March 26th, 2019 by Vega Montanez

Yesterday, gamers across the internet gathered in excitement for a fiesta of Playstation announcements. Sony’s first official “State of Play”, a short form trailer filled livestream, debut was smooth as butter. A few surprise announcements here. A couple exclusives there. And a ton of confirmed release dates made the most of the roughly 20 minute event. Ignoring the awful voice of the digital announcer, it’s safe to say “State of Play” was a success.

But, was it the right move?

State of Play
PlayStation

Long time Playstation fans are accustomed to narrative driven experiences. A rule that holds true for announcement trailers as well. Looking back on past Playstation events, you’ll quickly find that most trailers ran 2-3 minutes with tons of narrative detail. Whether eluded to or directly presented, the trailers draw you in by presenting a full living world. Cinematic or in game footage, the announcements tend to deliver the beginning of your next gaming adventure. 

State of Play, Sony’s equivalent of a Nintendo Direct, took what felt like a very different approach. It crammed as many announcements as possible into 20 minutes with tons of gameplay footage. Gameplay footage that shows what you will be doing without intriguing us with the why we’re doing it. Sure with a game like the PSVR exclusive IronMan VR, coming fall 2019, you don’t need to necessarily know why he’s fighting the bad guys. He’s a superhero, that’s just what they do. 

IronMan VR
Camouflaj, PlayStation Worldwide Studios

However, with a game like Ready Set Heroes, as fun as the multiplayer action game looks, it’d be great to learn more about the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m personally excited for the idea of 4 player party game. Especially one that looks like the Looney Tunes dungeon crawler i never knew i wanted. It just didn’t feel like Sony. It felt like Nintendo. 

It’s not about the violence or adulthood

And before you type “Eh look another guy to grown for fun games.” realize my complaint is not about the games. It’s about the presentation. Years of watching E3, Paris Games Week, Tokyo Games Show announcements have set a certain expectation. An expectation that I’ve quietly watch continue to become less and less important. I’d be lying if I said I knew this was coming. Looking back on the most recent E3 conferences though, I feel kind of foolish for not.

Since the release of the PS4, every Sony E3 conference has featured a short form sizzle reel announcing 10-15 games in a matter of minutes. It started off as just the Indie game reveal. Which was offensive for it’s own reasons we don’t have time to talk about now. And slowly it evolved to what we can now expect to be a regular occurrence called “State of Play”. That’s not the end though. Even during this short form experience Sony managed to pack in a video montage cramming release dates for 8 games into what felt like seconds. 

8 Games in 60 Seconds? Whoa.

Games like Falcon Age, Everybody’s Golf VR, Trover Saves the Universe were included in this short montage. Forget release dates, the spotlight on these games wasn’t long enough for me to write down all 8 names. And I write super fast because I have awful hand writing, so to me that says a lot. I want to go back to the good old days when gamers complained not enough games were shown. Ok maybe not that far back. Maybe go back to the short-lived time where the balance was almost perfect.

Regardless, I’m a diehard Playstation fan so I’m going to rock with the team no matter what. But, I’m no yes man. If I see something I’m not particularly excited about I’m going to say something. As of right now, I am not entirely excited for the next State of Play. And considering PlayStation will be absent from E3 2019, I’m concerned. Your move Sony. 

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transference review
October 6th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Get Even meets PT

Transference is a first-person sci-fi horror experience for VR. It was developed by SpectreVision and published by Ubisoft. It was heavily advertised as a psychedelic adventure and was heavily promoted by Elijah Wood during E3 2017 & 2018. The plot focuses on your navigating through a computer simulation of the minds of a three-person family. Depending on whose memories you explore, the layout of the house in which you spend the majority of the game will rearrange itself. Surprisingly, when the game came out in late September, it was largely ignored with no fanfare or ads. It also released on Xbox One and PC, despite being slated as a VR-only title. It’s quite possible that VR would enhance the experience, but the game still has to hold up on its own merits. This copy was reviewed without the use of VR, but still on PS4.

GRAPHICS: 2/2

This is definitely a case of style over substance. The game has a great array of really good looking lighting FX, visual glitches, transition sequences, and mocap. There are also several scenes that blend 2D videos into the 3D environment in interesting ways. The problems this game has come from a technical standpoint. Despite the spectacular use of props, colors, and layouts to represent different psyches, one thing takes you out of the experience. The texture quality is just abysmal. Cables look like squares, a jar of sand had jagged edges, a cassette tape looks like a blown-up JPG. That’s really too bad because it definitely shows that a lot of detail was put into everything else. You can pick up props and look at them but the details are muddy. Still, the overall look works.

