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Daylight is a poorly-executed mess of a horror game. You have my permission to stop reading this review and judge it by my first sentence. If you do, then I will envy you for not wasting time playing this.

For those of you who still want to read why, alright: Daylight is a first-person horror game where you navigate a procedurally-generated dungeon-like map. You find a set of items, you find the key, get our of the area onto the next, then rinse and repeat. No real combat here, you are just haunted by shadow creatures called “witches” which gets defeated if you light up a flare.

A horror game’s typical strength is with its intricately-created set pieces that lead you to to memorable moments; which is a fancy word of saying lures to a trap. Remember the first time Nemesis showed up and chased you around in Resident Evil 3? Nothing of that sort happens here, really. The idea of having randomly-generated content completely tramples this formula and the whole game suffers because of it.

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You will always be holding your tablet up. #Ngawit

Cheap scares are brought to you in a non-thought of way. Sure, the first time it happens it’s a chilling moment but it shortly becomes laughable because of the repeatedly clumsy way it’s being delivered to you. The video below is me encountering an enemy for the first time. The surprised scream coming from me did not come back on subsequent encounters. Believe me. Please.

Internet celebrity/IGN personality/licker of handheld systems Jessica Chobot was the much-ballyhooed pen behind Daylight. She might also be the voice of the protagonist but I didn’t bother to look it up. The voice acting is entirely made up of gasps and exclamation of dread that is so random and repetitive, it becomes hilarious really quick. The narrative is a fairly run-off-the-mill horror asylum/Cthulu mythos tale. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but seeing pentagrams, human sacrifice, and the devil never looked so bland. Seriously, it’s like the developers ran through a checklist of tropes and environments from every horror videogame, ever and just went with it.

On the technical side of things, the game is also a mess. It’s the first game I’ve ever played on the PlayStation 4 that dips below 30 frames per second. Unbelievably, it does this all the time! There are instances where the game will stutter and freeze for a few seconds. Completely unforgiveable, given that the visuals themselves are less-than-impressive.

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Hey. it’s an abandoned asylum! So original.

You can finish the game in less than two hours. The developers claim it is meant for multiple playthroughs because of the procedurally-generated levels. No thanks.

In my opinion, Daylight has nothing to offer to my gaming tastes. My limited gaming time is better spent on something else. A poorly-crafted tale behind a poorly-crafted gameplay system makes Daylight easy to put down and ignore.

Redemption:

  • It’s not a retail priced game (though $15 is still not cheap enough for this)
  • The buttons work and there is video and sound.

The Human Sacrifice:

  • Random generated levels =  stupid idea for a game like this.
  • Repetitive and bland gameplay progression
  • Technical issues galore.

Factor that can swing either way:

  • You might die tomorrow.

Daylight

Developer: Zombie Studios

Publisher: Atlus

Available for: PlayStation 4, PC

Reviewed: PS4 version

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. We here at 30lives.net is proud to present our new review series, Retro Reviews. Sometimes we all have that itching to play something from the past, something close to our hearts and we are not that different. All of us, right here in 30lives.net, will never let go of our childhood as they were precious to us and to our readers. We start our series with an old indie game: Frank’s Advanture 2.

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Franks Adventure 2 was released by the now defunct?/retired developer Wiesi-Mausland (Now called Wiesi) back in November 2003. This was a follow-up to the hugely popular Frank’s Adventure released earlier in October. Frank’s adventure 2 vastly improves everything that was great about the first game, while also removing the few negative things that hurt the original. It can be classified as a sandbox adventure game with item-trading as one of its biggest points.

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It’s frank.

 

You play as Frank, just a regular guy who seems to have a talent for entrepreneurship, meeting people and a taste for adventure. Immediately the character relates to the player due to his desire for adventure and fun and love. After the saving the publishing company that he works for in the previous game, his boss asked trusted him to help their main branch in the city to help their financial situation. Frank, being the professional and great businessman that he is, bought a plane to the city to save the publishing company that he loves so much.

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we should be like Frank and be a professional

 

Immediately after taking control of Frank, you’ll see the difference in graphics from the original. Sharper and clearer outlines and colors, tall buildings and busy streets. The game map is nearly 1.5x the size of the original, and there are more dangers in the city than the countryside in the first game. Crossing the street feels just as dangerous due to the many cars, and other surprises that you encounter during the game that truly challenges anybody who wants to complete the game. Character models are also improved massively with the semi-celshading (remember this was 2003) that produces more realistic looking characters during the time of course.

The catchy music that plays while you move around the city is relazing in contrast to the busy streets. However, because of the limitations of the time and the developer’s own indie cred, no voiceovers were given for the great dialogue in the game. They won’t lose points for this because it also shows how focused Frank must be to block out all the distractions in the city just to finish his goal.

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Characters with great unique personalities and backstories. This was ahead of it’s time.

 

Controls are insanely simple and you can pretty much play this game one-handed, a great feature at the time compared to other games released at the time. This is actually the best and greatest thing about this game. More games need to be playable one handed especially in our more busy lives.

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Cameos from some popular characters are here

 

 

Franks adventure 2  was released free as well, and still accessible in the internet. This truly is, one of the greatest indie games released in history and was very influential for many games that we enjoy today.

You can play Frank’s Adventure 2 online at Newgrounds. http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/134777

Okay guys, this is what I’ll be doing the week of March 25th: Make sure my calendar is clear from any social events (lol who am I kidding, of course it is), have a backup internet connection (just in case) and stock up on tons of Cheetos and caffeine because there will be no sleeping. At all.

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Yes Sir Bad Ass sir

I have played the beta to Diablo 3‘s latest expansion Reaper of Souls on and off for the past few weeks. I just finished the campaign last night (would’ve finished it earlier if my internet connection wasn’t wonky – yes PLDT, I’m looking at you), with a solid eight hours game play on Act V and the all-new Adventure mode. I really had a great time playing and if you’re looking at a recommendation whether to buy it day one, you can stop reading now and have my big fat YES. YES most especially if you’re starting to play Diablo 3 only now because you’re getting to the best version yet.

I am dying to talk to people about the new expansion’s story but I won’t be an asshole and spoil it all for you. Let me say one thing though, it is BAD ASS.

Here’s a rundown on what’s new on Reaper of Souls!

