Authors Posts by Franz Sy

Franz Sy

Needs to tone down the weeaboo shit before the rest of the 30lives staff collectively slaps his face with a trout

l_51fb2358603e8Popular gaming peripherals company HORI revealed their latest gaming tie-up; the Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII controller. Sporting her default costume colors Red and White, this piece of waifu hardware costs 3,980 Yen and includes a special cleaning cloth (not pictured) and connects via a 3m long cable. It’ll be for sale on Nov. 21st, the same day Lightning Returns goes into retail.

It has an overall mass/weight of 160g and comes in dimensions of  155mm x 66mm x 105mm. Compare it to a PS3 DualShock 3 controller that weighs 190g with measurements of  160mm x 97mm x 55mm.



Don’t forget to read up our previous Lightning Returns-related articles on other wallet-emaciating merchandise, including the Cloud Strife costume DLC, original soundtrack with costume DLCs, and the uber fangasmic ultimate box.

For my fellow Final Fantasy XIV ~A Realm Reborn~ players, Lightning ‘s showing up in the world of Eorzea and will hand out neat rewards. She’ll also receive a special Miq’ote costume in Lightning Returns as well.


Source: Famitsu


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golion11You don’t have to be an erudite when it comes to Voltron… almost everyone and their mom knows who he is, but you do have to be a weeaboo to know his original Japanese name… Golion.

Hyakujuu Ou Goraion (百獣王ゴライオン) or the King of Beasts Golion aired way back in 1981 in Japan, where it eventually got extremely edited and released Stateside in 1984 as Voltron: Defender of The Universe. This lions Voltron was considered the first season, succeeded by the 15-vehicle Voltron based from Kikou Kantai Dairaga XV (機甲艦隊ダイラガーXV) or Armored Fleet Dairugger XV.

Although plenty of Voltron toys have been released over the years, this latest incarnation, the Dream EX Gokin Goraion by Chinese company Tong Meng EX, is apparently the one that caught my eye the most. I’m a fan of SD (super-deformed) robots so this little guy was a definite instabuy, a supplementation to the popular ES Gokin toys, a series of SD robots by a joint collaboration of Hong Kong-based Action Toys and distributed by Japanese company Art Storm.


Let’s begin with the outer packaging. The box is quite small, typical of your average-sized ES Gokin boxes (approximately 7 x 10). It doesn’t shy away from showing off the figure’s gimmicks. You can tell based on the pictures that lots of love was put to the design on the packaging alone, it even has metallic stamping on the name.

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Once you open it, the contents reveal to be the 5-6 inch tall figure, complete with 3 variations of the Ju Ou Ken (Blazing Sword), 3 different faces, a shield and a display stand which also has its name on it. A small manual depicting the figure’s features is included.

You can easily appreciate whatever effort and care was put into this product despite being an abrupt imitation of the ES Gokin toy packaging. Not that it’s a bad thing in this case.

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Neatly wrapped in plastic, the figure is visibly protected. The faces come with a smile/smirk, an open-mouthed mode (typical of Golion, his mouth is usually open in the tv shows for no reason) and a simple tight-lipped expression. Normally, any Golion fan would use the “open mouth” face as the default. Each face has a magnet inside of it, and once you position it unto Golion’s head, it will stick into its proper place with minimal effort. Ingenious.

The figure is 70% diecast metal, yet it’s very lightweight. It basically mimics the feel of any of the smaller-tier ES Gokin toys. Golion also boasts around 30 points of articulation, and that’s very impressive for a little guy.

Watch me attempt to (poorly) make this toy Golion mimic his most iconic poses in the opening sequences of the anime, using the 3 different variations of the Ju Ou Ken included in the package:

 voltronblazingThis pose is where Golion materializes the Ju Ou Ken from his “hands”. Clasping them together then stretching his arms, a blinding flash appears. The makers of this toy cleverly designed a special “blazing flash only” version of the sword, to which you can insert it unto both Red and Green Lions’ mouths. This pose is easily one of my favorites, and is highly praised/ppreciated by fans and reviews in Chinese toy forums.

voltronblazing2Once the light dissipates, the sword appears, being held by the right hand (Red Lion), and the Green Lion is faced towards the opponent with an intimidating roar.

This is the usual pose Golion does before finishing his enemies off, and the no-effect “default” Ju Ou Ken fits nicely when posing the toy this way.

voltronblazing3There is no name for Golion’s finisher attack in the American dub, but it’s called “Ju Ou Ken Inazuma Otoshii” (十王剣イナズマ落とし), “Hundred Beast Sword Dropping Lightning Flash”. That’s because he slashes downward with the sword spurning lightning, hence the “drop”. Use the sword with a hilt and blazing effect for this pose.

voltronblazing4Finally, Golion’s most iconic pose, as seen at the end of  the opening credits for both American and Japanese versions. This needs no further explanation.

Judging from these comparison pics, you can tell that it’s astounding the figure is able to at least do the poses to a certain degree of accuracy. This alone should be a deal-breaker.

As you can see, the figure is VERY versatile with a wide range of motion, almost with the same level of posability as a Revoltech toy. This figure even outshines (in my opinion) most of the ES Gokins of his size, in terms of posing variations/dynamics.

golion12This however is the best and sweetest gimmick the figure has to offer, and the sole reason why this toy review got delayed. Go behind Golion’s head, and remove the small red portion to reveal an area where you can insert two LR44 batteries. Tinker the  small switch below it and Golion’s eyes will glow. At first I thought the glowing eyes were just promotional Photoshop effects when the images were released months ago but I was gravely mistaken. So a tip for you guys out there, if there’s a manual, please do take the time to read it.

Golion isn’t the only SD figure to have light-up eyes. The first contemporary toy I have seen with this feature is the ES Gokin Getter-1. For comparison, I put the two toys together so you can see the degree of luminosity. Golion has a warmer, orange hue, while the Getter-1 has a brigher, yellow shine that is definitely not too-camera friendly. Luckily, their glowing eyes are still visible even under a light source, and make very good pictures.

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So there you have it. Should you buy a Dream EX Gokin Golion? HELL YEAH YOU SHOULD. The question is where to buy one and how much is it? Well, I got mine for 3,500 PhP (roughly converted) from HKD, as mine was sourced from Hong Kong, thanx to our partner Tendou Toys. EBay has a few in stock, but it’s overpriced and ranges upwards of $130, and that alone excludes shipping and import duties/tariffs.

Your best bet is to call popular toy store Greattoys Online, place an order and see if its proprietor, my colleague Malvin Lim can secure one for you (he usually can and fulfills special orders). In my personal opinion, $130 is worth it, considering its rarity. There are rumors circulating online that Tong Meng EX is planning to release the Dairugger XV Voltron to compliment this toy, but I’m not holding my breath just yet. If it does happen, rest assured I’ll review it.

