LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles: Review

     I have a long history with the LEGO games, I had played the original LEGO Star Wars games as they came out long ago, and have played nearly every released game that has been made since.  In general they are getting progressively bigger and better- albeit with some continuously nagging flaws that still have yet to be addressed.  Somehow, LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles takes all the lessons they've learned over the years and tosses them out the window.
Ackbar is right, this game is a trap.
     The first difference from past LEGO games is that The Yoda Chronicles draws inspiration from real time strategy games.  That in itself isn't too awful, it worked relatively well for parts of LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars and those parts were quite enjoyable.  The issue here is that they've made it so shallow.  You move your team from point to point avoiding fire, eliminating enemies, and trying to either find a person or locate an item.  Occasionally using coins that spill out of destroyed items or enemies to buy ("build") new troopers or vehicles to repeat the process over and over.
     There isn't even a discernible difference between choosing either the Jedi or the Sith for the game.  The objectives for either side are pretty much the same and are superficial at best.  

     The controls are the most cumbersome I've experienced for a mobile game.  You tap a point to move that way, or tap a specific enemy for your character(s) to attack that particular target- all at a pace that makes a snail seem like a speed demon.  Outside of that, there really isn't much else you can do.  The awful camera doesn't help at all either, because there is no way to expand what you're able to see any further than what is on screen, and it really hampers movement when you have to repeatedly tap the screen every couple seconds to move along even a short path.

     What the game does have going for it is that it is free.  There is a very small storyline that is decent.  All the brief cutcenes and animations are top notch, as well as the sound design.  And, sadly, that is about it. 

     LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles is easily the worst LEGO game I've ever played.  The rudimentary parts of a much better game are all here in the most basic ways possible, but they just weren't given room to grow.  There isn't enough depth here to make this game engaging, let alone entertaining.  If they adapted the LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars' RTS segments for a mobile game of its own, it could be wonderful, but The Yoda Chronicles didn't even make a half-assed attempt of it.  Playing with real LEGOs is a far more delightful a task, and one that I would immediately recommend instead of this game.

Lara Croft GO: A Hint for a Future Deus Ex GO Game?

     I wanted to throw this little post up for consideration while I'm finishing my review for Lara Croft GO.  Coincidentally, this post comes on the same day as Square-Enix is announcing the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided pre-order, complete with overly ridiculous and complex system that changes with more people pre-ordering the game- leading to a small media debacle.  Apparently they've designed a tiered system of physical and digital bonuses, with one being a 4 day early copy of the game marketing it under the appropriate term of "Augmentation."

Lara Croft raiding tombs wearing the Deus Ex costume- augmenting her sense of badassery.
     Hopefully this will be a bit of potential good news for players, and fans of both Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO.  One of the unlockable items in Lara Croft Go is a particular costume of interest- a Deus Ex suit- of course that is also one of the franchises Square-Enix publishes.

     The inclusion of the Deus Ex costume in this game, obtainable through an IAP, as is the Hitman costume, leads me to wonder if developer Square-Enix Montreal is hinting at a third game in the GO series.  Obviously, this could mean nothing at all, and just be a neat inclusion.  This is just my own speculation, but we can always hope for more right?

     I mean, think about it- the Deus Ex series would be a tremendous addition to the GO games' turn-based puzzler mechanics.  The nature of the world of Deus Ex and the series' stealth elements would translate perfectly.

Necropolis: PAX Prime's 2015 Trailer Hilarity

     I've been keeping tabs on Necropolis since the SXSW earlier this year.  Now from the PAX Prime 2015, Harebrained Schemes have released a brilliant new trailer making the most of the nature of constantly dying in their 3rd person rogue-like dungeon survival game.

"NECROPOLIS is a third-person action roguelike, set in a living dungeon that changes every time you play, filled with monsters, myth and magic, and lorded over by the mad mystical intellect known only as the Brazen Head. 
So come on by. Bring your friends. Every time you die, win a monster pin of the fiend responsible for your demise (collect the whole set!) And for those who make it to the end, we have a very special prize."
     Necropolis looks to be not just a purely skill-based game, but something both beautiful, and more importantly, a fun game.  It will be coming to PC either late this year or early 2016, with the potential to head to consoles TBD.

     For more information check out their [ Official Site ] & [ Press Kit ]


Metal Gear: An Open Letter to Sony, Armature Studios, Konami, & The Great Hideo Kojima: The Boss for PS Vita

     Looking through my 836 blog drafts (that is an exact number) I happened to come across this gem, which ties to the Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate game by company- Armature Studios.  Dated from July 2, 2012, it's a plea to create an original Metal Gear game that could happen from a company that brought the PS Vita HD remakes of Metal Gear 2 & 3 to fruition.
     Note: This is still essentially a draft post.

