The epic quest begins. Finally...

After a seemingly endless amount of delays, South Park: The Stick of Truth, arguably the last really big last gen exclusive you'll see, is FINALLY out for PS3 and 360. Of course after all the delays and hype, the real question is: Is it actually any good? I'd say if you are looking for a deep involved rpg on the same level of games like Fallout: New Vegas, this might not be it. If you are looking for a hilariously accurate representation of South Park wrapped in a light fun rpg system this'll be right up your alley. I'm several hours in enjoying the hell out of it and I'm really more of a casual fan of show, occasionally watching it on Hulu. I hadn't even seen the trilogy of episodes that lead into the game until about a week ago (which were great). I'm not a huge fan of gross out humor and I've heard there's plenty. But there also plenty of brilliant subtle things about kids playing fantasy and rpg tropes that have continuously made me laugh along with not particularly deep but well-balanced fund battles against elves, rats, hobos and Mongolians. Bottom line if you even remotely enjoy South Park, you should have no hesitation in picking up this wonderful bit of fan service. And it's not bad as a fun little rpg either.

You can check out the trailer here for the newly revealed Batman: Arkham Knights trailer. I own Origins, but have barely played it, it just hasn't really grabbed m. But all the new info on this supposedly final installment (I can virtually guarantee it's not the last "Batman" game, probably the last one with the name "Arkham" though) is really positive such as that there is no forced awful multi-player and that it's being developed only for next-gen consoles means no compromises to make it a similar experience on last-gen consoles. This actually might make me interested enough to get through Origins and finally gives me a next-gen solo title to look forward to besides The Order: 1886.

That's really all for today, I should get another post up in the next couple of days, most likely a gamer cinema.


Gamer Cinema: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

I think most people are aware that there was a really awful Tomb Raider movie starring Angelina Jolie back in 2001. And of course the amazing thing about it is the idea seemed like a no-brainer. It didn't have to be Oscar-worthy material. Just a hot girl shooting thugs and discovering treasure. It could've been Indiana Jones with a woman without much effort. Instead, it wasn't even National Treasure with a woman because it managed to be just to dumb and filled with horrible action sequences. Not really Angelina Jolie's fault as she played the role fine but it was still an awful film.

So yeah even though that flopped clearly those behind the film felt something was salvageable as they made a sequel titled the Cradle of Life (and apparently there were plans to go ahead with a third but Jolie didn't want to do the role anymore). The storyline itself is perfectly fine-Croft trots the globe looking for the "Cradle of Life" which is where all civilization began before an evil industrialist who is also looking for it because Pandora's Box is there and it has a plague he wants to unleash (seemingly for financial gain?). Anyways it's a throwaway excuse of a plot but for a film like this that's just fine.

And that's pretty much what this film is. Just fine. That it isn't a complete pile of garbage automatically makes it one of the better films based on a video game out there. The action sequences are perfectly functional if a little underwhelming, Jolie was still good as a real life Croft. It's the kind of perfectly competent yet forgettable action fare you often see on straight to video releases these days. Would I recommend it? Only in a sort of if there's aboslutely nothing else on and you are too lazy to grab the remote/controller and look for something else kind of way. But at least it wasn't extremely painful to sit through like any of Uwe Boll's cinematic efforts.

That's all for today, definitely look for a post about South Park: Stick of Truth in the next couple of days...


The state of the Vita...

As much as people talk about how bad Nintendo is doing with the Wii U, there's always the comparison of well, at least it's selling better than the Vita. And of course Vita is a portable system which is in a different ballpark than home consoles. But it's getting decimated by the 3DS which by any measure is a far less powerful and frankly a whole let less slick.

Of course the real issue is that the Vita isn't even in the conversation. Even Sony barely talks about it. Sure it can be used to play the PS4 remotely, but that's an extra $200 on top of your shiny new console. I have one and frankly I don't even use it for that. It's got a pretty solid library of games, especially if you count all the PSP titles available digitally. It probably has the most comprehensive library of great jrpgs for one system, that alone made it a worthwhile purchase for me. I'm looking forward to going through nearly all of them. But games in the future? There's not much. Borderlands 2? That'll be amazing if they can make that portable and fully intact, but it's also a pretty old game that I imagine anybody who gives a damn about it already owns at this point.

