Frankenslot`s Monster from Betsoft Gaming

Frankenslot

Frankenslot

Betsoft Gaming – supplier of innovative software for the best online casinos announced the launch of a new online slots machine Frankenslot Monster, who entered the series of Slots3 ™ games.

Frankenslot`s Monster launched by Betsoft Gaming and is part of a Slots3 ™ online games. This machine is represented by a five-reel and 20 pay lines, interactive bonus round and free-spins.

Special scatter symbol activates up to eight free spins with an unlimited number of additional launches. This symbol appears only on three central reels. Wild-symbol will replace any image in the game, and gives the maximum multiplication rate among all other symbols.

The developer made a bonus symbol which triggers the free casino bonus game. In this game you need to press the levers and you can get a 25-fold multiplication of the final bet.

There is also available free slots version of this game.

Mark McKeown, Head of Sales and Marketing in Betsoft, said:

Frankenslot`s Monster has a beautiful 3D-graphics and interesting storyline. I am confident that this online slot will have the liking of many players, because we gave to it a special theme.

Betsoft Gaming always has stunning, true 3D cinematic animation produced to the rigorous standards found in today’s animated feature films and console video games, our extensive collection includes over 150 games and countless themes to appeal to a broad target audience of players. We are known for the iconic, groundbreaking Slots3™ series of video slots, and we also proudly offer classic casino favorites such as Blackjack, Roulette, Video Poker, Table and Lottery Games, Keno and the pioneering, fully 3D Poker3™.

In February, Betsoft Gaming also has launched a 4 Seasons gaming machine, which also joined the Slots3 game series.

Di you already played Frankenslot? Can you share your experience in the comment section below?

5 JRPGS Gamers Should Look Forward To in 2017

JRPGS Gamers

2017 just started but this generations consoles are finally hitting their stride for Japanese Role Playing Games or JRPGs. Due to the nature and length of these games it’s no surprise that they take a while to show up. Games in this genre can be text heavy, story driven, world traversing and expansive quests that steal hours away from the player. Which is a good thing! There are many niche titles coming out but for the sake of this article I will only mention the 5 JRPGS that gamers should look forward to in 2017.

Disclaimer: The games that I will mention in this article can be found on PS4 or Vita and are scheduled to come out this year. These games are in no specific order so take the numbering with a grain of salt.

Persona 5

persona 5
Image retrieved via wikipedia

Release Date: April 4th 2017
System: PS3, PS4

Released in Japan in September 2016 then delayed into 2017 for the rest of us Persona is my most anticipated game. This game has garnered great reception in Japan so I’m expecting the same here. With the stylish graphics and traditional turn based combat this will scratch the itch that I’ve been waiting for.

Players familiar with the Persona series can anticipate the game diving deep into the psyches of the protagonists to unravel an intricate mystery. This game does not shy away from mature themes which makes it more appealing to an older audience. The setting of this game is in present day Japan which is a departure for the series.

Danganronpa V3 Killing Harmony

Danganronpa V3
Image retrieved via wikipedia

Release Date: TBD 2017
System: PS4, PS Vita

While not a JRPG this game is a hit in the making. Danganronpa got its start on the PS Vita trying to find its audience and it succeeded. This 3rd iteration will deal with a brand new cast of characters so playing the older titles is not required. But if gamers wants to experience the old games they are releasing the previous titles on the PS4 this year.

This game takes a Phoenix Wright style approach to solving cases but add in some high school drama and murder you have Danganronpa. Lead by the mascot Monokuma, the mischievous bear guides the Ultimates to their doom or salvation.

Tales of Berseria

Tales of Berseria
image retrieved via wikipedia

Release Date: Jan 24th, 2017
System: PS4

This year is the anniversary for this franchise and they are bringing it in style. While Tales of Zestria was disappointing to some long term fans, this game promises a return to form. Already censored in the West from the opening credits, this game has a darker more mature story to tell.

This Tales games follows the adventures of Velvet as she seeks revenge for the death of her younger brother. Cursed with a demon arm that devours their souls, she will cut a bloody path across the world. She picks up some rag tag companions along the way so it will be interesting to see her growth. This game is full of all the Tales staples like anime cut scenes, cooking, skits and comprehensive character development. This game is an exciting entry for the series.

