Archive for January, 2013

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GoogleStore is hocking t-shirts sporting the Ingress Logo along with Faction logos, as well. This agent has a FedEx delivery happening tomorrow, just in time to wear out on the town for Saturday night!

Wanna be like the cool kids?  Order up!
http://www.googlestore.com/Wearables/Ingress+T-Shirt.axd

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Ladies and Gentleman… my Ni No Kuni Wizard’s Edition has finally arrived (only a week late). So as most of you know, I was very worried at the lack of response from Namco Bandai and Digital River regarding my Wizard’s Edition so I went out and bought a standard edition copy of the game last Thursday. I ended up trading this in to Game On in Midland yesterday for a new copy of Pokemon Black 2.

Back to the Wizard’s Edition… The box was slightly smaller than I was expecting but they had a lot of greatness packed inside! Of course there was a sealed copy of the game with the DLC codes for the Golden familiars but there was also a leather bound copy of the Wizard’s Companion that Oliver carries throughout the game, a Drippy plush, a gold coin, a sealed copy of the soundtrack, and some art prints of the game. I was very impressed with the box design and the contents. With these things SELLING on ebay for $400 dollars I am sure glad mine arrived safe and sound.

Fred has been trying to convince me to write out my “first impressions” of Ni No Kuni but I feel I have not played enough yet to give an educated opinion. I will say the game is beautiful and it transitions seamlessly from cut scene to game play. I have to say the game is really difficult (I am playing on Normal)… some of the boss battles are just impossible for me to complete without dying. The battle system is pretty complex and fast paced. I think with time I will get used to it but for right now it can be frustrating for me. This hardly impacts my enjoyment of the game though… I just love these kind of RPGs and look forward to giving my impressions/review as I progress in the story. 

I’ll be working on my take on the game, now that it’s been completed, but I want to move onto a different game over the weekend.  I’ve got 3 in my library that I just picked up on a game hunt with Kara.  I will let all of you decide!

First off, I am happy for anyone out there enjoying Ni No Kuni right now but I have to share my horrible experience with the Wizard’s Edition pre-order. Despite pre-ordering my copy in August 2012 for $100 dollars I have yet to receive any sort of communication from Namco Bandai regarding it’s status or shipment. Recall this special edition could only be ordered via their website.

Luckily I had saved the e-mail from when I placed the order so I was able to log in and see that my order still existed (I have read in forums and on Facebook that many others had their orders randomly cancelled on them). I even see a hold in my checking account for the purchase price but no communication from Namco or Digital River, who is supposed to be handling the shipments.

The Ni No Kuni Facebook page has exploded with angry people waiting on their Wizards Edition and then imagine my frustation when I see Namco Bandai tweet that they are making more editions available on their website! They should be taking care of the people who ordered and paid for day 1 shipping before they release more copies.

Needless to say I am a little worried about my order. Check out the thread below for more information. http://www.namcobandaigames.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=13022

Anyone else in this boat with me? What have you heard?

Ready to jump out of your skin…  Again?  The demo for Dead Space 3 seems to deliver.  It seems like you start off at the beginning of where the full game starts with lots of tutorials for first timers.  (Honestly, if playing 3 is your first time…  Take the time to play the first 2  and come back here when the full game comes out.)  You are hanging upside down from your cockpit harness looking like Luke Skywalker all iced over in Empire Strikes Back.

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You do the normal shooting and moving around.  One thing you may notice is that you are collecting new items.  You are getting pieces and parts of equipment.  This is for building new guns as blueprints.  Unsure if there are schematics like in the first 2 games, but there is si much flexibility to build your guns to how you play, it’s a welcome addition to the game’s dynamic.

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The online co-op is pretty flawless.  You can jump in and out of games at any time and play as John Carver and Robert Norton.  Lobbys are easy in and easy out.  Stomp on some Necromorphs with friends and strangers!

