Tag Archives: video games

How do you remake Resident Evil 4 while honoring its legacy?

When news first broke of a potential Resident Evil 4 remake by Capcom it wasn’t uncommon to see articles asking whether the game actually needed to be remade. The original game was released on GameCube in January 2005 to critical acclaim, hailed as the next evolutionary step not just in the field of survival horror but in video games as a whole. Given this, it all begged the question, why update a classic that’s still influencing games as we speak. Furthermore, how do you upgrade or rework something so groundbreaking for a new audience to appreciate without undoing the things that made it special to being with?

Looks like we’ll be having answers to these questions soon as Capcom formally announced the March 24th, 2023 release date for the Resident Evil 4 remake during Sony’s recent State of Play event. It’ll be coming to consoles and PC with all the bells and whistles expected of a next-gen game along with new gameplay mechanics to help it better fit in with today’s gaming sensibilities.

Bits of gameplay were shown in a trailer made for the event, showcasing highly detailed character models and environments not unlike those seen in the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes in terms of design and overall polish. What little we see of the Ganado (the now iconic infected Spaniards out for Leon’s head) looks terrifying, and opening village segment seems more claustrophobic and denser. If anything, it’s easier to compare now with Resident Evil: Village, especially in terms of color palette. It all bears a more gothic sense of horror, as was the case in RE8.

It’s not unfair to state that RE4 marked a watershed moment in gaming, of the kind that strikes a dividing line between the ‘pre’ and ‘post’ times of a game’s release. RE4’s over-the-shoulder camera angle, for instance, has basically become the standard for third-person experiences, seen in games such as Gears of War (2006), Dead Space (2008), and 2018’s God of War, extending as far as the most recent Resident Evil remakes (albeit with more modern mechanics featured as part of the update, such as the ability to aim while walking rather than having to stand still to do so as was the case in RE4).

The same goes for targeted limb damage, which wasn’t so much created by RE4 as it was equipped with more layers of gameplay mechanics thanks to the precise aiming controls and the well-rounded the weapon upgrading system. Running foes could be shot in the legs to stop them in their tracks while axe-wielding enemies could get their murder weapons knocked out of their hands by well-placed shots. Dead Space picked up on this with its own limb dismemberment system while The Evil Within series stuck more closely to RE4’s combat stylings (down to the weapon upgrades).

If the trailer for the RE4 remake is any indication, it’s fair to assume the trip to back to Spain will result in a celebration of these contributions to gaming. And yet, it does invite questions as to how much of what made the game so revolutionary will carry over into the final product. This makes the existence of the remake exciting beyond all expectations, especially when one considers what current gamers are used to when engaging with the latest offerings and whether they make RE4 come off as outdated or not.

I for one consider RE4 to have aged quite well. Upon revisiting it, the only thing I find myself taking time adjusting to is having to stop in my tracks to then be able to aim my weapon. It’s nothing that requires much wrangling from my end to get used to again, but it’s a noticeable shift.

It doesn’t compare to the amount of work I have to do to get back into the swing of things with the Playstation 1 line of Resident Evil games, which extends to the GameCube remakes. The tank controls require tapping into muscle memory you were already glad to be rid of (meaning the use of a single d-pad or analog stick to both turn and move backward and forwards as opposed to the first-person controls-inspired scheme that came later).

Resident Evil 4 didn’t do away entirely with the classic survival horror control scheme, but it made it infinitely more flexible when compared to what came before. Remakes post-RE4 would use that game as a map for their comebacks.

I’m not holding my breath for this, but I do hope there’s a classic mode that keeps the original controls in place for an experience that comes closer to what so many of us experienced when Resident Evil 4 first came out (if only for the sake of recognizing its contributions to gaming). I also hope the context specific actions Leon could pull off if he staggered an enemy crossover as well. I want to be able to roundhouse kick the infected after I’ve shot them enough to make them trip over their feet.