Now, enjoy Golion’s sole Super Robot Wars game appearance: 2007’s SRWW for the Nintendo DS.


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lightning_cg_micotteSquare-Enix is sparing no time slacking off. They’re really pushing aggressively on marketing their newest flagship titles, namely Final Fantasy XIV ~A Realm Reborn~, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster and of course, their holiday season offering Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. As of today, they officially launched the “Final Fantasy Go There” Campaign, which is basically a cross-collaboration between these three Final Fantasy games.

They began by introducing Lightning to the world of Eorzea in FFXIV ~A Realm Reborn~. She will be appearing as a guest character in a series of side-quests (FATE Events, specifically) where you will gain rewards such as Lightning and Snow costumes as well as Final Fantasy XIII-themed weapons for your avatars. We already covered that in a past article, so you should be familiar with this by now.

micotte_lToday, the official site of Lightning Returns: FFXIII released details of their second “korabo” (collaboration – Japanese slang) with FFXIV. This time, the tables are turned as  Lightning will be getting a Miq’ote (or Mithra to you FFXI nuts) costume/wear. The Miq’ote outfit for Lightning will feature a sword, shield (though which ones are not specified yet), a special victory pose and of course, the FFXIV victory fanfare.

This will be Lightning’s second cross-over wear, since  her first one is with Cloud Strife where she gets his SOLDIER uniform as well as the Buster Sword and the FFVII victory fanfare.

There is also a planned cross-collaboration between Lightning Returns: FFXIII and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster, but details have yet to be revealed. Watch the SD-HD comparison video about the HD Remaster if you haven’t yet. It’s mind-blowing.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3/Xbox 360) will be out Nov. 21st. Final Fantasy XIV ~A Realm Reborn~ (PC/PS3) will be launching August 27th with the PS4 version coming 2014, and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (PS3/Xbox 360) is coming sometime 2013, exact date pending.


Credits go to my Irish Linkshell mate Alan/Siege for pointing the Miq’ote outfit out! I wouldn’t see this campaign otherwise!

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Believe it or not, the US government officially recognizes professional gamers as real, professional athletes, and in effect can be given visas (although the terms, such as if single or multiple entry are not specified, but I guess it’s assumed that whatever athletes are granted, gamers will be too). You guys can thank League of Legends for that, or specifically, its creator Riot Games. I don’t know how they did it, but they pulled off something that in my opinion Apple has done: made themselves somehow more universally relevant and created their own market through ingenious creativity.

imagesThis sets the precedent as to what things can now be considered as “sports” these days. After all, the game of Chess is a recognized sport by the International Olympics Committee, but yet millions still find themselves sitting down and watch two people with wooden pieces and doing boring shit like staring, thinking and looking smart. Chess is the real life sport equivalent of Dragon Ball Z at the premise that it takes several episodes for characters to stare at each other and smirk, whispering to themselves “this is getting interesting” before actually beating the crap out of each other. I don’t hate Chess, but I don’t necessarily love it. Then again, I still find myself playing Magic: The Gathering for hours, so who am I to judge? People dig these quiet, “boring” things, card game or otherwise. If you do insist on chess, may I interest you on a game of Star Wars Chess?

imagesAnyway, E-sports aren’t necessarily new. The World Cyber Games was inaugurated at South Korea at the dawn of the new millennium (2000) and is being participated by 17 countries, the Philippines amongst them. These “video game olympics” events are big hits in South Korea, and professional e-athletes (gamers) are at equal footing/tier to the country’s most popular celebrities. If once again, you don’t believe me, National Geographic made a documentary about it back in 2005, which can be conveniently watched online on Youtube. Starcraft is serious business.

JaceHall-Picture_193donothotlinkJace Hall Show writer Paul Nyhart (Jace’s the big buff guy on the left) wrote an article about it, and I can’t help but agree with a lot of his points, notwithstanding the fact that I myself am a gamer. The flak online is relentless and unforgiving, frequently bringing up all the idiotic stereotyping of gamers being obese, pimply, glasses-wearing, basement-prowling losers.  The main beef that people gamers and non-gamers alike have are that “video games aren’t a sport because it’s not physical“. This is their rallying call, and yes, it’s bare-bones simple in concept, common sense kumbaga.

Nyhart makes argues that the premise of sports being physical in nature was derived from the fact that past civilizations have primitive or perhaps non-existent technology, and hence the proving ground for anything “sport-like” would most likely be something physical in nature. We live in an advanced age, and hence we design our activities, heck, our daily lives, based on what we currently have. Ancient times don’t have computers, or even electricity, so it makes sense (to me at least) but one can be cynical enough to ask why writing isn’t a sport, but that’s a debate for another day.

He says that people are not looking at the right thing. Instead of re-classifying what “sports” are, we need to look at other elements, in this case the one performing the action… the athlete. Now think back as to why Chess is a recognized sport, despite the extremely minimal physical activity involved. Whatever the reason was for doing this, I certainly would like to know. Nyhart’s closing remark is, and I quote “Gamers aren’t suddenly more athletic; being an “athlete” has just grown to have a wider and more relevant meaning”. Whether you accept his statement or not is up to you.

imagesHowever, a quick search on Wikipedia will merit you a list of known recognized sports and surprisingly, if you scroll down you will get to see the term “Mind Sports”. Although I neither establish nor claim Wikipedia as the sole authority of correct, concise information, what makes an activity a sport in my opinion goes down to old fashioned marketing. In blunt terms, how well you’re good in BSing other people to agree with you that what you’re doing is a sport. Riot Games did it, Wizards of The Coast did it (Magic Grand Prix),  who knows what’s gonna follow. Regardless on whether you agree or not, gaming is now considered a sport (by them), and you can’t do squat about it.

Either way, I really hope I live long enough to witness the era of the sport of Raspberry Blowing.


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If you haven’t been reading our article about why Lightning will be making an appearance in Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV ~A Realm Reborn~, you should be ashamed of yourself.


Announced some time ago by FFXIV Producer Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P) in the Japan Expo in Paris, here are some (if not all) of the rewards you’ll be getting once you’re done with Lightning-related side-quests in the game. Lightning’s costume on a Lalafell is an acquired taste.

No official confirmation yet if male characters will also be given the chance to get Lightning’s costume. If it’s possible I’ll definitely get it, because I’m fabulous.

Or you can use common sense and assume that all guys will get Snow’s costume, and all girls will get Lightning’s.

Lightning-Returns-X-FFXIV-4Aside from the costumes, FFXIII-themed weapons will also be included in the mix, and those who played the game will recognize to whom these weapons originally belong to.

