Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t initially excited to play Final Fantasy XV. As a longtime fan of the Final Fantasy series who has played and completed every single core title and many of the secondary titles since its inception, I felt almost obligated to play this side story-turned main title. Final Fantasy XV was originally introduced as Final Fantasy XIII Versus as a part of the XIII universe along with Final Fantasy Agito XIII (later re-branded as Type-0). After 10 years of production the long-awaited FFXIII title was finally launched as Final Fantasy XV, now a primary title of the Final Fantasy Franchise.

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(image courtesy of Square Enix)

Prior to FFXV’s release, Square Enix provided the fans with an initial demo, a revamped version of said demo, and a second demo. With each demo release the games battle system was changed and tweaked to accommodate the demands of the players and subsequently was the catalyst for piquing my interest in the game. Let’s see how the newest edition of Square Enix‘s flagship title stacks up to the expectations of this Final Fantasy veteran!

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Greetings Fellow Nerds!
Welcome to the newly-revamped GamerZone column, a monthly installment where we will be showcasing and reviewing many different great games out there! For the relauinch, we’ve got a bit of a bonus (as in, yes, there will be TWO this first month!) with a special retro-review of Telltale Games’ Back to the Future: The Game by our newest staff writer, Mr. Todd A. Davis. Enjoy and stay tuned for more later this month! Take it away, Todd!

I’m fairly new to the whole video-game-review thing, but I’ll give it my best. Thank you in advance for your patience. I’ll try to make it worth your while.

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(image courtesy of Telltale Games)

Like every child of the 80’s, who am I kidding? Like everyone, EVER, I love the Back to the Future franchise. (I believe US Immigration issues box sets with new citizenships.) So when they announced in 2011 that there was a new game coming out, I was like, “This is gonna be heavy!”

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As I started my research for this piece, I realized something VERY quickly. There are a lot of RPGs out there and as I read deeper, it occurred to me that technically speaking, EVERY video game is (in a way) a role playing game. You assume control of a character and use them to collect items they need to alter your normal actions in order to complete a task…more or less. Be it a mushroom that makes you grow twice your normal size or a spell that you cast to do all the ass-kicking for you while you finish your homework (I wasn’t the only one, was I?), nearly every digital gaming experience can, in some form or another, be classified as an RPG.

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Okay, maybe not Tetris, settle down. So that’s definitely an over simplification, but nonetheless makes an impossibly large list to choose from. Knowing that, stereotypically, RPGs are widely recognized as either medieval or futuristic fantasy based adventures; I thought this might be too exclusive a definition. Therefore, I tried to break it down into franchises that focused on different aspects of gameplay, as well as the revolutionary franchises that set the standard for games we have today. That being said, this is my personal list and should not be held to any sort of standard as the end-all, be-all of “best of” lists.

So let’s get to it…
Todd’s Top 10 Role Playing Video Game Franchises/Series’
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Just in case you didn’t get online yesterday and see the (literally) MILLIONS of posts about it all over social media, news media, and well, just about everywhere else on the web, Nintendo is back!  No, this is not a drill, yes, this is 100% legitmate, and in fact, let me repeat this for dramatic effect:  NINTENDO. IS. BACK.

Yesterday, Nintendo officially announced its newest system – the Nintendo Switch (formerly known in little more than rumors as “Project NX”). Before we go any further with this, have a look at the OFFICIAL trailer released by Nintendo themselves yesterday (that by the way, is already at over TEN MILLION views in less than 24hrs as of the time of this writing)…

We’ll give you a moment to breathe and let that sink in.
You good? Okay! Let’s continue!

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In what might just be the biggest news of the year to the gaming world, Bethesda Softworks has announced the official release date of ‘Skyrim: Special Edition’ – the fully next-gen remastered version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Windows PC.

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(image courtesy of Bethesda Softworks)

October 28, 2016 is the big day, and gamers all around the world, and of course all over the internet are buzzing about it and its many new improvements.

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a side-by-side comparison (image courtesy of Bethesda Softworks)

Most notably is the fact of just how much better, well, everything looks. The graphics and visuals are far superior to its previous incarnation, which was released for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Windows PC back in November of 2011 (11/11/11 to be exact).

The other big news is that Xbox One edition of the game WILL support mods, whereas the PS4 version WILL NOT. This has understandably caused quite the frenzy among both Xbox One and PS4 console gamers, for exactly the reasons you might think on both sides. Of course, mods are nothing new to PC gamers, who will of course have them yet again. Although causing quite the uproar, it is not exactly surprising considering that Xbox One consoles already have mods for Bethesda‘s OTHER big title, Fallout 4, whereas PS4 also does not. Whether this affects sales figures on either console remains to be seen.

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CLEVELAND, OH – Award-winning composers and dark music pioneers Midnight Syndicate have released the Zombies!!! Official Board Game Soundtrack.  
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The new release features Midnight Syndicate‘s signature blend of sound effects and instrumental music set in the modern day, post-zombie apocalypse world of the Zombies!!! board game.  “We wanted to design a soundtrack that would not only heighten the Zombies!!! game play experience, but also appeal to all fans of zombies and our friends in the haunted attraction industry,” said Edward Douglas.  “I think we were able to achieve that.”
 
“Given the character and core elements of the game, I think that both of us immediately felt that this album should focus on having a more modern, aggressive sound. In order to achieve that, we brought in a lot of electronic and percussive instruments and kept the fundamental game scenarios firmly in mind, approaching it more as an actual soundtrack than as a collection of songs built around a particular theme or setting. While there are a few tracks that are more situation or location-specific, most are intended to evoke the general feel and atmosphere of the game world, allowing you to play along without interruption,” added Gavin Goszka.

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Welcome to No Man’s Sky, the largest game universe ever created!

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So what is No Man’s Sky you ask? It’s a first person ‘shooter style’ game built upon predominately exploration and survival that is so massive that, according to it’s creators, would take you roughly 5 billion years to explore every inch of the game. Let’s see how this monster of seemingly infinite game play hours stacks up!

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock-type geodude (and even that might not be a good excuse, really) you’ve probably already heard all about Pokémon GO. The new augmented reality mobile game from California-based software company Niantic, Inc. has absolutely taken the world by storm and has become something of a cultural phenomenon since its release earlier this month.

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(image courtesy of Niantic, Inc.)

Pokémon GO, available for free download on iOS and Android isn’t even a month old, yet it’s already all over… well, everything. Social media is buzzing about it (stronger than any political rantings, major sporting events, blockbuster movies, or perhaps even memes), news outlets (yes, even the “mainstream” ones like your local newspaper or TV newscasts) are giving it major coverage, and just about anywhere you go, you’re sure to see several people wandering about with smartphones-in-hand looking for Pokémon. But popularity aside, is this game truly, actually that good?  Read on to see for yourselves!

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For those of you that have been living under a rock (or in an underground vault) Fallout 4 has been absolutely dominating the video game market for the better part of 2016.

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(image courtesy of Bethesda Softworks)

Bethesda Softworks recently released Fallout 4: Far Harbor, the third DLC, and first true expansion on the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. How did it measure up? Read on to find out for yourselves!

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After much speculation, Gearbox Software unveiled their next project; which is none other than the highly anticipated Borderlands 3.  During their panel at this weekend’s PAX EastRandy Pitchford of Gearbox announced that “obviously, there’s going to be another Borderlands.”

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Following the huge announcement, and subsequent fanfare, Pitchford informed that “it may not actually be called Borderlands 3” and that the name is “still an undecided matter.” Furthermore, it was also confirmed that the art director for the game is none other than Scott Kester, known for his work on Battleborn.

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