Resident Evil 4 quite simply broadened the scope of an entire industry, opened its eyes to change. It’s curious that the franchise has found so much success in remakes that update their classic entries by not only giving them very generous facelifts but also by changing the gameplay of the originals into something that plays more like Resident Evil 4. That’s how important this game is. It looks to update the past while still offering a viable blueprint for future games. Now it’s a matter of seeing how well the Resident Evil 4 remake captures the original Resident Evil 4.

Those Two Geeks Episode 131: Forty Five Minute Mashup

Alex and Joe babble on about more Marvel Legends, movie news and video games.

As always, Alex and Joe can be found on Twitter respectively @karcossa and @jcb_smark if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter, or by email at ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

White Nationalism is the Issue. Video Games and Media Don’t Cause Violence

video games controller

With recent tragedies on everyone’s minds, some people are looking for a cause and culprit other than the shooters and perpetrators of the recent terrorist attacks in Dayton and El Paso. Unfortunately, some are blaming media, including video games, for violent behavior in individuals. We know this isn’t the case; banning or regulating media content, even more, won’t solve the issue.

Christopher J. Ferguson, the chair of the Texas A&M International University’s department of psychology and communication, among others including federally funded studies, have shown there’s no link between violent video games and real-world violence like mass shooting, bullying or youth aggression. There’s no need for more federal studies, when there’s been federal studies completed. Past research has been mixed, at best, and often weakened by substantial methodological flaws.

It’s clear that real-world statistics don’t back up the coordinated rhetoric championed by the Republican party and elected officials. It’s a coordinated deflection from the true cause of attacks, white nationalism, and loose gun laws. That’s the true threat to America, not video games.

The facts also back up no connection. While video game sales have increased, according to the FBI’s own statistics, violent crime has been steadily decreasing. In 2011, violent crimes nationwide decreased by 3.8% from 2010. Since 2002, it’s decreased by 15.5%. This is all during the time when games like Call of Duty and Halo have dominated sales. Other nations play the same video games and don’t see the violence and shooting that we see here in the United States.

While Trump also blames mental health, video games have been shown they can be used in therapy including for treating mental health issues.

The reality is President Trump’s own rhetoric fuels the violence and terrorist attacks. When an individual joked about shooting immigrants at a rally, Trump laughed. Counties that hosted a 2016 Trump rally saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes. Both Trump and the El Paso White Nationalist used the term “invasion” when describing immigrants.

Hate crimes in the country increased by 17 percent from 2016 to 2017, marking the third straight year of a spike in hate crimes, according to an FBI report released last November.

At the same time, federal courts – including the Supreme Court – have routinely held that government regulation of media, including video games, is unconstitutional.  Funding more studies – or passing laws that then get fought out in courts – costs taxpayers millions of dollars. That’s money better spent on treating the mentally ill or shoring up and improving background checks for weapons purchases.

We’ve seen these same conversations before. In the 1950s comic books were blamed for truancy, violence, and homosexuality in youth. This lead to hearings in the United States Senate. We look back on this piece of history and laugh out how ludicrous this claim was then. It’s just as ludicrous today when the conversation turns to video games and their effects.

There’s no easy solution to prevent violence like these events. But focusing on the wrong things isn’t the answer. Make your voice heard today.

Fashion Spotlight: I WANT TO BELIEVE, Dark Triforce Brew, Mr Robotnik

Ript Apparel has three new designs! I WANT TO BELIEVE, Dark Triforce Brew, and Mr Robotnik, by mauru, alex.pawlicki, NibiruHybrid are on sale today only! Get them before they’re gone!



Dark Triforce Brew


Mr Robotnik








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Fashion Spotlight: Just a Hog in a Cage, Heroes Never Die, Nerf This!

Ript Apparel has three new designs! Just a Hog in a Cage, Heroes Never Die, and Nerf This!, by Obvian and BiggStankDogg are on sale today only! Get them before they’re gone!






This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Tidewater Comicon 2016


Tidewater Comicon is a smaller con with quite a big bite. First of all, the location doesn’t hurt. The convention center is three miles away from a nice beach with a small boardwalk, amusement park, and all the seafood restaurants and bars your little tourist’s heart could desire. There is plenty to do when you’re not standing in line for creators or panels.