There is also no confirmation if these weapons will have any vital stats or if they’re just cosmetic or event-related with limited battle capabilities. Details will come later as they become available.

Don’t forget, Final Fantasy XIV ~A Realm Reborn~ will be officially out August 27th, but you’ll be given early access by pre-ordering the game now on Amazon or the Square-Enix Online Store.


Images courtesy of Dual Shockers.


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1071116_10151871026759928_324884277_oI admit it. I’m an Angry Birds nut. I played the game since Day 1, back when it was “niche”. I own a lot of official licensed merchandise, including a plethora of shirts, hoodies and toys, including the giant Big Brother Bird. The game has come a long way since then, tying up with product and movie endorsements (here in the Philippines, Sunkist has the license for releasing Angry Birds juice drinks).


Last Friday, Angry Birds developer Rovio Mobile released the image you see above, claiming a big announcement on July 15th (as if the picture doesn’t already tell you what it is). Well, today is July 15th, and 30 minutes ago on the official Angry Birds Facebook page it was officially outed as Angry Birds Star Wars II. Yes, this is a true sequel, and its predecessor was just released last November 9th.

The new game will feature scenarios from the universally “loved-hated” Star Wars prequels, prominently Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. For the first time you get to choose which side to play, so yes you may join The Pork Side (evil), as the video itself shows a playable Darth Maul Pig (or is it a bird?).

What interests me more are the Telepods and their optional gameplay function. I have never seen them before, and I’ll prolly be getting several if my budget permits. On a regular side-note, Rovio Mobile announced that those who are still playing the original Angry Birds Star Wars can look forward to something big: an update containing story/plot from Return of The Jedi.

Angry Birds Star Wars II will be available on app stores worldwide September 19th.


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Lightning-Returns-X-FFXIV-2It’s not special that I’m a Legacy player of Final Fantasy XIV, though I didn’t get my Conjurer past the endgame because I seriously got pissed off at it and marched straight back to Vana’diel in Final Fantasy XI. Fast forward, years later I once again find myself, this time with the entire 30lives team in the Beta test on newly-resuscitated Final Fantasy XIV ~A Realm Reborn~

…which brings us to the topic at hand. Working with the worldwide community of almost a million, Naoki Yoshida (aka Yoshi-P) detonated a bomb that caused quite a stir online: Lightning, the pink-haired “female Cloud Strife” star of Final Fantasy XIII will be in the game in a series of special side-quests, and no it’s not a clone, not a Lightning wannabe in the world of Hydaelyn, but the actual Lightning herself.

Perusing through Japanese forums and comments on Niconico Douga, fans say harmless things like キモイ (Kimoi; Eww) to as far as 裏切りだ (Uragiri da; You Traitor). Funny, I don’t remember hearing people bitch about it when Cloud Strife appeared in Final Fantasy Tactics not once, but twice (if you consider Shishi Sensou; War of The Lions as a “different” game).

With fans demanding an explanation for this “abomination”, Yoshi-P wrote a letter exclaiming why he’s doing it and I quote ad verbatim:

The story that answers these questions is already being created and it will also be related to the Lightning saga. This is not just a Lightning clone showing up in Eorzea; it is the one and only Lightning. We are also creating a lot of character dialogue for Lightning as well as special cut scenes. We’ve established a proper story, and I hope you’re excited to see it.

Interestingly, he followed it up with :

  • We will never introduce characters that would destroy their meaning or story
  • We will not use characters that are already dead or whose role has ended in their title

Lightning-Returns-Final-Fantasy-XIII_015-670x377So he’s basically telling you that he’s putting in Lightning because he can and because he wants to, so shut up and just deal with it. I also can’t help but think this crossover is but a cross-promotion for the upcoming game Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. I personally don’t mind her, in fact I’m GLAD they decided to shoehorn her in, rather than Vanille, Hope, or worse… ugh Serah. That’s just my opinion though.

Either way, Final Fantasy XIV ~A Realm Reborn~ is gonna be officially out on August 27th, but pre-ordering the game now on Amazon or the Square-Enix Online Store will grant you early access. Take note that the physical Collector’s Edition of the PC version is exclusive to the Square-Enix Online Store.


Credits for the images in this article go to Dual Shockers.

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I’m a person passionate not just for video games. Aside from my other menial interests, I’m an avid supporter in the advancement of science, the very lifeblood of technology that made video games possible in the first place. Specifically, my scientific interest ranges from marine life under the sea to the cosmos in the heavens: outer space. It’s no wonder that my Gmail account uses images of planets as a theme, and my PC, tablet, cellphone, heck even my business cards have nebulae as its background (Orion and Horsehead Nebula FTW)!


177b5e243421abaf39ab4a2efc56ab63_largeSo when I stumbled upon Kickstarter and saw Planetary Resources’ ARKYD project, the world’s first crowdfunded public space telescope, I screamed like a little kid. Appealing to ordinary citizens like you and me, the ARKYD A SELFIE (PICTURE OF YOU) IN OUTER SPACE, WITH THE EARTH AS A BACKGROUND.

I mean look at it. Stare and let the awesomeness sink in. In the name of science, your likeness will be immortalized, and it can’t get any better than the fact it’s taken 100 kms above, in space!

54570c76a5a12fd74ad8c6b955b5f464_largeIt also helps that Sir Richard Branson, the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group of Companies actually pledged $100,000 to the cause.

Watching the video above, you also notice it’s endorsed by Actor Seth Green, and Bill Nye The Science Guy, CEO of The Planetary Society.


So now you’re wondering what has this scientifically awesome venture got to do with video gaming and pop culture. Well, if you pledge or donate on the $99 level or higher, you will get yourself a copy of Planetary Annihilation, an awesome RTS (Real Time Strategy Game), which is a Kickstarted video game itself. Although last month the game caused quite a ruckus because it costs $90 on Steam as an Alpha early access title, with Uber Entertainment, the game’s creators receiving a lot of flak from pissed off gamers.

The controversy over the pricing structure has since died down due to a very considerate and in my opinion, fair response from the company, gamers have not been deterred and the timeline is moving on schedule, with Beta happening on September 6th and the full final release on December 15th.

99pledgeHere’s the list of the pledge levels and what you can receive once you donate:

  • $10 – A Thank You and you have a say on how ARKYD gets used.
  • $29 – A digital version of your Space Selfie!
  • $44 – A digital & physical version of your Space Selfie on two 4″x6″ prints with a Certificate of Authenticity!
  • $75 – An HD digital Space Selfie, with 300% increased resolution!
  • $99See photo at left, this is where badassery begins!
  • $250 –  All from the $99 tier plus you get to point ARKYD on a celestial body (other than the Sun) and take a photo of it, and it’ll be sent to your desktop!

