Category: Multiplatform Written by Bronson Fiori
With another year comes another Madden, but what is special about Madden 15? It is the first Madden made specifically for the Xbox One and PS4. So the question is does all this new tech lead to an improved football sim or another disappointing Madden season?
Category: Tech Written by Bronson Fiori
Earlier this year ACI-MoonDog Computers released its Signature Series Ultimate Gaming PC. While an absolute monster of a machine when it came to gaming performance and benchmarks, the primary issue with the Signature Series Gold Edition was its use beyond games. So ACI-MoonDog Computers is here with its first refresh. The question is, does fixing these problems create new ones? Or does this take us to a new level of Ultimate Gaming? When one settles for nothing but the best, you can push the limits and achieve new greatness. This greatness has been achieved!
Category: PS3 Written by John Macaluso
Battle Princess of Arcadias is a great game. From the colorful sceenic backdrops, to the addictive combat, there's a lot to like about this side scroller RPG. You'll play as Lady Plume who, as the Battle Princess, is sworn to protect her kingdom from any and all enemies. You'll have the help of many other characters and with the rise of an ancient evil on the horizon, you'll need all the help you can get. As far as the story goes, that's actually almost as deep as it gets. While the story isn't fantastic, it's absolutely a long-shot from terrible. Luckily, the game's anime style, silly characters, and Japanese dialogue was enough to keep me interested. Just about every anime stereotype is present in Battle Princess. You've got the clueless and innocent girl, the silent badass, the womanizer, and the cocky, barbaric warrior. The characters are fun and silly, but easily forgettable following the completion of the game. The game is has fully voiced dialogue which I enjoyed greatly. Be prepared though! The voiceovers are completely in Japanese with no option to change it to English, so you'll definitely have to be prepared to read a lot. Following the many main story missions and few side missions will bring to beautifully drawn locales from a freezing tundra, to a scorching volcano. Each location is beautiful and colorful, which is great because you'll be visiting them very often.
Category: Vita Written by John Macaluso
The Playstation Vita is a great handheld with great games. Unfortunately, Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection is not one of them. The anime style and RPG-like elements can be fun, but the lack of gameplay, creepy dialogue, and concert mode had me wanting to put this game down shortly after picking it up.
Category: Tech Written by Bronson Fiori
In recent years it seems PC gaming just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The most popular games Call of Duty, Battlefield, League of Legends, Dota 2, Dark Souls 2 all look, play, and feel better on PC, or are PC exclusives. This along with Steam and GeForce Experience making maintenance easier, it's not really a surprise this is happening. That said there are still some major hurdles stopping a lot of people from PC gaming. Most big manufacturers don't have a gaming brand, or their gaming brand is junk. Then you have Boutique brands such as Alienware, Origin, Razer, and Republic of Gamers by ASUS. Powerful PCs, but they save money where you might not look, and they mark the price up basically for aesthetics. Then there is building your own, but for many it can be too complicated and time consuming. Now, ACI-Moondog Computers is trying to compete is this very competitive, but lacking market. The question is how does their Signature Series Gaming Desktop stack up?
Category: Vita Written by Bronson Fiori
The JRPG and dungeon crawler genres have been brought back to life recently thanks to the PlayStation Vita and remakes of classics like Persona 4 Golden, Final Fantasy X HD, along with newer games like Ragnarok Odyssey. So is the newest NIS release, Demon Gaze, another hit, or just another standard dungeon crawler?
Category: Xbox One Written by Bronson Fiori
When the original Kinect for Xbox 360 came out, one of the games that showed off the new tech was Kinect Sports. Later a sequel would be made and both games received positive reviews, but weren't mind-blowing, and most people thought Microsoft was wasting Rare's talent. So now, the Xbox One is here with a much improved Kinect, and Kinect Sports Rivals. Does the improved technology make for a better game? Or is Kinect Sports Rivals just more of the same?
