Monthly Archives: April 2018

Nintendo Switch News – Week of 4/20

by Jason Parker (Ragachak)

Dark Souls Switch

The Dark Souls Solaire Amiibo is also coming this summer.

If you are reading this, then I am gone; and I guess you might be pretty bummed. However don’t worry, it’s only for the weekend! I’m taking in the sights in Las Vegas and checking out the H1PL (H1Z1 Pro League), for which you can count on coverage over on MMOHuts. However, we do have some news for the Switch for you guys! However, I do want to start with some somber, unfortunate news. Initially, Dark Souls: Remastered was slated to come out on May 25th on the Switch, but it was moved out towards later this summer. This will give the dev team to make sure the Nintendo Switch version will be the Dark Souls experience the fans deserve and can play anytime/anywhere, with the unique nature of the portable Switch console. The other versions will still be on May 25th, but Switch fans will have to wait.

Gain Ground - Switch

SEGA AGES is coming to the Switch also! SEGA is reviving this series that brought some of their classics to a modern console is coming back in Summer 2018. This is going to be a wild summer for the Switch! The first five titles coming to this system have been announced: The SEGA Master System versions of Phantasy Star and Alex Kidd in Miracle World, and the Sega Genesis versions of Thunder Force IV and Sonic the Hedgehog. In addition, we’ll be seeing the original arcade version of Gain Ground. This will mark the first time that several of these SEGA titles have had official Western releases, and when we have more information, we’ll certainly pass it along to you.

BAFL (Brakes Are For Losers) (4/19):  You know what all Nintendo consoles need? A crazy, fast, multi-player racing title. BAFL is just that. 8 player arcade racing action comes to the Switch today! Insane tracks that allow up to 8 people to play in local co-op for some serious top-down racing. Previously released on Steam, Switch fans are now invited to the party! You can upgrade your car, use sneaky tricks to win races, and challenge the strength of your friendship – a tried and true trademark of the Nintendo consoles. There is also a single-player experience, with championship races against AI, Time Attack, and Perfect Race mode. Delightful maps from the 80s/90s pop culture can be experienced, with some truly interesting details, if you’re paying attention. And the title isn’t just for show: There. Are. No. Brakes. Go fast, go hard, win games. I’m excited for BAFL. (4.99)

Neo ATLAS 1469 (4/19): ARC System Works never fails to surprise me with their range of video games. Sure you could say “Stay in your lane, make great fighting games”, but that’s boring! Though this was “published” by ARCSys, developed by ARTDINK. In Neo ATLAS 1469, you play as the Master of a Trading Company, and your aim is to complete the World Map. It’s time to show the world what the World truly is, and you do this through hiring various admirals to sail for you. You Approve or Disapprove of their decisions, and shape the world in your own image. This takes place right at the start of the Age of Exploration and depending on how you play, the World may end up very different than our actual world. Definitely a niche’ title, but I can see this being very enjoyable to be able to sit on the couch and relax with a good drink, and make some decisions. (29.99)

Nintendo Labo (4/20 in NA, 4/27 in EU): I’m truthfully still skeptical of the Nintendo Labo kit, but it seems like people testing it truly loved it. Maybe it’s because it’s aimed at family/group interaction, and I don’t really get a lot of that out in the wilderness. I see the appeal though. You don’t have to worry about cutting yourself making these, the cardboard bits pop right out and are ready to set up. It’s a toy-constructing system developed by Nintendo, and the user makes what are called “Toy-Cons”, that interact with game software, and vice versa. It’s a fun way to teach kids and adults the principles of engineering, physics, and programming. So in that, I think it’s wonderful. I don’t know if I’d have fun messing with, unless I had a lot of time, but I do have to say, it’s a very cool concept, and I can see parents buying it for their kids and learning together. That’s what makes it so special. There are two kits, the Variety Kit (69.99) and the Robo Kit (79.99) and if I’m honest, I’d probably use the Robo Kit more.

Ark Park Review (Oculus Rift)

Written by Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)

 When I was a kid I used to love dinosaurs. These mystical creatures that once used to roam the planet fascinated me, and I always was a bit sad we would never be able to experience what they’re like in real life. But thanks to technology, Virtual Reality is now a great tool to experience what these fascinating creatures were like in person. While you aren’t physically right next to them, I must say that standing next to a huge carnivore did scare me a little: Especially when a tower explodes, and the civilization on the Park changes forever.