Trails of Cold Steel 3

Rean ToCS3
image retrieved via Siliconera

Release Date: Fall/Winter 2017?
System: PS4

God bless XSEED for bringing over these titles. From the initial screens it seems as if it is coming out exclusively for the PS4 which would be a shame since I enjoyed the others on the Vita. Playing the first 2 entries will probably be a prerequisite but the game does provide a glossary to catch up new players. The game will be releasing in Japan fall 2017 so we can only hope that we will see it later this year too.

This game will continue the adventures of Rean and company as they continue to defend their country. Set a year after they graduate from the academy, the crew has set on their separate paths to find their own purpose. I anticipate that choices from the first 2 games will impact the narrative like the others before. Players can expect more of the same with some slight changes but if it isn’t broke why fix it?

Utawarerumono Mask of Deception and Truth

Utawarerumono
Image retrieved via wikipedia

Release Date: Spring 2017
System: PS4, PS Vita

A surprise release for this strategy JRPG was recently announced. This is a game that I dreamed would get localized but was slowly losing hope for due to the content involved. The people at Atlus are doing God’s work. This game has recently had an anime based off of the narrative that can be viewed via Crunchyroll at the time of this writing.

Following the adventures of amnesiac protagonist, Haku, he wakes up in a village after he is rescued by Kuon. The game is populated with animal human hybrids so it will be interesting to see the combinations come to together. The plot revolves around Haku developing a team of strong women and becoming unwittingly involved in the political plights of the nation.

All in all, 2017 is shaping up to be a great year for gaming and definitely a great year for JRPG fans. My wallet and time can’t take all of the titles coming but I will try to experience these great titles. Are you a JRPG fan? Are any of these titles on your list? Let us know in the comments.

Is Gaming Becoming Gambling?

Gaming becoming Gambling

Video Games VS Casinos 

It is believed that the world capital of gambling is a city built in the middle of the Mojave Desert – Las Vegas. Whether in view of the circumstances, whether in the power of advertising Las Vegas became a city №1 for fortune seekers, gamblers all over the world, who still do not know about perks of casinos online.

The Problem

The number of visitors to Las Vegas that spend time gambling has dropped more than 15% in the past few years and millennials are gambling way less than other generations.

The Solution – Video Games

Nevada is on the cusp of what could be a casino revolution, drawing up plans for the introduction of arcade-style video games. As young people aren’t attracted to rudimentary gambling, the idea is aimed largely at attracting younger people who have been raised on Xbox, PlayStation and mobile game apps and don’t get much of a thrill out of sitting in front of slot machines and they would not change their behaviors to engage a gambling machine and sit down.

American Casinos

American casinos look are more becoming like video game arcades. The idea is that casino floors look more like console video games, from shooters to racing games. As young people have grown up in an era of digital media and games, manufacturers are creating games that mirror the emotional demand and investment of console and mobile video games. Again, this is just a way to draw in younger players and make them spend more time on the casino floor.

Video Game Gambling Apps

With Video game gambling apps, people can download in their phone games as a shooting game, puzzle game, word game. People could play the game in the airport, while waiting to be settled in a restaurant and why not while waiting to see the dentist? Of course a Wi-Fi connection is needed!

Is this Good?

If gambling tends to have a bad influence on its users, is this morally correct to consider using video games to incentive young people to gambling?

Are you a Gamer? Do you think is this a good idea to use video games to attract young people to gambling? Can we consider this as “entertainment?” The word is yours. Please leave your comment below.

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.

Big Additions Arrive in Final Fantasy 14 Patch 3.5

Patch 3.5

For anyone unaware, Square Enix has made another Final Fantasy MMORPG called Final Fantasy 14 (FF14). The game had a horrible start but has redeemed itself in the eyes of the community with the release of A Realm Reborn. FF14 is on the verge of it’s next expansion StormBlood which will be released on June 20th, 2017. While we are waiting for the end of the current expansion, Heavensward, players have Patch 3.5 The Far Edge of Fate to hold us over.