Category: PS3 Written by Anthony Ta
This review is going to carry a different tone and style than my other reviews. I am going to write this one rather casually, since it is the best way I can think of. The game in question here is The Witch and the Hundred Knight. It is for the PlayStation 3 and it was made by Nippon Ichi Software. This development team is best known for the reasonably well-accepted Disgaea franchise. The Witch and the Hundred Knight is a fresh project, but this particular effort is likely going to have issues gaining much traction.
Category: PS4 Written by Nick McCandless
Originally scheduled to launch day one on the PlayStation 4, inFAMOUS: Second Son was delayed as the talented team at Sucker Punch felt more time was needed to deliver the experience they envisioned for the third title in the open world action-adventure franchise. Promising adrenaline-fueled gameplay, spectacular superpowers, and thrilling story,
inFAMOUS: Second Son has rightfully earned itself high expectations, so has Sucker Punch delivered on their promise and justified their four-month delay?Delsin Rowe, the new protagonist to the inFAMOUS series, brings a fresh new feel to the franchise. Obsessed with tagging buildings with graffiti and acquiring powers to take on the D.U.P. (Department of Unified Protection), Delsin Rowe is all but your regular 24 year old. Growing up outside of Seattle, Delsin rescues a group of passengers trapped aboard a burning Conduit Transport leading him to meet a Conduit by the name of Hank. Able to absorb Hank’s power, Delsin acquires the smoke power allowing him to transform into smoke for a short period of time allowing for transport through air vents and gates. Traveling through air vents has never been so entertaining, and as I promise to not spoil anything in this review, I will say, it comes in quite handy, so be sure to look out for exhaust on top of buildings, smoking cars, and various other sources to keep your power well fueled.
Delsin also crosses paths with a character by the name of Abigail Walker, who goes by the name Fetch. Delsin acquires neon power from the purple-haired Conduit who, due to drugs, found herself in a rough situation. Neon is incredibly addicting to play around with and provides Delsin with extravagant abilities. While zooming in on enemies, you will witness blue markings on enemy’s legs and red markings on their head. As anyone aware with inFAMOUS knows, the choice between good and evil is the heart of the franchise, and neon fits in quite well. Playing on the good side seeking to become a hero? Shoot the enemy’s legs to subdue them. Looking to become a threat and use your power for evil? Aim for their head and execute them. In addition, Delsin is able to travel at fast speeds leaving a neon trail as he sprints to travel, or runs up building structures. I constantly found myself looking for signs to absorb the neon from, as never once did I want to be caught without a healthy supply.
Without powerful, boisterous powers, inFAMOUS is just not inFAMOUS and I am happy to confirm that gamers have nothing to worry about. I will keep the other two powers quiet for the sake of those looking to experience the adventure, but I will say, the third power you acquire is a treat, and certainly my favorite power of the game. Each power features a large range of upgrades, which are purchased through the collection of shards, laid throughout Seattle. Held by drones, you must track these drones and bring them down to acquire the shard. Collecting these not only advances the abilities of Delsin’s powers, but also opens up a variety of new abilities making the search well worth it. As stated, there are four diverse powers to be obtained throughout your adventure of inFAMOUS: Second Son and while I will not reveal two of them, let’s just say with one of them you can become temporarily invisible and with the other, believe me when I say, its pretty awesome! Each power has its own unique Karma Bomb, which in sake of not spoiling, is a large critical attack that can wipe out a plethora of enemies at once. Karma Bombs are earned by performing a wide range of either good or bad tasks allowing you to unleash the fury. There is so much I want to say, but buy the game and find out for yourself, you will thank me later!
inFAMOUS: Second Son excels in the realm of powers with four of the greatest powers to ever grace video games and mastering these powers will be required to succeed in the challenge that awaits you. In what I believe to be the most dynamic set of missions out of the three inFAMOUS titles, Sucker Punch has once again outdone themselves with gameplay. I found it hard to set my controller down for one minute as all I could think about was plowing through the D.U.P. forces and fighting my way to Brooke Augustine, Director of the D.U.P. Many twists and hard choices are presented, especially one that I am holding onto for dear life. By far inFAMOUS: Second Son delivers the best gameplay of any inFAMOUS title and I believe is the best current generation (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) title on the market.
