Are you a born warrior? Battlefield 1 Awaits you!

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1

To satisfy the inner urge of a warrior soul, EA DICE Developers offers Battlefield 1, the shooter video game, a platform to fight off your rivals. The battlefield1 takes you to the warzones of World War-I, which makes you delve into the ruthless warfare of the great Old times. Battlefield1 is a first person shooter game that is designed for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One platforms. It makes you feel the fierce battle among the battalions of hostile countries that use combat vehicles and deadly weapons for mass massacre of the opponents.

Explore the warzones around the world

The battlefield 1 leads you to an epic scale of war. You find yourself surrounded by the opponents’ armies and your allies at the same time. You’re equipped with lethal weapons and combat vehicles to crush out the enemy, while fighting in the battlefields of Monte Grappa, to the deserts of Sinai, along the Italian coasts, across the lush green Argonne Forests, in the majestic Fao Fortress, and across the Sun-blessed Arabian Desert. You might not lose in the varied geographic locations; the game offers you detailed maps of the battle fields that guide you through the warzone.

Make a Strategy to defeat the Dynamic Weather

Dynamic Weather

Weather is an added foe of you in the game, which presents an ever changing landscape. While you’re heading to sabotage your enemies, while there is a continuous rainfall of shells and bombs around you, while opponents’ horses are galloping just behind you, the sudden appearance of a powerful sand storm adds to the chaos, forcing you to change your strategy (option). It’s the game of nerve and grit. The best thing available to you is “Options;” a wise selection of an Option may save your life.

Fight off your Friends and Family as your Opponents

Opponents

The Battlefield 1 is a Multiplayer game as well, it supports up to 64 players simultaneously. You can enjoy the game with your friends and family. It offers Multi-Modes; the players can choose any one of their choice. The Multi Modes include; the Boot camp Mode, Conquests Mode, Domination Mode, Operation Mode and Team Deathmatch Modes to name the few.

Conclusion

The game depicts a mission of total annihilation of the old world, to pave ways for the creation of new world. The players observe ruthless killings, bloody slaughters, and all the violence that was part of the World War-I. It’s an appropriate game for adults of ages 18 and above, keeping in mind the content of the game. The Battlefield 1 takes you to a Historical trip, while you peep through the new landscapes, and familiarize you with new characters that were involved in the World war-I.

If you want to explore more about the game, you can visit www.vgamerz.com/new-battlefield-1-campaign-footage-is-utterly-hopeless/ . The game leaves strong emotional effects on you even after you have turned off your PlayStation. The battlefield1 is designed to be played on various gaming Platforms. However, if you want to enjoy the game at your laptop you might get useful information about that in this article www.vgamerz.com/best-laptops-for-battlefield-1-2016/ . If you would like to play the battlefield1 together with your friends and family, don’t forget to share this article with them, to experience the joys of playing together.

Tales of Berseria Review: The Game For Every JRPG Fan

Tales of Berseria Review

Platform: PS4, Steam

Publisher: Bandai Namco

Release Date: January 24th, 2017

In a genre permeated with the new generation growing weary of traditional JRPGs, the Tales series has remained steadfast. Despite the clamor for open world environments, the series has attempted to update it’s style while staying true to its roots. Tales of Zestiria was a step in the right direction but fell short with fans. I brought Zestiria, the collectors edition in fact, and while there weren’t any egregious errors, I just didn’t care enough to finish the game. Tales of Berseria, set 1000 years before Zestiria, is a return to form for every JRPG fan.

Disclaimer: This review may contain some light spoilers for early parts of the game.

Awesome:

“Everything is worth watching and discovering to learn more about the characters and the world”.

Story is Dynamic Dark and Engaging

Velvet's Demon Arm
Image Credit: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/tales-of-berseria-ps4/

The story follows the adventures of Velvet, a once doting sister turned vengeful demon. After a certain event unfolds in the first hour of the game, she is exiled to a jail cell for 3 years. In that time she has snacked on demons and had plenty of time to plot her revenge. With the help of her brother in laws Malakhim Seres, she escapes from the jail picking up the beginning of her rag tag group of companions. Mind you, this is only 2 hrs or so into the game and the world unfolds from here. It is easy to take this story at surface value but stick with it and you won’t be disappointed.

The story is told through the series staples skits, anime cut scenes and in game cut scenes. Everything is worth watching and discovering to learn more about the characters and the world. If you played Zestiria or watched the anime there are many call backs. Players will be able to see how the names and lore have changed. For example Malakhim are Seraphs that are able to be seen by the general population after the events of the prologue. Why did things revert? The game will explain it.

Berseria’s Characters Are Awesome

Tales of Berseria Party
Image Caption: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/tales-of-berseria-ps4/

This game follows the traditional scope for JRPG tropes. The only outlier may be Velvet because she is the anti hero to Zestiria’s Sorrey. She is selfish, arrogant, single minded in her revenge with no remorse. For some that has been a turn off but for me it is refreshing. One of the themes of the game is reason versus emotions. The characters are battling this dichotomy through out the game and it’s intriguing to see how it manifests itself in each one.

The skits and side quests help to further flesh out the characters, their motives and growth. If you’re a side quest skipper I wouldn’t suggest it for this game because you may miss things. You won’t miss anything major and important things are reiterated in the main quest so never fear. There have been some conversation about the English voice acting but I found it fine. Players have the option to change it before they start every save so test it out.

Music and World Building is Perfect

Environments in Tales of Berseria
Image Credit: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/tales-of-berseria-ps4/

Full disclosure, I’m not a fan of open world games. But this game seems to get the formula just right. With the inclusion of fast travel and items to lower enemy encounters players can travel the world unhindered if they choose to. The world is colorful, big and littered with random items and treasure chests. Early in the game players are tasked with finding various Katz by collecting Katz orbs that are everywhere. Opening these chests are easy especially if you go on foot.