An open letter to Hideo Kojima, Armature Studios, Sony,
     ...and Konami...
     I would absolutely LOVE to see a Metal Gear game with The Boss (aka The Joy) as the main character.  A female lead that is highly intelligent and more than capable, arguably the best character of the entire series.  She's been called The Legendary Soldier and True Patriot.  She taught Naked Snake all he knew about war, survival, and the the great costs it has.  The perfect candidate for a pocket Metal Gear game.
     The way I figure it, the game would be her earlier mission(s) with the Cobra Unit.  The main story is already known from all the bits and pieces of Metal Gear 3: Snake Eater, it would only need a little expansion.  Part of it taking place in 1962 in Tselinoyarsk with The Sorrow, and fleshed out with flashback parts (even possibly back to the founding of the Cobra Unit in 1942) to the time with the Cobra Unit- all culminating in the inevitable end.   
     It would end with Joy and The Sorrow.  Everyone knows it would be coming, but the portrayal of it playing out could be amazing.  We already know he tells her to kill him so she and their child could live, only now we have to actually do it. 
     The game would be a Spartan tale, no more than 6 hours long, with the Metal Gear story staple of tragedy and loss with the greatest of emotional impacts possible.  The ultimate tragedy and sacrifice, love and loss, the mingling of Joy and Sorrow, beautifully intertwined.

     Honestly, I've been reading that Konami would like to focus on mobile recently, so here's a decent idea they could start.  It could be a tight story with a game that always sells well.  Although the reported issues with Kojima might makes things problematic.  The chances of this happening are far slimmer than the chances of anyone from Sony, Armature, Konami, or even Kojima actually reading this post.
     I can dream anyway...


Ghostbusters: Puzzle Fighter: Review

     Ghostbusters Puzzle Fighter is grind heavy puzzle fighter has you fighting not just the familiar ghosts and ghouls of the franchise, but also the typical freemium staples- an unreasonably fast difficulty curve a handful of levels in and the ever-present and nefarious energy bar.  The energy is, of course, necessary to play matches and matches are needed to gain currencies and additional cards in order to level up characters for more puzzle battles.  There are IAPs to speed up the rate of play and increase the cards in your deck, but they aren't wholly required.

     The sound effects and music are top notch, and the art style is a decent blend of the films and cartoons.  The game comes with a completely original story featuring characters fans might recognize from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon show, the films, the newer IDW comic book series, as well as a few new additions.

     Overall, the game is very similar to Marvel Puzzle Quest, and the puzzles are of the Bejeweled and Candy Crush variety- simple tile shuffle and matching.  To make the battles more interesting than simple tiles destruction, is the fact that each character card can receive bonuses based on the type of tiles destroyed, and powering up a special move for the character- allowing things such as an extra damage move, or a healing blast for the team.

     Ideally, players will want to line up and strategize a move that cascades into more tile match ups in hopes of causing a nice combo streak.  The problem is that most of the time the ghosts can get a 3 tile move that cascades into 5 more combos that wipe entire lines and rows causing massive damage, while even the best players might only get a few tiled combos at best due to the off-screen drop-in tile generation being a little too one-sided (presumably to encourage buying more card packs or energy).

     Once players finish story mode, they can unlock a PvP mode.  The only big downside to this is that the story mode might be a bit tough because the difficulty ramps up quite quickly.  Far too quickly, exacerbating the repetitive nature of the game, and I have a feeling that it will likely result in a swift loss of interest for a fair number of players before they can even make it to the multiplayer PvP mode.

     Ghostbusters Puzzle Fighter's developer Beeline has made an interesting and addictive game that fans of puzzlers, strategy games, or Ghostbusters will enjoy.  Personally, I wouldn't mind a mode of play without needing to use energy (but no rewards to make it fair) for unlimited fun play.  Just using what you've got to play for fun.


Final Fantasy: Portal App: With Exclusive In-App TRIPLE TRIAD Card Game!

     The Final Fantasy series has come a long way, and today Android devices now can get a hold on the Final Fantasy: Portal App, which is a companion app to the vast series offering news on related merchandise.  It also has a slew of mini-games and ways of earning in-app points.

