Author: Brenna Graves

Review: Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality

Virtual Rick-ality feels like Job simulator, in the Rick and Morty universe, but a bit more game-y.
There are more mechanics such as puzzles, that make you feel like you’re playing more of a traditional game.

To start off, I want to say if you enjoy the jokes in the show, you will have just as much fun here. I felt like the writing and jokes were spot on. It felt like being in an episode of the show you love, which is great.
As for gameplay and interactivity, if you’ve played Job simulator, you will find that this game similarly, has a very acute attention to detail. The way you interact with objects in the world is intuitive and feels right. (Although sometimes closing cupboard doors was a bit finicky.)
In perfect Rick and Morty fashion, objects in the environment and situations that happen will surprise you.

The main difference I noticed between this and Job simulator was that there are actual puzzles. Although I loved Job Simulator, it was evidently an easy game that’s meant to just make you laugh. There wasn’t much thinking involved.

This game, on the other hand, has several puzzles that push you to really think in creative ways. There was one particular puzzle that stumped me and a few of my other friends for quite a decent amount of time. To the point that we all got frustrated and it actually slowed down our enjoyment of the game for a while until we managed to solve it and get back on track. (It was pretty satisfying when we did accomplish it though).

The game mainly takes place in one small location, but there is a lot to explore within that area. On top of that, you will also transport to 3 other locations briefly (Similarly to Waltz of the Wizard).

Although the game is relatively short, and you can beat it in approximately 2 hours, I’ve found myself at about 4 hours so far just messing around and finding all sorts of really fun easter eggs, hidden collectibles and new ways to interact with some of the cool gadgets available to you.

This has been one of my favourite VR experiences thus far, and although I can absolutely see how the full price can be too high for some people, I understand why the devs have put it up this much. VR development is currently not very profitable, and the game really is super polished, and filled with love, so it really does deserve the asking price.

I think if you go into the game knowing you’re in for a more-or-less short but sweet experience, you will leave very happy.

Review: Aarklash: Legacy

Aarklash: Legacy is a squad based tactical RPG developed by Cyanide Studio. The combat in Aarklash: Legacy is in real time with the ability to tactical pause whenever you wish. You can queue up abilities with the shift key which will allow you to chain abilities together so you don’t have to manually do each one when it is ready. It is possible to click on the portraits on enemies and bosses to see exactly what kind of stats and abilities they have, as well as if they have any buffs or debuffs. If one of your Wheel Swords go down in combat, you can easily click on them with another hero to revive them, but they won’t be successful if they’re being attacked.

In total you will run into 8 different characters you can add to your party, who are all called Wheel Swords. You can only have four of them in your party at a time, but you can freely choose who you want most of the time, since sometimes you will be forced to split into two groups. Luckily, even if they aren’t in your current group, they will still gain experience from battles. All Wheel Swords have a unique set of stats and attack types, resource pools, back stories, abilities, and passive bonuses and disadvantages. An example is Wendaroo who is a physical ranged Wheel Sword that uses healing magic, and can’t be silenced but must damage allies in order to gain mana instead of regenerating it over time.

Each Wheel Sword in Aarklash: Legacy has a total of 4 abilities, which can be enhanced later on with skill points. These abilities are all unique amongst each other and do more than just simply deal damage or heal allies. Except for one Wheel Sword, all abilities will have a cooldown as well as costing resource points such as mana or even health. A few abilities have the chance to affect both allies an enemies, which means you need to be careful since it is possible to heal enemies and damage allies. Example abilities are an area of effect knockdown which will interrupt everything around you including allies, and the ability to transfer buffs that are on enemies to yourself.

After party members have learned all of their skills, leveling up will start to earn them skill points. Since the max character level is 20, you will only get a total of 17 points per hero to use, which means you can only fully level up at most two skills at one time. You are able to apply these points to the four abilities that each character has, making it stronger, more efficient, and gaining special properties. It is possible to reset your points at any time which allows you to easily adapt for the current situation, as area of effect abilities won’t do you much for large boss fights. As you go down the ability tree, there will be branches that you have to decide on since you can’t go every direction at one time. An example is a simple healing ability that can later either heal both the target and caster, or become a channeled spell that continuously heals the target.

The only items that you will run into are four types of jewelry, such as rings and relics. Each type is completely equal to all of the others, you are just simply allowed to equip one of each onto each member of your party. They have differing values of rarity which of course increase the stats on them, which range from junk, magical, rare, and epic. Each rarity rank will increase the number of stats on them, from one being on junk and up to six on epic pieces. Stats can range from simply increasing the max hp, and increases magic damage by a percentage. When you are running out of space to carry jewelry, or just want to simply get rid of the pieces you will never use, it is possible to recycle pieces that add up on a counter. After the counter is filled, a random epic rarity piece of the last jewelry type that was recycled is created in your inventory.

As you explore the world of Aarklash: Legacy, you will run into groups of enemies consisting of many different types. Whether you are fighting humans or the undead, there are generally three types of units such as melee, archers, and spell casters. All enemies have the chance to drop an item of some kind, but it doesn’t happen too often. As you progress through the game, the same types of enemies will appear but with stronger stats, and even sometimes adding additional abilities that you need to learn about, so it is somewhat refreshing to see similar enemies.

