CGMagazine https://www.cgmagonline.com Comics Gaming Magazine Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:32:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 58109468 Valkyria Revolution Receives Launch Date and Special Edition https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/27/valkyria-revolution-receives-launch-date-and-special-edition/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/27/valkyria-revolution-receives-launch-date-and-special-edition/#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:32:17 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97995

By Remington Joseph

Valkyria Revolution, Sega’s newest title in the Valkyria Chronicles series will release in North America on June 27, 2017 along with a special collector’s edition. Valkyria Revolution is a spin-off to the Valkriya Chronicles Series, set one hundred years prior to the first game. Unlike the main series, Valkryia Revolution uses real-time combat blended with […]

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By Remington Joseph

Valkyria Revolution, Sega’s newest title in the Valkyria Chronicles series will release in North America on June 27, 2017 along with a special collector’s edition.

Valkyria Revolution is a spin-off to the Valkriya Chronicles Series, set one hundred years prior to the first game. Unlike the main series, Valkryia Revolution uses real-time combat blended with some tactical strategy rather than the turn-based system that the series is known for. Players follow the captain and commanding officer for the Ani-Valkyria squad as he seeks vengeance against the Ruzhien Imperial Army. The special edition of the game has been named the “Vanargand Edition,” which is the name of the Anti-Valkyria Squad. The special edition comes in a custom outer box, includes a metal pin of the team’s insignia, a twelve-track soundtrack by Yasunori Mitsuda, a composer best known for his work on Chrono Trigger.

Valkyria Chronicles originally debuted as a PlayStation 3 exclusive in 2008. The game told the story of a war set in Europa, a fictional version of Europe. The game featured a unique turn based battle system where players would select which unit they wished to move and the game would shift to real-time combat as players moved and acted with that character. The game received great praise for its gameplay, stunning art style and its rich story and cast.

Valkyria Revolution Receives Launch Date and Special Edition

Sales of Valkyria Chronicles failed to reach expectations but were still high enough to warrant a sequel. Valkyria Chronicles 2 released in 2010 for the PlayStation Portable. Aside from a downgrade in the graphical department, the sequel stayed true to everything that made the original so well praised. Unfortunately, the game being on a handheld plagued by piracy didn’t help the series already low sales numbers Valkyria Chronicles saw one more entry to the series but it has remained exclusive to Japan to this day.

Valkyria Chronicles was given a second breath in 2014 when it released on PC via Steam where the game earned the top spot on Steam’s download charts. Sega claimed that the PC version of the game blew all sales predictions out of the water. The game received even more popularity after a remastered version launched on PlayStation 4 in 2016.

Valkyria Revolution will be releasing on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and for the first time, Xbox One, a first ever for the series.

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Toukiden 2 Review https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/toukiden-2-review/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/toukiden-2-review/#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:55:01 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97546

By Remington Joseph

It’s nothing new to state that Capcom’s Action/JRPG hybrid Monster Hunter franchise is beyond that of a big deal in Japan.But even with its eastern popularity, the series grew a huge western fanbase as well as it broke new ground with its unique style of gameplay. Naturally, this led many developers to try their own […]

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By Remington Joseph

It’s nothing new to state that Capcom’s Action/JRPG hybrid Monster Hunter franchise is beyond that of a big deal in Japan.But even with its eastern popularity, the series grew a huge western fanbase as well as it broke new ground with its unique style of gameplay. Naturally, this led many developers to try their own take on the newly formed sub-genre. Though these titles piggyback off an established formula, it's exciting to see how developers play with the mechanics these games use to differentiate themselves from Monster Hunter. Koei Tecmo’s Toukiden franchise is one such series that takes the Monster Hunter formula but adds a new spin. Toukiden 2 delivers on the genre even further by making more noteworthy changes to the blueprint despite a few small failings along the way.

The plot of Toukiden 2 picks up two years after the events of Toukiden Kiwami, an expansion of the original PlayStation Vita title. Players once again take on the role of a custom created slayer tasked with defending humanity from oni. The protagonist finds themselves misplaced in time while defending a city during an event called “Awakening," that resulted in a wave of oni bringing chaos to the land. The story does a good job of introducing the world by explaining the lore and terminology, making it easy for newcomers to jump into the game without having played the first. The player is soon found by a professor and her robot assistant and taken to the game’s main hub world, Mahoroba Village. It is quickly revealed that 10 years have passed since the “Awakening” and Mahoroba has been surrounded by a thick miasma with oni roaming the areas outside. After undertaking the simple trial to become an official slayer for the village, the player accepts the professor’s request to help eliminate the oni and the surrounding miasma while trying to discover the mysteries of the power that brought them through time. I found the cast of characters met in the early beginnings of Toukiden 2 to be entertaining enough, if not a bit two dimensional. Conversation options allow players to strengthen their bond with different characters, unlocking bonuses along the way. This encourages players to spend as much time with their favourite characters as possible, also allowing them to learn more about each character.

Toukiden 2 Review 5

The introduction of Toukiden 2 began quickly, teaching the bare minimum of combat, though, it's not all that different to other games of the genre. Weak and heavy attacks can be chained together to create different combos. You can run and dodge in the form of a roll at the cost of stamina, and abilities are usable by equipping Mitama, which are unique to the series. They actually play a role in the story as Mitama are spirits of deceased heroes, obtainable by defeating certain enemies, usually large bosses. By holding R1 and pressing another button, players can use a number of abilities held by each Mitama equipped. Mitama can also be leveled up through combat as long as they are equipped, allowing additional skills to be learned.

At its core, however, Toukiden 2 is a hack n' slash which is functional but repetitive. Most enemies would stay in one place while I wailed on them with the same combos over and over, occasionally knocking me away with an attack or trying to distance itself from me. Closing a distance was never a problem though thanks to one of Toukiden 2’s new features, the “Demon Hand”. Early into the game’s story, players are given access to the “Demon Hand”, an invention by the professor. After the tool is given to players, holding R2 creates a giant hand that players can use to hook onto objects and enemies, small or large. This made it easy to traverse the land, close gaps between enemies, and pry larger enemies’ limbs off their bodies. Reminiscent of Freedom War’s “Thorn” mechanic — which worked similarly — this was easily one of the most enjoyable aspects of Toukiden 2’s combat.

This ties into Toukiden 2’s biggest change to the hunting style JRPG genre and one that I hope other developers adopt in the future. Rather than warping to specific areas that serve as hunting grounds from the main hub, Toukiden 2 shifts to a seamless open world style. Hunting grounds from the previous game return from the first game and can be accessed through “Mission Mode” but players are free to enter and exit Mahoroba Village as they please. This feature is by far the greatest element to Toukiden 2. I loved being able to head out whenever I wanted to find a certain oni in order to get the material I needed for a new sword instead of repeating a stage just to get that oni to appear in the first place. An open world also allows for more organic quests and storyline elements to occur.

Toukiden 2 Review 6

During one of my first excursions into the world outside the village, I found a man in the forest, pretending to be dead after stirring up a horde of oni while trying to collect some nearby materials. The man begged me to leave him alone and not to try taking the material until the oni settled down so naturally, I picked up the material right away, leading to a fight with the riled group of monsters. The man thanked me for helping him with compensation afterwards, joking that what I did was a bit foolish in the first place. Another had me help the shopkeeper in the village by clearing the trade route of a large oni that only attacks at night. Eliminating the oni allows the shopkeeper to stock better items in his store. It’s small events like these that make quests given in the game flow better, letting you see the effects these oni have on the villagers and how your efforts better the situation.

Toukiden 2’s open world isn’t without its flaws either though. All the quests boil down to simple fetch quests or running to the location, defeating the enemy and returning for a reward. I know that this type of format is expected of the genre but it would’ve been nice to have things to do besides fighting in such a large world. Another problem I’ve found is that the environments don’t seem all that varied. I’m almost 10 hours in and I’ve only gone from a forest to a slightly different forest.  That makes Toukiden 2 even more frustrating when the game forces players to repeat tedious tasks.  After defeating an oni players can hold R1 near the enemy’s corpse to purify it, resulting in the gain of materials that can later be used to create new weapons and armor. The problem with this is that purifying an enemy takes around 4 or 5 seconds and you need to be standing within a close enough range for it to work. In most cases this means going to each enemy after defeating a group and purifying them one by one, an act that becomes very tiring after doing it for the 50th time.

The online multiplayer of Toukiden 2 subtracts a lot of what I enjoyed most about the game as well. Mahoroba Village serves as the lobby for a group of slayers but with only the mandatory NPCs being present such as the blacksmith. Players are no longer able to leave the village until a group mission has been selected where they are then teleported over to the set area and let loose to defeat whichever enemy the quest requires. I know this is generally the way these games are played but it made the game feel noticeably empty and ultimately, boring. Toukiden 2 didn’t feel like a very difficult game to start so with the addition of three extra allies, combat became even easier than it already was. Playing offline offers much more of a unique experience than playing online does and if necessary, I can bring A.I companions with me who I can even give orders to.

Toukiden 2 Review 7

Overall, Toukiden 2 isn’t a bad game but there are enough flaws to stop it from being what could’ve been a great. I believe fans of the hunting style action RPG will easily get the most out of this, enjoying what they already love about the genre as they’re introduced to Toukiden 2's new ideas. If you’re not already a fan of this type of game however, it’s unlikely that this title will be the one to change your mind.

Score:7

Final Thoughts:Toukiden 2 make for a fine addition to the Action/JRPG genre, bringing a lot of new ideas to the table but not without its minor frustrations.

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VOEZ Switch Review - An Interesting Touch Screen Demo https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/voez-switch-review-intreresting-touch-screen-demo/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/voez-switch-review-intreresting-touch-screen-demo/#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 18:01:56 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97951

By Derek Heemsbergen

In my experience, smartphone games don't often transition to consoles with much finesse; one need look no further than the clumsy big-screen execution of titles like Oceanhorn or Republique to see what I'm talking about. The trouble seems to stem from either the awkward conversion of a touch interface to physical buttons or poor remastering […]

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By Derek Heemsbergen

In my experience, smartphone games don't often transition to consoles with much finesse; one need look no further than the clumsy big-screen execution of titles like Oceanhorn or Republique to see what I'm talking about. The trouble seems to stem from either the awkward conversion of a touch interface to physical buttons or poor remastering of low-resolution visual assets. Yet VOEZ, a beautiful rhythm game among the first additions to the Nintendo Switch library, is a rare example of a mobile port that sidesteps both of those issues with aplomb.

VOEZ takes a minimalistic approach to the rhythm genre, offering over 100 songs to immediately enjoy without the hassle of microtransactions. There's a brief tutorial to get the player acquainted with how it works, and then it's off to the races in a matter of seconds. A light story, conveyed through unlockable pastel comics, is the only additional content on offer. But rather than conveying a lack of substance, VOEZ is a distilled experience that benefits from its straightforwardness.

At its core, VOEZ is a game in the vein of Beatmania IIDX—or if that's too esoteric, think Guitar Hero, but with touch controls. Notes slide down columns toward the bottom of the screen, where they must be tapped, held, or swiped to the beat of the music. Screenshots do little to convey how dynamic VOEZ looks in motion. Columns frequently shift position, change colour, and otherwise dance as the song progresses, like a laser light show custom-tweaked for every unique piece of music. Equally captivating are the varied and vibrant illustrations that serve as each song's album art, which communicate charming micro-narratives much like Dance Dance Revolution's artwork did back in its heydey.

VOEZ Switch Review - An Intreresting Touch Screen Demo 1VOEZ does have a notable flaw: It doesn't provide satisfying audio feedback during gameplay. Unlike Hatsune Miku: Project Diva or any number of its rhythm contemporaries, VOEZ doesn't activate sound samples with successful taps. Relying on visual cues alone is a missed opportunity for a game like this to further immerse the player in the music. It also doesn't help that many of the songs on offer are electronic pieces that can blend together, but musical taste is an entirely subjective thing, and there's sufficient variety on the whole.

VOEZ is addictive in its relative simplicity, and has a gentle learning curve, making it easy to recommend. If nothing else, it's a bright and breezy panacea to any Zelda-induced fatigue you may be feeling after spending weeks ambling around Hyrule.

Score:8

Final Thoughts:A surprisingly strong contender in the Nintendo Switch launch library, VOEZ is well worth its modest asking price for rhythm fans who need to scratch that IIDX itch.

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Minecraft Adds New Glide Mini-Game Tomorrow https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/27/minecraft-adds-new-glide-mini-game-tomorrow/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/27/minecraft-adds-new-glide-mini-game-tomorrow/#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:34:44 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97938

By Remington Joseph

The console edition of Minecraft will be receiving a new gliding mini game in a free update releasing tomorrow. The new mini-game has players equip an Elytra, an in-game piece of equipment that allows for gliding. The game features a “Time Attack Mode” where players can use thermal drafts and speed boosters to their advantage. […]

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By Remington Joseph

The console edition of Minecraft will be receiving a new gliding mini game in a free update releasing tomorrow.

The new mini-game has players equip an Elytra, an in-game piece of equipment that allows for gliding. The game features a “Time Attack Mode” where players can use thermal drafts and speed boosters to their advantage. There is also a “Score Attack Mode” where players earn points by flying through hoops. The mini game’s courses have built-in shortcuts for players to find and exploit in order to refine lap times. The Upcoming racing game supports solo and online play, as well as online leaderboards. The new update also increases lobby sizes and the number of players able to compete at once on consoles from eight to sixteen.

Minecraft’s new “Glide” mini-game will be the third mini game added to the title. The first is “Battle Mode”, placing players in one of seventeen different combat arenas where eight players fight to the death, finding equipment in scattered chests to use to their advantage. There are casual and competitive modes to the game that restrict the use of certain player skins that alter size. The second game is called Tumble. Players aim to knock blocks from under each other while trying to maintain their own footing.  The game comes in different modes, altering the platforms that players stand on.

Minecraft’s console ports have come a long way from their initially limited beginnings. While it’s still behind its PC counterpart, Minecraft console edition receives constant updates, adding content exclusives like the Fallout themed battle maps in February of this year. Mojang Studios already gave confirmation that the new Glide mini game will be receiving DLC packs that add new tracks, some of which will be offered for free. The first DLC pack the studio has hinted about for the new mode will be themed around various beasts, having players fly around monsters such as a giant Kraken.

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Nippon Ichi Software Releases Unannounced Game Teaser https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/27/nippon-ichi-software-releases-unannounced-game-teaser/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/27/nippon-ichi-software-releases-unannounced-game-teaser/#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:43:21 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97933

By Remington Joseph

Nippon Ichi Software released a new teaser trailer for a previously unannounced, upcoming game. A teaser website for the title launched with the URL containing the word “Hakoniwa,” meaning “miniature garden” (not to be confused with the upcoming visual novel) in Japanese. The teaser trailer depicts three-dimensional models of pixelated, retro styled characters as they are […]

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By Remington Joseph

Nippon Ichi Software released a new teaser trailer for a previously unannounced, upcoming game. A teaser website for the title launched with the URL containing the word “Hakoniwa,” meaning “miniature garden” (not to be confused with the upcoming visual novel) in Japanese.

The teaser trailer depicts three-dimensional models of pixelated, retro styled characters as they are building a home. Not long after, the group is attacked by enemies from the sky, resulting in an over the top battle between the groups, involving weapons ranging from swords to large projectile missiles. No gameplay was shown but it is expected that the title will be a Minecraft styled sandbox game with added RPG mechanics.

A recent title that functioned similarly to this was Dragon Quest Builders, a game that blended the gameplay mechanics of Minecraft with the Popular Japanese Dragon Quest series, along with its own unique features. Dragon Quest Builders released on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in 2016, surpassing one million sales worldwide. The game managed to differentiate itself from other games inspired by Minecraft, focusing more on telling a story and making use of the deeper RPG mechanics found in the long running Dragon Quest franchise.

Nippon Ichi Software previously announced earlier this year that the company has a number of new titles planned for 2017 and that the company will be taking on various challenges, likely in the form of developing titles that make use of genres other than the turn based strategy games Nippon Ichi Software is known for.

A few months ago, the company announced Exile Election, a horror-themed visual novel planned for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita about a group of people trapped in an amusement park, forced to elect who from among the group will be exiled until only two people remain.

Other known upcoming Nippon Ichi Software titles are Disgaea 5 Complete, a Switch port of Disgaea 5 that will include all DLC content from the original will launch on May 23, 2017, and Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku!, a feudal era sequel to Nippon Ichi’s pixel art styled dungeon crawling RPG series, Cladun which is set to release on PlayStation 4, digitally on PlayStation Vita and on PC via Steam onJune 6, 2017.

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Touchdown: Armor League Kickstarter Launches https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/27/touchdown-armor-league-kickstarter-launches/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/27/touchdown-armor-league-kickstarter-launches/#comments Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:00:44 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97877

By Remington Joseph

Ares Games launched a Kickstarter campaign for their newest upcoming game, Touchdown: Armor League. Touchdown: Armor League is a hybrid game mixing football and team based arena shooting action. Players form teams of six, piloting suits of armour and fight for control while trying to carry the ball past the enemy touchdown lines by any […]

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By Remington Joseph

Ares Games launched a Kickstarter campaign for their newest upcoming game, Touchdown: Armor League.

Touchdown: Armor League is a hybrid game mixing football and team based arena shooting action. Players form teams of six, piloting suits of armour and fight for control while trying to carry the ball past the enemy touchdown lines by any means necessary. Players are able to select from between four different suites, each designed with different drawbacks in terms of offensive power or defence in order to handle different situations. The suits can also use special abilities to further deepen combat and strategic options. Touchdown: Armor League also offers a number of different weapons and in-game modifications that can be made to equipment. The game offers fast paced combat and competitive gameplay giving players the chance to make skilful and dynamic passes while obliterating opponents.

The Kickstarter launched with an initial pledge goal of $50,000. Contributors who pledge $19 or more will receive a digital copy of the game when it releases along with access to the game’s prerelease beta. Ares Games announced that 10 per cent of the project’s funds raised will go towards the production of rewards for people who backed the game. One of these rewards allows backers to film themselves doing a victory dance which the team will then animate and add to the game.

Ares Games is an independent development team of only 13 people, based in Hong Kong. The studio previously developed and released two games in the past but this will be the first title directed outside of the Chinese gaming market. The company hopes that their newest game will please fans of the eSports community

Touchdown: Armor League can best be described as the American football counterpart to Rocket League, a famously successful game that blends soccer with rocket powered cars. TouchDown: Armor Core is currently in development and set to launch on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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Rain World Review - A Milestone in Animation https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/rain-world-review/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/rain-world-review/#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:00:24 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97911

By Chris Carter

Even though it's a loud platformer at heart, Rain World always keeps things subtle. The world, the narrative, all of it minimally plays out with very little dialogue. Its intro is told through slides, setting up the premise of the hero, a young Slugcat, who is separated from their family. It's very Land Before Time […]

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By Chris Carter

Even though it's a loud platformer at heart, Rain World always keeps things subtle. The world, the narrative, all of it minimally plays out with very little dialogue. Its intro is told through slides, setting up the premise of the hero, a young Slugcat, who is separated from their family. It's very Land Before Time or An American Tail inspired, but not nearly as hopeful. Okay, it's a lot less hopeful, as it's completely bleak and terrifying, with nightmarish imagery to boot.

Juxtaposed to a beautiful score, the journey is perilous from minute one. Nearly everything is out to eat you, and in a twist of fate, you actually eat some of its smaller inhabitants (like bugs) yourself. It's such a subtle thing but I'm glad that the development team added that bit in, as you're typically acquiring meta-items like hearts, or even fruit (which is also in Rain World) as the sole pickups in most platforms – munching on living creatures (and ripping their wings apart) adds a little more depth to the survival aspect.

Rain World Review 1

Your job is to get from start to finish with almost no offensive capabilities, just jumps, and occasional defensive item. You can throw sticks to temporarily halt enemies, or if you're lucky knock them off a ledge, but they're still going to come for you like the Nemesis in Resident Evil 3. The Slugcat is a spry fellow, capable of big leaps, climbing or shimmying across just about any pipe, and a small wall jump mechanic. Rain World's loose physics take a while to acclimate to but they do make sense over time, and the more I played the more I appreciated them.

Because really, after encountering your first foe you can clearly see why the game took so long. Enemies are in their own way procedurally generated in terms of behaviour, not only as it pertains to the AI, but the animation side too. It always makes them unpredictable, whether they're fighting each other, working together, hunting you down with reckless abandon like an apex predator, or ignoring you like an idiot. It's all random, but it assists in creating rich stories that vary from run to run. For the latter situation I'd often imagine that some enemies would refuse to consume me because they were full, and didn't need to gobble me up that second. Silly, I know, but Rain World begs for the player to make a connection with its universe.

As you might expect its randomness can work both ways. Sometimes I'll go through an area after a death and find it to be a complete joke that I can breeze through in seconds. For other runs enemies form a 300-esque phalanx formation along the critical path, forcing me to juke so hard it would give Barry Sanders weak ankles. I love that thrill, but at times it can feel uneven or even sloppy.

Rain World Review 2

Occasionally, the action is broken up by "hibernation," which is an awkward checkpoint mechanic. You'll have to eat a certain number of food items to do it, and although I see how that idea was enticing on paper, it doesn't always translate well. It's mostly because some of the checkpoints are unevenly placed, or tucked away in dark corners of the world map where you'd never think to go. This leads to some instances of passing over checkpoints entirely, and going upwards of 30 minutes without one.

Now, I don't mind that Rain World is a tough game where one wrong move can spell instant doom. But it's absolutely frustrating to see that a particular checkpoint is almost completely hidden from view in one obscure block of the map after I've just spent an hour chipping away at a challenging gauntlet. I feel like the developer should have fully embraced the hibernation concept and allowed players to use it almost anywhere, similar to Ori and the Blind Forest. I mean, how cool would it be to wake up from your slumber outside of a safe room and have to immediately escape from a pack of enemies?

I think people are going to be looking at Rain World in years to come as a milestone in animation. While that open-ended nature doesn't always translate to a stellar gaming experience, it's always mesmerizing to look at. Rain World is a tough game that's going to alienate those without proper platformer training, but as long as you're willing to adhere to its rigid ruleset, the juice is worth the squeeze.

Score:8

Final Thoughts:Think Limbo, but more haunting and with better controls, and you'll have a basic idea of what Rain World is about.

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Playerunknown's Battlegrounds earns $11 Million on Early Access https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/27/playerunknowns-battlegrounds-earns-11-million-on-early-access/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/27/playerunknowns-battlegrounds-earns-11-million-on-early-access/#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:53:23 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97925

By Cody Orme

Steam Early Access is a great way for fans to get their hands on upcoming titles and give some guidance to the developers who are catering to their wants. While the process does have its flaws there are some success stories, and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is one of them. Launching on Early Access three days ago, […]

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By Cody Orme

Steam Early Access is a great way for fans to get their hands on upcoming titles and give some guidance to the developers who are catering to their wants. While the process does have its flaws there are some success stories, and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is one of them.

Launching on Early Access three days ago, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds holds the number one spot for sales since its release earning more than $11 million in revenue with more than 67,000 active players according to developer Bluehole Inc. The developer also boasts holding the number one spot on Twitch charts with around 150, 000 viewers at any given time, while also being featured on more than 3,600 streams since Mar. 23, 2017.

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds earns $11 Million on Early Access 1 Playerunknown's Battlegrounds earns $11 Million on Early Access 2 Playerunknown's Battlegrounds earns $11 Million on Early Access 3

For those who haven’t heard of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, the title is a “battle royal” type experience running on Unreal Engine 4 where up to 100 players are dropped on an 8x8 km island with nothing. They must then try to find weapons, supplies and vehicles as they fight to be the last person standing.  Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds allows for solo play, but also co-operative play where players can join groups of two to four in a separate mode.

Developer Bluehole Inc. is pretty well established in the gaming industry. Founded in 2007, Bluehole Inc. has a focus on creating massive online experiences. Since then, they’ve created a line-up of games including the rhythm action title High5, the 1v1 real time multiplayer bowling experience Bowling King: World Leauge, the hack and slash MMORPG Devilain and the MMORPG Tera.

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Paradox Lowdown - Strategy Of All Types On Display At GDC https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/27/paradox-lowdown-strategy-types-display-gdc/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/27/paradox-lowdown-strategy-types-display-gdc/#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:30:32 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97875

By Joel Couture

At GDC this year Paradox was promising strategy for players no matter what they were interested in. For the player who wanted to fine tune realistic Second World War combat, or wished to groom a race of cyborgs for alien domination to those that wanted to see Eastern dynasties rise on the stage of history […]

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By Joel Couture

At GDC this year Paradox was promising strategy for players no matter what they were interested in. For the player who wanted to fine tune realistic Second World War combat, or wished to groom a race of cyborgs for alien domination to those that wanted to see Eastern dynasties rise on the stage of history or name the streets and roads they've built, Paradox had something for everyone.

The Mass Transit DLC for Cities: Skylines will please the hobby civic planner, giving players the opportunity to direct traffic and create easier means for their citizens to go about their days in their digital cities. This expansion will let players create cable cars, boats, monorails, and blimps, constructing travel means that will get their city-dwellers through different types of terrain and environments. Not only this, but players will be given capabilities to direct car traffic for those who don't want to use the wonderful public transit systems they've just built.

Paradox Lowdown - Strategy Of All Types On Display At GDC 1

Those who aren’t quite ready to make the leap to creating transit throughout their cities will be getting a free update near to its release, though, one that will let players customize the names of their streets.

For those more interested in a little history as opposed to city-building, the newly-announced Steel Division: Normandy 44 should offer some complex lessons in vehicles, weapons, and locations from the Second World War. Steel Division is an RTS game with a focus on historically accurate units, taking intense research on vehicles, artillery, troops, locations, and more and putting it to work in a tactical setting.

History buffs will be able to strut their stuff in combat, watching as the front shifts in real time through a blanket of colour, showing exactly how the player's meticulously-placed units and planned attacks are changing ownership of the battlefield. Players will need to take care to know that battlefield well, using buildings, fields, and even hedges to their advantage, as well as implementing the real strengths and weaknesses of these historical units to their advantage in matches that could pit up to twenty players against one another.

Should players prefer their history to be a little older, Paradox's Mandate of Heaven DLC for Europa Universalis IV will take them to the age of Bushido, granting them some new mechanics in the East Asian areas of Japan and China.

In this expansion, players work to unite fractured countries through various means. In China, players will be able to bolster their rule using tributaries, which call upon neighbouring countries to pay tribute with gold, warriors, or monarchy points.

Japan can create some other nice benefits to themselves as well as they draw the various Daimyos together, with players able to call for some minor rivals to commit seppuku to restore their honour. However, holding onto all these different areas, each with their own ruling classes, may prove to be quite a challenge itself.

Paradox Lowdown - Strategy Of All Types On Display At GDC 2Players can also cast their strategic talents into the far future with Stellaris: Utopia. Stellaris: Utopia will offer players some new places to build amongst the stars, letting them spend a few decades creating huge structures that can turn an entire star into a new world to live on. However, turning a star into a world to live on, as well as gaining the power boost it offers, tends to draw the attention of neighbouring worlds that might not appreciate the player's advancements.

Players can also do some work closer to home to keep their people happy, or simply impose happiness on them. They can try out a new hive mind build, eliminating the troubles that free will brings, or switch their chosen race into cyborgs, eventually shifting them over to complete machines should they wish to get rid of biological issues that may be causing them trouble. Players can also experiment with being extremely xenophobic with a new trait, one that will grant huge benefits in combat while cutting off any connection to other races.

Whether the player is looking to explore the past with precision, the future with an iron fist, or help some people get to work on time, Paradox hopes to grant them the ability to exercise their strategic will at GDC.

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GameStop to Close more Than 100 Retail Locations https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/26/gamestop-close-100-retail-locations/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/26/gamestop-close-100-retail-locations/#respond Sun, 26 Mar 2017 13:04:36 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97898

By Brendan Frye

The company announced earlier this week that it would be shutting down 2% to 3% of its brick and mortar locations. This could mean upwards of 190 stores could be on the chopping block in this cost-cutting move.  GameStop () currently operates more than 7,000 locations globally, with close to 4,400 locations located in the United […]

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By Brendan Frye

The company announced earlier this week that it would be shutting down 2% to 3% of its brick and mortar locations. This could mean upwards of 190 stores could be on the chopping block in this cost-cutting move. 

GameStop (GME 20,85 +0,15 +0,72%) currently operates more than 7,000 locations globally, with close to 4,400 locations located in the United States. It has yet to announced what locations will be closing, and if these places would be abroad or US based sites.

The retailer has been having a difficult time this last year, with the stock taking a beating, dropping more than 31%. With the growing reliance on digital sales on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Platforms, it is no wonder sales at GameStop dropped 13.6% in 2016 compared to previous years.

Not all was bleak for GameStop; their collectables division has shown significant growth in 2016, with sales up 59.2 percent. GameStop expects the sales to grow another 30 to 40 percent over the course of this year. With more people jumping into the world of gaming, even if they are not buying physical games, the ability to purchase a collectable from the game they love is still ever present. With these offerings readily available at most GameStop locations, it gives easy access to a wide range of memorabilia people can buy for themselves or as gifts for loved ones.

This is not the end of the gaming business for GameStop though. With the launch of the Nintendo Switch, there could be a reinvigoration of the game buying public.  In a statement to the WSJ, Chief Executive J. Paul Raines stated that "The Switch has provided a dramatic lift in traffic in stores and has real potential to be Wii-like in its ability to expand the gaming category from core to broad audiences." While the Nintendo Switch is one of the fastest selling consoles to date, with Nintendo doubling production to 16 million units for 2017, it is unclear is these new buyers will embrace the digital download world as many buyers of other consoles currently on the market.

For the near future, it seems GameStop will no longer publish quarterly financial projections to try and "reduce investor distraction." With many retail stores struggling against online giants such as Amazon, it will be interesting to see how the company evolves to adapt to the changing times.

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Starcraft Remastered Announced, Brings 4K, Launches This Summer https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/26/starcraft-remastered-announced-brings-4k-launches-summer/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/26/starcraft-remastered-announced-brings-4k-launches-summer/#respond Sun, 26 Mar 2017 12:28:00 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97891

By Brendan Frye

Late last night, Blizzard announced something very special over at the official Starcraft Website. They are releasing a remaster of the classic Starcraft and the expansion, Starcraft: Brood War, in 4K.  The Starcraft remaster has long been rumoured in forums, Reddit and game sites worldwide, yet Blizzard had let very little slip about the authenticity of these […]

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By Brendan Frye

Late last night, Blizzard announced something very special over at the official Starcraft Website. They are releasing a remaster of the classic Starcraft and the expansion, Starcraft: Brood War, in 4K. 

The Starcraft remaster has long been rumoured in forums, Reddit and game sites worldwide, yet Blizzard had let very little slip about the authenticity of these rumblings until now. This new edition of the classic RTS will improve everything that could be improved without changing the core gameplay, that people know and love to this day, 19 years after it was first launched.

"We’ve remastered our units, buildings, and environments, improved game audio, and broadened our supported resolutions. Illustrated interludes bring the struggles and victories of heroes like Artanis, Fenix, Tassadar, Raynor and Kerrigan to life like never before. Most importantly, the strategy gameplay that StarCraft perfected years ago remains unchanged."

Starcraft is Being Remastered in Glorious 4K Starcraft is Being Remastered in Glorious 4K 1

With this Starcraft Remastered Blizzard are rebuilding the game to work with the modern era of gaming. From the new comic book-style interludes for missions and storytelling, advanced matchmaking; full support for Blizzards new set of network features; cloud saving for campaign progress, remastered audio, custom maps, etc. It is clear this will be a labour of love for this classic franchise, and gives players new and old to the series a fresh way to play.

StarCraft is a pure distillation of Blizzard’s DNA—its story, its balance, and all the little details reflect our long-running commitment to epic entertainment, and it’s been a staple in competitive gaming and esports for almost 20 years,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With StarCraft: Remastered, we’re modernizing the original game’s visuals, audio, and online support to ensure that players can enjoy StarCraft for another 20 years and beyond.”

As an added bonus for fans, the original Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood War will be getting an updating this week, version 1.18, that will add the ability to rebind keys, an observer mode, anti-cheat, and overall compatibility improvements for Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. Once this update goes live, the game will become free to download and play. Starcraft Remaster will be launching this summer for PC and Mac, Blizzard has yet to announced a price for the package.

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iPhone 7 Gamevice Hardware Review https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/iphone-7-gamevice-hardware-review/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/iphone-7-gamevice-hardware-review/#respond Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:00:51 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97735

By Cole Watson

One thing I should state before jumping into this review is that I don’t like gaming on mobile devices. When friends show me new or classics games hitting their respective app stores I always get excited to try them out and then get quickly disappointed when I have to deal with poorly implemented touch controls. […]

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By Cole Watson

One thing I should state before jumping into this review is that I don’t like gaming on mobile devices. When friends show me new or classics games hitting their respective app stores I always get excited to try them out and then get quickly disappointed when I have to deal with poorly implemented touch controls. Nothing feels comfortable and a majority of my time is spent fighting an unwieldy camera. The Gamevice I reviewed previously was a good solution to my problems, thanks to its vast library of compatible games, but there were some glaring flaws that hampered the experience. Now that a new model has been released, let’s take a look and how this mobile gaming accessory has evolved.

The new Gamevice for iPhone 6 through 7+ borrows much of its core design from the previous iteration. The body of the device is still made from solid matte black plastic and extends out from its portable state to snuggly lock in any of the compatible iPhones via the lighting connector. Even though I had no worry of the fit coming loose and endangering my iPhone to a nasty fall, it should be noted that cautious users with protective cases will need to remove them in order to use the Gamevice.

Gamevice for iPhone Hardware Review 1

Once in hand, the Gamevice still feels as comfortable as I remember. The spacing of the buttons and the analogue sticks are well thought out, and even after an hour of testing my hands didn’t feel cramped. The best improvement on the new Gamevice is easily the analogue sticks. Originally, these sticks were smaller and made of plastic, but Gamevice decided to improve them by making them out of rubber and functionally similar in design to PlayStation 4’s popular Dualshock 4 controller. Unfortunately, the buttons, d-pad, and bumpers didn’t receive any new revisions or jump in quality to make the device even more comfortable to play with.

A feature I miss from the previous Gamevice is the onboard rechargeable battery. While the company is saying the device is as efficient as a pair of headphones, my iPhone was definitely draining faster than while using the previous model during any of the gaming applications I tested in the original review. To put ease on users who heavily use their phone for gaming the Gamevice does feature an external lightning port to charge their phone, but that same port cannot be used for their lightning compatible headphones.

For the first round of testing with the new Gamevice I used the same SNK classics from the original review to test out responsiveness and delay, which proved to be on par with the first model. Thanks to the improved analogue stick, though, performing Supers in Garou: Mark of the Wolves and aiming precisely across any of the Metal Slug titles felt much more natural. To expand on my testing I tried out Marvel: Contest of Champions, as well as Bully: Anniversary Edition. While I instantly disliked Contest of Champions gameplay because it doesn’t play anything close to a proper fighter, Gamevice mapped every slashing motion and touch properly to their hardware. The only problem I experienced while testing these titles was that I had to remember what every button was mapped to by heart because the instructions are still asking for touch related prompts instead of traditional controller inputs.

Gamevice for iPhone Hardware Review 2 Gamevice for iPhone Hardware Review 3 Gamevice for iPhone Hardware Review 4

The Gamevice has certainly improved hardware wise with its latest iteration, but I can’t say the same for its list of compatible games. While the Gamevice Live app does allow users to choose from over 800 games to play, the pool of quality titles to experience still feels shallow to me. This point, of course, is subjective, as current mobile junkies will more than likely identify games that I’ve missed that they would love to experience with a controller add-on. This kind of luxury though still costs a hefty $99.95 USD. Current mobile users should definitely explore the compatibility list for enough titles to play on Gamevice’s website before they consider purchasing the device.

Score:7

Final Thoughts:The latest iteration of the Gamevice for iPhone is one of the strongest members in the controller add-on market for mobile devices.

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First 15: Vikings Wolves of Midgard https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/first-15-vikings-wolves-midgard/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/first-15-vikings-wolves-midgard/#respond Fri, 24 Mar 2017 22:32:34 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97886

By Cody Orme

Cody and Remmington take a look at Vikings -  Wolves of Midgard from Kalypso on the PlayStation 4.

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By Cody Orme

Cody and Remmington take a look at Vikings -  Wolves of Midgard from Kalypso on the PlayStation 4.

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Razer Announces "Pay to Play" Initiative https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/razer-announces-pay-play-initiative/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/razer-announces-pay-play-initiative/#respond Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:34:48 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97857

By Cody Orme

Every gamer has wished at least once that they could get paid to do what they love. Now, Razer is making that dream a reality. Well, sort of anyway as the tech company announced a “Pay to Play” initiative. With “Pay to Play” Razer is offering zSilver, an e-currency used for their software services, by […]

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By Cody Orme

Every gamer has wished at least once that they could get paid to do what they love. Now, Razer is making that dream a reality. Well, sort of anyway as the tech company announced a “Pay to Play” initiative.

With “Pay to Play” Razer is offering zSilver, an e-currency used for their software services, by playing PC games from Razer Cortex, their free software that gives gamers PC performance tools as well as tools to search for game deals.  Players can earn three zSilver a minute, and up to 900 a day. That zSilver can then be used to purchase products, like the Razer Mamba Chroma gaming mouse along with vouchers and swag. Razer also plans to add things like coffee and movie tickets in the future.

“The concept of everyday gamers getting paid to play has never been done before,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer CEO and co-founder in a press release. “Gamers may reap the benefits of a rewards system simply by doing things they’re already doing.”

This is a really interesting play by Razer to get more users on their platform. Razer Cortex was announced in 2014 as a software for gamers to find almost anything they could need in one space. Razer Cortex allows players to access to a game caster, performance boosting, along with the other functions mentioned above.

“Our goal is to make games as accessible as possible to the Razer gaming community,” says Tan in a 2014 press release. “By pointing gamers to the best options for their wallets without wasting valuable time digging through different stores, they can squeeze more gaming juice out of their budgets. With a solution like Deals, we’re doing our part in providing a much needed dose of transparency to the gaming industry, while enabling our players to focus on gaming.”