Sony just doesn't seem to know what they want to do with the Vita and as a result it's just a weird hodgepodge of things. If Sony really spoke to it's strengths they might be able to get the needle to move somewhat. Nintendo has made the 3DS the best selling system of the last year by really utilizing it strengths with some amazing software, and hell it's best games used the features of the 3DS to enhance already amazing games, but was sure not to focus the game itself around those features. Many of the better games available for the Vita do the same. Persona 4 Golden is arguably the best game on the system and it uses none of the features. Tearaway would be a solid game even without use of the touchscreen and back touchpad.

Can Sony turn the fortunes of the Vita around? Most likely. Will they? Probably not, they are too focused on the PS4 (which by all rights they should be) to give any attention to their flailing little console beyond tying it to their current success in a somewhat vague manner. It's too bad because it's a fantastic little system with plenty to offer. If only their own damn company would realize it...

That's all for today look for another post up by Thursday...


Like a Thief in the night...

Hey it's the first really big current-gen game of 2014 (that is also available on last-gen however)! Thief is out this Tuesday and should be snapped up by voracious gamers who only have an Xbox One or a PS4 and desperately need SOMETHING to play on it. Me? I like the setting but I'm not huge on stealth games. Splinter Cell with arrows is not something that appeals to me and frankly the previews I've listened to on various podcasts have not sounded horribly promising. Thankfully I've got plenty of other stuff to play on my various systems and odds are unless you are dying for a shiny new stealth game you are better off skipping this as well.

Now if I had an Xbox One, I would seriously be looking at Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare even though I've barely played the previous games. Why? Because despite it possibly seeming like a lame cash-in, at least it's offering something different to really stand out from other shooters that all seem way too similar whether they be in space or Afghanistan. I bet if this can actually find an audience it'll prove to be at least a fun competent chance to do something a little different every now and again with your online friends.

The only other release this week I really want to talk about is the PS3 release of Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, which since it's a package containing a Gamecube rpg and a Wii rpg, many people may never have played. The Tales series has had a pretty good run this past generation. Vesperia, Graces & Xillia were all pretty good, but as someone who has played a large majority of the series, Symphonia is my favorite. If Stick of Truth wasn't hitting in a week, I'd probably pick this up now and enjoy it all over again. It also includes the direct sequel, which frankly was not very good, but the first game is more than worth the price all by itself. If you are a fan of action rpgs with rich characters and stories, this is one of the best, so check it out. As it is I'll probably get it sometime soon as we don't really know when games like Witcher 3 or Dragon Age III are actually coming out yet.

That's it for today, I wasn't really able to get around to a Gamer Cinema this weekend, but hopefully I'll have that or something else up by Tuesday.


Now YOU can overcharge would be heroes for shitty weapons!

Seriously, you ever get the idea that shop owners in rpgs are ripping you off? Here's your chance to make awesome weapons and charge them ridiculous prices in Weapon Shop de Omasse for the 3DS. At only eight bucks it looks like a fun little title but it will probably be a little while before I give it a go seeing as after beating A Link Between Worlds I picked up Bravely Default, still have a little ways to go in Mario & Luigi Dream Team, and a pretty good chunk of Persona 4 Golden left to play, so my portable plate is incredibly full at the moment.

And the Wii U gets its first big 2014 release with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Which is great if you love insanely hard 2D platformers. I like challenge, but the DKC series usually veers into wanting to throw your controller against the wall hard, and seeing I haven't quite gotten through Mario 3D world yet, I'm in no rush to give this a shot. There might be a few digital releases here and there, but I think the next major Wii U title I'm buying is either Smash Bros or Monolith Soft's upcoming rpg, whichever hits first.

Sony's other big 2014 exclusive, the Order: 1886 finally has a new trailer, and it looks pretty cool, one thing worries me though, and that's quicktime events. I loathe quicktime events with a passion, they pretty much ruined the God of War series for me, and I'm not sure they can ever be used well, because if you fail them, it's annoying as hell and there's just no variety or creativity to them. Hopefully they will just be a minor part of the gameplay. We'll just have to see when it hits.