  • Screenshot077The Crusader is definitely the most fun to play with, and this is coming from a person who has played all the available job classes in the core game, so you can trust me on this. The crusader is so damn versatile you can pretty much do everything you want – be the tank, be the main damage dealer, do long-range attacks, dish out AOE damage, whatever you need him to do, he can do. Best of all, the crusader can carry a 2H weapon on one hand so he can still carry a shield with him. I can see some barbarian players going green at this awesome passive skill. The hammer skill (Justice) and splash damage skill (Fist of the Heavens) also mimics the witch doctor’s play style while being tough as nails. While the barb and WDs will not be deemed obsolete, the crusader can pretty much give these guys a run for their money.
  • Screenshot060The Mystic is an all new NPC who has joined you in your journey in Westmarch (where Act V mostly takes place). The mystic has interesting services such as transmogrify and enchant. Transmogrifying items is a novel idea; you can change the look of your equipment so if you have a favorite look, you can keep it even if the item you’re wearing is of a different style. Also, have you ever picked up a legendary item but found out that the stat bonuses it gives are pretty much worthless for your class? You can now re-roll the stats for any item that you have in exchange for crafting items and a bit of gold so hold on to your trash legendaries and give the enchant service a try.
  • Crafting materials are now dropped by monsters. Yep, you don’t have to keep salvaging the blues, yellows and oranges that you get to produce crafting items. Most monsters now drop these things so you can be a pack rat and keep all the legendaries that you nab. There are even legendary crafting materials now. Nifty.
  • Special legendary items now drop from bosses. After fighting some of the bosses in Sanctuary, they curiously dropped legendary items specific for my class to use. Some of these legendary items also had special skills that activate during use. One of the items that I got is called Pox Faulds which stinks up from time to time like Ghom’s poison fart attack. I’ve tried standing near a mob and waited for this ability to kick in and it was mad, juvenile fun. Also, dropping special legendaries is a really good idea too as you can get to farm more items when you keep replaying boss fights, and what’s great is that…
  • 80-90% of the loot that you get is for the class you are playing! Blizzard has introduced Loot 2.0 which makes most of the stuff that you pick up during your runs usable for the current class that you are playing. This makes the hunt more fun as you’re guaranteed to get items that is for the main class you’re trying to gear. I guess this is also because…

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    Transmogrify – pimping your style
  • They are shutting down the auction house. I have mixed feelings about the auction house to be honest. I don’t hate it because I’m able to easily get items that I need from other players that don’t need them, but at the same time I hate it because Blizzard has probably tweaked the drop rate of items to be really crappy for the auction house to be more useful. In the end, the game’s fun factor has dropped since most of the time you’re not able to get the stuff that you need. Which brings me to another point…
  • The legendary items are now account bound. You can say goodbye to trading legendaries with friends. All legendary items are now account bound even when they are still unidentified. I guess you better get back the oranges you’ve lent to friends or you might not get them back when March 25th rolls in.
  • The side quests for the other characters round up their story nicely. You can get into special quests for Kormac the templar, Eirena the enchantress, Lyndon the scoundrel as well as service NPCs like Haedrig Eamon and Covetous Shen and find out more about them. What happened to Eirena’s sisters? Is Covetous Shen really a god?
  • Screenshot075The difficulty levels have changed. You can start up to the third hardest level (Expert) right off the bat so you do not need to replay it two more times (from normal and nightmare) to get to the hardest difficulty. Nightmare has now been changed to Expert and two more difficulty levels called Master and Torment is added to the game. You can only get to these levels by reaching 60 and 70.
  • And yes, the level cap is raised to 70 as I have mentioned, which means extra passive and active skills for everyone!
  • Paragon levels do not have cap anymore and the experience points are shared within all of your characters. With leveling up your paragon, you can now assign your characters extra stats (instead of it auto-assigning) so it gives you now an option to really build your character. I still don’t know whether I like this or not since I don’t really like thinking of builds (more of gearing characters), but we’ll see.
  • You can now form clans in Reaper of Souls. This is great for gaming communities and groups so you can easily see friends’ progress and stuff. I haven’t really tried this feature yet since I’m the only one who has access to the beta from the group and I’m a snob when playing with people I don’t know (huehue) but maybe I’ll try it out sometime.
  • Screenshot070The adventure mode adds an extra layer to the game. If you’re up for random challenges, you can give the adventure mode a whirl and complete missions in different dungeons. Completing these bite-sized (well, okay some are not so bite-sized) adventures will reward you with special gold that you can use to buy random equipment from the NPCs. Finishing all adventures in an act also rewards you with a Horadric Cache. Getting a bunch will let you build a treasure chest that has sweet items, I assume. I have to get back to you on this once I actually get to build and open one.
  • Cursed chests and fountains can be found in different parts of the map. To open these chests, there will be certain conditions like beating a number of enemies guarding the chest, clear an area and so on.
  • Aside from dropping health globes, monsters also drop a white globe called Nephalem Glory. This gives bonuses much like getting Nephalem Valor and fountains and lasts for about two minutes. You can extend the time of the bonuses by picking up health globes so WDs will have a field day on this for sure.
  • Possibly one of the best tweaks to the game, you can now revive from corpse. YAY!
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Let’s go on a Shenventure

Sadly, some parts of Act V is still incomplete and only have placeholders for texts and NPCs and have a bunch of bugs yet to be zapped. I find myself sometimes fighting bosses that get stuck and skills that do not have an actual description yet. This is of course purely understandable and acceptable – even in beta, the level of polish for the latest act is very impressive. The city of Westmarch is very dark which brings me back to the ultra-gothic feel of Diablo 2 and the new tracks they used are hair-raisingly good. Also, the beta stops just as when you’re about to fight the last (?) boss in the act so it really left me hanging so bad that I wish we can fast-forward to March 25th now. Please.

Again, if you’re just jumping to Diablo 3, this is the perfect time for you to do so. A lot of things in the core game have been tweaked in Reaper of Souls which makes the game more challenging with the new difficulty levels, more exciting with the crusader class, and the new additional features makes a more satisfying game experience for the dungeon crawlers and looters like me.

Asiasoft is the exclusive distribution partner of Blizzard in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls will be available in the Philippines on March 25, 2014 at the following suggested retail prices of P1,800 for the standard edition and P3,500 for the collector’s edition which contains the following:

  • A full complement of Diablo III helms and weapons, primed for transmogrification
  • A Ghost Wolf minion players can summon
  • Three additional character slots to accomodate new heroes
  • A World of Warcraft in-game companion pet: the Treasure Goblin
  • A set of StarCraft II Crusader themed Battle.net portraits and Malthael-themed decals
  • A full-color hardcover art book
  • A behind-the-scenes Blu-ray/DVD two-disc set
  • A limited edition Reaper of Souls mouse pad

See you in Westmarch! The crusade goes on!