STORY: 0/2

Absolute drivel. The story of this game is about a family man who went crazy and digitized the minds of his wife, child and himself onto a computer. But the context of why you’re experiencing these memories in the first place is never made apparent. You’re just there to stop in and look at some things that happened to this family. The kid had a dog he loved, and honestly, I can’t remember the actual fate of the dog. Just that something bad happened. The wife is sad because she thinks she gave up her career to be with this man, but I’m not really sure what it was he did that made her have to give everything up.

You never really feel like you’re in danger, and these NPCs are at worst a minor inconvenience…

And the husband? Well, he went crazy. Why? I don’t know, it appears that he just did. The game has several points where you get to watch camcorder footage of the family to get a better idea, but it felt very inconsistent. In one scene, they are at a park having a birthday party and the dad is acting just okay. You find another video later that appears to be the same time and location, but the dad has turned a complete 180 and was acting like a drunken abusive asshole. Why? I don’t know, it looks like he just did. Maybe the truth was hidden on one of the collectibles? That might be the case but it’s not much of a story if it’s mandatory for me to pick up every single object in every room. Also, the less said about the “acting” in this game, the better.

Audio: 2/2

Despite the terrible script and bad acting, the quality of the voice work is well implemented into the game. Several wonky features are added to the voices of the family, distorting them, echoing them, and burning them. This game dives into the reality of horror for the most part, and this game expertly implements the “horror atmosphere” that many scary games excel at. It has everything, cramped spaces, hums, random noises, door knocking, clock ticking, music boxes, the usual. This is amplified with a soundtrack that blends into the scenes you encounter. There are heavy padded synths feeding through distortion tubes as scenes get more and more intense. Zero complaints about anything in the audio department of this game.

GAMEPLAY: 1/2

This is a relaxed horror experience if that makes any sense. You enter an apartment, and spooky things happen. You will walk around, look at things, watch video logs, and avoid walking afoul of the enemies in the game. These phantoms you encounter look like the Endermen from Minecraft. If you touch them, you just get sent backward a little bit. You never really feel like you’re in danger, and these NPCs are at worst a minor inconvenience and one of the least scary things about the game. Thankfully, there really aren’t any jump scares. The biggest problem was that there were a handful of puzzles that either stopped the game dead or were extremely easy. I won’t be able to forgive this game for the “piano puzzle” sequence any time soon. Some of the puzzles made sense plotwise, while others were real head-scratchers.

VR: That said, VR might have enhanced the scares just a little bit. This is literally the only section that VR could have improved the experience. It might have been scarier to walk around this cramped place in a fully immersive manner.

FUN: 0/2

The couple of puzzles that stopped me dead in my tracks were rather annoying. Once I did figure them out, I didn’t feel smart. I just felt “Oh really? Just that? Okay then.” My interest in the fate of this family diminished by the minute. When the game rolled into its conclusion about 2 hours in, I was glad it was over, because I didn’t want to play it anymore. Even then, the ending is incredibly abrupt and completely unfulfilling, accomplishing nothing. You basically just rode around on a haunted mansion ride until you had to get off. The game just shrugs and says to me, “Yup, that’s it. Have a nice day I guess.” Maybe it’s my fault for having high expectations, but I’ve had these expectations for other games in the SciFi/Horror genre that live up to the hype. This one doesn’t.

This whole experience is basically a shaggy dog story about a broken family. Transference is content with itself; it tells you about a series of unfortunate events (which is a crap book series, fight me). This generation of gaming is finding more and more “AA” experiences resurface and make for some high-quality adventures. We got tales like Hellblade, Get Even, Soma, and several other games that serve as an experience on top of being a game. This particular title doesn’t really make the cut.

SCORE: 5/10




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June 15th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Seriously, why did you miss the party?

Every year gamers from all around the globe collect themselves for the, debatably, biggest event in gaming, E3. It comes once a year and usually brings amazing surprises and gifts for the family. Just looking back, there have been many times lives have been changed over announcements made at E3. E3 2018 was no different. Although lacking in surprises because on the internet, no not that internet this internet, it still kept its promise to deliver a great gaming expo experience.

However, every year some people think they’re too good for E3. Some people get the invitation to the party and throw it away. Sure some people forget but in this case, it’s super unlikely. So I’m going to take this opportunity to call out a few people who were missing. And I’m going to rate them on how willing I am to forgive them. 

Rocksteady (Batman Arkham Series)

One of the most beloved studios by comic book fans is undeniably Rocksteady, home of the best Batman games ever made. I don’t like Batman, so I’m a little more upset they didn’t show up than I normally would be. Reason? Well, there are way too many rumors that their next project is either a Superman game or a Justice League game. I love Superman. I like Justice League. Is this making sense yet? Good. BI will give them a pass though because they addressed hey didn’t feel ready to show their next project off yet. I can appreciate waiting for some high-quality masterpiece. 

Status: Forgiven.