That's all for today, hopefully have a new gamer cinema up by Sunday, maybe something in-between if I can manage.


Nintendo's most exciting new title is a Soccer rpg?

Ok, maybe not really. But there was a Nintendo direct today and honestly the soccer rpg Inazuma Eleven for the 3DS seemed to be one of the more intriguing options. I love rpgs, I love wacky soccer games (i.e. Mario Strikers & Sega Soccer Slam), so this seems like a no-brainer. But $20 for a game I can't try a demo of and don't really know about seems a bit steep atm, so I may at least wait til some reviews hit. Seeing as it's out right now that shouldn't take too long.

And then there's the weapon shop rpg, Weapon Shop de Omasse. I love this idea, running a weapon shop in a rpg sounds incredibly fun, and it'll only be $8 when it hits next week. This is good because as I've mentioned before while the 3DS release list is fairly packed, a lot of the stuff just isn't peaking my interest much. But these two titles make me believe once I finish Zelda & get done with Bravely Default (when I pick it up, haven't done that yet) there will be plenty of fun stuff for me to play with still.

The Wii U side of stuff was a bit lighter, but I was fairly excited to see Little Mac get a spot on the Smash Bros roster as I've been saying he should be in it for years. Monolith's new rpg looks like Xenoblade with mechs, which might be the most awesome thing ever. Bayonetta 2? Eh. The game looks way too full of itself to be fun, I've been playing the latest Devil May Cry titles thanks to my PS plus subscription and that seems to hit the notes that the Bayonetta series tries way too hard on and misses. Mario Kart 8? It looks pretty, but frankly the last two were underwhelming. I don't think my Wii U will be collecting dust or anything if for no other reason I've actually got a decent backlog on it (still haven't quite finished 3D World, and still have to start up Earthbound & restart Skyward Sword), but I also don't think I'll be buying anything for it for awhile either (ok maybe Link to the Past).

That's it for today, but I'll try and have something up Saturday.


Gamer Cinema: 100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience

To say American arcades are completely dead is far-fetched, but whereas they used to virtually litter the landscape, nowadays you have to go a little out of your way to find one. After all, why waste possibly hundreds of dollars when you can get a similar if not superior experience at home with a one time fee and the you get to keep it forever? And that's of course just console experiences, there's also the portable stuff (phones, tablets, gaming systems) that fits right in your pocket/bag.

100 Yen is a crowd-funded documentary that takes a pretty brief look (it only runs a little over an hour) at the evolution of the Japanese arcade scene from it's huge beginnings and the trends to what they are like today and what challenges they face. From shooters to fighters to dancing games to the UFO catchers and horse racing of today (yes for some reason, horse racing games are freaking
And that's really the issue. I get that it's a documentary on a limited budget, but it just glosses over nearly everything so quickly when each topic has enough material for a documentary all on it's own. Maybe they should've gone with an episodic series, each covering  specific era? Because as is it only serves as a very brief cliff notes version about the history of the Japanese arcade scene and the challenges it faces today. And yet it feels a little padded on, with weird detours in to the present American arcade scene (I guess for comparison but not really necessary since the subject matter isn't about that) and the Evo championship which is a fighting game tournament which is has some loose ties to the arcade scene but again not necessary and feels out of place in a documentary that is supposed to be focusing on the history of arcades in Japan. It's not bad if you just want a brief idea of the arcade scene in Japan, but frankly I was hoping for something meatier with more detail.

That's all for today, I should have another post up tomorrow or Wednesday.


Only the Brave...

Sorry for not getting in any other posts this week, It's been pretty hectic at work and I just couldn't seem to get anything else in. Should get in at least two posts next week. Anyways, the first big release of this year that's not some port of an old game is out now on the 3DS in Bravely Default. I already talked at length about my experience with the demo and I have no doubt if you are looking for the same kind of old school rpg itch that Fire Emblem scratched around this same time last year Bravely Default will fill that hole nicely. But my portable backlog is pretty packed, specifically with RPGs so I'm not picking it up right away, maybe wait for a sale, or at least til I beat a couple of the games (mainly Persona 4 Golden and Link Between Two Worlds, both of which I'm admittedly slacking on). Also while the release list for 3DS is meaty, it's mostly stuff I really have no interest in (Yoshi's New Island, Kirby Triple Deluxe, etc), so saving this until I suddenly have nothing to play on my 3DS seems like a good idea.