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New Anime by Stan Lee, The Refelction Wave One Receives Release Date https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/new-anime-by-stan-lee-the-refelction-wave-one-receives-release-date/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/new-anime-by-stan-lee-the-refelction-wave-one-receives-release-date/#comments Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:06:49 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97853

By Remington Joseph

Bandai Visual released a new teaser trailer for their upcoming anime, The Reflection Wave One, a collaboration series between Marvel’s Stan Lee and Japanese anime director Hiroshi Nagahama of Studio DEEN. The reveal trailer is almost the same as the one shown in 2015, back when the project was first announced. New to the teaser […]

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By Remington Joseph

Bandai Visual released a new teaser trailer for their upcoming anime, The Reflection Wave One, a collaboration series between Marvel’s Stan Lee and Japanese anime director Hiroshi Nagahama of Studio DEEN.

The reveal trailer is almost the same as the one shown in 2015, back when the project was first announced. New to the teaser is a short message delivered by Stan Lee himself, thanking everyone involved with the project and expressing his own excitement. Information of the anime’s July premiere airdate was released alongside the video.

The Reflection Wave One tells the story of a world affected by “The Reflection”, an event causing some of the people in different parts of the world to develop super powers. Some of these people use their powers for good, becoming superheroes while others become villains. The series will uncover the unanswered questions of how and why “The Reflection” occurred. Stan Lee is credited with the original work and Studio DEEN with project planning. Hiroshi Nagahama is co-creating and directing the series along with providing character designs.

Hiroshi Nagahama is best known for directing the 2005 anime, Mushishi. Set in a fictional time between Japan’s Edo and Meiji periods, the story follows main protagonist Ginko as he travels the land, helping people while researching "Mushi", creatures that use supernatural powers. The series received praise for its storytelling and art direction.

The debut of Reflection Wave One will be comic creator, Stan Lee’s second original anime series. In 2010, Stan Lee teamed up with the anime studio BONES to create Heroman. Heroman told the story of an orphaned American boy named Joey and his transforming robot Heroman as they combat the oncoming alien threat, the "Skrugg". The series took an eastern approach at the western style of superheroes.

The Reflection Wave One is planned for worldwide simultaneous distribution in 2017.

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Pixels & Ink #241 - Cody Hates Nintendo https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/pixels-ink-241-cody-hates-nintendo/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/pixels-ink-241-cody-hates-nintendo/#respond Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:03:11 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97865

By Cody Orme

On this week's episode of Pixels and Ink Cody doesn't hate Nintendo, he's just very disappointed in them. Phil talks about Power Rangers and Robocop, Brendan talks Mass Effect, and Cody plays Vikings - Wolves Of Midgard.

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By Cody Orme

On this week's episode of Pixels and Ink Cody doesn't hate Nintendo, he's just very disappointed in them. Phil talks about Power Rangers and Robocop, Brendan talks Mass Effect, and Cody plays Vikings - Wolves Of Midgard.

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Producer Denis McGrath Passes Away https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/producer-denis-mcgrath-passes-away/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/producer-denis-mcgrath-passes-away/#respond Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:49:07 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97855

By Remington Joseph

Canadian-American screenwriter, Denis McGrath passed away today at the age of 48. Denis McGrath is best known for his contributions to the world of Canadian network television. One of his most notable contributions came from his time as the TV producer for the Gemini Award-winning, MediaTelevision. He’s credited for bringing Canadian media into the digital age, […]

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By Remington Joseph

Canadian-American screenwriter, Denis McGrath passed away today at the age of 48.

Denis McGrath is best known for his contributions to the world of Canadian network television. One of his most notable contributions came from his time as the TV producer for the Gemini Award-winning, MediaTelevision. He’s credited for bringing Canadian media into the digital age, marketing one of the first programs in the country to maintain an email address. McGrath did over five hundred stories during the first wave of dot.com entrepreneurs, interviewing a number of famous authors and TV types such as Chris Carter and Bruce Sterling. In 2008, Denis McGrath was elected into the Writer’s Guild of Canada, an organization representing over two thousand professional writers.

Born in New York City, Denis McGrath moved to Canada where he lived in Toronto, Ontario. His career as a TV producer began at the educational network, TVOntario. He graduated from Ryerson University, returning to teach writing part-time between 1994 and 2006. At the same time, McGrath worked at Toronto’s famous Citytv station. In 1997, Denis McGrath became the first producer for Space, Canada’s Sci-Fi channel. He created several of the channels early segments such as Conspiracy Guy, a comedy segment where an oddball character came up with crazy conspiracy theories. McGrath also created and hosted the channel’s late night movie show, Spacebar. After leaving Space in the late 2000’s, Denis McGrath became a resident of the Canada Film Centre’s Prime Time TV program.

Outside of Television, Denis McGrath wrote the script and lyrics to Top Gun: Top Gun! The Musical, a satirical musical based on the movie Top Gun. Debuting in 2002, the musical went on to become the highest-grossing show in the history of the Toronto Fringe Festival and was nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Top Gun! The Musical received several reproductions in places such as Texas and Halifax.

In 2005, Denis McGrath started a blog called Dead Things on Sticks. Though it began as a personal screenwriting blog, it eventually became known as a popular daily discussion blog, covering the Canadian Television industry until its ending in 2010. Posts of the blog are archived and can still be found online.

We at CGMagonline wish Denis McGrath’s family and friends comfort as they go through this difficult time.

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Nintendo Reveals Super Mario Run Generated Less Profit Than Intended https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/nintendo-reveals-super-mario-run-generate-less-profit-intended/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/nintendo-reveals-super-mario-run-generate-less-profit-intended/#respond Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:17:02 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97839

By Remington Joseph

Super Mario Run, Nintendo’s second mobile title recently released on Android devices. Though the game has been popular on the App store, it hasn’t made the company as much profit as originally intended. Super Mario Run originally launched in December 2016, exclusively on iOS devices. The game uses a model that allows buyers to download […]

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By Remington Joseph

Super Mario Run, Nintendo’s second mobile title recently released on Android devices. Though the game has been popular on the App store, it hasn’t made the company as much profit as originally intended.

Super Mario Run originally launched in December 2016, exclusively on iOS devices. The game uses a model that allows buyers to download and play the first few stages of the game for free with the rest of the game being locked behind a one-time fee. Though Super Mario Run enjoyed a strong start after launching, topping many download charts in different countries, only a small fraction of those downloads converted into full purchases. By the end of January, the game had been downloaded over 78 million times with only a little over five percent of players paying to unlock the full game.

In contrast, Nintendo’s latest mobile title, Fire Emblem Heroes has been nothing but successful. Unlike Super Mario Run, the game is a “freemium” title. Players use in game currency to draw randomly from a well of popular and not so popular Fire Emblem characters, allowing them to then be used in battle. Players can spend real world money in order to get more of this currency, increasing the chance of unlocking their favourite characters. This format is used constantly in Japan and is called “gacha” in reference to the machines where change is exchanged for a random toy.

Though the “freemium” model found in Fire Emblem Heroes has been more profitable for Nintendo, a senior company official stated that Nintendo still prefers the model used for Super Mario Run. The company hopes that the release of Super Mario Run on Android devices will help the game to reach a much broader audience, hopefully generating more profit for the company.

Nintendo aims to continue developing mobile titles based on their popular franchises, further raising awareness of the company’s different IP. Alongside Fire Emblem Heroes’ initial announcement, the company also revealed that a mobile title based off the popular series Animal Crossing was in development and will release sometime this year.

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Vikings – Wolves of Midgard Review - Intense Cheese https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/vikings-wolves-midgard-review-intense-cheese/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/vikings-wolves-midgard-review-intense-cheese/#respond Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:26:43 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97806

By Cody Orme

To say that Diablo is an influential title is an understatement. Blizzard’s dungeon crawler came into the world and left a mark that, decades later, still inspires many similar titles while still remaining the standard for the genre. No game will ever reach the heights Diablo did, and that’s okay, but it’s still nice to […]

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By Cody Orme

To say that Diablo is an influential title is an understatement. Blizzard’s dungeon crawler came into the world and left a mark that, decades later, still inspires many similar titles while still remaining the standard for the genre. No game will ever reach the heights Diablo did, and that’s okay, but it’s still nice to see new titles take on that style with its own twist. That’s Vikings – Wolves of Midgard, the latest title developed by Games Farm published by Kalypso Media who’s mostly known for their strategy-based titles. Now, they’re dipping their toes in different waters, opting for more action-oriented combat with a deep levelling system that feels right with those two names. While it could probably use a little more refinement, Vikings – Wolves of Midgard mixes titles like Diablo and Gauntlet to create a genuinely unique experience that feels familiar, though a little unpolished.

Players are dropped into a world of Norse mythology. After rescuing the village, the protagonist is named chieftain tasked with rebuilding the town. At least that’s what I think the story is. It’s not actually explained in detail. Instead, the player just kind of jump into missions that are vaguely connected with little to no motivation. One minute, they’re tasked to venture outside the city walls to destroy ice giants that can threaten the settlement, and then the next mission tasks users with taking over a neighbouring allied village because someone suggested it. There seems to be an overarching story of an incoming danger, reminiscent to Fable III, except no one is actually aware of this future threat. It’s kind of a muddled mess, but in a way, it makes sense. Viking culture was one of intense brutality and dominance, so one could argue; it would be disingenuous to deprive players of an authentic experience of randomly showing up on a nearby shore to take what isn’t yours. Still, I’d wager most aren’t looking to jump into this title of Viking warfare for a deep, sensible story to begin with.

Vikings – Wolves of Midgard Review - Intense Cheese 3It’s probably best to turn the brain off when jumping into Vikings  – Wolves of Midgard anyway. While there is a rather deep levelling system where different gods grant different upgrades to different weapons, much of the game is mindless fun. Everything is made to be “badass to the extreme” with intense gore, and a jacked up protagonist carrying Norse weapons fighting wolves and goblins who collects blood to level up instead of EXP. To an extent, it’s almost a little too much to the point where it felt like a comedy, which is not the tone the game is actually aiming for.  Still, it walks that line of cheese rather gracefully, never venturing too far into funny territory even when it unintentionally slips. The game even goes into slow motion as you take out enemies every once in a while to show how cool and intense you are.

Combat is optimized for a controller experience with a mix of melee, ranged, and magic across multiple classes. Players can opt for the dual wielder, staff wielder, the traditional sword and shield warrior, hammer enthusiast, heavy sword user, Axe Specialist, and the archer. Each class gets a plethora of specials that are spread across the case buttons and triggers, while the thumbstick is used to dodge. Although the game is melee centric, the archer takes a more ranged approach that allows the game to be exploited pretty easily. The AI in Vikings  – Wolves of Midgard is predictable, as most enemies in this type of game are, but the ability to attack from a distance makes it easy to take out enemies from afar with little hardship. A lot of times, I felt like I was taking advantage of the system by switching to archery, but even then, that class can get overwhelmed easily as it struggles with close range.

Vikings – Wolves of Midgard Review - Intense Cheese 4

The game’s difficulty doesn’t necessarily lie in enemies progressively getting stronger, rather more enemies appear on screen. Don’t take that the wrong way, further in the game, soldiers and goblins get harder to take down, but once they’re introduced, players shouldn’t have a problem really taking them out. Since the game does take place across many frozen landscapes, the cold does have an effect on combat, and even turns some of Vikings  – Wolves of Midgard’s battles into a risk/reward situation. If players are in the cold too long, they will freeze. Once they freeze their health will drop rapidly unless they find a fire. This means that, at times, players will have to ditch a battle, or avoid conflict all together in the search of warmth. It’s not something that is seen consistently throughout the game, but it’s a nice addition that makes Vikings  – Wolves of Midgard unique. Adding to that style, there is an option for online co-op mode, which can make for a good time as well, allowing players to really use their classes properly and strategically.

Brutality is really what Games Farm wanted to convey, and aesthetically, that carries over, but it never really pops. While the game does take a more fixed angled camera style, the environments can look pretty boring despite being remarkably varied. Across the different planes players will traverse, there is a sea of browns, unless they cross the winter vistas in which case there is a lot of white. Enemies are interesting, but it’s hard to really appreciate them given the camera’s position. I couldn’t even find a way to see some kind of artwork in game for some of the main bosses I fought, who appeared to at least look interesting from a distance.  Though, when given the opportunity to zoom in during a slow motion sequence, there isn’t a lot of detail in the models. It’s a minor gripe though, for what it is, the game looks fine, and the cut-scenes are told through ancient texts which add to the game’s mystic Norse vibe it’s going for, so that way, it succeeds.

Vikings – Wolves of Midgard Review - Intense Cheese 6
It’s hard to jump into a genre that’s defined by one game. Though many titles have come and created great experiences, Diablo is the king, and long it shall rule. Somehow though, Games Farm and Kalypso managed to carve out a title that is its own. It’s unfortunate that the messy story and somewhat exploitable controls take away from what essentially is high octane, macho bloodfest, but that doesn’t make Vikings  – Wolves of Midgard unenjoyable. In fact, I’d argue that even its flaws add to its charm. There’s something beautifully chaotic about every facet of this game, and in that way it’s a success. I’d really like to see a more polished sequel, because for a first step in a completely different direction for both publisher and developer, Vikings  – Wolves of Midgard is pretty enjoyable.

Score:7.5

Final Thoughts:While a little unpolished, Vikings – Wolves of Midgard is over-the-top fun.

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Why Death Stranding is Therapy for Kojima https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/death-stranding-therapy-kojima/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/24/death-stranding-therapy-kojima/#comments Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:21:52 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97774

By Andrew Ko

Kojima’s departure from Konami came about like a sudden illness. It began with the notorious case of P.T., when a small cough—rumours that the game was going to be cancelled—turned into a wild fever. Talks of internal struggles between the creator and the publisher, along with Kojima’s sudden disappearance from the public stage, snared speculators […]

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By Andrew Ko

Kojima’s departure from Konami came about like a sudden illness. It began with the notorious case of P.T., when a small cough—rumours that the game was going to be cancelled—turned into a wild fever. Talks of internal struggles between the creator and the publisher, along with Kojima’s sudden disappearance from the public stage, snared speculators with an itchy rash: the idea that such a long history between Kojima and Konami could collapse. And when the black plague came, everything ended in what felt like the span of a single breath: Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro’s creative horror-child, Silent Hills, was aborted prematurely. And, shortly after the release of Metal Gear Solid V, so was Kojima.

But this isn’t the story of the man’s fall. It is the story of how he gets back up again and finds a therapeutic reawakening on his own two feet. It culminates with Death Stranding, a game that is like a black monolith come down from the sky. One can feel like a monkey trying to figure it all out, with its god-like figures, paternally-born babies, and beached whales. But perhaps staring into the world of Death Stranding is like looking into a Rorschach painting through Kojima’s eyes; that somewhere in its inked madness is a story of recovery. An attempt at psychoanalysis begins with his post-Konami journey—a journey that first took him westward.

Why Death Stranding is Therapy for KojimaA Recovery in the West

“Unfortunately Kojima-san needed to leave his technology with his ‘former employer,’” Mark Cerny, the lead architect of the PlayStation 4, explained at the first PlayStation Experience panel after Kojima’s departure. The mere reference to Konami incited a round of enthusiastic boos, after which he continued, “So we went on a quest to find an engine for the game.” Cerny had taken Kojima on a world tour of game studios earlier that year. They saw the performance capture studio where The Last of Us and The Order: 1886 were filmed, along with high-profile companies the likes of Quantic Dream, Crytek, Media Molecule, EA Dice, Mojang, Massive, Naughty Dog, and Sucker Punch. They weren’t just looking for the best technology; they were looking for collaborators—people with the same ideology and approach to technology; to “corporate culture.”

What they found were companies with openness, an idea that is seemingly alien to the execs at Konami. To illustrate this, a report by Nikkei painted a picture of Konami as a “workplace where employee movement is monitored by cameras and developers are assigned to menial jobs if they're considered no longer useful” (via Polygon). But the American and European studios were different. They were places where kitchens were hubs of collaboration; where people dressed down in casual clothes and could walk up to anyone to start a conversation. At a time when Kojima’s voice was most squelched, they lent him their ear. It was, simply put, what he needed. It was during those talks that he met Guerilla.

The Guerilla with the Gift

Guerrilla Games is a studio based in the Netherlands with employees of 30 different nationalities. Their latest game, Horizon Zero Dawn, came about from a pitch between 40 different people. They are a truly heterogeneous, global community, and the company eventually chose to take Kojima into their gorilla-sized arms. The dictatorship, auteurship, and Japanese homogeneity that characterized Konami is half a world away from the Dutch studio. It’s a studio that will partner up hand-in-hand with Konami to exchange the information and work needed to develop Death Stranding and the technology behind even more games to come. Guerilla has even taken on a “satellite” branch of Kojima’s new company to nurture the new relationship face-to-face. If Kojima’s post-Konami journey is his therapy, then Guerilla is his psychologist.

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Moreover, Hermen Hulst, Guerilla’s managing director, provided the prescription that Kojima needed: he handed him the entire source code to their long-in-development “Decima” engine—on a USB stick. With it, Kojima could finally establish Kojima Productions. Presented in a simple wooden box, the gift was sent before any contract was even signed as a way of reassuring Kojima that their new partnership would be different from his experiences at Konami. “That was the instinct” Hulst said, “for the sake of making games—all of us—let’s just share that with Kojima-san’s team.” The engine is named after an island called Dejima, where, during a self-imposed isolationism that prohibited trading with other countries, it acted as a critical nexus of trade between the Netherlands and Japan during the Edo-period. It formed a relationship solidified in history, and its spirit continues with Kojima Productions and Guerilla’s collaboration. In a quote that perhaps best illustrates their friendship, Kojima explains, “We start telling them we’re aiming for the Moon and Mars. And Guerilla came and said, well, let’s go to Jupiter together.”

Kojima Productions is Kojima’s Safe-Haven

"Media Molecule told me that the kitchen is crucial," Kojima told Eurogamer in an interview. He took the tip from the English studio—which is best known for the zany creativity of their LittleBigPlanet series—and built his own studio with this newly acquired social philosophy in mind. In fact, the first year of Kojima Productions was solely dedicated to people. Kojima wanted applicants from around the world and from different fields. He hired people who worked on modelling for movies, people who made camera lenses, and authors of books. This people-first philosophy even shows itself in the actors he hires. In an interview with Mads Mikkelsen, Kojima said that he wants to bring the actor’s sensibilities into the game, something that he hasn’t prioritized before. Jokingly he said that players might see the Mikkelsen character suddenly break out into ballet or cook food.

So, with the support structure of people around him, the remaining piece of the puzzle was to create an environment that could make freedom thrive; a Konami antithesis where someone could just walk up to someone else and start a conversation. In this environment, Kojima Productions would be a therapeutic safe haven—a womb of unshackled creativity where video games can gestate and develop. And the long entryway that separates the studio with the outside world is all the proof needed to show that Kojima and his team succeeded. It is completely covered in white, with floors lit-up in a pale light reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey and walking through it is like meditating before a therapy session. A statue of Kojima Production’s mascot, the astronaut Luden, stands like a visual mantra reminding passersby of where they are going—to Jupiter. The hallway is described as a decompression zone where workers will leave behind the bustle of everyday life and enter the studio in earnest, an isolated echo chamber where different voices are heard at equal measure. “I was right that the perspective wasn’t wrong,” Kojima tweeted about the transition to the new studio, “It was the beginning of bonding everything again.”

Why Death Stranding is Therapy for Kojima 2A Nightmare Called “Death Stranding”

The song used in Death Stranding’s reveal trailer bellows: “Waiting for my words. Seen but never heard. Buried underground. But I’ll keep coming.” Low Roar’s song, “I’ll Keep Coming,” seems to perfectly express the underlying power of Kojima Production’s first game. In the trailer, after mourning a deceased baby lying nearby, Norman Reedus’ character stands up to see a desecrated shore. Dead sea life is washing up on land, and five god-like beings float in the sky above him, equally spread apart to an inhuman exactness. The teaser consolidates images together like a mind merging bad memories into a nightmare, and may very well be the culmination of Kojima’s psyche post-Konami and his way of dealing with it. The dead baby evokes, with symbolic familiarity, the prematurely aborted Silent Hills. Konami even described the game as “embryonic.” The gods in the sky seem to conjure up the utter powerlessness one might feel from facing the gargantuan task of starting a game studio from scratch—the more cynical might even see them as Konami executives.

It is a threatening sight to behold, but Reedus’ character is unafraid. There is ferocity in his eyes; a hidden power that roars along with the song, “I’ll keep coming.” The hero of Death Stranding has a power to combat this nightmare. Contrary to the norm, where a game’s main mechanics are often just keeping people away with guns, one of Death Stranding’s main systems is to pull people close with “ropes.” It remains to be seen what these ropes will look like and how exactly they will work, but presumably, this “rope” mechanic has something to do with the umbilical cords seen in the dead sea-life and the “strands” in Death Stranding. Needless to say, they represent the ability to form connections with other people that Kojima has found strength in after his time at Konami and it makes him unafraid of the monumental task ahead. They are the strands that stretch westward to Guerilla; a skip over the pond to Media Molecule in England; America-bound to Naughty Dog and the tech-mavericks of California—across cyberspace to the fans at home.

Why Death Stranding is Therapy for Kojima 4

A friend of Elon Musk’s once told him that beginning a start-up is like staring into the abyss while chewing glass. Maybe Death Stranding is simply Kojima’s version of that metaphor. And because he is able to spill his heart out into a game where a naked Norman Reedus stares into an aquatic apocalypse with beached whales and five faceless gods coming for him, Kojima can finally unload his mind into his work and reach a new Zen place where things can happen naturally and clearly. With Kojima helming one of the biggest new studios in recent memory, the event feels inaugural. It sounds like for Kojima Productions, from this day forward, it’s going to be people first.

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EA Play 2017 Games Lineup Revealed For E3 https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/23/ea-play-lineup-revealed/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/23/ea-play-lineup-revealed/#respond Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:58:34 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97787

By Jordan Biordi

It's never too early for E3 news as gamers are always speculating at what might be on display at the world's largest yearly gaming convention. This year, EA has decided to give gamers a sneak peak at some of their upcoming releases. In a press release, EA has announced their lineup of games for EA […]

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By Jordan Biordi

It's never too early for E3 news as gamers are always speculating at what might be on display at the world's largest yearly gaming convention. This year, EA has decided to give gamers a sneak peak at some of their upcoming releases.

In a press release, EA has announced their lineup of games for EA Play 2017, their second annual event during the Electronic Entertainment Expo. From June 10-12, players can get an early hands-on with the newest instalments in the Star Wars Battlefront, Need for Speed, Madden, FIFA and NBA LIVE franchises.

Probably the most interesting news is a playable demo for the next Star Wars Battlefront, which was initially announced five months after the release of the Battlefront reboot. While EA has addressed most gamers' criticism of the first game—the lack of a proper single-player Conquest mode, space combat and the meager amount of levels at launch—it will be interesting to see how much new content will be playable at this year's EA Play.

EA has confirmed that Star Wars Battlefront II will have a single player mode, although this could just mean a repackaging of multiplayer levels with "objectives," much like Battlefield 1, and a selection of content spanning both the original trilogy and the prequels, and the new Star Wars films, framing it as not only a sequel, but a reboot of the original Star Wars Battlefront II which featured similar elements.

EA PLAY will be hosted at the Hollywood Palladium with tickets being made available on Apri 20, 2017 at 9 a.m. PT/6 p.m. CET.

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CI Games Reveals Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 Challenge Mode https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/23/ci-games-reveals-sniper-ghost-warrior-3-challenge-mode/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/23/ci-games-reveals-sniper-ghost-warrior-3-challenge-mode/#comments Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:56:06 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97765

By Christopher Whan

CI Games, creators of the Sniper Ghost Warrior series, announced that Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 will be receiving a new “Challenge Mode”. The new mode will allow players to move throughout the game’s open world setting as they try to complete the difficult challenges given. “Challenge Mode” promises to prove difficult for even the best […]

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By Christopher Whan

CI Games, creators of the Sniper Ghost Warrior series, announced that Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 will be receiving a new “Challenge Mode”.

The new mode will allow players to move throughout the game’s open world setting as they try to complete the difficult challenges given. “Challenge Mode” promises to prove difficult for even the best of players.  The mode is able to remove features found in the game such as its HUD in order to increase difficulty. Other changes to the game such as increased enemy perception and marker that disappear after using the surveillance drone may also occur, forcing players to play extra carefully as they attempt to clear objectives. Players will need to be well equipped and make use of the many gadgets in the game if they hope to successfully complete the new missions in Sniper Ghost Warrior 3. CI Games also dropped a trailer further detailing this mode.

Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is an upcoming open world first-person tactical shooter that is set to release on April 25, 2017. Players take on the role of a sniper named Jonathon North, who is dropped into enemy territory in northern Georgia. The game features large open-world maps, full with dynamic weather and a day and night cycle that is meant to impact the decisions players make when trying to clear objectives without fail. Players will be able to customize different weapons, accessories, vehicles and a usable drone.

The Sniper Ghost Warrior series began back in 2010 on PC and Xbox 360, later coming to the PlayStation 3 in 2011. The game was had players take on the role of various characters for different missions related to the game’s plot. The game received mostly negative scores from critics, mainly for its graphical issues and unforgiving AI. Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 released for the same platforms in 2013 and suffered similar, slightly more positive reception.

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Power Rangers Movie Review - Suprisingly OK https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/power-rangers-movie-review-suprisingly-ok/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/power-rangers-movie-review-suprisingly-ok/#respond Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:25:54 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97805

By Phil Brown

Indulgent film critic confession time: I have a complicated relationship with The Power Rangers.  Circa grade three, there was no piece of pop culture I found more thrillingly addictive or entertaining. As a child, the mixture of bad 90s teen drama crudely edited together with cheap man-in-suit Japanese action scenes felt like the height of art. […]

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By Phil Brown

Indulgent film critic confession time: I have a complicated relationship with The Power Rangers.  Circa grade three, there was no piece of pop culture I found more thrillingly addictive or entertaining. As a child, the mixture of bad 90s teen drama crudely edited together with cheap man-in-suit Japanese action scenes felt like the height of art. After puberty, the show held little value beyond nostalgic camp. Despite my misgivings, the popularity of Power Rangers never ended. The show ran endlessly with new toy tie-ins for every season. There were movies (absolutely horrible ones), games, lunch boxes, you name it. By the time the Powers Rangers finally and mercifully left television, 90s nostalgia was but a few years away. Suddenly there were ironic hipster Power Ranger t-shirts and sincere Comic Con cosplay everywhere. The series wouldn’t die. So eventually, it only made sense that Hollywood would revisit Power Rangers as a blockbuster. I dreaded it. I mocked it. Now, it’s here and thankfully it’s not as bad as I feared. Sure, it’s not exactly a great movie. But it is so much better than it could have been.This time out the bright colours and campy sets have been toned down in favour of shadowy cinematography, sarcastic one-liners, and moody teen angst. An ambitious opening sequence establishes the new Jason (Darce Montgomery) as a bad ass football stud who loses his quarterback position thanks to a prank and is forced into a Breakfast Club style weekend detention. There he meets the new Kim (Naomi Scott, bullied n’ troubled in oh so teenage ways) and the new Billy (RJ Cyler, a mildly autistic techno genius/outcast). One night they all end up in an old mineshaft for reasons too convoluted to explain. There they meet up with the missing future Rangers (Ludi Lin’s Zack and Becky G’s Tini, also both troubled teens, but mysteriously so for the sake of getting this plot moving quickly) and discover some mysterious glowing orbs of familiar colours. The next day they wake up with new super powers just like ChronicleSpider-man, and the like. They return to the mine and discover an old spaceship with a wacky robot named Alpha 5 (Bill Hader) and a talking wall named Zordon (Bryan Cranston). The big wall explains that they have been chosen to be the earth’s new protectors known as Power Rangers and will have to fight the evil Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) following a series of prolonged training/bonding montages. You know, that old story.

Vikings – Wolves of Midgard Review - Intense Cheese

Director Dean Israelite (who made the underrated found footage Amblin homage Project Almanac) promised long ago that his take on the Power Rangers would be gritty and serious. It would most definitely not be your daddy’s Power Rangers. Given the barrel-scraping idiocy of the original series, that sounded like a horrifying mistake. Who wants to pretend this nonsense is high art or deep drama? Thankfully, Israelite’s grand proclamations weren’t entirely true. Oh sure, the movie is shot through dark shadows and moody emotions to make viewers feel feelings. However, it’s also a movie about a bunch of teenagers in giant dinosaur robots fighting space monsters. So, you can’t exactly play it too straight. Israelite’s movie runs a tightrope walk between knowing comedy and sombre reboot drama that actually kind of works. By either ripping off or paying homage to The Breakfast Club (viewers choice, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle) he quickly creates a new team of rangers who at least resemble troubled teen types if not necessarily humans. The actors are all committed and don’t seem nearly as lost or embarrassed by their dialogue as the original cast. That makes their relationship kind of sweet, even if they are all little more that 2D teen archetypes who make sad faces. Hey, that’s still an improvement.

It certainly helps that the more established and grown up performers like Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston, and Bill Hader are allowed to have a bit more fun. Sure, they play it real but they are also all clearly aware of how absurd this material is. Cranston flips from being sincerely committed mildly sarcastic, Bill Hader does pure goofball work, and Elizabeth Banks vamps it up mightily in a highly entertaining performance pitched halfway between evil queen and self-parody (given how few roles like this there are for actresses, it’s clear why Banks signed on, and she clearly had a blast elevating the ludicrous material). The effects are also a vast improvement over the usual Power Rangers set pieces (pretty easy to do, given that the first Power Rangers movie boasted some of the worst and most embarrassing CGI ever theatrically released). Israelite knows how to do CGI action and delivers some genuinely exciting and visceral work here. Goddamn it, the whole this is kind of fun.

Of course, it’s also deeply flawed in all the ways one might expect a Power Ranger movie to be. There are massive plot holes and radically bizarre shifts in character that are real head-scratchers. Krispy Kreme plays a major role in the plot in one of the most embarrassingly grating product placements in film history (even if it’s kind of played as a joke). The movie drags on endlessly, with the Rangers not even morphing for almost 90 minutes, which will try the patience of most fans of the franchise. The new costume and zord designs are so generically slick and influenced by other blockbusters (most notably Transformers) that they are somehow less memorable than the old cheapie 90s Japanese designs, and the mythology is convoluted and rather dumb. The running time is far too long. Some of the dialogue is cringe inducing. Some of the dark cinematography makes it difficult to see what’s happening. And most of all, the whole thing is just incredibly stupid despite being treated incredibly serious.

Vikings – Wolves of Midgard Review - Intense Cheese 1

Yet, despite all of those big flaws and more, this movie is still so much better than it had any right to be. Performances are surprisingly strong, production values run high, the action delivers, and all the sly references and in-jokes to the past are cleverly inserted. The target audience of 90s kids looking for an expensive stroll down memory lane should eat it up. After all, it’s not like anyone who still enjoys the Power Rangers has particularly high standards for this sort of entertainment. Unless you’re watching purely for ironic laughs, this is probably the best project to ever be stamped with the name Power Rangers. Sure that’s as much a reflection of how low the depths of Power Rangers crap can get as it is a compliment for this movie. But still, this thing was infinitely better than I expected. It’s almost worth recommending to people who aren’t already hopeless Power Rangers fans. Only almost, though, not quite.

Score:6

Final Thoughts:Well, this is probably the best Power Rangers movie that could exist, which isn’t necessarily a compliment.

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Mario Sports Superstars Review - Simple Sports Skins https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/mario-sports-superstars-review-simple-sports-skins/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/mario-sports-superstars-review-simple-sports-skins/#respond Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:25:44 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97784

By Phil Brown

Generally speaking, it’s exciting when a new Nintendo game is released featuring the name Mario in the title. Generally, that’s a sign that it will be one of the more polished, deep, satisfying, and most importantly entertaining games released on any big “N” console. There is an exception to this rule though. If the word […]

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By Phil Brown

Generally speaking, it’s exciting when a new Nintendo game is released featuring the name Mario in the title. Generally, that’s a sign that it will be one of the more polished, deep, satisfying, and most importantly entertaining games released on any big “N” console. There is an exception to this rule though. If the word “sports” appears, you can expect simple simulations with your favourite Nintendo mascots and little else. That’s fine, of course. Sometimes all you want is a little mini-game amusement, and Mario Sports Superstars certainly serves up that. Sure, this isn’t exactly an ambitious or exciting new Nintendo release. But if you just want to experience the special joy of seeing Bowser hit a home run, then this is the game for you.

Once you plop this pleasingly colourful game into your 3DS, you’ll get access to the five different sports on display. The most satisfying are likely Mario Tennis and Mario Golf. Why? Well, because these are classic Nintendo sports simulations. Mario Golf has been around since the NES and Mario Tennis was one of the few noteworthy titles on the now infamous Virtual Boy console. The mini-games look and feel about how you’d expect from any previous iterations of these titles. They are the most basic of golf and tennis simulators, just with Mario, Luigi, and the gang playing along. And of course each character have different attributes for each sport. They’re smoothly designed and satisfying if you have an itch to play a simplified version of either sport. So yay. You get these again.

Mario Soccer and Mario Baseball have also been around before. They are streamlined versions of both sports with a couple of super-powered options built in. Again, they are entirely functional. The only problem here is that soccer and baseball games are pretty popular outside of the Nintendo arena. So, if you’re used to FIFA or MLB: The Show, you’ll definitely notice that the Mario Sports Superstars simulations are lacking depth despite all the added cuteness. They are kind of like arcade versions of the sports simulations with famous gaming icons as a distracting coat of paint. They won’t come close to matching the accuracy or intensity of FIFA or MLB, but you can’t expect them to. As cartoon twists on popular sports, they are fine though. So take it or leave it.

Finally, there’s a horse racing option. That’s right horseracing. Why? I don’t know. But it’s here. The horse riding simulation is based on boosts and stamina, so even more basic stuff. Aside from the visuals, it feels like a racing game from another era—one from many moons ago. It’s certainly the sport that I would be the least likely to return to. However, it also the mini-game with the most bells and whistles since there’s also a stable option that allows you to pet, walk, and accessorize your horse for a Nintendogs-like experience. Which might be fun for kids. I was left scratching my head about what possible appeal this option could have other than upping the game’s content slightly.

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So, that’s what you get gameplay wise, simplified and cartoony takes on four classic Nintendo sports simulations and the bizarre addition of horseracing for budding gamblers and virtual pet lovers. None of the sport simulations are spectacular, but none of them are broken either. The fact that you get all five sports in one package and can play them all through online and local multiplayer is what makes Mario Sports Superstars worthwhile. Any one of these mini games in isolations would feel rather lacking for a full priced 3DS game—sure there are trophies and collectables to earn, but that’s not worth discussing beyond mentioning the option. Taken together in a very smoothly animated and pleasingly designed package that looks pretty in 3D, this makes for a perfectly amusing little mini-game compendium for Nintendo nuts. There’s plenty of content in Mario Sports Superstars, which all adds up to more than the sum of its mediocre parts. Should anyone rush out to buy this title? Not really, but in a slow release season this will scratch an itch for 3DS players desperate for new content. That’ll do, Nintendo. That’ll do.

Score:7

Final Thoughts:It’s another Mario Sports game and just as satisfyingly predictable or unsatisfyingly unambitious as you imagine.

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Shudder Exclusive Prevenge Review - Blood Coated Commedy https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/shudder-exclusive-prevenge-review-blood-coated-commedy/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/shudder-exclusive-prevenge-review-blood-coated-commedy/#respond Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:25:35 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97775

By Phil Brown

Hi gang, back again with another review of a Shudder exclusive. You know, that horror exclusive streaming service. The one that you can guarantee will only showcase movies determined to disturb you. We love it here at CGM because we’re genre-loving weirdoes and like to keep you fine readers up to date with any Shudder […]

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By Phil Brown

Hi gang, back again with another review of a Shudder exclusive. You know, that horror exclusive streaming service. The one that you can guarantee will only showcase movies determined to disturb you. We love it here at CGM because we’re genre-loving weirdoes and like to keep you fine readers up to date with any Shudder exclusive releases worth shoving in front of your eyeholes. Well, we’ve got one of those now. This week the streaming service is housing Prevenge a nightmarishly dark comedy about pregnancy and murder that was one of our favourite films at TIFF last year. If you feel like giggling at something that will also make you feel slightly ill this weekend, Prevenge is a special sordid treat for you to sample.

The film comes from writer, director, and star Alice Lowe, a cult comedy figure from the UK. You might know her from the brilliance that is Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace or perhaps from Ben “Kill List” Wheatley’s brilliantly bleak comedy Sightseers. Lowe also co-wrote the latter and if you’ve seen it, that’s a good indication of the tone of her directorial debut. Prevenge is one of those movies that slots into the horror genre for lack of any other proper classification. It’s really a comedy, just one so sick and unsettling it’s better recommended to horror fans over comedy nerds. Those sensitive souls won’t necessarily appreciate the disturbing delights that Lowe finds so funny and tragic.

Shudder Exclusive Prevenge Review - Blood Coated Commedy 1

Lowe stars as Ruth, a sad n’ lonely woman who is seven months pregnant and single. It’s not the greatest place to be in and Ruth has a unique way of dealing with her predicament. She’s decided to go on a killing spree. We meet Ruth bumping off a pet store employee in the back room, and soon see her dole out the same brand murderous justice to a sad sack DJ in a bad wig whom she seduces at his pathetic show. Curious about motivation? You should be. That’s the mystery silly! The actually reason why the pregnant Ruth decided to start a murdering hobby stay secret for most of the running time. But it’s quickly revealed that Ruth’s unborn child has started speaking to her and demanding murder. So really it’s a mother-and-unborn-child bonding tale. A very sweet story, except for all the bloodshed.

Much like the recent Get Out, Prevenge is a thriller/horror/satire dripping with subtext. Alice Lowe hasn’t made the first pregnancy horror film (because you know, Rosemary’s Baby, and so forth). But she has come up with quite a unique angle on how to tackle that oh-so-special human miracle through twisted genre means. It’s a tale of how pregnancy can completely change and take over the mother-to-be, biologically, psychologically, and emotionally. Throughout there are subtlety chilly and funny sequences in which Lowe visits care workers and doctors and is dismissively treated to overreacting to pregnancy. There’s some definite sting to those moments that feel rather real. Obviously, the whole “kill for me, mommy” angle is a bit more stylized, but it is rather terrifying. It’s a unique take on the loner killer subgenre, rooted in a specifically female experience rather explored in this sort of film. The fact that Alice Lowe was actually 7 months pregnant during shooting is a hilarious bit of trivia and also no surprise. As diabolically twisted and indebted to genre movie history as Prevenge might be (a little Possession here, a little Taxi Driver there, and some Italian Giallo style all over), it’s also clearly a deeply personal film for the creator and that resonates deeply throughout. If nothing else, this is going to be one of the strangest family home movies for the Lowe clan, much like the experience David Lynch must have had when he finally shared Eraserhead with his daughter.