I pledged twice actually. I went for both the $44 and $99. Rest assured, once a photo of 30lives is taken on space, you WILL see it in this site soon (hopefully by next month as August is the estimated delivery date). We do this because we’re not just gaming journalists, we’re badasses who love and appreciate science. You should be too!


Here is a sample of the “Thank You” video that you will be receiving once you pledge on $99 or higher (your name will be listed on it). This alone makes your donation worthwhile and well-spent. So what are you waiting for? The Kickstarter for ARKYD was over, but due to insistent public demand, Planetary Resources is extending a “grace period” for you to make your pledges!


You only have until July 19th to make your contributions to science and kickassery! Pledge now and be part of this rare, monumental opportunity! FOR SCIENCE, TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!


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267321_10151578331891859_39327884_nIn case you’ve been living under a rock or just happen to pass by our dimension, Dragon Ball Z, Kami To Kami (Battle Of Gods) is reaching Philippine shores via SM Cinemas on August 14th after an alleged failure of negotiations, according to an anonymous tip.

Regardless, I’m a staunch supporter of things like this. Let’s encourage the men in suits that there IS a market here in our country for Japanese movies. After all, in the advent of a $61.7 million revenue for the Rurouni Kenshin film, with a sequel on the way and its primary antagonist already cast, I’m optimistic that our otakudom and its craving for all things weeaboo can be sated.

momotarou_snow-img330x456-1367315347lzde7i64681Which brings us now to this bit I saw online. I can’t believe this slipped under my radar, as I usually notice amusing stuff like this quickly. Months ago when Dragon Ball Z: Kami To Kami (Battle of Gods) was aired in Japanese theatres, KFC actually had a special Dragon Ball Z set meal that includes some 350 ml “Dragon Bottles” topped with a glow-in-the-dark Dragon Ball, with seven designs for all seven balls. An eighth design features  Gokuu’s Supaaaaaaa Saiyajin hair.

Of course, knowing Japan and its propensity to do… well, otaku-ish stuff, they actually offer THE ENTIRE SET, all eight bottles with eight pieces of juicy, 11-herbs-and-spices-y chikin for 5,000 Yen.

If you missed this and actually want one soooo bad, you CAN buy the bottles in Yahuoku (Yahoo Auctions) Japan, with prices ranging 300 to 2000 Yen per bottle or 4000 to 6000 Yen for the full set. It may be a worthy investment for diehard Dragon Ball Z fans.

Bookmark the SM Cinema page for Dragon Ball Z Kami To Kami (Battle Of Gods). Check back often to see when schedules come online and purchase your tickets. Until then, sit back and rape the replay button up there if you have to. It’s not everyday you get to hear Gokuu say 行くぞ、ケンタキーーー (IKUZO KENTAKIIIII)! After all, Kentaki de SO GOOD!



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khchi23 Alright, I wanna go on the record that I personally abhor browser games. However, acceptance is the first step to recovery, so I’ll gladly admit they can be VERY addicting and fun. Social games aren’t necessarily new, though borderline casual, we get to play a lot of those these days, especially on mobile devices *koffCandyCrushkoff*. Sadly, it’s a crime I’m guilty of (casual games, not Candy Crush in particular).

So when Square-Enix announced Kingdom Hearts χ (pronounced “key”, not “chee”), I thought it’ll prolly be a huge ass time sink like the now offline Dragon Age Legends or the new contenders Marvel: Avengers Alliance and Plants VS Zombies Adventures. It’s currently on open beta, so anyone can get in and play!

khchi10First off, you will need a Yahoo! Japan account. It’s free. Google it up to find how to sign up for one. Next, you’ll need Adobe Flash, the latest version (I think it’s 11 as of this writing, correct me if I’m wrong). Once you have an account, head over to the official site to start playing right away! Once you log in with your Yahoo! JP credentials, you’ll be prompted to input a Square Bridge name (a username), and that’s it!

khchi3    khchi4

You will now be prompted to create your avatar. I chose the “Cool Black” suit, because it well… looks cool. It also looks like Squall Leonhart’s (FF8) attire. Next you’ll have to choose one of the five “Unions” or factions. They are: Unicornis (Unicorn), Anguis (Cobra), Leopardos (Leopard), Wolpeus (Wolf) and Urzus (Bear).

Once the game goes live, you may party with your friends who belong to the same Union such as you, so pick carefully, or demand they pick the same Union as yours! I chose Wolpeus because I love pink. Shut up.


You will now begin the tutorial, but first things first, you will be introduced to an adorable new character called Cheerithy. He/she will explain to you that you’re a Keyblade Master, and your purpose is to retether and reassemble with light (Lux) all that the darkness has done to the world. If you played Kingdom Hearts games you’ll know this by now.



khchi17    khchi19

Your AP gauge (yellow bar on the top right of the screen) is basically your energy. Performing actions in the map such as opening treasure chests, picking up items and attacking monsters consume AP. Once you run out of this, you can’t do anything to progress. However, it can be replenished when you level up or by using a Potion (which is conveniently given to you as a reward, or may possibly be a micro-transaction when the game goes live).

Map movement is simply done by clicking on the left mouse button. Your avatar will automatically jump on or over obstacles when able. Your cursor will turn into a red crosshair when targeting Heartless, or green when targeting items and chests. All you have to do is simply click on it, and the game will do its thing automatically. This is the laziest Kingdom Hearts game you’ll ever get to play in your life.

khchi22    khchi18

Kingdom Hearts χ uses a randomized card-based battle system like the Game Boy Advance game Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. However, this browser game is a HUGE step up, as you can mash together cards to level them up, in effect enhancing their potency and effects. Cards are classified into two: Attack and Assist.

Attack cards are what your avatar will use against the Heartless, and it has three types: Speed (Green), Power (Red) and Magic (Blue). Speed Cards are usually quick and thrusting moves (Sora, Cloud Strife), Power Cards are slower, but more potent slashes (Rikku, Goofy) and Magic are ranged/projectiles (Donald, Yuffy). Assist Cards, such as Chip and Dale or  Huey, Dewey and Louie often provide passive effects.

You may “craft” or level-up your cards by mashing together cards of the same character. For instance, you may upgrade Sora if you have more than one Sora card of the same illustration. Although Sora and Aladdin are both Speed Attack cards, you cannot combine them together.  The same thing applies to Assist Cards as well. You may acquire cards for free during the “Daily Draw”, or by buying Draw chances as a micro-transaction. Sometimes they can also appear in treasure chests.

Keyblades can also be upgraded, provided you have the materials. Anywhere in the map you’ll see some “sparkling” little things on the floor that can be targetable, Pick those to gather your ingredients. Upgrading your Keyblade boosts attack power, and it is shown on the illustrations. For instance, your first upgrade, the “Starlight” multiplies Speed Attack power by 1.1. Keep collecting, and as you progress you will eventually learn more recipes!