Ark Park is a bit cheesy when it comes to the story. From the moment you jump into the tutorial or the introduction of Ark Park as a whole, you feel like you have jumped into a new Jurassic Park movie and you are the lead actor playing an important role in restoring the park into the museum it was before. As you are slowly driven towards the park over the ocean in a train made out of glass,  you will be met by a swimming dinosaur and you just feel like you are playing in the intro for this incredible movie, only to be let down on arrival.

Since Virtual Reality is still in its infant years, a lot of games use a teleporting system that allows you to travel through the levels. Instead of walking which feels more natural, you have to keep pointing where you want to go and use the little joysticks on your controllers to navigate through the park and move from one level to the other. Unfortunately every area you’ll find is one separate level from the other, and after doing your initial tour through the very small park, you’ll find that teleporting straight to a zone for exploring or battle is just the easier way of doing things and you’ll forget about the hub as a whole. While the initial hub is very interesting to get familiar with some of the dinosaurs, and you can pick them up and even feed them, after ten minutes of playing around you’ll never really go back there anymore.

While Ark Park gives you the initial impression of being this very in-depth game with a rich story, it quickly falls apart and you’ll notice how simple and short the game really is. The story itself, as I said earlier, is very basic and comes straight out of the set of a Jurassic Park movie. You’ll visit the park as a visitor, and for some reason a tower explodes and suddenly all the dinosaur aren’t as friendly as they used to be. Before you know it you have made yourself a gun and are firing at dinosaur as if it were the wild west.

While the battles are fun, there aren’t that many of them to do. Each mission is very straight forward: You have to defend yourself against waves of different dinosaurs, gradually becoming harder with each wave, before you have to face an end boss. Let me tell you, these bosses can be quite frustrating. Especially the Ape in the first level, which got me to almost give up on the game twice. I must’ve put over several hours in the Ape alone, just to get an idea of what to do in the fight, but eventually meet the very same fate as in the previous twenty tries. In the end I just gave up, and I went exploring instead.

Exploring in Ark Park is a bit of a separate thing to do. It doesn’t really help you unlock more missions to fight the dinosaurs in, but it does allow you to unlock more exploration zones. There you will find objects and dinosaurs to scan with your tool, and gain information and resources on them that you can then craft into weapons or other useful items to help you in the missions. You can even find dinosaur eggs that you can then breed yourself, and put in your own small imprisonment for your entertainment. You can even ride on them as if they are horses. If you are feeling fabulous you can even spray paint them with this interesting, only half-the-time working spraypaint gun.

When it comes to the graphics and audio, I must say that Ark Park definitely looks very good, and tries it best just to throw eye candy at your screen with whatever you’re doing. Even on my quickly aging video card that can barely run Virtual Reality right, I had no issues whatsoever playing on the highest quality and even recording at the same time. As for the audio, well that’s where you will see the lack of effort. The sounds aren’t necessarily that bad, but they’re very simple, and are also extremely buggy. Many times the audio just pops in and out, and when it does properly work, you sometimes wonder why there isn’t just more to it. Unfortunately I am not alone with all of these worries. Looking at the reactions in the community, it is mostly negative and everyone was hoping for this special experience, but is letdown with a game that feels like an “Overpriced Tech Demo”, as someone put well in their review.

Conclusion: 2/5 (Fair)

 Ark Park looks and sounds like a very promising game, but when you put some time into it you will see the holes in the basket. The game looks stunning in Virtual Reality, and it uses the technology somewhat well to its advantage. They kick things off like you are in the typical Jurassic Park movie, but letdown with anything else they have to show for it afterward. While shooting at Dinosaur could be fun for an hour, as a gamer that doesn’t work out a lot, I already felt my muscles hurting from keeping my gun up for long periods of time. Exploring is a nice addition to the game, but it doesn’t really fill the gaps that are missing.

 I can not see this game work in its current state. While it is somewhat fun for a few hours, the game is definitely not finished and it needs some serious content to justify its price.

Note: A game key was provided for review purposes.

ARK PARK Screenshots

Graywalkers: Purgatory Strategy RPG is in Development

Graywalkers Purgatory

Dreamlords Digital is hard at work for a Steam Early Access release for their video game, Graywalkers: Purgatory for 2018. It is the first in a series of Strategy Turn-based RPGs set in a post-apocalyptic world, where portions of Heaven and Hell merged with Earth, during an event called “The Rupture”. Inspired by Fallout & Wasteland, it was successfully funded on Kickstarter and is presently in the Alpha stage of development. The first step is to release on PC, then a port for console at a later date (PS4/XB1). Graywalkers: Purgatory takes place on the island of Purgatory, a fictional series of land masses from across the world that have somehow merged together. As the leader of prophecy for the Graywalkers, your goal is to unite the supernatural forces that have dominated the world.

