April 1st, 2019 by Vega Montanez

Standing Amongst Olympians

Sega has been a player in the video games business for quite a few decades. And yet, they still never really manage to get a strong grip. They almost had a huge run with Sonic, but he was quickly bested by the plumber in the red overalls. Enough with the past, Sega is back and ready to rise to the occasion. 

The 2020 Olympics will be taking place in Tokyo next year. Besides already holding the licenses, Sega is taking this opportunity to try to make waves. First headlines were made with eh announcement of “Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – The Official Video Game”. Coming to Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch worldwide. Sega has gone on the record calling this new title “A fun-filled sports action game where you create your avatar and compete in olympic events. That’s right, you too can go for the gold from the comfort of your living room!

https://youtu.be/YbC_L7dnWIU
Our original linked video was taken down so here’s some NHK program. -Chet

Next, they announced the release of a brand new Mario & Sonic at the Olympics. It’s been a long 4 years since the last time we’ve seen these athletes on the field. Mario & Sonic at the Olympics 2020 looks much like past iterations but this time will have mini-games for your Joy-Cons. The only real question here is; will this game feature the movie versions of our two cover stars?

For those of us who have become avid mobile gamers Sega’s got something for you too, because mobile gamers count. Mario & Sonic will be attending the Tokyo Olympics on iOS and Android as well. Assuming the game will borrow some Joy-Con features and optimize for touchscreens, this will most likely be super casual. I’m predicting for sure at least one Temple Run style track and field game. Actually, bets are open.

Not excited about the Olympics!? Fine.

Fear not friends who could careless about professional sports or sports simulations. Or emotionless monsters who can’t find the humor in the “world’s fastest hedgehog” racing against the “most hard-headed plumber of all time”. There is some retro based good news. Sega is bringing a new challenger to the mini console revolution. 

The Sega Genesis Mini will be available on September 19th, 2019. Retailing at the great price of $79.99 the mini console will feature 40 classic games including Sonic (of course), Castelvania, and Ecco the Dolphin. For the record, Ecco the Dolphin is the second most exciting part of this for me. What’s the first? Well I’m glad you asked. So far, 10 of the 40 games have been announced and one of those game is, Comix Zone. Need I say more?

The console itself is reportedly about 55% smaller than the original and comes with two usb powered replica three button controllers. Also packed into the box is a USB to Micro-B cable for power and an HDMI cable for graphic fidelity. Because as we all know, it’s not a retro remake unless it’s in HD. 

What are some of the found memories you hope to relive with the Sega Genesis Mini? And for those excited for the olympics, what’s your favorite thing to have Mario beat Sonic at? And for everyone else, sorry you stuck around for that Vanquish sequel reveal. Believe me, you are not alone.

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remake 2 demo
February 9th, 2019 by Julia Portugueselastname



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remake 2 demo
January 14th, 2019 by Julia Portugueselastname

Re-experience the epic sequel.

First day at new job as a cop, the city gets invaded with zombies. The Resident Evil 2 remake 1-Shot demo( What a mouthful!) came out Friday January 11th and boy do we have a lot to talk about before the full game release happening January 25th!

This is a ground up remake of the 1998 PS1 classic of the same name. The game starts instantly insisting you be able to read. Once you take control of rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy in the zombie ridden Raccoon City police station, right away the graphics are mind boggling! This game is visually stunning, liquid freedom will stream from your eyes.

The attention to detail builds the atmosphere making it very spooky, too spooky for me almost. Controls are fluid, the camera perfectly follows you, and a fantastic soundtrack accompanies the year’s first AAA horror game.

1-shot for those of you who don’t know means you have one chance to play the demo, not one bullet. Please learn from my mistakes. I thought I only had one bullet…. There is a timer that displays thirty minutes. Sadly you can only play up to a certain part. Spoilers: Lt. Marvin Branagh has you take a look at video footage. SPOILER WARNING IN ITALICS. Leon sees Claire and is excited she has made it, lastly you are told how to get to the courtroom to meetup with her.

What happens when you beat it?

The demo thanks you for playing and a trailer of what’s to come rolls. Hunk confirmed as well as the ever difficult tofu mode is back! Yes… You can play the game as a giant blob of soy goodness!