That’s correct. I didn’t have to wait in line for any panels or to meet comics creators even industry legends like Jae Lee (Inhumans, Batman/Superman) or Gerry Conway (creator of The Punisher, killed off Gwen Stacy, basically only Stan Lee and Jack Kirby have created more characters than him). I also had great seating at all the panels I attended, including the Punisher one featuring Conway and Mike Zeck (Secret Wars, the original Punisher miniseries) and a hilarious Q and A featuring actors Brian O’Halloran (Dante, various Hicks family members) and Marilyn Ghigliotti (Veronica) from Kevin Smith’s cult 1994 comedy Clerks.


The creators of Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat and me. (Picture by Katie Thompson.)

Definitely the biggest highlight of Tidewater Comicon was getting to chat with comics creators (Most of whom I’ve had various interactions with on social media.) and support their work in person. Jae Lee was as kind as he was talented and signed my copy of the recent Dynamite Django/Zorro crossover comic. His covers are examples of iconic storytelling in a single image. I geeked out way too hard over meeting the creative team of my favorite Marvel title Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat, which consists of writer Kate Leth, artist Britney Williams, and colorist Megan Wilson. I got a print of a cover of future issue featuring Jessica Jones in Alias Investigations with Hellcat on her desk and found out from Leth that editorial wanted Jessica to show up in the series, and they didn’t have to fight for her inclusion. It will be nice to see Jessica off the couch in a couple months.

I also met artist Eryk Donovan and picked up a copy of the miniseries Memetic (BOOM! Studios) that he did with James Tynion. It’s a series set during an apocalypse set off by a meme of a sloth and features a gay, deaf protagonist, who finds a little love before the world comes to a dark end. I chatted with Josh Frankel, the publisher of Z2 Comics, about their upcoming slate of titles, including Legend and Hyper Force Neo. Z2 is a fun indie publisher with a wide variety of comics from spooky, Southern fried all ages comics (Welcome to Showside) to black and white noirs (Carver) and even fantasy parodies (Allen, Son of Hellcock), and I look forward to seeing what they publish in the future. On Sunday, I got to talk with comics legend Gerry Conway about his Amazing Spider-Man run, and his fight for comics creators to get fair royalties when their creations are used in films and TV shows. I even chatted with Steve Orlando about his upcoming Supergirl series while commiserating over the loss of Midnighter. (He signed the panel where Midnighter and Apollo kiss in Midnighter #12 almost immediately after having a serious conversation with someone who wanted to break into comics.)


And while I wasn’t perusing the quarter bins or looking for manga or trade paperbacks (I picked up two volumes of Y The Last Man for $7 and picked up the complete Codename Sailor V series), a nice little oasis in the middle of the show floor was the Video Game Zone. It was basically just a bunch of tables with various sponsors, some free swag including Jurassic World Legos and Legend of Zelda soundtrack albums, and loads of video games consoles from mini arcade cabinets to Xbox One and PS4’s with the latest Mortal Kombat game or Fallout 4. I stuck to the old school playing the classic Super Mario Bros 3 on the Super NES, struggling at Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on a tricked out Sega Dreamcast, and good ol’ Frogger (which there was never a line for) while waiting for a creator interview. This area was one of the highlights of Tidewater Comicon and did a nice job integrating gamers and comics fans in one happy corner.


Welcome to Showside Live panel

On Saturday, I went to two panels: Welcome to Showside Live and the Action Lab panel because indie comics are the best. Welcome to Showside live was all about Ian McGinty‘s all ages comic Welcome to Showside about a little green monster named Kit, who wants to eat food, play video games all day, and hang out with his friends, but is actually the son of the Cthulhu-esque Shadow King. It’s a comic from Z2 comic as well as an animated pilot. Unfortunately, there were technical difficulties, and the pilot couldn’t be shown, but creator Ian McGinty, co-writer Samantha “Glow” Knapp, colorist and letterer Fred Stresing, and colorist Meg Casey put on quite an energetic panel with help of moderator Tini Howard (Poseidon IX). The team provided some great insights into the themes of the series (Basically, not being what your parents want you to be: namely evil and friends becoming a surrogate family.) as well as the process from going from a comic worked on by 3 or 4 people to a big animation project. McGinty talked about how working on licensed properties like Bravest Warriors or Adventure Time, helped him build an audience for a creator owned comic.