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Directing for the first time, Lowe proves to have a distinct tone and style. There’s a queasy discomfort to the dirty little tale, with Lowe constantly building tension towards scares and laughs. It’s never quite clear whether tension will be burst by a giggle or a scream and that makes the movie deliciously entertaining. She’s also got a knack for creating relatable characters through stingingly naturalistic dialogue. Everyone on screen is believable, even though none of them quite match Lowe’s searing presence and twisted character (to be fair, how could they in context?). Working with a smaller budget, Lowe also manages to deliver an impressive sense of style and atmosphere for a flick shot in under two weeks. She clearly knows her genre craft and executes it well.

If there’s a problem with Prevenge, then it’s the fact that the meandering movie can feel a bit episodic until the final act that doesn’t quite wrap things up in a satisfying way. It all works, it just feels like Lowe was a little uneasy about how to wrap up her tale and the finale may leave some feeling underwhelmed, even though the creepy ambiguity is fully appropriate for this genre. Still, it’s not as if Lowe or anyone else intended Prevenge to be a unique and tight masterpiece. It was more of an experience in murderous pregnancy horror and British cringe comedy and damn it the experiment work. There’s no other movie quite like this one despite all of the various references to past genre outings. Alice Lowe is clearly a gifted master of the darkest of comedy and has a knack for genre thrills that could grow alongside her established morbid wit. She’s definitely a talent to keep an eye on and if Prevenge isn’t quite her masterpiece, it’s certainly a fascinating genre oddity well worth seeking out for those who like their comedy coated in blood.

Score:8.5

Final Thoughts:Prevenge is a dark horror/comedy that finally proves pregnant women can be just as good at murdering people as the rest of us!

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Skylanders Imaginators Switch Review - Still Relevant https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/skylanders-imaginators-switch-review-still-relevant/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/skylanders-imaginators-switch-review-still-relevant/#respond Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:26:39 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97768

By Chris Carter

At this point, the Skylanders series has basically done it all in the world of toys-to-life. They helped popularize the genre on gaming consoles (it was already a thing on PC with kids lines like Webkinz), made the figures bigger, tackled multi-part toys, added traps to capture NPCs, and even vehicles into the mix. Their […]

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By Chris Carter

At this point, the Skylanders series has basically done it all in the world of toys-to-life. They helped popularize the genre on gaming consoles (it was already a thing on PC with kids lines like Webkinz), made the figures bigger, tackled multi-part toys, added traps to capture NPCs, and even vehicles into the mix. Their most recent big gamble is full-on creation tools, in the form of creation crystals that allow players to craft their own characters, in tandem with the new pre-build "Sensei" toys. It's an awful lot to keep track of, but being able to play Skylanders Imaginators on the go using the Switch helps break all of that down.

Skylanders Imaginators Switch Review - Still Relevant

So what's new on the Switch? Well, it doesn't need a portal, and thank goodness because I have an entire box dedicated to those plastic monstrosities. Instead, it utilizes the NFC capabilities of the Switch tablet (specifically the right analogue stick), much like amiibo. Going out and sharing the game is the easiest it's ever been now that it's not tethered to a Wii U GamePad and/or a bulk extra accessory (players can also scan characters into a digital library and summon them at will after they've scanned them twice—a measure Activision refers to as "anti-theft protection".  I miss the giant portal to an extent and wouldn't mind seeing it again in a future iteration, but I got used to it this time around on the Switch. It's also, strangely, one of the only games on the Switch that currently supports the touchscreen. It might just be for menus, but it's slick all the same.

There is one major downside however. The Switch version, for whatever reason, does not support vehicles from Skylanders SuperChargers or traps from Trap Team.  As someone who owns all of them, I was disappointed, as the races are a fun way to pass the time. Well that, and "forward compatibility" is something the series prides itself on, and this is the first time the chain has been broken. Granted, traps, just like Skylanders SuperChargers, only work as "boost" power-ups in the other versions, so you aren't missing much from that omission even if the loss of vehicles does sting—especially so since this means that Donkey Kong and Bowser's Barrel Blaster and Clown Cruiser (respectively) don't work on a Nintendo system.

As for the game itself, it's basically the same as it was late last year. Combat is simplistic but more than functional, with bright hues constantly rocking the screen as well as colourful characters that have a lot to say (including the catchphrases that players can program into them). On paper, the Skylanders series doesn't seem like much, but after playing just one of them you'll easily see why the games warranted their own cartoon series and massive following. Each development team puts a lot of soul into their work, as do the animators and voice actors that help these creatures come to life.

Unfortunately, the microtransactions are here to stay. While earning loot quicker in a well-paced game that's targeted at kids isn't a necessity, it's the very notion that gets me. It's not just tucked away in a menu either; it's tied to some loot chests and can be sprung on you after pressing an errant button. I didn't expect that the Switch version would eliminate this cash cow entirely, but I did hope that they would tone it down a bit.

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A Diablo style loot system is the cornerstone of Skylanders Imaginators, and drove me to not only finish the campaign, but to continue and go for a full completion run. There are extras in each level to locate and quite a bit of replay value with added difficulty runs, as the bulk of the data is saved into the figure. "Bringing your character over to a friend's house" was kind of a pain in the past, but with the Switch, you can literally just bring the tablet and play in handheld mode.

The Switch version had the potential to be the clear-cut definitive edition, but a few compromises were made along the way. It might not seem like much to someone who's diving into the series for the first time, but the lack of vehicle and trap support feels like a missed opportunity.

Still, as a hack and slash for the entire family, Skylanders Imaginators proves that the Skylanders series is still more than relevant.

Score:8

Final Thoughts:Toys for Bob comes up with one of their most ambitious plays yet, the ability to create Skylanders from scratch.

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Power Rangers: Legacy Wars Launches Today with Over 40 Fighters https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/23/power-rangers-legacy-wars-launches-today-40-fighters/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/23/power-rangers-legacy-wars-launches-today-40-fighters/#respond Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97753

By Michael Koczwara

Power Rangers seems to be all the rage this week as the new tie-in game, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, releases today on iOS and Android, just a day before the release of the film. The new mobile game aims to bring together the 24-year history of the iconic Power Rangers series, featuring over 40 characters from throughout the lifespan […]

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By Michael Koczwara

Power Rangers seems to be all the rage this week as the new tie-in game, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, releases today on iOS and Android, just a day before the release of the film.

The new mobile game aims to bring together the 24-year history of the iconic Power Rangers series, featuring over 40 characters from throughout the lifespan of the franchise, including those set to appear in the new film. The game itself is a one-on-one fighting game that pits you against other players in real-time. Warriors can be upgraded through missions and battle streaks, while other features include customizable teams and trade features with friends. There are also 100 unique moves from the get-go, so there are plenty of play styles to try out.

Power Rangers: Legacy Wars was announced earlier this year. Developed by nWay, the studio explained that they "worked closely with Saban Brands and Lionsgate to produce a console-quality game for an iconic franchise that will satisfy fans and gamers," adding that they hope the new game is seen "as a groundbreaking fighting game, allowing players to battle each other in real time over their mobile network."

The resurgence in popularity of the Power Rangers franchise can be mainly attributed to the upcoming release of the feature film, set to release this Friday on March 24, 2017. Just like the game, the movie features the Power Rangers in their attempt to defeat the space witch Rita Repulsa. To get you up to speed on the film, check out what the cool new suits of the latest incarnation of the Power Rangers look like, along with some of the cast choices like Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa.

Power Rangers: Legacy Wars was released today on March 23 for iOS and Android. This comes just a day before the latest film is released on March 24.

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Talking Dystoria With Tri-Coastal Games https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/23/talking-dystoria-tri-coastal-games/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/23/talking-dystoria-tri-coastal-games/#respond Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:30:18 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97737

By Cole Watson

Three Hills, Alberta is home to one of the latest Indie Game studios to appear within Canada’s borders, Tri-Coastal Games. Made up of an ambitious team of two self-taught devs, Daryl Wilson (Programmer and Composer) and Craig Grierson (Game Design and Modeler), Tri-Coastal Games is focused on creating retro-inspired games with modern twists. They have […]

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By Cole Watson

Three Hills, Alberta is home to one of the latest Indie Game studios to appear within Canada’s borders, Tri-Coastal Games. Made up of an ambitious team of two self-taught devs, Daryl Wilson (Programmer and Composer) and Craig Grierson (Game Design and Modeler), Tri-Coastal Games is focused on creating retro-inspired games with modern twists. They have a lot to prove with their first release, Dystoria, so we decided to chat about what to expect with their latest title Dystoria.

Dystoria is a retro inspired 3D arcade shooter set in the 80s that gives players the freedom to navigate their ship wherever they want to on the surface geometry of each level. Each map is a 360-degree Axis Shifting 3D space, creating challenging navigation puzzles to work out as players search for collectable orbs while fighting for survival against cerebral enemies. Dystoria is currently available for PC on Steam.

Talking Dystoria With Tri-Coastal Games 1CGMagazine: Why did you two decide to come together as a team and start your own Indie game studio (Tri-Coastal Games)?

Daryl Wilson: We actually met while Craig was still working at his video store down here in Three Hills and we just started talking about video games and how making one was always his dream. Since I’m already a musician I told him, “Well if you need any music then give me a call.”

That’s basically where it all started before we actually got down to working on a project together and filling in the gaps where we could. This is the first time I’m diving into the development side of video games, where as Craig has been at the learning process a lot longer.

Craig Grierson: Yeah, I’ve been trying to develop and release a game for a long time, but this is my first release too so we’re excited what people have to say about it.

CGM: Where did the idea for Dystoria come from?

Wilson: I was on vacation visiting a friend of mine from high school when we got to talking about games and ideas. Both of us are passionate about games obviously, but he’s a great ideas guy and he said, “You know what, I think it would be cool if there was a game that you could travel along the surface and if you go over the edge the map will reorient itself and give the player even more space to navigate.”

Once I heard that we started prototyping a very rudimentary version of Dystoria right there. Then I came back and showed it to Craig, he really liked it, so we decided to just go ahead and develop it into a full release.

CGM: Was Dystoria ever shown off at a Game Jam?

Wilson: As far as I’m aware of we are the only game developers where we are located for 100 miles so we are extremely isolated. All of our game dev community interactivity is online, but we would love to do a Game Jam at some point when we have a smaller idea that could be done really quickly.

CGM: Everything about Dystoria screams retro 80s sci-fi and it’s clear that your game draws inspiration from classic games and movies, such as Descent and Tron. What made you want to set your game in this era?

Wilson: Because we’re old (laughing).

Grierson: We love everything about the 80s; the science fiction, the movies, the music. Of course we love other decades as well, but we wanted to return to the golden age of gaming where enemies may not have the best AI, but at the end of the day they are endless fun.

Not that games aren’t fun now, in fact they are pretty brilliant, but when you’re only a studio of two you can’t make something as expansive or large in scale as a AAA title.

Wilson: Exactly. Dystoria is a niche game that no large studio would pick up because they would consider it too big of a risk to publish, but because of our position, we get to experiment and deliver some unique experiences.

Talking Dystoria With Tri-Coastal Games 2CGM: In a marketplace like Steam that’s flooded with shovelware it can be hard for promising Indies to stand out from the pack. What makes Dystoria unique and why should potential players look out for it?

Wilson: I believe the gameplay itself is what will get people hooked on our game. I’ve been hard pressed to find anything that does what Dystoria is doing with Six-Axis and the shifting map. A lot of people pick up the inspiration from Descent and Super Mario Galaxy, which are common comparisons, but the game is still very much different from those two in a lot of ways. Because the player is actually stuck to the surface for the most part, this makes navigation interesting and complex. You really have to use your head and think things out instead of blindly rushing through because you’ll only get lost and disoriented.

Another thing we worked hard to do was capture the essence of retro games, but without limiting ourselves to pixelated graphics and 8-bit sound.

Grierson: I would agree with Daryl that we are doing something different, that I for sure haven’t seen before as a gamer. Right away after I saw the concept I thought, “If we do this right, Dystoria could be something really special.” Hopefully we accomplished just that.

CGM: Since this is your first experience working on a video game as well as with each other, what were some of the difficulties you had to overcome while working on Dystoria?

Wilson : From the start, time is a key factor because we aren’t a paid studio coming off of the money we made from our last project. So a lot of Dystoria’s development was done in our spare time, hacking away at the evenings as well as learning all of the programs we had to work with, like the Unity Engine.

There’s also the fundamentals of how a game works from start to finish, building all the menus, tying it all together. You never think about those things while working with a concept about flying ships, in fact, that was relatively easy to come up with, but packaging it all together to make a game that plays and has progression and big boss fights is what makes it complicated, yet have depth.

CGM: On your website you guys talk about your initial project, titled Hillville, and how it was too ambitious for you to complete with such a small team. Is Dystoria a prototype or stripped down version of what Hillville was intended to be?

Wilson: I would say no. Hillville was more of an action/adventure story kind of game, which is a genre we also love. Because we are so young as developers we have all of these massive ideas in our heads, but not enough manpower to produce them. We got buried trying to create it by ourselves and let the scope get away on us. Soon enough we decided it would be best to put it on the backburner, rather than trying to hammer it out in another five plus years.

Our next course of action was to create Dystoria, something smaller that we would be able to prove ourselves with. We were actually able to use the assets from Hillville to act as the setting for the beginning cutscene of the game, which is modelled after the town where we live.

Talking Dystoria With Tri-Coastal Games 3CGM: It might be a bit too early to ask this question, but what is the next step for Tri-Coastal Games?

Wilson: That’s a hard question to answer because we are literally only days out the door with the release of Dystoria, but we’re intent on supporting the game. We do have some ideas on what direction we’d like to take next, but because any number of things could change at this point with how Dystoria performs we might end up doing another game in our spare time. Dystoria’s performance will affect the scope of our next project and what we can do.

If Dystoria does really well, there could easily be a Dystoria 2 or included features like multiplayer or a bigger campaign. That would be pretty cool to see happen, but it would also be nice to change the pace a little bit.

Grierson: Right away when we saw Dystoria’s concept we definitely saw the potential of how fun it could be in multiplayer, like Mario Kart’s battle mode. So I would be excited to work on that. My dream is that we make enough to build our next game and to continue building games because it’s what we are passionate about.

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First 15: Sundered https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/first-15-sundered/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/first-15-sundered/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 19:09:53 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97742

By Lovina Yavari

Lovina and TJ take a look at Sundered, the latest Metroidvania title from Thunder Lotus Studios, the minds behind Jotun that's was previously on Kickstarter.

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By Lovina Yavari

Lovina and TJ take a look at Sundered, the latest Metroidvania title from Thunder Lotus Studios, the minds behind Jotun that's was previously on Kickstarter.

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Hi-Rez Reveals SMITE User Numbers https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/hi-rez-reveals-smite-user-numbers/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/hi-rez-reveals-smite-user-numbers/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:16:57 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97729

By Remington Joseph

Hi-Rez Studios, developer of the game SMITE is currently celebrating the title’s third birthday on March 25, 2017 and in that time, they've racked up some impressive numbers. Since SMITE's release, the game has been played for a collective of 257 million hours by players with 168 million matches played and has an all-time count of 3.8 […]

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By Remington Joseph

Hi-Rez Studios, developer of the game SMITE is currently celebrating the title’s third birthday on March 25, 2017 and in that time, they've racked up some impressive numbers.

SMITE Celebrates its Third BirthdaySince SMITE's release, the game has been played for a collective of 257 million hours by players with 168 million matches played and has an all-time count of 3.8 million followers on various types of social media platforms. The game is played competitively around the world and is featured at many eSports events including the annual SMITE World Championship which offers a prize of $1 million. The game is updated regularly by the developer with patches that balance out the game’s many characters.

Yesterday, Hi-Rez started the celebration early offering some gifts to players. Users will earn double login bonuses by logging in each day until the end of the event on Monday, March 27, 2017. By completing one “First Win of the Week”, players will be able to unlock a special “Birthday Global Emote” for free. All “Gem Packs” available in the game’s store are being sold for 33 per cent off and the Ultimate God Pack is available for 50 per cent off until the end of the event. Players can also get a discount of 50 per cent on all voice packs, ward skins and avatars. A full list of the sales and bonuses can be found on SMITE’s official website. Details can also be found in a Birthday video created by Hi-Rez Studios.

SMITE is a third-person MOBA title, available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Receiving favourable reviews from fans and critics alike, Smite lets players control a god, goddess or other mythological figures as they take part in team-based combat against five other players and AI controlled minions. The game features a variety of different game types with the main mode being “Conquest”.

Hi-Rez Studios invites all players to celebrate SMITE’s third Birthday for the rest of the week.

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Obduction Update Released Today, Adds Support for HTC Vive and Oculus Touch Controls https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/obduction-update-released-today-adds-support-for-htc-vive-and-oculus-touch-controls/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/obduction-update-released-today-adds-support-for-htc-vive-and-oculus-touch-controls/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:37 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97700

By Remington Joseph

Obduction, the sci-fi adventure game developed by Cyan released its latest version today, making the game compatible with the HTC Vive and touch controls for the Oculus Rift. The new update promises to deliver a richer and more immersive experience than anything seen before using VR technology. The updated version will be available PC, Mac […]

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By Remington Joseph

Obduction, the sci-fi adventure game developed by Cyan released its latest version today, making the game compatible with the HTC Vive and touch controls for the Oculus Rift.

The new update promises to deliver a richer and more immersive experience than anything seen before using VR technology. The updated version will be available PC, Mac and Oculus, and is available for $29.99 on Steam. Owners of the game will receive the update that allows Vive and Rift Touch support for free.

Serving as a spiritual successor to Cyan’s earlier titles Myst and Riven, Obduction was developed to present the idea VR setting. The title encourages players to explore and discover new secrets in the world of Obduction as they try to find their way back home after being transported to an alien planet across the universe.

The game was first announced as a Kickstarter project back in 2013 with a goal of one million dollars. The project reached its goal and released in August of 2016. In October of the same year, Cyan released an update for the game that allowed for Oculus Rift support, one of the project’s stretch goals. Another update was released a month later that allowed for smoother turning controls in order to counteract possible VR sickness.

The Oculus Rift touch controllers launched recently in December 2016. The new product has been praised by many critics as the missing link in VR technology. For a game like Obduction, it’s easy to see how being able to interact with the many objects found in the game could help deliver a more realistic experience as well as giving an added layer of depth to the puzzles in the game.

Obduction and its update are available now on PC and have been announced for PlayStation 4 sometime in 2017, being made compatible with the PlayStation VR headset.

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Netflix Releases First Death Note Movie Trailer https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/netflix-releases-first-death-note-movie-trailer/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/netflix-releases-first-death-note-movie-trailer/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:49:27 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97724

By Remington Joseph

Netflix released the first trailer for their upcoming original film, a live-action adaptation of the popular Japanese manga, Death Note. The story will follow Light Turner, a bright student who stumbles across the Death Note, a mystical notebook with the power to kill any person whose name is written into it. After finding it, Light decides […]

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By Remington Joseph

Netflix released the first trailer for their upcoming original film, a live-action adaptation of the popular Japanese manga, Death Note.

The story will follow Light Turner, a bright student who stumbles across the Death Note, a mystical notebook with the power to kill any person whose name is written into it. After finding it, Light decides to take justice into his own hands, ridding the streets of criminals. It isn’t long until Light finds himself being pursued by a famous detective going by the alias, L.

The film will star American actor Nat Wolff as protagonist Light Turner. The role of L will be played by Lakeith Stanfield, an actor who recently played a role in the immensely successful horror film, Get Out. Ryuk, an important character in the original series will be voiced by William Defoe.

The manga series Death Note was written and illustrated by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata respectively in 2003, ending in 2006. It originally followed genius high school student Light Yagami, who after finding a Death Note meets Ryuk, a Shinigami (Death God) who dropped the book into the human world in search of entertainment. Light aims to use the book to kill criminals, leaving only those he sees morally fit to live in his newly formed utopia with the private detective L, attempting to stop him.

Death Note became a global success and has received many adaptations since the time of its ending. In 2006, a 37 episode anime series was created, retelling the series but with a few small changes. Two animated movies were released in 2007 and 2008, once again telling the story in an abridged form, adding in new opening and ending scenes. In Japan, five live action movies have been made, adapting the popular manga with a number of changes along with a live action TV series and a theatrical musical, both debuting in 2015.

The upcoming Netflix film will mark the first American adaptation of the Death Note series and will debut on the app exclusively on August 25, 2017.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Blu-ray Give Away https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/fantastic-beasts-find-blu-ray-give-away/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/fantastic-beasts-find-blu-ray-give-away/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:00:48 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97566

By CGM Staff

CGM is giving away more movies! CGM has teamed up with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to give away some of the best movies in recent history. This month we are giving away Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes us to a new era in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding […]

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By CGM Staff

CGM is giving away more movies!

CGM has teamed up with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to give away some of the best movies in recent history.

This month we are giving away Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes us to a new era in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. Newt Scamander’s magical beasts are inadvertently let loose in 1926 New York, spelling trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Own the Blu-ray™ 3/28
Digital HD Available Now

© 2016 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Publishing Rights © J.K.R.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Blu-ray Give Away!

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Alexander the Great Coming to Civilization VI https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/alexander-the-great-coming-to-civilizations-vi/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/alexander-the-great-coming-to-civilizations-vi/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:11:10 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97712

By Remington Joseph

Alexander the Great will be leading Macedon in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, as revealed by 2K and Firaxis Games in a post on the game’s official website. Said to be one of the most influential human beings to have ever lived, Alexander the Great has been included as a leader in all the previous titles […]

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By Remington Joseph

Alexander the Great will be leading Macedon in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, as revealed by 2K and Firaxis Games in a post on the game’s official website.

Said to be one of the most influential human beings to have ever lived, Alexander the Great has been included as a leader in all the previous titles in the series’ history. His entry into Civilization VI will be the first time that Alexander is represented as the leader of Macedon instead of Greece. Like the other leaders in Civilization VI, Alexander will come with his own unique abilities along with two exclusive units and one building.

Alexander’s first ability, “Hellenistic Fusion” gives Macedon a variety of bonuses when capturing a city, depending on the kind of districts developed there. His second, more combat focused ability is “To the World’s End” allows the nation's units to stay at war longer without weariness.

"The Hypaspist" is the first of Alexander the Great’s unique units, elite Macedonian soldiers equipped with a long spear, short sword and a shield. The unit gains extra strength when taking over districts and gains extra support bonuses. The second unit, the Hetairoi, work as Alexander’s unique replacement for the Horseman, a fast and heavy cavalry unit. The unit is designed to penetrate enemy defences and attack vulnerable rear flanks. Alexander the Great’s final unique ability is to create the building called the "Basilikoi Paides." It grants extra science points when training non-civilians and grants bonuses when training certain military units.

Civilization VI released in fall of 2016 exclusively on PC. Firaxis games developed the title, leading with the same teams that produced the expansions for the previous entry, Civilization V. The game received favourable reviews from multiple critics and has become the fastest-selling game in the series, shipping more than one million units in its first two weeks of release.

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The Walking Dead: Season 3 - The New Frontier Episode 1&2 Review https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/__trashed/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/__trashed/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:53:43 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97706

By Jordan Biordi

I’ll always remember the first time I experienced Telltale’s: The Walking Dead. I had just gotten into the AMC series, and gripped by the emotionally driven drama of the first two seasons, my brother and I picked up the first episode of the game, excited for a similar experience. I was on the edge of […]

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By Jordan Biordi

I’ll always remember the first time I experienced Telltale’s: The Walking Dead. I had just gotten into the AMC series, and gripped by the emotionally driven drama of the first two seasons, my brother and I picked up the first episode of the game, excited for a similar experience. I was on the edge of my seat, my heart racing as I watched my brother play, seeing the results of his actions and the potential weight they may have in the future.

For the most part, Telltale has been on top of their game these series. The Walking Dead: Season 2 was an amazing and intense continuation of the series; The Wolf Among Us took a cult comic book and made an excellent 80s detective drama out of it. I only played the first episode of Telltale’s Back to the Future, and I quite enjoyed it; I never played Telltale’s Jurassic Park, I had heard mostly negative things about it, the opposite can be said of Telltale’s Batman, that is to say, I haven’t played it, but heard mostly good things.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season 3 - The New Frontier Episode 1&2 Review 1The Walking Dead: Season 3 - The New Frontier falls somewhere on the lower end of the Telltale scale for me. It’s got all the similar gameplay mechanics and tones as it predecessors, but I fear familiarity may be breeding my contempt for the series. Make no mistake, this is by no means a bad game, but the recognizable formula across five series now has dulled what was once the game’s definitive edge.

In episode one: The Ties That Bind - Part One, players take control of Javier Garcia, beginning at the start of the apocalypse and showcasing Javi’s turbulent relationship with his family, especially his brother, before they’re all separated. In the present, Javier is now surviving alongside his sister-in-law Kate, nephew Gabe and niece Mariana. When they come upon a junkyard to find supplies, they’re greeted by a band of thugs who separate Javi from his family. However, things begin to turn up as Javi is rescued by Clementine, now in her teens and much more hardened to the world (although, depending on save data from Season one and two, she might have some humanity left in her). Clem introduces Javi to a local community of survivors called Prescott and helps stage a plan to go rescue Javi’s family.

In episode two, the rescue mission goes off fairly successful as Javi is reunited with his family, but attacked by the group of thugs, now identified as “The New Frontier,” who very much resemble Neegan’s “Saviours.” It’s a race against the clock as Kate is shot in the confrontation and is in desperate need of medical attention. Things go from bad to worse as Prescott comes under attack by The New Frontier which forces the gang to find a new safe haven to tend to Kate’s wound.

It’s not a bad story, but for the third season of games, it’s far too familiar. It’s so much of the same notes as the first two seasons: things seem safe and lighthearted, until they suddenly aren’t. Friendships are forged only to be tested, and the values of right and wrong are called into question and none of it really feels all that original. So many of the same archetypal characters are knocking around again, and didn’t we already deal with a “rules by fear” allusion to The Saviours in Season Two?

Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season 3 - The New Frontier Episode 1&2 Review

From a technical level, The New Frontier is probably the best looking The Walking Dead game. As opposed to the previous seasons that sacrificed graphic fidelity for a closer resemblance to the comic book, Season Three uses smooth, detailed character models and environments and applies the cel-shaded aesthetic to them, giving the game an aesthetic that looks great and pays homage to the comic roots. Although, the game suffers from a few glitches that an interactive experience really can’t afford. Graphical glitches that saw people pop into frame from the aether, subtitle text that is inconsistent to the dialogue, or remains on screen for a half a second, and the jarring ways characters try to emote have a way of really taking the player out of the experience.

Furthermore, I couldn’t help feeling like these episodes have been incredibly short. In both the first and second season, as well as The Wolf Among Us, the first few episodes have always had a decent amount of length, saving the shorter episodes for the later episodes. But with both episodes in Season Three, it seemed like just as things started getting interesting, the episode is over—after an hour of gameplay. While I don’t want to drudge up the old “video game length debate,” I can’t help but feel like for an episodic game, providing the player with a more substantial experience helps to offset the month-long waiting period for each new portion.

I think my greatest complaint with The New Frontier is, for a series that has boasted choice and the repercussions thereof, it really offers very little in the way of actual choice. While I understand that this system works effectively given that choices are timed, this is the same problem Fallout 4 had with its four-button dialogue. One of the four dialogue choices is always silence, and what’s on offer contextually never ran in line with any way I could think to solve potential problems. In the early encounter with The New Frontier, one guy accuses you of having a gang after Javi accidently says, “We needed a little…” The contextual dialogue choices, besides silence included: “I’m alone” (an obvious lie, so who would choose that?), “They took off,” or “They’ll be back,” and no choice seemed better than maybe dropping the fact that I had children with me, and this didn’t have to escalate when they inevitably found my family. Almost every choice feels like there’s only the clear good and bad way, never presenting any real ambiguity between right and wrong.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season 3 - The New Frontier Episode 1&2 Review 3

I can’t say I’m really sold on Season Three just yet. It’s far too similar in its circumstances and characters to the last two seasons, it feels limited and, thus far, lacks some of the more intricate, nuanced balance of choices the previous seasons had. Maybe I’ll be swayed by future episodes. Only time will tell. Oh, and Jesus is in here. Make of that what you will.

Score:6

Final Thoughts:Telltale has definitely gotten so comfortable that their latest zombie game lacks any teeth.

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The Top 5 Indie Games of PaxEast 2017 https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/top-5-indie-games-paxeast-2017/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/22/top-5-indie-games-paxeast-2017/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:30:57 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97669

By Brendan Frye

Pax is a chance for players from all walks of life to get a sneak peak at some of the most exciting new games coming out from developers all over the world. Outside of E3, few places offer this level of access to, or give a better look at what new exciting games will soon […]

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By Brendan Frye

Pax is a chance for players from all walks of life to get a sneak peak at some of the most exciting new games coming out from developers all over the world. Outside of E3, few places offer this level of access to, or give a better look at what new exciting games will soon be on consoles and PCs.

This year's Pax East was no different. From the small teams to the big publishers, there are some amazing games on display.  Walking around the show floor, it was nearly impossible not to find exciting things to play, and while it was near impossible to play everything on the show, I did manage to build a list of titles I felt were most interesting and engaging. Clearly, there will be a few games that could not make a list, but if you have the time, all the games on this list are well worth your effort to track down and play.

GNOG

It is no secret that I am a fan of games that try and mix a physical world with a video game space. Using virtual representations of real objects to build game worlds always felt like a fresh way to built on play spaces. Games like Little Big Planet hit that special spot in my heart that few games do. With that in mind, I was not sure what I should expect walking into the demo for GNOG from KO_OP and Double Fine.

Marketed as a "3D puzzle game set in a tactile world of toys and secrets" it asks you, the player, to sort out a selection of puzzles by simply exploring the environment and seeing what works. It is a simple concept at face value, but after some time playing with it, it’s easy to see what makes GNOG so unique. It is not a brand new concept, but the way the team has executed it makes it truly unique and fun. Coming to the PlayStation 4, PC and iOS in 2017, GNOG is a game that needs to be experienced to be believed. It is a work of art and one that anyone that enjoyed puzzle games needs to play.

Moonlighter

With so many little shops in RPG's, have you ever stopped to think where these merchants get all their merchandise? This is the premise of Moonlighter. This action rouge-like RPG puts players in the shoes of a shopkeeper as you run your little shop by day. Players will decide on prices of items, and try to meet the needs of the adventurers that stop by your little shop. By night, you dive into procedurally generated dungeons to scour for the materials and items that will bring all the people looking to quest to your store. It is a great mix of the best parts of shop Sims, and light, fun action RPG's and it are all done with a simple pixel art aesthetic.

The shop-keeping mechanics were oddly fun. I enjoyed watching the questers as they pondered items, seeing their reaction to the prices as I quickly tried to maximize profits while still keeping everyone happy. The full process had a bit more impact, due to the fact every night in the game, I had to risk dying to get each item on my little store shelves.

Developed out of Spain and published by 11-bit studios, Moonlighter is a fun little experience that is far more engaging than the first impression may let on. Even the short demo I managed at Pax East got me hooked on the simple mechanics. It is a game that even in a short demo setting gives you a taste of what to expect, and even gives you the core information to make the game fun. Initially launched as a Kickstarter, Moonlighter is a game that screams charm. It is still in active development, so there were a few rough edges to work out, but if the team get that final coat of polish on, Moonlighter will be a game to look out for on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in 2017.

Tonight we Riot

Have you had enough of your corporate overlord and are in dire need for a revolution? Such is the world of Tonight We Riot, set in a dystopian landscape where corporations dominate the landscape, and everyone is on their payroll. It is up to you, and your compatriots to rise using whatever you find lying around to fight the oppression. The team at Pixel Pushers Union 512, have finally built a game that gives power to the people.

Tonight We Riot is a side-scrolling co-op brawler, where the player takes control of the instigators of an unruly mob as they rise against their oppressors. Like many similar games of the lilke, Tonight We Riot lets you as fight against the establishment using first, brick, militia, and anything you can get your hands on. You alone or with a friend must work your way through a series of levels, where you rally the masses and break stuff as you go.

Playing through a series of levels on the Pax show floor with one of the games developers, I managed to deliver a crippling blow to the establishment by destroying cars, drones, buildings and anything that stood in my way. The mod at your back, acts as a sort of life bar, with the more you have standing behind you, the more damage your cause can ultimately take.

The culmination of this madness is the boss fight on display. You as the rioters must fight a corporate headquarters. With the building transforming into a giant robot with rocket fists, it is hard not to have a blast playing it. Combine that with a fun 16-bit pixel art style, and you have a co-op game that will be perfect for parties or just those times you want to cause chaos.

The demo on display at Pax only gives a taste of what the full experience will be, and sadly only showed off one tile set the whole game will utilize. But even with that, I am intrigued to see more of Tonight We Riot and experience what the overall experience will be like when it launches on PC later in 2017.

Ruiner

When I first saw the trailer for Ruiner, I was hooked. Taking some of the best ideas from Anime, science fiction and gaming, putting them in a blender and letting things go, Ruiner is a kinetic spectacle in the best possible way. On the surface, it appears to be a cyberpunk Hotline Miami, but under that surface, there is a much more complex and engaging experience.

The main character has a look that screams "cyber cool" equipped with a digital display mask, and a cybernetic body borrowing from complex concepts and delivers them in a stylish, exquisitely polished package. Reikon Games, the small Polish team behind Ruiner, have constructed a game that I am amazed exists.

At first glance, it is astounding a team this size built the game. Running on Unreal Engine, the visuals and cut scenes that, at times, rival what is seen from large group AAA studios. The world feels vibrant and alive, filled with characters that live on the fringes of the law. It was difficult to tell who to trust or where the story will lead. Having your mind hacked leaves you were wondering, never fully knowing who to believe, or even what is real. With that constant sense of disassociation, you are left guessing at knowing who the protagonist is and what is going on under that mask. It is an oddly unsettling feeling that pushes the action in a twisted and ultimately disturbing direction.

Gameplay wise, it is an as frantic as it is stunning. You must chain attacks, defense and weapons to tear through the enemies in the game, with one wrong move leading to failure. Once mastered Ruiner manages to be something special, even when using a keyboard and mouse, it felt fun, fast and rewarding. I have been told the team are working on controller support, and apparently, that makes the game even more kinetic and exciting to play. Coming to console and PC in 2017, and I know for me, it will be a day one purchase.

Dusk

Have you ever wanted to be transported back to the mid-90s, where the age of the 3D shooter was fresh in people's minds? Those were the days of Quake, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, and so many others. These games were simple; you killed all the monsters that came to you as fast, and as brutal as possible. This is the mantle that Dusk, a new shooter from publisher New Blood, decided to pick up.

For a game built in Unity, you would think it was built in an old version of the Quake engine. The visuals are a true retro throwback of the best kind. It feels as if it were a forgotten gem from the period and only now uncovered. Built by a small team, and aimed to tickle the nostalgia bone, Dusk is a game that any retro shooter fan will enjoy to sink their teeth into.

Gameplay wise it is exactly as you would expect. Going through a series of episodes, all with unique locations and monsters, Dusk is a game that I am excited to see the full depth of. Beyond the retro throwback gameplay, the developer also managed to throw in some visual models that harken back to all the styles of games we saw when we booted them up on our 586 machines. From the look of early 3DFX cards to the software render look of old shooters, Dusk manages to capture all that in one, oddly unique package.

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Seiken Densetsu Collection Announced for Switch https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/21/seiken-densetsu-collection-announced-switch/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/21/seiken-densetsu-collection-announced-switch/#respond Tue, 21 Mar 2017 19:04:24 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97637

By Jordan Biordi

While the Nintendo Switch has been preparing a solid lineup of games to release throughout the coming months, there seems to be a theme of re-purposing nostalgia for a modern era with games like Super Bomberman R, and the upcoming Ultra Street Fighter 2 and Project Octopath Traveler. In lieu of a proper virtual console, Square Enix may […]

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By Jordan Biordi

While the Nintendo Switch has been preparing a solid lineup of games to release throughout the coming months, there seems to be a theme of re-purposing nostalgia for a modern era with games like Super Bomberman R, and the upcoming Ultra Street Fighter 2 and Project Octopath Traveler. In lieu of a proper virtual console, Square Enix may be filling the gap with Seiken Densetsu Collection.

Announced via a trailer on the official Square Enix Japan Youtube Channel, Seiken Densetsu, also known as the Mana series in North America will be a collection of three games: Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden(Final Fantasy Adventure) on Gameboy, Seiken Densetsu 2(Secret of Mana) on SNES, and Seiken Densetsu 3 on Super Famicom.

Seiken Densetsu initially began as a side story to the Final Fantasy franchise, though the Final Fantasy connection was dropped with the second instalment as it transitioned to the Mana franchise. While the games did maintain RPG elements, they were much more in-line with the Legend of Zelda series, featuring "real-time" combat and world exploration. Secret of Mana was also one of the first action RPG games to feature multiplayer co-op.

While this collection will, presently, only be available in Japan, one can only speculate if it will make it's way to a worldwide release. The Mana series has seen worldwide popularity with re-releases of Secret of Mana on the Wii and Wii U Virtual Console, as well as Final Fantasy Adventure on the Nintendo 3DS. Considering two of the three games within the pack have already been localized, the cost of localizing Seiken Densetsu 3 could, theoretically, outweigh the risk or releasing it to North America and European audiences.

However, even without a proper localized release, with the Nintendo Switch no longer being barred by Region Locking, diehard fans could very easily get a Japanese copy of the game.

Seiken Densetsu Collection will be released in Japan on June 6, 2017.

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Upcoming 'Weapon X' Comic Looks Exciting https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/21/upcoming-weapon-x-comic-looks-exciting/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/21/upcoming-weapon-x-comic-looks-exciting/#respond Tue, 21 Mar 2017 18:47:07 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97632

By Tyler J. Edwards

With today marking the day the critically acclaimed Logan passes a $500 Million worldwide box-office milestone, it is clear that the Wolverine franchise is in a place it has never been. This makes the news of further info regarding the upcoming Weapon X comic even juicier. Today, artist Greg Lands reveals some art and plans for the issue releasing […]

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By Tyler J. Edwards

With today marking the day the critically acclaimed Logan passes a $500 Million worldwide box-office milestone, it is clear that the Wolverine franchise is in a place it has never been. This makes the news of further info regarding the upcoming Weapon X comic even juicier. Today, artist Greg Lands reveals some art and plans for the issue releasing next month and so far, so good.