Fans of the Resident Evil series and newcomers alike will enjoy the challenges presented. The enemies are very meaty and take a few bullets to go down. You will eventually get the the ability to stab via the survival knife! In your travels you get to see potential puzzles, other environments to explore, secrets, and signature twisted imagery. That first guard who Leon helps was brutal to look at, those intestines look so real, we have those in our bodies and there it was in my escape from reality!

I truly thought I’d see the infamous Licker in the first long corridor with windows. But the true horror there was Tiffany whom I haven’t seen since high school shrieking about IT WORKS and Herbalife from outside.

I definitely recommend the Resident Evil 2 1-Shot demo (or as I like to call it 5 Nights At RPD) to hold you over until the release day! If you enjoyed previous Resident Evil games, Left 4 Dead, Outlast, and a plethora of others, download the demo today!




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November 13th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Yakuza Fanboy Returns

In this video, presented in DANKVISION, Chet and Vega talk about Yakuza Kiwami 2, and whether or not they should make a Kiwami version of all of the Yakuza games before the next generation of consoles. Just imagine having all 6.5 games on one console! Rampant speculation time agogo! Double KIWAMIIIII!




Meanwhile, Chet the Xbox Fanboy needs to play Kiwami 1. How soon should he play it to further is submission to being a Playstation fan?

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October 31st, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Oh, that’s not… Skeletor?

Kidding, of course, who would take me serious if I didn’t recognize Sir Dan. Let’s be honest. Sir Dan is one of the most mistreated PlayStation Icons of all time. He was there at the beginning of it all and then somehow just disappeared.

Fear not however, it’s Sir Dan’s time to shine. Rumors of a remake had been swirling for a little while and to the surprise of the hopeful, they were true. Sir Dan is back with a remake of the game that made him iconic. The horror/comedy Medievil is getting the full remake treatment. Much like Crash and Spyro, Sir Daniel Fortesque (not to be confused with fortnite) is ready to let the new generation experience the classic 3D platforms.

The announcement trailer arrived perfectly on this Halloween morning. You can check it out below.

https://youtu.be/19Dj520a3Og

Are you excited for the return of Sir Dan? Let us know in the comments section below.




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August 28th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

A fan favorite, me being the fan, is finally getting the remaster treatment. Onimusha: Warlords is the first entry in a PS2 era series that revolves around Legendary samurai Samonosuke going toe to toe with mega warlord Oda Nobunaga. Did I mention Nobunaga also teamed up with the demons of the underworld? No. Well, that’s a thing!

Check out the trailer below and leave a comment!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXeeSHDZQZY&feature=share

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June 8th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

My first Warriors game is a spinoff.

Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition is yet another game seeing a big port from the WiiU to the Nintendo Switch. This counts as a new game because nobody owned a WiiU. Not you, not anyone else, nobody, and it’s a shame because, with titles like Bayonetta 2 and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, some interesting games are finally being discovered. Developed by Omega Force and Team Ninja under the supervision of Koei Tecmo, this game is a compilation title that takes all of the greatest characters from all of your favorite Legend of Zelda titles and contrives a reason for them to be together. You’ll fight hordes and hordes of enemies in the thousands and plow through your opposition under the gameplay hack and slash loop made famous by Dynasty Warriors. Now here’s the thing, I’ve enjoyed quite a lot of Zelda games, but never actually played any of the more POPULAR ones. I played a bit of the original NES version as a kid, then I played Link’s Awakening on GameBoy Color (which is the best Zelda fight me) along with Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, then skipped all the other entries until Breath of the Wild. I’m not going to act like a Zelda fan, which is great, because I’m not and can play this game with a clean slate with minimal hype brought on by nostalgia.

GRAPHICS: 2/2

I played almost 90% of the game on handheld mode and got quite a lot of frame drops compared to playing it docked, yet the novelty of the former mode keeps me playing on it, despite this drawback. This is a game that looks… not bad. Like, it can run on a PS3 with ease but there’s also nothing actually wrong with the graphics. For lack of a better word, the game looks like a game and all the art and well-designed characters really neatly kees the experience wholesome and fun without going out of its way to try and impress you. There weren’t any moments where I actively noticed something looking great, but at the same time I just can’t think of a single moment where I said “that texture looks bad” or “that shadow looks like a blob.”As a Warriors-like game, you’ll have dozens, sometimes possibly hundreds of enemies on screen all at once. One cannot expect a game requiring that much processing power to also look true to life. It’s simply graphics that fit and work, nothing else.

