Thursday, November 27, 2014

Marvel Puzzle, Freedom Wars, The Fall, Rollers of the Realm, Penny Dreadful  


Happy thanksgiving! And if you don’t celebrate it, happy Thursday!


Games: Gonna start tonight off with a quick update on Marvel Puzzle Quest.

Rocket Raccoon and Groot were recently released as part of a week-long PVE event, and if you missed out on that, you still have a chance to grab them in the PVP event featuring new Daken which is happening right now. 

(Side note: I'm really sick of constantly seeing X-Force Wolverine in the top ranks of PVP these days, but hey, I'm hanging in there.)

While that PVP is going on, the current PVE is a brand new thing for Puzzle Quest: This is the first time ever that the top 50 winners will get a four-star hero! Who’s the prize? The badass female Thor. If you had a chance to play with her when she was a "loaner" a while ago, then you know how powerful she is, not to mention she comes with the all-new "charge" mechanic which increases the number of action points you get from a match.

I think it's great that the devs are giving more people a chance to get some of these four-star characters. Coming in first place is really tough and stressful, not to mention how much time it takes. Shooting for top fifty instead of first is a big improvement in terms of opening it up for these characters.

In other games news, I just started playing The Fall on WiiU tonight. (It’s also on PC).

I heard about it originally on the Experience Points Podcast (Hi Scott! Hi Jorge!) and then I saw a few people talking about it afterwards. It doesn't seem like very many people are aware of it, but they should be.

In this game, the player takes control of a robotic combat suit. The human inside has been knocked unconscious and is in need of medical aid, so it's up to the suit to act autonomously and get him to a doctor.

It boils down to being 2D with some combat elements and a big focus on puzzles of the kind where one item needs to be brought to a specific place in order to progress. What's notable about it is how much time and attention the developer has given to the premise and the writing. Certain functions of the suit are unavailable until the occupant is in mortal danger, so the player must willfully put themselves in harm’s way in order to override the safeties. It's an interesting play off of the laws of robotics and what constitutes a ‘correct’ action for an AI in a difficult circumstance.

I've heard it's pretty short if you don't get stuck (and I will get stuck, I am the world's worst at these kinds of puzzles) but I'm definitely into it so far.

I talked about Freedom Wars in the last blog update, and I've still been playing it in fits and starts. I have to say, it may be a bit of a cliché, but this is one of those games at genuinely gets better as it goes on.

At the beginning, the game throws way too much story at the player, and it's not exactly gripping stuff. Lots of dull cutscenes, lots of loading, lots of being told to walk from place to place with little reason behind it. Once you get past all that, the combat starts rolling and the real game starts to unfold.

It's a pretty cool thing to hit the battlefield with seven AI teammates and watch the whole squad go to work, opening fire on enemies and doing all sorts of combat maneuvers against giant bio-mechanoids and enemy combatants.

More options become unlocked as the player goes on, and once the weapon upgrade system becomes familiar, then some cool features start popping up, like adding element types to weapons, and so on.

It's fast, the action has a great feel while jumping between gunplay, melee and grappling hook, and there's lots of variety in the mission types. The story isn't doing much for me, but the gameplay’s good enough to make me want to see it through to the end. In fact, I’d say this one is solid enough to warrant a sequel on PS4… With better graphics, a larger online base of players to team up with/fight against, and more content added, this one seems like it’d be a winner.

A couple of days ago, I gave Rollers of the Realm a shot. It's a recent release from Atlus, combining fantasy RPG elements with a pinball structure. I love these kinds of mash-ups (pinball mash-ups especially) and the first hour or two were pretty great. Lots of cool ideas on display, and pretty fun to play. 

However, once I got a little further in (about halfway or so?) I started seeing some serious problems with the level design… Gaps between the flippers are too big, and there's too many ways for the ball to get shot down into the gutter without a player being able to do anything. Worse, I saw my ball pass completely through the flippers multiple times, get hung up on geometry, and the enemies on the board take forever to kill.

The game just doesn't feel tuned enough, honestly. I absolutely love the concept but it’s too undercooked. I hope that the developers will go back and try to tweak their work a little bit to make it more fun, it seems a shame to get so close to something great and then fall short in the polish and balance department.