For those who don't know, Marvel is currently working on this brand new world they're calling RESURRXION, which is picking up right when the Inhumans vs X-Men story arc culminates. The majority of the RESURRXION issues will be concentrating on seeing Xavier's students grow in a world where they are coexisting with humans and fighting more as heroes as opposed to as outlaws being hunted. With the exception of Cable, Weapon X will be the only story to take place in this new world while still straying slightly from Xavier's main cast of students.

The real fun here comes in the form of Weapon X's character roster whose members are littered across cinematic Marvel interpretations for the past few years. This includes Lady Deathstrike from 2003's X2, Sabretooth similar to how he appears in 2009's Origins, Nuke who we have seen as his Netflix alter-ego Will Simpson in Jessica Jones, a slightly grown-up Laura from Logan, Domino who will be played by Zazie Beetz in the upcoming Deadpool 2, and of course our two favourite new (but old) anti-heroes to hit the silver screen; Deadpool and Old Man Logan.

As a matter of fact, Old Man Logan may be looking older than ever. According to artist Greg Lands, "I really am working to make his face look older; not just adding a few lines for wrinkles, but getting the feel of a man that has many miles of hard road under his belt." With this marking the first time artist Greg Lands and writer Greg Pak have collaborated since the highly rated Phoenix Endsong arc, it's sure to be an amazing story hitting shelves April 12, 2017.

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Blaster Master Zero Review - A Deserving Classic Reboot https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/__trashed-2/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/__trashed-2/#respond Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:56:29 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97648

By Jed Whitaker

Blaster Master is a bit of a cult classic series that has never gotten the respect it deserves. Hopefully launching so close to the release of the Nintendo Switch changes that, because it is a damned good game, so much so I hope this reboot starts a new long running series. For those unfamiliar with […]

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By Jed Whitaker

Blaster Master is a bit of a cult classic series that has never gotten the respect it deserves. Hopefully launching so close to the release of the Nintendo Switch changes that, because it is a damned good game, so much so I hope this reboot starts a new long running series.

For those unfamiliar with the series, Blaster Master originally launched on the NES, then later had a couple of Game Boy titles, a Sega Genesis sequel exclusive to North America, an original PlayStation game, and then a not so well received remake on the Wii. Blaster Master Zero serves as a remake of the original but with additional content such as some new bosses, areas, and a sub-weapon as well as a more detailed story. I can say without a doubt that it is the definitive version of Blaster Master, so now is not a bad time to get into what may be a revitalized series.

Blaster Master Zero Review - A Deserving Classic Reboot 1The story is simple, if not a bit stupid. Sometime in the future, a man named Jason finds a creature he has never seen before (a frog) and names it Fred. One day Fred escapes from his tank and Jason sets chase only to end up following his pet into a portal to a different world where he finds a high tech tank called SOPHIA. He immediately climbs in and can drive the tank without training, because of video game logic.

Long story short, Jason goes from area to area slaying giant mutants, both on foot and while driving SOPHIA. The scenes driving the tank play like most platforming Metroidvania titles in that you can jump, shoot, use sub weapons and travel to and fro as you see fit if you've discovered the upgrades required. Jason can also get out of SOPHIA where he is much smaller than you might expect, and only has a basic weapon. Most of the time players only need to exit SOPHIA to enter specific areas only Jason can fit in and/or dungeons.

Dungeons change the viewpoint to a top-down view similar to what you'd find in classic Zelda titles or Binding of Isaac. Inside dungeons, Jason has a selection of weapons and sub-weapons to use and unlock the weapons via power tanks that enemies or breakable objects drop, and the sub-weapons via upgrades found in dungeons. Most bosses are also tackled while in dungeons in small rooms that don't leave much room for error.

Blaster Master Zero Review - A Deserving Classic Reboot 7

That said, Blaster Master Zero is considerably easier than the game it is based on, which is what many would call "NES hard." Many bosses’ health bars can be depleted in mere seconds by spamming the strongest weapon as quickly as possible as soon as they appear on screen. It also helps that sometimes attacks will stun bosses, making them some of the easiest I've ever seen in a video game, which is a shame because their designs deserve a bit more screen time. I found myself getting killed more by the enemies in the overworld more so than anything in the dungeons, but even then I'd say I died maybe ten or so times in the nearly seven hours it took me to complete the game.

My only other complaints are that some dungeons are pointless to enter and waste the player's time as they offer no upgrades, bosses, or any reason to go there. Worse, when you reach the end and realize this, you've got to traverse all the way back to the entrance, unlike dungeons with bosses and upgrades that automatically warp you out when finished. Also, there isn't a whole lot of reason to backtrack other than when the game tells you to, which is always just to go directly to a new area you can now access, rarely if ever are there areas you can get to optional unlockables at during these times.  Minor complaints, but worth mentioning.

Otherwise, the gameplay here is solid. Moving around in SOPHIA is especially fluid, which is great as the platforming requires tight controls while being fair. Blasting through baddies is fun from beginning to end and only gets better as you go on unlocking upgrades that let you do so in different ways.

Blaster Master Zero Review - A Deserving Classic Reboot 6The chiptune music found here would feel at home on the NES, though isn't quite as memorable as the original games (of course it had decades to drill into my brain.) The visuals are obviously better than what could be offered by the NES, while still keeping that retro pixel art aesthetic that most people wouldn't even think twice about if I told them this was actually an NES game. Not a bad thing, by any means, unless you're the kind of person that hates pixel art. It is also worth noting that the entire screen is not used as there are black lines at the sides. I'm not 100 per cent sure why this is, but if I had to guess it is based on the screen ratio of the 3DS version of the game.

I didn't get to play the 3DS version but the Switch offers a few exclusive features such as a two-player mode and HD rumble, neither of which are anything to write home about. The two-player mode is literally just an aiming reticle on the screen the second player can move around and shoot enemies with, while the HD rumble is a bit cooler as it can simulate explosions, drills, water running and other feelings. While HD rumble is nice, I don't think you'll be missing out on much by not having it.

If you're hankering for a Metroidvania on the Nintendo Switch, Blaster Master Zero is it for the time being.  Luckily, it is one of the better ones.

Score:8

Final Thoughts:One of the NES's best Metroidvania games is back and better than ever in Blaster Master Zero.

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Troll and I Review - Good Ideas, Terrible Execution https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/troll-review-good-ideas-terrible-execution/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/troll-review-good-ideas-terrible-execution/#comments Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:29:05 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97638

By Jordan Biordi

These kinds of reviews are always the least fun to write. A game that’s good is always enjoyable to write about when you can fondly remember your time with a game and gush about its quality; a game that’s bad is always fun to tear apart. But a game that’s bad, not through a lack […]

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By Jordan Biordi

These kinds of reviews are always the least fun to write. A game that’s good is always enjoyable to write about when you can fondly remember your time with a game and gush about its quality; a game that’s bad is always fun to tear apart. But a game that’s bad, not through a lack of trying is never fun to review because it puts you in a weird place where you have to tear it apart, but you can see where genuine quality could have existed. And that’s Troll and I—yet another game with a lot of good ideas, but terrible execution.

The first place Troll and I slips up is its story. It’s your basic 80’s movie premise: there’s a Troll hanging out in the mountains of Scandinavia, there are some bad guys who want it for reasons, while at the same time evil beings known as the “Ahky” are emerging from the earth, also for reasons. Players take control of Otto, a young boy who lives in a small farming community who gets caught up in an adventure when the bad guys destroy his town and he is rescued by the titular Troll.

Troll and I Review - Good Ideas, Terrible Execution 1

There’s nothing wrong with the story, per say, but it’s so poorly told in almost every facet. The cinematics lack any production value, and are often janky and impetuous which isn’t helped by every cut scene maintaining gameplay graphics like some low-quality PS2 game. Even the initial reveal of the Troll is totally unceremonious with no build-up or intrigue to him as a character or even a being. Voice acting is stiff and blandly delivered with almost everyone sounding completely bored with what their reading. Troll and I had the chance to emulate the fun and wonder of some of the better “boy and his monster” movies of the 80’s and it fumbles at every turn.

Gameplay is equally poor. While playing as Otto, the game attempts to take on survival elements as he must forage for food and materials using a combination of stealth and strategy to face the Ahky and human threats. But everything about this gameplay pales in comparison to every better example the game is trying to emulate. Attempting to track animals or enemies requires players to sit and hold X for five seconds EVERY TIME, and even then it tries for a “Witcher Sense” aesthetic turning everything monochrome to reveal key information except things like forgeable items or tracks are also highlighted white, which makes them impossible to see in any kind of foliage. Stealth is also completely pointless since no ranged weapon takes out an Ahky in one hit so cover is always blown almost immediately, and CQC is a complete joke of button mashing and dodging into enemy attacks.

Troll and I Review - Good Ideas, Terrible Execution 3

Playing as the Troll fairs only a bit better as controlling a giant who can punch enemies into a pile of goo is pretty satisfying, but it’s ruined by partner management that Game Overs whenever one character goes down, and painfully obvious “puzzle” sections that usually revolve around Otto not being able to clear a gap and the Troll providing some kind of platform. But playing as the Troll almost always takes a backseat to Otto as so much of the game is built around tedious and painfully obviously laid-out, Uncharted-style platforming and “sneaking” through smaller areas. It really never feels like these two are working together in any meaningful way.

Troll and I also sports local co-op, but I can’t imagine anyone would want to play it or even enjoy it, as whoever is controlling the Troll will spend the majority of their time waiting for whomever is playing as Otto to run/sneak around the level.

If tedious game designs weren’t bad enough, Troll and I is pretty ugly too. Character models never exceed past PS2 level graphics. The Troll himself looking odd and ridiculous with his Troll-Doll face and Sasquatch body. The bigger Ahky look like the Orcs from Lord of the Rings while the smaller ones somehow look even more stupid than the goblins from Troll 2. Environments are bland and the draw distance is pathetic; players should get used to watching the grass grow as they walk towards it. The choice of a “realistic” aesthetic doesn’t suit the fantasy elements of the game, had they gone with a style akin to The Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker, it would have added much to the fantasy tones this game is trying to achieve.

Troll and I Review - Good Ideas, Terrible Execution 2The biggest thing Troll and I suffers from is an overall lack of presentation. There are so many small things that reduce the game’s quality, like how close the camera stays fixed to the characters, or how characters automatically move to wherever they’re facing; the way the crosshairs sway with Otto’s movement while aiming for no good reason, the recycling of voice and sound clips during jumping or climbing smack of a game that is trying to be Uncharted, The Witcher 3, Army of Two, and Far Cry and failing at every turn.

It breaks my heart, it really does, to bring the hammer down so hard on Troll and I, because you can see where a lot of good ideas are buried under terrible game design. I wish I could be more kind to this game, considering it’s an indie title with big ambition, but considering Horizon: Zero Dawn and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came out only a few weeks ago, and how similar Troll and I is trying to be to those games, there’s really no excusing it.

Score:4

Final Thoughts:This is one Troll that should have stayed under the bridge.

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Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight Review https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/momodora-reverie-moonlight-review/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/momodora-reverie-moonlight-review/#respond Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:57:52 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97618

By Jed Whitaker

Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is the fourth title in a series of Metroidvania games most people probably aren't familiar with, myself included. The series started with two free indie games before the third became a paid product for PC. Thankfully, this latest release is the first to come to consoles and requires no prior […]

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By Jed Whitaker

Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is the fourth title in a series of Metroidvania games most people probably aren't familiar with, myself included. The series started with two free indie games before the third became a paid product for PC. Thankfully, this latest release is the first to come to consoles and requires no prior knowledge of the events of the previous titles.

Even with this relatively fresh slate though, the story of Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight leaves a bit to be desired. It starts abruptly with a priestess named Kaho being led into the woods and given a leaf to use as a weapon. It is briefly explained that there is some kind of curse over the land, and you've got to do what you can to save the kingdom. Aside from that, only a few instances of any type story exist in the game, and mostly through short dialogues with NPCs, which don’t reveal much. For the most part, the entire story is "save the land, kill the bad guy, also we are characters that exist, hello." I can't help but feel perhaps I'd have appreciated the different races of characters and grasped the story a bit better if I played the previous games, but I can’t speak on how much focus was given to that aspect in other titles in this series.

Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight Review 1

Plot aside, the combat is where Reverie shines. By default, Kaho starts with a double jump, a dodge with invincibility frames, a melee attack with her leaf, and a bow and arrow. Fighting enemies with a melee attack will potentially stun them in a flinch animation momentarily. Some enemies require quick dodges to avoid their projectiles, or can only be damaged from the back, meaning players will have to get extremely comfortable with all the movement mechanics, especially to take down bosses.

The first half of the game has some cool bosses in it like a centipede woman and a giant antlered witch with large breasts that towers over Kaho. Sadly, the later half of the game relies on human bosses which aren't nearly as visually interesting, and even less unique in combat. The quality of boss fights varies greatly as well, as some can be slain quickly just but crouching and rapid firing arrows at them from afar, while others demand proficiency of the controls which makes for some satisfying fights.

Players won’t have to worry about that for too long though, as the game took me roughly two hours to complete (there is a new game plus mode for those looking to milk a bit more playtime). The map is rather small in comparison to other games in the genre as well, but it can be explored freely for the most part, with only the last area locked behind items. While this is nice, it is a bit jarring at first to just be set free to do as you wish with no real goals in mind. Most Metroidvania titles require collecting a new weapon or upgrade to advance, but here the upgrades to your arsenal are all optional, just like most items. At the very least, this aspect of the game feels like something different in a good way by comparison to other titles, and one I quite enjoyed after realizing there was no right or wrong order to explore the map.

While the game is small, I didn't experience any bugs except. Still, there were a few things that felt like they could have used some more polish. Some areas of the map have little to no music, maybe just a bit of ambient noise but it’s faint enough to miss. A little more music would have gone a long way.

Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight Review 5

I quite enjoyed my short time with Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, even if it is quite short and simplistic. However, as I've played a ton of Metroidvania games in my time, I can say with authority that this is one of the weaker titles in the genre as it lacks any real substance or character aside from some fun combat and a couple interesting bosses. With a deeper story, more interesting bosses, and a bigger map I could see the next game being a smash hit, but this one feels more like a bite-sized entry into an unknown series on the cusp of greatness.

Score:7

Final Thoughts:Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is an alright bite-sized gothic metroidvania title about a girl that can turn into a cat and fights with a leaf.

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Blade & Soul Getting Sweeping Changes in New Expansion https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/21/blade-soul-getting-sweeping-changes-new-expansion/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/21/blade-soul-getting-sweeping-changes-new-expansion/#respond Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:10:50 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97605

By Brendan Frye

NCSoft today announced that Blade & Soul, their martial arts based MMO, will get a major expansion titled Secret of the Stratus, and that will bring major changes to the game.  Blade & Soul is a Korean-developed MMORPG that takes players to a fantasy realm where they use Martial Arts and Magic in a real-time battle system. The game […]

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By Brendan Frye

NCSoft today announced that Blade & Soul, their martial arts based MMO, will get a major expansion titled Secret of the Stratus, and that will bring major changes to the game. 

Blade & Soul is a Korean-developed MMORPG that takes players to a fantasy realm where they use Martial Arts and Magic in a real-time battle system. The game first launched in Korea in 2012, but only launched in North Ameria in 2016. The new update Secret of the Stratus marks a major milestone for the game, as it will change how updates are handled for the North American release moving forward. NCSoft is changing focus to make larger more ambitious expansions on a slower schedule rather than the more frequent small update model. This move will allow players to fully explore each new offering before being pushed onto the next new set of content.

The Secret of the Stratus expansion will launch on April 12, 2017, and brings with it a host of changes to the base Blade & Soul game. One of the most notable changes is the newly revamped skill system. This new system will allow the same level of customization, while removing much of the overwhelming complexity that is currently seen in the game. The skills themselves have not changed, but the way and ease to spec your character have. This will allow players new to the game not to feel intimidated for jumping in and allows experienced players more time to enjoy the game they know and love.

The expansion also brings about the new Hongmoon Training room, a solo instance where you can practice skill combos and timing for boss attack patterns. Need to work on your skill rotation? The Hongmoon Training Room has you covered.

Is that where not enough, Secrets of the Stratus will also bring with it Act VII of the story, and three new PVE areas designed for end game player enjoyment. These include the Naryu Sanctum, Celestial Basin, and Mushin’s Tower F16-20.

Blade & Soul Getting Sweeping Changes in New Expansion 1 Blade & Soul Getting Sweeping Changes in New Expansion 2

NCSoft is also planning on offering players purchasable vouchers that will allow them to level one new character all the way to lvl 50 for a price. For people looking to level up a new character, this gives an easy way to quickly test out a new class and get them at end game stats. At this time no price has been given for the voucher, although I was told that it would be comparable to the price offered from other games in the same genre. The Secrets of the Stratus expansion will be hitting North American PC's starting April 12, 2017.

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Celebrating Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's 20th Anniversary https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/20/celebrating-castlevania-symphony-of-the-nights-20th-anniversary/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/20/celebrating-castlevania-symphony-of-the-nights-20th-anniversary/#respond Mon, 20 Mar 2017 23:30:55 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97579

By Remington Joseph

This year marks Castlevania: Symphonia of the Night’s 20th anniversary and though Konami may let the year go by with little fanfare, celebration of the classic 1997 Platformer RPG should practically be considered mandatory. Since the franchise’s beginning in 1986, Castlevania has always been a beloved franchise by many around the world.  It’s known as […]

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By Remington Joseph

This year marks Castlevania: Symphonia of the Night’s 20th anniversary and though Konami may let the year go by with little fanfare, celebration of the classic 1997 Platformer RPG should practically be considered mandatory.

Since the franchise’s beginning in 1986, Castlevania has always been a beloved franchise by many around the world.  It’s known as a tough to complete platformer, full of secrets in every stage. Making it especially unique is its gothic theme, making use of popular characters from various stories such as Dracula or Frankenstein. The game went on to spawn multiple sequels but as time passed and technology grew, so too did the franchise need to evolve.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was the first Castlevania title released on the PlayStation. At first glance, everything about it is different. The concept of clearing stages was removed along with special weapons that require hearts to use. Even the story focused on the never-ending battle between Dracula and the Belmont family was replaced with a story of Dracula’s son Alucard as he returns to Dracula’s castle in order to defeat his reawakened father. What makes Symphony of the Night so amazing isn’t only what it changed about the franchise however but the way it actually represented what Castlevania always aimed to be while at the same time, giving birth to a new genre within the gaming industry.

Celebrating Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's 20th Anniversary 1Dracula’s castle has always been the main locale of the series but it wasn’t until Symphony of the Night that it was actually possible to fully map out the vampire’s home. From the caverns below to the colosseum and clock tower, stages found in the original game make their way into Symphony of the Night in some shape or form, connecting them all to make one giant level. The added genius to this design is something many players miss to this day. The castle design, which was made to be played upside down, is a testament to how well thought out the level design in this game was.

Weapons went through a similar change with Symphony of the Night’s evolution. They are still found and picked up, just as they were in the classic titles, but there’s no longer a restriction on how many times they can be used and the manageable inventory allowed players to pick up any item without the fear of losing another. Playing as a Belmont is great, but keeping with that lore, both players and developers are restricted. Traditionally, Belmonts use one weapon, the vampire-killing whip while Alucard, on the other hand, doesn't have familial ties to a single weapon in Symphony of the Night.  This gives the title more role-playing game elements that help to create a feeling of growth beyond simple stage progression as we could actually see Alucard getting stronger, dealing more damage and using better equipment.

The format seen in Symphony of the Night was reused in almost every Castlevania title released afterwards, only with different castle layouts. As other developers began to make use of this style, the term “Metroidvania” was coined, referring to any game that used a Metroid-style map system with RPG mechanics involved. What Castlevania: Symphony of the Night did was bring a new type of exploration to the RPG genre while also helping to iconize the series by reaching out beyond the borders of platformer fans. The style of game birthed by Symphony of the Night retained its relevance even today, evident by the support of the crowdfunded game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a game being developed by the assistant director of Symphony of the Night, Koji Igarashi.

Celebrating Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's 20th Anniversary 2Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a two-dimensional platformer that uses 3D graphics currently being developed by Inti Creates. It is being made as a spiritual successor to Symphony of the Night and carries a lot of the mechanics over from the title. The game follows a girl named Mariam as she navigates her way through a castle filled with demons. The game features the same types of character progression through the forms of levelling up and finding new equipment but with added features such as weapon crafting. Fans of Symphony of the Night have been eagerly awaiting the title, pledging $5 million over the original $500 thousand goal.

Castlevania: Symphonia of the Night deserves to be celebrated as a title that reinvented the wheel while honouring what came before it. The game changed the way that we looked at platformer genre along with the way we looked at RPGs, and 20 years later gamers are still discovering this gem with the many secrets it holds. Only time will tell if Bloodstained manages to live up to Symphony of the Night when it launches next year but for 2017, we can pay our respects to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

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I am Setsuna Switch Review - Making A New Home https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/setsuna-switch-review-making-new-home/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/setsuna-switch-review-making-new-home/#respond Mon, 20 Mar 2017 19:55:32 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97520

By Cody Orme

I am Setsuna was one of the best RPGs of 2016. Developed by the newly created Tokyo RPG factory, and published by the biggest name in JRPGs in Square Enix, I am Setsuna sought to bring players back to the golden age of the JRPG while also teaching audiences the meaning of “setsunai”—an in-between of […]

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By Cody Orme

I am Setsuna was one of the best RPGs of 2016. Developed by the newly created Tokyo RPG factory, and published by the biggest name in JRPGs in Square Enix, I am Setsuna sought to bring players back to the golden age of the JRPG while also teaching audiences the meaning of “setsunai”—an in-between of sorrow and sentiment that isn’t explored in Western culture. By all means, it was a success that managed to be one of the most beautifully emotional RPGs in a very long time. Now it’s back on the Nintendo Switch, and in reality, it feels more at home on Nintendo’s home/mobile hybrid than ever before.

Most of that reason is because I am Setsuna lends itself so well to mobile play. It’s a classic JRPG in every sense of the word, right down to its minimalist visual style, and in a way, I always wished it was available for the 3DS where games like this have a better chance to shine (though it is available on the PlayStation Vita). The art direction looks cute and animated, while the visuals are mostly cold desolate snow. This makes for a game the Switch can run with ease both on and off the dock, and the ability to save anywhere outside of towns or areas of combat makes it compliment on-the-go gaming more than I anticipated during my first play through on the PlayStation 4 last year.

I am Setsuna Switch Review - Making A New Home

But that happens to be a nice by-product of a very deliberate design choice by Tokyo RPG Factory that really had nothing to do with on-the-go gaming. Instead, these design choices were made to evoke a feeling for users that is hard to describe. The story is dark, yet optimistic. It’s terribly depressing, but also uplifting. Players take control of Endir, a mercenary tasked with murdering Setsuna, a sacrifice on the brink of a journey across the land that ends in her death (obviously). Upon realizing the implications of his actions, Endir joins Setsuna on her final journey to ensure her safety.  Every few decades a sacrifice is chosen from this town to appease some pretty terrible monsters. Now, they’re back and worse than ever, the road isn’t safe, and players must ensure Setsuna’s safety.  And while there is the underlying understanding that Setsuna will die, I am Setsuna tries a little too hard to lighten the mood at times. There were a few points where attempts at comedy completely derailed the experience, but at the same time, it’s almost understandable why there is a need for a bit of light-heartedness in such a depressing time. In many ways, one could argue that in itself is part of the feeling of setsunai, but I won’t pretend to fully comprehend that emotion. Regardless, there is a bleak sense of positivity that shines from her, and the art direction—which consists of mostly snow covered terrain—and the sombre piano do a great job capturing this emotion, constantly reminding players of their mortality.

Story beats aside, I am Setsuna is a raging success because it’s an old school RPG that plays like Chrono Trigger, and if you’re going to lift a combat system from any game, they picked a good one. Everything revolves around Active Time Battle (or ATB). While a fight ensues players’ ATB bar fills up, once filled they can make a move. If players choose to wait longer instead of attack, another bar fills for momentum, which can make for more powerful attacks, or gives player’s techs other effects. This gets more complex further into the game, as players can generate special attacks called singularities, which become essential to win.

I am Setsuna Switch Review - Making A New Home 2

It all makes for a uniquely satisfying experience. I am Setsuna is an RPG like no other. It’s a game wherein everything works together to create a feeling that most players could never really put into words before. It’s complex in the best of ways, and overall it’s fun. While it isn’t perfect, I am Setsuna is a title most people should at least try for the narrative alone, and on the Switch, it’s that much easier to jump in.

Score:9

Final Thoughts: I am Setsuna lends itself perfectly to on the go gaming, making the Switch the ideal console to experience this unique RPG.

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CaptoGlove Goes Up for Pre-sale, Ships in May https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/20/captoglove-goes-up-for-pre-sale-ships-in-may/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/20/captoglove-goes-up-for-pre-sale-ships-in-may/#respond Mon, 20 Mar 2017 18:00:57 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97557

By Remington Joseph

One of the latest tools in wearable virtual reality wearable technology, CaptoGlove LLC’s CaptoGlove device has officially gone up for pre-sale and will be shipping in May for early purchasers after being in development for five years. The CaptoGlove is a wearable virtual reality gaming motion controller made in the form of a sleek glove. […]

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By Remington Joseph

One of the latest tools in wearable virtual reality wearable technology, CaptoGlove LLC’s CaptoGlove device has officially gone up for pre-sale and will be shipping in May for early purchasers after being in development for five years.

The CaptoGlove is a wearable virtual reality gaming motion controller made in the form of a sleek glove. With the ability to connect to any PC, mobile or smart device, the CaptoGlove is able to serve as a wireless motion controller. This allows games to be controlled by making simple hand gestures. With a second glove, users will be able to play games using both hands, allowing for more flexibility and an overall more immersive experience. The device is also compatible with all existing VR headsets including the HTC Vive, allowing for full body, hands-free movement.

With no extra hardware or area preparation needed, the CaptoGlove connects to PC and mobile devices via Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0 and promises to deliver 10 hours of continuous gaming use. The glove is designed for long lasting use and comfort, easily washable by removing an easy to access sensor.

The development of the CaptoGlove began way back in 2011. It was originally designed in order to help stroke victims recover the use of their hands in response to the creator’s father suffered an attack, resulting in losing the use of several body parts. The device made its first public debut five years later at CES, an annual electronics trade show located in Las Vegas where the technology gained a lot of traction for its many potential uses. It was shown again at GDC, a conference focusing on video game developers where the CaptoGlove became even better known.

Starting today, early backers of the Kickstarter will be able to purchase the new piece of virtual reality hardware for $160, a discounted 35 per cent of the $250 retail price.

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Nintendo Switch Uses Standard Tegra X1 Chip https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/20/nintendo-switch-uses-standard-tegra-x1-chip/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/20/nintendo-switch-uses-standard-tegra-x1-chip/#comments Mon, 20 Mar 2017 14:28:42 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97529

By Remington Joseph

Details of the Nintendo Switch’s hardware have finally been uncovered, answering many of the prolonged questions about just how powerful Nintendo’s new console is after the hardware analysis site Tech Insights broke everything down. One of the more interesting finds after the teardown is that the Nintendo Switch’s processor is identical to the standard Tegra […]

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By Remington Joseph

Details of the Nintendo Switch’s hardware have finally been uncovered, answering many of the prolonged questions about just how powerful Nintendo’s new console is after the hardware analysis site Tech Insights broke everything down.

One of the more interesting finds after the teardown is that the Nintendo Switch’s processor is identical to the standard Tegra X1 chip. The Tegra X1 can be found in the existing Android product, the Nvidia Shield. This means that the console/handheld hybrid is likely to only ever be as powerful as the revised edition of the Shield Android TV, a device released this year. Much of the other physical configurations of the Switch are also similar to the device, including the console’s surface-mounted capacitors.

This new information could be potential problem for Nintendo in the future as consumers already chastise the company for releasing consoles that are not up to par against its competition, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This has lead many to complain about frame rate drops in Nintendo Switch titles. In light of the recent technological specs analysis, it’s possible that the Switch’s processor is the reason why.

Earlier this month, Eurogamer performed a benchmark test of the 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider on the Shield TV, finding a number of problems in regards to visual rendering and frame rate pacing. This doesn’t necessarily prove that the Switch would be unable to perform more smoothly but that optimization could prove to be an issue.

Before the launch of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo published a list of the new console’s specs, failing to detail anything about its CPU or GPU. Nintendo had announced that the Switch used a Nintendo Switch Hardware Review – Nintendo is Back “Nvidia customized Tegra processor” back when the console was revealed but both Nintendo and Nvidia publicly declined to reveal the chip’s architecture, processor clock speed.

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Interview - Smite: Crafting a God https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/20/interview-smite-crafting-god/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/20/interview-smite-crafting-god/#respond Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:53:54 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97525

By Cody Orme

One thing people love about Smite is their characters but many characters don't know the process of actually building Gods. With that in mind, we talk to the minds over at Hi-Rez Studios about the process of choosing gods, and how they bring them to players' hands.

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By Cody Orme

One thing people love about Smite is their characters but many characters don't know the process of actually building Gods. With that in mind, we talk to the minds over at Hi-Rez Studios about the process of choosing gods, and how they bring them to players' hands.

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Mass Effect: Andromeda Review - More Like an Expansion https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/mass-effect-andromeda-review-like-expansion/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/mass-effect-andromeda-review-like-expansion/#comments Mon, 20 Mar 2017 07:01:46 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97476

By Chris Carter

The original Mass Effect was one of the very first reviews I ever penned, and it impacted me in a big way. While the whole "multi-game" saga had been done before, to see it on the level of a true space opera was something else. Mass Effect even had remnants of BioWare's 90s days, before […]

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By Chris Carter

The original Mass Effect was one of the very first reviews I ever penned, and it impacted me in a big way. While the whole "multi-game" saga had been done before, to see it on the level of a true space opera was something else. Mass Effect even had remnants of BioWare's 90s days, before they shifted more towards action-adventures, and crafted some of the most open-ended RPGs of our time. Don't get me wrong, I love Mass Effect 2 for my own reasons, but it was a palpable shift for BioWare. The writing started focusing more on one-liners than exposition, and action flavoured set pieces starting popping up more and more.  This stalwart commitment to brawn over brains finally came back to bite them by the time the credits rolled for Mass Effect 3, so much so that they even had to create an "apology ending" that still wasn't sufficient enough. Although they've had several successes since then, it was the end of an era, and Mass Effect: Andromeda is another missed opportunity to herald their return to greatness. To clarify, Mass Effect: Andromeda has the bone structure of a good Mass Effect game, but its marrow has been filled in by what I can only describe as BioWare's "B-team."

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review - 1Mentioning bone structure is probably a sore spot for the developers, as the engine is host to a number of non-game breaking oddities and weird animations that give the PC version of Assassin's Creed Unity a run for its money. Having gone back and replayed several post-Knights of the Old Republic BioWare creations for this assessment, it's also possible that Mass Effect: Andromeda will win the Golden Raspberry for "least inspired performances." "I've been waiting 600 years for this," with the most stone-faced expression I've ever seen is a real thing that happened.

Cleverly, BioWare gets to have its cake and eat it too with Mass Effect: Andromeda ‘s premise. A family unit of a father, son, and daughter dubbed the Ryder clan have been put in charge of finding "New Earth," by way of the series' signature interstellar travel. Yes, it takes place in the same universe as Mass Effect (you're sent on your 600 year cryo-sleep journey after the second game concludes)with the same alien races you know and love (and several hit or miss new ones), but now we're out of our comfort zone and out of the Milky Way Galaxy. As a squad member aptly puts it, "it's not like the cavalry is coming to save the day." We're alone on this one, which is BioWare's chance to hit the reset button.

That said, I think they reset a little too much for most of Mass Effect's target audience. There's very little conflict involved, as most of Mass Effect: Andromeda is literally spent scouring this unknown universe, which includes locating scientific discoveries (through scanning basically everything with the occasional Space Sudoku minigame), allies, and habitable planets. Much of this endeavour is scripted by way of a critical path and side missions, but the journey wasn't ever dull, just muted. It's an acquired taste, something I think a lot of people are going to discover when they boot up Mass Effect: Andromeda expecting a re-treading of Shepard's action-packed Rambo romp through the galaxy.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review -

The familial angle helps ground the story immediately, but in several ways it devolves into a half-measure, relegated to the background. The new conversation system doesn't help, because while I do like the "multi-emotion" angle better than the "GOOD Paragon" or "BAD Renegade" shtick, the outcomes mostly feel the same, Telltale style, complete with a lack of repercussions no matter what choice you pick. It's a bittersweet feeling given the huge stakes of the previous games, and again, all adds up to the general melancholy theme of Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Its biggest upgrade is undoubtedly in the combat department. Now you can swap between "Profiles," Mass Effect: Andromeda’s version of classes that delve into archetypes like stealth assassin, tank, support, and berserker, all with its own biotic twist that can be swapped in an instant, in-combat. The jump jets feel fantastic especially when coupled with a dash button (and an air dash on top of that!), which makes the open world environments of the planets and the linear tunnels for critical missions more vertical than ever. It makes for some of the best third-person encounters in recent years, especially when you're back-dashing into cover, throwing up a singularity, and putting up your own makeshift energy barricade after that cover gets blown up by an errant grenade.

Oh, there's a car, too. The Nomad is basically an upgradeable Mako 2.0, with arcadey boost and jumping abilities, but it fits in Mass Effect: Andromeda far more than it ever did in the original Mass Effect. Now planets actually have some decent things to do on them, and the idea of constantly raising the viability of each planet is a rush that extends beyond quantifiable upgrades and stat bonuses.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review - 7

Multiplayer is back, but you really have to ask yourself if it's even necessary. Mass Effect 3 had a very dedicated fanbase with its squad-based horde mode, but that occurred when nearly every game had horde tacked onto it. It also had microtransactions. Mass Effect: Andromeda is the same in that regard, and they assist in locking down and gating characters, items, and consumables.

The new combat digs make for a better time in the arena. I loved jumping and air dashing around like a maniac, and although each map isn't nearly as open as I'd like, there is a larger degree of freedom than a lot of other third-person shooters. The new abilities mesh well together too, and I think a lot of folks are going to have fun wrangling up their buddies and finding synergies together.

As for me, it's just kind of there. All of that same excitement can be had in single player while I'm developing relationships with my squad, and the rat race of ranking up just isn't enough. I mean I'd have more incentive to run that race if so much wasn't gated behind loot boxes — I sorely wanted to jump in as an Angara, the new alien race, but surprise, it was locked behind "rare" and "ultra rare" drops. You can earn in-game currency over time to nab boxes, but it's a slow process that attempts to drive you down the path of spending real money.

If you're worried that the multiplayer is tied to the campaign, rest easy on that front. You can opt to send squads on "missions," just like the recent World of Warcraft expansion or the eternally popular Final Fantasy Tactics bar mechanic, and get items if you want. It's not directly linked to how successful you are in the story, it just gives you a tiny edge. It's a great compromise.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review - 9

At times, Mass Effect: Andromeda can feel like an expansion and not a true follow-up. A lot of strides have been made to improve the already dazzling combat system (which is leaps and bounds more exciting than your average cover shooter), but so much of it feels like a regression. That slip still puts it a cut above a lot of others in the same space, but the failure to iterate after the divisive conclusion of the original trilogy isn't going to do BioWare any favours. They're still putting out some flashes of brilliance, but they really need an internal wake-up call and a sincere heart-to-heart with EA on their love of mandatory microtransactions as they re-assess their priorities going forward.

Score:7

Final Thoughts:At times, Mass Effect: Andromeda can feel like an expansion and not a true follow-up.

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Fast RMX Switch Review - One Part Wipeout One Part F-Zero https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/fast-rmx-switch-review-one-part-wipeout-one-part-f-zero/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/fast-rmx-switch-review-one-part-wipeout-one-part-f-zero/#respond Sat, 18 Mar 2017 14:00:04 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97501

By Chris Carter

For years we've been without some of the greats when it comes to the racing genre. Remember when there was a new racer every other week, whether it was the short-lived Jet Moto series, Wave Race, any number of arcade home console ports like San Francisco Rush or Cruis'n? Even the most stalwart and time-tested […]

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By Chris Carter

For years we've been without some of the greats when it comes to the racing genre. Remember when there was a new racer every other week, whether it was the short-lived Jet Moto series, Wave Race, any number of arcade home console ports like San Francisco Rush or Cruis'n? Even the most stalwart and time-tested franchises like F-Zero and Wipeout are completely gone, and the last Twisted Metal bombed enough where we likely won't see much vehicular combat for a while. It's a sad state of affairs, but a small handful of indie developers have been keeping the dream alive. Fast RMX is one of those games that feel like they’re from that bygone era, but is built from the ground up with modern sensibilities.

Created as a semi-sequel to the criminally underrated (mostly because no one actually bothered to buy a Wii U) Fast Racing Neo, RMX is a hodgepodge of several "far-future" racing games with absurd environments and a huge focus on speed. It takes all 24 tracks from the original and adds six of its own, along with improved visuals and all of the other fixings you'd find with the Nintendo Switch like tablet play that still runs at 60 frames-per-second. Between unlocking every track, completing all ten cups (with you guessed it, three tracks per cup), and earning all 15 vehicles, there's a lot to keep you busy if you're going at it solo.

Fast RMX Switch Review - One Part Wipeout One Part F-Zero 2

I'm amazed that they were able to make it look so good as an eShop game. The tracks, locales, and cars are all very sleek, and don't have an air of any other property, as developer Shin'en Multimedia was able to create their own distinct style with Fast RMX. The big thing is the consistent framerate, on top of the array of visual options that allow you to swap between a blurrier look and a sharp one.

The way racing works is a perfect blend of arcade action and simulation, as movement is precise, with some boosting shenanigans on the side. Players can swap between two polarities—blue and orange—at will with the press of a button. While it doesn't matter what state you're in most of the time, each track is littered with boost pads of either colour, in the flat strip or upward mobility variety. Swapping colours allows you to gain some extra speed or some air, depending on whether you're driving on top of the former or the latter type. Tiny dots also feed your manual boost, which you can use at any time.