Quality of Life Changes Rule the Patch

Cross Server Party Finder Changes the Game

Cross Party Finder Interface
image retrieved from FF14Lodestone. Cross Server Party Finder Interface

I was going to start with the new raids that were introduced but that would be doing a disservice to the HUGE quality of life (QOL) changes we got this patch. The first, and biggest game changer was the implementation of the Cross Server Party Finder. Most of the instanced dungeons help players find companions across the data centers via Duty Finder (DF) to complete content. A few patches ago they added the Raid Finder (RF) for the 8 man raids, Alexander, and extreme Primal/Eikon fights, Sophia, Zurvan, Niddhog, etc. That was a great addition but it was not stopping the frequent server migration that started in Patch 3.1 of players looking for more people to “play” with.

The main reason why this is important is because the old school Party Finder (PF) allowed for players to form groups to enter content. If a player was on a smaller server the likelihood of finding other like minded players was very slim. Even my mid to smallish server of Brynhildr on Primal Data Center had 5 to 8 PF groups up nightly during peak times. Since the patch, released Tuesday, the PF groups have jumped up to 30 or 50 because it reaches across the whole data center. There are some other elements that go with it so you can read up on that in the linked patch notes.

GPose Filter
image retrieved from FF14Lodestone Filters Galore

Group Pose Gets Some Upgrades

For the photographers in game, they added and expanded the group pose camera options. Players can now changed the lighting, add effects, filters etc to their photos. Players can also take close up shots and get their favorite NPCs in on the picture. I don’t take many in game shots but it was cool to see added.

Egi Glamours Are Finally Released

Egi Glamours
image retrieved from FF14 Lodestone Carbuncle Pet introducing Ruby Color

One of the last things I will highlight is the implementation of Egi-Glamours for the Summoner Job. Egi’s are the FF14 version of pets. The players have been requesting this since the beginning of Heavensward so now the pets can return to their Carbuncle forms.

What Playable Content Was Added?

New Main Story Quests

Yda
Image retrieved from FF14 Lodestone Scion Yda in her Pugilist/Monk Glory

The end of the Heavensward conflict occurred in patch 3.4 so the game is moving us into the new expansion scenario. The main story quest (MSQ) will be told in two parts and players get to experience the first this patch. The campaign lasts for about an hour if players don’t skip the cut scenes and speak to all the NPCs around each quest marker, which I encourage. A lot of things were revealed but it does end on a satisfying cliffhanger.

Conclusion of 24 Man Raid, Dun Scaith

Diabolos
image retrieved from FF14 Lodestone Diabolos the Main Antagonist of the 24 Main Raid

Players will also get the conclusion of the 24 man dungeon scenario with Dun Scaith. The dungeon can be a bit challenging to players learning the mechanics but once you figure it out its only a matter of execution. The biggest hurdle is getting the other 23 players to cooperate and follow directions. The dungeon is stylish and has a Alice in Wonderland vibe that I’m sure everyone will appreciate. The reward for the dungeon is new armor and the i270 upgrade token for Scripture Tome gear. As a quick fan service bit, head to the Gold Saucer once you finish the dungeon and you might see some familiar faces.

New Dungeons Baelsar’s Wall and Sohm Al Hard Mode

Baelsar's Wall
Image retrieved from FF14 Lodestone Baelsar’s Wall
Sohm Al HM
Image retrieved from FF14 Lodestone Sohm Al Hard Mode

The next pieces of content were the two new dungeons, Sohm Al hard mode and Baelsar’s Wall. The latter is a part of the MSQ so players have to complete it before it is unlocked. The former can be found via Moogle NPC in Idyllshire hub. Both of these dungeons were great to trek through and the monsters within hit hard. My favorite would have to be Baelsar’s Wall because of the lore attached to it and the final boss.

Face The Demon, Zurvan of the Warring Triad

Zurvan the Demon
image retrieved from FF14 Lodestone. Zurvan the Demon

Players will also get the conclusion of the Warring Triad storyline by facing Zurvan the Demon. Zurvan is the final Eikon of the Triad after Sephirot and Sophia. Players will find out where the mysterious boy came from and the identity of his master. I must say I wasn’t expecting the story to end quite the way it did but it was an awesome adventure along the way. The story battle itself was a bit challenging but nothing players can’t tackle with some practice. Once the story is complete, players will be able to challenge the extreme version of Zurvan.