Key Features for Graywalkers: Purgatory:

  • Game Modes – will have 3 game modes: Campaign, Skirmish (Mission Based), and Multiplayer will be added through a free update. Early Access will be released with the Skirmish mode first.
  • Strategic Management – Manage your resources, personnel, influence, technology, magic, and equipment
  • Race – choose from 6 races (human, dhampir, Nephilim, cambion, wolfkin & hunterborne). More races will also be added through DLCs
  • Character Paths – choose from 10 initial paths(classes) for your character to follow
  • Characters –  in addition to your custom character, you will be able to recruit from over 40+ playable NPCs, each with his own abilities, background and personality. Level them up and customize them as they improve
  • Table-Top Experience – game utilizes a new table-top RPG system
  • Enemies – encounter creatures like vampires, demons, angels, werewolves, ghosts, witches, zombies, and many other supernatural enemies
  • Resources – Scavenge for resources, rebuild lost technology, recover ancient relics, research new technologies, and craft objects from ordinary items that you find.
  • Factions – choose your alliances from among various factions, with each having their own agendas.  

 

Stronghold Kingdoms Europe 5 Giveaway

We’ve partnered with Firefly Studios to celebrate the launch of its Europe 5 world for Stronghold Kingdoms with a premium code giveaway!

Stronghold Kingdoms Art

Join thousands of players online on PC, Mac, and Mobile as you expand your medieval village and construct a mighty castle to protect it: farm peacefully, engage in political mind games, seek vengeance on your sworn enemies or lead your armies to glory across the country, Europe or the entire World. Rule as you desire and become a feudal Lord! Siege other players, battle AI opponents, research new weaponry, forge alliances in player Factions and fight for the eternal glory of your House.

This key will get you the following items:

  • 5 Random Packs
  • 1 Super Random Pack
  • 1 Ultimate Random Pack
  • 5 Army Packs
  • 200 Card Points
  • 2×7-Day Premium Tokens

There is no restriction to these keys, but only once per account. Keys are for all players on every game worlds on PC, Mac and Mobile.

In order to redeem a code:

  1. Register a new Stronghold Kingdoms visiting the website and download Stronghold Kingdoms (or log into your already existent Stronghold Kingdoms account).
  2. Go to “My account” page, look at the section “redeem code.”
  3. Write the code in the white box, next to word “redeem code.”
  4. Click on “Redeem code.”
  5. Cards packs, premium tokens and card points can be found in Cards screen (icon on the top).

Note: Unfortunately ad blockers may interfere with our site. If you have any issues claiming a key, please disable them and try again.

DOOM Original Game Soundtrack Available on Vinyl/CD in Summer 2018

DOOM 2016 OST

A Game Awards 2016 Winner for Best Music / Sound Design and BAFTA Games Nominee for Best Music and Audio Achievement, the DOOM (Original Game Soundtrack) brings the pulse-pounding, demon-obliterating audio experience to fans of the franchise for the first time in physical media this summer. Composed by long-time Bethesda collaborator Mick Gordon, his dark and intense vision channels industrial metal to mirror DOOM’s trademark brutal power fantasy gameplay across 31 synth and metal-filled tracks, spanning over two hours of runtime. Callbacks to the legacy of the franchise can be heard in this soundtrack, as the soundtrack’s signature screeching guitar lines are layered with the chainsaw audio from the original 1993 DOOM.

The soundtrack can be pre-ordered here for NA, and here for the rest of the world. It is available in several formats: Deluxe Double CD, Double LP, and a special edition X4LP/Limited Edition X4LP, and will ship in Q3 2018. So fans of physical media, whether they prefer CD or Vinyl will have something on offer. 31 tracks of powerful, demon-killing music will be available this summer, and it’s already available in digital outlets, Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon.

 

AVerMedia Announces Latest Addition to Audio Lineup: SonicWave Headsets

AverMedia SonicWave Headset

AVerMedia Technologies have announced a brand-new line of gaming audio solutions, in the SonicWave series. These two headsets, the stereo “SonicWave GH335) and the virtual 7.1 surround sound “SonicWave GH337” have both been designed to give gamers an immersive audio experience on both PC and current consoles, as well as mobile platforms. AVerMedia have spent time listening to community feedback to ensure that the SonicWave line measures up to even the most demanding needs. Both headsets feature oversized 50mm neodymium drivers, which deliver powerful sound at the fraction of the weight of regular magnets.