TV: It kind of caught us by surprise, but the wife and I recently caught up on a lot of the series we've been watching, so to not have a TV backlog was a strange feeling. This gave us the chance to look at the enormous wishlist of stuff that we want to watch someday, and we selected Penny Dreadful, a Showtime original series produced in conjunction with Britain's Sky.

I didn't know much about it beforehand except that it was some sort of Gothic urban fantasy, and that I had heard a few friends speak of it in a positive way. The series is set in England right about the time that Jack the Ripper was doing his dirty deeds, but there’s a strong supernatural slant to things… One of the characters is a reinterpretation of Dr. Frankenstein working on his experiments, there’s a woman who seems to be communicating with a demon, and they hire a sharpshooter who was traveling through Europe in a Wild West show.

The first episode concerns an Egyptian-style vampire roaming the underworld of London, and I have to say, the series did not hold back when it came to the blood and gore. In particular, one scene in the vampire’s lair was truly horrific -- even though I knew this was a cable TV show, I was still a bit shocked.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of the series, but so far it's a thumbs up.


Persona Q has launched! Here are the videos and DLC info! 

Persona Q DLC Pricing and Roll-out Schedule: 
Sub-Personas - These additional sub-Personas will show up in the Persona Compendium after purchasing and can be summoned once for free. 
11/25 - Kaguya - Free
12/2 - Orpheus Telos - Free
12/2 - Magatsu Izanagi - $1.99
12/2 - Thanatos - $1.99

Navigator Voices - Change the voice of the Labyrinth and Battle navigators to any of the voices below! The dialogue differs per voice and is adapted to voice's personality. 
12/9 - Margaret - $2.99 
12/9 - Elizabeth - $2.99
12/9 - Theodore - $2.99
12/16 - Marie - $2.99
12/16 - Nanako - $2.99

To help you out in the labyrinths, here are some of the game's systems explained in video format! 

Boost -- When you exploit an enemy's weakness or get a crit, characters get the Boost ability, which reduces the HP or SP cost of their abilities to zero for one turn 

Group Attacks -- Characters have a chance to do a follow-up attack after normal attacks. Plus, if you get enough people in your party boosted, you can launch an all-out-attack! 

Summoning Personas -- The bread and butter of combat in Persona Q is from Personas and sub-Personas. Making sure the abilities complement the people in your party is crucial to victory! 

Strolls -- Persona Q isn't all about fighting! Between battles, you can walk around the school with other characters and learn more about them. 

And if you missed it, here's the archive of our Persona Q stream on Twitch! Watch how even our lead QA can have an FOE sneak up on him. (See? You're not the only one.) 


505 Games and Rebellion has announced the availability of even more free and paid Sniper Elite 3 downloadable content (DLC) for console.   It is out now on Playstation 4 and will be coming to other platforms shortly.

 All for FREE:
         A new single-player mode
         A new co-op mission
         A new multi-player mode
         Three multi-player maps

Invest In Your Weaponry
         International Camouflage Rifles pack ($2.99)
         U.S. Camouflage Rifles pack ($2.99)

Get the lay of the land. Following are details about the new free content:

 The Shooting Range Mode (Single-Player  Mode):  
Watch out Nazis!   FPS players can test their mettle as an elite sniper with 20 different firearms, including all the DLC weapons as well as four unique shooting challenges, plus dedicated rifle, pistol and SMG ranges. 

Twilight Strike (Co-Op  Mission):
Steady!  Team up with a trusted Operative to draw the Germans out of Tobruk and retake the town under the cover of darkness. With more open level design, more choices, optional hidden objectives and new achievements; this could be the best Overwatch mission yet.

Capture The Flag (Multiplayer Mode):
Capture the Flag has returned to the Sniper Elite series, offering players an objective focused mode with more speed and teamwork based gameplay.

Fracture, Night Watch & Outpost Canyon (Multiplayer Maps):
The three free new multiplayer maps challenge players to navigate and survive some of the fiercest landscapes in North Africa.    ‘Fracture’ take place amongst a secret weapons factory built across a jungle chasm has been deserted for some time, abandoned to the snipers.   An abandoned supply line high in the windswept Atlas Mountains, ‘Outpost Canyon’s’ rolling landscape and level flow encourages snipers to think carefully about their surroundings, and use the foliage and natural cover to seek out new sniping opportunities.   ‘Night Watch’ is one of the most challenging maps in the series.  Taking players to an oasis shrouded in darkness, the ruins of an old town turned into a makeshift camp for enemy troops.