The Action Lab panel was pretty small and featured Action Lab publisher Bryan Seaton, writer Bob Frantz (Monty the Dinosaur), and artist/animator Sam Ellis (Archer, Bravest Warriors). Ellis is also the head of Action Lab’s relatively new animation division. Seaton laid out some of Action Lab’s summer releases, including the comics version of Nickelodeon’s Miraculous Ladybug, which is the number 1 show in France, the UK, and South Korea, and the number 3 show in the United States. Action Lab also has the license for the Miraculous Ladybug card games, which was designed by Ellis. Other comics coming up include Franco’s (Itty Bitty HellboySpot on Adventure, Sam Ellis’ Monster Dojo, and the comics adaptation of Peter David’s novel Artful, one of his rare non-Marvel comics. After announcements, Seaton, Frantz, and Ellis gave very in-depth answers to questions about the comics submission process, especially matching your comic to the company you’re pitching to. They also talked about Action Lab’s innovation in all ages comic starting with the critical acclaim of Princeless, and Seaton promised that there were more volumes of Fight Like A Girl, their mythical fight comic featuring a black teenage girl as a protagonist, coming down the line.


The Punisher panel

On Sunday, I went to a couple panels in the big panel room. The first one was about the Punisher and featured Gerry Conway and Mike Zeck. It was pretty well-attended probably due to the fantastic reception Jon Bernthal got for his performance as the character in Daredevil Season 2. Conway talked about how the Punisher was originally intended to be a one issue villain while he set up a larger storyline featuring the Jackal and Gwen Stacy in the first “Clone Saga”. The character was rooted in the 1970s when law and order was hard to come by in New York City, and the idea of vigilantism didn’t seem so bad in the wake of the real life actions of Bernard Goetz as well as the films Death Wish and Dirty Harry and Don Pendleton’s Executioner novels. Conway gave the Punisher a moral code to make him a more balanced character, and this led to him becoming a fan favorite character, who featured in Marvel’s black and white adult comics line and eventually had a miniseries and two ongoing series. Conway summed up the essence of the Punisher by saying he was a “Rorschach test for writers and artists”, who wanted to deal with the problems of their era. He said he liked a variety of takes on the Punisher from Garth Ennis’ realism in Punisher MAX to the more over the top violence of Steven Grant and Mike Zeck’s Punisher miniseries and graphic novel.


Both Conway and Zeck said that Jon Bernthal’s Punisher was their favorite on-screen version of the character and although Bernthal is a short actor, he brings presence to the role. Conway said that if they made a Punisher film in the 1970s when the character was first created that he would have cast “tough guy” actors, like Soylent Green-era Charlton Heston, Clint Eastwood, and of course, Death Wish‘s own Charles Bronson. On the artistic side, Zeck talked about his own design for the Punisher in the 1980s and said that he wanted to make him truly look like a killer while taking inspiration from Joe Kubert’s WWI and WWII-era German anti-hero Enemy Ace. Zeck also said that the Punisher was ripe to become a breakout character in the 1980s with the popularity of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone’s ultraviolent action films.

Conway and Zeck also talked a little about other characters they have worked on in response to fan questions with Zeck saying his dream character to work on for Marvel was Captain America, and he was happy that the character had a main role in the original Secret Wars. Conway said he was a big fan of Spider-Gwen and was glad he got the opportunity to write a story featuring her in Spider-Verse Team-Up saying that her new role as a superhero was much more fleshed out than the “nice girl” that she was back in Amazing Spider-Man in the 1960s and 1970s. He talked about enjoying the creative freedom of writing B and C list characters, like his current work on Marvel’s Carnage. Gerry Conway and Mike Zeck provided some great insights into these iconic characters drawing on their decades of work in the industry. (Conway sold his first story to DC Comics as a 16 year old!)