While it may help Sega's bottom line (clearly, or else they wouldn't keep making them), creatively, Sonic games have clearly suffered since the transition to 3D, with a large majority of games over really the last decade or so being at best mediocre and in most cases outright awful. Would a fresh Western perspective be what the series really needs?  Well let's hope. The new look is bound to upset long time Sonic fans (why are any of them left though?) with Sonic looking a little more Nathan Drake-esque, Knuckles suddenly being tall and bulky and Amy a little weirdly sexualized but at least they are trying something different this time. I think Sega doesn't have a ton of faith in this idea though as it's not even coming out in Japan and Sonic Team is still working on their own Sonic game that supposedly stays truer to the series roots that might even be out this year (though it's looking likely for 2015). As one of those idiots who gets excited and then disappointed every time a Sonic game comes out I do hope it's the shot in the arm this franchise badly needs.

Ok, odds are if you have a next-gen system you've pretty much exhausted all the games available by now (especially if you are looking for games that are new/aren't old ports). If you are desperate for SOMETHING to play and aren't tired of Lego games, the Lego Movie Videogame may be your best option this month. It's cross-gen sure, but it's new rather than a port of an already existing game and the Lego games usually deliver on being very fun experiences. That being said, my PS4 copy of Lego Marvel is still sitting collecting dust as I have much more compelling games to play on my supposedly inferior and dead last gen systems. Man it's gonna be a long wait til Infamous. And what the hell is after Infamous? I can't imagine someone who ditched their old systems to buy a next gen one is very happy at the moment, the release list is almost as bad as for the Wii U last year.

That's all for today, I should have another post up tomorrow or Tuesday about this week's releases and a gamer cinema on top of that and maybe even a third post to get back on track.


Gamer Cinema: Video Game High School, Season 2

Yup, season 2! I wasn't a huge fan of the first season of VGHS. It had good action scenes and production values, but buckled under horrible characters and bad writing and acting. That being said, I did point out that I though the series still had potential, and so I decided to give season 2 a shot since it was up on Netflix. What's changed? Well the 6 episode season is significantly longer, with each episode closing in around the 40 minute mark, allowing for more fleshed out arcs. There's also a wider variety of genres shown. Season One was almost all FPS scenes. In season two you get rts, fighting, mmo and a whole lot of driving, but at least there's more variety. Things also get changed up. Main villain/major jackass "The Law" is now Brian D & Ted's roomie (huh?) Ki becomes an RA,  and Jenny's Mom is the new varsity coach. Oh and Brian loses his scholarship and has to work as the school janitor.

So do all these changes make for a better show? Only slightly. For instance, "The Law" was framed for cheating and is on a quest to prove his innocence, but he's a irredeemable douchebag, why do we care? And a large majority of the plots and jokes are still stolen straight out of the Disney tween show playbook. The only real highlight of the season is "Double XP Weekend", where Jenny has to write a speech about her mom, who she has an extremely strained relationship with. That episode came off as decently written and heartfelt. and it almost felt out of place with the rest of the season's Saved By The Bell level plots. Overall the real star remains the surprisingly high production values and action sequences. But they are only surprisingly good because it's still a crowd-funded youtube show, it's not like it's up there with anything you'd see on an actual network sci-fi or action show with a real budget.  So you need to have good characters and writing to support that, and for the most part this still doesn't have that. Again, you take away the video game aspect and it's pretty much on the on par with shows like Even Stevens. Even the opening makes me feel like I'm watching something sandwiched in between Good Luck Charlie & Wizards of Waverly Place. But I'm guessing because it features high schoolers fake shooting each other it's a little too violent for the likes of the Disney Channel.  That being said, there's still incremental improvement here, everything is just a small step up from season one. I'm planning on watching the almost assured season 3 with cautious optimism, but that might be the last chance I give this series (unless I just really run out of stuff to review anyways).