The Kickstarter campaign of Keiji Inafune’s latest project Mighty No. 9 (aka his big “up yours” to Capcom for being douche bags in general) has hit its stretch goal of $2.2 million. This means we’re going to see Mighty No. 9 for consoles namely the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. If backers will plunk down another $1.1 million, then we will also see ports for next-gen consoles (PS4 and Xbox One) when it hits $3.3 million.

At this point, Mighty No. 9 is backed by roughly 39,000 people with over $2.2 million so that’s roughly $55 contributed on average. Makes me curious exactly how many people will be buying this game after it is released. You can head over to their Kickstarter page to find out what all the buzz is about and find out more about the game, especially the boss robots.

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Very good and nice.

Source: Destructoid and Kickstarter

Grand Theft Auto V is this week’s game.

That’s it. Thanks for coming!

Here are this week’s vidyas:

 

Hot Wheels Worlds Best Driver (Wii U/3DS Retail)

We Sing: 80s (Wii U Retail)

Cut the Rope (3DS eShop)

Rage of the Gladiators (3DS eShop)

Star Wars Pinball (3DS eShop)

AiRace Speed (3DS eShop)

 

Grand Theft Auto V (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Capcom Fighting Evolution (PS2 Classic)

Saints Row 4 – GATV Pack (PS3 DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Wild West Pack Pack (PS3 DLC)

Real Boxing (PS Vita PSN)

 

Grand Theft Auto V (Retail)

Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver (Retail)

Saints Row 4 – GATV Pack (DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Wild West Pack (DLC)

 

Foul Play (PC Steam)

Borderlands 2 – Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 (PC Steam)

Ironclad Tactics (PC/Mac)

Takedown: Red Sabre (PC/Mac)

Urban Trial Freestyle (PC Steam)

Saints Row 4 – GATV Pack (PC Steam DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Wild West Pack (PC Steam DLC)

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Ok, I don’t really play browser based games but I finally tried out Card Hunter because of a friend’s constant nagging. I always run for cover when I hear the terms “free-to-play” and “browser-based” but Card Hunter surprised me and oh my God I’m still playing!

The game just launched this week and it’s been getting lots of attention. It’s a combination of the board game HeroQuest and the classic card game Dominion. Created by Irrational Games co-founder Jon Chey, it is the first game from his new studio called Blue Manchu.

Card Hunter looks really simple but playing through the introduction you will realize it is a deep strategic game that seamlessly combines fantasy table-top pen and paper RPGs with board game and collectible card game mechanics into a very well presented video game. Anyone who is even slightly fond of the genres should definitely try it out.

Card Hunter is funded by micro-transactions but playing for a couple of hours now I don’t see any indication that not buying anything will take any of the gameplay experience away… so far.

Head on over to the source link below to try it out!

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Rayman Legends is finally out this week, though you might want to steer out of the way of the PS Vita version of the game as we heard it’s missing some content (until they patch it). Diablo 3 makes its way to consoles as promised, and you can get jiggle with it with Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate *mmphh*, and a new adventure awaits you with the Strawhats in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2.

Here are this week’s vidyas:

 

Rayman Legends (Wii U Retail)

eShop Releases (TBA)

 

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Diablo 3 (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Rayman Legends (PS3/Vita Retail/PSN)

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PS3 PSN)

Castle of Illusions (PS3 PSN)

Chaos Code (PS3 PSN)

Hunter’s Trophy 2: America (PS3 PSN)

Kickbeat (PS3/Vita PSN)

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 (PS3 PSN)

Stella Deus: The Gate of Eternity (PS2 Classic)

Borderlands 2 – Costume Packs (PS3 DLC)

Borderlands 2 – Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 (PS3 DLC)

Grid 2 – Destruction Derby (PS3 DLC)

Metro: Last Light – Tower Pack (PS3 DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Dubstep Gun (Remix) Pack (PS3 DLC)

 

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (Retail)

Diablo 3 (Retail)

Rayman Legends (Retail)

Castle of Illusion (XBLA)

Freefall Racers (XBLA)

Borderlands 2 – Costume Packs (DLC)

Borderlands 2 – Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 (DLC)

Grid 2 – Destruction Derby (DLC)

Metro: Last Light – Tower Pack (DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Dubstep Gun (Remix) Pack (DLC)

Minecraft – Mass Effect Mash-up (DLC)

 

Borderlands 2 – Costume Packs (PC Steam)

Borderlands 2 – Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 (PC Steam)

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PC Steam)

Castle of Illusion Castle of Illusion (PC Steam)

Grid 2 – Destruction Derby (PC Steam)

Huntsman: The Orphanage (PC/Mac)

Metro: Last Light – Tower Pack (PC Steam)

Outlast (PC Steam)

Rayman Legends (PC)

Saints Row 4 – Dubstep Gun (Remix) Pack (PC Steam)

Total War: Rome 2 (PC Steam)

Total War: Rome 2 – Greek States Culture Pack (PC Steam)

Spelunky

Developer: Mossmouth, Bill Software

Publisher: Mossmouth

Available for: PS3 (Aug 2013), PS Vita (Aug 2013), Xbox 360 (2012), PC (2009), Steam (2013)

Reviewed: PS3 and PS Vita version

Spelunky is a game that takes you deep into a deep magical cave filled with treasure and wonders. But don’t let that fairytale premise get to you. If you underestimate this gem of a game from developer Mossmouth, this tough and sometimes controller-hurling platformer will bury you alive.

Randomly generated levels are the backbone mechanic of Spelunky. The genius of it is even though they are all random, every component of the levels seem to work together like clockwork. Unfortunately, they are all working together towards the goal of killing you. They will achieve that goal many times. True story: I died 90 times before I even got a glimpse of the next main area.

Dying in the game can’t be more hardcore. Finger twitched on the jump button while traversing some spikes because of that sneaky spider? It’s all over. When you bite the dust, you start from the beginning of the game (unless you unlock a shortcut), all the money you’ve been saving up for items, including the items you already have, go poof! All gone.

The game will not reward you with tangible power-ups or anything of the like. You use the knowledge you gained to help you on your next foray into the caverns. The aforementioned spikes for example, you will soon learn that walking through them is harmless and will take care that your finger does not stray to the jump button or it’s gonna be spelunker-kebab time. It’s essentially learning from your mistakes and observing how things work so your next try will be more successful but you can’t just memorize everything because of the levels are all random. Genius.