It's easy to pick up and understand (just change colours and you'll go faster), but some of the later levels take this concept to the next level with their layouts. Do you go upwards and risk heading into an area where the rails are missing off the track, or go below in a safer zone? Add in corkscrew turns, upside-down racing, and big jumps into the mix and it gets even more complicated. Again, all of these intricacies hinge on the colour swaps, which is brilliant.

Fast RMX Switch Review - One Part Wipeout One Part F-Zero 4

Pretty much every concession for multiplayer is in. Whether you want to go at it on the TV or the tablet is fair game, as well as online play. Hero Mode is the cherry on top, which is a tougher difficulty that ties your boost to your health. It's the perfect "extreme" alternative if you've mastered all the cups and tire of beating your friends. And if you play enough you might, as there's a pretty high skill ceiling when it comes to knowing when to boost.

It sounds like blasphemy, but if F-Zero is truly dead and buried by Nintendo, I hope they consider just giving Shin'en Multimedia the reigns. No interference, just some minor IP oversight, and let them do their own thing. They clearly know what they're doing, and have jammed a fully-fledged racer into a tiny eShop pricepoint.

Score:9

Final Thoughts:A fast racing hybrid that's one part Wipeout, one part F-Zero

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Zero Escape: The Nonary Games Review https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/zero-escape-the-nonary-games-review/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/zero-escape-the-nonary-games-review/#respond Fri, 17 Mar 2017 17:17:09 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97464

By Elias Blondeau

The Zero Escape franchise has never had an easy time of things. 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors fell into the unfortunately massive pantheon of quirky, excellent DS titles that didn’t sell particularly well, like Ghost Trick or Lux-Pain. Its follow-up, Virtue’s Last Reward, sold exponentially worse, at about a tenth of the original’s […]

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By Elias Blondeau

The Zero Escape franchise has never had an easy time of things. 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors fell into the unfortunately massive pantheon of quirky, excellent DS titles that didn’t sell particularly well, like Ghost Trick or Lux-Pain. Its follow-up, Virtue’s Last Reward, sold exponentially worse, at about a tenth of the original’s numbers. That’s always been very unfortunate to me, because Spike-Chunsoft’s weird, twisted visual novels were a clear predecessor to the wildly successful Danganronpa, and I’d argue the superior products thanks to less edginess and more cerebral writing.

Thank God, then, that Aksys saw fit to repackage both titles and make them easier than ever to play. Zero Escape: The Nonary Games is a bundle of both 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward, finally allowing players to experience both games’ interwoven narratives back-to-back without worrying about switching between platforms. Having cleared 999 again and played a good portion of Virtue’s Last Reward (which is roughly two to three times longer than the original,) it’s clear that these aren’t quick and dirty port jobs, either. Aksys is putting its best foot forward to snag new players, it seems, and that’s impressive as a fan.

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games Review 1

For the unfamiliar, the Zero Escape games could be thought of as ”anime Saw.” Both titles involve a cast of characters being kidnapped and forced to participate in The Nonary Games – twisted sets of puzzles in which the victims have a limited amount of time to escape before they’re killed. If you’ve seen a Saw movie, it’s pretty clear where this is heading. All participants end up being pitted against each other, whether by design or because of their own ulterior motives, and everyone involved is there for a reason that players might not initially suspect.

The comparisons to Lionsgate’s hit horror franchise, however, go out the window when players get into the nitty-gritty of each game’s narrative. Things go off the rails in both games in terms of narrative decisions, arguably quicker and more obviously in Virtue’s Last Reward. What begins as a fairly believable exploration of the prisoner’s dilemma gives way to hilariously elaborate nonsense, like telepathy, time travel, and multiverse theory. Entire plot threads crucial to understanding the overarching lore are built on ridiculous pseudoscience and require the patience of a saint as far as suspension of disbelief is concerned.

That said, both titles do an excellent job of not making players realize how stupid it all is until they’ve put down either game. Much like the works of Shu Takumi, particularly Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright, even the most absurd plot twists are genuinely engrossing and feel super important when one is actually playing the games. This speaks volumes to how engrossing each member of the core cast is, and how masterful both games are at building suspense through atmosphere and well-timed plot twists. It’s all very silly, but in the moment, every twist and turn feels brilliant.

Aside from scrolling through text, which is roughly 90 per cent of both titles, players will be asked to solve puzzles to progress. They’re never particularly challenging, specifically 999’s mostly simplistic and easy-to-grasp puzzles, but Virtue’s Last Reward definitely feels like the more complex of the two games in terms of mechanics and depth. Both titles do a great job of thoroughly explaining the mechanics and establishing sets of rules for how to solve any given situation, too, and don’t ever threaten to leave players entirely lost.

Scrolling through text and solving puzzles has rarely looked as good as it does in these games, as well. Despite the PC version not supporting 4K resolutions, which left me feeling a little miffed, the visuals in both titles look excellent considering their origins as portable titles. I’m particularly fond of 999’s expressive 2D character portraits and animations, which make up for the occasionally janky and archived 3D cutscenes. Virtue’s Last Reward’s 3D doesn’t look too shabby either, and the expression and animation of each character is aided by the bump in resolution and framerate. Both titles also have fantastic scores throughout, with the music always managing to build tension at any given moment. In addition, 999 has been given a full vocal track for the first time, which is mostly good. A notable low point, however, is protagonist Junpei’s English voice actor, who sounds lethargic and wooden throughout a significant portion of his lines.

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games Review 2

While I do think the best way to play both of these titles is on the 3DS (some puzzles just work better with the dual screen setup,) there’s no denying the quality and value of Zero Escape: The Nonary Games. It’s never been easier to play these games, and if you’ve never had the means to, they’re truly worth it. Both titles are superior predecessors to the Danganronpa titles, and treat their subject matter with a maturity that series never quite reached – even when the narrative treads into bonkers territory. For the price point, these are fantastic titles that any fan of decent puzzles and excellent writing should pick up.

Score:8.5

Final Thoughts:It’s never been easier to play the Zero Escape titles than it is now, and for the money, any fan of heady narratives and fun puzzles is in for several hours of quality entertainment.

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A Brief History of 'Venom' Spin-off Announcements https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/17/a-brief-history-of-venom-spin-off-announcements/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/17/a-brief-history-of-venom-spin-off-announcements/#respond Fri, 17 Mar 2017 16:37:33 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97439

By Tyler J. Edwards

With all the hype surrounding Marvel's upcoming Spiderman: Homecoming, fans should be even more excited to hear that Spidey's number one nemesis is getting his own spin-off. Exhibitor Relations, the box-office authority since 1974, tweeted on March 16, 2017 that a Venom spin-off will officially be a part of Sony's 2018 release calendar. Slated to be […]

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By Tyler J. Edwards

With all the hype surrounding Marvel's upcoming Spiderman: Homecoming, fans should be even more excited to hear that Spidey's number one nemesis is getting his own spin-off. Exhibitor Relations, the box-office authority since 1974, tweeted on March 16, 2017 that a Venom spin-off will officially be a part of Sony's 2018 release calendar. Slated to be released just over a year after Spider-Man: Homecoming, Venom is literally the web-slinger spin-off fans have been begging Marvel to release for years.

After 2007's Spider-Man 3 became the highest grossing film in the Spider-Man Trilogy, it was clear what fans liked most about the radioactive webster. But his ability to dabble into the darkness of the symbiote and go head to head with Venom, one of his most ruthless foes, began to make way for the question of "If enjoy seeing Spidey fight Venom so much, what would a film with Venom fighting other heroes and villains be like?"

By July 2007, Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, Avi Arad, announced that he was setting in motion the plans that would develop into a Venom spin-off in coming years. This film was set to pit Venom against the psychotic Carnage and portray Venom as the brooding yet confused antihero character we've grown to love with the portrayals of heroes like Wolverine or the early Hulk.

By September 2008, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, writers of Zombieland, had signed on to write. However, production remained stagnant up until March 2012 when Chronicle director Josh Trank began showing deep interest in directing. However, by December 2013 there was a complete overhaul of everyone involved and fans were told the Venom idea would be rebooted alongside 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man reboot.

Although nothing came from any of these prior announcements, the revelation of Sony's involvement today is still grounds for excitement. the writing is helmed by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner who are writing this year's 'hardly anticipated' Jumanji sequel, there is still a chance they can still make Venom a box-office smash, based solely on the fact that pretty much every Marvel fan just really wants to see this happen.

Despite all the development hell, a Venom spin-off has gone through, the day it finally gets released will be an immaculate moment for all Spider-Man fans. Until then, we'll 'stick to the web' and keep posted about any info leading up to the Oct. 5, 2018 release of Venom.

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Nintendo to Double Switch Production https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/17/nintendo-to-double-switch-production/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/17/nintendo-to-double-switch-production/#respond Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:35:47 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97436

By Remington Joseph

Wall Street Journal has reported that Nintendo plans to double the production of its latest console hybrid, the Nintendo Switch in the fiscal year, ending March 2018. In the report, Wall Street Journal states that in the coming fiscal year (April 2017, all manufacturers under contract with Nintendo are planning to produce 16 million or […]

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By Remington Joseph

Wall Street Journal has reported that Nintendo plans to double the production of its latest console hybrid, the Nintendo Switch in the fiscal year, ending March 2018.

In the report, Wall Street Journal states that in the coming fiscal year (April 2017, all manufacturers under contract with Nintendo are planning to produce 16 million or more Nintendo Switches, raising the number from the initial plan of 8 million. The rising of this number suggests that Nintendo expects to sell over 10 million units within the next 12 months. Nintendo hasn’t revealed the Switch’s March launch sales but will be reporting on them along with the outlook for the coming year on April 27, 2017, though this may serve as an indication that Switch sales have been performing favourably.

So far, the production pace of the new console has been related to be similar to the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo’s seventh generation console that released in 2006. Launching by the end of 2006, the Nintendo Wii sold 20 million units within the first year, going on to sell over 100 million units in its lifetime, marking it as one of the top 5 selling consoles of all time. Nintendo chief executive Tatsumi Kimishima has stated that the company would be shipping 2 million units of the console globally each month. The Wall Street Journal, however, believes that the company is more likely to ship 2.5 million units.

The Nintendo Switch launched March 3, 2017 of this year with a number of different titles available day one for early adopters. Notable titles so far have been The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which also released on the Wii U at the same time, Snipperclips, a quirky puzzle game perfect for local co-op play and 1-2 Switch, a party game that shows off a variety of different ways to use the Switch’s unique JoyCon controllers.

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Sonic Mania Delayed, Project Sonic 2017 Titled Sonic Forces https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/17/sonic-mania-delayed-project-sonic-2017-titled-sonic-forces/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/17/sonic-mania-delayed-project-sonic-2017-titled-sonic-forces/#respond Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:54:48 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97425

By Remington Joseph

At South by Southwest, an annual film festival held in Austin, Texas, Sega announced that their upcoming title Sonic Mania is delayed to summer of this year while revealing its latest trailer. The company also previewed a bit of gameplay for another title, Project Sonic 2017, also officially announcing the game’s title, Sonic Forces. Sonic Mania’s […]

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By Remington Joseph

At South by Southwest, an annual film festival held in Austin, Texas, Sega announced that their upcoming title Sonic Mania is delayed to summer of this year while revealing its latest trailer. The company also previewed a bit of gameplay for another title, Project Sonic 2017, also officially announcing the game’s title, Sonic Forces.

Sonic Mania’s latest trailer showed off for the first time that Flying Battery Zone, a stage originally made for Sonic and Knuckles would be returning in Sonic Mania, revamped to feature new surprises as with all returning stages for the upcoming title. Sonic Forces, formerly known as Project Sonic 2017 will be the hedgehog’s first 3D outing on consoles since the release of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric on the Wii U in 2014.

No major details have been released on Sonic Forces as of yet. A brief amount of footage of the upcoming game was shown at the event with off-camera footage leaking shortly afterwards. The game follows Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations style of 3rd person platforming. Despite the classic version of Sonic the hedgehog appearing in the game’s announcement trailer, Sega has already confirmed that Sonic Forces is not a sequel to Sonic Generations, the title that marked his debut.

Sonic Mania was announced on July 22 of 2016, acting as a celebration for Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary. The game is being created with intention of emulating the 2D gameplay and visuals of the early Sega Genesis titles with the visuals being slightly updated for modern consoles. Sonic mania remixes popular stages from Sonic’s early titles as well as featuring the return of older items and playable characters while adding in new content in the form of stages and abilities. The game is being developed by Christian Whitehead and Headcannon, independent developers known for their love of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise as well as being the one’s responsible for the well-received ports of the early Genesis titles to multiple platforms. The game is considered to be a passion project by the developers and longtime fans of the series are sure to spot multiple subtle and not so subtle references to the video game icon’s past. While the game was originally announced to release in spring of 2017, it will now release in summer with no exact date given. There was also no reason given behind this delay.

Both Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces have been announced to release for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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From Shallow Grave To Trainspotting 2: Ranking The Films Of Danny Boyle https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/17/from-shallow-grave-to-trainspotting-2-ranking-the-films-of-danny-boyle/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/17/from-shallow-grave-to-trainspotting-2-ranking-the-films-of-danny-boyle/#respond Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:13:06 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97410

By Phil Brown

Danny Boyle burst onto the international filmmaking scene with a bang in the mid-90s thanks to the one-two knock-out punch of Shallow Grave and Trainspotting. Since then, he’s been one of the most consistent, intelligent, inventive, and entertaining directors in the world. His movies tend to vary widely in subject and genre, having made everything […]

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By Phil Brown

Danny Boyle burst onto the international filmmaking scene with a bang in the mid-90s thanks to the one-two knock-out punch of Shallow Grave and Trainspotting. Since then, he’s been one of the most consistent, intelligent, inventive, and entertaining directors in the world. His movies tend to vary widely in subject and genre, having made everything from a Christian kiddie fantasy to a zombie movie, a Bollywood blow-out, and a film about a man cutting off his own arm. You never quite know what the subject matter of the next film de Danny Boyle might be, but you can be certain it will be breathlessly paced, visually inventive, and backed by a bumpin’ soundtrack. That’s just how he does.

Even though Boyle has won an Oscar and directed an Olympic opening ceremony, the guy still feels consistently underrated. His career seems to move with the whims of his creativity, so you can never be sure whether the guy will crank out a prestige picture set to gobble up awards or a strange genre outing that’ll scare off anyone with good taste (his best movies tend to fall somewhere in the middle). It’s tough to anticipate his next move at times, but the films are always instantly identifiable as his own within seconds. The director has a distinct enough voice to transcend all subjects and genres.

This week Boyle returns with one of the most surprising sequels ever cranked out of the Hollywood machine. T2 Trainspotting brings back the gang of lovable heroin addicts that kicked off his career twenty years ago and the moving comedy about ageing, nostalgia, friendships, and regret is somehow both completely different than the original flick and the only possible continuation. It’s a fantastic sequel and thank god, because Trainspotting is a masterpiece that so easily could have been sullied by a misfire follow-up. Thankfully Boyle doesn’t do such things. To celebrate the release of the Trainspotting sequel, we here at CGM decided to provide a ranking of all the films in Boyle’s career. This is the definitive Danny Boyle ranking. Everything else is false. You can trust us.

12) Millions (2004)

Ok, so maybe it’s a little harsh on Millions to rank it so low. It’s not exactly a disaster; it’s just the weakest effort by this particularly brilliant filmmaker. The tale of boy who finds a bag full of money that fuels his hyperactive imagination is quite sweet and fulfilled some of the filmmaker’s latent Christian spirituality for an exploration of ethics and faith. The movie is certainly beautifully constructed, but also by far the most sentimental and manipulative tale that the director has ever told, all of which feels even more grating due to Boyle’s seductively intense cinematic style that shoves the audience’s face in whatever material he explores. For this gentle parable, that style was a bit much and it’s easily the most forgettable movie that Boyle has made. Weirdly, the director had initially intended Millions to be a musical and as absurd as the might sound, it likely would have made the project a bit more interesting since it would have been far more insane. Millions is a bit too nice as it stands, which is hardly a problem for any of the director’s other movies.

11) The Beach (2000)

 Based on a cult 90’s novel about wayward youth and starring a Leonardo DiCaprio who was basking in the afterglow of Titanic, this backpacking twist on Lord Of The Flies seemed guaranteed to be a pop culture phenomenon on paper. Then it came out—and it wasn’t. The Beach got a big kicking from critics and audiences upon release, which wasn’t quite deserved. Sure, the film is a bit wonky in tone and overly pretentious in purpose, but it’s still a wild rush of stylish imagery and politicized excitement that’s worth a look. The Beach was mostly killed by hype and miss-marketing to Leo’s 90’s lovelies. Had the movie starred Ewen McGregor as intended, it likely would have been a playful oddity rather than a failed attempt at a dramatic indie(ish) hit (worst of all, McGregor was so hurt by being dumped by his directing buddy that they didn’t even speak for over a decade, let alone work together). At least the film’s failings gave Boyle his first shot at a career comeback—which he pulled off with ease.

10) A Life Less Ordinary  (1997)

Whew! Now here’s a weird damn movie. Hot off the success of the cultural phenomenon that was Trainspotting, Danny Boyle got a free ride to Hollywood along with Ewan McGregor and the rest of his British filmmaking team. Together they decided to make an oddball twist on the romantic comedy fuelled by the ironic violence and self-conscious humour of Tarantino/The Coen Brothers as well as the pop surrealism of David Lynch. It was an almost aggressively 90’s movie defined more by quirk n’ style than heart. A Life Less Ordinary is most definitely a mess, the result of giddy filmmakers putting their craziest ideas on screen without much internal censorship. However, it’s such a gloriously unique mess that it’s kind of charming. The retro 90s charm certainly works in the movie’s favour now, and while it’s unlikely A Life Less Ordinary will ever be revived as a cult hit, the flick is definitely worth at least one WTF watch for the curious. It’s hard to imagine that you won’t at least smile at the giddy insanity Boyle and the team. flung on the screen with their first studio budget.

9) Steve Jobs (2015)

Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs screenplay became something of a legendary property floating around Hollywood after the success of The Social Network. Sure, there had already been one horrible Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher, but the guy was one of the most fascinating and influential minds of the 20th century and Sorkin’s rat-a-tat monologues and taste for complicatedly unlikable leads felt like a good combo. After David Fincher and others flirted with the project it eventually landed in the hands of Danny Boyle—and he shot the hell out of it. The problems with Steve Jobs all boil down to the excesses of this particularly Sorkinian script (too much talky talky, too on the nose, too ambitious, too much writing in general). If anything, Boyle made the script better. His restless visual energy turned a collection of long dialogue scenes into something unexpectedly cinematic, his gift with actors led to some extraordinary (and deservedly awards-courting) performances, and the cynical tale somehow felt moving and even uplifting thanks to Boyle’s distinct directorial gifts. It sure ain’t The Social Network, but Steve Jobs is actually better than you’ve heard. This one didn’t deserve to bomb, even if it was never going to be a generationally significant hit like Sorkin’s previous satirical tale of computer company woes.

8) Trance (2013)

Shot during the same summer than Danny Boyle directed the Olympic opening ceremony and released to near unanimous apathy from critics and audiences, Trance might be Danny Boyle’s oddest and most underrated movie. An art heist flick hinged on hypnosis and starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and the great Vincent Cassell, Trance felt like a deliberately trashy means for Boyle to fulfill all of the instincts that he had to repress for Olympic cuddliness. The twisty-turny thriller is loaded with unhinged surrealism, shocking violence, crazed performances, insane plot twists, and a sick sense of dark humour. Trance was a return to the playful nihilism that kicked off Boyle’s career and an insane bit of pulp for folks who enjoy such things. Unfortunately, it was released when Boyle’s image could not have been more squeaky clean and respectable, so most folks who saw it were confused and the genre nuts who would appreciate this movie’s madness never even considered giving it a shot. Don’t make that mistake. This fubar flick should have a cult audience. Hopefully one day they’ll find it.

7) Sunshine (2007)

Thankfully this undeserved box-office bomb has received the overdue cult adoration that it deserved. Following their unexpected global success with 28 Days Later, Boyle reteamed with writer Alex Garland (Ex Machina) for a dark n’ morbid sci-fi odyssey. This bizarre little movie is about a world in which the sun is slowly dying, leading to an international space crew flying out on a suicide mission to drop a nuke into the star in the hopes of jump-starting a nuclear reaction. The flick mixes n’ matches influences ranging from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Running, and Solaris to Alien and Event Horizon. Boasting a brilliant cast (including a pre-Cap Chris Evans), surprising philosophical ambition, astounding effects, and endlessly evocative visuals, the movie plays like a genuine sci-fi masterpiece for the first two acts. Then it devolves into a slasher flick for the final act. That’s an undeniable letdown, yet the disappointing shift into pure thrills and spectacle still works quite well on its own terms. With a more satisfying finale, Sunshine could have become a timeless genre classic. Yet even without it, the flick remains easily one of the most rich and satisfying sci-fi outings of the 21st century. Thankfully, folks have finally caught onto that fact over the last decade after initially dismissing the film rather unfairly. Time has served Sunshine well.

6) Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Danny Boyle came into Slumdog Millionaire in need of a hit after a string of disappointments. The bizarre urban fairy tale set in India with an unknown cast certainly didn’t seem like an obvious choice to revive his career. In fact, it seemed destined to disappear faster than Millions. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. This joyously entertaining visual marvel proved to be a worldwide hit that seemed to get the director every award under the sun. Taking full advantage of his unique location, Boyle delivered one of his most visually explosive movies and easily his most moving. Sure, Slumdog Millionaire might be sappy, but at least it’s unapologetically sappy. The film is designed to entertain in every conceivable way and leave you stumbling out of the theatre with the biggest possible smile on your face—nothing wrong with that. Not when it’s this well done.

5) 28 Days Later (2003)

I know it’s hard to imagine, but there actually was a time when every other horror movie released didn’t feature zombies. But that’s where we were in the early 2000s when Danny Boyle and screenwriter Alex Garland decided to reunite after the underwhelming adaptation of his novel The Beach. Shot on relatively low-fi digital cameras (which was rare at the time) and dripping with post 9/11 malaise, 28 Days Later felt like a movie of the moment despite being littered with references to and quotes from George Romero’s iconic zombie trilogy. At the time, Boyle attempted to say this wasn’t a zombie movie, but given that it kicked off a zombie revival that’s yet to go away those claims are hard to take seriously now. The film is still easy to take seriously and has aged remarkably well, remaining one of the most frightening zombie flicks of the aughts’ obsession with the undead.

4) T2 Trainspotting (2017)

More than anything else, it’s a relief that they didn’t screw this one up. Making a sequel to a movie rooted so specifically to a time and place as Trainspotting is always a risk, especially when the original film is so iconic. Yet, the fact that Danny Boyle and co. were so aware of the risks involved with this project worked in their favour. The movie may match the giddy cinematic style and bleakly hilarious tone of its predecessor, but beyond that it’s a different beast (in a great way). T2 Trainspotting is a beautiful film about aging, Scotland, the pains of nostalgia, and the peculiarities of male friendship. By using an iconic film about wayward youth (you don’t get much more wayward than heroin addiction, people!) as the leaping off point, it allowed Boyle to tap into his audience’s collective memory of Trainspotting to explore new themes. The returning cast are all brilliant, John Hodge’s screenplay lives up to his Oscar-nominated original, and Boyle’s ever-roving cameras find just the right mix of melancholy and dark comedy. Even better, the filmmaker weaves in footage and visual quotations of his 20-year-old classic in ways both cleverly self-reflexive and deeply moving. It’s likely the most stylistically and thematically ambitious cinematic sequel since Godfather 2, turning the project into an artistic opportunity to explore the legacy of Trainspotting rather than merely cashing in on nostalgia. Sure, it’s not as good as the original, but few movies are. The fact that Boyle found a magical mix of staying true to his original vision and deliberately diverting from it is something of a cinematic miracle in and of itself.

3) 127 Hours (2010)

Some might use the success of an Oscar-winning global success like Slumdog Millionaire to cash in on a massive money making venture. Not Danny Boyle. Instead, he used that cache to finance a movie that would never have existed otherwise. 127 Hours tells the harrowing true story of Aron Ralson, a man who got his arm trapped in a Utah cavern and was forced to chop it off to escape. That’s subject matter so grisly that most viewers stayed away. Yet those who did brave a screening saw one of Boyle’s finest films. The filmmaker vividly thrusts the audience into this unique predicament and James Franco gives arguably his finest performance as often the only person on screen during this tale of survival horror. Yet somehow, despite not shying away from any of the inherently nasty and morbid imagery, the film is a gloriously hopeful and inspirational tale about humanity’s remarkable ability to survive. It’s an absolutely beautiful movie, when it isn’t a painfully ugly experience and easily one of the highlights of Danny Boyle’s career.

2) Shallow Grave (1994)

Though often forgotten these days, Shallow Grave is one of the finest directorial debuts of the 90s. This dirty little diddy is about a group of narcissistic flatmates who find a dead body and a briefcase full of money and then have to decide whether to call the police or cover up the crime to keep the cash. Boyle is certainly in show off mode here, proving that he has the directorial chops for a long career. The film is a visual feast and also an impressive tonal feat. It walks a fine line between being a bitter dark comedy twist on The Treasure Of The Sierra Mandre and a viciously visceral thriller designed to make palms sweat. Shallow Grave is a surge of cynical entertainment that hasn’t lost an inch of its power or entertainment value in the years since release. If anything, watching Shallow Grave today is frustrating because there are so few thrillers made anymore that are this clever, effective, and expertly accomplished (by first-time filmmakers or otherwise). If you’ve never seen the flick, you’re in for a treat. If you have, you’re overdue for a rewatch. Trust me.

1) Trainspotting (1996)

Finally we come to the only movie that could have possibly topped this list. Trainspotting is not only Danny Boyle’s masterpiece, but easily one of the best films of the 90s. Somehow he and writer John Hodge took a sprawlingly episodic (if absolutely brilliant) novel and transformed it to a 90-minute gut punch of relentless entertainment. It’s one of the few drug movies that dares to acknowledge the pleasure of drugs without ever belittling the perils of addiction. Backed by a Brit-pop soundtrack that’s one of the all-time greats, Trainspotting is pure pop entertainment that captures the restless spirit of youth while also offering a glimpse into some of the darkest and most desperate corners of human nature. The cast is incredible, the dialogue is endlessly quotable, the filmmaking craft is impeccable, the music is marvelous, the pacing is unrelenting, and the themes are complex. Simply put, Trainspotting is a masterpiece. Thank god the sequel didn’t suck.

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Sniper Elite 4: Deathstorm DLC Releases March 21 https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/17/sniper-elite-4-deathstorm-dlc-releases-march-21/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/17/sniper-elite-4-deathstorm-dlc-releases-march-21/#respond Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:00:51 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97395

By Cole Watson

Sniper Elite 4 fans have a lot to be excited about on March 21, 2017 with the launch of a brand new DLC campaign and free in-game content for multiplayer. Obviously, the most exciting news of this announcement is about the new three-part campaign, titled "Deathstorm," which is set after the events of the base […]

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By Cole Watson

Sniper Elite 4 fans have a lot to be excited about on March 21, 2017 with the launch of a brand new DLC campaign and free in-game content for multiplayer. Obviously, the most exciting news of this announcement is about the new three-part campaign, titled "Deathstorm," which is set after the events of the base game.

Players will only be able to experience part one of "Deathstorm," "Inception," at the time of launch. The introduction mission sounds exciting, set in the colder climates of Northern Italy, where up to two players set out to infiltrate a bomb run Nazi Naval Base looking for top-secret documents and packages surrounding the Manhattan Project.

The content doesn’t stop flowing there though. Players will be able to sink their teeth into the "Night Fighter Expansion" pack, which includes three new weapons, night-time camo rifle skins, as well as more themed skins to customize character models.

Multiplayer will be receiving some free updates in the form of a new game mode, "Elimination," as well as the first new map, called Night Woods. As Rebellion has already stated when they first announced their plans for Sniper Elite 4 DLC, all additional maps and modes will be free, keeping the player base together.

"Elimination" is a two-team, 12 player mode that is similar to dodgeball. Every player has one life and once eliminated they are sent to a respawn queue to wait. If one of the remaining teammates manages to kill an enemy, then someone from the respawn queue comes back to life to even out the odds and make a comeback. Both teams fight until only one side remains.

Dodgeball game types like this are becoming more frequent in multiplayer games and I really enjoy them as a nice change of pace. There’s always a powerful rush of adrenaline that happens when the team starts to make a sudden comeback after losing a majority of its members, which never gets old.

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Quake Champions Preview - A New Old-School Shooter https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/16/quake-champions-preview/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/16/quake-champions-preview/#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 19:22:43 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97377

By Brendan Frye

Quake has been a force on the PC landscape since it first hit the scene in 1996. It brought fast, brutal first-person shooting to a multiplayer setting, and it did it well. Few games could touch its speed, kinetic energy or brilliantly simple design elements. Despite its iconic place in gaming history, the franchise had been […]

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By Brendan Frye

Quake has been a force on the PC landscape since it first hit the scene in 1996. It brought fast, brutal first-person shooting to a multiplayer setting, and it did it well. Few games could touch its speed, kinetic energy or brilliantly simple design elements. Despite its iconic place in gaming history, the franchise had been dormant since the release of Quake Live back in 2010, and in reality, that was more of a new way to play Quake III. Now id Software under the management of Bethesda Softworks has a new instalment in the franchise, Quake Champions, and it is fantastic.

Sitting at the Bethesda Pax East booth, I was unsure what I should expect with this new entry. It was hard to imagine a modern shooter recapturing the secret sauce that made the game so memorable in the first place, but id Software has done so in the past with Doom, so I was holding out hope. Slipping the headphones on and selecting a character, it was immediately evident that this was a Quake game. The mix of fantasy, science fiction, and crude cybernetics were all present, and from first glance, the game was stunning capturing the feel of Quake while updating it to modern standards. The real test on how it would all work would be the gameplay, but it was managing to present a great first impression. As the countdown clock slowly ticked down, it was time to jump into the action and see how it would all hold up.

Quake Champions Preview - A New Old-School Shooter 3Having only played one map with limited power-up options available, it is hard to say for sure how id Software will handle this in practice, but what was seen worked very well. The map had the scale to give players enough room to explore, stock up, and plan an attack, without losing the sense of constant danger.  The action was always frantic, even with the 5V5 multiplayer match that was on offer at the show. The map with its mix of tech and gothic touches was a clear callback to maps seen in Quake III, and it all worked to set the mood of “Quake” well.

With the mix of vertical drops and tight corridors, there was a need for a diverse playstyle and arsenal to match. Players will have to be constantly aware and pay attention to all aspects of the level, ensuring that classic feeling of tension that Quake is built on is always present. Utilizing the best gun for each segment meant I never relied on one weapon more than others. While I loved the power of the rocket launcher, when I got into tight spaces, the shotgun naturally took down my opponent with relative ease. All the fan favourites are present in Quake Champions, from the aforementioned rocket launcher, and shotgun, to the lightning gun, and machine gun.  While they all feel modern in the way they play, they also manage to call back enough to the source material to feel familiar and welcome.  One such example is the purple glow as you plough through the enemies. It still manages to work surprisingly well, making you feel powerful, even years after it was first introduced in Quake III. It is this mix of new and old, with a dash of strategy and chaos that make for an anxious multiplayer experience, and it is a pleasant surprise to see Quake Champions manage it, even if it was only in a short demo.

Quake Champions Preview - A New Old-School Shooter 1It is a welcome surprise to see how much of that classic Quake feel carried over into Quake Champions. It is evident the team working on Quake Champions care about the feel of the game. The number keys on the keyboard allow quick access to your weapons, with the mouse wheel giving quick access to scroll through all the available powers we all know and love. On the map I was playing, I managed to capture the iconic quad damage a few times throughout the match. The identifiable quake symbol power up sat near the center of the map, making for a constant battleground whenever it was about to appear. While not a game changer, it is a sure-fire way to rack up some quick kills, especially near the end of a match.

The heroes on the other hand where the only thing I noticed felt a bit lackluster. While they all look the part and have that distinct "Quake" feel, none of them stands out as we have seen in other shooters as of late. They are more of vehicles for killing than notable personalities in their own right. Everything feels the very late 90s in the way they present themselves — edgy, extreme and ultimately shallow. That all being said, they fit the need of the game, and all look as you would hope from a Quake property, I just wish they had a bit more depth to sink my teeth into.

Quake Champions Preview - A New Old-School Shooter 2

It is always a challenge modernizing a classic, especially one on the level of Quake, yet the team at id Software have managed it. I walked away from the demo with a renewed sense of excitement for the franchise, and Quake Champions in general. While it will be difficult to compete with the slew of multiplayer shooters currently on the market, at least Quake is back and as good as ever.

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Legion Has Been Renewed For A Second Season https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/16/legion-has-been-renewed-for-a-second-season/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/16/legion-has-been-renewed-for-a-second-season/#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 17:41:57 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97368

By Tyler J. Edwards

Joining the likes of new FX hits Atlanta, Taboo, and Feud; Legion has already been renewed for a second season. Although the first season is yet to be completed, the critically acclaimed series is already gearing up for a 2018 continuity. Presidents of FX Networks and FX Productions Eric Schrier and Nick Grad announced yesterday […]

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By Tyler J. Edwards

Joining the likes of new FX hits Atlanta, Taboo, and Feud; Legion has already been renewed for a second season. Although the first season is yet to be completed, the critically acclaimed series is already gearing up for a 2018 continuity. Presidents of FX Networks and FX Productions Eric Schrier and Nick Grad announced yesterday that this is all because Legion is currently one of the most-watched new cable dramas of the year.

“More than a new series, Legion is a wholly original take on the superhero genre. Our thanks to Noah Hawley for taking the creative risks and shattering expectations," says Schrier in a Marvel.com post. "It’s a privilege to work again with Noah, his producing partners, the outstanding cast and our partners at Marvel Television on another season of Legion.”

Executive Producer and head of Marvel Productions, Jeph Loeb added, “We are thrilled there will be a new season of Legion. Noah’s spectacular take on David Haller and all the other characters he brought to life makes us ache for more. We’re particularly proud of our partners at FX and the success we share on our first TV series together.”

Producer Noah Hawley is no novice to character-driven FX writing with the dramatic black comedy Fargo being one of his better-known writing credits. Hawley is also known for his writing on Bones, The Unusuals, My Generation, and as a producer for upcoming sci-fi film Pale Blue Dot starring Reese Witherspoon.

The all-star line-up of producers alongside the cast of Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, and Rachel Keller have been able to propel Legion's first season into a Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh score of 93 per cent and a Metacritic score of 82 for universal acclaim.

Expect to finish off season one of Legion Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. until next year's season two release.

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Asus STRIX GL753 Notebook Hardware Review https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/asus-strix-gl753-notebook-hardware-review/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/asus-strix-gl753-notebook-hardware-review/#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 12:00:22 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97330

By Cole Watson

A new year begins and right alongside it comes an abundance of budget oriented gaming notebooks. These GTX 1050 Ti machines may be one of the worst kept secrets of NVIDIA’s in recent memory, but consumers are still excited for their arrival. The Asus STRIX  GL753 Gaming Notebook is a textbook example of what consumers […]

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By Cole Watson

A new year begins and right alongside it comes an abundance of budget oriented gaming notebooks. These GTX 1050 Ti machines may be one of the worst kept secrets of NVIDIA’s in recent memory, but consumers are still excited for their arrival. The Asus STRIX  GL753 Gaming Notebook is a textbook example of what consumers can expect from a majority of the leading tech manufacturers with this generation of budget oriented hardware, albeit with a higher retail price of $1299.99 USD.

While most tech manufacturers like to frequently change their notebook chassis to make each one stand out as unique, Asus takes the Apple approach to their hardware and maintains a consistent appearance across multiple generations. Similar to the previously reviewed GL702M, machines intended for the “Republic Of Gamers” commonly feature a brushed aluminium finish across the back of the 17.3” Full HD 1080p panel. Also returning, but with a notable new feature, is the backlit chiklet island style keyboard. RGB lighting is often used for higher price point models, but Asus is removing that restriction by adding it into the GL702M and is more than likely the culprit for the extra hike on the price tag.

Asus STRIX GL753 Notebook (Hardware) Review 1

I enjoy the 15+ million colour spectrum as much as any other lighting enthusiast but I don’t believe this addition is necessary or thought out. The rest of the GL753’s body doesn’t feature any RGB capability, leaving fans, accent pieces and logos the standard ROG orange. Since I always build around a certain colour profile this left me feeling that I still had to contrast off the orange in an appealing way, and limited how far I really wanted to explore the range I can get out of the machine.

When it comes to multimedia functionality the GL753 features everything a user could possibly need. An optical Blu-ray drive, Ethernet port, HDMI, and a host of USB 2.0 ports as well as one USB 3.0 port are onboard. There is an included 720p webcam on top of the panel, but I would rather pick out an external because this is definitely the weakest part of the package. Thankfully the speakers are good quality, delivering all of the impact and oomph that users expect from their favourite titles.

The STRIX name carries a lot of weight with it, ensuring excellent cooling while never compromising on powerful components. It’s no surprise then, with such a lineage, that the GL753 features a quad-core 7th Generation i7 Intel processor partnered with the latest 10-series NVIDIA desktop GPU, the GTX 1050 Ti. The 1050 Ti may be coming out as the lackluster ending for the 10-series GPU’s, but the card still has spunk where it counts and is a great inclusion for 1080p limited notebooks. Featuring 768 cuda cores, 4GB of GDDR5 memory and a clock speed of 1290 MHz, this card is incredibly efficient and is powered just by the PCIE slot on the motherboard.

To benchmark the GL753 I ran three lengthy tests: 3D Mark’s latest Time Spy benchmark, a 20 loop stress test of the classic Fire Strike, and rounded out the machines expected performance with a fully discharged battery in PC Mark 8. The partnership of the i7-7700HQ and the GTX 1050 Ti resulted in a rather lackluster score of 1479 in 3D Mark’s tests. The reason for this being that the 1050 Ti is not a particularly powerful GPU. While the card will run any modern title with ease at high settings with stable 30 FPS thanks to its Pascal-based architecture, this graphics card is really just a boosted version of the GTX 960 and is similar in power to AMD’s R9 380. Users who prefer to play eSports titles will have nothing to worry about with the GTX 1050 Ti since titles including Overwatch, DOTA 2, and Rocket League all perform at over 60 FPS on Ultra settings. However I expected something with more power in this notebook. Thanks to the GL753’s heftier weight, compared to the GL702M, I was expecting a return of the GTX 1060, which would have provided a 30 per cent increase in raw power. Lastly, this is not a VR intended card and does not pass Steam VR’s minimum benchmark.