STORY: 1/2

I gotta say, it really is one of those “excuse plot” kinds of stories. The story is delivered mainly in some expositionary dialogue and staring at a map at the beginning and end of every level. There’s also some story that happens on the field, but the big problem with that, and all Dynasty Warriors games, is that there is so much going on in the HUD at the same time. You have the map, popups for quests, and characters chatting in the bottom left corner. That right there is the biggest problem, there’s very little voice acting in this. This is troublesome because with so much going on, all you hear is a non-committal grunt from every character and have to quickly read what they say while still paying attention to what you’re doing. This game could have been better if there was simply more voice work put in. What is in the game for a plot is just okay. It’s just standard Zelda fare. Nothing unique going on, just a battle between good and evil.

Also, you wouldn’t believe this if I told you but there’s a character named Sheik and he turned out to be Princess Zelda in disguise, which is totally a move I never would have imagined.

AUDIO: 1/2

The audio is rather muddy here, with the sound effects and music competing with each other in a “who can be the loudest” contest. As said before, the voice acting is barely present and would have really improved the experience had they just gotten some more talent on board. The OST is a good mix of the power metal of Dynasty Warriors and all of your favorite themes from several Zelda games. And a house track too. But overall, none of the tracks really popped out to me except for the house track, but that’s only because of my bias as an EDM fan. Really, it just comes down to some cheap SFX and lack of voices that keep this section from getting full credit.

GAMEPLAY: 2/2

Imagine the look on someone’s face who’s never played a Warriors game before. Imagine me as I discover the fast-paced action where you carve out enemies by the hundreds. Then I ran around on a battlefield capturing territories and facing boss characters. It was quite an experience that I now probably won’t get to have again, but now that I know what Warriors games are like, I am enamored. It is such a satisfying game to play, and while I initially felt like it was too easy, I soon realized this wasn’t the case. Strategy is a very important part of the game, and being able to kill swarms and swarms of baddies won’t get you very far if you don’t take care of your fellow soldiers. More often than not, they can become a liability, with you frequently having to do “all the work”. Important characters get in danger a lot, your other playable characters don’t do a lot unless you stop and tell them what they should be doing, your forts are always in peril, and miniboss characters will spawn in random areas of the map, putting you on a mad dash to cut them all down. It’s a great gameplay loop, and apparently, a good enough formula to house so many titles in its portfolio of spinoffs and adaptations.

FUN: 2/2

Every time I picked this game up, I intended to put it down after a couple of battles. But five battles later, I’m hooked and can’t stop. The thrill of the battle will keep you coming back every single time, not the plot. It helps doubly that this version of the game comes with all the DLC, adding up to endless amounts of missions for you to tackle. Between the campaign, side quests, free mode, adventure mode, and a challenge moment, it’s well worth the cost for the amount of stuff you can do for days and days. Adventure mode, in particular, has you playing a sort of mini strategy game that includes battles that play out as you move your favorite fighter to square after square on a playing field resembling the older top-down titles of the series.

I’m not even the biggest Zelda fan, and I was thoroughly impressed with Hyrule Warriors. I came in ready for some extreme hackin’ slashin’ button mashin’ fun and got more than I ever could have expected. Consider this one a solid entry, and consider me sold on playing other titles. Just not Dynasty Warriors 9, that game is a travesty.

SCORE: 8/10




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September 14th, 2017 by Vega Montanez

Ya-kuza, He-Kuza, She-Kuza

Yakuza.

The name brings fear into the hearts of many. This historical hallmark of crime syndicates is the centerpiece of this game. Yakuza Kiwami is the latest title in the popular franchise, but also serves as a remake of the original PS2 game. Released worldwide on August 29, 2017, the remake not only sports updated visuals but also updated gaming mechanics. Developed and published by Sega, Yakuza Kiwami tells the story of a mafia member trying to change the entire system in which the Yakuza work.