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Rescuing a damsel in distress gives you one more life point for the next level.

You always start with four bombs and four ropes. These help you traverse the levels to suit your needs. Bombs are useful to blast a path to a goal — be it an item/treasure or the exit to the level. The rope enables you to get to hard to reach places or avoid falling to your death. Other items or more of your basic items can be found from crates and pots but the more unique items, like gripping gloves that enables you to climb walls, are sold via a shopkeeper who appears randomly within the levels. There are also other trinkets like stones and bones that you can use in a number of ways like triggering a trap or throwing to kill an enemy when your trusty whip can’t do the job (square button).

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The game’s main trapping is the Adventure mode. This can be played single-player or multiplayer co-op. The PS Vita shines with multiplayer because each player have their own screen and can go wherever they want in the level as opposed to having to stay on the same screen when played on a TV or monitor using multiple controllers. I haven’t tried multiplayer yet so I can’t say anything about it in this review.

Purchasing Spelunky on PSN entitles you to both the PS3 and PS Vita versions (Cross-Buy). The two versions are compatible to play together for multiplayer. I forgot to mention that the multiplayer modes in Spelunky are local only. No online for a game like this is a missed opportunity in my opinion but being able to play this on the go on my PS Vita is a really good trade-off for lack of online.

Spelunky has been available for the PC and from the Xbox Live Marketplace for quite some time now but the PSN version, specifically the PS Vita one is the version to get if you have the system. With how the game plays, you would want to play as much of it as possible to get good at it. And believe me, getting good at it feels awesome.

The Good Stuff:

Challenging gameplay — Game will keep you on your toes all the time. Dying is a learning experience.

Awesome risk-reward system — Trying things out and learning how to tackle various situations is very satisfying. You start every do-over with more knowledge to go further.

Randomly generated levels keeps the game fresh everytime — You can’t just memorize the game so you will have to rely on your experience and skill.

Playing it on anywhere on the PS Vita — Spelunky anywhere. Hellz Yeah.

Cross-Buy and Cross-Play — Buying Spelunky on PSN gets you both PS3 and Vita versions and they can play together. Aww…

The Bad Smelly Pit:

No Online Multiplayer — This is a missed opportunity. You would think being a game that has been out for years now (original PC version was released 2009) and has co-op, they would’ve added online for the 2013 versions. But nooooooooo.

No Big Bosses — I’m not sure if this game needs them, but I love fighting big bosses. So yeah. lol

Things That Could Swing Either Way:

High Difficulty — I love challenging games but believe it or not there are people who don’t! OH MY!

In Closing:

Spelunky‘s challenging gameplay is geared towards the classic core gamer. Try it out if you think you are up to the challenge. Countless hours of fun (and dying) awaits you.

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Here is a video of Everquest Director of Development, David Georgeson, explaining and showing us what SOEmote is all about.

So basically SOEmote is a face-tracking technology that will allow a webcam to track your facial movements and relay that movement to your Everquest character/toon/avatar or whatever. You don’t ever need to press a hotkey or type things like “/sad”, “/laugh”, or “/emowrist”. Everything is done automatically. It also has a voice filter so your voice will sound like whatever race you pick as your avatar. Georgeson explains that this will bring back the “RP” in MMORPG.

It’s still in beta so it’s a little rough around the edges but even in this state it looks pretty awesome. Upcoming next-gen sequel Everquest Next will utilize the technology in its complete form but the current Everquest game (Everquest II) has been updated to have the feature right now.

 

Cool stuff right there.

Here’s another video showcasing the characters and environments in Everquest Next.

 

 

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Bethesda is releasing an Elder Scrolls compilation bundle this September. The Elder Scrolls Anthology will be a collection of all Elder Scrolls game for the PC.

The box will contain:

The Elder Scrolls Arena, The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (plusTribunal and Bloodmoon), The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (plus Knights of the Nine, Shivering Isles), and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (plus Dawnguard, Hearthfire, Dragonborn).

Release date is September 10th. SRP is $80.

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No AAA release this week, which is fine for me as I would like to finish some of my currents before I add new ones into the pot. Cloudberry Kingdom‘s frantic random level gameplay sounds like a good side-game distraction from my backlog grinding.

Skulls of the Shogun gets a PC release this week, coming out of Xbox Live Arcade’s exclusivity thing. It’s a good game that is worth checking out

Here are this week’s vidyas:

*No New Retail Releases. eShop content TBA*

Terraria: Collector’s Edition (PS3 Retail)

Cloudberry Kingdom (PS3 PSN)

The Last Bounty Hunter (PS3 PSN)

Narco Terror (PS3 PSN)

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Vengeance (PS3 DLC)

PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD (Vita PSN)

Puzzle By Nikoli V Slitherlink (Vita PSN)

 

Terraria: Collector’s Edition (Retail)

Cloudberry Kingdom (XBLA)

Narco Terror (XBLA)

 

Awesomenauts – Gnabot (PC/Mac) [Download]

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Vengeance (PC) [Steam]

CastleStorm (PC) [Steam]

Cities in Motion 2 – Trekking Trolleys (PC/Mac) [Download]

Cities in Motion 2 – Wending Waterbuses (PC/Mac) [Download]

Cloudberry Kingdom (PC) [Download]

Farm Frenzy 4 (PC) [Download]

Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny (PC/Mac) [Steam]

Rise of the Triad (PC) [Steam]

Skulls of the Shogun (PC) [Steam]

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These cards are currently exclusive to Datablitz.

Last week I made a post about a Tekken Card game being officially available in Datablitz. The card game was originally all digital on the iOS, Android, and PC (web) platform when launched back in April 2013 while Namco announced that physical cards would be released this July. I certainly wouldn’t imagine fighting game fans, Tekken fighting game fans or even core gamers to give a damn about this card game because it has the killer combination of features that scream “money sink” but In spite of everything that would make us go “meh”, I felt Tekken Card Tournament is a game worth exploring because: a.) it’s a card game (I used to be card flopper a long time ago so there is some appeal and novelty to me) and b.) mobile games are short pick me-up games which are designed to be played over an extended period of time in bursts of short game sessions. Despite the notions of “core gamers” that mobile games do nothing for people but suck them dry of money, these games actually serve the purpose of entertaining people and giving them that instant gratification (of kicking ass) in ways even handheld console can’t. Tell me, when was the last time you fired up your handheld console, got into a game anytime, anywhere, and finished a match online against a real person in under five (5) minutes? Mobile games provide you with that entertainment during the shortest downtime and what better way to enjoy a mobile game with familiar characters from a familiar franchise with sound game mechanics? Mobile games certainly won’t replace core games but they’re here to stay so we might as well enjoy them too whenever we can.