PVP Event Based on Japanese Show, GARO

PVP Gear
Image retrieved from FF14 Lodestone. PVP GARO gear.

The last piece of content is the new Player versus Player (PVP) event based on a Japanese show called Garo. Think Power Rangers and you will be on the right track.  The event allows for players to receive unique titles, class/job specific gear and mounts. FF14 is a more Player versus Enemy (PVE) styled game so PVP participation was low at best. This event has given PVP some life to help with the cue times. Another QOL that helped with this event is the ability to cue without worrying about your Grand Company (GC) Affiliation. Players chose their GC at the beginning of the game and PVP was locked behind it until now which made cues long and unbearable.

Get Ready to Jump In

All in all, this patch is a great time for returning and new players to jump in. There are so many more things I could have highlighted so read over the patch notes if you’re interested. There is more content to hold us over until the next patch and enough incentive for players to catch up to end game. I was very satisfied with how everything turned out and I am craving more which is always good.

Have you played FF14? Have you player other MMOs? Does this patch sound like the game is progressing positively? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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.

10 Characters that Need to Be in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

Marvel vs. Capcom

Which Of Our Favorite Heroes Will Find Themselves in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite?

Who didn’t at some point want to be a superhero? Think about it– you get an awesome ability like super-strength, you most undoubtable get a sweet signature super suit, and the best part is that iconic superhero name that your fans will shout when they need you most. Well…as much as we’d like to hope someday our dream of superhero stardom will happen, the closest thing for now that a nice consolation prize are movies and video games. 2017 marks the return of the fan favorite series of games from Marvel and Capcom in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.

 Exclusively for the next-gen consoles, as well as PC, you’re given the chance to battle with and against some of the best superhero and villains in the Marvel and Capcom universes. With its late 2017 release date, the entire list of characters has yet to be named. Leaving much speculation as to which characters will fill the slots. Already confirmed characters, from Marvel you have Captain Marvel, Iron Man, & Captain America. From Capcom, you have Ryu, Mega Man X, & Morrigan.

So, as you can see there are a lot of openings for the cast.  To make things just a bit more fun, here are 10 characters that need to be in the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.

Quake (Marvel)

Quake (Marvel)

 

Made even more popular by Chloe Bennett’s portrayal of Daisy Johnson (Quake) in the ABC hit show, Agents of Shield, Quake would make an excellent break from the over popularized heroes like Hulk, and Captain America. Because of her ability to generate seismic activities, like a focused earthquake, Quake is seriously more powerful than she’s given credit for.

Imagine her blocking with such force that the waves attack back into her attacker. That’s what you’d expect if she gets casted. You can’t tell me her offense and defense isn’t something you like use to your advantage in this game.

Frank West (Capcom)

Frank West (Capcom)

Fans of the super addicting videogame series Dead Rising know this character all too well. The photojournalist turned zombie hunter would add a much needed “badass” element. You know, in case there probably wasn’t enough already.

He’s incredible strong being a former wrestler. He’s the loose cannon that we all love to hate. Finally, he’ll bring his baseball bat with him and be sure to document his entire beating of his opponent. Check the papers.

Dante (Capcom)

Dante (Capcom)

 

Speaking of badasses, none are more prevalent for Capcom then Dante from the Devil May Cry video game. I mean, just look at him. He’s unbelievably cocky, I’m sure if he was real he’s tell you himself too. He fits the combat heavy action game like no other.

Dante is a master when it comes to weapons. Either guns to sword wielding. Also, he has demonic abilities thanks to his father’s lineage of ancient demons. Dante’s has sliced-and-diced demons like they were nothing. He’s confidence will not be an issue to win any battle, including in this game.

Hellstorm (Marvel)

Hellstorm (Marvel)

The Son of Satan has always been a questionable character for Marvel. Simply because from his creation in the comic Ghost Rider (1973), Daimon Hellstrom was for all sakes a good guy; Despite being part demon (spoilers: his father is Mephisto). However, he’s flipped sides many times to fit his own desires.