That's all for today, look for another post up in a few days.


Hope you like playing last gen games on your shiny new next gen consoles!

If you bought a shiny new PS4/XBox One odds are you are starving for something to play on it. I've been playing my PS3/Wii U/Vita/3DS plenty, but my PS4 has been sitting there for weeks, pretty much not touched (though admittedly I've been holding off on Skylanders Swapforce to clear some of my other games). Well finally here's something new to play! That came out like 10 months ago on last gen consoles. Sure it looks prettier and Tomb Raider is absolutely a fantastic game, if you haven't played it I highly recommend you pick it up. But you can also get it on current gen consoles for like $10. This seems to be a disturbing trend for at least the coming year. Even a lot of the bigger next gen titles (i.e. Titanfall) are getting last gen ports, and a lot of last gen stuff is getting ported such as Diablo and Rayman (and it's heavily rumored that there will be a GTA V port & a Skyrim port as well). I suspect that if those don't hold much interest from you your next gen console isn't going to get a ton of use for the next 8 or so months. It's funny that people were more than willing to put Nintendo to task for nearly the same problem but there isn't nearly the uproar here, just some minor grumblings.

Pretty much the only other thing I have to talk about is the FFXIII: Lightning Returns demo. I should preface this with the fact that I enjoyed FFXIII (though I'll say it's one of the weaker entries) and got a lot of enjoyment out of FFXIII-2 so if you don't fall into that camp I don't think you'd have much interest in this title. All the demo really does is give you a chance to try out the battle system which is arguably the most action-based a Final Fantasy title has seen to date. You actively move around the field, have to time your blocks, and quickly switch on the fly between several classes to keep on enemy on its toes and also if you stick with just one you run out of juice quickly. It seems promising I also know the premise is that you only have 13 "days" to stop the end of the world. Even if it's extremely generous I've never been a fan of games with arbitrary time limits like this because frankly it really reduces the idea of screwing around and exploring everything fully. Plus you might actually get to a point where the is too little time left and you are unprepared in which case you need to start all over again. But to be completely fair I don't know how the time plays out, so it may not be a big deal. That being said, I also didn't bite on FFXIII-2 til it was about $20, I suspect I'll do the same here as I've got plenty of rpgs higher on my list now and in the near future.

That's all for today, I'll certainly have another post up by Friday, most likely a new Gamer Cinema.


Gamer Cinema: In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds

That's right, there's a sequel (and apparently plans for a third, that thankfully hasn't happened yet). This is almost hilariously unusual in that you usually get straight to video sequels to movies that were at least mildly successful, instead of ones that flopped horribly at the box office. Because why would anyone bother watching a sequel to such an awful failure? Well somehow Uwe Boll managed to get it made. The main difference between this movie and it's predecessor is that it's one that feels totally on the level of a shit director like Boll. I mean Dolph Lundgren is the biggest "star" in this particular stinker and he's almost exclusively been in straight to video stuff for the last 15 or so years (with the exception of the Expendables movies, which are awful anyways).

So Lundgren plays a former special forces member, who gets pulled back in time to the Kingdom of Ehb and is supposed to fulfill an ancient prophecy. What ancient prophecy? Fuck if I know, the "plot" pretty much makes no sense, though that could be because the dialogue and acting are so bad it was hurting my brain. Lundgren is clearly at his best when he plays an unemotional robot (or you know, an unemotional Russian robot on steroids) and even trying to carry a movie not even worthy of being a "Syfy original" is beyond his depth. It looks much cheaper than it's predecessor, with worse fight scenes and effects. I did genuinely laugh when the King offer to outfit Lundgren with weapons and armor but he declares that all he needs is his knife, but that was clearly not meant to be a funny line. This is just pure garbage and granted most game-related stuff is but I think I'm going to try and find something at least tolerable for my next review.

That's all for today, look for another post in the next few days.


Well apparently the Wii U does not print money...