This is  a review of Tekken Card Tournament on how the physical cards function to complement the game itself. I will not treat the physical cards (which you can theoretically play without the mobile app) separately because the focus of the game in general still lies within the digital realm of the game.

Here’s what you need to know about the game for starters:

  1. You need a deck of fifteen (15) cards to play the game. You will be given enough cards to fill out a deck if you play the mobile/web game where you need to make an online account. Otherwise, you will have to buy a lot of booster packs to play the game. There are no starter decks to my knowledge.
  2. You can choose from the following characters: Kazuya, LiliPaul, Nina, Xiaoyu, Panda, Yoshimitsu, and Law while Heihachi is a physical booster pack exclusive.

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  3. Speaking of online, the Tekken Card Tournament app requires you to be connected to the internet to play. #dealwithit
  4. The game is cross platform so you can log in your account on any supported device (iOS/Android/PC).
  5. You can play against computer opponents with three levels of difficulty (easy, medium, and hard) which are unlocked at certain levels or face-off against other players online around the world in the Free Fight (where you can battle people from your friend list or random strangers) or Online World Wide Tournament (ranked matches where winning earns you points and losing decreases said points.)
  6. The goal of the game is to reduce your opponent’s HP to zero and to do that you have three simple commands to choose from every turn:
    1. Focus: This command allows you to draw a card from your deck (both players start with zero card in their hand)
    2. Attack: Choosing this will expend all your cards and deal damage to your opponent. The damage is calculated based on the sum of all the cards’ attack value.
    3. Block:  While self explanatory, the block command can only nullify attack values of the first two cards of your opponent while the maximum hand size is five (5) cards. Against a full hand, you can only block two out of three strikes.

Tekken Card Tournament stays true to its fighting game roots. The action is fast with each player’s turn having a ten (10) second time limit, players are forced to think on their toes and matches will last from 3 to 5 minutes only and that’s pushing it.The game shines when you are able to assemble a proper deck. However, there hurdles to building your deck. Like any collectible/trading card game, buying cards will cost a lot of money. While most cards can be purchased with gold (the game’s in-game currency you can acquire by playing in matches) they are extremely expensive and popular cards are normally unavailable for purchase as singles in the online card market. This is why there are booster packs available in the digital store and the release of physical cards which you can trade with other Tekken Card Tournament players. If you’re not particularly interested in the physical cards, you can trade QR codes of each card with players around the world (in an ideal setup where people don’t scam you) without having to ship cards to each other or just find like minded people locally and trade cards with them.

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There are three types of digital booster packs in Tekken Card Tournament:

  1. First Pack: The only booster pack you can buy with gold. This pack contains three cards and a chance for one to be an elite card: an upgraded basic card with silver borders. Cards from all seven (7) characters will appear randomly. This pack costs 3,000 Gold
  2. Themed Packs: These are sold for credits (real money) and contain three cards where you are guaranteed one (1) elite card and a chance to get a rare card (the next level card after elite, it has a gold foil border). Theme packs focus on four (4) specific characters depending on the set. These packs cost 150 credits.
  3. Ultra Pack: The most expensive booster pack sold for credits contains five (5) cards and guarantees you one rare card, a chance at an elite card, and also a chance to get a super-rare card. This pack costs 400 credits.

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You cannot trade digital cards with players but you can sell cards you don’t need at the card market place for as low as ten times the card’s value, check out the simple list below:

  1. Basic cards (bronze boarders) cost 5,000 gold to buy and sell for 500 gold.
  2. Elite cards (silver boarders) cost 20,000 gold to buy and sell for 5,000 gold.
  3. Rare cards (gold foil) cost 80,000 gold to buy and sell for 40,000 gold.
  4. Super Rare Cards (marked “SR” with a special gold stamp boarders) cost 640,000 gold to buy and sell for 320,000 gold.

While it looks like you will be compelled to spend money to enjoy the game, you can take the long route of grinding for gold AND credits to complete your deck. That’s right, you can earn credits through ranking up, rolling it as a match bonus reward, unlocking simple achievements (such as playing in matches X times), and participating in the online world-wide tournament (all rankers no matter what position will receive credits).

You can also earn gold in a similar fashion through match bonus rewards, achievements, and a daily log in reward where each consecutive day you log in ads a +1 to the multiplier of the gold bonus you get for  just logging in. As of this moment, I am on my 8th consecutive day logged in so I have a x8 multiplier on my gold reward. (Update: the maximum multiplier is apparently x10)

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While I spent money to fast-track my game, for those who would like to grind up, I suggest that you keep your gold for purchasing cards directly, fusing cards (combining 3 cards of the same kind to upgrade it to the next level) and save up your credits for Ultra Packs to be guaranteed 40,000 gold and potentially earn 320,000 gold if you score a Super Rare Card when you pick up a card you don’t need, better if you get the cards you need from the booster pack but that rarely happens, especially to me. I strongly suggest you don’t buy First Packs because your end-game will be to acquire Rare Cards above all, these gold-only booster packs only give you a chance for Elite Cards not even a guarantee. First Packs are pretty much traps to make you spend your gold and get frustrated at not getting anything you need which may in turn compel you to spend real money to get cards to sell for gold.

Even with all the generous bonuses you get, completing a deck without spending money will take a lot of time. We’re talking several weeks of dedicated playing and possibly getting your ass kicked every so often until you can build a decent deck to fight with other players online. You also have to deal with stamina issues when grinding. Borrowing a title familiar to people, if you know Mafia Wars, you know what stamina/energy/or something does for you. You need stamina to fight in battles whether it is against the computer or other people and you’ve got only five (5) bars of that. You recover one (1) stamina bar every twenty-five (25) minutes so that’s only five (5) battles every hundred hours or so. You could purchase a full stamina bar for 25 credits but you’re better off saving that for booster packs. While you need stamina to earn XP to level-up and get gold, you can still challenge your friends or fight with other people online in Free Battle mode to familiarize yourself with your deck, you will gain no XP, Gold, or bonus rewards if you participate in a battle without stamina.