THQ Nordic (Darksiders Series, Biomutant, Metro Series)

I always knew Soccer had the largest following in the world of sports. Yet still, I was shocked beyond belief when I saw that these guys were giving up their invitation to E3 to watch the World Cup! Really, that’s a thing that happened. These guys just made an announcement in which almost their entire stable of games was delayed. Biomutant, Darksiders 3, and Metro Exodus all delayed and all we get is a release date for one of them? But as hurt as I am, you gentlemen and women have lives. Enjoy the World Cup, I secretly hope your favorite teams lose. Kidding best of luck. 

Status: Forgiven

Tekken X Street Fighter (Namco Bandai)

I don’t even know where to start with this one. I am a huge fan of the Tekken series but not so much of Street Fighter. Regardless I love the characters and stories from both universes. So when the two crossover games were announced I was 100% sold. Even got the collector’s edition of Street Fighter X Tekken. That was the street fighter version and I enjoyed it but not as much as I love Tekken. And yet here we are. My support was for naught. I still anxiously await the Tekken version of this crossover spectacular we were promised. I have hopes it’s still around the corner considering the addition of Akuma and other Capcom and SNK characters in Tekken 7. With Soul Calibur 6 around the corner, however, it might be a while.

Status: Forgiven

Borderlands 3 (Gearbox)

This is the reason Rage 2 exist. I love what Rage 2 looks like it’s going to be. Being brutally honest though, Borderlands 3 is what fans of that type of game are really waiting for. It was one of the games in the same Walmart Canada leak that outed Rage 2. So maybe it’s real and good old Randy was just annoyed that his surprise was ruined. I totally understand his perspective. I hate when people ruin my surprises too. If that’s what happening Randy, I feel your pain and I’m hoping, after the time passes, the official reveal will be out of this world. I have zero doubts it won’t be. I remember reading Game Informer when the first Borderlands was announced. Bring me back to that first high. I need it. 

Status: Forgiven

Mortal Kombat 11 (Netherrealm)

Returning to the fighting game world there is a big question for the gruesome champions of parent offending fighting games. The last Mortal Kombat game was released a few years back and while Injustice 2 has been an amazing filler, we need gore. What appeared to be the last batch of DLC came to Injustice 2 a few months back so what have you guys been doing. I expect much more from one of my favorite development studios of all time. Much more dammit! You teased it, Boon!

Status: Forgiven

Sony’s 11 Other Studios 

I think that one is pretty obvious. The reality is that Sony is most likely moving their major presentation to PSX. I mean why wouldn’t they. At thins went they cater to the fans and investors and make it all about them. So it makes we didn’t hear much about them but in all honesty the way the cycles are right now we won’t hear from them for a while. I’m sure Guerrilla Games, London, Japan, Polyphony, Bend, Foster, San Diego, Pixel Opus, and Project siren have something fancy coming our way. Just wait and see. I’m all still not entirely sure if Media Molecule’s Dreams was or wasn’t on display. So it might be 10 studios missing. 

If you were paying attention you’ll notice all of these absences have been forgiven. These people who make our favorite games are just that, People. At the end of it all, they need a break. They need some time to enjoy the things they enjoy (hopefully video games) and escape from work. I appreciate all the Hardworking individuals in the industry keeping it alive. As much I want to indulge in all these fascinating ideas, I want you to indulge in life. Thanks. 

P.S. Miss the next one and you’re not getting another f*cking invite. Bye Bye.

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June 5th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Tons of news before E3 and I’m on Tour! Ugh!

Alright, Sooper Vega here, just wanted to apologize real quick. The Lucky Gamer Recap has been real sloppy lately but fear not, its only because I’ve been really busy. Planning, and now being, on tour, because I’m still a Hip-Hop artist, has taken a lot of my attention. It’s cool though, it’ll all be normal again when I’m grounded. It’s also cool because we’re like a week from E3 so not much news. Well except for Pokemon! Here’s what the Lucky Gamer Recap has in store:

1. Let’s Go! Right into it!

Pokemon is finally making its adventurous debut on a home console. And no, not like the pessimist joked about it being on a Playstation console. And also not completely familiar in the way gameplay works. Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu & Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee were announced by Nintendo and will be available November 16th. These are technically not considered part of the mainline series even though they bear a lot of similarities to Pokemon Yellow. The game will fuse gameplay elements of the mainline and the mobile phenomenon Pokemon Go. On top of mixing mechanics, the two games will also be connected via bluetooth allowing for transfer of Pokemon between games and more. With the promise of a new mainline entry still on schedule for a 2019 release, this should hold most fans over till then. If not well…

2. There are other Pokemon Quest!

Nintendo and the Pokemon Company must really be tired of hearing people ask for Pokemon on Switch, because they came out swinging. According to the teams “Pokemon quest is a free-to-start game that lets trainers face off against wild Pokemon.” The entire game will take place on Tumblecube Island which the player will explore to gather treasure and befriend or battle Pokemon. The game will feature new cubed reimagining’s of all our favorite Pokemon. Well maybe not all but you get the point. I do want some to double back for a second and tell me what the hell a “free-to-start- game is? I feel like Nintendo just tried to make the term “pay-to-win” acceptable. It’s out now on Switch and coming to mobile soon.