While you’re adventuring through the world of Aarklash: Legacy, you will come upon large bosses at times. These bosses are unique and will act very different compared to everything else you will run across. It is wise to click their portrait and learn about all of the abilities that they use, since knowing how to prevent abilities like the automatic killing of your party is essential to victory. On defeat you will be rewarded with experience and a large pile of jewelry, usually containing at least one epic piece.

When you reach the second act of Aarklash: Legacy, you will start to encounter many different types of puzzles. Most of them are required in order to progress farther, but they aren’t too difficulty and just require a little bit of thinking. You will run into the same types of puzzles over and over, but they get more difficult and add in different elements at times however. Example puzzles are walking through a hallway with projectiles that will teleport you back to the start if you touch them, and creating shapes with switches to match an example shape given to you.

Most of these types of games just have you running around as a single character, or groups of characters in turn based combat. Aarklash plays a lot like Dragon Age: Origins in that you are able to pause the game and give orders to everyone, though nothing is able to be automated. It also feels a lot like a single player MMO raiding game, since the boss fights require a lot of coordination and you only have to rely on yourself.

All of the important options that you would need exist in Aarklash: Legacy such as rebindable controls, volume sliders, and graphical options. There is a unique gameplay option that you can turn on which will automatically pause the game when certain conditions occur, such as start of combat or one of your party members go down in agony. Graphical quality is quite standard with nothing bad or amazing about them. For some reason, the game randomly causes your GPU to go up and down in temperature for no apparent reason, and may cause weaker computers to overheat(just guessing). Everything is voice acted, though the quality of it could have been better, especially when the dog/kangaroo hero growls and snarls.

Especially on higher difficulty, it feels like you have to pause way too often, and thirty second cooldowns feel like five minutes. There’s nothing negative about being able to pause the game and coordinate all of your attacks, but since nothing happens automatically except for basic attacks, you will have to be constantly giving your party the same orders over and over. Other games like Final Fantasy XII and Dragon Age series had ways to let your party automatically use abilities while you can still manually give orders.

You will accumulate tons of jewelry to equip on your heroes, and eventually it can take a long time to equip your heroes, especially when you have 8 of them. Although it’d be best to manually do it, a “Equip Best” button could easily shorten the amount of time it takes to outfit everyone. Even though every hero that you can use in your party is unique from one another, some are just plain better than others and when you can only have 4 in a group at once and everyone gains experience even when not in your group, there’s just no reason to use some of them. There is one time where you are forced to split into two groups though, which is nice when you want to experience even the weaker wheel swords.

You can easily put the game into normal or easy difficulty if you don’t want a challenge. Even so, you will still need to know what types of abilities enemies and bosses can use as well as your own party. You will eventually run into puzzles, but they aren’t too challenging as long as you use your head a little bit. You can save at any time and the battles don’t last very long so anyone with a tight schedule can easily enjoy Aarklash: Legacy.

When you put Aarklash: Legacy on hard or even Ragnarok difficulty, you are in for quite the challenge. Enemies will be doing a whole lot more damage and fallen comrades will take even longer to resurrect if you can even get to them. Giant bosses are possibly the best thing you can look for, since it is a lot like doing a raid in MMOs but only with you in command. Other than possibly finding hidden bosses and treasure chests, there currently is nothing in the preview version that involves collecting or completing other than the main story. Achievements are available however, though they don’t affect the game in any way. Haven’t solved the game yet, but you can easily expect to get well over 12 hours of entertainment from it, depending on the level of difficulty and how often you have to reload.

Aarklash: Legacy is priced at 21 dollars and there is currently no DLCs announced at this time. If you are a big fan of commanding a small group of heroes around and using strategy and tactics to get past the hardest of obstacles, Aarklash: Legacy is well worth your money to buy.

EA release official Madden 18 teaser trailer

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For the first time in Madden NFL history, the cover athlete in back-to-back years are teammates, as the five-time Superbowl​ champion follows last year’s cover athlete, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

The latest installment to the longest-running sports franchise will now be powers by Frostbite — following FIFA 17– which according to EA, “Delivers a significant visual leap not only to the players, but crowds, stadiums, and more.”

Following today’s cover reveal, Electronic Arts revealed Madden NFL 18’s pre-order bonuses. Those who pre-order the standard version will receive five Squad Packs and the choice of an Elite player for use in Ultimate Team.

Meanwhile, those who pre-order the G.O.A.T. Edition will get the previously mentioned content in the standard edition, as well as the ability to choose one of five G.O.A.T. players for Ultimate Team. Those who own this edition will also get three-day early access to the game, allowing them to dive into the action on August 22.

In addition the early access pre-orders, EA Access members will also be able to try out the game early for up to 10 hours starting August 17, so if you have both, than that’s a win-win for you. Madden NFL 18 will be available worldwide for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on August 25th.

EA will share additional details about Madden NFL 18, as well as a new mode, at EA play on June 10. The publisher will showcase a number of other games as well, including Ghost Games’ new Need for Speed title, as well as FIFA 18, NBA Live 18 and Star Wars Battlefront II.