Katz and Orbs
image credit: www.Gamona.de.com

The environments are not repetitive and reflect the region they are located. Hellwaus is an icy cold climate so there is snow everywhere, the NPCS are wearing parkas and the enemies tend to be colored in deep blues. The area music tends to be light giving the area personality. The whole thing flows and fits for each place characters visit.

Quality of Life Changes For Everyone

tales of berseria options menu
image credit: https://www.pcinvasion.com/tales-of-berseria-pc-technical-review

Players can customize every part of their game play experience at will. I mentioned the voice acting can be changed at the beginning of every game. The games battle difficulty can be changed in game at any time. When the game starts the sound came from my controller and TV. That can be changed at will as well. The skits can now be skipped through to help the time pass quickly. If there is a side conversation available the NPCS have a green exclamation point above their head. This even counts for staying at the Inn so players no longer need to waste Gil to not miss scenes.

I mentioned the Katz chests above but these chests also contain the costumes for the characters. One of my gripes was being nickeled and dimed for these, and you can still buy them, but there are more in game options.

Not So Great:

Skits May Be Too Long and Too Plentiful

Berseria Skits
Image Caption: http://www.dualshockers.com/2016/09/14/tales-of-berseria-gets-lovely-1080p-screenshots-in-english-and-new-trailer/

This is an odd complaint since I said this is a good thing about the game. Sometimes you want to get from A to B and you’re unable to do that because the game will stop you for conversation. When it does it can appear to be long winded especially if the skit is comedic. While it’s awesome for character building it can be annoying for players that want to grind away.

It’s Hard To Get Ingredients For Cooking

TOB cooking menu
image credit: http://www.abyssalchronicles.com/tales-of/tales-of-berseria

Cooking is always one of my favorite things in the Tales series but they made it more complicated. There is a basic recipe that players can easily buy and find ingredients for but some others require an extra step. Players will need to use the ship exploration to find new recipes and ingredients for those recipes. The game keeps track of where you get them but you have to wait a 30 minutes to get it. Even then, those ingredients are RNG based so you may not get what you need. As you travel to different locales foraging for the stuff in dungeons and the environment may help but I just want to buy it.

The Battle System Is Fun But May Be Broken

“At this point, I can probably perform Power Ranger call outs of all Eizen and Magilou’s Mystic Arts”.

Battle System
image caption: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/tales-of-berseria-ps4/

I wasn’t a fan of Armitization in Zestiria. I wanted to see all my characters on screen and didn’t want powerful spells locked behind combining. They did away with that system in Berseria. However, Velvet has the potential to allow players to button mash and strong arm their way through the mobs with no real strategy or skill. For example, when she is in her demon form she can’t be killed but her health is ticking down faster the longer she is in the stance. This quirk can be exploitable if you know what you’re doing.

The way the game tries to explain the battle system can be a bit confusing and overwhelming as well. Luckily the help tab is easily accessible for review at any time for pointers. Artes are still here in their Tales glory but when your other characters perform them there is no way to shorten or skip the sequence. At this point, I can probably perform Power Ranger call outs of all Eizen and Magilou’s Mystic Arts. It may be annoying for some players but I can tune it out.

Enhancements, Dismantling and Mastering Skills Can be Overwhelming

Tales of Berseria weapon system
Image Credit: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/tales-of-berseria-ps4/

I’ve used this system for the characters weapons and I’m still not sure what I’m doing. The game will throw repetitive sets of gear at you but each one may have a unique extra skill attached. The characters can permanently learn the skill that each piece of weapon/armor contains after their earn enough experience for it. What that means is that characters may have on a low level piece of gear even if a better one has come along until said skill is mastered.

This has become more of an issue for me as later party members trickled in. There were sets of gear that I dismantled that may have had skills for them to learn. Players will either, not worry about it, save sets of gear until they get a whole party or re-buy old sets of gear to have the party member learn skills later on. I went with the save set option once I figured out the pattern. The one bright side is that there does not seem to be a limit for the amount of items and armor you can carry so horde away.

Exploration and Hide Out Are Underwhelming

Exploration in Berseria
Image Caption: http://www.dualshockers.com/2016/09/14/tales-of-berseria-gets-lovely-1080p-screenshots-in-english-and-new-trailer/

I mentioned the exploration when it comes to recipes but it serves another purpose. Players can find extra outfits, rare sell-able items and special items that provide lore for the world through exploration. Players will have to send the ship out constantly at 30 minute intervals to unlock additional islands. This feature while interesting didn’t add much to the experience. Another feature was the introduction of a hide out players will acquire for story reasons. There is no way to customize the building at all which is a let down. Since players can already get costumes from exploration, incorporating furniture in the finds may have helped make it feel more like home.

Menus Make The World Go Round

Tales of Berseria menu

Most JRPGS have menus in it. It comes with the genre and it is to be expected. This game just appears to have an abundance. There are so many tabs that the game makes fun of you and gives players a title for it. The good thing is that they are easy to sort through and manage to stay organized.

Nope I Don’t Like This At All

“I had to train myself to look in that corner at all times in fears of missing a skit or wasting valuable exploration time”.

Why Are the Notifications There?

I have virtually no complaints about this game except for one thing, the placement of notifications. In the lower right hand side there are two icons, one for when your exploration ship returns and when a skit is available. The exploration icon is a gray white ship that is kind of easy to spot. The skit icon is a green outline of a person and the name of the skit doesn’t always stay active. I missed this entirely for the first 2 hours of the game. Mainly because a lot of the environments have blend-able backgrounds like grass. I had to train myself to look in that corner at all times in fears of missing a skit or wasting valuable exploration time.

Who Is This Game For?

Tales of BerseriaDisclaimer: Since this is my first review for the site I will say that I do not care for traditional review scores and will instead recommend if this game is worth the time of the player.

This game is for JRPG enthusiasts who want some comfort food. In the vein of I Am Setsuna, Tales of Berseria scratches an itch that Final Fantasy 15 left wanting. If players are into story, character development, free extras and plenty of game modes to challenge themselves with this is a good fit. It is worth the 60 dollar launch price and if you were like me, the Collector’s Edition provides some great goodies as well.