3. Whisper whisper, Fallout 76, Whisper whisper.

Apparently the unexpected reveal of Rage 2 wasn’t enough for Bethesda. No they needed to really flex their muscles this year. So they pulled up in the foreign car and whispered “Fallout 76” before riding off into the sunset. Or something like that. Not much was said about the game but rumors suggest it maybe an online experience like Rust or DayZ. It’s good for the die hard fans to know they got some more Fallout on the way but I know far too many people asking a different question. Where is the next Elder Scrolls? (Editor’s Note: It’s coming out this month and it’s called ESO: Sommerset.)

4. Sonic’s back in the race, literally.

It’s been a long time since we last played a great kart game that wasn’t attached to Mario. There have been a few good ones along the way but none which stood the test of time. It seems like Sonic and friends felt the same way. And Sonic jumped into action bringing us the all new Team Sonic Racing. It’s going to be an indirect follow up to the amazon Sonic and All-Stars Racing that released so long ago. Sporting 15 playable characters, tons of our favorite modes, and power ups to turn the tide of the race, Team Sonic Racing is making a strong play for our hearts. 

5. Dirty move Xbox, real dirty move.

Alright so here’s a thing that’s rumored to have happened, that we really wish didn’t happen, but signs are pointing to it actually happened. Microsoft seems to have fired a bunch of paid staff and replaced them with volunteer staff who were trained by the paid staff. I’m going to give you a second cause that’s a merry go round of info to take in. Apparently 12 Xbox support staff lost their jobs after unknowingly training their volunteer replacements as part of the Xbox Ambassador program. The @xboxsupport twitter is now being handled by ambassadors. Microsoft hasn’t commented on the situation yet, but I’m hoping they do soon.

6. MegaMan 11 gets a release date.

There was a moment in time, a few years back, where the return of the blue bomber was extremely uncertain. It even Keiji Inafune to embark on a journey to create a spiritual successor. That game ended up being not very good. Capcom saw the opportunity and last year announced MegaMan 11. And now they gave us a date when we can play it. MegaMan 11 is coming to a console near you on October 2nd. It is set up to play just like the classic games fans are used to but it carries a brand new more bubbly cartoon look. Some could say inspired by Mighty No. 9 but I’ll say inspired by the cartoon designs of the past 8 years. Still looks like it’ll be a ton of fun, just weird to have done it without Inafune.

7. Days of Play PS4. 

Sony unveiled a limited edition blue PS4 releasing June 8th. The Days of Play edition Playstation 4 has the iconic face buttons printed largely in gold. As always a matching color, in this case blue, is included with the system. The system is being released to celebrate the Playstation Day of Play event that takes place every summer and sees discounts across numerous PS4 products and games. Days of Play runs from June 8th to June 18th so make sure you check in to see what kind of deals the days bring. 

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May 28th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

This week we pay respect to a legend.

As time moves forward people are moved on. This week we honor a man who was at the forefront of the gaming industry. Rest in peace Mr. Ted Dabney, co-founder of Atari, who passed away after a battle with cancer at age 86. We must also express ou feelings for John Bain, aka TotalBiscuit, whom also died from cancer at age 33.  The HardModeGamers, the Lucky Gamer Recap, and so much would potentially not exist without your contributions. Now this week’s Lucky Gamer Recap:

1. PGA touring with… not EA 

It seems those eager for more golfing games may be in a bad place. EA has lost the license to PGA Tour. The news came as Canadian developer, HB Studios, announced the addition of the tour to its upcoming title The Golf Club 2019. Rory McIlroy took the helm of EA’s PGA Tour series after they ended their partnership with Tiger Woods. And that game didn’t do well critically or commercially. Now, EA has lost the license completely but both sides claim the split was amicable. Meanwhile HB Studios is boasting that this validates they have the number one golf game on the market. Cool brag guys. 

2. Remember the Garbage Pail Kids?

Well, they’re getting a video game. That’s right the Garbage Pail Kids game was officially announced. Do you want to know more? Word, so it’s going to be a free-to-play card-battle RPG. There will be original characters as well as newer cards thrown in the mix. Developed by Jago Studios in collaboration with The Topps Company, the game is currently in Private beta. There is no official launch date but it is planned to be release on both iOS and Android markets. It seems like things from the 80’s really are making the strongest comeback ever. Shout out to Stranger Things and Hipsters for that one. 