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Every now and then, a “server-wide” monster called a Raid Boss will spawn, and it’s in the form of a Darkside, the giant muscular Heartless with Pantene-enriched hair. You have one hour to take him down and get all the Lux (light), Munny and EXP you need. Take note that you will most likely lose from it, and at this early stage of the game, you’re basically a one-hit fodder, and I estimate him to have around 10 million HP.

Rally your friends in the same Union and obliterate him! He may kill you in one hit, but his HP won’t regenerate, so as long as you have enough BP, you may fight him. Your avatar has 5 BP, which can be replenished by using Ethers, or through support by your friends or Unionmates. To the best Union goes the spoils!

khchi27    khchi29

Of course, it’s no Kingdom Hearts if it has no Disney involved! Currently there are three playable areas in the game, the Dwarf Woodlands (Snow White & The Seven Dwarves), Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland) and Agrabah (Aladdin). The remaining two worlds, and possibly more will be unlocked soon, or perhaps when the game is fully released. So let’s wrap up this review with a small summary of my opinions:


  • The music is spectacular and top-notch, despite some being remixes of old Kingdom Hearts tracks.
  • Visuals are appealing, paperdoll style, it’s clean-cut (metaphorically) like Theatrhythm.
  • Team-based content on taking down a huge mega boss asynchronously is refreshing and new (to me). I have yet to see this kind of implementation in other games, if someone can point it out.


  • Gameplay is too simple, but then again, it’s a BROWSER GAME.
  • It’s a browser game. Yes, this needs to be a handheld title.
  • You don’t get to directly play or summon Disney/Final Fantasy characters, but their presence is at least felt in the form of cards.


  • Micro-transactions may be too expensive, consider Square-Enix’s penchant of milking fans.
  • New content needs to be expanded more, but based on open beta data, it’s plenty. I have high expectations for this title.

I have not had this much fun on a free browser game since Dragon Age Legends, and I will most likely play this when it’s fully released. Sadly, micro-transactions are disabled in this open beta bild, so I can’t quote how much Potions, Ethers and Card Draws cost, but I bet it’s gonna cost a lot.

khchi30Kingdom Hearts χ is one of the most beautiful and polished browser games I’ve ever played, reminding me so much of Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy. IMO Square-Enix did a very good job, except it’s only in Japanese. This game needs an English localization. Although I do speak Japanese, for the sake of my fellow Kingdom Hearts fans who don’t, they must NOT be allowed to miss this title, especially with all the hype about Kingdom Hearts 3 and the fact that Tetsuya Nomura himself wanted to see Star Wars on this upcoming title.



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Everyone’s pretty worked up with the Lightning Returns Cloud Strife Wear DLC announcement yesterday, and the resulting excitement is well precedented. Aside from plucking at the heartstrings of Final Fantasy VII players with a nostalgia nuke, the game is offering up even more Wears, called the Wafuu Kachuu Ishou Series (和風甲冑衣装), literally meaning “Japanese Style Armor Outfit Series”.


These wears are Samurai-inspired (hence Wafuu), and can only be obtained as an in-game bonus code if you pre-purchase the game in different places online or around Japan. Let’s go over them, from left to right (refer to image above):

  • Fuushi Kaden (pink): buy the Original Soundtrack
  • Tenka Fubu (black-orange): buy the game from the Square-Enix e-Store
  • Kongou Bosatsu (pale yellow): buy the game from Lawson
  • Raii Shiseigai (golden yellow): buy the game from
  • Oni Yasha (black): buy the game from Geo
  • Fuurin Kazan (red): buy the game from Game TSUTAYA
  • Utsusemi (purple): buy the game from WonderGOO, Teitsu, Best Denki, Yamada Denki and Shoushin Denki


Although it’s bordering towards insanity to buy a copy of the game six times just to obtain all six outfits, the Fuushi Kaden outfit is the more practical bonus we could possibly acquire, considering it’s from the 4-CD soundtrack, which costs 3990 Yen. It will also be more readily available everywhere, starting Nov. 21st, the same date the game goes into retail.

A simple caveat: the game version will only be Japanese should you have money to burn ordering one (or all) of these. Then again it won’t stop fans from making outrageous purchases and I don’t judge them.



Featured/stock images provided by Famitsu and screencapped from the Official Site.


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A new promo video has been released for Super Robot Wars Operation Extend (SRWOE) today, revealing some new details about the game as well as when it’ll go into retail. Watch the trailer above, then allow me to translate the important gimmicks this game has to offer:

  • OE is separated into 8 downloadable chapters, and each chapter boasts 20 missions (totaling 160 in all).
  • You may pick to play whatever mission you want in a chapter, instead of playing each chronologically.
  • Graphics integrate both 2D and 3D, including beautiful cut-ins from pilots during battle animations.
  • Fully brushed up 360-degree movement and weapon range in maps as opposed to traditional square spaces.
  • Enemies drop materials for crafting upgrade parts, and upgrade parts can be turned into more powerful ones.
  • Replay missions repeatedly as much as you want for farming parts.

OE will only be digitally distributed via PSN and will be released July 18th! The game is playable on both PSP and PS Vita. The first chapter will cost only 500 Yen for a limited time, and when the promotion is over, each chapter will retail for 1000 Yen each.

Next month another SRW game also will be coming out for both the PS3 and PS Vita, SRW OG Saga – Masoukishin III: Pride of Justice. It’s worth checking it out.

For tips on how to create your own Japanese PSN ID as well as obtaining Japanese PSN cards to fill your wallet, read this previous article for valuable links.


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From Zen Studios, maker of Star Wars Pinball and Marvel Pinball comes their latest creation, CastleStorm. It’s a hybrid video game mixing elements of puzzles, lane/tower defense and hack-and-slash. Think of it as Angry Birds meets Battlecats, with a touch of Castle Crashers.

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The objective is pretty much straightforward: destroy the enemy castle. Leave none alive. You can accomplish this with three methods of destruction at your disposal: a giant ballista (crossbow), an army and a hero unit. The ballista is used for shooting arrows to impale your foes, or hurl bombs and other projectiles at castles. This is where the physics-based trajectory gameplay of Angry Birds is coming from.

Opponents will be sending ground troops to your own castle, so you must sortie your own army to intercept, or lead the offensive to take down the gate/wall (tower defense), and if things start to get really hairy, deploy your hero unit, to which you will personally take control of, and cut them down to ribbons yourself (hack-and-slash).

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Adding spice to the game is the ability to build/customize your own castle, as well as having multiplayer modes. Currently, there is a survival co-op mode where one player controls the ballista while the other one manages the troops, and a last stand mode where both players control hero units and fight endless waves of invaders.