 

Decks consisting of rare cards are impossible to beat if your deck is just composed of random cards slapped together because that’s all you have. You’ll be stuck fighting the computer opponent mostly on easy until you are able to fill out your deck with decent basic or elite cards including a power card, which increase your character’s HP and give you special buffs or perks during the start of a match or for the duration of the entire match. You need at least a basic power card to thrive in any game mode. You should aim to stock your deck with Elite Cards and Rare Cards with the proper abilities depending on what type of game play style you want.

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For example, I prefer suppressing my opponent’s ability to strike and to accumulate cards so I’m using Lili whose abilities consist of damage modifiers and free parries which cancels the attack value of an opponent’s card  when their cards in play (or their hand) consists of 3 cards or more to make dual exchanges (when both players use the strike command) extremely unfavorable to force them to limit the cards on hand, or to be afraid and lose their hands in fear of getting damaged. One nice rule in this game is when both players use the block command three times in a row, it forces everyone to discard their hand so turtles get penalized hard but this rules can also be used as a strategy to get out of a stalemates where you can’t attack because it will leave you open to a finishing blow if your opponent blocks your strike.

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Each character has a unique playing style described by the game when you are selecting your first character and deck and just to give another example of varying play styles, Paul Phoenix’s attack value on cards are extremely high, some of them gain exorbitant amounts of bonus damage when activated under certain conditions. He can beat you in one strike if you’re unlucky or your opponent manages to setup his attack perfectly but the draw back with this deck is the fact that most of his powerful cards either deal damage in some way so if you are able to suppress his attacks by allowing no damage to go through, a Paul user can beat himself without you having to strike him at all from taking too much damage from his own cards.

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There is little need to mention the physical cards unless you are invested in the game like I am. While seemingly having a higher rate of acquiring Super Rare Cards, physical booster packs also guarantee you a Rare Card in ever pack but also includes a collectible artwork card which does nothing for you in the game. I got four (4) artwork cards out of the five (5) packs I bought so out of the twenty cards (each booster pack contains five cards) I got, four of them are  completely useless where it matters, the card game. It’s worth noting that I have opened more than ten Ultra Packs from the in-game store from spending real cash and using the credits I earned in-game and did not get a single Super Rare (SR) Card. My assumption is that there is probably a guarantee of a few SR Cards in every box. On top of that, you can always trade cards you don’t need for cards that you actually need with other players and the fact that you can acquire cards for your in-app deck by scanning QR Codes means you can trade cards without having to exchange them physically if the person you’re dealing with isn’t a douchebag who will scan your card and block you from whatever form of communication you use to broker the deal. 

Good Points:

  • Deep game play mechanics with a fast pace makes matches quick and satisfying, that’s pretty good for a card game.
  • The game allows you to earn credits just by playing the game regularly so you don’t have to bust open your wallet every time you need new cards or a booster pack.
  • Regular card updates keep characters interesting and also balances out overpowered decks.
  • The graphics are good for a mobile game and while the maps and songs are limited, they stay true to the Tekken style.

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Bad Points:

  • AR Cards only have one pose regardless of card rarity. They quickly lose their novelty, as in right after you realize you cannot pose your AR character.
  • Artwork cards shouldn’t be part of the five (5) card booster pack. Come on, people buying these booster packs want to play a game more than they want to collect nice looking cards that do absolutely nothing.
  • Online play can sometimes be disrupted for unknown reasons. You can win or lose matches by default depending on whose internet gives out first.
  • The matchmaking system may need some tweaks to be able to accommodate and encourage new players to continue playing by adding match ladders based on deck quality (they are ranked from D to A++). The current system can pit my B rank deck against puny D rank decks. While that’s fun and all with an instant win, I don’t see new players enjoying that very much.
  • While Heihachi is a physical card edition exclusive, Namco Bandai does Tekken Card Tournament players no favors by not including a starter deck for Heihachi. You’ll have to buy A LOT of booster packs to get enough cards to complete a Heihachi deck. I only have three (3) Heihachi cards while one of them is a Power Card so that’s 13 more cards to go (hooray…)

Things That Swing Either Way:

  • Micro-transactions are necessary but I know people will not welcome the idea in general because there is the potential to spend more money on these cards than on a retail game but then again, the question you have to ask yourself is how long does one play a game exactly? PVP-centric games like Tekken Card Tournament can be played for far longer than any retail game but it all depends on how the game developers implemented new content to keep the game refreshing.
  • The game is always online so people with mobile phones will still need a data plan or a mobile connection to the internet to take the game anywhere and in places with bad reception (I’m looking at Globe), you won’t be able to play your game properly.

In conclusion:

Tekken Card Tournament requires a lot of patience and dedication to build a decent deck to enjoy the game properly. While the in-game rewards can help you gain cards without spending money, buying booster packs are not that big of a cash grab as you can be smart about your purchases to manage your in-game and real money funds to yield the most cards out of what you spend. The physical cards definitely opens more doors for players to acquire the cards they need without having to grind or rely on booster packs. The fast paced game play (matches finish under five minutes) allows you to enjoy a match anytime anywhere which is great if you’re out a lot or too busy to play games which require you to invest an hour or so in playing to actually enjoy a playing session. The great thing about integrating a card game with an online system is the fact that you can actually get something out of a match with another person to acquire more cards with. When was the last time you played a game of Magic: The Gathering with other people and got a new card out of it? Never, unless you place cards up as ante. I’ll continue playing Tekken Card Tournament for now and I’ll even spend money on it again eventually but in the meantime, I’ll be content with the cards I got and grind up for the the rest. If you’re playing the game now, you can look me up: mrslash.

Tekken Card Tournament physical cards are solely distributed by Datablitz. They are sold at P249 which isn’t far from the $5.55 SRP placed on it. You should call a branch near you to inquire and reserve booster packs if you’re interested in buying some.

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Neil Gaiman, celebrated author of such classics as Sandman and American Gods (to name a few) is coming out with his first foray into the gaming industry with Wayward Manor. Neil is working with The Odd Gentleman, a lesser-known game developer chosen by Gaiman himself.

In the introduction trailer (embedded above), Gaiman lets us in the basic premise of the game: You play the dead occupant of a large house in England and it is your duty to scare away the new living tenants.

Sounds like Home Alone starring Macabre Culkin. lol

No gameplay footage released yet.