     There is also a free Portal App version of the original Final Fantasy game for players.  But, the item that has me excited is the free Triple Triad card game.  If anyone has played Final Fantasy VIII, it was the mini-game included.  I enjoyed the Triple Triad card game so much that I was demoted 2 in-game Seed ranks because I played it too much and avoided the main game's quest.  A hilarious inclusion that nudges players away from frivolous mini-games and back to the main focus.

     Alas, while we finally get a mobile version of the game, there are apparently some HUGE downsides to it.  First, there is currently a time limit (to earn crystals/stamina) to play matches, allowing only one play every half-hour.  Meaning we might expect the torture of micro-transaction bombardment that is driving players away from Square-Enix simply to continue to play the game.
     Then Google Play's reviewers are also complaining about needing an offline mode for the Triple Triad game.  Stutters cost energy to play and the game is lost, thus wasting extremely valuable energy.
     Lastly, many are also complaining about the App's sluggish and labyrinthine nature.  It's hard to navigate and the issue is greatly exacerbated by the slow program.  And having no home button is a nice cherry on top.

     Hmmm... a poorly designed app, a multitude of issues, and an energy limit for the beloved Triple Triad card game?  It looks like I'll be waiting to play until the app is heavily patched, and the problems are fixed.  Someone needs to toss a Phoenix Down on the original TT game and revive it in its true glory.

     Source [ Droid Gamers ]


Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast: Augmented Reality: Game Review

     When it comes to Ghostbusters, they've made a ton of great products over the years- the cereal, the cartoon, the amazing toy lines, and even the unbelievably delicious Hi-C Ecto Cooler juice- but this game isn't quite one of the great ones.

     Players play as a recruit to the Ghostbusters, and which of the 6 you choose doesn't matter, because it's a first-person game.  What the game does have going for it however is the ingenious way it uses the iOS device.  Using your location it will send you to various local areas where you live via maps and GPS to capture ghosts, or as I shut off the locations, all of them were conveniently in my living room.  Then it uses the device's camera as a 3D viewer- meaning you'll need to swing the device around and hunt for the ghosts in the room you are in, sometimes needing to stand up and spin around hunting down the ghosts.

     The battles are short, consisting merely of draining a ghosts health bar by firing a stream out of the Neutrino Wand, and then tossing out a trap to catch it once its health is low enough.  The monotony strikes quick as there are only 15 types of ghosts and each has attacks that are unblockable-but-weak offering a very limited range of things to look at and no real challenge.  So the longer you play the more you need to level up your gear- through in game currency or IAPs- offering nothing new visually, just stat boosts for things you already have, meaning the leveling feels completely unnecessary towards real progression.
     Although, a couple extra skill-items become available that make the higher level ghosts a bit easier, such as a stun blast, but they aren't ever necessary- even against the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man boss fights.

     As a life-long Ghostbusters fan Paranormal Blast offers about a half-hour to an hour of entertainment, but not a whole lot more.  Paranormal Blast might have been something extremely entertaining with more development, because it does have some good ideas, it just stays in the boring shallow end of the gameplay pool and avoids wading anywhere near the deep end altogether.  Outside of the game's novelty, its repetitive nature drags it into mediocrity.  At best, Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast is just a quirky gimmick to waste a lunch break with.


Satellite Reign: Syndicate's Spiritual Successor's Launch Trailer

     After EA Game's strange direction with the Syndicate series with its first-person shooter, original Syndicate director/programmer Mike Diskett decided to once again take action.  In 2013 he ran a successful Kickstarter campaign and we will now get the closest thing to a real Syndicate sequel since 1996's Syndicate Wars.

      Through the new gritty isometric cyberpunk adventure Satellite Reign we'll get the return to the neon corporate destruction we all wanted long ago.

     Satellite Reign will be available on August 28th for: [ Steam ]  [ Humble Bumble ]  [ GOG ]

Disney INfinity 3.0: Star Wars: NEW Twilight of the Republic Official Trailer!

     With less than 2 weeks to the release of Disney INfinity 3.0 we get more and more information and promotional build up for the Star Wars focused edition.  Disney INteractive just released the new trailer for the 2nd Playset "Twilight of the Republic."  

     It features many characters from both the Star Wars Prequels as well as some from The Clone Wars television show, such as Cad Bane, that had not been previously seen for the INfinity game.  Could Bane be a possible future figure since we already know there are a lot still unannounced?

     Disney INfinity 3.0 releases on pretty much every possible system on August 30th.


Marvel Mighty Heroes: A Half-Assed Review, for a Half-Assed Game

     When Marvel Mighty Heroes first hit the mobile games scene I was anticipating a cutesy version of Marvel Heroes 2015 or Ultimate Alliance, but instead DeNA gave us... something else.  And it's not a good something else by any means.