Well not like anybody really believed Nintendo's ridiculous claim that they could move 9 million consoles in a year when they only released a handful of games and made no serious investment in marketing., but obviously dropping their forecasts by more than two thirds is one hell of a troubling sign for the once mighty Nintendo. Even the 3DS, the best-selling system of 2013, didn't meet the sales expectations, though that may be more on Nintendo's out of touch expectations in the first place and not looking at the reality of the market place. Sadly Mario 3D World has not sold all that well even though it ended up on most best of the year lists, so even the mighty Mario couldn't move consoles.

So where do they go from here? Well the reality is they could chug along for quite awhile, doing whatever the hell they want because they are beyond flush with cash. They could basically circle the wagons, cut losses with the Wii U, focus on their portable business which probably could grow exponentially if they focused all their energy on one portable system. That's nearly always been their strong suit. They haven't actually been a contender in the home console market since the 16-bit days. That makes some sense but I doubt Nintendo would be that complacent.

Many are calling for them to release on other consoles, mostly on phones. I really think putting Nintendo games on phones would be bad for their image. Sure, it would make them some money in the short run because it's Nintendo on phones! But can you imagine playing any Nintendo games on a tablet? It'd be fucking awful, missing that quality gameplay that goes into nearly every Nintendo title. Other consoles? Maybe but at some point that is Nintendo making games at least on some level not entirely under their control and that would limit them.

I actually think the best financial solution might be something more radical-Stay low tech and cheap. Third parties don't publish on Nintendo, gamers don't buy third party games on Nintendo systems. But make the console affordable and they'll gladly pick one up along with families looking for a low cost entertainment box. I'm thinking like no more than $200. Load it with virtual console titles for purchase. Make sure it has the basic streaming apps, and of course the first party magic Nintendo is known for. I think that would make them not directly compete with Sony and Microsoft because clearly they either can't or don't want to, but it makes them an extremely viable second console as few households only own one anymore. The risk would be minimal and it would at least get them back to the Gamecube days where even if they weren't dominant they would be operating at a profit.

Of course that's arguably the safest move. Nintendo is the company that really dares to be different. You get past a few base differences and there isn't a whole lot separating Sony's and Microsoft's consoles. Same games, same services. Hell even the Vita is an attempt to be just like the big consoles (which is probably why it's dead in the water). The DS wasn't like anything else. The Wii wasn't like anything else at the time. The 3DS is unique in what it offers and so is the Wii U. This is key in what makes Nintendo the magic factory they've been for decades and I really don't want to see that vanish because they had a few bad years. So let's all hope whatever Nintendo does to right its' ship, it doesn't change the core of this company that defined gaming so just about anybody who has been gaming for at least a couple decades.

That's it for today, look for a Gamer Cinema in the next couple of days...


5 reasons not to be too excited about Playstation Now just yet...

Playstation Now,  announced at CES and it might very well be the future of Sony and possibly video games in general. After all why pay for new TV and a console when you can buy an all in one and just stream it! Yeah in 5-10 that will probably be awesome (especially when google fiber is everywhere). But that's in the future. Right now and forseeably for the next couple years, Playstation Now will probably be a mess and here's why:

Barely playable anymore...

5. The games don't hold up: I'm not saying there aren't timeless games, but that's really a small sliver of a percentage of older titles. We look at a lot of older titles with rose-colored glasses and then when we actually play them years, sometimes decades later, they don't hold up as well. Most likely because for the most part games have evolved and we don't like dealing with ancient controls and issues and the fact that older games don't have save states or check points or only take an hour to beat or are ridiculously hard and on and on. Of course key to that is selection, which leads to my net point:

There's a reason this failed...

4.  The library will be very limited at first: I'm sure over time Playstation Now will have plenty of titles, but I'm more than willing to be for the forseeable future it will be mostly first party titles that no one gives a shit about. Don't get me wrong, Sony has some incredible developers and they've made some awesome games, but the first games on there will likely be crap like the Killzone games and Medievil. And it will probably take a long time to get third-parties on board if at all (odds are when gaming goes full streaming, they'll have their own services). So for awhile it'll suck. But of course that won't matter because...

Pretty much every awesome Sega game for probably what 2 months of now would cost...