Brian O’Halloran did want to be here at the Clerks panel.

The final panel I went to was a Q and A with Brian O’Halloran and Marilyn Ghigliotti. O’Halloran played Dante in the cult comedy Clerks, directed by Kevin Smith, and has played various Hicks family members in virtually every Kevin Smith film set in his cinematic universe, the View Askewniverse. Ghigliotti played Dante’s girlfriend Veronica in Clerks (Of the “37 dicks” and lasagna fame) and now works in the film industry as a makeup artist. She will be reprising the role of Veronica in the upcoming Clerks III film. O’Halloran and Ghigliotti told wildly hilarious stories about working on Kevin Smith’s films and meeting various celebrities, like Mark Hamill, George Carlin, and Alan Rickman, who gave O’Halloran some advice when he flubbed a line in Dogma. O’Halloran showed up off his Dante-esque nerd cred and gave his opinion on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, including roasting the Starkiller base while saying that Lord of the Rings and Star Wars are equally good trilogies in a riff off some dialogue from Clerks II. Brian O’Halloran is a naturally funny person, and it was easy to see from his personality why he is such a good fit for Kevin Smith’s style of writing and filmmaking. The crowd was very animated, and it showed how Smith’s films and his down to Earth, slightly nerdy protagonists have resonated with fans even 22 years after Clerks was released.

Tidewater Comicon was a nice, relaxing convention that covered a wide gamut of fandom from anime voice actors to cult comedy actors, big time Marvel and DC artists, and indie comics darlings. One slight critique was that exhibitors mostly sold single issues and not trade paperbacks, but Tidewater Comicon is a great palate cleanser after going to huge, crowded shows like New York Comic Con.

Be on the look out for my upcoming articles about Tidewater Comicon cosplayers and interviews with comics creators Tini Howard (Skeptics) and Ian McGinty (Welcome to Showside).

Video Game Review: Bloodborne DLC: The Old Hunters (PS4)

BB-The-Old-Hunters_Key-Art.0It takes a certain kind of individual to really get into the Dark Souls series. One needs determination, fortitude, and lots of free time (I’m pretty sure a fetish for bondage also helps too because it hurts so goooood…). When From Software debuted their grim series with Demon Souls back in 2009, it paved the way for a whole new style of games I like to call “torture games.” There were plenty of times where I was ready to throw the controller at the wall and smash my Playstation 3 with a sledgehammer, but persistence paid off in the end! (I wonder what that says about my personality after my intro…)

So let’s fast forward to 2015 with From Software’s latest installment in their torture game series with their spin off game Bloodborne. While only really taking the “Souls” of the series and replacing it with blood, From Software delivered an amazing title that really lived up to the series (especially considering how lackluster Dark Souls 2 felt). The game is smooth, the graphics are stunning and the bosses are hard as #$%@! While the game didn’t particularly feel all that long (especially because I burned through it in about 6 days or so), the amount of content packed into the game was very satisfying. So naturally, being addicted to pain and punishment (along with the Dark Souls series), I had to try out the DLC for Bloodborne titled Bloodborne: The Old Hunters.

One of the things I really enjoyed and hated about Bloodborne was the weapons. While it was awesome that every weapon essentially had two forms with the trick weapon system, the amount of weapons in the game itself were far less than the Dark Souls series. So seeing that From Soft added a lot more weapons into the game with the DLC made me feel like a kid in a candy store with $100 to spend in the 1950’s. The developers added nearly as many weapons as the initial game had for players, so naturally it was greatly appreciated. One of the things I really love about Bloodborne is that the weapons all feel incredibly different and each DLC weapon is amazing! (Especially the Whirligig Saw!)

