Saturday, October 24, 2015

Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows

Platform: Nintendo Wii U
Platform Reviewed: Nintendo Wii U
Genre: Creative Platformer
Release Date: September 11, 2015
Date Reviewed: September 18, 2015    
       Plague of Shadows is free DLC content for the game Shovel Knight where you get to play as the character Plague Knight. This free DLC pack comes with the ability to do a challenge mode where you can complete many different challenges for each knight. This will be unlockable when you beat the game once with Shovel Knight and Plague Knight. That isn't everything that came with this great DLC content. If you've beaten the normal game with Shovel Knight you will unlock the ability to play as Plague Knight. The levels and map layout are all still the same but it is very much a different game. You step in the shoes of Plague Knight where you have abilities such as throwing bombs. Just like with Shovel Knight, Plague Knight can also gather special items and customize his attacks. Each bomb has a certain fuse and certain explosive style that you can choose from which is needed to overcome certain obstacles.

Each boss, each level are played differently with Plague Knight.

       Plague Knight in a nutshell is very different from Shovel Knight. You can gather potions in order to increase your health, you need to gather coins in order to upgrade the shop and buy new attack items and Plague Knight has to move throw each level very different heavily relying on his exploding jumps. Plague Knight has no shovel to bounce off certain obstacles. Instead if you hold down the jump button and let go he will launch himself straight up or side ways. Plague Knight also has a double jump but doesn't jump as high as Shovel Knight does. Plague Knight even has his own armor sets as well which each have their own unique effects.

       The level design is of coarse flawless as ever. There is a bunch of new music scrolls you are able to collect and unlock. Playing as Plague Knight feels completely different and more of a challenge than Shovel Knight. Plague Knight is also as long if not longer than the original game and it is FREE. Plague Knight's story is very unique from Shovel Knight's but both have to do with love overall. Overall Plague Knight is a fantastic addon and is something that most developers need to do with their games. I look forward to the next piece of DLC they release.

Fantastic DLC!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Super Mario Maker

Platform: Nintendo Wii U
Platform Reviewed: Nintendo Wii U
Genre: Creative Platformer
Release Date: September 11, 2015
Date Reviewed: September 18, 2015

       Super Mario Maker is exclusive to the Nintendo Wii U. Super Mario Maker allows users to create, download, and play user created levels made by the community. The game starts off with a very minimum amount of items you are able to use to create your levels. The amount of things a person can create is endless. With a recent patch you do not have to wait for the full 9 days to unlock all of the content. The more you create, the more things you will unlock. Or do it the cheap way and spam blocks endlessly until you unlock all the content OR just move the clock forward day by day. Either way everything will eventually be unlocked.

The Creation Screen!

       There are four different version of Mario you can create with. First is Super Mario Bros for the NES. There is also Super Mario 3, Super Mario World, and "NEW" Super Mario Bros. U. By default you get Super Mario Bros. and "NEW" Super Mario Bros. U. You acquire the other two by unlocking them. How the creation process works is you select what type of Mario world you would like to create in. From there you slowly start to build your level by using the tools provided on the top of the screen. Everything imaginable is provided for you with some really cool unique twists. For example you can have multiple Bowser's stacked on each other, you can super-size any item or enemy with a mushroom, you can add customer sound effects to anything, you can make bullet bill cannons shoot super stars or springs, the possibilities are endless it seems. At first you are only able to upload 10 creations online for other players to play. In order to unlock more you need other players to "star" your creations. You get 50 stars you will earn a second coin which will allow you to upload 20 levels. So make sure they are quality levels!

You can do anything!

       If you are the type of person who would rather play custom creations and not create then there is a mode for you as well. You can start by playing 10 Mario Challenge which are all custom Nintendo made levels. If you beat all of them you will unlock the levels they played at the Nintendo World Champions. Once you complete that you can try the 100-Mario Challenge which provides the player with 100 lives. The player has a choice to either play on easy, normal, or expert. They all give you 100 lives so choose which is best for your skill level. Once the player completes one you are able to unlock 100 random costumes which you can use in the original Super Mario Bros. as pixelated costumes. There is one other mode you can choose from and that is Makers. In this mode you can pick which levels you want to play based on categories such as Up and Coming, Most Starred, and Featured. In here the player will be able to pick levels of interest and try to complete them. You also have the option of downloading the levels for yourself.

So much Unlockables!

       Super Mario Maker is great at what it offers and allows you to do. The really only complaint I would make about Mario Maker is the fact that some of the random levels you play should not belong on certain playlists. For example you might be playing on Expert mode and receive an auto level where you don't have to press a single button to complete the lever. Another example might be the over the top levels where everything is a troll or there are tons of enemies stacked upon each other. A lot of annoyances but I believe it will get better once more people play these levels and they get put into their respective skill levels. Overall Super Mario Maker is a ton of fun and is highly recommended to anyone who owns a Nintendo Wii U.