GRAPHICS: 2/2

One of the most powerful components of Yakuza was its graphical fidelity. Even moreso even on PS2, it looked more stunning than 90% of the games on the market. Yakuza Kiwami keesp the long running series’ history of incredible graphics alive and well. As an official remake it is great to see that no time was wasted and no corners were cut when it came to making sure Tokyo was depicted excellently. Shops in the background pop with just enough vibrancy to coexist with the forefront objects. Emotions can truly be seen in the faces of every character including the useless NPCs on the streets. Cutscenes transition to gameplay incredibly smoothly. Once again Yakuza steps into the market ring and comes out in the top 10%.

STORY: 2/2

Loyalty is one of the most elusive human traits of all time. The Yakuza plot explores this concept at the most extreme levels. The protagonist of the story Kazuma Kiryu takes blame for a murder committed by a close friend. After being curiously expelled from the family and spending 10 years in prison (released on parole for good behavior), Kazuma returns to an all new family that sees him as a threat. One of the strongest selling points of this story is the way that all the side characters feel just as important as the leads. Every conversation held between any set of characters is complimentary to the character development and plot advancement. Very few objectives in the game can be completed without having conversations with multiple side characters and NPCs. The missions that can be completed have bonus rewards or story details that can be found in unnecessary dialogue. A story about what it means to be a loyal member of one of the most deadly organized criminal organizations of all time, this games sits very high on a pedestal of great storytelling.

AUDIO: 1/2

As an American gamer with interest in Japanese storytelling, the lack of American voiceovers is off-putting for some and perfect for others. The subtitle translation is nearly flawless however. The sound of the city is slightly lacking and in many points can feel lacking and hollow. When the ambience gets it right though, it gets it perfect. The chatting of people on the street corners about the fight that just took place really fills in the liveliness of the world. Overall the sound is nothing to be blown away by but also nothing to shake a finger at in shame.

GAMEPLAY: 2/2

One thing that has to be addressed is that most Japanese game developers have an obsession with trying to fit in every possible gameplay mechanic in one. Yakuza as a series is no exception. Yakuza Kiwami has taken the original and packed it with all the flavor from the newer games. Mini games are abundant throughout the city, with some even being major components of the narrative. And of course not mentioning the fighting game mechanics would be completely foolish. 4 fighting styles that can be upgraded, and maximized individually, adds a flair to gameplay that is lacking in most other modern day RPGs. Along side the fighting style, ways to go about traveling the city have to be acknowledged as well. One particular mechanic is the inclusion of the follow button. During missions where the player has to blindly follow some other character in the game, holding the R2 button will take care of all the work. There isn’t anything completely out of the ordinary, which can partly be attributed to it being a remake, but Yakuza Kiwami excels excellently at executing the normal exceptionally.

FUN: 1/2

An overwhelming level of RPG elements take the Yakuza games very far from being the Japanese version go Grand Theft Auto. With a slew of different gameplay styles, the complexity of the game may be discouraging to many. Those who find themselves deeply ingrained in the story will enjoy exploring everything it has to offer. The fun factor in this particular series comes from the amount of depth to the Japanese culture that can be explored. as a pick up and play for a few minutes probably not the best option as it is hard to really get anything out of that. However, the game is fun enough to make the 3-4 hours of gameplay required per sitting to get anything done more than worth it.

Yakuza Kiwami has set the standard extremely high for the remake world. Updated visuals put a brand new spark into the entry of an amazing series. Well balanced gameplay and outrageous unique elements keep the game exciting and fun during every session. The most powerful element of the game however is absolutely the story it tells. Loyalty, conviction, self development, and growth are all just a few of the topics that the narrative covers. If Yakuza Kiwami is the beginning of a strong gaming season, it opened the gate with a strong forward kick.

[SCORE: 8/10]

 




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August 6th, 2017 by Wayne "Big Gorgeous" Henrique

Crashing into the past!

 

Nostalgia will continue to keep selling and selling and selling until we finally tell it to stop. Hard Mode Gamers got a chance to play the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and feel strongs feelings about it.




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