Asus STRIX GL753 Notebook (Hardware) Review 2

Even for consumers anxious to pick up a new gaming notebook, I don’t believe this is the best on the market currently. With last year’s models going on flash sales while still featuring more raw horsepower underneath, the GL753 is relying on RGB lighting to be the star feature to sell it. I feel the inclusion has actually harmed me from giving a hearty recommendation because the machine is hitting at a higher price bracket then it can handle. With a majority of GTX 1050 Ti machines knocking at the $1000 price brackets door, Asus has become an outlier that consumers may quickly forget from considering in this race.

Editor’s Note: Asus also released the STRIX GL502VT which offers the same hardware with a 15 inch screen. Though a little more compact, performance wise, it is comparable to the STRIX GL753.

Score:7.5

Final Thoughts:The STRIX GL753 Gaming Notebook is a consistently efficient machine that delivers good performance, but a heftier price tag than other competitors has made this notebook an outlier in the discussion.

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Knight Guardians of Relativity - An Interview with TITAN1STUDIOS https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/16/knight-guardians-relativity-interview-titan1studios/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/16/knight-guardians-relativity-interview-titan1studios/#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 11:30:26 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97306

By Brendan Quinn

Editor's Note: The following interview is available in full in this month's issue of CGMagazine, available now!  TITAN1STUDIOS is a Canadian-based publisher developing transmedia content across novels, comics, video games, animation, and live action TV.  They are currently publishing three series that will hit the shelves in Q1 2017. Knight Guardians of Relativity arrived in […]

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By Brendan Quinn

Editor's Note: The following interview is available in full in this month's issue of CGMagazine, available now

TITAN1STUDIOS is a Canadian-based publisher developing transmedia content across novels, comics, video games, animation, and live action TV.  They are currently publishing three series that will hit the shelves in Q1 2017. Knight Guardians of Relativity arrived in comic shops in January and is the launch of the Relativity Universe.  The company recently partnered with Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc., the world's largest distributor of English-language comics, to bring the Relativity Universe to comic shops. CGM had a chance to speak with lead writer Taran Chadha and Executive Producer and publisher Rathan Moorthy about what this means for their company and their future plans.

CGMagazine:  Tell us a bit about yourselves. How long have you been writing comics, what got you into the medium? Who are your influences, both in the past and currently? What titles do you read and enjoy?

Taran Chada: I started writing a mix of films and comics since the age of 13, but when I came out of college it was tough breaking in, and to be honest my work then was still amateur. It lacked a deeper understanding of human drama and motivation. But after a few years working as a writer in advertising, I got a project for a birth control product and decided to create a comic for the print ad, which was a pretty weird choice on my part. It was a blast to make though, so I started freelancing in advertising to pay the bills, while writing and drawing comics on the side with my friends and self-publishing. We did a 300-page graphic novel that took years to finish, which we're proud of, but was still not quite at that professional level. Eventually after lots of work, trying my hand at writing films in LA, I ended up in Toronto at the RAID studios, and was able to push the work into a realm that felt good to me a few years ago. And that's an exciting time, when it finally clicks, and all you want is time to pump out as much as possible, it becomes an addiction. Like that high you get from running, after the first few months of grinding through it, when it just feels good. Now I find it hard to go a day without writing, like my body hates me unless I've punched those keys for a few hours every morning.

Knight Guardians of Relativity - An Interview with TITAN1STUDIOS 2

In terms of influences, I remember reading Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and thinking, "Holy shit, this guy has read all these books to write this". So I decided to do the same. I read the original Sherlock books, A Picture of Dorian Grey, Frankenstein and so on. And they were amazing, so I kept diving in. The original Dracula blew my mind, it was genius. So I still try to read as much literature as possible to inform my writing. But for fun, comics are hard to top, recently I've been loving Southern Bastards, and Prophet is fun to read for the weird worlds they create. Saga is something I always recommend to people, top-notch art and writing, with a lot great human moments in-between all the epic sci-fi. I like to think about it, because it feels personal, even though it's intergalactic, and that feels like an accomplishment to me as a writer. One-Punch Man is a great Japanese Manga/Anime show! Okay, I'll stop there otherwise I could go on forever...

Rathan Moorthy: In April of 2013, I was disenfranchised by the Canadian broadcast scene.  After a few years of successfully producing sports and entertainment related content to the broadcast and sponsorship community, I found it increasingly difficult to find partners to deliver the niche/indie style stories that we wanted to produce.  It seemed that everything that was making it onto TV was a derivative of some other successful show, or a reboot or remake of something that existed a few decades previously, etc.  We had a few good scripts in our portfolio, stories that dealt with the challenges of minority communities living in Canada, and an episodic comedy-drama (similar in subject matter to Aziz Ansari/Netflix's Master of None), but we were not getting any traction in the broadcast community.  So, I thought it was time to pivot.  I reached out through a mutual acquaintance to Gareth R. Roberts (Award-winning Harper Collins UK novelist) and pitched him a dystopic 'Knights of the round table' concept that dealt with protecting the use of time travel, and framed it within the context of humanity having destroyed itself during a series of temporal wars, and now existed within a series of remaining city-states.

Gareth loved the concept and over the next few years of weekly Skype calls, delivered a 70,000-word manuscript that would go on to form the backbone of our graphic series.

As Gareth was writing, I started visiting comic shops in my area to see what was out on the market, thinking that we could use the comic medium to deliver the first elements of our story.  I was ready to be 'rebirthed' as a comic reader.  Having only really followed Superman and Spiderman in comics as kid, I was not really prepared for how the industry had shaped and shifted since the mid-1980's.  To be honest, I found it all quite overwhelming ... until I found Cary Nord's work in XO Manowar.  I took a deep study into the first trade and loved what Valliant and Cary were doing with the franchise that had both mainstream superhero feel with solid indie storytelling.  I was sold ... we weren't trying to develop Knight Guardians as a cape story, but we knew that we had to draw enough mainstream publisher components to have a chance at being relevant in the market.  I went through an exhaustive search to find a creative team to deliver the graphic series and through [that] found Taran, who was working out of the RAID Studios. Together with Taran, we added two more RAID Studios artists in Irma Kniivial (colourist) and Gabriel Sapienza (Cover Artist) and Barcelona-based sequential artist Abel Garcia.  Now, about a year on, our team is finishing up work on the fifth Knight Guardian book, and ready to launch two new titles with two additional creative teams.

Knight Guardians of Relativity - An Interview with TITAN1STUDIOS

As far as influences go, I've already referenced Cary Nord and XO Manowar ... but currently (having gone from a comic shop newbie to now a $50 per week shopper), I’m totally taken over by the work of Cameron Stewart, Brendan Fletcher, and Babs Tarr in Motor Crush.  This series, for me, is the hottest thing on the market.  From character, to story, to art, to world building ... this creative team is totally knocking it out of the park.  Something tells me that these three are up to something bigger than what they're revealing in Motor Crush, and as a fan, I can't wait to see what that is!  As a note, we've been fortunate to add Motor Crush letterer Aditya Bidikar to our creative team, who, in my mind, brings serious artistry to his letters, which is very difficult to find.

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Warner Bros. Finds Writer For Suicide Squad 2 https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/warner-bros-finds-writer-for-suicide-squad-2/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/warner-bros-finds-writer-for-suicide-squad-2/#respond Wed, 15 Mar 2017 21:01:27 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97338

By Remington Joseph

Writer of the 2016 live action movie The Legend of Tarzan, Adam Cozad is currently in negotiations to pen the script of the sequel to Warner Bros 2016 movie, Suicide Squad according to Hollywood Reporter.  The studio claims that the sequel is a priority at the moment and that there are many talks going on with […]

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By Remington Joseph

Writer of the 2016 live action movie The Legend of Tarzan, Adam Cozad is currently in negotiations to pen the script of the sequel to Warner Bros 2016 movie, Suicide Squad according to Hollywood Reporter

The studio claims that the sequel is a priority at the moment and that there are many talks going on with several different directors, including Mel Gibson. So far, nothing about the project has been pinned down while the studio aims to maintain focus on the movie’s plot. The first Suicide Squad’s director, David Ayer was also responsible for writing the original script. The movie focused on popular DC villains, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, the Joker, Captain Boomerang and Killer Croc who are forced by the government to work as a specialized team. The movie featured a number of Stars, playing these roles from Will Smith as Deadshot to Jared Leto as the Joker. Though the movie went through a number of difficulties during development and reception of the movie afterwards was mixed, it was still a box office hit, grossing $745 million worldwide.

David Ayer announced that he would not be directing the sequel, instead working on a spinoff film of Suicide Squad based on Gotham City Sirens, a series focusing on some of the most popular female characters in Batman universe lore. Margot Robbie will be reprising her role as Harley Quinn for the upcoming movie and is titled as an executive producer on the project.

Adam Cozad has a reputation for his previous works on action and comic book-related titles. Cozad co-wrote the script to Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit alongside David Koepp. He also helped to write Underwater, a survival thriller starring Kristen Stewart. The movie began filming this month.

No other information has been given on Suicide Squad 2 or the all-female spinoff related to the franchise.

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Square Enix Releases New Bravely Default: Fairy's Effect Trailer in Japan https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/square-enix-releases-new-bravely-default-fairys-effect-trailer-in-japan/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/square-enix-releases-new-bravely-default-fairys-effect-trailer-in-japan/#respond Wed, 15 Mar 2017 18:35:16 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97313

By Remington Joseph

Square Enix Japan recently released a new trailer of its upcoming free to play mobile game, Bravely Default: Fairy’s Effect. The trailer shows off new background and character art along with a brief glimpse of gameplay. Bravely Default originally released for the Nintendo 3DS, starting out its development as a sequel to Final Fantasy: The […]

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By Remington Joseph

Square Enix Japan recently released a new trailer of its upcoming free to play mobile game, Bravely Default: Fairy’s Effect. The trailer shows off new background and character art along with a brief glimpse of gameplay.

Bravely Default originally released for the Nintendo 3DS, starting out its development as a sequel to Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light before becoming its own title. Creatively inspired by Square Enix’s own older role play games, Bravely Default was met with positive reviews for its unique battle mechanics and rich narrative. Its sequel, Bravely Second: End Layer continued to build on the original, being met with similar reception. Exclusive to Japan was Bravely Default: Praying Brage, a free to play web browser game set 200 years after the original.

Bravely Default: Fairy’s Effect was announced in November of 2016 and came with no details at the time of the announcement. A month later, Square Enix launched a closed beta for the game in Japan, giving players a better look at the game and its features. The game begins with players creating their own customizable character, a first for the series. Players are then treated to an introductory story cutscene, introducing new characters, Ace and Liz along with the player character’s entry into the story. The cutscenes look identical to the one’s seen in Bravely Default and its sequel though with slightly sharper visuals. It’s still unclear where exactly in the timeline Fairy’s Effect takes place but it’s likely to either serve as a prequel to the series or as a bridge between the first and second titles. As for the core gameplay, Fairy’s Effect looks to be a simplified version of how Bravely Default’s combat worked, a trend found in most spin-off mobile games. A change from the mainline series however, is the ability to play with friends, building on the social aspects of Praying Brage. Player’s avatars can be seen in the game's towns, serving as an in-game lobby and players will have the option to join ongoing battles and support each other in parties.

Bravely Default: Fairy’s Effect is due to launch sometime in 2017 in Japan. According to the series producer, Tomoya Asano, a potential sequel, Bravely Third is already being planned.

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New trailer for Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 Shows a More Emotional Story https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/new-trailer-for-sniper-ghost-warrior-3-shows-more-emotional-story/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/new-trailer-for-sniper-ghost-warrior-3-shows-more-emotional-story/#comments Wed, 15 Mar 2017 17:00:29 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97214

By Christopher Whan

CI Games has released a new story trailer for their upcoming stealth shooter Sniper Ghost Warrior 3. In it, we see the relationship between the main protagonist Jon and his younger brother Robert. The former is kidnapped at some point and it's up to Jon to go after the ones who took his brother and […]

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By Christopher Whan

CI Games has released a new story trailer for their upcoming stealth shooter Sniper Ghost Warrior 3. In it, we see the relationship between the main protagonist Jon and his younger brother Robert. The former is kidnapped at some point and it's up to Jon to go after the ones who took his brother and bring him home, that is if he wants to be brought home.

 https://youtu.be/Mxb-DgD0SXg
“While Jon has been shaped into a resolutely 'follow the book' type of Marine, Robert quickly rose through the ranks of the US Navy–despite sometimes using unorthodox methods–and became more rebellious and skeptical of authority along the way,” CI Games wrote in a release. “Robert deeply loves his older brother, but also believes that an old-school way of thinking in warfare will inevitably leave Jon behind.”
This game seems to share a few similarities with another sniper game released earlier this year, Sniper Elite 4, (you can read our review here) though with a more emotionally driven story. The slow-mo bullet camera and violent deaths are prominently featured. With body parts actually flying off those players who enjoy the gratuitous violence that are part and parcel to the Sniper Ghost Warrior series shouldn't be disappointed.
The game is set in northern Georgia along the Russian border. The game will feature open-world maps, a day and night cycle and a dynamic weather system which hopefully means you won't have the same experience twice on any given mission. Though with two sniper games being released so close together, lets hope that fans of the genre aren't burnt out by the time this one comes out.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is slated to be released on PS4, Xbox One and Windows PC on April 25 across all markets.

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Ex-Rockstar Games Designer Announces New Indie Title https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/ex-rockstar-games-designer-announces-new-indie-title/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/ex-rockstar-games-designer-announces-new-indie-title/#respond Wed, 15 Mar 2017 16:37:15 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97291

By Remington Joseph

Independent studio Ant Workshop, founded by ex-Rockstar Games lead designer Tony Gowland, released a trailer for their new game, Dead End Job along with a 2018 release date. Dead End Job is a procedurally generated twin-stick shooter which tasks the players with the difficult job of exterminating paranormal ghouls with a large portable vacuum cleaner, […]

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By Remington Joseph

Independent studio Ant Workshop, founded by ex-Rockstar Games lead designer Tony Gowland, released a trailer for their new game, Dead End Job along with a 2018 release date.

Dead End Job is a procedurally generated twin-stick shooter which tasks the players with the difficult job of exterminating paranormal ghouls with a large portable vacuum cleaner, reminiscent of Nintendo’s original ghost busting title for the Nintendo Gamecube, Luigi’s Mansion. The game uses a very highly detailed, cartoon quality art style that harkens back to classic cartoons like Ren and Stimpy. Music for the title will feature original compositions by Will Morton, audio designer for Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series. A unique feature to the game allows for Twitch integration, letting viewers help or hinder the streamer’s progress by being able to choose their powerups, a new form of interaction that adapts to how popular streaming has become in the modern era of gaming.

Ant Workshop was formed in January of 2015 by Tony Gowland who wanted to create interesting games with an off-beat sense of humour. Dead End Jobs will be the company’s third developed game since its founding.  Their last title was Binaries, a difficult 2D puzzle-platformer released on PC in April of 2016 and on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game has players controlling a separated orange and blue ball at the same time through increasingly difficult stages, offering up to 100 levels. Before that, they made Run From the Sun, which began as a Flash game in 2011, where players would use the gravity of different planets to propel their spaceship forward while picking up a number of different collectables along the way. While the original was an endless runner, the game was modified to have an ending when it officially launched for free on mobile devices in January of 2017.

Dead End Job is planned to see a release on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One early next year. A preview of the game will be shown at London’s gaming event, EGX Rezzed, next month

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Ex-Yager Developers Launch Kickstarter Campaign https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/ex-yager-developers-launch-kickstarter-campaign/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/ex-yager-developers-launch-kickstarter-campaign/#respond Wed, 15 Mar 2017 14:39:54 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97281

By Remington Joseph

Three Ex-Yager developers will be launching a new Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund their newest indie title, All Walls Must Fall, on March 22, 2017. Backers of the game will be granted access to an exclusive closed alpha sometime in May of this Year. All Walls Must Fall is set to be a noir styled tactical […]

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By Remington Joseph

Three Ex-Yager developers will be launching a new Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund their newest indie title, All Walls Must Fall, on March 22, 2017. Backers of the game will be granted access to an exclusive closed alpha sometime in May of this Year.

All Walls Must Fall is set to be a noir styled tactical game, set in the future of Berlin in the year 2089, the game recreates a fictional version of the cold war as players aim to discover the truth of why the East and West have been in opposition for the last 150 years. Making use Unreal Engine 4, the game blends an art direction of 2D and 3D visuals in an Isometric real time action style. The game also promises to allow players to use a variety of tactics, giving them the option to choose between a more combat heavy or stealth experience. An additional mechanic of the game will be a way to manipulate time, allowing for an even wider range of strategy. The developers also promise inclusive representation of the people of Berlin, displaying the nation’s diverse cultural, sexual and gender identities.

Ex-Yager Developers Launch Kickstarter Campaign 1

While the developers, an independent studio named Inbetweengames, was founded in fall of 2015, before leaving their previous company, Spec Ops: The Line creators; YAGER, the team of four developers created a free game called The Mammoth: A Cave Painting, released for PC, Android and IOS devices months before forming their own company. Players worked to survive as a mammoth, gathering and protecting it's herd from the dangers of the wild and human hunters, taking on a visual aesthetic of a cave painting.

All Walls Must Fall is currently in development for PC by Inbetweengames. Developer updates can be found on the company’s official blog, Twitter and Facebook pages along with other interesting pieces such as self-interviews.

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Dropzone Preview - A Twist in the MOBA Formula https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/dropzone-preview-twist-moba-formula/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/dropzone-preview-twist-moba-formula/#respond Wed, 15 Mar 2017 12:00:18 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97265

By Chris Carter

There are so many MOBAs out there that it can be tough to climb to the top of the pack. While a lot of developers chase Riot's model, both from a monetary and mechanical standpoint, others are trying new things and live and die by them. Dropzone is one such project, and although it derives […]

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By Chris Carter

There are so many MOBAs out there that it can be tough to climb to the top of the pack. While a lot of developers chase Riot's model, both from a monetary and mechanical standpoint, others are trying new things and live and die by them. Dropzone is one such project, and although it derives their free-to-play model directly from the aforementioned current king of MOBAs, it twists and turns a few other conventions on their head, and draws more from the old school RTS genre than anything.

The plot of Dropzone seems generic at first glance (mechs searching the galaxy for resources and fighting evil bug aliens and rival corporations), but the allure is obvious from the first few minutes of the intro. It feels less like a generic space opera and more like a fun 90’s cartoon akin to Exo Squad, with bright personalities leading the charge. I wouldn't go so far as to compare it to something over-the-top like Awesomenauts (which basically is a cartoon) but it's easy to warm up to.

Dropzone Preview - A Twist in the MOBA Formula 1

The main gimmick to which Dropzone ties its future is akin to a deadly game of space basketball. Players will have to attack neutral camps of aliens and destroy nests to gain cores, which can be uploaded for points in the center of the map. Think of them like primary objectives related to your tertiary goal of killing other players and controlling the map. You'll have to decide when to attack the enemy (PVE) and when to fight your rivals (PVP), which can be really tough at any given moment.

Wholly focusing on objective-based gameplay (like Heroes of the Storm) was interesting enough, but I really dig the big alteration that Dropzone makes—and here comes that old school RTS tint. Instead of just giving you access to one unit, you're in charge of a team of three. It has control groups and clicking and dragging, and players can issue separate orders to everyone. A tank can guard one nest while an assassin picks off enemy support, and so on.

In case you didn't pick that up, Dropzone does go with traditional class-based roles—Tanks, gunners (AD, or attack damage assassins), mechanics (support), summoners (AP or ability power casters). Though it's not quite as rigid as other games as players can customize abilities and use combos with all three units. It's going to lead to a lot of testing and viable strategies involving an entire team, not just a meta that includes single top tier characters (though I'm sure there will be some of that).

Don't get too excited, as it still has the beating heart of a MOBA. There's a dropship where you can heal (like your home base in DOTA), players gain abilities when they level up, and they can cast skillshots, which are mech-based instead of magical spells. Dropzone also offers a break from PVP in the form of a horde mode, an angle that's reportedly being built up over time and could get me more interested than its MOBA sensibilities (I have a lot of MOBAs I have to juggle already). Things like quests, the premium currency of Feds, and the in-game currency of Jovians are hints of what's to come—an ecosystem that will attempt to suck players in to ultimately (as all developers want) spend money.

Dropzone Preview - A Twist in the MOBA Formula 3

Caution aside, I'm really hopeful for Dropzone's future based on the blueprint they've given us now. I love how it adds more RTS sensibilities to the mix, and even if the Early Access state is a little rough (there's placeholder art, and some pathfinding issues) I can see the potential. The next big content drops are going to be more PVE content and ranked play, but the developer intends to provide more pilots, gears, and maps going forward on a regular basis. Although the cheapest Early Access pricepoint is $20, they intend to eventually make it free-to-play, with the current price of entry essentially serving as a founder's pack of sorts.

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PAX Preview: Splatoon 2 - The Big Gun on The Nintendo Switch https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/pax-preview-splatoon-2-big-gun-nintendo-switch/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/15/pax-preview-splatoon-2-big-gun-nintendo-switch/#respond Wed, 15 Mar 2017 11:30:36 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97149

By Ana Valens

Getting hands-on time with the Nintendo Switch wasn't easy at PAX East 2017. Following shortly after the Switch's release on March 3, 2017,  convention goers were interested in sampling the Switch for themselves, figuring out whether it worth putting down a $300 investment on the console. Lines were long to enter, but for Splatoon fans, […]

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By Ana Valens

Getting hands-on time with the Nintendo Switch wasn't easy at PAX East 2017. Following shortly after the Switch's release on March 3, 2017,  convention goers were interested in sampling the Switch for themselves, figuring out whether it worth putting down a $300 investment on the console. Lines were long to enter, but for Splatoon fans, the wait was worth it: Nintendo demoed Splatoon 2 at PAX East, way ahead of the game's projected summer release, and for fans of the original Splatoon, there's plenty of good news in store. The game is essentially an upgraded version of the game we know and love.

During the PAX East demo, play included a training segment similar to the tutorial at the beginning of the original Splatoon, followed by a local play match of "Turf War" between eight players. All matches were hosted locally — each player used a Switch console of their own, with two Joy-Con attached to the tablet.

Splatoon 2 Preview (Dummy Draft) 1

The demo allowed players to choose from four different weapon load outs, which were largely based on the Shooters, Blasters, and Rollers class set-up in the original. One new weapon on hand was the Splat Dualies: an akimbo pistol setup. The choice feels right at home in the Splatoon franchise and works well as a sister class to Blasters.

Splatoon 2 plays and feels a lot like the original Splatoon, and that's not a bad thing. Players use the gyroscope and right thumbstick to aim, with the right flapper to fire and the left flapper to swim across ink. Turf War plays just like its Wii U counterpart too, as players race against the clock to paint the map with their team's ink, duelling with other Inklings along the way.

The transition from Wii U to Nintendo Switch is relatively smooth. The Switch's gyroscope feels and performs very similarly to the Nintendo Wii U GamePad, which means most players' aiming skills will carry over from the first game to the second. Local play's multiplayer was practically seamless, too, with no connection issues during the two matches previewed. And the Nintendo Switch's portability certainly wasn't a problem, either: the Nintendo Switch console works perfectly fine in tablet mode with Splatoon 2. Yes, Switch owners really can take Splatoon 2 on the road and play together in the classroom or on a train within reason, of course.

But Splatoon 2 certainly shares in some of the Nintendo Switch's problems. While the portable Switch setup works well, it's not quite as smooth as the original Splatoon's hybrid TV and GamePad setup, which used the GamePad as a minimap and spawn point setup. Players could take a momentary glance at their tablet screen while planning out their course of action on the TV, all without compromising their line-of-sight in-game. In comparison, relying on a single screen for both onscreen action, minimap, and spawning was a step down from the GamePad's flexibility.

More importantly, there are some serious concerns with the Joy-Con's right thumbstick. The placement of the left thumbstick, which controls movement, is identical to the Wii U's. But in tablet mode, with both Joy-Cons docked to the Nintendo Switch, the right thumbstick is below the four primary controller buttons. This means that if players use their right thumb to control both the thumbstick and primary action buttons, it's very easy to graze against the right thumbstick while attempting to jump or access the map. Because the right thumbstick also doubles as the game's manual camera, this can ruin a player's aim at a crucial moment. While attempting to jump mid-fight, this was a problem that repeatedly happened, and it quickly became cumbersome.

But for Splatoon fans eager for more of the same, Splatoon 2 looks to be a solid Switch multiplayer title. Control and screen issues aside, the game looks, feels, and plays like a Splatoon game on Nintendo Switch, and the multiplayer is just as fun as the original. For players interested in Splatoon LAN parties or a bit of on-the-go multiplayer action, Splatoon 2 looks to be a solid summer release.

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First 15: Diablo 3 Rise of the Necromancer DLC https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/14/first-15-diablo-3-rise-necromancer-dlc/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/14/first-15-diablo-3-rise-necromancer-dlc/#respond Tue, 14 Mar 2017 20:37:33 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97274

By Brendan Frye

CGM checks out the new Rise of the Necromancer DLC for Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls.

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By Brendan Frye

CGM checks out the new Rise of the Necromancer DLC for Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls.

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Get Ready for Spring With Bundle Stars Sale https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/14/get-ready-spring-bundle-stars-sale/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/14/get-ready-spring-bundle-stars-sale/#respond Tue, 14 Mar 2017 18:39:53 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97247

By Jordan Biordi

I think it's safe to say gaming has become an increasingly expensive endeavour. As the technology becomes more advanced, so too does the cost of producing and procuring it. If there's one thing gamers love, it's a deal and Bundle Stars is there to provide.  Launched in November 2012 by Focus Multimedia, Bundle Stars is […]

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By Jordan Biordi

I think it's safe to say gaming has become an increasingly expensive endeavour. As the technology becomes more advanced, so too does the cost of producing and procuring it. If there's one thing gamers love, it's a deal and Bundle Stars is there to provide. 

Launched in November 2012 by Focus Multimedia, Bundle Stars is one of the world’s leading digital retailers for gamers and publishers, being the official licensing partner of more than 750 publishers and developers, including Bethesda, Warner Bros Games, 2K Games, Capcom, Disney and SEGA

The Bundle Stars Spring Sale is now in full swing, with prices slashed on hundreds of Steam games. Over 1,200 Steam games have been discounted with savings on official Steam keys including: 70 per cent off Batman: Arkham Knight75 per cent off Bioshock 2, and Bioshock Infinite, 75 per cent off Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition, 40 per cent off The Jackbox Party Pack 3, and many more.

Gaming has becoming more expensive than ever, and publishers seem to understand the value of a deal considering the popularity of digital sales such as the Steam Summer Sale, or Humble Bundle's wide variety of pay-what-you-want deals. While these deals are restricted to PC gamers, the spirit of savings made their way to console owners with the monthly free games offered by Xbox Live and PS Plus.

The Spring Sale launches at 4 p.m. GMT and will run until the end of March with new deals will be announced every day. Use the SPRING10 voucher code to save an extra 10 per cent off marked Sale prices.

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First 15: Final Fantasy XV Episode Gladiolus DLC https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/14/first-15-final-fantasy-xv-episode-gladiolus-dlc/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/14/first-15-final-fantasy-xv-episode-gladiolus-dlc/#respond Tue, 14 Mar 2017 16:04:38 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97242

By Lisa Mior

At Pax East, CGM had a chance to check out the new Gladious DLC, with the first 15 minutes of it captured for your enjoyment.

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By Lisa Mior

At Pax East, CGM had a chance to check out the new Gladious DLC, with the first 15 minutes of it captured for your enjoyment.

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Preview - Reviving the Necromancer in Diablo III https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/14/preview-reviving-necromancer-diablo-iii/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/14/preview-reviving-necromancer-diablo-iii/#respond Tue, 14 Mar 2017 15:58:23 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97235

By Brendan Frye

When Diablo II launched back in 2000, I couldn't stop playing. A few friends and I would hop in on a weekly basis, trying to master a run, getting the best loot all the while playing as our favourite class. In all those hours lost to Blizzard's dungeon crawler, no character got more playtime than […]

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By Brendan Frye

When Diablo II launched back in 2000, I couldn't stop playing. A few friends and I would hop in on a weekly basis, trying to master a run, getting the best loot all the while playing as our favourite class. In all those hours lost to Blizzard's dungeon crawler, no character got more playtime than the Necromancer. He fit the universe so well as a warrior that uses the power of death to fight against the forces of hell with a story that even Vertigo Comics at its most outlandish could not top. Despite my love however, when Diablo III launched, there was no sign of the Necromancer. There where characters added in compensation —The Witch Doctor, for example, played the role rather well — but even with all the basic roles filled out, they lacked a something special this class brought with it. Thankfully, I was apparently not alone, and Blizzard heard fans requests. So, at Blizzcon 2016, they announced the release of Rise of the Necromancer DLC. This new paid DLC for Diablo III will re-add the much-beloved character to the "new" Diablo III world, bringing all his death loving, minion controlling, blood-soaked glory to a new and improved platform.

Preview - Reviving the Necromancer in Diablo III 1

At Pax East 2017 I got some hands-on time with the character in a short gameplay demo. Showing off a fast paced build of the Necromancer, the demo showcased what the new character class would play like, how it would stand up in a fight, and how he will differ from the other characters already in the roster when he releases later this year on consoles and PC.

There was a rush of nostalgia taking the reins of the new Necromancer after all these years, and Blizzard did a fine job recreating that fast and fluid gameplay from Diablo II. The summoning —i in this case, a blood golem— was easy, and utilizing the powers of the minion felt like second nature. Blizzard clearly spent some work building a new character, so it takes full advantage of the new modern game design found within Diablo III. Spells and abilities managed to have a strong synergy, allowing the Necromancer to control the battlefield even when playing solo.

Even with that familiarity, there are some noticeable changes to how the character plays. The new way the game handles abilities ensures you can chain attacks in ways you never could in Diablo II while also allowing the Necromancer to be much more melee-centric, which I did not expect. In my gameplay demo, I plunged right into the fight, using my Scythe to cleave through enemies. When I felt I was in danger, I used the corpses scattering the battlefield to regain health with the devour spell, and rain blood and death on enemies with the Blood Nova just for good measure. It was a new kinetic way to play the character I know and love, and yet with all these new abilities; Blizzard managed to make them feel familiar, something I did not think possible.

Blizzard has managed to walk that fine line between offering something people know and giving them something new and exciting. The Necromancer, while a callback to Diablo II, offers players a new way to play the game. After playing the demo it is evident that the Necromancer is not just a redundant class despite its similarities to the Witch Doctor. It gives players a playstyle that fits the dark, gothic nature of the game, and provides a fast and interesting new character to explore.

Preview - Reviving the Necromancer in Diablo III 2

This DLC pack also points to a new way these beloved franchises keep fans coming back. Though it released back in 2012, Diablo III is still going strong. This addition not only adds a new character, but all the bells and whistles that come with it. A new set of dialogue and story cinematics come along for the ride. Players will not only see how the Necromancer plays in single player, but how they interact with the other characters of Sanctuary, and the world at large. If Blizzard can manage to bring this sort of DLC to the Diablo III, there is no reason to believe that Diablo III will need a replacement anytime soon.

Though it is hard to say how long Diablo III will last, the Necromancer is a sign that Blizzard is still invested in this world. The new DLC is poised to bring more of what players love about the Diablo franchise while mixing in some nostalgia for good measure. The Necromancer is a character that was a blast to play, and feels at home in the Diablo III universe. While not a full new expansion pack, the Rise of the Necromancer DLC should give players a reason to jump back into Diablo III for some good old fashion demon slaying.

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The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship Review https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/adventures-john-blake-mystery-ghost-ship-review/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/adventures-john-blake-mystery-ghost-ship-review/#respond Tue, 14 Mar 2017 14:35:20 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97018

By Helena Shlapak

If the name Philip Pullman sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the same author of the His Dark Materials Series. If you still don’t know who he is, he’s the guy who wrote The Golden Compass. Pullman is a pretty creative person, and since his novels were both controversial and a major hit, it was interesting […]

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By Helena Shlapak

If the name Philip Pullman sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the same author of the His Dark Materials Series. If you still don’t know who he is, he’s the guy who wrote The Golden Compass. Pullman is a pretty creative person, and since his novels were both controversial and a major hit, it was interesting to see how his talent would translate into a graphic novel. It’s clear that Pullman wanted to go all out with The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship but I’m sad to say that in his eagerness, he’s overlooked a couple of issues.

The Mary Alice is a ghost ship, trapped in time and forced to travel between different centuries in search of a way home. During a powerful storm, an Australian girl named Serena is knocked overboard and one of the ship’s crew, John Blake, rescues her. The crew of the Mary Alice must bring Serena back to her own time, but doing so will leave them in great danger. The Dahlberg Corporation is hunting the Mary Alice and its CEO has plans that are more evil than anyone could imagine.

The only major complaint I have with The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship is in the artwork. Fred Fordham’s art isn’t terrible by any means it’s just kind of flat, the characters look like they’re out of a sex-ed pamphlet or a wiki how instruction illustration. There’s not much shadow or any creativity with light sources, the expressions aren’t dramatic and the characters look like they’re staring into space half the time. That being said, however, Fordham’s background work and action scenes are gorgeous. The attention to detail on city streets and the intricate work on inanimate objects and the ship made up for the blandness of his human models.

The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship Review 1

As far as the story goes, it’s interesting but incredibly convoluted. What I do appreciate with Pullman’s writing is that he wanted to get the backstory of the Mary Alice out of the way but in doing so, he ended up with a major plot dump. So much is thrown at the reader in such a short time that it left no room for any other characters. We have the crew of the Mary Alice, Serena and her family, a secret agent, a researcher and the big bad. Upon reading, the only character that didn’t matter was Serena since the secret agent and the researcher actually have a major connection to the Mary Alice but they just get dragged behind as the story progresses.

The plot dumping also gave away too much (including the connection between the agent and the researcher). We learn about half-way through that the doomed crew do eventually get back to their own times. That’s not something the reader should know the reader should be eagerly awaiting the next comic to find that out. The big bad is also defeated and after hearing about how he’s been trying to get the crew of the Mary Alice for decades, he just gets snuffed out? What the hell was the point?

While it’s clear the story isn’t finished yet, the plot dumping spoiled everything and left the plot with a massive hole in its center. It’s also clear that Pullman is taking inspiration from The Adventures of Tintin but in all honesty, The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship just doesn’t have that same charm to it. Maybe the future graphic novels will fill in more story but as a stand-alone, The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship is missing something.

Score:6.5

Final Thoughts:Packed with action, missing a key element.

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Air Conflicts: Secret Wars Ultimate Edition Release Date Revealed https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/14/air-conflicts-secret-wars-ultimate-edition-release-date-revealed/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/14/air-conflicts-secret-wars-ultimate-edition-release-date-revealed/#respond Tue, 14 Mar 2017 13:50:39 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97224

By Cody Orme

Those hankering for some arcade-style dogfighting action won’t have to wait much longer as developer Games Farm announced Air Conflicts: Secret Wars Ultimate Edition will take flight on North American PlayStation 4s April 4, 2017. The T rated PlayStation 4 exclusive is available for pre-order at major retailers according to the press release.  Retailing at […]

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By Cody Orme

Those hankering for some arcade-style dogfighting action won’t have to wait much longer as developer Games Farm announced Air Conflicts: Secret Wars Ultimate Edition will take flight on North American PlayStation 4s April 4, 2017.

The T rated PlayStation 4 exclusive is available for pre-order at major retailers according to the press release.  Retailing at $29.99 both physically and digitally, Air Conflicts: Secret Wars Ultimate Edition will feature updated graphics along with exclusive content including the A6M Zero and F4F Wildcat.

Air Conflicts: Secret Wars Ultimate Edition takes players across seven campaigns from the First and Second World Wars with more than 40 different missions across 20 locations.  For an extra level of immersion, the game works with the Thrustmaster T‑Flight Hotas 4 Joystick to give players a more realistic feeling of flight. Air Conflicts: Secret Wars Ultimate Edition also allows for up to eight-player online battles in five different modes: “Deathmatch”, “Everyone against Everyone”, “Team Deathmatch”, “Capture the Flag”, and “Destroy and Protect”.

Air Conflicts: Secret Wars Ultimate Edition Originally released in 2011 for Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3. CGMagazine’s Alexander Leach reviewed the title giving it a six out of 10 saying “Due to a lack of polish and slew of bugs, Air Conflicts doesn't quite take off. Had they focused more on the dogfights and less on elaborately tedious potpourri, this might have been a fun arcade shooter.” Considering this new version will be completely revamped, perhaps the issues seen in its original launch won’t be as apparent.

Air Conflicts: Secret Wars Ultimate Edition is developed by Games Farm, an indie developer based in Slovakia that focuses mostly on console and PC platforms. They’re also working on the upcoming Kalypso Media published action dungeon crawling RPG Vikings: Wolves of Midgard.

Though the original was also published by Kalypso Media, Air Conflicts: Secret Wars Ultimate Edition is published by Nighthawk Interactive.

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Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War III Director talks Customization, Lore and More https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/14/warhammer-40k-dawn-war-iii-director-talks-customization-lore/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/14/warhammer-40k-dawn-war-iii-director-talks-customization-lore/#respond Tue, 14 Mar 2017 12:00:16 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97164

By Joel Couture

Players will soon be able to join the fray in the world of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40K universe with the release of Dawn of War III. With that coming release, CGM reached out to the game's director, Phillip Boulle, to learn about how player customization will let players really make armies their own with using […]

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By Joel Couture

Players will soon be able to join the fray in the world of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40K universe with the release of Dawn of War III. With that coming release, CGM reached out to the game's director, Phillip Boulle, to learn about how player customization will let players really make armies their own with using colour choices and unit choices, and how a deep love of the lore helped them choose the towering metal giants, brutish monsters, and heavy drop pods that would enhance this new entry in the series.

CGMagazine: What drew you to the Warhammer series?

Phillip Boulle: I've been a fan for coming on 30 years now. I played when I was a kid and in college. I made the minis back then. When I became a game dev, I kept up my interest, and I came to Relic to work on those types of games.

I came to Relic 10 or 11 years ago to work on what became Dark Crusade, which was one of the expansions for the original Dawn of War. Then, I worked on Dawn of War II and its expansions and Space Marine, and, here I am (laughs). I have a deep, deep affection for 40K.

CGM: What sort of work goes into incorporating all the lore and vehicles and other aspects into interesting units for an RTS?