Like all Dark Souls titles, the difficulty increases based on how many times you’ve cleared the game’s final boss, and the DLC content is nothing to laugh at the first time around. While some people may have started over from scratch to reach the DLC, I’m pretty sure most people don’t want to toss away their blood, sweat, and tears and just rolled through the game on New Game Plus or beyond (because that’s exactly what I did!). The bosses in the DLC beyond a first playthrough are ridiculously hard to the point that rage is almost certain (I’m not going to lie, there were many times where breaking my TV sounded like a good idea). While there are only 4 mega bosses in the DLC story, getting to them on your first playthrough is no easy feat, making the game take quite some time to get through (unless you’ve taken a few days off to solely dedicate to it like I did).

One of the things I greatly enjoy about the Souls series is that From Soft really strives to provide players with a game that’s not only got an amazing plot, but is so rich with lore that you have to hunt down yourself. With nothing more than cryptic messages in items, players must look inside every nook and cranny in order to appease their knowledge. With the main story taking place within a dream, the DLC itself actually takes you into another dream that’s just as twisted and demented as the main world’s game, with a heavy focus on the Hunters instead of just monsters. The developers added more items to hunt down that compliment the original story, answering more questions that the original story left out.

So with smooth gameplay, fun dungeons, difficult boss fights, and a lot pain ahead of you with this DLC, I guess we come down to the big question of price and whether or not it’s worth it. With $20 on the line, it would be natural to question the value of this purchase. Being that I’m a rather big Dark Souls/Bloodborne fan, I’d say yes, I think the DLC is definitely worth it. Getting any extra bit of content in games feels like a massive bonus and feels pretty essential for any fan of the series.

Any questions on the DLC? Are you loving it as much as I am? Not a fan of the Souls series? Haven’t tried it yet? Love torture? Give Bloodborne a try and see for yourself if you’ve got an inner masochist! Thanks for reading!

Gameplay: 10 Story: 9 Graphics: 9 Overall Score: 9.5

Video Game Review: Dissidia: Final Fantasy ( Japan Arcade)

Thank you Internet for this amazing photo

Thank you Internet for this amazing photo

While exploring the Land of the Rising Sun, I was also present for the release of Square Enix‘s latest installment in their fighting game series- Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Debuting for fans and owners of a PSP (which was probably only around 500 people worldwide), Square Enix made a game that allowed players with pit their favorite iconic Final Fantasy heroes (which for 90% of fans was probably Cloud Strife) against other heroes and villains (once again probably Cloud Strife or Sephiroth) in this 3D RPG Fighter series. Being a fan of the original game, I was pretty excited to try out the arcade version when it debut on Thanksgiving (Because Japanese people don’t have Turkey!). If only the pilgrims had video games 500 years ago…

One of the big things I really enjoyed about Dissidia was the fact that it wasn’t your conventional fighting game. Square Enix tried their best to bring players as original of a title as possible by transcending the second dimension and I personally think it was a smart move. While people learned tips and tricks to bring up their technical game, the game itself was unique enough to keep my attention, which is all I really want in a fighting game. It seemed to do well enough because it spawned a sequel (or prequel if you paid attention to that lousy story.), which in my opinion was much better than the first game.

One of my biggest concerns with Dissidia was the fact that Square Enix never officially released this title onto home consoles, which would have been a brilliant move. Playing an intense fighting game on a handheld definitely didn’t bring the best experience possible. So while the series was good, I felt it wasn’t brought to its fullest potential. So fast forward about 6 years to 2015, where Square Enix decided to deliver fans a new experience by throwing Dissidia into their various arcades.

The game itself seems very familiar to the previous installments. Players control their character in a 3D environment in order to attack their opponents, either from up-close or from a distance depending on the character used. The biggest change to the actual game is the fact that instead of a single player battle, players are now grouped into teams of 3 to battle other teams. You’re forced to work together with your comrades in order to take down the opposing team, with the objective to kill every other member at least once to end the match (Or for some, ganging up on the weakest link).