I do actually like the style.  And Spider-Man 2099, Miguel O'Hara.
     I'll start with the good.  The art style is quite good.  The big-headed, cartoony take on many famous heroes is quite fitting and actually works very well here.  The roster is huge, starting with Marvel staples like Captain America and Nick Fury, and opening many more over time like Daredevil and Black Widow.
     Initially the levels start fairly easy with a 4 player co-op in a competitive match with one of a few goals such as "defend the crates" or the always present defeat a specific boss.  Players compete against each other to make the most amount of points while working as a team to finish the set task.

     Sadly, that's about where the good ends and all the crap begins.  A much worse apparent cash grab then takes over and is driven home by the boring and highly repetitive rest of the game, which is steeped in IAP driven design.
     The tap based controls are horrendous, oftentimes resulting in seeing the tap on the screen and the character, quite literally, walking in the other direction.  A fact exacerbated in mobs of enemies when controlling the character becomes impossible.  Honestly, the responsiveness was so poor, I wanted to abandon it immediately.

     In the great path of pay-to-win gaming, the IAPs can give players more energy to play levels, gear to level up, and gold to unlock more characters.  But alas, the rarity and rolls for them can be so terrible that it feels purposely designed to take money and spit out nothing.  After weeks of the one free hero a day button attempts I received a singular hero I didn't originally have, and after tossing some money in to see what would happen I received 9 characters (same costumes as well) I already had (including 4 of the same EXACT Thor) and 1 new character.

     So, for a game that touts a vast cast of characters, the lottery method of obtaining them makes it extremely difficult to make the game enjoyable, when it's damn near impossible to get ones you like.  Not to mention the overpowered characters are so ridiculously overpowered that if they are in your match, even if you used extra energy to get a triple damage/score multiplier, they will win.  Every.  Single.  Time.  I'm specifically naming Thanos and Dr. Strange.  Their abilities will overtake anything else in the game and they will always get the win.

Pretty awesome that we lost all our energy to play to also lose our points.
     What makes this intolerable is the one-minute matches (actually a good idea) can be disrupted at any time if the internet connection is anything less than 100% perfect, resulting in time vanishing from the clock, causing a loss and waste of energy.  The game also has a tendency to "lose" information.  In one of my screen caps (above), all players received 0 points and the position I was in is the same one I gained- leaving me with a waste of resources.  Another screencap (below), if you look, has me as Daredevil, but with the Punisher's special abilities.  Whenever it happened, I got locked in place until the timer ran out, and yet again, got neither points, nor the wasted energy back.  The entire game appears to have been designed to screw people out of time and money.

Why does Daredevil have The Punisher's powers???
     While the art style is damn good, there isn't much of a plot even with the more recent addition of a "story mode," the tremendous number of bugs make it almost unplayable, and it is downright boring after the first few levels.  It is the same 3 levels and the same types of enemies on repeat for the whole game.
     I got Marvel Mighty Heroes the first week it was released, spent weeks playing it, and then periodically returned to see if it would get better.  It never did.  There is NO WAY I could ever recommend this game to anyone.

     I would immediately recommend anyone reading this to play Marvel Future Fight instead.  It is a superior game in every imaginable way, even if it also uses the lottery-type character unlock feature.  Or if you like the cutesy art, play the free PC game Marvel Hero Up, which is far better than this.

     I will also ALWAYS recommend the Marvel Heroes 2015 free-to-play game.  It is nearly the only free-to-play that is done right.

Disney INfinity 3.0: Marvel Ulton & Hulkbuster Iron Man Preview Trailer

     Marvel posted their Disney INfinity 3.0 video from the D23 Expo featuring new footage of both Ulton and the Hulkbuster Iron Man suit.  Not a whole lot, but at least it is something.

     The "Marvel Battlegrounds" Playset for Disney INfinity 3.0 is set to arrive in "Spring 2016."


Disney Infinity 3.0: D23 2015 Reveals: Marvel Battlegrounds, Star Wars' Finn & Rey, and More

     With the D23 Interactive Presentation landing a mere 2 weeks before the release of Disney INfinity 3.0, we were sure to get some news about it.  Fans in attendance got a nice look at what's to come, a nice surprise, and lots of informational excitement.