Overall Score:


Must Own!

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dying Light

Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC.
Platform Reviewed: Xbox One
Genre: Open World Zombie RPG
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Date Reviewed: July 3rd, 2015

       Dying like is an open world Zombie RPG game from some of the creators of the Dead Island series. It is honestly almost exactly like Dead island but with a bit more of a serious feeling to the story and atmosphere, updates visuals and parkour....yes parkour. Without giving out to much of the story you are basically an agent who is trying to find a doctors research to a potential "cure" for the virus. It turns out they did not want the cure to actually help people but to use it as a weapon which is discovered fairly early on in the game.

Huge Open World.

       Dying Light has some interesting game mechanics that keep the game from going stale to fast. You can craft unique weapons, items, explosives and other useful tools in order to get passed the hordes of zombies. During your exploration you will come by Safe Zones which are always filled with zombies. Safe zones are all the same where you clear the area of zombies and turn on all the power to the safe zone. You can now use that safe zone as a fast travel or resting area. One thing that would have been useful in some of the safe zones would be the ability to repair your weapons you are currently using or a way to buy parts to repair the weapons. To many times my weapons would break and I would have to struggle to a safe zone. Another interesting mechanic is night time. When the sun goes down you will get a warning on your radio to seek cover or to make it back to the home base. At night time the zombies become more active and these super zombies come out to play. If they see you walking around they will attract other zombies in the area and chase you done. These are very fast and will catch up to you if you are not careful. Interesting mechanic but the day and night cycle last to long making me wait or walk very slow in this massive open world so I am not discovered.

These guys suck!

       I do appreciate the fact that Dying Light's open world is very big with lots of events, side quests, and Easter eggs to discover. Another issue I had was some of the quests felt very repetitive making you go through areas and tunnels that you've visited multiple times before which made it get boring real fast actually making me want to complete the game that much faster. The story is rather dull to be honest and doesn't do that great of a job with developing your emotions towards any of the players. There were maybe two instances where I felt a bit of emotion and one time where it was an adrenaline rush to escape but it didn't last to long. The co-op is a nice feature where you are able to open the game to anyone or your friends. I enjoy the drop in and out system where you can join your friends or other people whenever you'd like and you get to keep all experience and items earned during the co-op session.

Skill Tree. Lots of different skills.

       In conclusion Dying Light feels the same as Dead Island but with a couple of small thing added in to make it feel fresh and with a bit more of a serious atmosphere. If you are a fan of Dead Island then you will probably enjoy this game as well. I personally was not thrilled for Dying Light and stopped playing immediately after i completed the game. About up until half way through the game I actually did explore everything and do as much side quests as I could but it got boring and repetitive really fast. Good attempt but it could have been way better.

Overall Score:

Okay game.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Dragonball: Xenoverse

Platform: Xbox One, Xbox 360,  PS4, PS3,  PC
Platform Reviewed: Xbox One
Genre: Fighting
Release Date: February 5, 2015
Date Reviewed: April 18th, 2015

      Dragonball: Xenoverse is the next fighting game in the Dragonball universe. The unique thing about DBX is that it is a great treat for the fans mainly due to the unique story. You play as a custom created character where you time travel to different events with Trunks. You are basically a time traveler where you travel back to different historic events and prevent the history of those battles from changing. Example in the battle with Raditz he dodges the special beam cannon and it hits Goku instead. Your goal is to defeat Raditz and correct history. As you are doing different missions you learn that something isn't right and certain villains are becoming more powerful than normal. Your other mission is to figure out who or what is causing these problems.

You're very own Character!

      DBX is a very beautiful game on next gen consoles and PC. Everything is an improvement from the last game that came out. The combat system is the same style as the previous entry in the game. The fighting style is an open world fighting system with multi fighters. So you are able to have 1 vs 3, 3 vs 3, etc.... DBX tries to make it into an online universe. The main problem they had at the start were the servers were being overloaded and it was nearly impossible to connect and play since you have to be connected at all times. Overall they do a good job making an online universe where you can see many other people in the main hub to having random offline characters wander around the main hub as well. There is online co-op and online tournaments as well. In the main hub there are multiple things you are able to do besides the main story line.

Correct History.