The Nintendo Switch is already being hacked

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As I’m sure most people are aware, consoles and handhelds have exploits. Almost every console can be modded and is able to play copied games except the newest generation. All in good time though right? Nintendo’s 3DS was pretty famous for having a very active modding scene and their Wii has possibly the biggest homebrew scene ever seen aside the PS3. Usually, this takes time though it seems like Nintendo aren’t quite as secure as they’d hoped to be, the Switch was hacked mere weeks after it’s release. Not yet able to play homebrew games, people still managed to hack into it and might end up having homebrew on it fairly soon.

Though, you can’t yet do this yourself as Nintendo are pretty intent on keeping this on the down low. Of course, they want to minimise piracy and modding of their consoles so they’ve issued a website called HackerOne. This isn’t exactly a new thing but it has been expanded to offer cash rewards in return for ratting out hackers. A good move I’d say, money is the best incentive for anything so why would they not send Nintendo the goods in return for money? That money will likely just go on more Switch games anyway.
So let’s hope Nintendo can manage to keep this going, the Switch seems to be the only console Nintendo have put any effort into online gameplay with this time. Aside from the ridiculous phone app to talk. Nintendo aren’t known for making the brightest decisions and if you ask me, their console is months away from being fully hacked like the rest.

We just have to wait until sales die down because they didn’t release another Zelda for them to give up and stick to the handheld market. That’s really what we all want anyway. More Phoenix Wright games!

Omega Quintet Coming to PC via Steam in 2017

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Hot on the heels of their recent announcement that Lost Dimension will be coming to PC, Ghostlight today announced that they will also be bringing Idea Factory’s awesome hybrid JRPG/ Idol Simulation, Omega Quintet, to PC later this year!

Omega Quintet was developed by Compile Heart under the brand Galapagos RPG for PS4, whilst Fukahire handled the original character design. Originally released in Europe by Idea Factory International last year, Omega Quintet received a number of excellent reviews.

In a world overrun by a mysterious, malevolent darkness, the only hope for humanity rests in the music of singing idols Otoha, Kyoka, Kanadeko, Nene and Aria, known simply as the “Verse Maidens”. Wielding weapons of sound, they are tasked with fighting back evil and restoring the world, but it won’t be easy! These five plucky girls – along with the help of their manager, Takt – will have to give the performance of a lifetime to stop the darkness from claiming the last of humanity. Will they be able to band together and blow this evil away, or will they fight only to discover that the darkness has been lurking within them the whole time…?

Power of music! Harness the power of song to defeat evil! Every fight is a performance, and you’ve gotta give the audience what they want! Enter “Concert Mode” to get musical boosts and fill your Voltage Gauge faster to perform special skills.

Break a… garter? It may be the end of the world, but your idols must always be ready to perform! You’ll be able to customize their outfits, accessories, hair, and more! Be careful though, as sustaining hits from enemies can cause a “Costume Break” which will compromise their outfits, leaving them vulnerable to more damage!

Lethal harmonies! An idol group combines their talents to create beautiful harmonies, and with the “Harmonics” system you can sing your enemies right into their graves! Create deadly super chains of attacks, utilizing each idol’s skill in the right order to keep the pain coming.

Blizzard Entertainment Announces StarCraft: Remastered

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One of the highest rated, most celebrated games of all time has evolved. Blizzard Entertainment today unveiled StarCraft: Remastered, a reverently crafted modernization of the original award-winning real-time strategy game. StarCraft: Remastered will offer a full graphical overhaul of the original StarCraft and the StarCraft: Brood War expansion, while preserving the sublime gameplay that captivated millions of gamers around the world and served as the foundation for professional global esports.

“StarCraft is a pure distillation of Blizzard’s DNA—its story, its balance, and all the little details reflect our long-running commitment to epic entertainment, and it’s been a staple in competitive gaming and esports for almost 20 years,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With StarCraft: Remastered, we’re modernizing the original game’s visuals, audio, and online support to ensure that players can enjoy StarCraft for another 20 years and beyond.”

The remastered graphics and audio will bring a modern look and feel to the timeless classic, with widescreen UHD support for up to 4K resolution. Other updates will include new illustrations to enhance storytelling in the StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War campaign missions; advanced matchmaking; full connectivity to Blizzard’s gaming network for social features and updates; cloud saving for campaign progress, custom maps, replays, and keybinds; support for eight new languages in addition to the original five; and more. While these improvements will bring StarCraft to the modern era, gameplay and balance have been precisely preserved, for an experience that will feel identical to veteran players.

Blizzard is developing StarCraft: Remastered for release on Windows and Mac PCs, with an anticipated release date this summer. Pricing and related information on StarCraft: Remastered will be announced at a later date. Prepare to venture once again onto the planetary battlefields of the war-torn Koprulu Sector; command the forces of the zerg, protoss, and terrans in their struggle for galactic domination; relive the epic saga of Marshal Jim Raynor, Kerrigan, and Praetor Fenix; or just vie for the GG against fellow players in this rejuvenated version of the online competitive RTS that set the bar for an entire genre.