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Oh yeah…  GameStop has their stupid claws in this release too.  I swear, one of these days, you will be able to preorder a game and it’s going to be completed for you.  Power to the lazy cheaters.  :/

Amazon Gold Box Deals 01/22/2013

Posted: January 22, 2013 by karaski in Uncategorized
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Anyone interested in picking up some video games at decent prices today should check out Amazon’s Gold Box deals today. All video games, all day. Their main deal is Far Cry 3 for 34.99, which is an amazing deal that I already jumped on 🙂

Welcome To the Jungle

Posted: January 20, 2013 by karaski in Arcade, Humor, PlayStation 3, Podcast, Review, Video Games

Tokyo Jungle

What do you get when you mix a post-apocalyptic Tokyo and feral house pets? Well you get Tokyo Jungle… a strangely fascinating Playstation Exclusive animal rogue-like RPG from Japan. Rogue-like in the sense that there is permadeath in survival mode. Tokyo Jungle was a physical release in Japan but in the US it’s a download only title on PSN.

The game starts out with an extremely long online user agreement that you must “accept” every time you play even though, outside of the leaderboards, I have yet to figure out where the online interaction is. The game does not give you an option to play online multiplayer (only local). Regardless it’s worth scrolling through that agreement to get to the game.

When you start out only Survival mode is unlocked for you and you must complete objectives in survival mode to unlock chapters of the Story mode. After selecting Survival mode you  have the option of selecting between two animals; a Pomeranian Dog or a Sika Deer. While both relatively small animals they are very different in terms of gameplay. The Pomeranian is a meat eater and has to constantly stalk and kill its food (in the form of other animals in the Jungle). The deer is a herbivore and must hide from other animals and seek out vegetation to eat.

There are territories of the city, each with 4 flags. Your goal is to eat food, rank up (based on caloric intake), and mark 4 flags in the same territory. Once you have marked all 4 flags you unlock the ability to mate with a female of the same race (dog or deer). Two females will appear in your area and you have to seek them out. The females will have multiple categories (desperate, average, and prime). The higher your rank the more likely you can attract the prime female and have more pups. After mating the first time you will leave the nest with 2-9 puppies or deer (basically lives). You then have to move to a new territory and repeat. The goal is to try to survive for as long as you can.

Sounds simple right? Well it’s actually quite complex and VERY DIFFICULT. Prepare to Die. A lot. First off, food is usually very scarce and your hunger bar never stops depleting. You literally have to be stalking and killing all the time with no rest or your hunger bar will deplete and you will die. Secondly, if you don’t find a mate before you turn 15 years old you will die. Thirdly, this world is not just full of dogs and cats there are bears, alligators  giraffes, lions, monkeys, all things that could kill a little dog or deer in a second. Sneak by them or you will die! Fourthly, the game offers 3-4 challenges for each 10-year period. These can be things like “score 4 clean kills” or “intake 5000 calories” and often “take over the cat (insert any animal here) district of Tokyo.” You don’t die if you fail the challenges but you will not get as many points.

This game is right up my alley… an RPG… and super strange. It has more of an arcade-y feel to it than I originally expected in terms of ranking up, the music, the animations for “clean kill” etc. I have managed to survive 54 years on survival mode (playing as the Pomeranian) and unlock two parts of the story. I have only unlocked 1 additional animal (the cat) at this point but I have purchased two animals on the PSN store (A Saber Tooth Tiger and a Panda Bear). I recommend this game to anyone who has 30 minute to 1 hour blocks where they want to sit down and play something. It’s a lot of fun but besides that it’s strangely fascinating and hard to look away!

I had a chance to demo a Neo Geo X Gold over the holidays and found out a few nice things and a few not so nice things about SNK’s supposed “return to power.”

Note:  I did label this as a Gold review because it was the handheld out of the Gold packaging.  I did not get to use the dock or the AES stick.  I did, however, play Ninja Masters…  And it was good! 

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Device:  Let’s start by taking a look at the device, itself.  It feels solid enough.  Squeezing and twisting the unit doesn’t produce any creaks or other odd noises.  The jewel buttons are precise and don’t have a lot of side slop.  The back is rubberized and provides a nice grip for when you are playing and when it may be on an incline during rest.  The SD slot doesn’t have a cover.  This could be an issue, but it’s quite minor.  The d-pad is nice in the fact that there are microswitches like an arcade stick.  It’s a nice throwback to the Neo*Geo CD gamepad or the Neo*Geo Pocket.  The screen has a slight issue with the colors being washed out.  This happens even when the brightness is turned all the way up to help balance out the dingy look on the lower settings.  The panel is actually a 16:9 ratio screen so it will lunchbox your games by default.  (Black bars on the left and right sides.)  Speaking of the screen, the main cover isn’t glass.  It’s a hard plastic.  This will probably scratch like the back of an iPhone (pre-5) like no other. 