Have you played Tales of Berseria? What did you think of the game? Did you have some of the same likes and dislikes? Let us know in the comments section.

The Next Assassin’s Creed Game Eyes to Bring the Franchise Back to Relevancy

Assassin's Creed Assassin's

Assassin’s Creed Game

A decade ago, Ubisoft introduced us to a world like no other. The world of Assassin’s Creed, where the Assassin’s are the good guys and the Templers (those who stand for the wrong goals) are the bad guys. Since then, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has built a platform on the seemingly endless battle between Assassin’s and Templars. Venturing from location to location across history’s greatest time periods. From: The Italian Renaissance, Ottoman Empire, the American Civil War, Victorian England, the Age of Pirates, and the French Revolution.

For now, the next installment of the franchise will continue their tradition of fighting within the past. If following the rumors, it looks like the next title game for the Assassin’s Creed franchise will be called, Assassin’s Creed: Empire. However, Ubisoft has yet to confirm this.

So, where will they take us this time?

Easter Egg Within an AC Game

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
http://www.thegamerzfunk.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ac4bf_wallpaper1920x1080.png

Scouring the internet is a lot of fun. Especially when the fandoms are in full force yelling at one another about the who, what, where, and when. However, Ubisoft themselves have dropped a few Easter eggs to the next possible Assassin’s Creed game.

Let’s start with the oldest one that got a lot of rumors flying. This one dates to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

Now, if you were strictly the story you may have missed this one. This was not one that in the heart of the game, rather it is found when the present-day character can move about Abstergo Industries. Looking through the emails on the computers, you would come across one that shows the name Osiris and a view of pyramids. Hinting of a possible character/title and the location. Ancient Egypt, perhaps?

Osiris after all is the Ancient Egyptian God of the dead who laid final judgment of your place in the afterlife. Kind of fitting since Assassin’s basically lay a similar judgment upon their enemies.

Easter Egg in Ubisoft’s 2016 Game

Watch Dogs 2 gameAnother playful and clever tease and Easter egg Ubisoft unleashed upon its Assassin’s Creed fan was within its big game release of 2016, Watch Dogs 2.

In one of the side missions offered, you’re tasked with stealing the newest game trailer for Ubisoft’s upcoming game. As part of the mission, you intercept a phone call between two Ubisoft employees discussing the security of the trailer. One employee stating the after the leaked trailers of Unity, Syndicate, and Osiris, they want assurance it won’t be hacked and leaked. There’s that name again!

Subtly hinting that the rumors a leaked picture and trailer (check video below) on the web that were allegedly of the next Assassin’s creed title could be true.

What to Expect

Assassin’s CreedExpectations on Assassin’s Creed games have always been high. Especially after the release of the original Assassin’s Creed and its direct sequel, AC II. This is when the company started pushing out a game annually to satisfy their fans. This started a decline in the success of the franchise. The franchise could have possibly saw death with the release of Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Thankfully, Syndicate kept the franchise above water for the time being.

This sparked a change of winds for Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed. They went on to make the decision that they will not make a yearly game anymore. Allowing the developers to release games that are complete and full of their best work. Meaning no more bugs, glitches, and poor execution. Even if that means yearly gaps. Not to mention, Ubisoft has been looking to get rid of the boring dialogue dominant story and turn their focus to be more decision based. Much like The Witcher III setup.

This brings us to now. It’s been over a year since we last saw an Assassin’s Creed release and we’re only left with leaks and Easter eggs.

Will we see the Assassin’s in 2017? As of now, we probably won’t. But one thing is clearer than ever. Ubisoft has all of us on the edge of our seats again. Let’s see this time around if a lengthy wait will be truly worth it.

RUMOR ALERT: Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls VI Project on the Horizon?

Bethesda's Elder Scrolls VI Project

Has The Time Come for The Next Chapter in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls Franchise?

It’s 2017 already. Thus, marks the beginning of year 6 since the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been released. Although, sure…you can argue and say the October 2016 release of the remastered version of Skyrim for the next-gen consoles and PC counts. But, it’s not the release we really were excited for. Bethesda for the most part have been hush-hush on opening coming out and saying the Elder Scrolls VI project is in the works. But, just because they haven’t said it doesn’t mean they haven’t been hard at work on it.

It’s clear that Bethesda doesn’t need to follow the popular trends to be successful. They’ve paved their own path to success and it continues to work well in their favor. They’re never in a rush to release sequels to popular games. Unlike, some other companies. I’ll leave names out of it but they know who you are (Hint…Call of Duty).

Bethesda aims to please. They strive to create the best possible game no matter the time is takes to do it. Just look at the gaps in years between sequels of some of their games; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion to Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim took 5 years. Dishonored to Dishonored 2 took 4 years. Fallout 3 to Fallout 4 took 7 years. Shall I go on?

Time means very little to the developers at Bethesda. However, is anyone complaining? The results speak for themselves. ($750 million in sales for one day during the release of Fallout 4)

Official Unofficial Hints

Being completely direct, in an IGN interviews with Studio Head Todd Howard after 2016’s E3 conference, Howard said that Bethesda will be making a new Elder Scrolls game. I know—lets the cheers rain down!

However, that’s about all that has been official when talking about the next instalment of the Elder Scrolls franchise. Howard never said Bethesda was currently working on the game current though. Which, for a lot of us sounds like more waiting. Sadly, that’s the truth. But just how far away are we from getting our next fix of the Elder Scrolls?

The Waiting Game

It’s safe to say that none of us shall expect another Elder Scrolls game in the next couple of years. Studio Head of Bethesda, Todd Howard, has said that the Elder Scrolls VI development is “very long off” from any kind of release. As you may already know, the Elder Scrolls huge world design is not a simple feat to accomplish. Especially now that the next-gen consoles have introduced the stunning 4K formatting.

Bethesda has stated after Dishonored 2 dropped in late 2016, that they’re working on 2 huge projects that much like the size of Skyrim and Fallout 4. These 2 games will  be released before the Elder Scrolls VI project will be.

