Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The 2014 Seattle Retro Games Expo, and Three Wrongs Lead To a Right - Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes  


Events: This past weekend was the 2014 Seattle Retro Game Expo, put on at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. (the same place where PAX Prime happens.)

 This local gathering has been growing by leaps and bounds, and the turnout this year was quite healthy, from when I could tell.   The console free-play room was constantly packed, and the vendor area had quite a few things for sale. Some of the arts and crafts were pretty amazing, and I was quite happy to take home a shirt commemorating the TurboGrafx 16. My kids also got the chance to see a Virtual Boy up close and personal… They couldn’t believe such a wonky relic even existed!

The highlight of the day?  Probably getting both of my kids to play Steel Battalion in the giant system-link room. My oldest came in second a few times, and my youngest got an incredible kick out of flipping all the switches and especially from hitting the eject button. Honestly, I think that was his favorite part.

If you've never been, you should make it a priority to hit the SRGE next year to support the local scene and celebrate gaming history at the same time. It's a great show, has a great vibe, and it's awesome to have something as cool is this taking place right here in the Emerald City.

Big props to the Seattle Retro Game Expo organizers for putting the show on, and double big props (and a gyro) to @KinsZilla for her stellar PR work.

FYI - crepes here are the best part of any show that happens at the WSCTC. DO NOT MISS. 


Games: In terms of what I've been playing, not a whole lot. Work has been eating up my free time like damn, but I have managed to touch base with a few things here and there.


Over the last few weeks, I've seen tons of my Twitter people talking about Transistor, Shovel Knight, and Valiant Hearts, and after trying each one, I was a little surprised that none of them suited my fancy. It's not that I had any criticisms or complaints about the games (only spent about an hour on each) but when sitting down to play, I just didn't feel any desire to keep playing.


Transistor looked pretty, but messing with the combat customization didn’t feel very satisfying. Shovel Knight felt like a mishmash of various NES games without any unique hook, and I played NES games back in the day, so I'm not sure why I’d want to play something like that again. Valiant Hearts lost me pretty quickly with its puzzle-oriented gameplay. Not sure what I was expecting with that one, but what I got wasn’t it.


After checking out these seemingly-popular games and not finding any of them to be interesting enough, I was thinking maybe I was suffering from burnout and needed a break, but I decided to put in Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes on PS4 thanks to a nudging from @PstiDrdn, and it was like a switch got flipped. 


The graphics were amazing, the open-world sandbox felt ripe with possibilities, and the amount of things Snake/Boss (whoever!) can do felt deep and satisfying. It hooked me right away, and all of the feelings I’d been missing with the other games came happily bubbling up to the surface.

I realize I'm pretty late to the party on this one, but if you haven't gotten around to Ground Zeroes yet, it's pretty fantastic. It’s also really whetted my appetite for the full-length follow-up, Phantom Pain. I have to be honest and say that I don't have much hope for the story side of things, but if PP’s gameplay is along similar lines, that will be more than enough to keep me happy.

ALSO, getting around to the Lifeline expansion to State of Decay is really high up on my list, but I haven't gotten to it quite yet. BUT SOON!


I don’t have an official press release, but @AtlusUSA has said that the character of Adachi will be a free DLC character for ONE WEEK ONLY following the release of Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax later this year. If you plan on getting the game, this might be something you wanna jump on ASAP…


NIS America is extremely excited to announce that that our official NISA EU Online Store is now live and running, dood! All of our fans in Europe will now have the opportunity to preorder and purchase the same limited editions that are released in North America.

The following limited editions are now available to preorder on the NISA Europe Online Store:
Disgaea® 4: A Promise Revisited, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, and Fairy Fencer F.

The following will be available to preorder on July 14 on the NISA Europe Online Store:
Persona® Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: The Wild Cards Premium Edition.

Please feel free to visit the NISA Europe Online Store here: http://store.nisaeurope.com/


Explore the quarantined island of Narapela and get to the bottom of the sinister zombie virus plaguing humanity this fall as publisher Deep Silver revealed Escape Dead Island today - the brand new survival mystery game taking place in the Dead Island universe, coming this fall to the PlayStation®3, Microsoft Xbox 360™ and PC for $39.99. In this single-player experience, fans will take on the role of ambitious Cliff Calo, son of a wealthy media empire mogul with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove, as he traverses across the globe to Banoi after hearing about the gruesome events that took place in the original global best-seller, Dead Island. Can Cliff uncover the clandestine origins of the virus and get out before it’s too late?