      In the main hub of the game you are able to shop for items, gear, accessories, aura's and many other customization options. In the main hub you are also able to do side quests and these have a pretty neat mechanic. You can farm these quests for possible loot drops such as items, dragonballs, and new skills for you character. It has an MMO style of feel to it. There are also online tournaments and the option to replay story mission to grind and get your level higher. Max level is currently level 80 which is a huge milestone. Once you hit level 80 you unlock additional character slots to create new characters if you choose to. Other news is DBX has a season pass and a lot of DLC to come with new characters and other things to expand you stay in DBX.

Good Game!


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fantasy Life.

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Open World RPG
Release Date: October 24, 2014, (JPN)December 27, 2012
Date Reviewed: March 24th, 2015

Fantasy Life is an open world RPG created by Level-5. Fantasy Life is a unique game where you are able to choose what life you want to live. There are 12 different lives you can choose from with each life having a ranking system. If you want to master all lives then prepare to dish out easily over 100 hours trying to do so. There is a main campaign to this game that is roughly 8 hours or so. It took myself 28 hours to complete due to doing the side quests and mastering mining with a little of mercenary and paladin as well. Fantasy Life has a Harvest Moon/Sims/Rune Factory feel to it and it is a good mixture.

Your character and your life.

You start the game off in an attic apartment where you are then introduced to the main story, great in game features and your choice of which life to venture off into. One great thing about the life system is you are able to change your life anytime you want. Each life always starts off with a mini tutorial on how to use the skills for that life as well as materials used for that life. Each life is unique and is very different from the other. Only ones that are remotely similar are the combat lifes which they should. They can vary from Blacksmithing, Sewing, Archery, fishing, and many others. Each life has a life master who you will report to once you've completed the tasks they ask you to. Once these tasks are completed you hand them in and turn acquire stars. Once you have hit the stars required you will rank up that life. Each rank up provide a stat increase associated with that life and new skills. For example if you are a miner you will learn a new skill where you can power up your attacks every time you mine a node.

Open World fun!

Fantasy life allows you to buy new homes, decorate them and own one home in each section of the world acquiring a total of 3 homes at a time. Another great feature is being able to play with your friends or other people online. This is a great opportunity to show off your homes and even take down some bosses that you are unable to solo. Only downfall to this is if you do not have the DLC and your friends does; you will not be able to play with them unless you have the DLC as well. Other than that your other party member can fully explore and help you take on some powerful monsters and complete those tough quests. Highly recommended feature to use.

Overall Fantasy Life is great for RPG fans alike. It is a cute little RPG that has a long of bang for your buck. Pick your life and explore Riveria with your friends, take down powerful foes, decorate your home, and have some fun! This game is highly recommended.


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Monday, April 13, 2015

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D

Platform: Nintendo 3DS, "New" Nintendo 3DS
Platform Reviewed f or: "New" Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Action-Adventure.
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Date Reviewed: March 20th, 2015

       Majora's Mask 3D is an HD remake of the N64 version from the year 2000. 15 years later and lots of begging from the fans we have it remade for the Nintendo 3DS. I played this on the "NEW" 3DS XL and the 3DS XL and prefer it a lot more on the newer model for the simple reason of the C-Stick which makes the camera very tolerable and easy to handle. The 3DS version offers a lot of new features and tweaks to the game. Some of these new additions include the addition of the Bomber Handbook. I find this useful because whenever you talk to and important NPC that offers a side quest it automatically goes into your notebook and what times they can be seen at and also offer additional hints on where to begin. Another feature with the book is the ability to set in game alarms so if you need to be at a certain place at a certain time you can set an alarm to notify you. One feature I wish they would've added to the book is the ability to draw or take notes yourself. If you walk around town and talk with the other Bomber Gang children then will tell you the heard a rumor and it will also automatically get put into your notebook.

Great Interface.

      Majora's Mask 3D is not only a beautiful game but very accessible. You are able to switch between items a lot faster on the fly. With the addition of two more item slots you are even able to assign two more items to your touch screen for the use of more items. Majora's Mask 3D looks really great with the 3D enabled, especially on the “New” 3DS because of the built in face detection. The controls are smooth, and very easy to master. The gameplay plays the same as the original and Ocarina of Time 3D with a few added tweaks to bring it up to date to today's standards. You go around to four temples and retrieve the mask off of each boss in order to awaken 4 gods to stop the moon from crashing and destroying Clock Town. However, this is done on a time limit of only 3 days and every time you go back into time in order to add more time to be able to beat the other temples you need to actually revisit each temple again in order to engage with Skull Kid. The beauty of this though is when you go back to a previous temple after already beating it a portal will open up at the entrance of each temple to send you back to the bosses. On top of the main quest there are many many side quests you can do in the game. The most disappointing factor from all of this is the lack of temples to go through and of course…..Great Bay Temple is still evil and annoying as ever.