Hellstorm, thanks to his dark soul, Trident of Hell, and his epic carriage of hell horses he uses to travel, makes for an exciting NEW character we can all enjoy. Hellstorm is immensely powerful in his realm. In addition, he can do any type of magic (like flight, and time travel). Also, he can wield fire with ease. Most of all, his Hell Fire move can cripple the life force of any enemy. Sounds like a great choice to me!

Cable (Marvel)

Cable (Marvel)

The son of Cyclops (Scott Summers), was sent 2,000 years into the future to be protected from harm. He returned as a techno-organic warrior (infected by tech virus) who mastered his powers of telekinesis and telepathy. Like that of his mother, a clone of Jean Grey.

He packs some serious power, especially in his future weapons. Like his gun for example.  Cable has fought Wolverine to a draw. In addition, he had beaten Iron Man, Red Hulk, and Falcon, all while being inches from death from his virus. Seems like power and skill are of no small value here. Cable can send this game into the future with an appearance.

Blanka (Capcom)

Blanka (Capcom)

Shout out to all the 90’s kiddies here. His first appearance in 1991’s Street Fight II (Capcom), launched him into fans hearts. Easily a favorite of anyone who’s a fan of the Street Fighter classics.

Blanka is seriously one of the craziest and wildest characters around. He can be chalked up in one word, INSANE. However, he’s not as technically sound as fighters like Ryu. Blanka relies heavily on brute instincts. Therefore, he’s not shy about uncontrolled attacks out of left field. Oh, did I forget to mention he can also emit huge amounts of electricity? Of course, not naturally but still is quite the skill. Having him involved in this game would lead to some insane showdowns. Capcom needs to bring him back.

Moon Knight (Marvel)

Moon Knight (Marvel)

Stumbling upon an archeologic dig, Spector was inches from death where his life gets restored if he becomes the avatar for the god Khonshu. After that, he had dawned Khonshu’s silver clock and became Moon Knight. His powers (super strength, durability, speed) are depended on the intensity of the moon phases

Moon Knight, Marc Spector, has the kind of background made for fighting games. He’s been a former Heavyweight Boxer (200+ lbs. division), a United States Marine, and even a mercenary after his service. Most noteworthy, he’s a master at hand-to-hand combat fighting. Also, he’s been said to be even more athletic than most Olympians. Let’s hope Marvel gives the Moon Knight a much overdue appearance.

Chun-Li (Capcom)

Chun-Li (Capcom)

You’re looking at the most popular female character in all of video game history. Yes, even more popular than Lara Croft, sorry. Since 1991 Chun-Li has been using her lighting fast fighting skills to put all other contenders to shame.

She can literally deliver kick after kick with lighting speed and precision that you will never even know what hit you. Also, she can produce some serious energy blasts that can send you down for the count. So, I think it’s a safe bet that she makes an appearance in this game.

Asura (Capcom)

Asura (Capcom)

 

No matter what the story is in video games, it’s hard to ever hate a great revenge story. Asura from Asuaras Wrath, is a character that is enraged with anger and thirst for revenge. He’s not one to let things go. He doesn’t use his words; he much prefers to use his fighting skills to smite everyone who wrongs him.

Strong enough to crack the earth when he punches a foe, and beat a God that stands bigger than Earth. Almost sounds unstoppable, doesn’t it? Consequently, he’s only made a single appearance in Capcom. Probably not ideal for a game like this, but he could bring a nice new element of rage to a game packed with action.

Dr. Doom (Marvel)

Dr. Doom (Marvel)

There’s a reason why Dr. Doom is one of the greatest villains of all time. He’s so immensely powerful that he just can’t get enough. A master at all things science, sorcery, and hand to hand combat. Dr. Doom is also packed with gadgets that can even make Batman blush.

Dr. Doom has all the tools needed to be a beast of a competitor in this fighting game. His smarts, powers, and gadgets can emit incredibly damage. As a result, Dr. Doom makes an action-packed fight with anyone. All these characters can be doomed if the Doctor is selected.

