Monthly Archives: December 2014

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 Jump Festa Trailer — Funny Japanese Fun

Manga is huge in Japan. Like hundreds-of-millions-in-circulation huge. Nothing like comics in the United States. One Piece is HUGE. Japanese love One Piece. One Piece ain’t a dress. It’s some MacGuffin treasure everyone’s searching for. The main character, Luffy, is not only after the One Piece, but the kid wants to be the King of the Pirates. That’s the manga, and it’s also the storyline of the new video game, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3. That’s based on the new Jump Festa Trailer.

It’s a battle game. You have a team. Each characters has powers. There are hordes of bad guys. Kill them all, develop your characters, move up levels, win the game.

What’s the draw here for non-manga fans? Humor, for one. It’s funny. Not ha-ha funny. But Japanese he-he funny. Just look at the guy’s face and the women’s attire. Funny stuff.

It’s also a touching coming-of-age pirate story. Gotta get it.

It’ll be on PS3, PS4, Vita and Steam next summer.

Battle Academy – Battle for Normandy Walkthrough

Battle Academy is the top mobile World War 2 strategy game. Nothing comes close. At $19.99, it’s also one of the priciest but it’s worth it – it reminds me of old-school bookcase awesomeness, Squad Leader.

Here’s how you win the Battle for Normandy scenario.

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Objectives:

    • Clear the beach area.
    • Secure Causeways.
    • Save the paratroopers before they get wiped out.

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Force Selection:

Armor: Add an M4 and an M5 or Halftrack.

Infantry: Add a squad of Rangers, Engineers, and Bazooka

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Clear the Beach

Divide your force into two groups: Center and Right. Group Right will consist of an M4, M5, Recon and two infantry platoons. Everything else will focus on Center.

First and foremost, call for a Naval Bombardment on the Causeway Check-Point. If you schedule it too late, you’ll waste valuable time waiting for it to clear. Hopefully, your Navy should wipe out the main gun and anti-tank placements there. If not, you’ll lose at least one of your tanks.

Also, schedule an Air Strike on the Causeway Check-Point.

To capture the Settlement, flank the pillbox with an M4 and M5. Area fire into the pillbox as your Recon and an Infantry squad approach it through the buildings. The German platoon stationed there should be well-suppressed before assaulting it. The Recon squad should be able to take it on its own, but the infantry there should trail them for support, if needed.

Settlement: Blast, Flank and Assault

Settlement: Blast, Flank and Assault

All your other units of Group Center should focus on taking the bunkers guarding the Main Causeway. Bombard the bunkers with your Self-propelled Howitzer and suppress it with your armor. After a turn, assault both bunkers with your infantry. They need to all move fast and hard and take those bunkers quickly.

After taking the Settlement and the Bunker, move Group Center toward the Main Causeway. Speed is important because the Germans will rain down an artillery barrage on your troops if you get bogged down.

As for Group Right, move them quickly toward the farmhouse guarding the Causeway Check-Point.

You should be able to Clear the Beach by turn 18.

Secure the Causeways

Group Center

Move your Recon up the Main Causeway. Keep your infantry and armor close. As soon as the enemy is spotted, blast them with everything and anything. Move fast and take the first bunker and the church. Again, speed is essential since the Germans will reinforce quickly.

Once you’ve taken the church, you’ll battle German reinforcements for a few turns. Bombard the Farmhouse with your Navy. Wait for their SP Guns and knock them out when they expose themselves. Move your infantry along the hedgerows and flank the village. Take the Farmhouse with an infantry assault.

Use the Hedgerow when approaching the Farmhouse.

Use the Hedgerow when approaching the Farmhouse.

The Germans will also counterattack from the hedgerows in the left. Wait for them and take them out as they cross the open field.

Group Right

Move Recon, locate the enemy and pound them with armor. Be careful of the AT gun. Hopefully, your P-54 will have taken it out. If not, you’ll need to do it with your M4 and pray you’ll get it before it gets you. Move your infantry fast up the causeway and take Causeway Check-Point.

Be careful of the German AT Gun.

Be careful of the German AT Gun.

Save the Paratroopers

You’ll get access to the paratroopers a few turns in. You can’t lose more than 3 Airborne units. Move all of them across the bridge into the heart of the town. Keep the bazooka units out of direct line of fire but in a position to ambush approaching armor.

Ambush is the key to Airborne survival.

Ambush is the key to Airborne survival.

Move as many Group Center units toward the town. Spread them out to cover both the front and left of the Village. The Germans will attack from the left with infantry and halftracks. Their Panzers will attack from across the river. Keep tanks along the bank of the river and infantry in an ambush position in the left. Use Air Strikes and Naval Bombardment to disrupt the counterattack. Total victory will take about 10-12 turns.

Immune Defense on Kickstarter — Is curing people more fun than infecting people?