Adding the 3 on 3 multiplayer battles gives players the ability to coordinate with their teammates to really give the game more a co-op competitive edge. The arcade system actually has a port for a headset so you can keep in contact with your allies while in battle to plan out strategies. With a scheduled port coming out to the PS4 at a future date, this would definitely be a great way to utilize the PS4’s microphone and headset function.

The ability to use the summons was also drastically changed in this installment, as instead of simply manipulating the attack power of characters or “Brave Points,” the summons actually come into battle to wreak havoc to the enemy. And it looks amazing.

Like in the original titles, the characters have completely different styles they focus on. The characters could vary anywhere from heavy melee types (Everyone’s favorite overcompensating blonde) to casters, which gave players a massive variety. No character is the same as another. Unfortunately one of the major drawbacks I had with the title was that there are only heroes playable in this installment. While they added a character from the 14th installment in the franchise, that only gave the roster 14 playable characters, a significant drop from the handheld titles, which usually paired up a villain with a hero.

The controller was another huge drawback to the game as Square Enix essentially cut a playstation controller in half and mounted it to each side of the panel to resemble joysticks with a big button in the middle you had to press in order to build up your summon gauge. The summon gauge button was probably the worst part about it, because to use it you have to take your hand off one of the controllers, which usually meant you were completely open to an enemy attack…

Why they couldn't simply add an extra button on the controller is beyond me...

Why they couldn’t simply add an extra button on the controller is beyond me…

One of the things I really enjoyed was the fact that there was no overly convoluted plot that you got swept up in with this game. Being an arcade title, Square Enix solely wants players to duke it out, and this decision is welcomed. While some might think a crossover is fun, I never cared much for the plot.

Being that this wasn’t on a handheld console, the graphics underwent a massive upgrade moving onto a bigger and better system. Characters not only look fully rendered, but the amount of detail that went into everything was incredible (we all know Square Enix loves their pretty graphics in a Final Fantasy game). Players have alterations on their outfits based on the amount of damage they’ve taken, making them look more battered and bruised the more you go on.

All in all, while the game was enjoyable and the new additions to game were great, I felt like it was very incomplete compared to the handheld titles that came out years ago. I’m hoping that the home console version improves on these functions as well as adds more characters for fans to play with. 14 just doesn’t quite seem like enough. It’s got potential that has yet to be tapped into, and while I look forward to seeing more, knowing Square Enix, it’ll probably be in the form of expensive DLC. (Yay…?)

Any thoughts or questions about this title? Feel free to leave a comment below and thanks for reading!

Gameplay: 7 Graphics: 9 Story: – Characters: 5 Overall: 6.5

Video Game Review: Pokken Tournament (Japan Arcade)

Look at this smug guy. He was a pushover in the anime with all the skirt chasing, but he knew the outcome of the video game match in Yellow Version...

Look at this smug guy. He was a pushover in the anime with all the skirt chasing, but he knew the outcome of the video game match in Yellow Version…

It’s no secret that after watching the Pokemon anime, kids around the world were wishing for a game that really simulated what we saw in the 90’s (Heck I wish I could have a game like that now!). People desperately wanted to know how exactly a Pikachu could beat an Onix. Because he was next to garbage in the Gameboy games when fighting Brock.

So when I heard that Bandai Namco Entertainment was in the works with Nintendo to make a fighting game, you can imagine my anticipation over a whole new way to play Pokemon. (We all know that if there was a Pokemon MMORRPG, that’d signify the end of the world. Nintendo is just sparing us the pain right now.)

So on my trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, I had to try Pokken Tournament out, because how could I not? So after running around through Tokyo like an otaku in a hobby shop, I went over to one of the many arcades to try the game out. While there was a bit of a language barrier, that didn’t stop this fan from getting on the game and button mashing my way to victory!

The game itself is pretty much like a hybrid of Smash Bros. and Tekken in terms of controls. You have a 3D arena you can run around in and the maps are decently sized too, giving players enough room to bait their opponents if need be. The controls are pretty basic too. You have a light combo button, a heavy attack, a special button that lets you use all their powers, a jump button, and a block button in order to withstand your enemy’s attacks. Like Tekken, the fighting mechanics are pretty smooth with plenty of options to take down your opponent with all kinds of strategies.