Rey & Finn from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.*
     The announcements:


  • The Marvel Playset is titled "Marvel Battlegrounds."  It is set to arrive in the spring of 2016 and will include the first 4 player local co-op for DI.
  • Two figures and a Power Disc will be available for the upcoming film Zootopia.  There will be a Nick Wilde (a fox) and Judy Hopps (a bunny) figure (see pic below).  No information was available for the Power Disc.
  • The upcoming Disney/Pixar film The Good Dinosaur will also get a figure and a Power Disc pack.  The figure will be Spot the human, and the pack will include 4 of the dinosaurs (Arlo, Butch, Nash, and Ramsey) featured in the film.
  • During the Disney Resort's Toy Box Summit, a group of Toy Box Artists got together and helped select a Disney Classic character for 3.0.  The figure chosen was Peter Pan and he'll be released roughly a year from now as "The Toy Box Artists Choice."

Star Wars:

  • The first two Episode VII: The Force Awakens characters were revealed by the actors in person for the accompanying Playset.  They were Daisy Ridley's Rey and John Boyega's Finn.  
  • A limited edition set of "Light FX" figures will be released featuring the lightsaber wielding characters' sabers actually lighting up when on the base.  They will be the same toy and in-game play, it's just that their sabers now actually light up.  (Currently the known toys with this feature are: Luke Skywalker, Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Kanan Jarrus, and Yoda.) 

Extra Goodies:

  • There have already been 5 Playsets announced, with "more on the way."
  • Visitor's of Walt Disney World will receive a Magic Band, that if placed on the base will unlock a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse that is featured at many of the parks.
  • Disney Cruise Line users will also receive exclusive content, including a cruise line toy box ship piece.
  • The Disney INfinity 3.0's ultimate unlock will be Sora's Keyblade from the Square-Enix game Kingdom Hearts.  The ultimate unlock is a small bonus for players that unlock all the figures in the Hall of Heroes area.  Previous unlock's were a Lightsaber in 1.0, and Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder for 2.0.
  • All guests that attended got an exclusive Kingdom Hearts Costume Power Disc for Mickey Mouse with the costume of King Mickey, as well as a Mickey figure. 
Nick & Judy from Zootopia.
     Sources [ Disney INfinity ] [ INfinity Inquirer ]

     *Finn & Rey pic was originally from Game Informer, but I cleaned it up.


Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales: Orlando Bloom Returns

     Walt Disney Studios at the D23 Expo has released a little more information about the 5th installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as the day's show cap.  Of course, making it a much more effective was the fact Johnny Depp was there in character as the perpetually-entertaining Captain Jack Sparrow.

     First they showed the new logo (see pic) and then gave a synopsis:
     "Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. 
     Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas."
     ...and lastly, they announced the return of Orlando Bloom's character Will Turner.

     What was not stated was a time frame of the film.  Could Turner still be holding the mantle that Davy Jones once did, as Captain of the Flying Dutchman, and have the supernatural powers to aid an old friend?  And in the Devil's Triangle (the Bermuda Triangle?) of all places.
     It's been rumored that Turner's son might be looking to reconnect with his father, which is tough when Davy Jones may only set foot on land once every 10 years, and the last time we saw his son he was 10 years old.  The pirate's life is a tough one.
     No word yet if Kiera Knightley will reprise her role as Elizabeth Swann.

     Although, one other fan-favorite cast member is on board- Geoffrey "Hector Barbossa" Rush.

     So far, it sounds better than I was expecting.

     Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will arrive in theaters July 7th, 2017.

     Source [ Comic Book Movie ]


Star Wars: The Force Awakens: NEW Drew Struzan Poster

     As we near the release of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens we are getting tons of new tidbits, art, and photos.  The newest addition is an amazing new poster by the incomperable Drew Struzan.  What I think is an awesome new item is the reveal that John Boyega's character Finn is a Jedi!  Very Badass!

     Returning cast include Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, and long-time grumpy man Harrison Ford.

     Along with them arrives a fresh batch including Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, and Hollywood's go-to motion captured specialist Andy Serkis.

     Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters Dec 18th.

Dead Island 2: Techland Would Take Hold Again if Deep Silver Asks

     Former Dead Island & Dead Island: Riptide developer Techland's producer Tymon Smektala says that if Deep Silver asked, Techland would once again take up the reigns on the Dead Island franchise for the sequel.  Since the creation of the first 2 games, Techland has moved on to create its own zombie IP with Dying Light.