3. You already own the games: Odds are if you someone who cares about older games you own the ones you give a shit about (especially with many being digitally released on current platforms this past generation). And with few exceptions many can be picked up on the cheap so depending on how much this service costs, it won't be worth your money anyways. And that's just talking about the subscription cost.

Gotta love limited bandwith!

2.  Eating up bandwith: Let's not forget this is a streaming service, so using it alot (especially if you already watch streaming services and play online games) will probably eat up your bandwith cap really quick, which depending on your service will either throttle your speed or jack up your bill. Hopefully down the line data caps will get bigger but the reality is that not happening soon. And that if the service even works:

Even the king of streaming still has issues...
1. It will be filled with issues: Because it's a new thing and new things always are. It's that simple. Much like anyone buying a console at launch, I'm pretty positive anyone signing up in the first year or two will essentially be guinea pigs while they figure everything out. There might be connection issues, emulation errors, service downtime etc. It's going to be really rough in the initial going, and for this to be worth anything, it pretty much needs to work flawlessly and at least at first it won't.

That all being said, I'm very interested in the future of Playstation Now. If it's successful it might set a great precedent for the future of gaming with affordable renting and streaming (at least I hope so) but the present is most likely going to just be a giant mess so I'll wait it out for now.


Gamer Cinema: Reboot :The Series

This is a bit later than I expected due to me being varying levels of sick the last week or so, but I should be back to regular update for awhile at least now.

Anyways, Reboot seemed like good material given not only was it one of the first CG series, was very centrally themed around not only games, but the internet as well, and it's been recently announced that their would be a new Reboot series. The concept is pretty simple-The "Net" is  living place with cities and people representing various files and commands and even viruses. The "Users" (that's people like us) are harsh gods who seemingly randomly send games to various sectors, if we when, a sector gets decimated (that's right, when you win you are a murderer!). Luckily there are "Guardians" like the main hero Bob, whose mission it is to protect sectors, not only from incoming games but other various threats like the villainous viruses.

Now granted, someone coming into this show having never watched it will probably not get a good experience out of it. Though cutting edge for TV back in the mid-90s, Reboot's look is more akin to today's extremely low-budget cg kiddy fare. And all the internet-based lingo comes off as kind of lame. On top of that, the initial mission statement is that Bob intends to find out the motives of the user and that is NEVER addressed. The "games" are easily recognizable but somewhat clever riffs on either genres or specific series and some even spoof movies such as Evil Dead. The first two seasons are most filler (oh no, Megabyte is causing trouble again!) But then surprisingly in the last two seasons it goes into sort of a dark serial, with the younger characters suddenly aging and taking on more mature themes while trying to find Bob who was trapped in "The Web". It gets interesting enough to follow, but also leaves you with a cliffhanger that was apparently resolved in comic book form.

Ultimately Reboot is probably best looked back as a time capsule show. It's very 90s and will probably be at least somewhat fondly remembered by those who either watched the show back then or grew up in that decade. I think anyone else will just wonder what the big deal is.

That's all for today, I hopefully will have another post up sometime tomorrow or Friday as there has been plenty of news in the past couple of weeks that I haven't really touched on.


Weirdest game name ever?

Well ok, in the entire history of gaming I'm sure there are games with weirder titles, but Bravely Default, especially under it's full title, Bravely Default, Flying Fairy is one of the more odd titles I've ever seen. Nevertheless, Nintendo has actually been pushing this game pretty heavily as the first big 3DS release of 2014, probably trying to appeal to the same crowd that ate up Fire Emblem and are looking for a good traditional Jrpg experience. They even released a demo a few days ago to try out a full month before the official release. So being a big rpg nut I jumped on the opportunity to give the demo a try.

And in a lot of ways, Bravely Default is pretty much  as old school as you can get featuring traditional turn-based battles and a job system very reminiscent of games such as FFV. The main hook of the battles is pretty novel though-it features a risk/reward system where you can use several turns in one round, but not be able to use that character for several rounds after, or you can "default" and store up for a bigger stronger salvo. It definitely adds a good twist to what would otherwise be a fairly blah battle system.