3. Japan Exclusive: Dock-less Switch!

In a surprising turn of events, Nintendo has announced a dock-less Switch bundle coming exclusively to Japan. As most of us know, Japan is super heavy on mobile gaming. This move makes perfect sense in the idea of providing what the consumer wants. On the flip side it is definitely pretty self destructive considering they own the #1 portable console on the market. However, as far as I’m concerned this is confirmation of a Pokemon Switch game coming out this fall. Why else would they be so willing to ditch a core component of their hybrid console? No dock means it’s just a portable game console.

4. And there may be a new challenger… maybe.

During a recent interview with Bloomberg John Kodera, the new Playstation bossman, said he wants the company to continue thinking about portable gaming. He stated very clearly they are not discussing hardware specifics yet but they were carrying out experiments in the department. Could the next Playstation console be a hybrid like the Nintendo Switch? Quite possibly because this is also the same interview that sent the internet into a frenzy. A statement about the PS4 nearing the end of it’s lifecycle made everyone panic. Until they realized he was speaking from a sales of product perspective. The Vita is already dead, with physical game support and free Playstation Plus games already seeing an end.

5. Resident Evil Switch is cloudy with a chance of bad.

The good news: Resident Evil 7 is coming to Nintendo Switch. The bad news: Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version is coming to Nintendo Switch. The game that originally released on all the platforms isn’t getting a port. Instead Capcom is releasing something called, Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version, here’s the explanation. This is going to be a streamed game, much like PlayStation Now. Its a small download at only 45MB but obviously needs a constant internet connection to work. As of right now this is only coming to Japan (update: released in Japan May 24th 2018) which makes sense. They have the internet capability to support this, much like they did before with Phantasy Star Online 2. It’ll be really tough for this to ever work in America, but one can dream.

6. Madden NFL 19.

I know the NFL is in really hot water lately because of all the racism protest and stuff but that doesn’t stop the money train from running. EA officially, to no one’s surprise, announced Madden NFL 19 releasing August 10, 2018. The cover athlete honor has blessed, or cursed depending who you ask, incredible Wide Receiver Terrell Owens. There will also be a Hall of Fame edition of the game available for $80. The special edition comes with three days of early access, 12 gold team fantasy packs, an elite legends player, and more. This will definitely have some presence at E3 so if interested for sure tune in. 

7. School Shooting Game? Very Bad Idea. 

It never make sense to me when people claim that real violence is a product of fictional violence. The reference material for fiction is real life. Such is the case with Active Shooter, a game released on STEAM earlier this week. The game has been under fire for literally being a game about mass shootings. You can play as a civilian, a SWAT officer, or the active shooter. Tons of people were triggered over this. I can absolutely see why, but I still feel like the timing was wrong, the concept not so much. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. It’s kind of silly for people to feel like if they don’t like something it has to disappear completely. Don’t get me wrong I think it was dumb as hell for this game to release with the school shooter being a playable character. I think it’s worst that the civilian is a character. Either way, I’m hoping to get an interview with the Dev team so we can discuss it in detail.

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May 8th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

It’s prediction time!

Dear gamers, it’s a dark time in the cool updates world. I’ve scoured the internet savagely for more cool stuff. Sure the new Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer was released but what else? Everyone is still raving about the amazing God of War or trying not to spoil the new Avengers movie. It’s like no one has anything new to say about games. So instead, I’m going to play into the E3 hype. Here are 7 games I hope will get a Lucky revival, and I’m gonna refrain from repeating anything from the list I did a few weeks ago. Here we go.

1. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.

The upcoming Vampyr, from developer Dontnod, marks the first time that mainstream games will be diving into the world of vampires since the early 2000s. And by the early 2000s, I mean 2003 when Legacy of Kain: Defiance, the final chapter in the Blood Omen/Soul Reaver saga was released. I specifically used the title of the second game in the saga because that’s when I was introduced. The Legacy of Kain follows the stories of vampire lord Kain and vampire lieutenant turned wraith Raziel.

The story is pretty complicated so I’ll give you a quick summary. The Saga begins with  Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, in which you play as Kain as he becomes the Vampire Lord. Enter Soul Reaver 1500 years later where you play as Raziel, who was killed by Kain due to fear of being overthrown. From this point Silicon Knights, the guys who started the saga, are putting Crystal Dynamics, the guys making the saga dope, through all sorts of development hell. Eventually, the other games finally release and bring the whole story to completion.

Now that you are all caught up, the series struggled for a long time to find its ground, always receiving mixed criticism. While some outlets were shooting 7 and 8, others were going 5 and 6. I think this game series deserves a second chance. It had an amazing tragic story to tell, gameplay was crazy fun as you had to constantly shift between realms to complete puzzles, and the environment was so different than anything then or now. This is one game that definitely could benefit from either a remaster, remake, or resurgence.