Bombers Notebook is a great addition!

     Overall Majora’s Mask 3D is another exceptional HD remake in the Zelda series. Just like the prior Ocarina of Time 3D this wasn't just a simple remake. The controls are great which is vastly improved by the C-stick on the “New” Nintendo 3DS handhelds. The 3D is exceptional as well but again better on the “New” model thanks to facial detection. Even if this is your first time playing Majora’s Mask this is a must own game for your collection. The story is dark which provides a different take on the series. This is probably one of the most emotional games in the Zelda series since it mainly involves with death. The only really negative thing about this game is Great Bay Temple and the lack of main temples. Great work! Hope we will see more like this.


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hearthstone Deck Tech - ZOOLOCK

     Hey guys, Samuel here.  I'm sorry for my absence, but school really has been quite crazy.  Today, I bring you the first in my Hearthstone series.  In this post, I will be showcasing a deck, known as Zoolock.  Before I begin, however, I must state that I am not a master of Hearthstone.  I only play semi-casually, my highest rank being Rank 8.  To put things into perspective, I am at 225 wins towards my first golden portrait, the Warlock portrait.  Let the Zoo begin!

     Zoolock is a quite inexpensive deck.  Costing only 940 dust to begin with, it is the perfect deck to beginners to begin with.
  • 2x Flame Imp
  • 2x Voidwalker
  • 2x Power Overwhelming
  • 2x Darkbomb
  • 2x Leper Gnome
  • 2x Clockwork Gnome
  • 2x Elven Archer
  • 2x Abusive Sargent
  • 2x Knife Juggler
  • 2x Nerubian Egg
  • 2x Haunted Creeper
  • 2x Dire Wolf Alpha
  • 2x Harvest Golem
  • 2x Shattered Sun Cleric
  • 2x Wolf Rider
  • 2x Dark Iron Dwarf
     The general strategy with this deck is to establish early board control.  To do this, mulligan heavily for your Flame Imps, Voidwalkers, and Leper and Clockwork Gnomes.  Don't be afraid to trade when it favors you.  Because this is an aggro style deck, games should be over relatively quickly.  Your ultimate finisher should be a combination of Wolf Riders, Dark Iron Dwarfs, Abusive Sargents, and Dire Wolf Alphas.
     After you get some more dust, I would recommend making the following card swaps:
  • 2x Elven Archers for 2x Implosions
  • 2x Mechanical Gnomes for 2x Defender of Argus
  • 2x Wolfrider for 2x Doomguard
     The following cards are simply Tech Cards that may help you out.
  • Shadowflame- This can be a very nice AoE board clear against aggro.  However, the mana cost is a little high.  This card can be very nice when used in conjunction with Dark Iron Dwarf, Abusive Sargent or Power Overwhelming + Nerubian Egg.  If at all, I would recommend running 1 of these cards.
  • Ironbeak Owl-  This card can be a good tool to help you get through tricky cards like Sludge Belchers, Twilight Drakes, and big Taunt creatures like Ironbark Protectors.  However, this card should not be used that much, as games should be over by the time big creatures hit the board.
Mulligan Guide
General Mulligan:  This being an aggro deck, always mulligan for a fast start.  Keep the following cards in your hand.  
  • Flame Imp
  • Voidwalker
  • Leper Gnome
  • Knife Juggler
  • Haunted Creeper
Mech Mage:  This matchup is relatively straightforward.  Keep Darkbomb in your hand to deal with their Mechwarper.  Knife Juggler + Implosion works wonders to clean up the board.  I have decimated boards with double Knife Juggler + Implosion

Most Control Decks:  With control decks, the trick is to rush them down fast.  Games should be over by turn 5 when you can Doomguard, before they can drop big threats such as Ironbark Protectors, Giants, Etc.

Oil Rogue:  This matchup is quite possibly the hardest matchup for this deck.  Keep lots of Taunt creatures up as much as you can, and keep Nerubian Eggs and Haunted Creepers on board to deter against AoE with Blade Flurry/Fan of Knives.  Other than that, rush them down!

Personal Additions
I have personally made a couple changes to this deck to suit my play style.  I have swapped out the two Shattered Sun Clerics for a Shadowflame and Lord Jaraxxus.  Shadowflame, as mentioned before serves as a good AoE.  I personally use this to help deal with the Mech Mage matchup.  Also, Lord Jaraxxus helps quite alot with the control matchup to get a quick heal up to 15 and to get a ridiculously OP hero power.

     Well, this concludes this Deck Tech.  I hoped this helped, and I would like to tell you guys that I have an interview with a high ranked

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