I’d love to see these characters get their chance to shine in this upcoming game. They all make a great case for themselves and seeing some new and old faces will give the game a much-needed jumpstart into expanding the popularity of both universes. Most of all, share your thoughts on my selections. Let me know who you’d choose instead.

Why I Fell In Love With Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley

I was one of the people patiently awaiting for Stardew Valley to make it to consoles. Whether it was on my Vita or PS4, I was ready to dive head first and get lost in the charming pix-elated world. Full disclosure, I was one of those people who would plan my day around the Facebook game Farmville. I knew when my crops would spoil so I had to be there on time to harvest them. But unlike Farmville, in Stardew my crops didn’t wither in real time so its already a more relaxed experience. So on December 14, 2016 I set out to start my new life as a farmer.

Moving to Stardew Valley

Ignore the lightning bolt, check out all the stuff on your brand new farm.

The motivation to get players to the farm is a simple one. Your dying grandfather leaves his farm to you and encourages you to come run it when the 9 to 5 grind wears you down. A short cut scene later and there you are at Stardew Valley with Mayor Lewis to greet you. The place looks a hot mess when you get there with scattered debris, sticks, grass, etc all over the place.

As a new farmer you have a whole lot of work to do. Working on the farm makes time pass and your energy will deplete with each action. Upgrading your tools will help to consume less energy and eating Starfruit will increase your energy bar. These are all things you will learn as the game opens up and explains them to you.

Get To Know Your Neighbors

Private action with Penny and the kids.

Farming isn’t the only thing players can do. As a new resident, one of the first tasks is to get to know your new neighbors in Stardew. Most of them will be wary of you at first so you will need to talk to them daily and give them gifts to raise their affection towards you. You can give them just about anything as a gift including the things you grow on the farm or things you scavenge around town and mines. It will take some trial and error but eventually you will figure out what your neighbors like. I was a bit impatient so I looked up a guide.

As you get to know them, private actions will start to show up deepening your relationship. A lot of them depend on the time of day, weather and number of affection points, represented as hearts, to trigger. They seemed rather arbitrary so I would stumble on them by accident. The good thing is that time doesn’t progress during these scenes so it’s no harm in watching them. After you get to 8 heart points you can make an eligible bachelor or bachelorette, the gender of your character doesn’t matter, your significant other with a bouquet from Pierre’s shop. At 10 hearts, you can get married by proposing with a Mermaid Pendant to have a wedding 3 days later. I chose to romance Elliot and haven’t looked back.

Passing The Time In Stardew

Beginner farm design

Other than romancing and getting to know your neighbors, farmers can, well, farm. After you understand where to buy your seeds, how much time things take to grow, how long each month is and the seasons, you can get started making your farm. Getting money for more seeds is always a chore so growing your crops are important to remain in business. One of the best parts of the game is designing your farm and how you plant your crops. Some of the farms online can get really elaborate and players have a few templates to start with at the launch of the game.

Adventures in the mine.

When players are bored on the farm they have the option of going into the mines. The mines give players the materials necessary to upgrade their tools or find items to give as gifts. The mines are dangerous though so players will need to upgrade their gear in order to survive the lower levels. Another caveat is that the penalty for death is steep. If you die players will lose a ton of money to cover medical expenses and lose items taken into the mine. That alone made me less inclined to visit the mines but I did in order to build up the community center.

Help Stardew Valley Feel Like Home

This is how the community center starts off

After a while players will get the choice to help the town to build up the community center or join Jojo Mart corporation. Selecting one will lock you out of the other so the choice is yours. I chose to help the community center because it gave more purpose to my actions by completing bundles. Those bundles also provide gifts to the player of farm equipment that may not be affordable at the start of the game. While with Jojo Mart you just buy everything with money.

Players can also attend seasonal festivals. There are four seasons in the game (read:duh) that last 28 days. Each season the town has 2 festivals. The Mayor will send you a mail reminder a few weeks before then another a day before the actual event. Attending these events can raise your affection with your neighbors as well as earn players prizes for participating.

This Game Is Worth The Time

Summer festival. Be sure to make a good impression.