The stereo SonicWave GH335 features analog audio and microphone connections and its oversized drivers and closed back design help keep gamers focused on their gaming experience. The SonicWave GH337 and its bundled AVerMedia Sound Engine software bring virtual 7.1 surround sound to the audio mix, giving gamers the tools needed to truly immerse themselves and easily pinpoint the location of their rivals. The GH337 also features LED lighting on its outer rims. Both of these feature omnidirectional boom microphones and the GH337 has a strategically placed secondary microphone, featuring the latest in noise-reduction technology, to allow players to communicate easier, and clearly with their teammates.

PRODUCT DETAILS
SonicWave GH335:
  • Tuned Acoustics for Gaming: Oversized 50mm neodymium drivers with 20–20K Hz response, 97±3 dB sensitivity (@ 1 kHz), 32 Ω impedance
  • Stay Focused on the Game: Closed-back design puts the game front and center
  • Sensitive Microphone: Omnidirectional pickup pattern with a Ø 6.0 x 2.8 mm capsule; ≤ 2200 Ω and 38 ±3 dB sensitivity
  • Compatible with all Analog Interfaces: 4-pole 3.5 mm audio jack and 3.5 microphone jack with splitter cable work with PC, PS4™ and Xbox One™ consoles and mobile (some Xbox One controllers may require a stereo adapter; sold separately)
  • In-Line Controls: Volume and microphone mute switches
  • Lightweight and Comfortable: Only 340 g / 11.9 oz with 2.2 m / 7.2 ft cable
  •  MSRP: $59.99
SonicWave GH337:
  • 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound Audio with AVerMedia Sound Engine: Pinpoint your opponents and stay immersed in your surroundings
  • High Quality Audio Specs: Oversized 50mm neodymium drivers with 20–20K Hz response, 97±3 dB sensitivity (@ 1 kHz), 32 Ω impedance
  • Dual Microphone for Noise Reduction: Ignore ambient noise and hear your teammates clearly; omnidirectional pattern with ≤ 2200 Ω impedance and 38 ±3 dB sensitivity
  • Supports PC and Latest Consoles via USB 2.0 / 3.0: Including Xbox One™ X and PS4™ Pro
  • Full In-line Controls: Volume, microphone mute and LED on/off
  • Comfort and Flexibility: 370 g / 13.05 oz weight with 2.2 m / 7.2 ft cable to give you room to move

Ragachak’s Top 5 Apocalypse RPGs

by Jason Parker (Ragachak)

Fallout Shelter Announcement Trailer Thumbnail

So, today on “Things I learned”, Aliens are supposed to end the world on 4/18/18, which is today. That’s easily the most ridiculous things I’ve had to type out in a while. But that’s a real thing that people believe. It’s evidently, a popular conspiracy theory. The way I understand it, there were alien lifeforms on the Malaysian Flight 370, and people have been receiving cryptic messages on their phone about how something on the flight was not human, et cetera. It’s a ridiculous theory with little to no cohesion. While I hope I’m right, and the world as we know it isn’t ending today due to Alien Invasion, it did give me pause to consider another list, with thanks to my friend Josh (who brought to my attention that it’s Apocalypse Day. Thanks a lot if you’re right, Josh…) Post-Apocalyptic themes are very popular in the RPG genre because I suppose it’s fun to think about how things would work out if the world ended. Whether it’s due to nuclear technology, supernatural nonsense, there are lots of causes for the end of our world.

This is not the first time there has been a doomsday prophet claiming the world was going to end: Remember the year 2000? Or even a few years back? So I decided to really sit down and think about what my favorite end-of-the-world games were. Though I do have a notable mention or two. Let’s start the honorable mentions with Dying Light. Dying Light’s an open-world zombie apocalypse set around a quarantined city (Harran). Visually appealing, and newer than some of the other zombie games I could pick, it didn’t hook me like some of the classics did, despite some (most) of those games being a bit more linear. But it’s about what I enjoyed/played the most, what I personally enjoyed. Bioshock could also very well go on this list. I absolutely love the story created by Bioshock’s franchise, as well as the visuals of Infinite. But I simply did not enjoy actually playing them. Wasn’t really interesting to me. But damn if I don’t love the premise and story. Dead Island is definitely a series that could have dominated this list, but the franchise really kind of fell apart and while I liked playing it at first, it kind of got boring a few hours in. Well, let’s get to the end!