If Skyrim was any indication of how advanced Bethesda is looking to expand and improve-on means, we could be getting next-level pioneering in effects and gameplay as a result! You know…when it does come out.

The Conclusion

As for me, all I can say is it’s going to be a journey to its release. I don’t expect to TES6 to be released until 2019 at the earliest. Maybe at 2017’s or 2018’s E3 Conference we’ll finally be told much more about the future of Elder Scrolls VI. Until then, keep playing gamers.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Is Almost Here!

Resident Evil 7 game

The highly-anticipated release of Capcom’s Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is almost upon us. After being teased at 2014’s E3, gamers have long been marking their calendars for the day they will finally be able to slide this baby into their consoles. Well—the time is almost here. On January 24th, we all can pretend to line up politely then make that relentless mad dash to the checkout counter. Excitement is understandable, but let try to be a “little” civilized folks. I love throwing some elbows as much as the next guy, but remember to BREATHE. We’re all gamers waiting for our copy, no fight club please.

We’re looking at an incredibly stacked year for gaming in 2017. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard will be the first of the big games to drop. The horror-survival game looks incredible! Presented in the finest format available; the 4K resolution is truly awe-inspiring. The long gameplay demo release at this past years E3 conference showed an improved stunning environment. From the eerie rooms and hallways, the life-like look of the weapons, even down to the unbelievable effects of the wounds on the body and the blood.

For the first time, you will play in the first-person. Making it even more horrifying to the user experience. If that’s not enough for you, RE7 for the first time ever will also be available on VR (virtual reality) for PlayStation VR. Imagine submersing yourself into a first-person horror-survival game where all your senses are essentially being attacked while being forced to keep yourself alive. It sounds…so much fun! I honestly can’t wait for the hundreds of YouTube videos of people’s reaction to playing this on VR. Someone’s definitely thinking outside the box over there at Capcom.

In terms of gameplay, the creators have stressed “not to expect a shoot off”. Making it sound like you will need to manage your ammunition wisely if you aim to make it to the end. Calling for the much useful real life skill of improvising. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect some of lethal weapons at your disposal. You’ll be able to wield: the always handy chainsaws, powerful explosives (grenades, etc.), flamethrowers (because who doesn’t love a flamethrower?), and the original classics like handguns and shotguns.

Some of the new features include puzzle solving and healing ingredients, like herbs. The healing herbs are a huge benefit to the constant chaos and damage you’re sure to encounter throughout the game. The interesting new thing I believe is the puzzle solving. I mean think about it, imagine trying to deal with a puzzle of some kind and being attacked in waves by monsters and infected people. That battle of focus will undoubtedly by challenged to epic proportions while trying to solve a puzzle. It sounds so stressful…I can’t wait!

I’ve been trying to patient for the release of this game. Truth is, it hast happened. One of my best friends asked for this game for her birthday and I jumped for joy by preordering it as her birthday gift. She went crazy, as one sane person would. Getting the gift of joy. Of course, that joy comes in a box of horror with ominous noises. But besides that, pure joy.

We’re coming down to the end now; Under 2 weeks until the release date. This early contender for GOTY (Game of The Year) should delight fans as the past 10 have. The new improvements with gameplay, design, and format, set this game up to be played day after day. For all the gamers of the world, prepare yourself for this game. It’s one not to be missed or delayed in playing. Don’t let your friends tell you how good it is, go experience it first. Check it out on January 24, January 26th in Japan.

Kite Game Review

Kite Review

In the distant future, weapons development and research has been banned worldwide. Sounds like a difficult thing to keep in check, right? Such is the case, as secret weapons base Arch City continued their research, hidden away from the Kite Review world. A robot outbreak threatens to destroy everything Arch City has worked for, and now it’s up to you and your Human Operated Remote Droid – or H.O.R.D – to take back control.

Lab Cat Games’ Kite is a fast-paced top-down shoot ’em up beaming with retro flair. The first thing you see upon booting up the game is a fierce looking woman right before she gets outfitted with her droid equipment. The whole sequence is oozing with 80’s cyberpunk flavor, and it sets up the sci-fi mood of the game. Kite is filled to the brim with bright and colorful pixel art that creates a clear image of the city. Speaking of Arch City, you’ll be exploring outdoor, lush environments with all sorts of trees and plants. At the same time you’ll be wandering in an out of hi-tech buildings littered around.

kite-review-02

Mags, the name of the H.O.R.D you control, has three slots for weapons. She can carry two small weapons which include pistols, swords, shotguns, and the like. Additionally she can carry one two handed weapon for the big guys, which include what you’re probably expecting – rocket launcher, rail guns, and more. Kite plays out like a typical top down shooter, and swift bullet dodging is the name of the game here. To help you out, Mags is equipped with a bullet time-esque ability called the “Tempo Drive” that lets you elegantly weave around incoming projectiles. She also has turbo legs that lets her zoom around at the speed of sound. To top that all off, she also has access to two special abilities that can be swapped out for different ones. Basically Mags is packing heat, and you’re going to need it!

The early levels of Kite are designed to get you used to the volatile pacing of the game. Picking off enemies one by one is one of the best methods of dealing with any group of enemies, and to do this you’ll need to take things slow. You’ll learn quickly that rushing in guns blazing will get you overwhelmed very quickly, and when things get super chaotic it’s almost impossible to keep up with the action. Remember the trees and plants we mentioned earlier? Those can abrupt into flames if you shoot them, and fire lingers around for a couple of seconds. Touching the fire will appropriately damage Mags, so it’s a bit of a control mechanic. While there definitely is a time and place for shooting everything in sight, control and precision are rewarded too. Some levels also have mines hidden around, and they’re only destructible if you’re close enough, further reinforcing this design.

