Archive for August, 2013


Xbox Live – September’s Free Games: WHAT A JOKE

Here’s to you, Xbox Live. You took a great concept and absolutely ruined it.

As written on Joystiq.com, which can be fully read in the link at the bottom, the games for this coming month will be Magic 2013 and Rainbow Six Vegas. For anyone who has never owned an Xbox, you may think, well that’s a Tom Clancy game right? It can’t be that bad. TRY AGAIN.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas was released all the way back in 2006. There are kids born that year who will be getting this game as their first M rated game and clogging the microphones with their prepubescent voices cursing about… sorry, side rant.

This game was released back in 2006. I eventually bought it I believe in 2010 for about $2 and it was not even worth that. While I had played Rainbow Six Vegas 2, which in my opinion was really fun, I wanted to try the original and said why not.  I should’ve asked why. The controls were kind of difficult at times. The graphics may have been the only savior for the game in 2006. The missions were either impossibly difficult, long to the point of stupidity, or just not any fun. I strongly dislike the game, and I can’t believe they are offering it as a new release. Why not another Tom Clancy? ANY OTHER. (except End War… but that’s another discussion for those of you who suffered through that like myself).

The other game is Magic 2013. Let’s take a second here. How many people actually play Magic on XBL? I personally did and do, but I doubt many people would be raising their hands too quickly. It’s a $10 XBLA game. It goes without saying, if you don’t like the card game, you won’t like this game. And chances are, if you like the card game, you won’t like the game because it won’t have enough, a rule will be wrong, something will find its way of making you hate it.

It goes without saying from my article, I am genuinely disappointed. These games are a rip-off and a mistake. I finally thought they were going in the right direction with Dead Rising 2. It served a double purpose. A great game, not too long ago released (2010), and it served as an advertisement for Dead Rising 3 on the Xbox One.

Man, I’m frustrated.

Comment away people, let me know I’m not the only one enraged.

For full info, check below:

 

http://www.joystiq.com/2013/08/30/magic-2013-rainbow-six-vegas-join-games-with-gold-next-month/

Rewind Reviews – Fire Emblem Awakening

Not nearly enough people have given the Fire Emblem series a try. This needs to change.

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Fire Emblem has traditionally been a niche strategy RPG game with brutal difficulty. It has struggled to reach a greater audience, but the developers at Intelligent Systems have created a game so good and with so many options that this should change. Fire Emblem Awakening is simultaneously simple and complex and can be made welcoming and forgiving for newcomers or extremely punishing yet rewarding for veterans to enjoy.

Fire Emblem Awakening is a turn-based tactical RPG. You must decide which units you’ll want to bring into battle, what weapons or skills to equip them with, and how you will position your units. Chess is the best comparison that I can think of for Fire Emblem since it is a slow and strategic process where you must plan many moves in advance. Also like chess, Awakening is satisfying once you get the hang of things.

Fire-Emblem-Gameplay1

Characters move on a grid-like board.

Fire Emblem Awakening is so remarkable because it adds a handful of new features to the already-great classic gameplay of the series. Characters can now link up and act as one. Teaming up leads to combat bonuses and a chance for both characters to attack. Pairing up allows you to protect weaker units and it also allows two characters to build a stronger relationship. Over time, two characters can even get married and have a child who can be recruited into your army. There is also the Seal system, which permits you to change a character’s class as many times as you want. This means that characters can pick up skills from a wide range of classes and can continue to level up. These new features increase the strategic elements and add to the sophisticated battle system. As the tactician, you must juggle many ideas and concepts to achieve the best results.

The thing that truly makes Awakening rise above the rest of the Fire Emblem series is the insane amount of customization. In Fire Emblem, if a unit dies in battle, that character is truly dead. You will not be able to use that character for the rest of the game. This feature forces the player to plan every move carefully, adds a higher element of danger, (and increases the number of soft resets). Permadeath is a huge and scary part of the Fire Emblem experience, but Awakening allows the player to choose from this classic mode and a new causal mode. In casual mode, players can save anywhere and permadeath is disabled. Causal mode is great for newcomers who might have felt overwhelmed by the game’s difficulty or for speed-runners who want to enjoy the story and not miss out on any character’s arc. In addition to the game mode, Awakening offers three difficulties and a fourth unlockable difficulty. There are so many combinations of mode and difficulty that any gamer should be able to find the one that is right for him or her. On top of these gameplay options, there are many cosmetic choices that you can toggle with to truly make the game perfect for you. You can decide what information is displayed on the bottom screen and where it’s displayed. You can skip or speed up battle animations. You can turn on a grid that shows dangerous areas. You can turn on either English or Japanese voice acting. The list goes on and on. It is remarkable how much freedom players have in enhancing the overall game experience for themselves.

The actual story of Awakening is good with just enough surprising moments but is not quite amazing. What really makes the story compelling is the characters. The characters are perhaps the game’s greatest strength. They are quirky, memorable and truly fleshed out. It is easy to grow attached to every character and you become invested in each individual character’s subplots and relationships with others. Your choices in the game have a real effect on the characters, making the experience unforgettable and unique for each playthrough.

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The graphics and images are truly beautiful.

Graphics are an aspect that is rarely mentioned in Nintendo games, but the graphics in Fire Emblem Awakening are among the very best. The game is gorgeous. The environments are varied and stunning. Cut scenes are absolutely striking and have a beautiful 3D effect. The battle animations are flashy and fun, and can even be viewed in first person perspective. The character models also look great, as long as you can get passed the fact that they are missing feet.

The music in Awakening is another highlight. It is often beautiful and matches the moods and environments nicely. Additionally, the voice acting is also solid. However, one minor complaint is how the dialogue isn’t completely voiced over. Instead, the characters might say a single word or simply grunt. Sometimes it’s annoying when all you hear is a chorus of “Yes… Huh?… Milord!… Ughhh”.

fire-emblem body

Is your body ready for this game?

Verdict: Fire Emblem Awakening is a fantastic game, and one of the very best on the 3DS. It is hard to find complaints for it. The game is easily customizable to your liking. The characters, graphics and music are all amazing. There is a ton of replay value and a large amount of DLC. If you have never played a Fire Emblem game before, this is the perfect place to start. And you definitely should start.

Grade: A

What’s coming out in September?

Bored with your current games? Looking for a new game to procrastinate with? Or just looking to spread your gaming horizons?

The list of games to be released this month, as per Game Informer, is the following:

September

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate – September 3
Diablo III – September 3
Rayman Legends – September 3
Total War: Rome II – September 3
Killzone Mercenary – September 10
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix – September 10
Elder Scrolls Anthology – September 10
Puppeteer – September 10
NHL 14 – September 10
The Wonderful 101 – September 15
Grand Theft Auto V – September 17
Armored Core: Verdict Day – September 24
Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 – September 24
FIFA 14 – September 24
Enemy Front – September 24
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure – September 24
Valhalla Knights 3 – September 24
Deadfall Adventures – September 27
Young Justice Legacy – September 30

 

My personal favorite to watch for this coming week is Total War: Rome II. I think people who have never heard of/seen the series before will be pleasantly surprised at how amazing of a series it really is. I am a HUGE Kingdom Hearts fan and although I don’t have a ps3, the HD 1.5 Remix release is pretty exciting. GTA V goes without saying. As you can see, no one else is releasing games that day, for good reason. To wrap up the month, I think a new Scribblenauts installment seems pretty cool.

I have not played all the games on this list, so tell me, what should I be looking at and why? Comment away!

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