Pre-orders are now available on the official website, and doing so will give you a chance to score merchandise and a $10,000 dinner with Sandman’s master — “The single spookiest dinner anybody has ever had … in Los Angeles”, as he describes it.

Wayward Manor is scheduled to release on PC, Mac, and tablets this Fall.

Source: Official Site

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I don’t know about you guys, but I’m buying Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection and I will win. Fifty dollars for a many Metal Gears… I love me some of that!

This week also sees the release of Civilization V: Brave New World and I know a few people who want this game really bad.

Here are this week’s vidyas:

*No New Retail Releases. eShop content TBA*

 

Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection (PS3 Retail)

NCAA Football 14 (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Binary Domain (PS3 PSN)

Castle Shikigami 2 (PS2 Classic)

Dynasty Tactics 2 (PS2 Classic)

History: Legends of War: Patton (PS3/Vita PSN)

Lego Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey (PS3 PSN)

Aabs Animals (Vita PSN)

Coconut Dodge Revitalised (Vita PSN)

Total Recoil (Vita PSN)

Dark (Retail)
NCAA Football 14 (Retail)
*XBLM Releases TBA*

Civilization V: Brave New World (PC/Mac)

Shadow Warrior Classic Redux (PC) [Steam]

Toki Tori 2+ (PC/Mac) [Steam]

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IGN has reported that the much-awaited DLC for Telltale’s Game of the (last) Year will be releasing sooner than we’ve expected.

How soon? Well, if you have the game on the PlayStation 3 and have a US PSN account then you can download 400 Days tomorrow! Other platforms will get it shortly after. 400

How shortly after? Here:

  • Tuesday, July 2nd – PlayStation Network (North America)
  • Wednesday, July 3rd – PC/Mac (Steam, Telltale Games Store)
  • Friday, July 5th – Xbox Live (Worldwide)
  • Wednesday, July 10th – PlayStation Network (Europe)
  • Thursday, July 11th – iOS (Worldwide)

My predictions on the story? Clementine versus Ellie (The Last of Us) in a steel-cage match.

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My new favorite character after SiMo, the coffee-making sniper droid.

Last week marked the release of the first DLC for Sanctum 2, a hybrid FPSxTower Defense game by Coffee Stain Studio. This DLC introduces the ballista-touting-rogue-insurgent-shorty-of-a-rebel named Tsygan and controlling her is a blast!  Her main weapon (Ballista) can deal the most amount of damage among all weapons when fully charged or deal damage over time (DOT) with pulsing bolts which release shock waves damaging all creep around the target it impales. That ain’t even the kicker, the final round in Tsygan’s weapon deals MASSIVE amounts of damage. We’re looking at a hit modifier of at least 200%. I don’t have a definite number because I don’t really bother to do math while killing things. This last shot modifier apparently also affects the DOT of her Ballista’s secondary fire (DOT pulse bolts) and the SMG’s poison darts so Tsygan is pretty much THE badass DPS machine right now. Hitting weak spots takes some adjustment because the Ballista fires at an arc so you need to adjust your aim depending on the distance of the target to some extent; nothing a little muscle memory can’t solve. The new secondary weapon, Gatling Laser, is also pretty bad-ass. It has high rate-of-fire, long range, and even deals damage over time on everything it hits. The secondary fire (right mouse button) of the Gatling Laser charges up the weapon and deals are-of-effect (AOE) damage around your character. It can be used as crowd control or concentrated fire on a single target making it my new favorite secondary weapon as well, with the SMG in a close second.

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The the number of “+” signs? That’s the number of times mutators evolved the blasted creep.

The new creep introduced in this DLC can be a real pain, especially when you are trying to complete the five (5) feats of strength or when you neglect their presence in the battlefield. Mutators are the worst. They basically shoot gunk at other creep to increase their health and if left alone will eventually evolve normal creep to epic boss levels. Healers aren’t that bad because they expose themselves in the air unlike the mutators who stay in the rear which makes them difficult to kill but likewise can be a big threat if you don’t kill them off immediately.

The four (4) new maps bring all sorts of new challenges with its layout but mostly because of the Mutators and Healers thrown into the mix. They are also a massive pain when you attempt to finish them with the five (5) feats of strength (each feat basically makes the game harder). I haven’t gotten around finishing the feats of strength with the original content but I have made some attempts on finishing the new maps with the feats only to repeatedly fail so hard at them even with Tsygan’s bad-ass DPS abilities. 

Surprisingly, I haven’t unlocked any of the new perks but I was able to finish all four (4) new maps. It looks like I’ll have to start grinding or playing old maps with feats of strength on to take my level to 20 and beyond (I’m currently level 19) in order to try out the companion bot (pet). I also haven’t gotten around using the new towers namely the Range Spire (increase surrounding tower’s attack range) and Slow Field Dispenser (allows your character to take portable mines to slow down creep on the fly)I’m not really a fan of support towers since I just simply go all DPS with some Kairos (tower which slows creep) to create choke points. It seems like I’ll have to explore more tower placement tactics if I want to accomplish all maps with the feats of strength on though. However, if you just want to finish the game without challenging yourself too much, you need not bother with the new perks of towers.

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Good Points:

  • The new weapons bring in more fun factor with higher damage output.
  • Maps are still well designed and very challenging when attempting to finish with the five (5) feats of strength on.
  • The new creep bring in a new set of challenges.

Bad Points:

  • You can’t acquire all the new feats and towers without grinding which is rather pointless.

Things that can swing either way:

  • I suppose if you hate getting your ass kicked, you will not like Sanctum 2 or any of its DLC.

Sanctum 2 is available on Steam and Xbox 360 for $14.99 and the first DLC: Road to Elysion can be purchased for $3.99. You can also get a season pass for all four (4) planned DLC for $11.99.

Coffee Stain Studio’s tower defense FPS hybrid: Sanctum 2 just released its first expansion pack: Road to Elysion. This first of four planned DLC expansions introduces a new playable character who is deeply tied up with the game’s story line. If you haven’t read my review of the game, delving more into the story line probably means more comic panels. I’m still disappointed about that approach but hey, new playable character, new weapons, and new perks which include a pet robot? There are more reasons to be excited than disappointed with Road to Elysion. I’ll certainly give some impressions as soon as I’ve gone through the expansion.Santcum2RTE_TSYGAN01 Oh yeah, check out their promo video above too, it’s hilarious.

