Bioware fare, where you can edit your face. I noticed, however, that it wasn't as in-deep as say...Dragon Age or Mass Effect. But you know what it did have? An option to change body type. So I went with a...not big, but not anorexic body type.

Right after that...guess what happened? The Star Wars Credit Scroll! Yes, Bioware added in the credit scroll. Something about a "Big Hunt" for bounty hunters, so my character had gone to a swampy planet named "Hutta" in order to get a entrance medal from a Hutt called Nem'ro. After the scroll happened, I was treated to a cutscene of my character entering a...bar or cantina thing, and getting introduced to "The guy who could get me an audience with Nem'ro", and his friends Mako, a healer, and a Lizard guy (I never got his name)


^The Swampy Lands of Hutta^

The graphics are...actually pretty good for an MMO. At first, I wasn't getting that good performance even on very low, but I realized that was probably because I had everything but the kitchen sink running in the Background. After I realized this, I closed it out and ran Windows Media Player. This allowed me to play it on Medium gfx settings decently. MOST of these pictures were taken on medium. However a few were on low settings. It has a distinctly cartoony art style about it, actually. Lying in between Darksiders and Realistic. All the proportions are realistic, but it's kinda blocky, on purpose.

AND THEN WE GET TO THE COMBAT. Ohhh boy, the combat. Seeing as I've only played a Bounty Hunter character, who relies on blasters and other weaponry for combat. When you walk past certain NPCs (their names are red) they'll sometimes attack you. It's not the deepest combat system, even by Bioware standards. Click an ability on the bottom bar, and it'll target the last enemy you shot at, and boom. You can still feel like a badass, though. Especially when something like



happens, which made me feel completely badass.

The only thing I didn't like was it's high ammount of glitches. None of which were gamebreaking, but...plenty were annoying or just plain funny. The game DOES tend to crash when I exit it, but that's probably my computer more than anything.


^Such as this. He's not massive or anything. I had killed him, and he just...floated above the ledge.^

My final score?


Pros: One of the only MMORPG games I've played that puts the storyline first. Meets Bioware's high standards of Quality. STAR WARS LICENSE, Good graphics for an MMO.

Cons: Somewhat Glitchy. Sub-par combat system. Beyond the story and License, it's a lot like other MMORPGs.

Oh, guys. Go to HERE if you wanna download and play it. F2P has plenty of restrictions, but I still HIGHLY reccomend it.

If you join, my name is "Seradima" I'm in the Shadowlands server.


Sony Patents Away Used Games (Maybe)

Okay, okay. Let's not completely panic here. They have yet to say if they're going to use it at this point. However, they still have the patent on it which suggests they're thinking about it.

Basically, Sony new patent is for an "invention" where basically when you want to play a video game on a Sony console, the ID number of said game gets tied to your account/console. So, unless you sell your console with the game, this will effectively ruin the used game market. Now, Sony's patent does declare that you can have a small amount of uses on another console, but once you've reached a certain limit, the game is disabled until you play it on your original console.

Now, if you remember, Sony patented a similar technology all the way back in 2006, to no effect, so this could be nothing, but still, just a heads up in case they do decide finally go through with it.






Assassin's Creed 3 Review

Yesterday we had the fantastic, gorgeous, fun and amazing Dishonoured. Steaming along on with the Top 10 for 2012, it's been a rather highly debated title, but hey, it beats Burnout: Most Wanted...so prepare your tomahawks and hidden blades, because it's


"One kills a man, one is an assassin; one kills millions, one is a conqueror; one kills everybody, one is a god." ~Jean Rostand

You would have had to of been deaf and blind to not know about Assassin's Creed 3. The revolution was hyped almost near the level of Halo 3 or Black Ops 2. With some of the most amazing trailers and pre-release art ever, I was extremely pumped for this game. Even after the delays on PC, and a plethora of bugs not limited to massive FPS drops and control issues, I was not disappointed by this, the 5th outing for Ubisoft's current flagship series.


The unfortunate problem was, due to the PCs late release, much of the story was spoiled for me. However, turns out the writers seem to have subconsciously taken this into account, with many things still surprising me, and keeping the story interesting. You'll probably get around anywhere between 10-40 hours if you just focus on the story, with the extra missions and objectives taking up anywhere above an extra 10 hours to complete. Although this padding should mark the game down, in AC3 it leads to some very interesting side quests, such as the naval missions or the homestead missions. I have to admit, though, Desmond's last mission (Desmond has a series of missions in between sequences in the Animus) was possibly the best mission of the entire game, and definitely worth the amount of time spent to get to that point. Finally, you get the feeling he's a real Assassin.


The combat system got revitalised, and it can be tricky to work out, but once you've got the hang of it, I promise you won't be disappointed. Watching our hero Connor take down two guards simultaneously with their own heads NEVER gets old. The inclusion of both subtle and normal quick-time-events is actually a welcome change for once, giving you time to decide which way you're going to annihilate you enemy next, or allowing you adequate time to defend against a bear or cougar attack.


On that matter, the hunting system is actually a very fun part of the game. Being able to walk into town after having killed a bear is a rewarding feeling, particularly when that bear has probably caused you to desynchronise at least 3 times prior. Jumping on those bloody wolves from the treeline is hilarious, up until the rest of the pack sinks their teeth into you. Even rabbits and antelope pose their own challenges, but either way, practice makes perfect. Freerunning was modified. It's slightly depressing that freerunning is now only one button, but Connor's move set is impressive to say the least...far more flexible than Ezio or Altair, and with the addition of being able to climb trees, it's much more fun than previous Assassin's Creed games. Although, I don't recommend climbing the trees in Boston or New York...it's not as fun as the Frontier or Davenport Homestead, where you really get to test Connor's skills.


With the PC version, I got the most graphically enhanced version of the game. Running DX11, it's beautiful. It's not like Dishonoured or Borderlands 2, where they go for a specific art style, but it's definitely a game that boasts it's beauty all over the place. The water and sky look amazing, and the characters are extremely detailed, just as much as the cities. Even just compare the blood textures between the PS3 and PC version, and you'll see SIGNIFICANT improvement. Even at the cost of quite a significant amount of FPS.


So, what's Zeph's opinion on the game? "An excellent series that has fumbled slightly on what it was built on." Damn right.

Overall, this game is impressive, although it has quite a few minor hiccups on the technical side. People complain about the story being boring and about the ending being terrible (almost ME3 level). The game was clearly not optimised for PC (as seen similarly with Ghost Recon, both games ported by Ubisoft Kiev), and so many issues surrounded launch. But, when you get past it, this game is brilliant, and if you're a fan of the series you won't be disappointed.


Up Next: Border Security never had so many weapons. Ever.

P.S.: Oh yeah, there's multiplayer too, but I ditched it once I found out it included pay-2-win...

P.S.S.: Soundtrack of the year. I will hear no objections. This is a soundtrack to die for.


Quote: http://www.brainyquo...s/assassin.html

Logo Image: http://www.esperino....ner-614x239.jpg

All screenshots were taken by Extreme110.

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