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PILLS HERE.

5: Left 4 Dead (1 and 2): I do enjoy a good zombie game. These were basically linear rail shooters, but there’s just something about them that were just a joy. From the character interactions, playing this with your friends, swearing at those friends for leaving you behind, and the crazy mods of it (Minas Tirath anyone?), Left 4 Dead is in my opinion, the definitive zombie survival game. Is it easy as hell now? Of course, once you’ve played a few times, you know what to expect. That style of game still persists to this day in a few other genres, like the Vermintide games. Vermintide reminds me deeply of Left 4 Dead, with Skaven instead of Zombies, but they’re basically the same thing. Fun weapons, frustrating elite zombie types, and a true feeling of hopelessness, it was everything I wanted in a zombie game.

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It’s a hard life, fighting an endless alien horde.

4: X-COM: X-COM has both Aliens and the end of the world, so this really epitomizes the list. The X-COM franchise is about a team that counters and fights Alien threats as they come to invade the planet Earth. It’s also an incredibly long-lasting series, beginning back in 1994 with UFO: Enemy Unknown. I love turn-based strategy/RPGs, I love the idea of a mysterious alien threat, and the difficulty is also certainly enjoyable. It’s challenging, to the point of being frustrating, until you get the hang of things. The latest game, X-COM 2 features the world under invasion and despite our high technology and well-trained teams of badasses, it all feels overwhelming and hopeless. In this latest game, it takes place 20 years after the last one, and the alien threat has already won and defeated humanity. X-COM went from being a force that countered and repelled alien threats to simply being a rebel faction, desperately fighting to get their world back. It’s well worth a play.

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2B is just the best.

3: Nier (and Nier: Automata): Oh man, this is on the list of “games I need more time with”. I briefly played both Nier games, and though I did not finish either, they made a huge impact on me. Nier takes the story of Chouriki Sentai Ohranger, with an alien force of machines that invaded Earth. The remnants of both forces do battle in the Nier story, and playing from the viewpoint of 2B/9S in Automata is fascinating and depressing in equal measures. Multiple endings, a pretty dark, hopeless story, incredible combat, Nier: Automata has it all and then some. Yoko Taro is some kind of madman/genius, and I absolutely love what he’s crafted. The narrative is incredible, and despite this world being desolate, the beauty of it is still breathtaking. Nier: Automata is truly something special.

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Now I want to watch Dogma.

2: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (featuring Dante from Devil May Cry!): My first experience in the Persona/SMT franchises was with the PS2 hit, SMT: Nocturne. This game makes me so angry because it’s so damn hard for a first-time player. The world has ended, and demons are everywhere. The coolest part of this game to me is recruiting these demons to your cause. From adorable and sexy demons/imps/succubi, all the way to Abbadon, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Dante from Devil May Cry. Yes, Dante was in this game. I don’t know if that’s been made clear (and despite not being into the DMC series, I did like this crossover).The main character becomes a half-demon, and you go on a trek through frustrating mazes, making bargains with demons, fusing them together, and going on one hell of a trek. This is why I wish my Playstation 3 was still a backward compatible one, so I could stream this insanity.

Fallout-4

War … War never changes.

1: Fallout (All of them): Of course Fallout tops the list! And why? Each one of these games has been a slightly different take on the end of the world, but a nuclear disaster seems to be the way the world will more than likely actually end. Fallout feels like it’s the most grounded in reality, despite ghouls, robots, and fancy laser weapons/portable nukes. While I love the first two Fallout games, I did not play them in their heyday. I got started in Fallout 3, and honestly (I don’t care if you disagree, purist nerds) I liked this action-RPG style more. I felt more involved, more immersed in the story. And plus, it was prettier. It was still ugly and monochromatic (or so it felt), I enjoyed the VATS system, I liked being able to explore ruins of our great nation in a 3D way instead of the top-down 2/2.5D. I enjoyed New Vegas, and I loved 4, but Fallout 3 was where I got my start, and while the games I don’t think are all in the exact same timeline, there are plenty of things to tie it all together. I love the Fallout franchise, and writing this makes me want to reinstall 4. Maybe I will.

What about you? What are your favorite post-apocalyptic RPGs/ARPGs? Let me know below!