The other aspect, the streetpass aspect is what gives it a certain addictive flavor though. You have to rebuild a town and at first you only have one little guy to do all the work, and clearing paths and building shops takes awhile, but every person you streetpass with adds another villager to make the work go faster. It's a pretty cool management resource thing. I've played the demo for several hours and haven't even scratched the surface yet with playing around with the various jobs. So if you are a fan of old school turn-based rpgs downloading the demo should be a no-brainer alos along with picking up the game when it hits in February.

That's all for today, hopefully have another post up in a couple of days, most likely a gamer cinema if nothing breaking happens.


Good thing there are no games for awhile...

Seriously, January is a bunch of nothing, and February isn't looking so hot either. That's good though, as I'm sure many of us have a pile of games to get through either due to gifts from family over the holidays or gifts to ourselves thanks to many of the awesome sales over the past couple of months. I tend to focus on only one or two games at a time, but I manged to play enough to give impressions on everything:

Basically played about two hour of this so far and it's a fine return to form for a series that really lost it's way from the last couple entries with misguided attempts at multi-player & tower defense. I know it's short so it'll probably be the next game I finish. A lot of said it also feels like a swan song for the series and while I certainly think a break is in order with no less than 6 games in 8 years, I'm hoping this won't be the last time we see the Lombax and his little robot buddy and anybody who is an R&C fan should pick this up immediately.

I specifically posted an image of the PS4 version because I think it's important to note that it's the version I have and while not a tremendous improvement everything has a nice extra sheen to it and moves at a fantastic frame rate. To be completely honest, I thought I was pretty much done with this series after I thoroughly played through Giants, but I also hadn't played Giants in quite awhile so maybe that break was long enough to let me have fun again because this Diablo-light game with figures is still incredibly entertaining. I have bought one extra figure since getting it but I've never been one to go insane collecting, my entire Skylander collection consists of about 16 characters when there are about 70 and I don't really have a huge urge to collect more, just play the game with what I've got and have fun with it. And the Swapforce gimmick works pretty well with characters that easily separate but click together well so you don't have to worry much about losing half of a figure or something. I think the most surprising thing is how this continues to not be a heartless cash in and has an actual game in there and I'll probably continue to be a fan as long as they keep that up.

I know that the PS4 and the Xbox One have the flashier graphics, but they don't have Mario (or Wonderful 101 or several other great Wii U exclusives) and once again with this title Nintendo reminds us that great games don't have to be gloomy or dark or have a bunch of systems so complex it's hard to even say what genre the game falls into. Mario is pure joy distilled into an excellent platformer. It's also fantastic at playing with your expectations as it puts new twists on very familiar elements for us Mario veterans who have played and beaten nearly every game in the series. I think Nintendo made a pretty big mistake releasing this in the midst of two competing console launches as a couple months head start and a big advertising blitz could've done wonders for the struggling Wii U.

And speaking of struggling systems,  I finally got a Vita. And you know what? It's a pretty great little piece of hardware. Sure the memory is still overpriced (I bought a 16 gb card on sale for $20, you can can get normal SD cards for half that normally) but it looks gorgeous and feels great. As much as I love my 3DS, it does feel like a kind of cheap toy and the Vita feels fairly sophisticated. And I think it has plenty of games on it, especially if you have PS+ you get a ton free right off the bat. Admittedly nothing I've played so far quite reaches the level of the 3DS' AAA hits but you've got most of the PSP library, PS One games, Indy titles and frankly games like Uncharted, Gravity Rush, Guacamelee and Persona 4 (admittedly the only one I bought with the system), I already had Guacamelee on PS3 but actually like it a bit more on Vita) all are great on it. And the cross play with PS4 works pretty flawlessly, though the implementation of the shoulder buttons takes some getting used to. Frankly, if all it's ever good for is Indy/classic titles and the rare Vita exclusive along with cross play I'll be pretty happy with my purchase over the long run.

That's it for today but I did download the Bravely Default Demo, which is the next big 3DS title on the horizon in February. It's pretty good so far, but I'll give full impressions in my next post, hopefully tomorrow or Sunday.