I could go on and on about this game because it’s so charming. It is hard to imagine that only one developer made this game and it’s paid off in a big way. I am glad that it got ported to the PS4 and I got the chance to play. I easily spent 60 hours in Stardew before I got to the “end” in year 2. The game could “technically” go on forever so players have spent hundreds of hours here. Check out the game’s website and give the game a shot if you haven’t tried it out.

Have you tried Stardew Valley or other farming sim games? How does the game stack up for you? Let us know in the comments.

Did They Deliver? Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch Reveal

Nintendo Switch Reveal

Enter the Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Reveal
Image retrieved from Nintendo.com

I was probably like the rest of you waiting up until the wee hours of the morning on the east coast to hear about the Nintendo Switch. Unlike some of the others though, I am not a Nintendo Fangirl. I have jumped ship from Nintendo consoles long ago in the Playstation 1 era but I do still buy their handhelds. I have a feeling that with the launch of the Switch they are folding their handheld and console consumer base into one house. From a business perspective its actually really smart. But their consoles have been lack luster and disappointing since the break out sales of the original Wii.

So I waited with bated breath to see if I could be convinced to invest in this new console/handheld device and I’m sad to say at this time that answer is a resounding “No”. Stay with me as I explain my thoughts on the Nintendo Reveal and why they couldn’t sell me on the Switch just yet.

The Console is Too Expensive

Nintendo consola
Image retrieved from Nintendo.com

Let’s jump on in. This console is 300 bucks. 3 hundred damn dollars. Most media outlets were projecting $250 at the most for several reasons with the main one being that they were late to the console party. PS4 and Xbox One have a bigger install base than Nintendo so they needed to convince players to shell out another huge sum of money for another console. With the console costing 300, the same amount as the base model of the PS4 and Xbox one, the barrier to entry is too high for my tastes.

Most of their handhelds started at $189 to $200 and while I didn’t expect it to be cheap this price was unexpected. Not to mention, their peripherals are expensive too. $69.99 for the Joy Pro controller, $79.99 for replacement JoyCon controllers, etc. I just can’t get over their audacity but I shouldn’t be surprised if I think back to the launch of the New 3DS system.

Where Are the Games?

Zelda game
Image retrieved from Nintendo.com

We all know Zelda is coming to the system so they should have lead with that reveal not ended the conference with it. While it is true that other launch games have been announced at a different event following the conference, why didn’t they show those titles to the players? A lot of people tuned out once it concluded so Nintendo may have missed their window to grab them.

Players like me who are not hardcore Mario and 1st party fanatics needed another reason to pick up the system. Sure they showed off some interesting games like Splatoon 2, Shin Megami Tensei 5, and Xenoblade 2 but none of these games had projected release dates. What if these games don’t come out until 2018? With the Xbox Scorpio looming around the corner, why would players waiting for games buy a Switch versus waiting for more power promised with the Scorpio?

Make no mistake, I understand that the Switch would not be graphically superior to either system and that doesn’t really matter to me. However, Nintendo has not learned that players buy consoles for games. Period. The End. By not showing those games off, some players are wondering why they should own a Switch and that is a problem.

Online Service Incentives Are Lackluster

Nintendo online servicePaying for online service is nothing new. PS Plus is $60 dollars now but we get free games every month that we can keep as long as the subscription is paid. Even if we lapse in our sub, players will still have the game but won’t have access to it. On Xbox Live, players pay their fee and keep their games regardless of having a Live subscription. Nintendo of course has to be the odd ball.

According to an article cited on Kotaku, the online service will only allow for players to try out the “free” game for a month then players will have to pay for the game. What in the world is happening Nintendo? Why make such a decision when your competition is doing the exact opposite? Xbox is even offering backwards compatibility for a majority of their library. At this time, no one knows if players who brought games from the E Shop will be able to bring those purchases over to the Switch. We will have to wait and see.

Gimmicks Galore

Gimmicks Galore
image retrieved via Kotaku

I had a feeling that Nintendo would not give up motion control completely. After reading a few more reports today it seems as if the JoyCon controllers are actually a good fit. I suppose I’m more irritated that it took up a good portion of their conference time. That time should have been used to showcase more games. We all had Wii Motes so we already have a point of reference for these controllers. The rest we could have discovered once we had the device in our hands.