    He states that Dead Island 2's developer Yager, who were responsible for Spec Ops: The Line, being removed from the project as "sad news."  Then went on to explain if Deep Silver would approach Techland, if they would return to develop Dead Island 2:
     "I personally would love to go back to Dead Island because I really love that game. I don't know if there is a developer [attached to Dead Island 2] at all."
     Smektala would return but also has one condition, it would have to be different from their current IP Dying Light.
     "As I said, I love Dead Island and I think there is a place for both franchises to strive in the market. As long as someone would be able to find something that would make them different, that would draw a clear line, 'Okay, here's Dead Island, here's Dying Light', and I think that's doable, then why not?"
    In the mean time Techland is considering a sequel to Dying Light while working on the first game's expansion titled "The Following."

    Now to see if Deep Silver will consider this possibility.  The last Dead Island game, Escape Dead Island, was a great idea but ultimately poor in execution, while Dead Island: Epidemic is a wonderful free-to-play MOBA type experience that I would highly recommend that Dead Island fans check out.

     Source [ VideoGamer ]


Heroes Reborn: Original Character Confirmed Dead


     Apparently, the seemingly immortal Claire Bennet has been killed prior to the new Heroes Reborn series.  The Heroes original cast member's filming schedule didn't fit with the new series, nor was it supposedly in the works for her to return story wise.

     According to Heroes creator Tim Kring, the new series starts 5 years after the last finale of Heroes Volume 5 where it ended with Claire announcing announcing to the public world on television the presence of people with abilities.  One year before Reborn picks up Kring tells us that there was a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas, of which Claire herself was a casualty.
     “It was almost an obligatory baton pass to where we needed to go from there,” Kring recalled of the series finale. “Because we didn’t get to have that fifth season, I did always have that in my mind that there was an unfinished nature to it… This world has become a very different place. There’s something really great about this: This is not the fifth season, this is actually the 10th season as if there were seasons in-between. I had always wanted to tell the story of when the world discovers these people.”
     What I am wondering is, could it be that the terrorist attack actually be a "hero" like Sylar or Samson Gray? (See pic above, which I made for another blog post long ago)  Or perhaps someone with an inherent ability gone awry, but looking to get assistance- like Peter Petrelli being the bomb in season one.  Personally, I am hoping it will be Samson Gray gunning for Claire's healing, and destroying any potential ties or evidence.  Though that is a very long shot, and quite unlikely.

     For related posts [ HEROES ]

     Source [ Entertainment Weekly ]


We Happy Few: 1960's Post War Madness & Psychedelics

     An uneasy feeling of paranoia completely permeates Wellington Wells, an isolated island town located in the southwest of England in 1964.  Compulsion Games' upcoming title We Happy Few is set in a place where players take the role of the only person not being medicated with the drug "Joy" into a life of blissful content and eerie optimism.

     The drug-addled townspeople are against any forms of deviation in their dystopian world, and have been made hyper-alert to those that don't conform to their "perfect" society.  If the townsfolk become suspicious and start to believe you haven't been popping Joy (and thus be labelled a "Downer"), they'll become violent quite quickly in an effort to eradicate anyone not taking their happy pills.  Players must find ways of blending while working out a way to escape the island town.

     In this first-person survival roguelike players begin in an underground shelter with a small workbench and a few supplies, and then exit into a procedurally generated world.  At the players disposal will be a multitude of ways of working it out, hopefully finding new tidbits and clues with each death.  Players will have to rely on a slew of skills such as stealth, combat, crafting weapons and devices, along with the need to hunt for food and supplies.

     One can even take, either purposely or accidentally through tainted liquids, the prescribed Joy yourself in order to appear to conform with this cookie-cutter society.  This proves to be a highly interesting game mechanic taking Joy slowly leads to brighter and more vivid colors in the world, with more upbeat music and other characters won't attack you in this state.  But at the potential cost of overdosing and suffering the consequences of dropping into a slowed down black-and-white world where hunger and thirst come at greater rates.  A brilliant risk versus reward system.

     We Happy few looks to be a wonderful survival roguelike steeped in the same atmosphere of paranoia as Bioshock and is currently slated to arrive on PC and XBox One.

     Source [ Kickstarter ]

Asterism: An Interdimensional Puzzle-Adventure About Exploration, Love, and the Stars

     Asterism is an upcoming adventure game by developer Neutronized focusing on inter-dimensionality and traversing the character's normal 2D realm into that of 3D alien realms.

     Taking cues from Fez, and a lot of inspiration from Cave Story, the game has the character Jin hopping between parallel dimensions by jumping through black holes, in typical Metroidvania-style level design to save his best friend Coy through clever use of perspective shifting between 2D and 3D.