Chances of a Lucky Revival: 3/10 Crystal Dynamics is very focused on Tomb Raider at the moment. However, the success of Vampyr could effectively bring this series back into the light. It may be time for a vampire boom, a lot of us are kind of zombie fatigued.

2. Syphon Filter

While everyone cries about the ridiculous idea that single player games are going out the window, I’m crying over the death of stealth espionage action. So imagine my surprise when Sam Fisher popped up in Ghost Recon Wildlands and gave a nod to his longest-running direct competitor. See, originally I was writing this with the intent and begging for a new Splinter Cell game. The last one, Blacklist, was phenomenal but it arrived in that “this will probably get a next-gen upgrade real soon” window and so it was skipped by many.

So despite how excited I am that Ubisoft will most likely announce a new Splinter Cell, I’m going to aim even further. Does anyone remember Syphon Filter? Long before Sam, back in the original PlayStation days, there was someone else going toe to toe with Solid Snake. His name was Gabriel Logan. What makes the story of this series disappearing interesting is that it was a first party exclusive developed by Sony Bend. The last game in the series was released for PSP in 2007.

Syphon Filter was almost as quirky and outlandish as Metal Gear Solid. While the latter was about a nuclear warhead wielding super mech, Syphon Filter was about biological warfare. It didn’t carry as much tactical espionage action as Splinter Cell or Metal Gear but it did have its own unique gameplay tricks. There is no concrete clear reason why this series has been neglected for so long which gives me a reason to believe Sony will bring it back when the time is right.

Chances of a Lucky Revival: 4/10 Sony is doing great with its current games stable but it’s shown that it’s not afraid to dive back into older franchises. The lack of stealth action games makes a great opportunity for Sony to muscle itself another exclusive. If we can’t have Snake, we want Logan.

3. Bloody Roar

We should all be fully aware of how much I love fighting games, despite not being very good at them. With that, it should come as no surprise that I would want an old fighting franchise revived. Bloody Roar was the Animorphs of video games. A fighting game that featured animal transformations for every character. In fact, the whole premise was animal transformations.

I feel awfully bad for anyone who never had a chance to experience this series. Characters were the center of what made this worth experiencing. Playable characters to choose from included Gado the Lion, Long the Tiger, and Yugo the wolf. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Things got as weird as Jenny the Bat, Alice the Rabbit, and Cronos the Penguin.

I’m a sucker for compelling stories and although I will admit I can not remember the overall plot I do recall every playable character having a history. History worth paying attention too. The actual fight mechanics felt a lot like Soul Calibur, but other than that there was nothing else like it. And there still hasn’t been either.

Chances of a Lucky Revival: 1/10 Hudson Soft was actively working on Bloody Roar 5 back in 2011 but they went out of business and it was canceled. Not sure who the rights to the IP belong to at this time. With a well-saturated fighting game community and the struggle Microsoft had with Killer Instinct’s revival, I doubt this series will be coming back. At least you can still find BR4 on the PlayStation Network.

4. Primal Rage

Well, you got me started so now I can’t stop. There is another fighting game that I would love to see return and that is Primal Rage. This one is also very animal based but in a different more brutal way. Often described as “Mortal Kombat with Animals”, Primal Rage was extremely brutal. Originally only available to enjoy at arcades, the game ultimately saw itself being ported to PC, GameBoy, SNES, and the original PlayStation.

The interesting thing about Primal Rage is that despite its gory content it was rated T for Teen because, at the time, the ESRB felt it was so unrealistic that it didn’t matter. The game was shrouded in just as much controversy as Mortal Kombat back in those days. After undergoing nonstop adjustments to satisfy the crazy masses and settle the complaints Atari greenlit the development of Primal Rage 2.

Strangely though, after announcing the game and even beginning press runs, Atari canceled the game due to concerns over potential sales. They were literally on the cusp of greatness and then backed away from it. I’m not entirely sure what happened but I feel like there is way more to the story.

Chances of a Lucky Revival: 6/10 You might think I’m crazy, but with Atari’s recent return to hardware development, this could be a solid launch title. Primal Rage did have a solid following and I know people who still bust out the PS2 for this so the potential is there. Plus, the number of things developers can get away with in games now make the golden shower fatalities look like child’s play. Oh, you didn’t know about the golden shower fatalities? You’re welcome.

5. Prince of Persia

Arguably my favorite game series on the list. When Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time first released on PlayStation 2, there was nothing like it. A 3D action adventure puzzle platformer with a great storyline and time-bending mechanics. Literally nothing like it at all. Then came God of War, which covered a lot of the same concepts as Prince of Persia and it made Ubisoft nervous. They reacted by going mature for the sequel, with Prince of Persia: Warrior Within being a lot more adult oriented.