Strengthen Your Arsenal:
The International Camouflage Rifles pack and the U.S. Camouflage Rifles pack are tuned to lethal perfection and encased in a new camouflage livery. These new weapon packs give Sniper Elite 3 players access to deadly new variants of three fan-favorite rifles from America and around the globe – accessible across all multiplayer, single player and co-op game modes.  The International Camouflage Rifles pack and U.S. Camouflage Rifles packs are available now on PSN for Playstation 4 $2.99 each and will be coming to other platforms shortly.


Digital Extremes continues to set the example for AAA quality in Free-to-Play with the release of an extensive new update for its hit sci-fi action game, Warframe.  The new console update titled ‘Archwing’ gives players a whole new way to play Warframe and will be released Thursday, Nov. 20th at 1 PM EST.  Players will also notice a distinct new look to Warframe upon download.

Putting the ‘space’ in ‘space ninja’, new Archwing technology allows players to fly freely through space without the use of a ship. The update also includes colossal new weapons to accompany Archwing, new player Quests to deepen the lore of the game, challenging new enemies, Syndicates – a new reputation system, the release of a new Warframe – Limbo, and much more.

As Warframe continues to expand so does its legions of players recently surpassing 12 million registered users worldwide on all platforms.  It is the most downloaded game on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and has had a strong presence on the Xbox One since the game’s release on the console in early September.

Warframe has seen an incredible evolution since its Closed Beta release on PC two years ago.  With over 16 major content updates and 270+ hotfixes over those two years, Warframe is possibly the most community-driven, development-focused AAA game available today. As the game has grown and changed, it’s only natural the Warframe brand follow suit. Today, an updated clean, new look and feel to the Warframe brand can be experienced on and in-game with a newly designed game launcher and refreshed logo to accompany the Archwing update.

Additional highlights of this impressive update include:

ARCHWING – Take Warframe’s high-energy, skilled ninja combat into the depths of space in the new game mode that puts the ‘space’ into space ninjas!  Archwing technology allowing for space combat sans spacecraft, contains unique new weapons and abilities to unleash against the enemy.   

NEW QUESTS – Two new quests expand the Warframe universe.  Unlock the new Archwing technology along with the new Warframe in a set of interlinked missions. 

NEW REPUTATION SYSTEM – Represent one of six Syndicates to unique rewards as your reputation increases! Wear your Syndicate’s Sigil with pride in missions to earn reputation and proclaim your loyalty.

NEW WARFRAME – Bring honor to the Solar System with a magician-like Warframe whose hat wields exceptional powers including displacing enemies into other dimensions and more.

NEW WEAPONS -- Devastate opponents with the OPTICOR, a powerful new laser cannon.  Bludgeon enemies with the HALIKAR, a jet-powered throwing mace that always returns to its master.

NEW TILESET – Explore the Corpus Ice Planet!

NEW CUSTOMIZATIONS – Adorn your Warframe with intricate body art with all-new Sigils.   Customize your Archwing with Mods and colors. Give your Soma a new look with the Huntsman Soma Weapon Skin!

NEW ENEMIES – New types of enemies equipped to fly in space present new challenges in Archwing combat.  The Grineer have also emerged with a new enemy to tame your pet Kubrow.

The Archwing update will be released on November 20 at 1 PM EST, in the meantime, new players can prepare for the update by downloading Warframe for free in the PSN Store or Xbox Marketplace.


NIS America is happy to announce that the Criminal Girls: Invite Only will be available physically and digitally in North America on February 3, 2015, and Europe on February 6, 2015! This game will be compatible with Playstation®TV. From the much adored 2010 Playstation®Portable title Criminal Girls, which was only released in Japan, developers have re-mastered the title with a host of brand new content exclusively for the Playstation®Vita. Explore the depths of Hell as you lead a female gang of delinquents on their quest to absolve themselves of their sins and be reborn on Earth.

About the game:
Seven delinquents, seven sins, and only one way out. Just hired for a new, mysterious job, you soon discover that this isn’t your normal prison gig. You’ve been entrusted with the care of a crew of girls whose sins have damned their souls to Hell and an eternity of punishment... Their only hope of salvation is for you to recognize their unique histories, and to guide them along the path to redemption. Navigate through the four trials of the Redemption Program, and motivate your crew of delinquents to learn the skills to redeem themselves.


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