Boulle: In some ways, it's really easy because they make really gorgeous models that capture a really exciting fantasy with the crazy Ork contraptions, the sleek Eldar tanks, or Drop Pods and heavy Space Marine stuff. In some ways, a lot of the up-front design work is done for us, visually. The big challenge is in making sure it works well in a 3D environment where things are moving—that they animate well, and that the things you don't see on the tabletop come to life—so audio, visual effects, etc.

Then, from a game design standpoint, it's making sure it stands as its own game. We're not just trying to mimic the tabletop. We're trying to capture the essence of the fantasy that the property brings. The way we think about it is that both the tabletop and Dawn of War are trying to echo the fantasy that you see in Games Workshop artwork or in their novels and so on. We're both expressions of that core fantasy.

CGM: What steps do you take to ensure you stay different from the tabletop?

Boulle: The game itself is fundamentally different—it's a real-time experience as opposed to a turn-based experience. We don't have a lot of randomness in our game. It comes down to a lot of precision movement, whereas a tabletop game relies on dice.

In some ways, just the inherent differences push us apart. Take a look at a unit like Jain Zar, who's this Eldar demigoddess. She's got this tri-bladed thing and this giant spear, and she's really fast. In the tabletop, that does certain things, but we sit down and ask what would be an interesting for it to do in our game ecosystem. We come up with a thing like the boomerang throw and the charge, and how those interact. There aren't one-for-one relationships with what's on the tabletop, but they come from the same essence.

CGM: How do you decide what to put in for elites? When you want to put a big, special unit in the game for fans of the tabletop and series?

Boulle: We go through a prototyping process. We'll go through the codexes and the lore, and look for stuff that might be interesting as elite units. Then, we go through a paper design process, then prototype them, playing them as much as we can until we hone and refine the things that are fun.

We look for units that will stand out, that don't necessarily have the same profile as the line units. Space Marines in particular, but this is also true of Orks. Many of the basic units are the same fundamental guy or creature with different weapon sets. So, we look for things that push out of that, be it terminators or giant robots or big single heroes.

Definitely, the story we were trying to tell with the campaign also influenced our choices, because we wanted all of the signature characters from the campaign to show up as elite heroes. We also make sure each faction has enough of each different type. You don't want one faction to feel overly weighted one side or another because it is a competitive game, after all.

CGM: What thoughts went into creating the play styles for each of the three factions?

Boulle: One of the big things we wanted to do with Dawn of War III was double down on the factional character. One of the great strengths of the 40K IP is that each of these armies are really different. They have a different fantasy behind them, they have lots of unique lore about them, and we wanted to play with that pretty heavily.

With the Orks, we've always captured the sort of fun brutality of them before—the sort of hoolligan-ness of them. This time, we really wanted to take that and give them a unique twist, which was the scrapping and looting mechanics, the Waaah towers, that momentum-building gameplay. With the Eldar, we wanted to play up the mobility, the hit and run tactics.

With the Space Marines, we made drop pods more important than we've ever made them before. Space Marines really have the best tide-turning abilities in the game. They can go from losing a fight to winning a fight very quickly because of various abilities they have.

It's all about echoing the fantasy. We wanted to create something that was compelling and engaging to players who didn't know 40k or only had a passing familiarity with it. We also wanted to show the love to the people who came with a pre-existing love for that fantasy. We wanted them to feel like "This is how the Orks really should have been all along." and so on.

CGM: Is it an important aspect to give players those special tide-turning moments in each match? To have those large wins and victories that they tell stories about afterwards?

Boulle: Yes, absolutely. From a gameplay standpoint, we definitely wanted to avoid the 'dead man walking' scenario where you lose an early engagement in a match and know you've lost the match, but it's going to take another twenty minutes for it to happen. So, we wanted to create those abilities to come back.

Doing so also really creates those possibilities for a social story. We actually enshrined it as "getting to the 'f**k yeah!'", that moment where you stand up from the computer and you're like "Yeah! I did it!". I think those are very important on both sides of the equation. Even when you're losing, having some intermediary goals that you can go after.

So, the super units are my favourite example of this. They're these giant robots, they're these late game units that are super powerful, but they're not invulnerable. Typically, the first person who gets them out is the person who's got some sort of push. They can definitely turn the tide, but even if you're on the losing side, I've had some of the most fun, even losing the overall match, but managing to take down someone's super unit.

That's the thing with competitive games like this. You want that sense that you still had fun. If you lost, you want to come back. Part of that is the strategic desire to come back and do better, trying new strategies to figure it out, but also, you want some of those moments that you can tell stories about.

CGM: Is it hard to create that moment-to-moment feeling of, not necessarily victory, but feeling that the player is always having fun? These moments that are special even if the player doesn't win the overall match?

Boulle: It's definitely challenging to make a game that has those comeback moments—that really exciting moment-to-moment gameplay—but still has that strategic depth. It's not like you lose a fight and it has no impact, you want there to be a cost to doing well, a benefit to doing well, and yet, still have those moments where the momentum can shift and people can get that thrill there.

It's the goal we set from the very first days of the project. Our major pillar has always been what we call “spectacular battle”. That's not just that it looks full of spectacle, but that the gameplay and the spectacle line up. You see really amazing things, or you hear really amazing things when you execute your will. If there's a bright space laser on-screen, it's because you put it there.

Using that as the guiding principle for many of our gameplay decisions has gotten us to where we have that balance of strategy and visceral moment-to-moment fun.

CGM: With doctrines and selectable elites, what were your thoughts in making the three factions extremely different based on player choices?

Boulle: The inspiration came from the tabletop in that you make every choice under the sun. Knowing that we wanted to get there, we then experimented with a variety of ways to do that.

Taking the heroes that were more inspired by Dawn of War II and the army that was more inspired by Dawn of War, we saw how well those meshed together. Then, we realized we could swap out those heroes and that would really help. The doctrines became a secondary way to enhance the possibilities without eclipsing the heroes.

We just really wanted you to get that match-to-match experience of refining your strategy - that sort of pre-match experience being part of the equation.

CGM: Will there be many options available for custom paint jobs?

Boulle: There's a full army painter where you can make your own custom colours. You have something in the order of twenty pre-sets for each faction, and then you can make your own. I paint miniatures, so I wanted to see that. That's also been part of Dawn of War since the beginning.

For the elites, that depends upon the elite. Gabriel Angelos is always going to look like a Blood Raven, but he does have some trim elements that will change colour. Some of the others, like the Terminators, will fully change colour based on your choices.

It's part of expressing who you are in the game. "I don't want to play my Black Templars, I want to play my Ultra Marines. I want to play my Pink Froo-Froo Marines.". That's great! You can make all kinds of choices there.

CGM: What other customization options did you consider? Any that got cut?

Boulle: During the production process, a lot of the work was figuring out where we were going to put that customization. We experimented with allowing you to swap out the entire army. Really make the choice of what units you were going to bring in.Although there were some fun aspects

Although there were some fun aspects about it, it also opened up a lot of risk of screwing yourself before you went in to play. It also took away some of the on-the-moment decision making that's part of an RTS experience. It felt like there were too many times when you would want to react one way, but you had closed off those options before the match began. That's how we ended up with the line units that were consistent and then the heroes that swap out.

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Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment Switch Review https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/shovel-knight-specter-torment-switch-review/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/shovel-knight-specter-torment-switch-review/#respond Tue, 14 Mar 2017 11:30:31 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97198

By Derek Heemsbergen

I had to do a double-take when I realized that Shovel Knight first released back in 2014. Already something of a nostalgic fever-dream, it brought the indelible essence of the 8-bit platformer into the modern era, standing stalwart alongside its AAA contemporaries. Nearly three years later, Yacht Club Games returns with a second free expansion […]

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By Derek Heemsbergen

I had to do a double-take when I realized that Shovel Knight first released back in 2014. Already something of a nostalgic fever-dream, it brought the indelible essence of the 8-bit platformer into the modern era, standing stalwart alongside its AAA contemporaries. Nearly three years later, Yacht Club Games returns with a second free expansion featuring one of the titular knight's (demonstrably not-so-villainous) foes. The result is positively magical. Enormous scythe at the ready, Specter of Torment carves out its own ghastly niche in the same retro space with a retooled campaign that feels as fresh as ever.

It would have been easier for Yacht Club to simply add Specter Knight as a playable character and call it a day, but Specter of Torment is more or less an entirely new game. A prequel to Shovel Knight, it tells the story of relic hunter Donovan's untimely death, resurrection, and subsequent enthrallment at the hands of the Enchantress. Complete with flashback sequences, surprise story events, an arranged soundtrack, and a lovingly detailed home base that positively drips with character, Specter of Torment is clearly a labor of love that goes above and beyond what one would expect from a free expansion.

In terms of playability, it doesn't get more polished than this. Every level and every boss from the original game has been completely redesigned around Specter Knight's skillset. His primary gimmick is a diagonal slice that makes him dash through the air with delicious speed, and combined with an arsenal of creative sub-weapons and sticky feet that allow him to backflip off of almost any wall, his high-speed playstyle makes him a perfect addition to Shovel Knight. It's akin to playing as Death himself in a Castlevania game, a childhood fantasy of many brought to unholy life in this most unexpected of circumstances.

Rife with thrilling challenges and a truly empowering new character to control, Specter of Torment is an outstanding addition to Shovel Knight that should delight fans old and new.

Score:9

Final Thoughts:If Shovel Knight is Mega Man X, then Specter Knight is Zero; his expertly-crafted new campaign is a perfect complement to one of the best 2D platformers ever made.

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PlayStation 4 Titles to be Added to PlayStation Now https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/playstation-4-titles-added-playstation-now/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/playstation-4-titles-added-playstation-now/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 19:33:03 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97209

By Remington Joseph

Sony announced today in an official blog post that the PlayStation Now service will finally have PlayStation 4 titles added to its lineup, allowing subscribers to be played on their PlayStation 4 consoles as well as on PC. In the upcoming weeks, those already subscribed to the service receive an email, inviting them to a […]

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By Remington Joseph

Sony announced today in an official blog post that the PlayStation Now service will finally have PlayStation 4 titles added to its lineup, allowing subscribers to be played on their PlayStation 4 consoles as well as on PC.

In the upcoming weeks, those already subscribed to the service receive an email, inviting them to a private test allowing them access to a number of PlayStation 4 games over the service. Thanks to cloud saving, players should be able to seamlessly alternate between consoles or even a PC, resuming gameplay whenever they’d like.

PlayStation Now launched its streaming services in January of 2015 and its use spanned across a number of Sony products ranging from home and portable to consoles to TVs, Blu-ray players and on PC. Costing $19.99 for one month and $44.99 for three months, subscribers were given a catalogue of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 titles that could then be rented for a small fee and streamed to their devices, similar to Netflix or Spotify.

In February of this year, Sony announced that they will be discontinuing the service on all platforms excluding PlayStation 4 and PC by August 15, 2017. This is most likely so that the service won’t be held back by the older hardware. There have also been rumours that original PlayStation titles and PlayStation Portable titles are likely to be announced for the service in the future.

Though it initially launched with a small lineup back in 2015, PlayStation Now has grown to have a catalogue of 483 games as of march, with more games being added each week. Some of the most popular games from the last console generation are now playable to those who missed it thanks to the streaming service and soon, a number of hit PlayStation 4 games will be as well.

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HyperX Cloud Revolver S Now Being Shipped https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/hyperx-cloud-revolver-s-now-shipped/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/hyperx-cloud-revolver-s-now-shipped/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 18:48:10 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97202

By Remington Joseph

HyperX, the developer of the HyperX Cloud gaming headset, announced the company’s latest product, the HyperX Cloud Revolver S is now being shipped. The headset’s key feature is that it comes with plug-and-play Dolby 7.1 surround sound. The new HyperX Cloud Revolver S uses an advanced USB audio control box allowing gamers to adjust their […]

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By Remington Joseph

HyperX, the developer of the HyperX Cloud gaming headset, announced the company’s latest product, the HyperX Cloud Revolver S is now being shipped. The headset’s key feature is that it comes with plug-and-play Dolby 7.1 surround sound.

The new HyperX Cloud Revolver S uses an advanced USB audio control box allowing gamers to adjust their surround sound with ease. The set uses a wider headset along with memory foam for comfort, a standard for HyperX headsets. It also comes in a matte black finish, keeping it safe from fingerprints. Weighing 360g, the HyperX Sound Revolver S is a little heavier than the average headset, but still manageable. Designed with the pro gamer in mind, the headset holds three pre-set equalizer settings, microphone mute buttons and a backlit LED to easily check active modes. The product also boasts that no software or additional hardware is required, a problem that is commonly discovered with headsets of other brands.

HyperX is a division of multinational computer technology corporation, Kingston Technology. Founded and based in Fountain Valley, California, the company’s primary focus is the development and manufacturing of flash memory and other computer-related memory products. The HyperX division develops products geared towards gamers, specifically pro gamers. These products include Headsets, keyboards and mouse pads.

Not only does HyperX support gamers through the creation of their products but they also sponsor over 20 different eSports teams as one of the leading sponsors throughout the world. The company prides itself on its relation to the gaming community and constantly puts in effort to connect with their audience as well as the teams that they sponsor.

“The HyperX Cloud Revolver S headset is our best gaming headset yet,” said audio business manager of HyperX, Tyler Needles. The HyperX Cloud Revolver S is available online now for $149.99 USD. Hyper X boasts the headset to be the perfect balance of audio performance and comfort.

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Kingdom Hearts Unchained X Recieving Large Update https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/kingodom-hearts-unchained-x-receiving-large-expansion/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/kingodom-hearts-unchained-x-receiving-large-expansion/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 17:37:49 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97193

By Remington Joseph

Fans of the free to play mobile game Kingdom Hearts Unchained X are soon going to be treated to a hefty amount of new content. The game is receiving a large scale expansion titled, Kingdom Hearts: Union X. The expansion’s biggest focus is its new multiplayer mode, allowing players to form parties through a matchmaking […]

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By Remington Joseph

Fans of the free to play mobile game Kingdom Hearts Unchained X are soon going to be treated to a hefty amount of new content. The game is receiving a large scale expansion titled, Kingdom Hearts: Union X.

The expansion’s biggest focus is its new multiplayer mode, allowing players to form parties through a matchmaking feature and take on quests online, fighting waves of the game's enemies and bosses. To help improve player communications, the game will now include character emotes as well as in-game text messaging. Kingdom Hearts: Union X will also enter the latest chapter of its story, continuing from the base game’s plot that covers the events of the Keyblade War. Smaller updates include new difficulty modes for quests, more customizations for player’s avatars and a mode that allows players to rewatch cutscenes from the game’s story.

Kingdom Hearts X originally launched as a free to play browser-based MMORPG back in 2013, exclusively in Japan. The game served as a prequel to all of the Kingdom Hearts titles that released before it, and allowed players to create an avatar who would become a Keyblade wielder, taking part in the game’s war. It wasn’t until April of 2016 that the game would release internationally on Android and IOS platforms. The game received positive response, praising it’s gameplay despite being a free to play title. One month after release, the game had already been downloaded over 2 million times, marking it as a success.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue released recently for the PlayStation 4. Featured is an 80-minute long cinematic video that details the events of Kingdom Hearts X and also reveals new elements to the story as well.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix is set to launch later this year for the PlayStation 4. The title is a combined bundle of the two HD packs originally released for PlayStation 3 in 2013 and 2014 with no known additional content included.

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Rocket League Receiving New "Dropshot" Mode https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/rocket-league-receiving-new-dropshot-mode/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/rocket-league-receiving-new-dropshot-mode/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 17:22:54 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97190

By Cody Orme

Rocket League fans can’t say they aren’t spoiled as developer Psyonix announced a new mode for the popular soccer-car title. Named “Dropshot,” this mode changes up the typical Rocket League formula by requiring players to break through the arena floor to score. The mode releases March 22, 2017, and brings in a new hexagonal style […]

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By Cody Orme

Rocket League fans can’t say they aren’t spoiled as developer Psyonix announced a new mode for the popular soccer-car title.

Named “Dropshot,” this mode changes up the typical Rocket League formula by requiring players to break through the arena floor to score. The mode releases March 22, 2017, and brings in a new hexagonal style arena to play in called “Core 707,” and it operates a little differently than past play-areas.

“Once a goal has been scored, that side of the arena closes back up and the action begins anew until time expires,” reads the press release from Psyonix. “As an added twist, the electrified ball itself will gain strength as players continue to hit and dribble it, with harder hits giving it stronger damage potential that can be unleashed on the opposing team's floor to varying degrees.”

“Dropshot” will include six new achievements and trophies, and players who completed the third season can receive “exclusive wheel rewards.” Along with this Psyonix released a slew of images and a trailer to show off this new game mode and the shattering floor.

This is just the latest update for Rocket Leauge. Previously the game saw modes like Rumble, which launched in September last year. This mode allowed for different upgrades to be used during gameplay. Another popular update saw the basketball-inspired Hoops, which launched in April last year. Rocket Leauge was also one of the pioneers of cross-platform play.

Rocket League has taken the gaming world by storm since its release in July 2015, selling over 5 million copies in 2016, with 15 million players worldwide.  Seeing a title with such a consistently strong community, with a developer that routinely provides updates that allow for new ways to play is always exciting. Hopefully, come March 22, players will be just as satisfied with “Dropshot” as they were with “Hoops” and “Rumble.”

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Resident Evil Revelations Announced for PS4 and Xbox One https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/resident-evil-revelations-announced-ps4-xbox-one/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/resident-evil-revelations-announced-ps4-xbox-one/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 16:57:55 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97187

By Remington Joseph

Resident Evil’s official twitter page announced today that physical and digital editions of the title, Resident Evil Revelations are being released for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One during fall of this year. Resident Evil Revelations is a spinoff title of the Resident Evil series, taking place between the fourth and fifth entries of […]

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By Remington Joseph

Resident Evil’s official twitter page announced today that physical and digital editions of the title, Resident Evil Revelations are being released for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One during fall of this year.

Resident Evil Revelations is a spinoff title of the Resident Evil series, taking place between the fourth and fifth entries of the mainline titles. The game follows series protagonists Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield as they once again try to combat a bioterrorist organization attempting to spread a virus throughout the world.

Originally released in early 2012, Resident Evil Revelations originally launched on the Nintendo 3DS. The game was well received by critics and fans but according to Capcom, sales numbers could have been better. The game saw its first rerelease in the form an HD port on PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the Wii U. This release added a large amount of extra content, including a new raid mode and a new difficulty level. Together with the game’s original sales numbers, Resident Evil Revelations has sold over a million copies worldwide.

The game received a sequel, launching in an episodic digital format in 2015 for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One and on PC. Unlike the series’ first entry, the entirety of Resident Evil Revelations 2’s campaign can be played in local player cooperative mode. All four of the game’s episodes were well received and the sequel went has gone on to manage outselling its predecessor at 1.6 million units sold.

It is not yet known as to whether or not this new remastering will include any additional content or features as no details have been given on this second port of Resident Evil Revelations yet. However, Capcom does promise that more information on the upcoming release will be coming soon.

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Funstock Retro Releasing NES/Famicom Visual Compendium https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/funstock-retro-releasing-nesfamicom-visual-compendium/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/funstock-retro-releasing-nesfamicom-visual-compendium/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 16:08:50 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97181

By Remington Joseph

European online retailer Funstock Retro has released a new item called the NES/Famicom: A Visual Compendium Book. Selling at $30.53, this 536-page book visually showcases over 170 classic NES and Famicom titles developed over the console’s lifespan. The creators of this book are an independent publisher called Bitmap Books. Formed by graphic designer Sam Dyer, Bitmap […]

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By Remington Joseph

European online retailer Funstock Retro has released a new item called the NES/Famicom: A Visual Compendium Book. Selling at $30.53, this 536-page book visually showcases over 170 classic NES and Famicom titles developed over the console’s lifespan.

The creators of this book are an independent publisher called Bitmap Books. Formed by graphic designer Sam Dyer, Bitmap Books have created a number of video game-related books. Including similarly styled visual compendiums for other consoles such as the Commodore64. Helping to write the book are a number of people within the gaming industry ranging from employees at game developer, Rare, to Ex-Nintendo Power staff members. As the book is not an official Nintendo product, No one directly working at Nintendo contributed.

NES/Famicom: A Visual Compendium Book originally began as a crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign on June first of 2016. A month later, Nintendo issued a DMCA against Bitmap Books campaign, stating that they weren’t happy with the Bitmap using their IP and artwork for profit. Luckily for Bitmap, they had already generated enough funding and thanks to some legal advising, they worked their way around the issue.

The release of such a book may prove fruitful for Bitmap Books with the heightened popularity of retro gaming in recent years. It’s possible that Nintendo is already aware of this however seeing as only four months after sending out their DMCA, Nintendo released the NES/Famicom Classic Mini, a miniature replica of the classic console that makes usage of software emulation to house 30 of the console’s popular titles, now with the ability to use save states. The NES Classic went on to sell nearly 200,000 units within less than a month, leaving Nintendo struggling just to keep up with the demand as the product became more rare.

The unofficial NES/Famicom visual compendium book, full of high-quality pixel art, box art covers, interviews and more is available now at both Funstock Retro’s website as well as Bitmap Books official site.

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The Dwarves Receives Three Game Modes in New Update https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/dwarves-receives-three-game-modes-new-update/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/dwarves-receives-three-game-modes-new-update/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:52:21 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97177

By Cody Orme

Fans who can’t get enough of The Dwarves rejoice as THQ Nordic announced a major update for the title. The update is now live for download on the PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, completely free of charge. Among the additions, players will be excited to try out three new game modes, Horde Mode, […]

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By Cody Orme

Fans who can’t get enough of The Dwarves rejoice as THQ Nordic announced a major update for the title.

The update is now live for download on the PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, completely free of charge. Among the additions, players will be excited to try out three new game modes, Horde Mode, Time Challenge, and Chase. Horde Mode allows players to fight waves of enemies, while time challenge requires users to kill their opposition as quickly as they can. Chase mode is a more unique gameplay experience where players capture an Orc carrying a rucksack, taking out his allies who get in your way.

“These new modes can be played directly from the main menu,” reads the THQ Nordic press release. “To add a competitive edge, players will earn points and can unlock all of the game’s 15 heroes to use them in these modes, with a high score leaderboard showing the results of each attempt.”

The patch is more than just that, however. There are three new achievements for the new challenges, a new “very easy” mode for the campaign, an engine update that will give a boost in performance, a subtitle option, revamped camera collision, and the addition of the Turkish language.

The Dwarves released in December 2016 to fairly average reviews. Developed by King Art Games and THQ Nordic, the title RPG was fairly well liked by the community, though most admit there were many small issues that hinder the experience.

King Art Games is a Studio based in Germany, with over 30 games under their belts. Though they are mostly known for their work on browser-based titles, they pride themselves for their story driven titles.  THQ Nordic is a little more renown creating brands like Darksiders, MX vs. ATV, and Red Faction.

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Hasbro Recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute for Sixth Consecutive Year https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/hasbro-recognized-as-one-of-the-worlds-most-ethical-companies-by-the-ethisphere-institute-for-sixth-consecutive-year/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/hasbro-recognized-as-one-of-the-worlds-most-ethical-companies-by-the-ethisphere-institute-for-sixth-consecutive-year/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:23:50 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97173

By CGM Staff

PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hasbro,
Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute,
a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical
business practices, as a 2017 World’s Most Ethical Company®. Hasbro has
been recognized for the sixth consecutive year and is one of only three
companies on the list from the Consumer Products sector.

“It is humbling to be included on this esteemed list, and we take great
pride in being recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies,”
said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s Chairman and CEO. “This honor underscores
our deep commitment to operating with integrity and fulfilling our
purpose, to make the world a better place for children and their
families.”

2017 is the 11th year that Ethisphere has honored those companies who
recognize their role in society to influence and drive positive change,
consider the impact of their actions on their employees, investors,
customers and other key stakeholders and use their values and culture as
an underpinning to the decisions they make every day.

“Hasbro is creating sustainable, long-term value by upholding the
highest ethical standards and prioritizing corporate responsibility
across its global business,” said Ethisphere’s CEO, Timothy Erblich. “We
see Hasbro as one of a select group of companies that are embracing the
value of integrity at the heart of their business. Congratulations to
everyone at Hasbro for being, once again, among the World's Most Ethical
Companies.”

Methodology & Scoring

The World's Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere
Institute’s Ethics
Quotient® (EQ) framework which offers a quantitative way
to assess a company’s performance in an objective, consistent and
standardized way. The information collected provides a comprehensive
sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies, rather than all
aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and
ethics.

Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance
program (35%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), culture
of ethics (20%), governance (15%) and leadership, innovation and
reputation (10%) and provided to all companies who participate in the
process.

Honorees

The full list of the 2017 World's Most Ethical Companies can be found at http://worldsmostethicalcompanies.ethisphere.com/honorees/.

Best practices and insights from the 2017 honorees will be released in a
series of infographics and research throughout the year (view
or download the 2016 insights). Organizations interested in how they
compare to the World’s Most Ethical Companies are invited to participate
in the Ethics
Quotient.

About Hasbro

Hasbro (NASDAQ:
HAS) is a global play and entertainment company committed to Creating
the World's Best Play Experiences. From toys and games to
television, movies, digital gaming and consumer products, Hasbro offers
a variety of ways for audiences to experience its iconic brands,
including NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY,
LITTLEST PET SHOP and MAGIC: THE GATHERING. The Company's Hasbro
Studios and its film label, Allspark Pictures, are building its brands
globally through great storytelling and content on all screens. Through
its commitment to corporate social responsibility and
philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to make the world a better place for
children and their families. Learn more at www.hasbro.com,
and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews)
and Instagram (@Hasbro).

About the Ethisphere® Institute

The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining
and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel
corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere
has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using
data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character.
Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical
Companies recognition program, provides a community of industry experts
with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) and showcases trends
and best practices in ethics with the publication of Ethisphere Magazine.
More information about Ethisphere can be found at: http://ethisphere.com.

HAS-CHAS-CSR

© 2017 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Contacts
Press Contact:Hasbro, Inc.Julie Duffy, 401-727-5931julie.duffy@hasbro.com

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By CGM Staff

Hasbro, Inc.  has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as a 2017 World’s Most Ethical Company. Hasbro has been recognized for the sixth consecutive year and is one of only three companies on the list from the Consumer Products sector.

“It is humbling to be included on this esteemed list, and we take great pride in being recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s Chairman and CEO. “This honor underscores our deep commitment to operating with integrity and fulfilling our purpose, to make the world a better place for children and their families.”

2017 is the 11th year that Ethisphere has honored those companies who recognize their role in society to influence and drive positive change, consider the impact of their actions on their employees, investors, customers and other key stakeholders and use their values and culture as an underpinning to the decisions they make every day.

“Hasbro is creating sustainable, long-term value by upholding the highest ethical standards and prioritizing corporate responsibility across its global business,” said Ethisphere’s CEO, Timothy Erblich. “We see Hasbro as one of a select group of companies that are embracing the value of integrity at the heart of their business. Congratulations to
everyone at Hasbro for being, once again, among the World's Most Ethical Companies.”

Methodology & Scoring

The World's Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient® (EQ) framework which offers a quantitative way to assess a company’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. The information collected provides a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies, rather than all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics.

Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35 per cent), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20per cent), culture of ethics (20per cent), governance (15per cent) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10per cent) and provided to all companies who participate in the process.

Honorees

The full list of the 2017 World's Most Ethical Companies can be found at http://worldsmostethicalcompanies.ethisphere.com/honorees/.

Best practices and insights from the 2017 honorees will be released in a series of infographics and research throughout the year (view or download the 2016 insights). Organizations interested in how they compare to the World’s Most Ethical Companies are invited to participate in the Ethics Quotient.

About Hasbro

Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global play and entertainment company committed to Creating the World's Best Play Experiences. From toys and games to television, movies, digital gaming and consumer products, Hasbro offers a variety of ways for audiences to experience its iconic brands, including NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, LITTLEST PET SHOP and MAGIC: THE GATHERING. The Company's Hasbro Studios and its film label, Allspark Pictures, are building its brands globally through great storytelling and content on all screens. Through its commitment to corporate social responsibility and philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to make the world a better place for
children and their families. Learn more at www.hasbro.com,and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews) and Instagram (@Hasbro).

About the Ethisphere® Institute

The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition program, provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) and showcases trends and best practices in ethics with the publication of Ethisphere Magazine. More information about Ethisphere can be found at: http://ethisphere.com.

 

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Planet Coaster Spring Update Announced https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/planet-coaster-spring-update-announced/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/planet-coaster-spring-update-announced/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 13:21:53 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97161

By Cody Orme

Planet Coaster has enjoyed a nice niche from those aching for a RollerCoaster Tycoon experience again. Now, those fans can get even more roller coaster action as developer Frontier announced a free update for Planet Coaster this spring. Releasing on April 11, 2017, the most interesting Planet Coaster addition in this update is the inclusion […]

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By Cody Orme

Planet Coaster has enjoyed a nice niche from those aching for a RollerCoaster Tycoon experience again. Now, those fans can get even more roller coaster action as developer Frontier announced a free update for Planet Coaster this spring.

Releasing on April 11, 2017, the most interesting Planet Coaster addition in this update is the inclusion of crime and security. Now players will have to be weary of guests that could vandalize the park due to dissatisfaction. Along with that, pickpockets will now roam the park, stealing cash from other visitors. To counteract this, players can hire security staff and install surveillance cameras.

Along with this addition, there is a slew of new rides for operators to install. There are three new roller coasters: the suspended swinging Steel Hydra, the first of two shuffle coasters Trident, and a bigger version of that called Bakasura. Players can also install a new Go Kart track that appears to be customizable.  There are three new flatrides as well. The spinning and swinging Elixir Machine, the classic Big Wheel, and ZoZo.

This is the second update coming to Planet Coaster, with the last releasing in December. Planet Coaster launched in November 2016, to pretty high praise from both critics and fans alike. The game encourages creativity as the Planet Coaster Workshop houses 100,000 community creations. That’s a formula that appears to serve Frontier well, as currently, the title sits at a 9/10 rating on Steam, while on Metacritic, the title sits at an 84. CGMagazine’s Jake Yanik reviewed Planet Coaster scoring it an 8.5/10 saying “It’s not a perfect game, but in its own little way, it sort of is, and I’d expect no less from the team that brought us RCT2 and 3.

Players who haven’t tried out Planet Coaster can pick it up on Steam or directly from FrontierStore.net for $44.99 USD.

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Anamorphine Preview - Feeling A Story Of Sadness and Loss https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/anamorphine-preview-feeling-a-story-of-sadness-and-loss/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/anamorphine-preview-feeling-a-story-of-sadness-and-loss/#comments Mon, 13 Mar 2017 12:00:39 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97117

By Joel Couture

Anamorphine takes players to a virtual reality that is a long, long way from the real world. It bears a resemblance to reality, but it is constantly shifting and contorting. Twisting as it bends to the shape of its main character's unpleasant, sad memories. As an exploration of buried memories, it will take players to […]

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By Joel Couture

Anamorphine takes players to a virtual reality that is a long, long way from the real world. It bears a resemblance to reality, but it is constantly shifting and contorting. Twisting as it bends to the shape of its main character's unpleasant, sad memories. As an exploration of buried memories, it will take players to places that resemble the real world, but are shaped by depression, sorrow, and pain.

Something bad has happened to Tyler—something he wants to forget. That isn't immediately clear in the game as he goes through his memories, bringing the player along with him. Players will see Tyler's wife playing her cello around Tyler's home. He'll see her playing up on the stage. He'll walk through the place they've built to live in together.

Anamorphine Preview - Feeling A Story Of Sadness and Loss 2

Players will witness all of this for themselves as they wander Tyler's home in VR. It feels like a warm, welcoming place, filled with soothing colours and a calming normalcy. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and the fixtures all give the player a sense that this is just a plain old home, and with the notes of his wife's cello floating through it, it feels comfortable and intimate. It feels like they're visiting a place of joy.

It's not long before that sense of happiness begins to erode, and reality begins to fragment. Doors don't always just lead to other rooms. A turned corner can have the player walking onto a stage, applause thundering. A hole in reality can open to lush gardens of colourful flowers spilling out onto moonlight landscapes. A doorway will drop the player into a bleak landscape filled with strange objects and pale grey pits. Turning your back on something for a moment can find the world becoming dark and threatening. Reality isn't quite right in the world of Anamorphine, and after making the player comfortable, the developers quickly set out to make them uncomfortable.

It's an intriguing shift to watch, first with swings in colour and tone, and then with changes to all of reality itself. Anamorphine soon takes players to distorted worlds that draw upon reality, but bend it and reshape it. Walls lined with desks and tables tower far above the player. Snow that once decorated a Christmas tree drifts sideways across the environment. Bottles clatter across the floor, shaping into a doorway for the player to pass through into a boiling desert.

Anamorphine has set out to tell Tyler's story without a word, letting the shift in reality from normalcy to abnormality dole out the narrative. Instead of directly saying that there is a problem between Tyler and his wife, players are drawn into a sense of discomfort. Players can feel that something is wrong from what they see in the world, and get a sense of it through the lens of distorted objects and places. But simply, Tyler's life is literally turned upside down, and players get to watch it happen.

While Anamorphine can be played in VR or on desktop, VR adds something spectacular to the experience, making use of the naturally uncomfortable nature of the technology. Telling your body you're not moving when your eyes are saying that you are can be a jarring experience, so when Anamorphine causes a dramatic shift in reality, players can feel it in a tactile way. The body is jarred by the experience when you shift from one place to the next. There is a discomfort, and in this exploration of memories turned unpleasant and painful, that sensation enhances what its developer is trying to do. Thinking on these moments hurts Tyler, and in a way, the player feels that as well.

Anamorphine Preview - Feeling A Story Of Sadness and Loss 5

Players are free to draw what they wish from the experience, taking their time to pore over the objects and memories in the game's world at their own pace. There is no push to move forward, no enemy coming for the player. It is just themselves and the world around them, so they can take the time to really examine the places and objects, watching how they distort to show pain or the beauty in their intimacy when they show a private, personal moment.

Anamorphine is, at times, a wondrous and jarring experience, taking the player to places of pain and joy, and having them experience them through the VR. It lets the player feel these moments rather than dole out a story through text, narrating through a sense of connected emotions. It's an incredible narrative style, and one that will only get more intriguing as the game nears release.

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Did PlatinumGames Lose Their Touch? https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/platinumgames-lose-touch/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/13/platinumgames-lose-touch/#comments Mon, 13 Mar 2017 11:30:24 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97155

By Adam Nizam

It’s hard to watch a once mighty talent fall. It can be akin to watching a student or employee that you know is smart continuously mess up, or seeing your child coast through life until they crash and burn in college. For the last year, the gaming community at large has been suffering this collective […]

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By Adam Nizam

It’s hard to watch a once mighty talent fall. It can be akin to watching a student or employee that you know is smart continuously mess up, or seeing your child coast through life until they crash and burn in college. For the last year, the gaming community at large has been suffering this collective disappointment in response to PlatinumGames, an independent game studio founded by an all-star team of ex-Capcom developers. The spiritual successor to Clover Studio, the team behind classics like Viewtiful Joe, Ōkami and God Hand, the initial creative forces behind Platinum were Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, Devil May Cry creator Hideki Kamiya and former Clover CEO Atsushi Inaba. They formed a partnership with Sega as their game publisher, and at first, everything seemed peachy.

The founding principle of Platinum, according to co-founder Inaba, was to create new and risky IPs. For a while, that’s exactly what they did, developing the gloriously bloody MadWorld, the gleeful over-the-top spectacle of Bayonetta, and the sharp third-person action of Vanquish. While the critical reception to these titles was strong, sales were not as encouraging, culminating in Sega outright refusal to market their 2012 game Anarchy Reigns because it would be a “waste of money”. The message that Platinum received was clear: their mission to create new and interesting IPs was incongruous with the demands of the market.

The Fallen Star of PlatinumGames 1

Fortunately, two angels arrived: one known as Nintendo, and another with the name of Hideo Kojima. Nintendo offered to fund their next two projects, The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2, as long as they made them exclusives. Meanwhile, Kojima asked Platinum to develop a Metal Gear spin-off focusing on Raiden that eventually became Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. These projects were well-received, and for a brief moment, it seemed like things were back on track.

Then, soon after the release of Bayonetta 2, a game based on The Legend of Korra was announced out of the blue and quickly shoved out. Within minutes of playing it, the reason was immediately clear. Before The Legend of Korra, there were some Platinum games that weren’t universally loved, but generally weren’t acknowledged to be flat-out bad either. The Legend of Korra showed that Platinum, who up until this point were one of the most fan-venerated developers in the business, were very much capable of making a downright awful game.

Even after that failure, the next year Platinum released another licensed game in the form of Transformers: Devastation, which turned out pretty good. For a brief moment, it seemed like Korra might’ve been a one-off fluke. Then 2016 came, and with it the most disastrous period in Platinum’s already rough lifespan. Star Fox Zero, which Platinum co-developed with Nintendo, was released to less than ideal reception, followed by the company’s president Tatsuya Minami leaving on the exact same day. A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game released in the summer was also widely panned, and their huge Xbox exclusive directed by the company’s star Kamiya, Scalebound, was delayed and ultimately cancelled despite what seemed like substantial development. It seems like they might be bouncing back yet again with the release of NieR: Automata, but Platinum can’t keep doing this cycle of up and down forever.

So, looking at all of this, what happened? Even by glancing at the company’s game line-up, one answer is immediately clear: they make too many games. Platinum was founded in 2006, received funding from Sega in 2008 and released their first game, MadWorld, in 2009. They’ve released one full-length game almost every year since then, and have done multiple games in the same year for much of their lifetime. They don’t have the resources and staff to pull off such a feat either, with their last employee count at 197. To put that in perspective, Ubisoft Montreal, which releases games at a slightly faster rate, has a staff of over 2,400 and even then can barely manage it. It’s kind of a miracle that it took them five years to release a truly bad game with this in mind, but in conjunction with their financial losses early in their lifespan, it was inevitable.

Another factor is the souring of their relationship with Sega that resulted in their need to scramble for whoever would have them in order to stay alive. Nintendo and Kojima offering projects did help, but their partnership with Activision was most likely more trouble than it was worth. Activision published The Legend of Korra, Transformers: Devastation and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, and while Transformers may have turned out well, it doesn’t negate the two worst games that Platinum has and hopefully ever will develop. A possible reason for this is that Transformers is a brand that originated in Japan, so Platinum, a Japanese developer, is more familiar with it and knows what to do, while Legend of Korra and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are primarily known to Western audiences, so Platinum doesn’t have much of a reference for them. Regardless, if Platinum had turned down these two projects to focus more resources on Star Fox Zero, the result probably would have been less of a disaster.