The characters, while not many, have quite a different range of skill sets and play styles to give players a lot of options for fighting. You’ve got speed types, heavy hitters, combo oriented and technical characters that all have their balances to keep some from being too overpowered. Like Smash Bros, any character is heavily player dependent, so while some appear to have more of an edge, with a little practice, anyone can get good with whoever they choose (With the exception of Gengar. That’s pure cheating all around…).

This guy is pure evil and he knows it!

This guy is pure evil and he knows it!

Players build up a gauge through their matches that can allow them to enter their character’s special stance. For some it’s a mega-evolution that was introduced with Generation VI’s era, while other Pokemon simply enter a more powerful mode with an aura. This also allows you to activate their ultimate attack that enters a cinematic if players are able to hit their opponents with it.

Pokken Tournament also features a support character function that allows you to pick a Pokemon from a list to use a single time per round to help you against your opponent. This can vary from a stun, to an extra hit that can allow you to chain more combos you couldn’t normally do without more time. These supports can easily turn around a match in your favor, so using them with caution is key!

I’ve never been the type to really care for stories in my fighting game and probably won’t ever, because who plays these for the story? So, having a language barrier didn’t really bother me, as I play a fighting game for one thing and one thing only- the action!

The graphics were pretty amazing for this title. Anyone can see that a lot of detail was put into the game, as even the hair textures for the furrier Pokemon are visible. I do enjoy nice graphics to compliment smooth gameplay!

Seeing the videos on YouTube for quite some time now, I came in having some decent expectations of the title. Unfortunately, while the game seemed very impressive, I didn’t find it as enjoyable as I hoped. The lack of a large roster really hurt the game’s performance for me, despite the wide array of styles. When it comes to fighting games, I like having options for playable characters. One of the other things that really bothered me was the fact that despite this game being an arcade title, players had to use a controller to play.

I honestly felt like an arcade joystick/button combo would be been better.

I honestly feel like an arcade joystick/button combo would be been a better choice.

I read a review that stated this title wasn’t generating a huge amount of buzz despite the initial hype, and seeing the machines generally unused while I was there proved to me that this was true. While the game is entertaining and has potential, I feel like it’ll definitely be better suited for it’s home console release later next year. Giving fans the ability to play this title at home, Nintendo can play this out like the latest installment for Smash Bros. and simply add more characters through DLC.

All in all, while the game wasn’t necessarily the highlight of my video game experience, I’m definitely glad I tried it out and would recommend it to anyone who is interested. I have a feeling that despite the arcade’s lack of popularity, the home console version of this game is going to be even better. Especially with the options to play with your friends.

Pokken Tournament debuted in Japan’s arcades July 16th and it’s scheduled to release for the home console March 18, 2016 for Japan, and Q2 on the Wii U.

Any questions or comments about the game? Please feel free to leave your thoughts below and thanks for reading!

Gameplay: 7 Graphics: 8 Story: N/A Characters: 5 Overall: 7

Epic Games Reveals its MOBA Paragon with First Details and Trailer

Epic Games took to the stage at PlayStation Experience today to reveal the first details for its upcoming MOBA, Paragon, which will be coming to PC and PlayStation 4 in 2016.

Paragon is the MOBA from Epic Games that puts you in the fight with explosive action, direct third-person control, and deep strategic choice. Choose from an ever-expanding roster of unique Heroes, earn cards to customize their abilities, and lead your team to victory.

Epic revealed an announce trailer for the game today, as well. Captured entirely in Unreal Engine 4, the trailer shows off a few of the game’s Heroes in action, and delivers the intensity of Paragon’s gameplay.

Check out the trailer:

You can get an early look at the game in action with a gameplay video: 

Paragon is coming to PC and PlayStation 4, with paid Early Access in Spring 2016 and Open Beta in Summer 2016.

You can sign up for the beta now.

Check out some screen shots.

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