I haven’t had this much fun in a hybrid game since Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves and like it, CastleStorm offers somethig for everybody gameplay-wise. It’s a breath of fresh air. This title is definitely an instabuy, especially with all the gameplay content and the light-hearted humor/simplified story for a low-budgeted price. I definitely recommend it to tactical game aficionados or both hardcore and casual gamers alike.

CastleStorm is out now on Xbox LIVE for 800 MS Points, and it will launch July 29th on Steam for an affordable price of $9.99. If you pre-purchase the game right now, you’ll get it 10% off at $8.99!

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Our Hong Kong-based toy store partner Tendou Toys just spilled to us today that Good Smile Company is creating ANOTHER Iron Man Nendoroid, and it’s none other than the Iron Man Mk. 42 (XLII)!

This will be the 3rd Nendoroid in the Heroes Edition Series. The first was Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield’s film version) and the second was Iron Man Mk. 7.

Unlike the previous Iron Man Nendoroid, you can take off his helmet and pose it with Tony Stark’s full head exposed! Relive your Iron Man 3 moments with unlimited posing opportunities! The prototype image is already sending my imagination into overload!

UPDATE (AS OF JUNE 24th, 2013):

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Japanese toy magscans have begun surfacing online with official images of the new Nendoroid Iron Man Mk 42, and it also comes with a HALL OF ARMOR SET. Hopefully someone uploads better scans so I can read the articles properly. However there is a small disclaimer: Iron Man’s eyes and Arc Reactor DOES NOT GLOW (sorry!), it’s just dramatic license.

I’ll be scouring online for updates such as pricing, release dates and confirmation of features. If ever the Hall of Armor is going to retail, I expect total #annihilation of our wallets.


Credits go to whomever uploaded scans of the hobby magazine.


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Incubus was a painter making a lot of cash selling his “Obscene Dream” artworks. As time goes on, he feared of losing his popularity when people will be fed up with his “masterpieces”, so he thought that what he needs is a more accurate, personal approach. After all his art is a reflection of his own personal, actual “obscene dreams”. Desperate, he made the great sacrifice and his body turned into an actual, living canvas.


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Leprechaun is born from triplets, the sons of a well-known shoemaker. Growing up and working in the family business, they realized that the best shoes are made from material that comes from the most intelligent, sentient animal on the planet… and that “animal” is man. Seeking to be the SOLE successor to their father, they decided to kill two birds with one stone; getting the “man-made material” and destroying the competition… by sacrificing each other.


It seems like Soul Sacrifice will file these two new Archfiends under “The Desperate”. Incubus and Leprechaun went completely under my radar for some reason, as this is the sixth wave of free DLC and was released June 20th in Japan. They should eventually find its way to the English version soon.

Only one more Archfiend left to round up the thirteen pitiful monsters, and one can only guess based on the silhouette that it is a Dullahan re-skin. Regardless, I can’t wait for another month!

Source: Famitsu

l_515e631ad8bb6Kamen Rider (仮面ライダー, Masked Rider) has been around for more than four decades. Created by Shotaro Ishinomori, it gave the Tokusatsu genre the bug-eyed (Rider) kick it needs, as if the world isn’t big enough for the legendary giants Godzilla or Ultraman and the prismatic Super Sentai series.

There are TONS of Kamen Rider video games, most being action brawlers/fighting games. Classics like The Great Battle series, pit characters from the Ultraman, Kamen Rider & Gundam universes together in an action platformer. This game, Kamen Rider Battride War for the Playstation 3 is the first time the series utilizes a Musou-style (無双, unmatched/unparalleled) gameplay.

Musou games are typically Tecmo-Koei’s signature prized masterpieces, notably in their Dynasty Warriors games, with the latest being ONE PIECE Kaizoku Musou (ワンピース海賊無双) or ONE PIECE Pirate Warriors in the West.

Kamen Rider Battride War sadly only features Heisei period (contemporary era) Kamen Riders, so you can only use Kuuga all the way up to this year’s Wizard. Filipino fans of Kamen Rider Black are out of luck, because he’s a Showa period Kamen Rider, the second to the last in fact, so he missed being in this game by a sliver of a few years.

Despite this game’s unfortunate namesake (no more butt jokes please, it gets old VERY fast), is a button-mashing action game, with motorcycles/bikes, the standard of Kamen Rider transportation. The name “Battride” is a portmanteau of the words “battle” and “ride”, and the game makes it a point that you actually use your bikes, so let’s get on with it:

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Despite incorporating bike-riding in its core gameplay, mounting your 2-wheeled machines of doom is relegated down to… just for moving around quick on the rather large maps. You can’t kill enemies by running them over with your bike (boooo), but you can see them fall down flat on their faces.

Although there are plenty of ramps around the maps and glowing yellow rings to ram your bikes into to get additional points to level up at the end of each map clear, but I was expecting too much. I hoped that because it’s called “Battride”, there would actually be bike fights or using your bike to smite down ugly evil-doers, but I was sorely mistaken.

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Now for the gameplay. A Musou-style game is basically just repeatedly pressing buttons until the hordes of dumb grunts (moving around and rarely attacking) die.  Press the square button to use normal attacks, occasionally press the triangle or circle buttons to trigger a powerful AoE move to clean up the mess, or press triangle and circle together to unleash a signature finisher, usually Rider Kick, an action required to perform at the end of each boss battle.

Almost all Kamen Riders have different “forms”, which you can transform into by holding the R1 button, and when the power gauge is full (below the HP gauge), press R2 to trigger their ultimate form to quickly take out opponents with devastating attacks (this is especially useful against bosses).

Each Kamen Rider has his own set of moves and combos, even if the buttons you press are usually the same. They even have their own ups and downs in terms of stats. Kiba has skills related to jumping and flying, Kabuto has an ultra-powerful Rider Kick but requires the triangle-circle combo pressed four times in a row, Blade can’t change forms, but has access to a plethora of finishing moves provided you have the points (think MP gauge) to spend. One of my favorites, Decade, can transform into any other Kamen Rider, complete with access to their combos, and varied super finishers.

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The game has 3 modes: Chronicle, the “story mode” where you unlock playable Kamen Riders, the Rider Road where the challenging/difficult missions are, and the Free Mission where you get the opportunity to play Chronicle Mode using any Kamen Rider of your choice. There is no easy mode, and on first playthrough you start with only Normal and Hard difficulty.

Chronicle is very short, and unlocking all the Kamen Riders already give it a 58% completion. Rider Road maps are single challenge campaigns where you use a Kamen Rider to clear 3 maps in a row, with the first 2 being stages and the third usually as a boss fight. Free Mission is nothing too special, but it gives the game a small form of flexibility.