Of course, we can’t all be perfect and precise, and there will be moments where you are completed outnumbered and overwhelm. This is where the combat of Kite really shines, as utilizing every tool at your disposal feels fast, fun and extremely satisfying. Mags has about four different resources you’ll need to manage, not counting her health and shields. You have weapons that run on energy, weapons that run on bullets, your turbo legs, and your tempo drive. Managing all of that plus using your two abilities all the while dodging enemy gunfire takes some practice, but once you pull it off you’ll feel like a invincible combat droid.

kite-review-03

The RPG elements also complement the gunplay perfectly. As you rescue researchers, you can develop better gear for Mags. Mags has a ton of different equipment slots, much like an action RPG. There are also the aformentioned weapon choices that let you play Mags however you want, from a long range sniper to a close, in your face laser axe wielder. Mags also has access to four different upgrade trees, much like character specializations you find in MMOs. The four different trees are tailored towards Mags’ base abilities, so you can build her to your favorite playstyle.

Kite is a slick game that is not only fun to play but cool to look at as well. The RPG elements go hand in hand with the shooting action and doesn’t feel tacked on. The different weapon types and upgrades give you plenty of options to play around with and adds a lot of replayability. Pick up Kite if you want some good ol’ shoot ’em up action wrapped up in a stylish package.

Final rating: 8/10

Hearthstone: One Night in Karazhan Cards Preview #2

Hearthstone

Things weren’t off to the best start with some of the first cards we saw being added with One Night in Karazhan, but the full list is now available and we can make some definitive statements on what we can expect in Hearthstone‘s near future. Hearthstone Let’s see if this update saved its best for last and how it will shape the game.

The developers are really pushing for Discard Warlock to be an archetype and this one card could be what makes it a reality.  The biggest drawback to discarding has always been that, even with a hero power that draws cards, it quickly drains your resources and you simply can’t regain momentum.

MalchezaarsImp

Malchezaar’s Imp allows you to maintain momentum even while discarding several cards and has a strong stat line to keep it alive long enough for a considerable effect.  The one caveat is that the deck would have to be aggressive in nature if you’re discarding that many cards as you can’t risk losing anything too valuable.

VioletIllusionist

Given how powerful aggro decks have been for so long, I welcome something like Violet Illusionist into the game with open arms.  Granted, she won’t be enough to counter aggressive decks on the same level as Antique Healbot on her own, but she’ll offer more survivability across the board without being overpowered.

Zoobot

Hey, neutral beast-synergy that isn’t junk.  It also works with dragons and murlocs, but only one for each.  It’s a bit of a strange concept, but you really only need it to hit one of your minions for this to be good.  Even if you have to play it on it’s own, it still has a decent stat line on its own.  It’s less so now that 3/4 minions are becoming more and more common, but it still looks like a decent card.  It’s just strange to think of where it will find its place in constructed with how sporadic its effect is, but just remember that you don’t always have to get maximum value out of card for it to be good.

MedivhGuardian

The final prize at the adventure’s end, Medivh, is interesting for a couple reasons.  For one, it shows that characters who are already playable heroes can also be cards, which could have some interesting results in the future.  Second, he gives you a neutral weapon that spends its durability whenever you cast a spell to summon a random minion matching the spell’s cost.  We’ve already seen this effect with Summoning Stone, but the Atiesh weapon has greater potential as your opponent won’t have an easy way of removing it.  Cards like Acidic Swamp Ooze can counter it, but it’s not something that is going to drive cards like that up in the meta on its own.  The high cost and unpredictability will probably make Medivh too niche for most competitive decks, but he will definitely find his place in certain control decks.

Purify

♫The rich get richer♫

♫And the poor get poorer♫

♫And Ben Brode lauuughs at your pain♫

I certainly hope that the bosses in this next adventure are at least fun, because One Night in Karazhan is undoubtedly the weakest Hearthstone expansion in terms of a meta shift.  Between Firelands Portal making Mage stronger and Purify making Priest weaker, this expansion is not only maintaining the status quo, but actively cementing it.  There are a few new archetypes that can emerge from some of the new cards, but most of it merely supplements what is already dominant in the game.  All signs point to Medivh throwing a lame party and I already feel like I have a remorseful hangover.

What are your thoughts on One Night in Karazhan?  Do you have more optimism for what it can offer Hearthstone than I do?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Hearthstone: One Night In Karazhan Cards Preview #1

One Night in Karazhan is bringing some of the most fondly-remembered boss fights from World of Warcraft into Hearthstone and, while they’re always fun challenge, it’s the cards they award that make a lasting impact on the game.  While adventures introduce significantly less cards than card packs, just one or two especially good cards can turn the entire game on its head (e.g. Undertaker, Grim Patron, Tunnel Trogg).

Let’s go over some of the new cards that have been revealed and see where the game may be going with this update.  Be sure to also check out the announcement article which briefly discusses three more new cards that won’t be examined here.

Firelands_Portal

One of the themes for new cards being introduced with this expansion are the portals.  There will be five different portal cards, each for a different class and each with a different effect, and the Firelands Portal will be the first one you get as one of three cards rewarded from the free prologue mission.  For constructed play, this portal probably won’t see play as a simple Fireball is much more reliable in most situations.

In Arena, however, this takes Mage from being incredibly strong to outright broken.  Having strong removal and a strong summon combined into a single card is incredibly powerful in Arena’s playstyle, even for 7 mana, and the fact that this is a common card is bound to make Arena Mage’s almost impossible to beat.  It wouldn’t be so bad if it had just been made a Rare card, and Arena is the only place where rarity of adventure cards has any impact.  It’s just another friendly reminder that the Hearthstone developers don’t play their own game.

Moroes

To play Moroes, you’re first going to need a meta-shift where everyone stops playing board control cards.  Once people stop putting cards like Flamestrike, Ravaging Ghoul, Lightning Storm, Explosive Trap, and Consecration, then Moroes can finally find a spot in your deck as a worse Imp Master.  Granted, there are cards like Steward of Darkshire and Hobgoblin (at least in Wild) that Moroes can synergize with and we may get another card along the same lines in this expansion, but there’s no chance Moroes will ever see competitive-level play.

