Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Spotlight - Scalebound

Scalebound
Xbox One
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: Late 2016







Fans of How to Train Your Dragon will soon be able to live out the movie. In this action RPG you control a dragon sidekick that you are bonded to in fighting a multitude of enemies. You are not completely helpless, as the main character Drew can use swords, arrows, and other weaponry to combat the enemies as well. He even has the ability to use a super form to shapeshift and increase strength to go toe to toe with larger, more intimidating enemies.

Enemies range from helpless soldiers to larger more intimidating creatures of Draconis, hinting at large scale boss fights or massive battles with armies of troops.

With any RPG, customization is available to tailor your inventory and weaponry to your liking. Your companion dragon can be chosen and evolved, customized in both look and battle approach.  Skill points can be assigned after gaining them from battle performance, strengthening Drew or boosting his healing to his bonded dragon.

The game will also feature a four player cooperative mode, though not much is known about it at this time.

More details are sure to come, but the gameplay video alone looks promising with potential for massive bosses and memorable encounters.

Scalebound is currently set to release late next year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Resident Evil 0 Retail Release Date


Hot off the heels of the Resident Evil 2 remake announcement, there is now an official date for Resident Evil 0 - This January,.

This title will be bundled with Resident Evil HD Remake and will retail for $39.99 for Xbox One and Playstation 4. If you already own a copy of the HD remake, then a digital version will also be available for $19.99, but the release of this is unclear as of now. [1]

It also turns out that Albert Wesker will be available in this mode, coming with his own abilities to be more than a simple skin to choose.

[1] - Gameinformer - [Update] Resident Evil 0 HD Has a Retail Release Date in January, Digital Timing not Finalized - http://www.gameinformer.com/games/resident_evil_0/b/xboxone/archive/2015/09/01/resident-evil-0-hd-has-a-retail-release-date-digital-still-early-2016.aspx

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Uncharted 4 is Charted for Release This Spring

The latest installment in the popular Uncharted franchise, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, finally has a date to put on your calendar. Playstation 4 owners will be able to play the much anticipated installment on March 18th. [1]


There are two special editions to choose from:

In the Uncharted 4: Special Edition you will find:
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Blu Ray
  • Collectible Steel Bookcase
  • 48 page hardcover art book
  • Naughty Dog and Pirate Sigil Sticker Sheet
  • Naughty Dog Points to unlock multiplayer content

Uncharted 4: Libertalia Collector's Edition
  • 12" Nathan Drake Statue
  • Three multiplayer outfits
  • Three custom weapon skins
  • Three custom ball caps
  • Madagascar Sidekick Outfits
  • Exclusive dagger taunt
  • Thief's End Dynamic Theme
You can also pre-order Digital Standard Editions/Deluxe Editions featuring a lot of the aforementioned content. 

[1] - Playstation Blog - Uncharted 4 release date announced, collector's editions detailed - blog.eu.playstation.com/2015/08/31/uncharted-4-release-date-announced-collectors-editions-detailed/

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Review - Drop it Like It's Hot

Score: 7.5 / 10
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Nintendo 3DS
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: July 21st, 2012





Pros:
  • Classic Kingdom Hearts combat alive and well
  • Disney inspired worlds are true to their source material
  • Dream Eater mechanic is enjoyable for collectors at heart
  • More challenging boss encounters than previous titles
Cons:
  • Drop mechanic does little besides interrupt your current session
  • Worlds can feel empty and closed off
  • Command List is tough to navigate on the fly to the ability you want
You know that feeling you get when you are playing a game, and you are completely in the zone but the batteries in your controller give out and the game pauses, interrupting the very intense fight you were just about to overcome? Square Enix decided to make a game based around that premise with Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. The fun of Kingdom Hearts combat is there, and the enjoyable atmosphere of classic Disney films are ever present; but all of that is tucked away beneath a game mechanic that adds little to the experience besides the continual glance at a clock, wondering how much time is left before your narcolepsy takes over and you are forced to live out the plot of The Hangover in piecing together what you were doing.

Careful with that sword Minnie!
Following the events of the second game, you pick up with Sora and Roku as they work toward their Master Class Training for Keyblade Masters. This is all to prepare for the events of the third installment. They must both "wake the ones who sleep" and dive into the dream world in order to complete their training. If you are new to the series, prepare to be overwhelmed by six games worth of backstory and terminology. If you are an active follower of the series...prepare to be overwhelmed by six games of backstory and terminology you forgot. The plot is an intriguing journey, but requires a lot of previous knowledge to truly enjoy. There are still the simple tales of each dream world you visit, playing out events of the movies almost shot for shot; but the overarching premise is the central focus of your mission. While new players can eventually piece it all together, those who have been committed to the franchise will have a true appreciation of how it all plays out.

The basis of the game is swapping between Riku and Sora as they fight their way through waves of dream eaters, ultimately facing a boss before saving the world and moving to the next Disney inspired tapestry. The primary drop mechanic is meant to intertwine these two tales, but ultimately feels like I am playing two separate save files of the same game. There are items to hold off from dropping and each time you drop, you can boost the other character depending on how much you gathered during your set time. Despite all of this, the mechanic does too little to have any real effect other than interrupting a boss encounter or story progression. Luckily you can drop at any time, so if you prefer to finish out a world you can drop immediately after taking control of the other character.

Please don't fall asleep at the wheel...
The worlds you explore are what makes Kingdom Hearts so memorable, and the variety offered in Dream Drop still leave you feeling a sense of childish excitement as the title card for each world lights up. The disappointing beginning worlds of Tron and Notre Dame left a lot to be desired with repeating hallways and textures, but soon the animated world of the Mousekateers or wonderment of Dumbo takes over and reminds you why you enjoy the series in the first place. Though fun to look at the worlds themselves feel less lively than previous games, with empty corridors and towns. There are a few open areas to encourage exploration and many chests tucked behind corners or tops of buildings.

Veterans of the series should feel right at home with the combat system. You vary between hacking away at enemies or abilities from your command list, which are automatically shuffled to your ability button while others are on cooldown. You pick from a wide range of abilities to put on this command list, with the potential to tailor it for bosses or multiple enemies. The issue is that it can be difficult to cycle to the command you really want, oftentimes trying to find a cure spell while being harassed by a boss. There is also a free-running component that allows Sora/Riku to grind rails or fly off walls, adding much more speed and ferocity to traversing the maps.

New to the series are the Dream Eater companions. Gathering materials from fallen enemies you can create a Spirit that acts as your second and third party member. Each Spirit is akin to Pokemon, with varying abilities and effects that grow stronger as you fight with them. There is also the ability to fight with your spirit in Flip Mode, an arena like mini game that allows you to battle AI controlled or player controller spirits using the bottom screen to play a numbers game to attack or defend. While an interesting concept, I miss being able to fight alongside the Disney characters, and the lost opportunity of fighting alongside the Three Mousekateers or the Hunchback of Notre Dame left me ultimately disappointed.

Snorlax and Snubbull, I choose you!

Dream Drop is a game that is constantly interrupted, but still enjoyable for fans of the series. There are a ton of Spirit customizations, treasure chests, and side collectibles to power and strengthen your team as you see fit. The worlds, though initially dull, soon become much more alive and unique. The lost potential is hard to shake off, but all in all, if you love Kingdom Hearts you are able to look past the bizarre outer shell to what makes the series fun.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Iron Banner Week is Live



Iron Banner has returned again for the week of July 28th. This PvP event has players pitted in Controlling zones and earning reputation for goodies from the vendor. Here is a list of the possible gear for this week:

New Titan Helmet
New Hunter Helmet




New Warlock Helmet