With an exceptionally striking comic-vignette art style, Escape Dead Island emphasizes a story driven plot which pits players against their own psyche as they try to escape the island and the cryptic, looping horrors that lurk there. Penned by Emmy® award-winning author Anne Toole, Escape Dead Island catapults Dead Island fans onto a lush tropical island infested with brutal zombies where only cunning stealth can help players retain their sanity.

Fans who purchase Escape Dead Island via GameStop will have exclusive, guaranteed access to the Dead Island 2 beta event next year. GameStop Rewards members will be automatically entered into the July Epic Reward promotion. One winner will be selected and flown to Berlin, Germany, to get digitally scanned and placed as an in-game zombie character in the upcoming Dead Island 2 developed by Yager. Dead Island 2 is currently under development and scheduled for release in 2015.

To learn more about Escape Dead Island, please visit www.gamestop.com/escapedeadisland.


Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes unveiled details and the first screenshots surrounding the Guardians Guild in the upcoming and anticipated role playing game, Risen 3: Titan Lords, coming later this year to  PC, the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®3. Showcased via a series of visually stunning screenshots, the last Mages and their faithful Guardians face a sinister and dark menace. Once a proud and elite order, the Mages were well-respected counselors of the kings. Now, outlawed by the Inquisition, they live a secluded life on the thunderous island of Taranis. As the hero of Risen 3: Titan Lords, you have the option to join the guild of the Guardians and learn the powerful spells of their crystal magic as you traverse the land in an effort to conquer your enemies and save the world.

Exiled to an extensive abbey in the mountains of Taranis, the old circle of wise men continue their experiments to create an enchanted weapon that can defeat the enemy Titans and set an end to the everlasting conflict. Armed with a private army of former soldiers, the Guardians Guild offers players training in the powerful magical arts and provide increased combat expertise if you choose to advance in the ranks. Players can gain access to exclusive armor from this proud order, and boost an array of magical spells to the limit.

The world of Risen 3: Titan Lords tells the tale of a land abandoned by all gods, with its inhabitants suffering from the Titan Wars and a new threat rising from the very soil of the land. A young warrior is attacked from the shadows and deprived of his soul. He sets off to reclaim what is lost amidst the darkness that is spreading throughout the world. Banned and long forgotten Mages versed in the magical arts could be powerful allies on the quest. To get their help, he needs to find the Mage sanctuary on Taranis, also known as the Island of Thunder. Protected by the Guardians, the Mages search the mines of Taranis for crystals loaded with magic energy. Will the player join the Guardians to get in contact with the Mages? Or will he choose one of the other guilds in Risen 3 to reach his goals?

Official Website: http://risen3.deepsilver.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/risengame
Twitter: www.twitter.com/deepsilver 


North Africa, 1942, the British Army deploys its Long Range Desert Group to the region in an effort to thwart the progression of the Axis forces.  Along for the ride is OSS Agent Karl Fairburne; an elite Sniper tasked with clearing a path across the region – from the Libyan port town of Tobruk, through the Gaberoun and Siwa Oases, the twisting canyons of Halfaya ‘Hellfire’ Pass, the ancient ruins of Kasserine Pass, to uncover the secret machinations of the Nazi war machine. In an effort to derail plans to unleash a Wunderwaffe Wonder Weapon on the world, which will crush allied resistance and turn the tide of the war.

Sniper Elite 3 is bigger, better and bolder than any game in the series with larger and more open levels, greater tactical choice to go loud or stealth as you please, and improved next gen engine and graphics rendering technology.  The series’ trademark x-ray kill cams are back with even greater detail than ever before and have even been extended to new vehicle take downs.

Launching with competitive & co-operative multiplayer and challenge modes alongside the rich, detailed campaign across the warzone that turned the tide against the Nazis in Europe – famously described by Winston Churchill as “the end of the beginning”, Sniper Elite 3 puts the power in your hands. With more choice than ever before and the freedom to tackle your objectives head on, however you see fit.

Sniper Elite 3 is now available at retail stores nationwide for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3. The game is also available digitally on the same day via the Xbox Live online entertainment network from Microsoft for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and on the PlayStation®Network for both PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3. The PC version, which is being self-published by Rebellion, will release on June 27.


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