Protect_the_King

This is an interesting inclusion, although its viability is a tough call.  It’s essentially a defensive version of Unleash the Hounds and that could be a potent play.  It’s a card that demands your opponent’s attention and could turn the pace of the game in your favor.  However, it’s highly vulnerable to AoE effects like the ones I mentioned under Moroes and that alone could render it unplayable.  It’s usefulness is going to rely heavily on the current meta, but it should be able to find its niche.  It should at least be a handy Arena card with how much room it gives you to turn the tide.

Prince_Malchezaar

This is easily the coolest new card being added to the game and the best part is that he’s free to everyone with the prologue mission.  That’s very important as his biggest benefit is that he’ll allow new players and those playing on a budget to play around with legendaries they haven’t collected yet.  He’s also a neutral demon with a lot of viability, so we may actually see Sacrificial Pact enter the meta.  Finally, he has a new type of effect that automatically triggers at the start of the game just from having him in your deck.  That’s a fascinating ability and there’s plenty of potential for more cards that work along the same line.

Pompous_Thespian

Hey, have you heard of this new game called Chronicle: Runescape Legends?  It’s a really cool digital card game with great production values and a unique premise.  Instead of summoning monsters to fight for you, you battle your own creatures and create your own mini-adventure with the goal of growing stronger than your opponent for a final battle at the end.  It’s free-to-play and you can check it out for yourself here.  Maybe it will have the decency not to sell playable versions of underpowered cards.

Okay, so One Night in Karazhan isn’t exactly getting off on the right foot with some of it’s early reveals, but there are some really good cards mixed in.  Sadly, aside from a couple of really cool legendaries, this is looking to be the weakest adventure yet in terms of meta-shift.  There are still plenty more cards left to reveal and we may see something grand emerge down the line, but I’ve never wanted to switch to a different card game more than after seeing some of the terribly designed cards featured above.  At least the boss fights should be fun.

What are your thoughts on One Night in Karazhan?  Which of the new cards is your favorite?  Which one most needs to be thrown on a bonfire?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Ratchet And Clank (2016) Review

The Same Amazing Tale Through The Eyes Of Another.

Insomniac Game’s world renowned duo of the galaxy’s finest heroes have finally made their comeback and to say the very least, they have done so with an inter-galactic bang. Ratchet And Clank (2016) is jam-packed with a combination of the most profound characters from the series to date, oodles of outer-space adventure throughout the now revamped reaches of the the Solana galaxy and sprinkled with the famous Ratchet And Clank humour that fans of the series have grown to love and adore. For those who are yet to indulge in this blast from the past, I will be keeping spoilers under the hat, so don’t fret.

Developer of the series, Insomniac Games have recreated this heroic pair’s first adventure together which players first indulged in upon it’s Playstation 2 release in 2002. This recreation of the first Ratchet And Clank instalment is narrated from the perspective of Captain Quark, famous muscular antagonist, wannabe protagonist of almost each and every game in the series to date. In taking this approach with the games narrative, Insomniac have been able to collectively bring together numerous characters, races and tie in events of quite significant contextual value from the more recent instalments. With this, Ratchet And Clank (2016) is not only nostalgic gold for the die hard fans of the prior games but is also riddled with the very best content from the series as a whole, making it all that more appealing as a new game to first-time players.

Ratchet & Clank™_20160509235449

Where It All Began

Ratchet And Clank (2016) as mentioned prior is a slightly new take on the very first of Ratchet And Clank’s heroic endeavours. The Lombax and his robotic companion still have the same fateful meet and still spend the duration of the game trying to stop the infamous Blarg, Chairman Drek. The planets from the first Ratchet And Clank make a reappearance, looking as stunning and visually encapsulating as ever. Although initially some would consider it boring playing a recreation of game you’ve played numerous times before, this new addition to the Ratchet And Clank series holds no monotonous or tedious feel whilst playing through it’s beautifully remastered levels. Insomniac did a great job of  hurling in some different characters to mix up the general story line, consequently planting seeds of doubt causing you to question how the game would actually meet it’s conclusion. This feeling of unknowing gave the game good drive and definitely maintained the heart of my eagerness as I played.

Ratchet And Clank (2016) plays out almost as a movie, possessing all the typical twists that have been the ebb and flow of the series so far. I also found myself beset by the Ratchet-y humour the series is predominantly renowned for that by no means fell short in this instalment.

Ratchet & Clank™_20160509234857

Moving On Up 

Although the first game in The Ratchet And Clank series (2002) was the pinnacle of the greatness Insomniac Games has tried to maintain throughout the games over the years, it’s potential was far from utilized due to the platform it was made for. Now thanks to the ever-expanding capabilities of Playstation 4, Insomniac has been able to take the blocky, 2D graphics from the original game and transform them into being very smooth and pleasing to the eyes of the player. Vibrant colours and the smooth dynamics of the environment bring the game to life around you, making your playthrough that much more pleasurable. It also entices the more thorough level of exploration Insomniac like to draw out of players when it comes to Ratchet And Clank.

Not only are the planets scattered throughout the Solana galaxy rich with colour and overwhelmed with visual goodness – like seriously, don’t get me started on the water; so pretty, but the level of detail put into each and every character and NPC (non-playable character) in the game is phenomenal. We see these amazing characters that Insomniac has developed oozing with accentuated emotions and expressions, seriously Ratchet looks absolutely adorable. Even during a challenge playthrough I found myself re-watching each and every cut scene, mesmerised by just how great the characters looked. Furthermore, not only do the characters, planets and well EVERYTHING about the game look absolutely on point, they feel great too. Gameplay is joyously smooth and unlike it’s predecessor, Ratchet And Clank (2002) character manoeuvring isn’t at all clumsy and Ratchet will come to a halt when you demand so as opposed to running a marathon at the flick of an analog – I understand that’s some serious over-exaggeration there but back in the day, that was some frustrating stuff right there.

On another extremely positive note, in the time I spent trophy hunting and eventually picking up the platinum for this game I hadn’t encountered a single glitch that had effected my gameplay or that i’ve even noticed to be quite honest. Insomniac were seemingly efficient on tying up any glitchy loose ends as patches were swiftly introduced in order to address any issues other players may have encountered. Good on ‘ya Insomniac.