It’s no secret that Prince of Persia gave birth to Assassin’s Creed, but I would still love to see its return. The last two attempts were by no means great. The first being a movie tie-in for the Disney feature-length adaptation starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The second being an odd reboot of the series with a whole new cartoon/anime art style and odd gameplay mechanics. Nothing about either of those two games felt anything like the PlayStation 2 trilogy that brought this classic to life.

Rumors of a new Prince of Persia game were floating around a few years back, but a lot of those rumors ended up being found in Assassins Creed Origins last year. I would love to see a new adventure or a retelling of the PS2 classic trilogy. Whether reliving the old tales or exploring something new with the same antagonist or a more focused adventure.

Chances of a Lucky Revival: 5/10 Ubisoft has a huge stable of expired series and franchises they can always turn back to. At this time though it makes a lot of sense for them to keep POP well guarded because it was an incredible gem for PS2 and eventually PSP.

6. Dino Crisis

If you didn’t know already, Shinji Mikami is responsible for most video game related nightmares of the 90s, early 2000s, and even today. Thus it should come as no surprise that one of the franchises I would love to see revived was directed and produced by this incredible man. Dino Crisis was essentially Resident Evil meets Jurassic Park. And it was amazing.

Dino Crisis, set for some strange reason in the year 2009, has you play as Regina, a member of the Secret Operation Raid Team. The task is to find Dr. Kirk and bring him into custody because he was thought to be dead but instead is working on a secret weapon. What’s the secret weapon? Well, dinosaurs of course. Yea, so dude decided to bring back dinosaurs and use them as weapons.

The gameplay is almost exactly identical to the Resident Evil series and the series itself was doing pretty decent. It had 3 official titles and 2 spinoffs. A fourth installment was reportedly in development but that rumor was continuously denied. The last talk about it was Capcom’s official twitter responding to a request for it with “if a lot of people wish.” That was in December 2017.

Chances of a Lucky Revival: 8/10 I’m shooting high with this one because Capcom has finally started to see the light. I’m thinking the recent success of the Resident Evil remakes and the return of dinosaurs to the big screen could be the push they need. Capcom knows they have a solid gem here so they are holding it tight for a rainy day.

7. Onimusha

And finally the reason I said that Prince of Persia was arguably my favorite. Onimusha was another one of Capcom’s incredible masterpieces. With four official titles and a few spin-offs I was real surprised when the franchise disappeared. The series combined supernatural elements with prolific contributors to Japanese history.

This game had it all. Third person action adventure. An amazing plot to pull you completely into it’s world. Stunning graphics and game design. One of the best combat systems of its time. And stellar puzzles to solve with collectible items scattered throughout. There are varying opinions on whether the games held great replay value but I played most of them multiple times through.

The series plot was completed and tied up nicely with Onimusha 4: Dawn of Dreams, so its not a franchise that died abruptly. A lot of Onimusha inspired Devil May Cry (which also got 4 games before the franchise was refreshed) and some elements can be found in Resident Evil 4. The last game released in the series was Onimusha Soul, a browser based game, in 2012.

Chances of a Lucky Revival: 7/10 This is another Capcom title that I’m betting is tucked safely waiting to come save the day. Similar to Soul Reaver and Dino Crisis, Onimusha could be waiting to see how other similar theme games do. There hasn’t been a samurai based game in a long time but the upcoming Ghost of Tsushima could change the field.

Honorable Mention

>8. Scalebound

What happened to Scalebound? No seriously, WHAT HAPPENED IN SCALEBOUND? The only game on this list that has never actually been playable is the biggest mystery. Announced as a Microsoft exclusive from Platinum Games back at E3 2014. Gameplay was then shown at Gamescon 2015 with a late 2016 release schedule. I was really excited for this game, so much so that I was ready to buy an Xbox One for it. Then it was delayed to 2017. Finally in January 2017 it cancelled entirely.

Everything they showed for the game looked incredibly interesting. Despite some backlash that last trailer received because of it’s “Bro” feel, I know tons of people who still wanted in. We may never know what happened to this game, hopefully Microsoft figured it would be better to save it for the next console they make. You know cause the One isn’t doing great, not terrible just not great.

Chances of a Lucky Revival: 0/10 or 10/10 This ones complicated cause it could be dead for real based on the rumored damaged relationship between Microsoft and Platinum. Or it could be quietly getting turned into a launch title masterpiece for the next generation X machine. Only time will tell.

Is there any game series you want to see revived? Disagree with my choices? Leave a comment and let me know.




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July 7th, 2017 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

A Psychological Experience

In this minicast, Hard Mode Gamers chet:( and Vega talk about a unique video game called Get Even, first introduced @ E3 in 2014.




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June 20th, 2017 by Vega Montanez

In case you missed our exciting and official Hard Mode Gamers recap videos on Facebook, here are all 7 of the event recap videos from our YouTube page. All in one easy and convenient location. Watch and enjoy.