     What sets this platforming-puzzler apart is the intriguing story from the official synopsis:
     "Asterism is an adventure game about stars, exploration, and love taking place in between our world and a mysterious parallel dimension, home of superior alien beings. A team of scientists is running an experiment to determine if star patterns can be used as a key to communicate with parallel dimensions. 
     The experiment goes wrong and black holes start growing in our world. The first to experience the real danger of this are Jin and his best friend Coy which gets kidnapped by the alien beings and taken into their dimension for apparently no reasons. The team of scientists later find out that Jin is the only one able to travel in and out the parallel dimension due to a special connection he has with Coy. 
     It's now up to Jin to save his friend and our world. 
     Will the love between Jin and Coy prevail upon everything?" 
     In addition to the puzzles and platforming there will be plenty of NPCs to converse with, minigames, and sub-quests.  Plus there is a whole day and night schedule changing the look of the in-game world to suit the player's real life location.  I look forward to exploring this game's world soon.

     Asterism will be coming to iOS devices at an unannounced date.

     For more follow [ Neutronized Dev Blog ]


Hitman GO: Review (Android)

     In Hitman GO, Agent 47 has taken a turn for the better in being shifted to a world of turn-based minimalism for his pocket-sized adventure.  The game is a brilliant change for the Hitman series, and taking it in a completely new direction by making it a digital tabletop board game with a highly stylized look as opposed to the typical 3rd person shooter.  It also manages to maintain the stealth element of the core series perfectly with the new puzzle mechanics, intuitively adapting them into cleverly designed levels.

     Each game box represents a contract containing multiple levels in the form of individual dioramas with a specific theme, such as an airport or theater, each with their own objectives to complete.  Typically the objectives are simple, such as reach the end unseen, kill all enemies, and collect the briefcase.  Between the levels the variaty of objectives keeps it interesting, and some give small amounts of replay value when they are at odds with each other like kill all enemies versus sparing all enemies- necessitating a completely different way of completing the level's task.

     The limited range of solutions and small environments for each level at first appear to be a negative, but are turn into a grand thing in the long run.  The immediate need to use any items picked up forces players into tactical strategy on the spot.  Players must plan and work in the now, being unable to horde or save items for future use.

     I hope developer Square-Enix Montreal can expand on this formula, especially with Lara Croft GO hitting the market in a couple weeks.  Maybe shifting from the turn-based rail sliding system and give players a more expansive grid to open up a multitude of new tabletop options, and shying away from the more limited trial-and-error form of Hitman GO would be a good thing here.  Then again, maybe not.  It has a streamlined and Spartan design that is wonderfully elegant in its simplicity, and it works really, really well here.  Hitman GO is an ingenious mobile game tied to a larger series in an original way that brings in a whole new audience for a whole new experience.


Disney Interactive: 22% Drop Due to Low Infinity Sales

     With all the varying toys-to-life products available, Disney has been having a bit of trouble maintaining sales profits and engagement with the Infinity brand according to their earnings report.  Honestly, they are still making a lot of money, and in less than a month the Disney Infinity 3.0 will hit the market with Star Wars headlining the game, which will be a money-making juggernaut conveniently in time for Christmas.

     Over the last year, the sales have slowed, but that is to be expected.  At $15 per figure, the game can get very costly to even play as some favorite characters.  Personally, I believe finding a way to drop the price to $9.99 might improve those sales greatly.  Possibly make the figures smaller to compensate or something like that.  The figures are wonderful, but that cost is a preventative issue for many gamers.

     While the Infinity game has improved greatly from 1.0 to 2.0, the main core of the game has only been slightly improved.  The Toy Box is a very intriguing addition, but really, it isn't enough.  The Toy Box isn't the main attraction.  Every single person I've talked to about Disney Infinity has the same qualm- not enough story in the Playsets.  The content of levels and story to play through needs to be far greater than what has been already given.  Players want more Playsets, or at least longer ones including things like the large open-world New York of both the Avengers and Spider-Man Playsets.  In another aspect of that same problem, making the missions replayable without necessitating resetting the entire Playset, would help considerably.

     So what this comes down to is essentially cost versus content.  Lowering the cost will always be a good thing, and giving players more stuff to do is generally a good idea.  Fixing either one would certainly help sales, but altering both would definitely impact the players will to continue buying and playing.

     Disney Infinity 3.0 will release on Aug. 30th on pretty much every possible system imaginable.