The story in inFAMOUS: Second Son is what I believe to be the second (no pun intended) best in the franchise. Throughout the story, you will see the relationship between Delsin and Reggie (Delsin’s brother who’s a cop) unfold and you truly become engaged in the encounters they find themselves in. There are several comedic moments where characters are throwing jabs and remarks at one another which delivers a variety of fun and seriousness to their personalities. There are also a couple missions that are quite comical including one where you must search porta-potties for escaped Conduits, but Sucker Punch balanced it perfectly. I feel inFAMOUS 2 had the best story in the franchise with Second Son following behind. Second Son kept me engaged and intrigued from start to finish, but there were moments where I was hoping for more than there was and I personally found the ending to be slightly underwhelming, but enjoyable nevertheless.
Visually, inFAMOUS: Second Son is astonishing. No one is achieving what Sucker Punch has in the realm of particle effects. Out of the collection of games I have played throughout the years, inFAMOUS: Second Son destroys every video game title with its jaw-dropping particle effects. You may be questioning why this is such a big deal, but play Second Son and you will see why. Just one smoke dash by Delsin requires 11,000 particles each individually textured before reforming. It’s simply incredible! The lighting also stands out as one of the best lighting systems in all of video games. In fact, it took 32 render farm machines to compute all of the reflected/ambient lighting throughout the game. Now I know if you are reading this, you have likely seen gameplay footage somewhere on the internet, but I am here to tell you the game looks ten times better in person. Watching a video on YouTube with all of their compression techniques provides no justice to the graphical masterpiece inFAMOUS Second Son is and I know you all will agree shortly after starting the game for the very first time.
For the most part, inFAMOUS: Second Son runs buttery smooth, but there have been moments where the frame rate has noticeably dropped. I have noticed the drops often when there is a lot going on at once and while traveling using one of the powers in which I will not reveal. Thankfully Sucker Punch has managed to keep this to a bare minimum, but it is noticeable throughout the story.
The DUALSHOCK 4 has opened up a wide range of possibilities for developers and Sucker Punch has taken advantage of the technology the controller has to offer. Featuring a lightbar, touchpad, microphone, and overall better feel, the DUALSHOCK 4 is cleverly implemented throughout the game. There are circumstances where Delsin must scan his finger and as the player you swipe your finger on the touchpad to achieve the task. When being called on your cell phone, the ringer will play through your DUALSHOCK 4 speaker as well as when you are absorbing resources for your powers. You also press the touchpad to absorb resources for your powers feeling incredibly natural. There is another implementation that plays a heavy role and has its own category of side missions throughout Seattle that I find to be extremely intuitive, but once again, I will save this for your discovery.
Overall, inFAMOUS: Second Son is nothing short of amazing. Delivering spectacular gameplay, astonishing visuals, exhilarating powers, and loveable characters, Sucker Punch has outdone themselves once again, this time on the PlayStation 4. inFAMOUS: Second Son is without a doubt a must buy for any PlayStation 4 owner and for those on the fence, now is the time, as I promise you, once you are in control of Delsin Rowe, there is no going back.
Final Score: 9.0/10
Category: Multiplatform Written by Anthony Ta
Dark days were really upon the Final Fantasy franchise when the original Final Fantasy XIV happened, including to the ones who developed it, the ones who played it, and the characters that once existed in it. In an effort to save the worst main series Final Fantasy game ever, Square Enix made the decision to relaunch the game. A new network structure was created, a new story was written, new music was composed, and major gameplay changes were implemented. The major rework resulted in a surtitle: A Realm Reborn. This is the review of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as of Patch 2.1.
Note: Because MMO games can have such diverse experiences, it is hard to give a single gameplay perspective that covers even half of all common types of possible playthroughs. This review was from the perspective of a Level 50 Elezen Paladin tank, who was a part-time Dragoon damage guy and White Mage healer, explored some of the endgame, did a bit of crafting, and had yet to enter the fray of Player vs. Player matches.