EA Play

Johnny “Sooper Vega” M from Hard Mode Gamers is here to talk about what went down at the EA’s new EA PLAY conference for E3 2017. Overall, it was not as grandiose as traditional E3’s. What did you think of the show? Like and subscribe, and comment below what you think could have been done differently.

Microsoft

Hard Mode Gamers talk about this year’s E3 for Microsoft went pretty well as they unveiled the new Xbox One X and several other great games and services too.

Bethesda

Bethesda had its annual press conference this week and we at Hard Mode Gamers would just like to respond with a solid, resounding, MEH. Mostly disappointing, the brought up games we didn’t expect, but didn’t show us stuff we clearly wanted to see. Did you like the show?

Devolver Digital

This is a recap video of what went on during the extremely NSFW “press event” from Devolver Digital. In truth, this recap video shouldn’t even be here because you should just go see the replay for yourself, but if you need to know what happens beforehand, Hard Mode Gamers has you covered (mostly, no guarantees). The show was essentially one of the greatest shitposts in gaming history.

Ubisoft

Ubisoft is a bit of an oddity. You kind of take the entire publisher for granted and generally write off their games as samey (which is justified, their sandbox games all blend together sometimes). But at the same time, you think back and you realize that a lot of the games you like are Ubisoft products. The company may not be the best it can be currently, but it’s far from bad and this show was pretty decent. Plus, finally, a confirmation on “that game”.

Sony

The editor-in-chief and senior editor of Hard Mode Gamers drove 55 miles (each way), driving for about one hour (each way) to see the Sony Live E3 Experience in a theater. We aren’t angry, we’re just disappointed. Watch our recap to see what we saw at the show.

Nintendo Direct

Hard Mode Gamers were able to catch the Nintendo press conference just before heading into work which was great because the show was less than a half hour of content. But if Nintendo was going for quality over quantity, they hit their mark spectacularly.

How did you feel about this year’s E3? Who won? Who lost? We know it’s not really a competition but it still feels like one. Comment below and tell us what you think!




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June 16th, 2017 by Vega Montanez

Every year the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or better known as E3, rolls out with promises of exciting new games, brand new console experiences, & launch timeframes with precise accuracy. However, none of that is true. Those are the promises that consumers have falsely created through years of up and down presentations and a misguided sense of ownership of this event. It was primarily designed to provide a more exciting sneak peak for the investors of these major companies in order to get an idea of how they will see a return on investment. Every year, the front rows are populated by people who mainly are there to see the crowd reaction to whatever incredible footage is displayed on those massive screens. The following rows are taken up by journalist and members of the press who report on what they have seen for the general public and also for those investors who aren’t at the event. For investors, they get an idea of how interested the general population really is. The furthest back seats, now filled with consumers and fans, were used as camera pits for documenting the entirety of the event. Just taking seating arrangements into consideration, it is pretty clear the general public were never the intended audience and most likely still are not.

Prior to E3, game publishers needed to attend other trade shows, like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), to showcase upcoming products, both software and hardware. After a few unprofessional mistreatments, a crafty idea backed by powerful funding, and a micro war between CES and what would become E3, the new expo was born. Since its first show in May of 1995, E3 has grown to be the premier video game industry showcase in the world, but not without a few bumps along the road of course. The largest point of contention throughout the history of E3 has been the topic of public access. This includes times like allowing too much general public & non-industry bloggers through the doors, (making it difficult for investors to attend press conferences) to the more recent opposite end of the spectrum where publishers are pulling out of the event due to a lack of public access. Ultimately, the goal has always been to please the vendors of the event and the vendors’ primary goal is to financially benefit from the event.

It seems that by attempting to maximize the financial possibilities, companies have allowed themselves to blindly cater to the audible demands of the consumers which unfortunately know no boundaries. Major publishers have made every attempt to pressure developers in to pumping out incredible new trailers for potential new products. Many of these take 3-4 years to release after their first announcement. Other times, they get axed and never actually coming to life. Much of the blame can be placed on consumers’ insatiable desire for more.

Gamers still push for more, knowing they still have plenty on their plate to digest. The outcry is nonstop and hardly are the gamers universally satisfied with the amount of announcements, regardless of quality. Some gamers are satisfied with the mere splash screen of a new game supposedly in development while others require the deep in development showcase of in-engine gameplay. Regardless there will always be an argument for why whatever was displayed by the publisher just was not enough. The craving for more never goes away thus leaving most gamers feeling extremely dissatisfied with the showing of products at every single convention.

E3 has the potential to continue being the greatest and most important event in the entire gaming industry. The consumers are the only ones holding it back. It will not be until the gamers realize that they alone hold the key to the sense of impression and surprise (or lack thereof) that they feel after the event. Every conference can not present an onslaught of new game announcements while at the same time presenting release dates for new games when the video game development cycle on average is 3 years.




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