Ratchet & Clank™_20160422125727

Out With The Old, In With The…No Wait, keep the old 

The beauty of this Ratchet And Clank instalment above all others is Insomniac’s attempt to bring together the series as a whole. As you sift through the many planets of the Solana Galaxy, you come across countless references to various other instalments to date. Whether it be a reference to a seemingly cute, blue, menacing ball of fur (Protopet from Ratchet And Clank 2) or a certain space pirates treasure buried at the bottom of the ocean in a resort (Romulus Slag’s treasure from Ratchet And Clank Future Series). Not only are there physical signs of Insomniac’s attempt to reconcile the series but also in the general game dynamics it becomes evident that there is some means of combination of the weapons from the original trilogy and the graphics and visual style of the future series – I find it hard to believe it was unintentional.

However, Ratchet And Clank (2016) isn’t all just a reiteration of the prior games as there are also some pretty nifty new features that have been added. Although the gold bolts have maintained their position as the prime collectible throughout the game, skill points have sneakily found their way into becoming trophies as opposed to an in game collectible. Do not worry yourselves however as the replacement collectible although not as challenging, is just as fun and also gives you the opportunity to test yourself with a bit of Ratchet And Clank trivia – I’m trying not to spoil it too much here.

Ratchet & Clank™_20160426000658

We’re Glad You’re Back Ratchet

For me personally, the Ratchet And Clank series has always won me over with it’s prominent sense of humour, fantastically constructed planets and galaxies alike, and indescribably brilliant characters complete with on point voice acting. Insomniac have carefully filtered through and identified the greatest elements of the series as a whole and strung them together in order to successfully make a fan-orientated game that is also a fine addition to any first-time players collection. As a long term fan of the series I would hands-down say Ratchet And Clank (2016) met my expectations and furthermore, it exceeded them.

Hearthstone: Whispers of the Old Gods Preview #2

Whispers of the Old Gods

Whispers of the Old Gods is right around the corner and I have a lot of cards to catch up on.  Obviously, I’m not going to cover all of the new cards, but I will highlight some of the most interesting that we’ll be getting in the new expansion to Hearthstone.  Before we actually get into the cards of Whispers of the Old Gods, there are a couple of corrections I need to make.  For one, C’Thun and the cultist cards that interact with it will not be available for Arena drafts.  While most of the cultists have premium stat lines, there are a few that have a heavy reliance on C’Thun and Blizzard has opted not to include any of them in Arena to avoid saturation (although there are already cards like Junkbot and Rend Blackhand in Arena that are far worse than any of the cultists, so…).  Secondly, my claim in the previous preview that each class would receive a Forbidden spell was actually a matter of miscommunication.  Only Druid and Warlock have received Forbidden cards in addition to Mage, Paladin, and Priest, and Druid’s Forbidden card is actually a minion.  I apologize for any confusion I may have caused.  With all that out of the way, let’s delve into the cards that will be entering the Whispers of the Old Gods game soon.

Renounce_Darkness

This may be the single weirdest Hearthstone card I’ve ever seen.  For just 2 mana, your Warlock can give up on being a Warlock and become anything else.  There is use for that as the Warlock’s hero power, while incredibly powerful in the early to mid-game, is the worst for any match that goes into fatigue.  Jaraxxus has already proven that changing your hero out late in the game is extremely good, but that raises the question of whether or not it’s worth playing this over Jaraxxus.  Generally, the answer is no, but it could have some applications.  It could work in a deck with a lot of high-risk, high-reward cards and needs an emergency switch, but it wouldn’t work well alongside Jaraxxus because playing this first would replace the eredar lord and playing it second would likely leave you with a worse hero power.  The mana discount has a lot of potential, but the fact that you not only get random cards, but a random class on top of that, makes it highly unreliable.  It’s an experimental card and it probably won’t work, but I’d love to see it take me by surprise.

Herald_Volazj

On the surface, this card might look terrible.  “Why would I want to copy my minions if they’re just going to be tiny 1/1 version?” I hear you ask.  Well, there are plenty of minions that have their value tied to the their effects rather than their stat lines.  Ragneros, Sylvanas, Thaurissan, Ysera, Brann, and Malygos are just a few examples of cards that work remarkably well with Volazj.  It’s not limited to big legendaries either as any deathrattle minion will also benefit from duplication.  The only thing that’s tricky about Volazj is that you really need to set the board carefully to get a good effect out of him.  You don’t want to copy just one minion with him or you’re left with a worse Faceless Manipulator.  He’s a gimmicky card and probably won’t see much high-level play as a result, but those willing to take a risk on him won’t be disappointed with what he can do.

Let’s continue with Whispers of the Old Gods game cards…

Hallazeal_the_Ascended

Hallazeal is an interesting card,if nothing else.  It’s definitely something for control Shaman decks, which this expansion has been giving a serious push for.  I’ll certainly take it over the infuriating Aggro Shaman that has been infesting the ladder recently.  Hallazeal has a decent enough stat line to see play and can combo best with AoE spells like Lightning Storm to really pull you out of a tough spot.  He’s not going to act as a hard carry for any deck, but he can be a handy safety net to keep you alive.  The one big problem is that he’ll be most valuable against aggressive decks, and those will probably kill you faster than you can get him on the board and use his ability.

Y'Shaarj

It is said that Y’Shaarj was the strongest of all the Old Gods and remained one of the most dangerous and powerful beings in Azeroth even as a corpse.  Its card aptly captures the overwhelming power of Y’Shaarj with not only a massive stat line, but also the ability to bring more minions into battle.  You’re guaranteed at least one minion before your opponent will have a chance to shut it down with hard removal (which is less likely now that BGH is being nerfed), but the minion you get is going to be random and you’ll have to build a specific type of deck to get good mileage out of Y’Shaarj.  This is a Whispers of the Old Gods card made for control decks with lots of big minions available to have the best odds on getting a good pull.  Keep in mind that Battlecry effects won’t trigger and you’ll mostly want to avoid putting those in the same deck as Y’Shaarj.