The Fallen Star of PlatinumGames 2Metal Gear Rising and NieR: Automata are other factors. Metal Gear is a franchise both familiar to Japanese developers and perfectly suited to Platinum’s brand of spectacle, and while NieR is by no means a household name in any part of the world, Automata has the series creator and moon-headed nutjob Taro Yoko as the game’s director and writer to help provide a clear direction. While it may seem like Platinum’s history has been nothing but ups and downs, there’s a clear line connecting everything. Their recent rut has been a result of bad project choices, while that in turn was catalyzed by poor initial sales causing their publisher to drop them like they were hot rocks.

Platinum currently has two projects lined up for next year: a mobile game and a console game based on the popular Granblue. If NieR and Granblue make enough bank, there’s a possibility that Platinum can take a much needed break and afford to spread their releases out over a more manageable timeframe. If not, then expect them to burn out fast.

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First 15 - NieR: Automata https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/11/first-15-nier-automata/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/11/first-15-nier-automata/#respond Sat, 11 Mar 2017 17:24:12 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97141

By CGM Staff

CGM checks out the first few minutes of the upcoming Square Enix title NieR: Automata.

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By CGM Staff

CGM checks out the first few minutes of the upcoming Square Enix title NieR: Automata.

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Pixels & Ink #239 - The Sickest Podcast https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/10/pixels-ink-239-sickest-podcast/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/10/pixels-ink-239-sickest-podcast/#respond Fri, 10 Mar 2017 19:31:59 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97131

By CGM Staff

The Pixels & Ink Podcast is back, brought to you by CGM! With Nier: Automata ready to hit store shelves on March 17, 2017, CGM editor Elias Blondeau joins the podcast to talk about his experience reviewing the upcoming Square Enix title developed by Platinum Games. Along with that, Phil Brown returns to talk about […]

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By CGM Staff

The Pixels & Ink Podcast is back, brought to you by CGM!

With Nier: Automata ready to hit store shelves on March 17, 2017, CGM editor Elias Blondeau joins the podcast to talk about his experience reviewing the upcoming Square Enix title developed by Platinum Games. Along with that, Phil Brown returns to talk about the latest movie he reviewed, Kong: Skull Island, and Cody Orme talks more about the Nintendo Switch, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Switch port of I am Setsuna.

Along with that, the gang runs down some of the biggest stories of the week like Command & Conquer creator Louis Castle joining Amazon Game Studios, Switch software sales in Japan, along with news about the Alien franchise.

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Sega Shows off More Sonic Mania Mechanics and Enemies https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/10/sega-shows-off-sonic-mania-mechanics-enemies/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/10/sega-shows-off-sonic-mania-mechanics-enemies/#respond Fri, 10 Mar 2017 16:33:29 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97126

By Cody Orme

Sonic Mania is one of the more anticipated titles starring the Blue Blur in quite some time. Since its announcement, however, Sega has only really shown off two stages. That all changed today as Sega revealed “Green Hill Zone Act 2.” In this gameplay trailer, players will notice that Sega is taking nods from the […]

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By Cody Orme

Sonic Mania is one of the more anticipated titles starring the Blue Blur in quite some time. Since its announcement, however, Sega has only really shown off two stages. That all changed today as Sega revealed “Green Hill Zone Act 2.”

In this gameplay trailer, players will notice that Sega is taking nods from the classic Green Hill Zone like in “Act 1” which the first few frames were almost identical recreations. The same goes for this act.  Looking like an updated version of the game we played on the Genesis two decades ago, “Green Hill Zone Act 2” quickly changes things up by adding a zip line along with the fire shield that was introduced in Sonic 3 and Knuckles.

Though, the shield didn’t have the same effect in its debut as it does here. While crossing the familiar rotating spiky log from Sonic the Hedgehog, the shield actually causes the bridge to catch fire, dropping Sonic into another part of the level filled with coins and an extra life.  From there on out, “Green Hill Zone Act 2” is a completely different level, with a different experience, which is what Sega promised when announcing Sonic Mania.

Along with this, Sega also unveiled new robo-enemies for the woodland creators to take on called “Hard-Boiled Heavies.” Though no gameplay is shown of them, Sega says they’re robots designed specifically to make Sonic’s life a little more miserable. In terms of design, these new baddies seem to be inspired by Eggrobo, who debuted in Sonic and Knuckles. Interestingly enough, in the screenshot they revealed, the “Hard-Boiled Heavies” are shown flying alongside Eggrobo.

Sega Shows off More Sonic Mania Mechanics 1 Sega Shows off More Sonic Mania Mechanics 2

Sonic Mania was announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016 along with Project Sonic 2017. Sonic Mania will be available for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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New Reservoir Dogs Game Announced https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/10/new-reservoir-dogs-game-announced/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/10/new-reservoir-dogs-game-announced/#respond Fri, 10 Mar 2017 15:08:24 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97122

By Cody Orme

It seems that more and more classic pieces of cinema are receiving video game adaptations in 2017. The latest movie to get this treatment is the Quentin Tarantino classic, Reservoir Dogs. Developed by Lionsgate and published by Big Star games, Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days is expected for a spring release this year on Steam first, […]

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By Cody Orme

It seems that more and more classic pieces of cinema are receiving video game adaptations in 2017. The latest movie to get this treatment is the Quentin Tarantino classic, Reservoir Dogs.

Developed by Lionsgate and published by Big Star games, Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days is expected for a spring release this year on Steam first, with an Xbox One version coming after. Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days is being described as a top-down, strategy shooter based in the world Quentin Tarantino created. Players can take control of MR. Blonde, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown, Mr. Orange, Mr. Pink, and Mr. White.

“As huge fans of Reservoir Dogs, we’re very focused on creating a highly addictive experience that stays true to the tense, dramatic vibe of this unforgettable movie,” said CEO, Big Star Games Liam Patton in a press release. “By taking control of different characters for overlapping bursts of time, players must utilize the strengths of each squad member to carry out the game’s missions, with every move and shot creating a butterfly effect on the overall outcome.”

Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days will obviously feature heists for players to enjoy, but it also adds a bit more strategy than the average top down shooter. Players will control each character in a heist for an allotted time, which sounds akin to the Grand Theft Auto V heist system, except there are more characters to manage than in GTA.

This is just another case of a classic movie turned video game over the past few years. One of the more notable titles for this trend is Friday the 13th. Starting as a Kickstarter project by Gun Media, the title managed to garner a lot of attention. It’s still in development, though its interest has yet to wane for horror fans. More recently, however, an Apocalypse Now title made its way to Kickstarter, but was the crowdfunding campaign was cancelled by developer Erebus LLC.

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MMORPG TERA Finds New Life On PS4 and Xbox One https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/10/tera-ps4-xboxone/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/10/tera-ps4-xboxone/#respond Fri, 10 Mar 2017 14:00:32 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97111

By Jordan Biordi

There used to be a time when the only place you could play an MMORPG was on a fairly high-end computer. But as more and more gamers lean towards the convenience of a console, so to are MMORPG's making their way to the platform with games like DC Universe Online, Final Fantasy XIV, The Elder Scrolls Online and […]

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By Jordan Biordi

There used to be a time when the only place you could play an MMORPG was on a fairly high-end computer. But as more and more gamers lean towards the convenience of a console, so to are MMORPG's making their way to the platform with games like DC Universe Online, Final Fantasy XIV, The Elder Scrolls Online and now TERA.

Announced via press release, En Masse Entertainment will bring their flagship MMORPG, TERA, to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One in 2017. The home console version of TERA will be fully free-to-play and include the entirety of TERAs expansive MMORPG game world as well as an uncompromised conversion of the skill-based "True Action Combat" the franchise is known for.

According to the release, as the only MMORPG with True Action Combat, TERAs real-time and skill-based gameplay is the perfect fit for home consoles. While the game already supports a gamepad on PC, the console version’s control scheme is being redesigned and rebuilt from the ground up to ensure a responsive and visceral combat experience. True to the console experience, the game’s user interface is also being completely rebuilt for consoles with the controller and living room viewing distances in mind.

En Masse Entertainment CEO, Sam Kim expressed excitement about the console launch, saying, "The past five years of TERA have been fantastic. We have an amazing and ever-growing player base on PC and we can’t wait to share TERA with a brand new audience on consoles."

Kim added, "Everyone at En Masse Entertainment and Bluehole is putting an incredible amount of effort into making sure that console players have the best TERA experience possible, and can enjoy the wide range of content the game has to offer."

The En Masse Entertainment team will be at PAX East 2017  at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center from Friday, March 10 through Sunday, March 12, so be sure to swing by for a chance to chat with the team!

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HyperX Alloy FPS Hardware Review https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/hyperx-alloy-fps-hardware-review/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/hyperx-alloy-fps-hardware-review/#respond Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97075

By Cole Watson

Kingston’s HyperX line of products are familiar to PC builders craving new RAM modules or gaming audiophiles looking for their next headset. The products deliver consistent quality and performance that keeps consumers coming back for more. The line is evolving and branching out into one of the most flooded peripheral markets: mechanical keyboards. The HyperX […]

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By Cole Watson

Kingston’s HyperX line of products are familiar to PC builders craving new RAM modules or gaming audiophiles looking for their next headset. The products deliver consistent quality and performance that keeps consumers coming back for more. The line is evolving and branching out into one of the most flooded peripheral markets: mechanical keyboards. The HyperX Alloy FPS may be Kingston’s first sortie into this never-ending battle for key cap supremacy, but the quality of this board makes it feel like they’ve been a force to be reckoned with for years.

Inside the HyperX Alloy FPS’ box are the typical inclusions consumers have come to expect: the board itself, textured keycaps, a travelling case, and lastly, a detachable braided cable. What users will feel the moment they pick up the board is the satisfaction of heft from the solid-steel top plate. This may be designed in a minimalistic way, but damn is it ever sturdy. I believe salty Twitch streamers would do more damage to their tables than the keyboard if they were wielding this in a quick fit of frustration.

HyperX Alloy FPS Hardware Review

There’s a lot to love about the Alloy FPS’ minimalistic design. Stripping away any predominant bezel and multimedia functions gives the board has a unique sleekness that higher-end keyboards could never accomplish. However, I feel Kingston could have taken it one step further and made this an even better LAN keyboard by removing the number pad. What may have kept this inclusion necessary is the USB port located behind it, which is meant to be used as a convenient charge port for the user’s smartphone.

While this evaluation model of the HyperX Alloy FPS features the linear Cherry MX Red switches, users will be able to pick up a Blue or Brown switch version as well. It’s rare that a keyboard manufacturer makes an SKU for all three switches, but I always appreciate the freedom of choice. No matter what version of the board users pick up, the Alloy FPS only features Red LED illumination as well as 100% Anti-Ghosting and full N-key rollover.

HyperX Alloy FPS Hardware Review 1What’s surprisingly missing from the HyperX Alloy FPS is a software suite to manage board profiles and key bindings. Since Kingston doesn’t have a large catalogue of keyboards or mice, the company instead opted to forgo the keybinding profiles and just let the multiple light effects be handled on-board with no drivers. It’s a rare approach seen lately with Chinese manufactured mechanical keyboards like the previously reviewed Motospeed CK108. Users have access to two varieties of pulses and waves as well as a gaming configuration that lights up the most commonly used keys in games. While these lighting effects are executed properly, the lack of RGB makes them boring and I usually stuck with the default profile so I wouldn’t see distracting flashes of red.

Retailing for $139.99 CAD, the HyperX Alloy FPS is settling into one of the more competitive price brackets as a quality candidate to consider. When companies start manufacturing new product lines it’s natural that there are going to be mistakes in quality or features because they’re still learning how to develop effective products, but this keyboard is a shining exception. I believe people will see the Alloy FPS as a stripped down version of the Corsair K70, which isn’t a negative point. Users who love local competitive events are starved for space as it is and by removing the K70’s excess features, consumers will have access to that enjoyable form factor with a lot more breathing room . At its heart the Alloy FPS was built for LAN gaming, but that doesn’t stop it from being any less enjoyable while gaming only at home.

Score:9

Final Thoughts:The Hyper X Alloy FPS is a fantastic mechanical keyboard that any LAN or competitive player would love to game with.

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Kong: Skull Island Movie Review - Big, Dumb Fun https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/kong-skull-island-movie-review-big-dumb-fun/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/kong-skull-island-movie-review-big-dumb-fun/#respond Thu, 09 Mar 2017 20:19:29 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97101

By Phil Brown

Good news for people who love ridiculous giant monster madness, the latest cinematic outing for King Kong is a non-stop monster-mash with barely any of the pesky characterization and attempts at visual poetry that slowed down Peter Jackson’s 3-hour monkey epic. Oh sure, the flick is loaded with imagery and ideas borrowed from Apocalypse Now […]

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By Phil Brown

Good news for people who love ridiculous giant monster madness, the latest cinematic outing for King Kong is a non-stop monster-mash with barely any of the pesky characterization and attempts at visual poetry that slowed down Peter Jackson’s 3-hour monkey epic. Oh sure, the flick is loaded with imagery and ideas borrowed from Apocalypse Now (and Heart Of Darkness) and has some Vietnam allegories battering around beneath all the monkey mayhem. However, any and all subtext is pretty much just window dressing for a relentless roller coaster designed to ensure that audiences are always so overstimulated that they never have a chance to notice that there’s little nourishment to this blockbuster candy. That’s fine. After all, this thing is so goddamn entertaining that you’ll be too busy giggling between mouthfuls of popcorn to consider how dumb it all is until long after you leave the theater.

The film takes place in the 1970s (the era that produced the weakest Kong remake, but let’s not dwell on that). John Goodman plays a conspiracy-obsessed scientist who is convinced that monsters exist beneath the earth’s crust and somehow talks the government into bankrolling an expedition to a mysterious island that was just discovered. To lead the trip to primate insanity, Goodman hires Tom Hiddleston’s general adventure-man, Brie Larson’s adventure-loving photographer, and Sam Jackson’s army leader who is still smarting over being forced to leave Vietnam. As always, getting there is tricky but this time arriving is worse. Kong quickly makes mincemeat of all the ‘Nam helicopters, leaving everyone stranded on the distant island and Jackson’s machine-gun clutching madman determined for revenge. From there, expect even more endless action to be splattered across the screen until you are just as exhausted as the characters.

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review - Big, Dumb Fun 1Working with a special effects budget for the first time, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts clearly has an absolute blast staging all of the giant monster shenanigans. The set pieces are massive and relentless, ultimately playing like a hyperactive child smashing action figures together and giggling at the results (in the best possible way). There’s a little dismemberment, but never beyond the cozy confines of PG-13 limitations. There’s not really any character to Kong this time out, no sense of the childish tragedy or his bizarre love affair with a human. He’s just a protector for humanity against giant monsters, which makes this one of the least meaningful Kong movies, as well as an appropriate set up for the planned shared giant monster universe that Warner Bros. will deliver shortly (and stay tuned after the credits for a little tease of that).

Unfortunately, most of the human characters are just as thinned out as Kong. Hiddleston and Larson sadly have little to do beyond action figure posturing and acting super hard against green screens. All but two of the other characters are essentially disposable monster targets. Sam Jackson distinguishes himself as a formidable Kong foe, screaming at the great beast as if he could beat him in a fist-fight, and delivering one of his most iconic lines from Jurassic Park with appropriate relish (an amusing in-joke and also an unfortunate reminder of how that ground-breaking monster movie blockbuster simply can’t be topped). Even better is John C. Reilly as both the comic relief and the heart of the movie. He’s a dazed pilot who has been stuck on the island since the Second World War, and plays up the culture clash and mad man shtick with glee. His presence is as joyfully entertaining as any of the monster madness (just wait till you see him swing a samurai sword at some of the beasties) as well as a reminder that the movie could have used a little more humanity.

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review - Big, Dumb Fun 2In the end, Kong: Skull Island is a big and pretty entertainment machine with only the illusion of a beating heart beneath its glossy surface. It’s thrilling in the moment, but surprisingly forgettable afterwards. The movie both corrects the mistakes of Peter Jackson’s laboured King Kong remake as well as proving all the things that troubled blockbuster actually got right. However, the flick does deliver everything that made Jurassic World a massive worldwide hit and does it all even better. So, it’s likely that the complaints will be limited only to those who romanticize King Kong. Everyone else will just buckle up and enjoy the ride. Fair enough. There’s no denying the Kong-sized fun. Bring on Godzilla. It’s time these two icons duked it out on the big screen without any rubber suits slowing them down. Now there’s a blockbuster that could benefit from Kong: Skull Island’s complete and total lack of pretension or artistic ambition.

Score:8

Final Thoughts: Kong is back in a movie as fun as it is dumb. That’s a good thing.

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The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ Gets a Switch Release Date https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/09/the-binding-of-isaac-afterbirth-gets-a-switch-release-date/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/09/the-binding-of-isaac-afterbirth-gets-a-switch-release-date/#respond Thu, 09 Mar 2017 18:32:24 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97087

By Cody Orme

One of the more anticipated ports for the Nintendo Switch finally got a release date. Thanks to a Tweet from developer Nicalis Inc. fans now know The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ will launch on the Nintendo Switch on March 17, 2017. Originally, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ was intended as a launch title for Nintendo’s […]

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By Cody Orme

One of the more anticipated ports for the Nintendo Switch finally got a release date. Thanks to a Tweet from developer Nicalis Inc. fans now know The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ will launch on the Nintendo Switch on March 17, 2017.

Originally, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ was intended as a launch title for Nintendo’s newest home console, blaming the desire to create a physical edition for the delay. Along with a physical edition, Nicalis Inc. will include a manual along with the game itself.

Priced at $39.99 USD for either the physical or eShop bundle, it looks like the price experimentation with Switch game prices is ongoing. This has been a topic of discussion among Nintendo Switch owners, as Super Bomberman R and 1-2 Switch are priced at $49.99 USD each.

Regardless of cost, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ released on Steam on Jan. 3, 2017 and currently has a pretty positive rating from users, though it’s less expensive on Steam and it comes with the original The Binding of Isaac along with The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth as well.

The Nintendo Switch launched on March 3, 2017, and has since been one of the more successful Japanese console launches moving 313,700 units in that region. Compare that to the PlayStation 4’s 322,100 in its first week and it seems like Nintendo is on the right track, especially considering the Nintendo Switch launched after the holiday season.

Still, more content for that rapidly growing userbase isn’t a bad thing, especially with a bit of time between the next big release in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. After that however, the exact dates for bigger titles on the Switch are relatively unknown Splatoon 2 is slated for a 2017 release, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is slated for a fall release, and Super Mario Odyssey has a holiday 2017 launch.

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Nintendo Switches Gears With Strong First Week Sales https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/09/nintendo-switches-gears-with-strong-first-week-sales/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/09/nintendo-switches-gears-with-strong-first-week-sales/#comments Thu, 09 Mar 2017 18:19:53 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97079

By Jordan Biordi

It seems Nintendo's gamble on the Switch may have paid off as the company has been enjoying a massive first week not only in hardware sales, but software as well. After being laughed out of the room in the last "console war," the Big N may very well be climbing back on top. According to […]

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By Jordan Biordi

It seems Nintendo's gamble on the Switch may have paid off as the company has been enjoying a massive first week not only in hardware sales, but software as well. After being laughed out of the room in the last "console war," the Big N may very well be climbing back on top.
According to Media Create via Gematsu, Nintendo's Switch sales from the week of Feb. 27, to March 5, 2017 totalled 325,892 copies at retail in Japan, a little over the initial 313,700 reported by CGMagazine's Christopher Whan.

While Nintendo won't be releasing official North American numbers until April, according to New York Times writer Nick Wingfield, who interviewed Reggie Fils-Amie, the Switch has surpassed the Wii's week-one sales.

But it doesn't stop at hardware for Nintendo. Media Create shows a stellar first week in Japanese game sales for Nintendo with Puyo Puyo Tetris for Switch selling 12,854 copies in the first week; Dragon Quest Heroes I-II selling 25,606 copies, Super Bomberman R selling 36,623 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild selling 187,379 copies.

These strong sales aren't limited to the Switch however as Breath of the Wild sold 44,602 on the now deceased Wii U, and Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 3 Professional sold 13,426. The only game that came close to matching these sales numbers was Horizon: Zero Dawn selling 116,997 copies.

This may be very good news for Nintendo as the Switch has been enjoying a mixed, but mostly positive reception. Considering the Switch's relatively limited launch library, such impressive sales shows an overall interest in the console, which may very easily be capitalized upon by the release of ARMS in the near future, as well as the April release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, followed by Splatoon 2 (who's release date has yet to be confirmed), and even Super Mario Odyssey in the holiday season.

If Nintendo keeps the momentum going for the Switch with a staggered launch of first-party games, as well as a steady release of indie and third-party titles, the Switch could very well propel Nintendo back to the top of the mountain.

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Command & Conquer Creator to Head Amazon Game Studios, Seattle https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/09/command-conquer-creator-head-amazon-game-studios-seattle/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/09/command-conquer-creator-head-amazon-game-studios-seattle/#comments Thu, 09 Mar 2017 17:48:57 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97089

By Cody Orme

Amazon Game Studios has been making a name for itself in the world of video games. Now, they’ve just made another splash by naming industry veteran Louis Castle as head of Amazon Game Studios, Seattle. Castle made a name for himself in the RTS genre. Best known as the creator of Command & Conquer, Castle has more […]

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By Cody Orme

Amazon Game Studios has been making a name for itself in the world of video games. Now, they’ve just made another splash by naming industry veteran Louis Castle as head of Amazon Game Studios, Seattle.

Castle made a name for himself in the RTS genre. Best known as the creator of Command & Conquer, Castle has more than 100 titles under his belt including Boom Blox, Blade Runner, The Lion King and Dune 2.  Over his career, he’s worked for developers such as EA, Zynga and Kixeye.

“I'm thrilled to join the talented game makers at Amazon Game Studios. Their dedication to community, customer experiences, and quality is exhilarating!” says Castle in a press release. “I’m excited to start using Twitch, Lumberyard, and AWS to build awesome new experiences for players, casters, and viewers alike.”

At Amazon Games Studios, Seattle Castle will work on Crucible, a competitive multiplayer title that’s designed with streaming in mind.

Most recently, Castle worked on the Kixeye mobile RTS title War Commander Rogue Assault, which was an attempt to bring the RTS genre on the go in a natural way with a focus on progression through gameplay instead of through micro-transactions.

“The two things we don’t want to do is force you to pay, or have you pay not to play,” said Castle in a 2016 interview with CGMagazine about title War Commander Rogue Assault. “If they decide to pay, they pay because it makes their experiences more exciting and more entertaining.”

CGMagazine editor Elias Blondeau reviewed War Commander Rogue Assault giving it a seven out of 10, stating “War Commander: Rogue Assault is nevertheless a decent mobile distraction that doesn’t tread into pay-to-win territory.”

This is just another move by Amazon in which they bring in an industry veteran to help run the ship. In February this year, Amazon announced former Daybreak CEO John Smedley as the CEO of Amazon Game Studios, San Diego.

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Pit People Preview - The Behemoth's Next Challenge https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/09/pit-people-preview-behemoths-next-challenge/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/09/pit-people-preview-behemoths-next-challenge/#respond Thu, 09 Mar 2017 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97064

By Chris Carter

Pit People has evolved quite a bit since its 2014 debut, and so has the company behind it, The Behemoth. They started off as an action platform developer with Alien Hominid and its game within a game, PDA Games. Then they branched off into beat 'em ups with Castle Crashers, perhaps their biggest game to date, […]

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By Chris Carter

Pit People has evolved quite a bit since its 2014 debut, and so has the company behind it, The Behemoth.
They started off as an action platform developer with Alien Hominid and its game within a game, PDA Games. Then they branched off into beat 'em ups with Castle Crashers, perhaps their biggest game to date, before moving back into the platforming space with BattleBlock Theater. Behemoth doesn't do the exact same thing twice, and although they could probably make a lot of money from sequels, so far, they've opted to push the envelope and challenge themselves constantly. The same goes for Pit People.

Pit People Preview - The Behemoth's Next Challenge 1I wasn't really sold on the idea at first. I grew up with the strategy genre on games like Panzer General and Command & Conquer, but I feel like everything in that space has been done already. I severely underestimated the power of The Behemoth, because it's one of their weirdest worlds yet, which is probably the game's biggest draw. The gist is that the world has been thrown into an apocalyptic state of chaos after a giant space bear crashed into the world, breaking it apart into hexagonal pieces that conveniently make up the tile-based strategy element of the game.

But it's not just the fact that the world is wacky, as nearly everything in it is out to get you, even the narrator. Playing the part of the humble farmer Horatio, said announcer and nearly everyone else in your adventure will berate you and wish death upon you. Tongue-in-cheek and dark gallows humour is practically commonplace in games now, but voice actor Will Stamper and the writers for The Behemoth have it down to a science; the script is laugh out loud funny.

I was also surprised at the scale, in terms of how far the early access version has progressed since last year's beta. Initially it was just the 30 minute tutorial and a few stages, but now players can take a swarthy crew across a massive map in the campaign, partake in skirmishes to unlock over 1,000 items, or battle it out in a versus mode. The way combat works is also well suited for people who don't typically play strategy games either, as the story sort of eases players into different archetypes like ranged and melee, teaches you positioning, and gradually grants you more abilities.

Pit People Preview - The Behemoth's Next Challenge 2

It's a little slower than I'd like, but again, the excellent script, voice acting, and tried and true Behemoth art style will carry you along in those brief slumps. Co-op makes things even better, and even if you lack two controllers on PC, one player can use a mouse and keyboard while the other sports a remote (nice touch). Once you gain the ability to recruit new monsters (by leaving them as the last one alive in battles) and change up their outfits, it starts to turn into a fully-fledged SRPG. Recruiting enemies by leaving them alive does have the propensity to get a little grindy, but for now, given the Early Access truncated story, it's fine. Driving around in a pooping vehicle helps.

There's no window yet for when Pit People will exit Early Access, but it's worth checking out now if you're remotely interested in the company’s games. Whenever the game finally does arrive, the price will go up.

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Mel Gibson Is A Great Choice For The DCEU https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/09/mel-gibson-great-choice-dceu/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/09/mel-gibson-great-choice-dceu/#respond Thu, 09 Mar 2017 12:30:24 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97052

By Aleksander Gilyadov

Mel Gibson is back in the news again, but this time it’s only about his abilities as a filmmaker. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny Gibson is supremely talented in front of and behind the camera. His latest work, Hacksaw Ridge, was one of the best films of 2016 and yet another crown […]

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By Aleksander Gilyadov

Mel Gibson is back in the news again, but this time it’s only about his abilities as a filmmaker. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny Gibson is supremely talented in front of and behind the camera. His latest work, Hacksaw Ridge, was one of the best films of 2016 and yet another crown jewel in his impressive filmography as a director. News broke recently that Warner Bros. is eyeing Gibson to helm a potential sequel to Suicide Squad. Now, nothing has been confirmed yet, but Gibson did reveal that talks are indeed underway and he has plenty of ideas for the movie.

If Gibson does end up directing Suicide Squad 2, it would be perhaps one of the strangest and shocking developments in the movie industry. Not too long ago, around the time Hacksaw Ridge opened in theatres in early November, the director criticized comic book films. Gibson believes that Marvel and DC movies are more violent than any of his films as they usually contain violence without a conscience. There’s no meaning or depth behind all of that destruction in these superhero movies, according to Gibson. Following all of this, for him to actually agree to helm a sequel to one of the most hated films in the genre is quite interesting to say the least. Especially considering the first Suicide Squad is littered with brainless action set pieces that don’t carry any emotional weight.

Mel Gibson Is A Great Choice For The DCEU 1

Plenty of people are strongly opposed to Gibson joining the DCEU and for Warner Bros. giving Gibson creative control over characters like Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and the Joker. But, behind all of that hatred for the man that many people share, this just might be a brilliant move by Warner Bros., and one that could potentially save their fledgling comic book cinematic universe.

There are numerous different things Gibson could bring to these DC films, and he’ll most certainly add elements Warner Bros. desperately needs. For one, Gibson has a knack for telling his stories through the perspective of one character. In nearly all of his films there’s a strong and well-written protagonist that viewers can root for and understand, and these characters are often highly flawed. If there’s one story element that Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad have failed to nail, it’s having relatable and nuanced characters.

Aside from Ben Affleck’s Batman, all of the DC heroes have been handled poorly, especially Superman. Clark Kent, despite star Henry Cavill doing the best he can to elevate the character, has come off feeling like a depressed and annoying man-child. This version of the character is a far cry from Christopher Reeves’ excellent performance in the original Superman films. The Man of Steel needs to be upbeat and hopeful to counteract the more brooding tone of Bruce Wayne.

Mel Gibson has the ability to focus on a single DC character and make them shine. In Braveheart, Gibson’s William Wallace is an important historical figure. The filmmaker manages to make the audiences feel Wallace’s rage and pain, and understand his decision to lead an uprising against the elite. Similarly with Hacksaw Ridge, which showcases the unusual moral dilemmas that Desmond T. Doss faces. He wants to participate in The Second World War, but refuses to fire a weapon, and the viewer always understands why Doss decides to make these tough choices.

Mel Gibson Is A Great Choice For The DCEU 2Gibson has plenty of excellent DC characters to play around with in Suicide Squad, from Harley Quinn and Boomerang to perhaps the one anti-hero best fit for Gibson’s filmmaking style: Deadshot. Will Smith’s master assassin is a confused and flawed individual that wants to care for his family, but has to commit crimes and murder to do so.

Given the time and resources, Gibson can certainly pull off some interesting storytelling with Deadshot. At first glance, Gibson might seem like a terrible next move for Warner Bros. in its attempt to save its DCEU, but the more you think about this directing choice, the more it’s easier to understand why Gibson might be a great fit.

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New Updates Available in Homefront: The Revolution https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/08/new-updates-now-available-in-homefront-revolution/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/08/new-updates-now-available-in-homefront-revolution/#respond Wed, 08 Mar 2017 20:27:47 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97058

By Michael Koczwara

If you're looking for a reason to go back to last year's Homefront: The Revolution, now may be the time! Several new updates were released today, including the last single player DLC, the addition of Trial mode on consoles, and an upgrade in visuals for PlayStation 4 Pro players. Of all the updates, the inclusion […]

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By Michael Koczwara

If you're looking for a reason to go back to last year's Homefront: The Revolution, now may be the time! Several new updates were released today, including the last single player DLC, the addition of Trial mode on consoles, and an upgrade in visuals for PlayStation 4 Pro players.

Of all the updates, the inclusion of the final part of the single player is certainly the highlight here. The DLC is aptly called Beyond The Walls and takes place outside the walls of Philadelphia, the final stronghold of the Resistance. Deep Silver goes on to explain that the DLC sees a NATO agent attempt to "contact the Resistance with information that could lead to the end of the nightmarish regime of the KPA."

PlayStation 4 Pro owners will now be able render the game in 1440p, but it can still be upscaled to 4k. Menus and the HUD will be rendered in 4k. Players can obviously expect to see a bump in the visual quality and fidelity, but the patch is also said to increase frame rate performance that affected the game previously.

This isn't the first time Homefront: The Revolution was given a big update. Dambuster Studios and Quicksilver released a big update last September that fixed previous performance issues. This included improvements on frame rate drops and load times, along with various fixes to several glitches and bugs.

We reviewed Homefront: The Revolution last year and found that the game was "barely optimized enough, designed well enough, QA tested enough or balanced well-enough from a gameplay perspective to even be declared finished." Hopefully all of these patches over the last year have helped soothe many of these issues out!

The update is now available on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC and the DLC is priced at $12.99 USD. A Trial mode that lets you play the first four hours of the single player campaign is now available on the Xbox One while the PlayStation 4 will get the new mode on March 14, 2017.

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Riders of Icarus Update on the Way https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/08/riders-icarus-update-way/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/03/08/riders-icarus-update-way/#respond Wed, 08 Mar 2017 19:26:13 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=97057

By Cody Orme

Fans of the free-to-play MMO RPG Riders of Icarus have something to look forward to as it is getting a content update, titled Corruption of Light, on March 22, 2017. Announced by a press release, publisher Nexon America showed off two trailers for the flying beast mount combat title. The first trailer is more of a […]

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By Cody Orme

Fans of the free-to-play MMO RPG Riders of Icarus have something to look forward to as it is getting a content update, titled Corruption of Light, on March 22, 2017.

Announced by a press release, publisher Nexon America showed off two trailers for the flying beast mount combat title. The first trailer is more of a hype generator, showing off some combat, and catapult combat, but the second trailer get's a little juicier.

Though it's only 33 seconds, this trailer shows off new mounts for players to enjoy. The first is Elicuno, a light coloured fantasy inspired dragon with the ability of flight. The second is Dredrum, a more lizard-like creature, more brutish in design, who does not pose the ability of flight, though it can jump. The final creature is Torkai, a majestic wolf with the ability of flight. With a more mystical white and purple colour scheme, this mount also has what appears to be two pieces of tech floating over it.

Riders of Icarus launched last year by Korean developer WeMade Entertainment, to mixed reviews, allowing players to tame, collect and ride a variety of beasts in an MMO setting. As a free to play game, it appears that Riders of Icarus has a hard time fitting into that model. On the game's steam page, many users complain about the titles "pay to win" model. Still, the game does sit at a 6/10 on steam, even with those complaints.

WeMade has made a name for itself in the MMO world. Aside from Riders of Icarus, WeMade worked on the Legend of Mir series, which houses 120 million users across three games in Asia. To this day, Legend of Mir remains a popular series with a mobile remake generating $100 million a month in China according to a statement from publisher Shanda that was translated by Tech in Asia last year.

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Snipperclips Review - The Other Switch Must Have https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/snipperclips-review-switch-must/ https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/snipperclips-review-switch-must/#respond Wed, 08 Mar 2017 17:47:48 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=97045

By Jed Whitaker

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild  isn't the only must buy title on the Nintendo Switch, as the $20 multiplayer puzzler Snipperclips - Cut it Out, Together! deserves a place right alongside it. In Snipperclips, players control Snip and Clip, two fingertip shaped pieces of paper with legs and adorable faces that make funny […]

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By Jed Whitaker

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild  isn't the only must buy title on the Nintendo Switch, as the $20 multiplayer puzzler Snipperclips - Cut it Out, Together! deserves a place right alongside it.

In Snipperclips, players control Snip and Clip, two fingertip shaped pieces of paper with legs and adorable faces that make funny expressions. Players must solve puzzles by overlapping these paper pals by cutting them into the proper shapes for the job.

The gameplay and controls are simple enough to pick up and play, though in my experience controlling movement with a stick instead of a d-pad can still throw the average casual-player through a loop. Characters are rotated via the buttons on the top of the Joy-Con, which are much more comfortable with the wrist strap accessories packed in with the Switch console.  Snip and Clip can also rotate, duck, stand on their tiptoes, and jump (even on each other!). Standing on tiptoes and crouching are necessities in the game's later levels, and that requires a bit of finesse with the control stick, which takes a bit of getting used to since the sticks are a smaller than other consoles. However, if a mistake is made, you can fully reform characters by holding a button or simply cutting them out of existence, so players can make mistakes.

Of the 69 included stages, 45 of them are available in the “World” mode that acts as the core of the game for 1 or 2 players. These stages are spread across three different groups, all of which have their own themes that are reinforced visually and through gameplay. For example, the first world looks like graphing paper, and the second world is inspired by retro video games both aesthetically and in the handling of the puzzles included in that section.

While Snipperclips looks rather simple, there is plenty of depth, and it manages to stay fresh until the end, regardless of if you play alone or with a friend. Granted,  a few puzzles have similar objectives. One recurring premise involves cutting out an image or even another player to be the right shape, but still, most have puzzles have unique goals. One level requires players to cut a small opening in one character for a pencil to fall in that drops when another player touches a button. The pencil must then be carried to a pencil sharpener and inserted. While this puzzle was rather intricate, it is one of the easier puzzles. Other puzzles involve guiding heart pieces to a princess, catching fish and placing them in a tank, and using a claw machine to move a player across the screen. While at first glance Snipperclips looks rather simple, there is plenty of depth to be found here, and it manages to stay fresh until the end, regardless of if you play alone or with a friend.

The two to four player “Party” mode has players controlling two copies of Snip and Clip, instead of just one set. Party offers 21 levels to play, some of which have to be unlocked via World mode. 12 of these levels appear to be unique while the other 9 are harder versions of levels found in World mode changed to accommodate the 2 extra characters on screen. While World mode is fine to play alone, Party mode requires you have a friend or a whole lot of patience to attempt to complete the levels on your own. It can be a little crowded on screen making accidental cuts or moving pieces of puzzles where you don't mean to, but these moments only add to the hilarity and fun of the game.

The final 3 levels, or in this case mini-games, belong to the 2 to 4 player “Blitz” mode, and they include “Hoops,” “Hockey”, and “Dojo”. As you may imagine Hoops is just basketball, where a ball drops from the ceiling and players race to hit the ball into the correct goals with their noggins. This is my favourite of the bunch as it requires a bit more strategy than the other two, and is far more original. Hockey is essentially air hockey or Pong, only your character is the paddle and you can cut the other players, just like in the rest of the game. Finally, Dojo is strictly you and other players trying to cut each other out of existence, which is fun but too simple to want to play more than a time or two. All three of these mini-games would have benefitted from having multiple stages to play on, but alas, they do not which essentially kills their replayability.

While Snipperclips was originally an indie game called FriendShapes, I can assure you it feels at home being a new Nintendo IP. The characters are cute and memorable with their silly faces they make, though I'm not sure which is Snip and which is Clip. I find myself wanting to buy a shirt and or poster with their mugs on it either way. The music reminds me a lot of what you'd find in one of the Yoshi games, that is to say equally as cute as the art direction, and just as memorable and hum worthy.

Snipperclips feels right home in Nintendo's colorful and loveable library. The characters are cute, the music is memorable, the gameplay is easy to pick up with the right amount of challenge, and the amount of content is perfect for the budget price of admission. If you've got a Nintendo Switch and a friend or three, you'd be a fool to pass on this gem up.

Score:9.5

Final Thoughts:Snipperclips is a must play new IP from Nintendo that will have you cutting not only your friends and family but up in joyous laughter.

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