Items are in the forms of “figures” (action figures), purchased using points collected at the end of each mission or by completing Rider Road challenges. Kamen Riders have 3 skill slots and you “equip” them with said figures, giving them menial or special stat boosts. Figures start from rank D with ordinary buffs, and may go as high as A or S, which cost more. Some rank D figures boost experience by a small margin, while some forfeit abilities in exchange for powerful effects (one of Decade’s figures disallows healing from life globes, but in exchange highly boosts attack power).

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The game’s best features are actually the graphics and the sound. Bandai-Namco (Bamco) made sure to put a LOT of effort to make this game flashy. All Kamen Rider looks and movements are smooth and intricately detailed, even the enemies, grunts and the environment. In fact, all visual effects unique to each Kamen Rider, especially on finishing moves like their Rider Kicks, transformation to other forms and the light coming from their belts are all present and accounted for, including the SOUND EFFECTS.

Speaking of sound effects, the game has a special, more expensive “Premium TV Sound Edition” where the game uses the actual songs used in the shows, especially the iconic opening themes. You may also use the in-game tracks, but they are not as epic as the songs themselves. Kamen Rider fans will find themselves singing, not humming, to the tracks as they beat the crap out of anything, effectively amping up the ass-kicking experience, it feels like you’re “playing” the show.

So after all that lengthy commentary, let’s sublime them into these finer, easier to read bullet points:


  • Premium TV Sound Edition uses the actual songs in BGMs. YOU WILL END UP SINGING AS YOU PLAY.
  • The graphics are really good. A lot of effort is put into the flashy effects, even the movements and sound effects of finishing moves.
  • Kamen Riders have different moves and systems, despite having similar button combo patterns. There is variety.
  • Most, if not all of the original actors reprise their roles in voicing their characters.


  • Contains only Heisei era Kamen Riders. Old school Showa era Kamen Riders not included.
  • The game is too repetitive, despite the gimmicks and add-ons… a disadvantage of playing a Musou-style game.
  • Bike riding needs to be expanded on, instead of just a means of transportation. Should have bike fights or special moves while riding in bikes, but that’s probably asking too much.
  • Premium TV Sound Edition is bloody expensive, but it’s expected, to pay royalties for the artists.


  • May appeal only exclusively to Kamen Rider fans. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. This game can be used to initiate people into liking the Kamen Rider series.
  • The Musou-style gameplay is a good stress reliever, but can bore you to death.
  • You may or may not need to have some background on Kamen Riders to play the game, but having some knowledge is good.
  • You may not need to know Japanese to finish the missions (map markers are enough to tell you where to go), but will need knowledge on using/equipping items (figures) to strengthen your characters.i>

ss05Despite the obvious flaws, Kamen Rider Battride War is an objectively enjoyable game to play and is a golden treat to Kamen Rider fans. If you have the cash, it’s advised to get the Premium TV Sound Edition instead for a more genuine experience; a significant parallel to the shows. If Bamco decides to make a sequel to this, I would definitely buy it, but for non-Kamen Rider fans you may opt to borrow a copy or buy it discounted.

The game is now out in Japan! Luckily, they’re readily available online as you may purchase the ordinary version and the Premium TV Sound Edition at For those who are unwilling to procure online, try requesting it from at their many toyshops across the metro, preferably at their Shoppesville branch at Greenhills.


Screenshots furnished by Famitsu and the Official Site.

巨人狩りだ。。。 巨人狩りだ!剣で。。。魔法で。。。ハンマで。。。罠で! 無限に巨人を狩りまくれ!


Ragnarok Odyssey Ace’s new commercials make an attempt on riding in with Shingeki No Kyojin’s (Attack On Titan) current popularity, encouraging players to violently maim, char, bludgeon or simply make life miserable to all colossal-sized life forms. It also looks like it’s working, at least for me.

The video above is the non-PG onry 30-second long ad, while this one below is the baby goo-goo 15-second version:


Ragnarok Odyssey Ace releases at Japan for the PS Vita at 4935 Yen (physical game) and 3900 Yen (digital download).




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Although many Filipinos play in Dragon Nest SEA, details of the new update for Dragon Nest and its date of implementation have been known for quite awhile now. However, just this past Saturday, June 15th when the Dragon Nest Fan Kanshasai 2013 (ドラゴンネストファン感謝祭2013) took place. Basically it’s a “thank you” event;  a fan appreciation day if you will. It was here where details on the new contents are finally unveiled.

The city of Saint Haven will be given a renewal (perhaps a make-over) and a new town will be created called Alendel, the home of the Elves, and it’s a place sprouting with the “Trees of Life”. The world map will be extended to reflect on this, with its area surrounded by a golden canopy of sparkling flora.

The more exciting content comes from the new scimitar-crook wielding job class, the Assassin. The Assassin is a unique class in its own, and is designed to dish out high damage and high evasion. What makes it special compared to other RPG assassins is that the Dragon Nest variety has a special “cooldown charging skill”. Normally for any class, you obviously can’t activate a skill when it’s in cooldown. For them however, you can execute the same skill three times at once.

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The Assassin has a progression job, the Chaser, which then spread out to be the Raven or Ripper. However there is still an unknown job, called the “Illusion”, which is considered as the Assassin’s opposite side. More details will be announced soon.

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Dragon Nest JP’s timeline is already laid out. On July, the level cap will be broken to 70, with its transcending level 80 and new skills coming next year. August and October will have new nests A and B implemented respectively (along with LV70 epic gear and their Dragon Ball-upgradable versions), with a new character (possibly the Illusion class) on September. By November, a new dungeon will be released, and on December, a “new Dragon Nest”.

There are no details yet on when these will be implemented on other servers, but Dragon Nest fans will have all of the second half of the year to get pumped for. When the updates come rolling in, we’ll let you know!

Source: Famitsu




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Kingdom Rush started as a humble free flash game online and carefully evolved into the monster megahit Tower Defense game that it is today. It’s hailed as one of the best and recognizable strategy game apps in the iTunes App Store. Just a few months ago it was greenlit on Steam where the game won’t be a cheap port… it will be remade from the ground up. Player demand recently made it pave its way to Android devices. The game has pricey DLCs in the form of playable heroes and micro-transactions as gems (pay to win sigh), but they also offer free expansion updates.

It’s no surprise that due to its popularity, a sequel was inevitable. After all, it was also hinted at the game’s ending. Ironhide Games Studio, the brainiacs behind the game announced the imminent arrival of Kingdom Rush 2 years ago… and on 2013 it was finally unveiled as Kingdom Rush Frontiers. They certainly kept the hype alive, releasing various trailers as well as a free e-comic book.