     Source [ Game Informer ]


Ghostbusters Reboot: Bill "Dr. Venkman" Murray CONFIRMED for Cameo

     According to The Hollywood Reporter (and Coming Soon) Bill Murray has been photographed on set and, reportedly, will be making a cameo in the Paul Feig Ghostbusters reboot.  Murray has been long-known to steer clear of Ghostbusters properties since Ghostbusters 2 flopped at the box office.

     This is good news for fans.  If Murray is willing to make an appearance, there has to be something good going for it.  We've already heard Dan Aykroyd has been through for a cameo, now we just have to wait and see if Ernie Hudson might make an appearance as well.

     I've long since thought it would've been great if Murray played a ghost just hanging around the station, like an old and cantankerous Slimer.

     The new Ghostbusters is set to release July 22, 2016.


LEGO Dimensions: Ghostbusters Packs & Adventure Worlds Announcement

     LEGO Dimensions has finally given Ghostbusters fans something they've wanted for years, a game.  Not their own video game, but rather a fully open and explorable LEGO Dimensions Adventure World.

     The Ghostbusters expansions will include a Peter Venkman World Pack (to unlock the open world) with ECTO-1 and a Ghost Trap, and two Fun Packs, a Slimer and Slime Shooter as well as the iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and a Terror Dog.

     Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today that there will be 14 Adventure Worlds in total coming for LEGO Dimensions.  Each offering an explorable sandbox area like LEGO Marvel Super Heroes' open city area, which was easily the best part of the game.  The LEGO Dimensions main set will come with 3 unlockable worlds- a DC Comics world through Batman, a Lord of the Rings level through Gandalf, and a LEGO Movie level through Wyldestyle.

     Here's the official description:
"LEGO Dimensions, the upcoming entertainment experience that merges physical LEGO brick building with interactive console gameplay, will include unlockable Adventure Worlds that provide open-world environments for players to explore. Separate from the game’s main story, players will be able to access 14 distinct Adventure Worlds for each entertainment property featured in the game. Every character in LEGO Dimensions has the ability to unlock the corresponding Adventure World of its brand to provide additional gameplay."
     LEGO Dimensions will be available Sept. 27th for PS4, PS3, XBox One, XBox 360, and the Nintendo Wii U.

     Source [ Gizmodo ]

LEGO Marvel's Avengers: Another Delay, Release Date, & New Gamescon 2015 Trailer

     After being announced earlier this year the TT Games have already pushed the release window back from 3Q 2015 to Winter 2015, and now it's been pushed into early 2016 with a release date of January 26th for North America, and the 29th for Europe.

     It's a wonder why a game primarily based on a film now 3 years old , and the sequel which came out months ago, is being delayed so long.  One might also wonder if it's to push sales towards the much more lucrative toys-to-life LEGO Dimensions game coming this September for some heavy Christmas income boosts, as well as a small dig at the Disney Infinity Marvel toys.

     Traveller's Tales Games is doing some strange things lately.  My trust in them is waning, especially after announcing that they were not going to finish the 3rd part of LEGO The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.  This appears to be the beginning of a disappointing trend.

     LEGO Marvel's Avengers will be available for PS4, PS3, PS Vita, XBox 360, XBox One, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and Windows PC.


Deadpool: The Official Red Band Trailer Has Arrived!

     After yesterday's "trailer for a trailer" we new this was coming, and it is everything a fan could hope for.  Sure, it's essential exactly the trailer that was leaked from SD Comic Con, but this is in glorious HD!

     Ryan Reynolds is back to play the Merc with a Mouth in Deadpool, after his portrayal of the titular (hehe tit... ular...) character in that abomination of a film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but this time he's surrounded by blood, blades, and bad jokes.  And it is absolutely perfect.

     Deadpool will explode people's theater-going minds on Feb. 12th, 2016.

Dark Souls 3: Gameplay Trailer Revealed!

     The newest Dark Souls 3 trailer from the Microsoft's Gamescom 2015 press conference focuses primarily on gameplay.  It is every bit as gruesome as one might expect from a series like this. 
     The third installment in the Dark Souls trilogy shows us more of the same- enormous monsters, undead skeletons, a place very reminiscent of Anor Londo, a lot of rolling around, and the almighty backstab- but it looks smoother and cleaner on the new generation of systems, leading us to the story's epic conclusion.

     It leads to a welcome sense of familiar foreboding as we descend into the darkness.

     Dark Souls 3 is set to release in 2016.


Deadpool: The Trailer's Trailer

     In a totally brilliant move, 20th Century Fox has released a trailer for the trailer for Deadpool.  Here it is in all of its 45 seconds of glory.

     Deadpool releases Feb. 12th, 2016.