To Sum It Up

I’m not worried about the Nintendo first party offerings. Mario in all of its forms are usually very good. I really want Nintendo to get a win for once but with all of the questionable pricing decisions I’m not sure if they will. I’m fed up with developers and game companies in general preying on the nostalgia and hype of their fans. I want players to finally get the console they deserve and at this moment, Nintendo is not doing it. Time will tell if they will improve as we get more information.

What did you think of the Nintendo Reveal? Did it meet your expectations? Are you still hyped for the console? Let us know in the comments.

 

What Tracer Being Gay Means For Diversity in Gaming’s Future

Diversity in Gaming

Tracer’s Out the Closet

It’s been a few weeks since the news of Tracer’s sexual orientation went live. If you missed it, you can read it in Blizzard’s comic “Reflections” on their website. The story is a really cute look into the life of the Overwatch mascot and her journey to buy her girlfriend a scarf. They share a simple and chaste smooch near the end then set the internet on fire. Tracer’s sexual orientation isn’t the first controversial step in improving diversity in the gaming industry. But now that the dust has settled I wanted to explore why this is a great thing for the future.

Sound the Alarm For Diversity

Full disclosure, I am an African American woman. I am a part of one of the populations that does not get as much screen time in games. It’s no secret that games have been staring and tailored to inherently heterosexual white males. It is something most gamers know but in recent years the calls for diversity have increased. And players didn’t just want any old diversity, they want meaningful diversity.

Tomb Raider Box Art
Image owned by Edios

Have their been a few games with female protagonists? Sure. However, if she was not eye candy ala Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft then she may not have made it to the forefront. Have there been black protagonists for games? Sure. They are mainly male but if he was not a criminal, like AJ from GTA San Andres, then they didn’t make it to the forefront either. Have their been characters that aren’t heterosexual in games? Absolutely. But unless they were comical or made to satisfy the wet dreams of men like Fear Effect they weren’t discussed much either.

Why Diversity Matters

In research published in The Journal of Experimental Child Psychology showed that African American children form negative perceptions of themselves based on how they are portrayed in different media. That media includes books, television shows as well as video games. Another study cited on CNN discussed how television images of powerful, positive and strong white men can raise the self esteem of white boys but have a negative impact on girls of all races and African American boys.

There has been a lot of conversation about how things are “better” for diversity overall. While I agree that positive strides have been made, the journey is far from complete. If I can still peruse the comments section about Tracer being gay and read the dismissive attitudes of some of the community we have more to do. Change doesn’t happen overnight and until there is inclusion for many types of stories then the conversation will continue.

Things Are Improving 

Mafia 3 Box Art
Image owned by 2k Studios

I wasn’t kidding when I said the climate was getting better. Despite Tracer’s sexual status, she is still the mascot for OverWatch one of the biggest selling games of the year. This year we have Mafia 3 staring a black protagonist and tackling the issue of Racism in the 1960’s south with no remorse. We also had Watch Dogs 2 staring another black protagonist as a computer hacker wearing hipster clothes versus white tees and jeans.

Mass Effect Romance
Image retrieved from IGN Wiki. Mass Effect is owned by Bioware

We have had more inclusion for different types of sexual relationships over the years as well. In the Mass Effect series players can romance men as well as women. That is even the case in the surprise hit Stardew Valley. In the MMORPG Final Fantasy 14, players can also marry any player of either sex if they so choose without jumping through hoops.

The moral of the story is, Tracer’s reveal is continuing to push the conversation of diversity forward. For those persons who it does not effect none of this should matter at all. For those of us who do care, it helps us to continue to enjoy the games we have always loved even more. To be honest, saying that Tracer is gay in a comic that is not included in the actual game can still give players the chance to ignore that aspect of her identity. I can accept that for now as we “baby step” these changes into the normal game conversation. The climate for diversity is changing and it will be better for us all.

What do you think about Tracer’s sexual orientation reveal or diversity overall? Let us know in the comments below.

Note: Feature Image retrieved via Polygon. Tracer and Overwatch is owned by Blizzard.