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Kingdom Rush Frontiers retained almost everything what made the first game lovable. Challenging difficulty. Cooky, corny and cheesy voice acting. Funny tributes or pop culture references and of course, remarkable graphics. The developers upped the ante, adding fully-colored comic book panels before starting some stages (usually when encountering a new area). Tower placement areas aren’t just bare, some have to be unearthed or have some obstructions removed before you can start building on them.

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New towers are added and have more variety. They no longer simply shoot to kill, but can now buff other towers and debuff enemies. You can also have giant mechas/robots, axe throwers, assassins, necromancers and templars. 9 Heroes are now available from the start, with actual skills that you can learn and respec, while their levels no longer reset to 1 when you begin a map. Although the first 3 heroes are free and begin at level 1 or 2, the DLC heroes start at levels 4, with the strongest (Ashbite the Dragon) at level 6.

The tower upgrades that you can unlock using stars are more balanced, and as usual you may respec them at will, which is extremely useful for trying to clear the Iron Challenges. Although some skills such as the conscripts and meteor shower skills remain the same, some abilities are now changed to minimize redundancy since heroes, when upgraded also buffs towers/allies and enfeeble attackers.

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Enemies in this game are now nastier and don’t just walk from point A to point B. They have new abilities that bring hell to your defenses: some can revive fallen comrades, others cast magical/physical resistance spells, and there are flyers that shoot arrows or even birth more monsters when they die. Some actually play dirty and gatecrash into the map to create new entry paths that once weren’t there. Don’t be surprised when swarms suddenly climb out of cliffs/vines or cut down trees to plow through vegetation that are not normal enemy spawn points. Be prepared to make snappy decisions to sell, reposition or build new towers!

Bosses are massive like the previous game, but unlike before, they actually move around the map and not stay in one linear path, and all of them have the tendency to summon and spawn mobs from other sides of the map, so make sure your towers are spread out and upgraded, for bosses are no longer interested in reaching their destination, they’ll keep you busy while their lackeys reach the end point unscathed and unguarded!

IMG_0919The game also offers 3 difficulty levels from the very start, and is adjustable anytime, so those who are new to Tower Defense games can just go easy, while veterans to the genre can go gung-ho and unleash the beast within. Although going easy usually effectively defeats the purpose of playing a strategy game, it’s good training for newbies. We all have to start somewhere after all.

So, with all the important parts rounded up, here’s a condensed, less tl;dr enumeration:



  • Visuals are nicely rendered, and very polished.
  • New abilities and towers are more rounded-out compared to the first game. Each has its own specialty and use.
  • 9 Heroes are available from the start with 3 already free and ready to unlock.
  • All 3 levels of difficulties are available from the very start.


  • Overpriced Hero DLC (Ashbite costs more than the game itself).No free flash version available unlike the first game (but then again, it’s meant for retail).
  • Adjustable levels of difficulty open up to cheating. You can earn stars fast, making a map easy if you can’t win it on normal, or finishing all “challenge stages” in easy. This is subjective as it isn’t necessarily a design flaw, since after all you have to level up and all.


  • Very hard difficulty may put off ordinary players, but good for Tower Defense enthusiasts.
  • Pop culture references get funny to a certain point, then it gets corny.

IMG_0946Ironhide Studios doesn’t disappoint in their latest game, and it’s worthy to carry on the Kingdom Rush legacy. Although it’s only initially available for iOS, an Android and Steam port may be inevitable if it were to follow its predecessor’s footsteps. With so many paid and free Tower Defense games out for portable devices, Kingdom Rush Frontiers is a definite addition to any tablet or phone, and comparing the price to the delivery and execution, it’s worth it as an instabuy app. Download it now from the iTunes App Store!

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Few games out there are notable for concentrating heavily on ancestry on lineage as its main discourse, and one such example is Infinity Blade. 7 Grand Steps by Mousechief is such a game, but unlike Infinity Blade, you’re not supposed to kill stuff. In fact, you’re supposed to raise your bloodline, through the course of history.

2013-05-18_00004Designed to be like a board game, only shaped like a roulette, the title is a purely heavy strategy game with a deep, create-your-own-adventure type of ancient civilization narrative. You start with your own character, then eventually meeting your mate, bear children, rinse and repeat. Make critical life choices in crafting your own heritage. Perhaps you would dabble on masonry? Maybe mathematics?

Luck plays a crucial role in this game, if you believe in it. Such is so in real life. Your character CAN DIE in this game, specifically to be eaten by crocodiles if you remain idle. After all, the strong survive, and much like reality, you can’t possibly live by just doing nothing. You’ll encounter other people during your lifetime obviously, so don’t forget that they have minds of their own. Do nothing and they’ll snatch away progressive life opportunities (inventions, etc), even ambitions. You do start from the Copper Age all the way to the Silver Age after all, so it’s a looong way to go.

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Time is also a BIG factor, especially when finding your life partner. Take too long deciding, and the girl/man of your dreams may end up with someone else. The pressure is on! Your character actually AGES, so if you don’t find a mate in time, you will risk being unable to bear a child, and perishing in this instance effectively ends your bloodline, and in effect your family legacy.

SS_HighCopperThe purpose of the game is to create a legend… namely YOU. Do so by advancing throughout the wheel, honing your skills and meeting people along the way. Inspired by coin-machines, insert tokens to learn life skills, setting the wheel forward. Insert an ingot to get more tokens, and your character advances. You must ALWAYS have tokens in hand, for if you keep inserting tokens and not replenishing it via the ingot, your character will stay still, and eventually be eaten by the crocodiles as the wheel turns. This is the in-game interpretation of lethargy or slothfulness being a costly mistake.

There is also an administrative ruling gameplay involved. Once you evolve into a more advanced civilization, you will eventually rule the land (if you made the right choices). Manage cities. Engage in politics and legislation. Wage war on other kingdoms. Deal with slaves, servants and peasants. As technology advances, so do discoveries, and all these are crucial in the molding of your fame… or notoriety.

Here’s a quick recap on my personal opinions towards this title:


  • A rich storyline spanning hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. You create the story.
  • Simple controls, but has engaging and strategic (even political) gameplay.
  • Music is pleasant to the senses.


  • The game can get really, really boring.
  • Luck and randomness makes the game a bit frustrating.


  • The game’s length may set off some people. It can get very long.
  • Graphics can either be ordinary or charming. However this is not a game about visuals.
  • The asking price of $15 may be worth it for strategy aficionados, but not casuals.

Part strategy, part simulation and part dating sim, it is no wonder that 7 Grand Steps is a finalist at the 2013 Independent Games Festival. Its appeal may be niche, but it can be fun, not to mention affordable and tells a very compelling story. It’s basically a Choose Your Own Adventure book in video game form.

Head to the official site now and download the demo before buying. Alternatively, it’s also now out on Steam, and currently 10% off as an introductory price. Don’t miss it!