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Performance:  It plays ‘Geo games.  21 of them, in fact.  It’s not perfect but it’s incredibly faithful.  Loading a game is fast, jumping into a round of KOF is like going to an arcade…  Just no coin slot.  Keep in mind that the X is an emulator.  Things can be a tad off.  The R button can adjust your aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9 if you want to fill your screen’s real estate.  Another interesting thing about the extra buttons along the edges of the portable, is that it will put a temporary pause to your game as the volume or brightness meters come up so you don’t get owned by an on-coming pile of enemies.  Nice touch!  Dropping out of games is as easy as getting into them.  Just hit the Menu button and you are back to the list.  Speed is good, no lag on games except where it would happen in the real MVS/AES.

After playing this handheld for a few hours, I found that I really like it!  There are many nay-sayers out there that say it’s a pile of junk and it’s not worth it.  Well, from what I’ve seen on the web (with hardware breakdowns and reveals about what Tommo really did to cut corners) I’d say that it’s expensive but not too much where it would tip the scales.  $200 for the Gold pack (Handheld, AES stick, Chibi-AES dock and Ninja Masters) and $129 for the just the handheld, I think it’s still a good price.  Getting an AES with only a few games and 1 stick will set you back MUCH further than $200.  It’s an economical way to get into the world of SNK and their amazing library.  Fist timers and collectors should be pleased with this offering, even with its shortcommings.

GameBlips Podcast S3E3!

Posted: January 12, 2013 by ChoSanJuan in Android, iOS, Mobile Gaming, Podcast, Video Games

Post Holiday EXTRAVAGANZA!

Fred and Kara discuss what was brought and bought over the holidays, lots of Pocket Gaming  along with this month’s documentary: Minecraft – The Story of Mojang.

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Don’t  forget, you can subscribe to our monthly show using the Podcast RSS Feeds on the right sidebar.  Toss it in your favorite podcatcher program on all kinds of playforms like iTunes, Google Listen, gPodder, Google Reader, Double Twist, BeyondPod and MANY MORE!

End song: Underwater Theme (Super Mario Bros.) Guitar Cover provided by FamilyJules7x – http://www.youtube.com/user/FamilyJules7X/ All of his covers are GREAT!

When games were first coming out for the iPhone and iPad they were directed towards the ‘casual gamer’ or someone who might only have a few minutes to waste while waiting at a Doctor’s Office. For some this is still the image they have of iPad gaming but there have been some major developments making the device appealing to ‘hardcore gamers’ as well.

Thanks to my wonderful Mom I received an iPad 2 for Christmas! After installing my ‘must have’ applications like Pandora, I Heart Radio, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube, and Google Chrome I moved onto the gaming section. Now I have to admit, you need to either know what you’re looking for, or dig pretty deep to find the good stuff.

ImageThe first game I purchased was was Bastion, which I own through Steam for my Mac but the app was only $.99 and I never finished it on my Mac due to difficulty with the controls. So I figured for that price I would give it a try and I was VERY happy with my purchase. The game controls much easier with the touch screen (for me anyway) and the game wasn’t cut down at all for the iPad; I didn’t see any story differences between the Steam and iPad versions.

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The graphics are stunning on the ipad screen and gameplay wise I just love the way the narration is based on your actions. I am significantly farther in my iPad copy than I am on Steam and I have played for hours at a time without getting fatigued by handling the iPad. It is a must own for $.99 cents. I can’t encourage you enough to pick this up if you have a device that support the game.

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The next game I downloaded, based on a recommendation from Fred, was Pocket Legends, which is a cross-platform mobile MMORPG that let’s you choose from a few classes (melee, healer, range, etc). In standard RPG fashion they have side quests for you to complete and in standard MMO fashion they also have “lobbys” or home towns where new players spawn and you can group up, trade items, etc.

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I have probably invested an hour or two into the game so far so I have barely scratched the surface of the combat and I have only played as the avian class. I am looking forward to meeting with with Fred and learning more about the battle system. Now, it is one of those so called Free to Play games that makes it’s money through in-app purchases but it’s fun none-the-less and pretty impressive that it works without much issue with people from all over the world.