Yogg-Saron

I take it back; THIS is the single weirdest card I’ve ever seen.  Yogg-Saron is a being of such cunning that it was able to take complete control over the prison built specifically to contain it with its sinister whispers alone.  It is the creator of the Emerald Nightmare and can twist mortal minds into madness with barely a motion.  The Yogg-Saron card is appropriately insane for such a beast with an effect that is beyond predictability.  While its stat line is terrible, it likely won’t matter as there’s a fair chance that every minion, including Yogg-Saron itself, and both heroes will all perish the moment it appears on the board.  The spells Yogg-Saron casts are not limited by mana nor class; any legal spells from across Hearthstone can be cast.

Yogg-Saron can throw a Pyroblast at your face, heal you back with Healing Wave, buff an enemy minion with Blessing of Kings, steal the buffed minion with Mind Control, destroy it with Assassinate, turn itself into a frog with Hex, clear the enemy board with Flamestrike, let zero dogs out with Unleash the Hounds right after, and then lose you the game outright with three more Pyroblasts to your face.  At least it won’t cast spells for your opponent, but it will randomly chose a target based on what is normally allowed for that spell (ex. casting Flamecannon would only ever hit an enemy minion and never a friendly one or either hero).  Also, while Yogg-Saron is using the effects of spells, they’re all considered his battlecry effect and don’t interact with minion effects like spell damage, but it can be doubled by Brann Bronzebeard.  There is no chance of Yogg-Saron seeing competitive-level play, but it is the ultimate card for closing out any joke deck.  It’s a card you can play 1000 times and still only see a fraction of what it’s capable of.

Forbidden_Ritual

Zoolock definitely looks to be making a comeback given the new board-swarming cards that are being released.  Warlock’s Forbidden spell, for example, lets you fill the board with as many minions as you need at any point in the game.  This is one of the best cards Zoolock could ever hope for as it can refill the board and help you bounce back after a mid to late-game board clear, Zoolock’s biggest weakness, but it’s also extremely flexible and can be dealt out whenever you need some more bodies.  Yeah, I don’t think we’re going to be seeing any less of Knife Juggler in the new meta.

Vilefin_Inquisitor

Along with Zoolock, Murloc Paladin is also looking to come back in vogue with some new murloc cards.  This one is chief among them, changing Paladin from being a really good class for murlocs to being the best class ever for murlocs.  Murloc decks depend on you having murlocs, to generating them at will with your hero power is best you could ever ask for.  If any card is going to end up being overpowered in WotOG, my money is on this one.

Journey_Below

Good news; the Discover mechanic is still alive and well post-League of Explorers.  Journey Below is a really good card for two reasons: For one, it gets you a Deathrattle card of your choice, which Priest’s Museum Curator has already proven to be a very useful ability.  Secondly, it’s a cheap card that you can just play whenever you want to, which makes it great fodder for setting up cards with Combo effects.  Definitely expect to see this pop up in quite a few Rogue decks.

Evolve

Shaman has been struggling as a class for the longest time with nothing but the recent aggro build to push it into the meta, but WotOG looks to change that with plenty of powerful new cards for the class.  Easily the most potent of the bunch is Evolve, a cheap spell that can have huge results.  Along with working well in control decks, it’s also the one new card that can work in aggro decks.  Honestly, it doesn’t make much of a difference what deck you put this in because simply casting it on at least two totems from your hero power can be enough to get you a good result.  There is a risk of getting Battlecry minions with terrible stat lines, but you’ll be making a net gain with Evolve over all.

Fandral_Staghelm

The Druid’s Choose One effects already make for some of the best cards in the game with just one of their possible choices, so Fandral Staghelm looks like a pretty potent card.  With a 4 mana 3/5 body, he’s definitely playable in just about any deck.  There are just a couple of important caveats to keep in mind with him.  First off, your opponent is never going to leave him be if they can help it.  Any minions they have on the board or spell damage in their hand is going straight for him.  While he can be played on curve in a pinch, it may be better to save for the late game so that you can guarantee a combo with a good Choose One card.  That could end up being too slow a strategy to work and he could really end up falling flat.  Secondly, two of the best Choose One cards are getting nerfed at the same time Fandral is coming out, so you should hold off on crafting him until he’s had a chance to prove himself in the meta.

Deathwing,_Dragonlord

If this new Deathwing card doesn’t get people playing dragon decks other than Priest, I don’t think any one card can.  It’s a big, stompy minion that your opponent will actually be afraid to use their hard-removal on because even more big, stompy minions will probably storm the board as a result.  This new Deathwing even makes the old Deathwing look appealing because nothing crushes souls like a 12/12 going down only for another 12/12 to immediately take its place with a couple 8/8’s tagging along for good measure.  It really answers the big set-back of high mana costs that previously held dragon decks back significantly.  However, Silence effects and transformation cards like Polymorph and Hex can shut him down entirely, so be sure to have those in mind as you make your plays.

Psych-o-Tron

HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I may change my tune once the expansion drops and I start to see some of these Whispers of the Old Gods cards in action, but I am very happy with WotOG right now.  While there are a few underwhelming cards included, the good ones are really good and open up a lot of new possibilities for the game going forward.  The best part is that there isn’t a single card that strikes me as being egregious in any way.  There’s nothing that looks inherently broken like Dr. Boom and there’s nothing that actively outmodes old cards like Evil Heckler.  Maybe Vilefin will end up on the overpowered side when put into practice or maybe one of the Old Gods will prove be even crazy than it looks on the surface, but this is looking to be the best Hearthstone expansion to date at the moment.  If you’ve fallen off the game or haven’t started yet, now is looking like the best time to jump in.

Whispers of the Old Gods releases on April 26th.  What are your thoughts on the new expansion?  What are your favorite and least favorite new cards?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think about Whispers of the Old Gods game.