Infecting people with a deadly disease is fun. In a game. Only a poor excuse for a human being would enjoy wiping out his entire species in real life. But in a game, it’s fun to create, mutate and spread pathogens that can’t be cured. Now, will a game about curing people, instead of infecting them, be as much fun?

Immune Defense is that game. Hopefully. Molecular Jig Games has it on Kickstarter, currently at $9500 of $50K with about a month left.

Kill them germs!

Kill them germs!

What is Immune Defense? There was a movie in the ‘80s called Innerspace. They shrink this pilot (Dennis Quaid) and his space-ship-like pod and inject him into the bloodstream of the village idiot (Martin Short). We see blood cells and all the cool organs and everything. We’d laugh at the special effects now, but it was a good movie. Immune Defense, from what I can tell, is kind of like that.

InnerSpace was a cool movie.  They need to remake it.

InnerSpace was a cool movie. They need to remake it.

You pilot a microbot inside a body and lead an army of white cells in a fight against germs and nasty stuff that makes us sick. Nanotechnology at its sci-fi best.

But the Kickstarter page also has a word that feels like a cold stethoscope on my bare chest: edutainment. Good for teachers, I guess. Not so good for gamers, usually.

A real Ph.D. is behind this, which will make this game bona fide educational material. Bona fide entertainment? Well, doesn’t look like it based on the video. Too much competition out there for it to win out real gamers who want to game, not learn.

It could be, though. Add some serious graphics, levels, and even a multiplayer mode that puts teams of pathogens versus vaccine in one big bodily-fluid flowing battle. That would be entertaining.

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens Trailer GTA V Parody — What movie would you make in Grand Theft Auto?

I would watch an entire movie made in the world of Grand Theft Auto. Yes, the full two hours of it. For now, I’ll settle for trailer parodies like the one for Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens.

Who needs actors? Who needs expensive equipment, crew and sets? All you need is GTA and a console and an editing platform and downtime. Hours and hours of downtime. If I get laid off, this is what I’m doing.

What movie would I remake?

Polanski’s Chinatown would be interesting, and not terribly difficult.

Fast and Furious, as well.

My number one choice, though: Pulp Fiction.

Life is Strange Reveal Trailer — Will your actions in Episode One change your life in Episode Five?

Life is Strange is like a choose-your-own-adventure book except it’s a video game. Remember those? You make one decision, see how it goes, and then go back several pages and make a different decision and see where that goes? That’s this game. The Reveal Trailer shows a teen named Max in a high school world that mirrors all teenage indie high school scenes you’ve ever seen in a movie. Yuppie-hood. Jock with his letterman. Underage smoking (oh, my!) And the loner outcast who we know is a loner outcast because she’s got headphones and a hoodie.

Max’s got a special power, though. She can travel in time. She can go back and change things and it’ll affect the future. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Cliché? Yes, and NO. What’s interesting here is that the game is episodic. Six weeks between episodes. So…if you make a change in Episode One, will it have an effect in Episode Five?

Okay, I slapped myself. That’s fantasy. No way that happens. It’s $4.99 an episode. Meaning, each episode is a self-contained game. So, what you decide now won’t cross over into future purchased episodes. Oh, well.

Episode One is out early 2015 on Windows, PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

The trailer also features snippets from reviews that are only vaguely positive but they’re still fun to read. Here they are. Enjoy!

“Dollops of Twin Peaks… and splashes of Heavy Rain”. – EuroGamer.net

“When Gone Home meets The Walking Dead with time travel”. – IGN

“A deeply naturalistic, playable indie movie”. – GamesRadar

“Plenty of potential to become a critically-acclaimed classic”. – Game Reactor

“Like a Stephen King Novel mixed with…Gone Home”. – Games

 

Top Ten Retro Video Games to give as Christmas gifts

Christmas time means new video game releases, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are top classics on Steam to stuff them stockings with retro lovin’:

10) Stronghold ($5.99)

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Some repetitiveness after a while, but still intriguing fortification action. Love or dread? Dread every time!

9) Mortal Kombat ($9.99)

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The game that changed it all. Every kid of the ’90s remembers those magic words: “Finish Him”.

8) Wasteland I ($5.99)

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This is going way back, but it’s still addictive apocalyptic fun.

7) Civilization III ($4.99)

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I didn’t like this as much as Civilization: Call to Power, but still a kick-rear retro classic that kicked my rear more than I kicked it. How do you win at this really tough game? Get riflemen fast, and then invade, invade, invade.

6) Age of Empires 2 ($19.99)

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What’s better than Age of Empires? Age of Empires 2! Jaguar Warriors rule!

5) Oddworld ($4.99)

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A slave on a quest to save his fellow slaves from being made into lunch meat…. I don’t know of a more worthy quest to spend your holidays.

4) Fallout ($9.99)

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The P.C. game that taught us the value of Stimpaks. And the winking smiley faces. How many smileys did you get?

3) Final Fantasy VIII ($11.99)

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Arguably not the best in the series, but still one of the best RPGs ever. Can’t beat the soundtrack and the big balloon school that flies!