Road to Elysion Features:

• New Playable Character and Weapons – Tsygan, the “Rogue Insurgent”, who also introduces the Gatling Laser and handheld Ballista to the game.
Four New Maps – These maps will introduce new tactics to make things more refreshing for those who played the hell out of Sanctum 2 already.
• Two New Towers – The Range Spire dramatically increases the reach of nearby offensive towers and the Slow Field Dispenser dramatically hinders the speed of enemies to make choke points more effective.
Enchanced Enemies – New support monsters can heal or mutate attacking creep to give you all sorts of new problems and if that isn’t enough, you’ll have to deal with an aerial boss monster this time around.
• Additional Perks – Customize your character even more with six new perks, including one that gives you an in-game pet robot that will fight for you.

The Sanctum 2: Road to Elysion DLC is now available on Steam for $3.99 and on Xbox Live Marketplace for 1200 MS Points. You will need the full version of Sanctum 2 to play the DLC which goes for $14.99 on said platforms. But if you really like Sanctum 2 like me, you’re better off getting the season pass for all four (4) planned DLC at only $11.99.

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There’s a handful of noteworthy releases this week: The Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool comes out with his own starring multiplatform game, Capcom X Sega X Namco Bandai’s tactical franchise mash-up Project X Zone is unleashed, and the awesome PS Vita remake of Muramasa finally arrives.

Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers also will be downloadable for your platform of choice with sealed-deck play.

Here’s this week’s vidyas:

Lego Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey (3DS Retail)

Project X Zone (3DS Retail)

Kokuga (3DS eShop)

Deadpool (PS3 Retail)

Ride to Hell: Retribution (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Hotline Miami (PS3/Vita PSN)

Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers (PS3 PSN)

Pool Nation (PS3 PSN)

Riding Star (PS2 Classic)

Warship Gunner (PS2 Classic)

Spartacus Legends (PS3 PSN)

Borderlands 2 – Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep (PS3 DLC)

Lego Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey (Vita Retail)

Muramasa Rebirth (Vita Retail/PSN)

Deadpool (Retail)

Ride to Hell: Retribution (Retail)

Doodle Jump (XBLA)

Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers (XBLA)

Spartacus Legends (XBLA)

Borderlands 2 – Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep (DLC)

Gears of War: Judgment – Lost Relics Map Pack (DLC)

Borderlands 2 – Tiny Tina’s Assault (PC/Steam DLC)

Company of Heroes 2 (PC)

Deadpool (PC/Steam)

Endless Space – Disharmony (PC/Steam)

Gun Monkeys (PC/Mac/Steam)

Jack Keane 2: The Fire Within (PC/Steam)

Joe Danger (PC/Steam)

Joe Danger 2: The Movie (PC/Steam)

Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers (PC/Steam)

Ride to Hell: Retribution (PC/Steam)

The Sims 3 – Island Paradise (PC/Mac Retail)

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unepicIt seems like independent games attempting to ape the feel of classic Metroidvania titles are a dime a dozen, but few actually nail the gameplay, pacing and atmosphere required to be a success in the genre. Francisco Téllez de Meneses’ UnEpic is then somewhat of a rarity; despite some serious AI jank and flaws manages to be one of the more impressive entries in the genre. It has been on Steam Greenlight for a while but I’ve only gotten around to checking it out today. Eight buckaroos on Steam gets you “early access” to the game which translates to the full single-player experience and a partially-done multiplayer beta, though I never really play through the multiplayer bits of any story-driven game I touch (The Last of Us and Tomb Raider have equally-awkward multiplayer modes that I could have done without) so I didn’t mind.

UnEpic‘s main narrative does not belie its title—you play as a guy playing D&D with his crew, who gets lost coming back from the bathroom and ends up in a trap-filled castle chock-full of medieval enemies and the like. I like games that don’t shove story down your throat so UnEpic is right down my alley as everything is straightforward and streamlined. I’ve only played through a couple of hours so this is more like a heads-up post: from what I’ve played so far it’s fairly excellent. There’s tons of spaces to explore, combat is really satisfying (and even includes a leveling system where you get to assign points to various perks) and the loot aspect of it is addicting.

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Cons so far include the weird inclusion of some crafting elements into the game; personally I’d rather have the game create sweet loot drops for me instead of awkwardly trying to mix and match items together. Oddly enough I have no problems with crafting mechanics on games that focus on it as their primary gameplay component like the Atelier games (well that just opened me up for public shaming, didn’t it?) but I don’t like how it gets shoehorned on genres that have no business running them. The bosses suffer from a few AI quirks as well, lots of “safe spots” where enemies don’t exactly know how to get to you and they choose to just hang around the screen and do nothing but look menacing.

Apart from the gameplay victories, the rest of the game exudes a certain charm that doesn’t play very well with its rather amateurish art direction. I highly recommend turning on the “UnEnglish” language option in the game settings for some poorly-translated dialogue hilarity. It’s a lot of fun, and if you’ve been burned by recent Castlevania games not quite scratching that exploration itch, you’ll enjoy UnEpic.

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Van Hellsing 2 Box Art

Esteemed indie developer NeocoreGames announced today The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II for PC, bringing players the follow-up to the popular gothic-noir steampunk action-RPG influenced by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Returning fans will be able to import their characters from the first adventure, while new hunters will have the opportunity to create their own legendary monster-hunter.

“In the first game it all seemed so simple,” said Viktor Juhász, narrative designer at NeocoreGames, “defeat the mad scientist, free the land and ride into the sunset, but sometimes the fall of a villain only opens the way to more sinister foes.”

The incredible adventures continue, and Van Helsing, the famous monster-hunter returns to save the day again with the help of his charming, ghostly companion, Lady Katarina. The gothic metropolis of weird science is on the brink of destruction as chaos rules the streets and a new enemy plots revenge. It’s time to enter the dark side of Borgova and the forbidden wilderness, but beware: you are not the only one behind a mask.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, currently available worldwide for $14.99 via Steam on Windows® PC, is a one-of-a-kind action-RPG that pits players in fierce battles against familiar supernatural foes and enables players to partake in a tower-defense mini-game within Van Helsing’s upgradable lair to ward off evil that attempt to overrun the base by way of force.

Our resident weeaboo (who actually speaks pretty good Japanese for real), Daba Myroad made a review for the first game here. But to cut to the chase, he gives it a good rating of 4.5/5. From the looks of it, the first game seems wildly successful to warrant an immediate development of a sequel.

Author’s Note: This is a press release from the Neocore Game’s PR agency. Everything in this post except the last paragraph is a direct copy of their press release.