2) Jagged Alliance 2 ($19.99)

Barry Unger is the MAN

Barry Unger is the MAN

I can’t say enough about this game. It is one of the funniest game ever. And addictive. Not bad for a turn-based squad strategy game. Barry Unger is the key. He’s annoying and inexperienced but he’s cheap and he’s super-smart: he’ll learn really fast.

1) Medieval II Total War ($19.99)

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Almost a decade old now, but still hundreds of hours of crusading, conquering and castle-building to be had. Nothing more satisfying than destroying an entire Mongol horde with English Knights.

No Man’s Sky Gameplay Trailer — Where No Gamer’s Gone Before

A year ago I said that No Man’s Sky will be the addiction of 2015. After watching the new gameplay trailer, there’s no doubt. The PS4/Windows adventure from Hello Games will feature both single-player (including offline) and multiplayer modes. The video doesn’t showcase either but gives an idea of how it could work online as each planet gives credit to the player who first discovered it.

The worlds are procedurally generated, which could mean endless possibilities or long stretches of boredom. That’s okay for an exploration game because the longer the periods of nothing, the greater the reward of finding something. It’s not like some lame survival horror game where a ghost pops out from one door and then a different door next reload.

The gameplay video features an ice planet as well as a desert planet inhabited with strange dinosaur-like creatures. It’s eerie to be on the surface of that latter world as these strange beasts look up at you. Probably the closest we’ll ever get to that kind of situation.  Definitely, no gamer’s been there before….

No Man’s Sky is out June 2015.

Dying Light Story Trailer — He’s just a poor parkour instructor, leave him alone

Dying Light has parkour, an open world, and zombies. What more do you need? Well, a game’s gotta have a story, so there’s a story, and when there’s a story, there’s a story trailer. Such is the code of gaminghood these days.

The story is a big wad of playdough – all colors squeezed into one. Here’s the checklist:

Epidemic? Check.

Zombies? Check.

Quarantine zone? Check.

Undercover cop? Check.

Chaos? Check.

Moral ambiguity? Check.

Some dude saying, “I’m not a leader, I’m a @#$# parkour instructor!”? Big Fat Check.

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Yeah, the story is ironed-on but the game looks hot. All that undercover blah-blah aside, the parkour is fast and offers some tense moments as seen in last year’s walkthrough. The key is working with the light of day, which is…dying. When the sun’s up, the zombies are slow and boring. When it goes down, it’s time to party…and parkour! Yeah, baby!

Survival starts PS4, Xbox One and PC in January 2015.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Elder Blood Trailer — Bigger is Better

Epic games demand epic trailers, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has one…or a few…. Actually, the upcoming CDPR game has tons! Or at least it feels like it. They seem to release one every month, which keeps the marketing and mograph peeps busy, but really, how much new stuff can they show?

The latest, Elder Blood Trailer, has more of the same – death, melee, magic, etc, etc – but it’s still fun to watch. It gives us more of the story – peaceful times, bad guys enter the picture, not-so-peaceful times follow. There’s fear, fire and death. Cool stuff.

The game, which is supposed to be huge – like 20% bigger than Skyrim huge, is an action RPG in a massive open world. The gameplay, based on the gameplay video, seems to be like any other action RPG (run around, push buttons, run around some more, push more buttons), but this one looks endless. Just going from one village to another might take an entire Sunday afternoon. Fun times. Of course there will be portals and horses, but I foresee hours and miles of cardio activity.

That’s not a bad thing, but these RPGs set in the middle ages (or equivalent) are always limited in transportation means, which gets repetitive at times. But it’s the search and discovery that is often the draw with these open-world games. Based on the trailers, bigger seems to be better in The Witcher 3 – it is an epic after all.

It’s out February 24th, 2015 on Xbox One, PC and PS4.

Bloodborne Gameplay Video — Playing this game might make me ill

Bloodborne is an Action RPG. In other words, you run around, push buttons really fast, run around some more and push more buttons. No, it’s not a bash’em up from 1987. It’s a PlayStation 4 exclusive coming on March 24, 2015. The game’s also got werewolves, which is always cool, and a ton of blood, but it’s the same repetitive dribble dating back to Atari and friends. At least that’s what it seems based on the new gameplay video.

The title is cool – there’s an epidemic “spreading through the streets like wildfire,” hence Bloodborne, but it’s also the guy’s handle, probably. It’s nice to have an “endemic illness” game that doesn’t have zombies in it.

The video is over three minutes of headache-inducing jerky-camera gameplay. There isn’t a frame of originality in the video. It’s dark, but not eerie enough. It’s bloody, but not gory. Too much repetitive melee. And neither the monsters nor the weapons look all that cool.

And what’s with the guy jumping at 1:01? Looks so stiff, like a cutout sliding across the screen.

Once again, no video is sometimes better than having a weak video. Looks like a big pass at this point, which is a let down since the launch trailer looked so cool

But hey, it’s got werewolves, right?