Saturday, November 30, 2013

Personal Opinion: Fan Boys and Fan Girls - Detrimental to Gaming?

Fan Boys and Fan Girls - Detrimental to Gaming?
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/30/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy

When it comes to gaming there is an unspoken disapproval for someone who does not play the console you prefer. It is a venom that in many ways leads to a hate that is unjustified, wrong, and unfortunately degrading to ones own self. In the social grouping as gamer's, it was once upon a time something that was an unspoken "law" a "code of ethics" that games new. This was during the era I grew up in where you had the Nintendo gamer's, the Sega Gamer's, the PC enthusiasts (before it got as big as it is now), and well your PlayStation fans once they entered the show.

The console war was something more than could be expected when the Sega DreamCast, the Nintendo GameCube, and the Sony PSOne were on the market, brawling, and bringing forth the best exclusives we could see. Some of them were still on the earlier consoles (Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, and even the Sega Genesis 32Bit Master System). As time grew on we began to see Sega slowly slip away into the digital market after their lawsuit with Sony, which lead to them not making hardware, and unfortunately becoming a mere shadow of their former self. As time moved on - so did the fans. Bigger, better, and stronger consoles were coming out, enter the day of the XBox 360 and PlayStation 3 where we are now. This is where we truly saw the fan boy, fan girl, and the casual gamer's become recognized as a crowd the industry would focus on, ones that would inevitably become the battleground, the new area of dislike, and distrust for each other. In many ways, a fire that's being stoked with gasoline by the gaming industry and media.

What lead to this you might ask and I have an answer. Sitting on Google+ there is a lot of media focusing on just the gaming genre same with Twitter and of course retailers if you hang around long enough to get insight from other gamer's. After having checked a few of my normal media sources for social interaction, it was quite clear that the XBox "drones" have been going through purposely trying to pick a debate or even a spam war against PlayStation owners, but why? Well it's about who has the better console and why. Lets break it down - both consoles are having failure rates, both are running into having to be replaced, and or limiting online services to resolve problems regarding their online accessibility.

XBox and PlayStation Players - Read This For Food For Thought:

In the light of the XBox One having launched somewhat roughly across parts of Europe and America, the console failure rate has been staggering, which has lead to Microsoft mailing out new consoles and allowing owners to have one digital exclusive game to play while they await their console (assuming your disc drive is out). This is definitely something impressive that Microsoft has done in order to keep you in the game, enjoying your console, and in some hope - alleviating your frustration. When the XBox 360 first released, the failure rate was in the 30-40% range, which is mind blowing, and truly a topic that brought up doubts surrounding their console as the Red Ring of Death (RRoD) became a plague that bothered gamer's. This scenario dwindled its effects on gamer's such as myself, leaving us frustrated, without games, and of course thinking foul things about Microsoft and their supposed to have been flawless console. It took years for them to figure out what caused it, from white XBox's, to the elite, and then the now slim, which has worked without a hiccup for most owners.

Now PlayStation has also had its fair share of problems, this is not limited to their PlayStation Network outage, but also dying consoles, failing blu-ray drives, slow network speeds (trust me, I suffered through this as well) and of course push backs on exclusive title releases or the yellow light of death. In turn the PlayStation 4 has also begun to suffer its own issues - HDMI ports being damaged, flashing blue light of death, the controllers not syncing, and now after the Europe launch, PSN vouchers having been spotty on working if they do. These are all unfortunate events that should be expected by any one console, even the XBox One, Wii U or even the PS Vita or 3DS models - HARDWARE IS HARDWARE. Gamer's should not dislike one another based on console preference, the spirit of the games is just that, to game, to enjoy, and revel in the ideology common interests have been found.

My Console - It's Better - You have No Opinion:

I've heard this line a hundred times, if not more in recent years. Console gamer's such as my own friends have looked down upon me for owning a PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation, PlayStation One, and of course a PlayStation 2. Also lets not forget Sega CD, Sega DreamCast, and many more just to give an idea of how diverse my gaming habits are. When once asked the reply would have been simple and still is: I enjoy games for what they are, so should you. Their reply was never as simple to understand and this is common it seems: Because my console is more superior. This is something that seems to constantly plague the gaming society, but why? Taking a look into it, it seems that gamer's have begun to build their focus upon what they prefer, be it a party chat system, more diverse game collection, and or online services. It doesn't mean your console is something better than the other, it means you found your preference, something you support, and something you will stick with till the day it stops functioning and ceases to work like it should.

Why Fan Boys and Fan Girls Need to Lighten Up:

At the end of the day, the gaming community is like a recess black top from elementary school. On this "blacktop" you have your sport people, monkey bar enthusiasts, jungle gym extraordinaire's, wall ball fanatics, book readers, and of course those kids who just sit and do nothing with the time besides complain. Who would those fan boys and fan girls be - the complainers. The bullies who after complaining get up, ruin it for everyone, and make themselves look as big as the person they are picking on. When it comes to gaming, people need to remember and be grateful for an opportunity that the development teams, console creators, and writers put their time, blood, family, and even their needs behind have given us. Gaming is not a right, it's a privilege that has been given to us, the gaming society, and it's something that we have begun to darken the name of. Darken it you say? Yes, you read it right. Just remember, gamer's on different platforms don't necessarily dislike the one you play on, they play where they prefer to spend money, play with the group they do, and enjoy it. Just remember, there is no reason to be mean, aggressive, and or flaunt your preferred console to others.

Readers:

We know here at B.A.T.G.R. you read us because you are either a gamer, parent or friend who gifts games, and or someone who wants to support our page. As a shopper, gamer, and or parent, what do you think of the flame wars between the gamer's? Does it bother you knowing there are elitist out there that will disapprove of a person because of their preferred format? PC Gamer's, we know you have had a huge part to fill, and are constantly seeing PC's as the master race of gaming, what is your take on this? Are they being childish, supportive, or should they enjoy games for what they are? Let me know in the comments. It's interesting to see your opinion. IF a reader is a game development team member, how does this make you feel?

Killzone Shadow Fall Review - Vektan's Be Afraid

Killzone Shadow Fall Review - Vektan's Be Afraid
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/30/2013
Review by Dustin Murphy



Pros:

  • Strong back-boned story that feeds off previous installments (including KZ: Mercenary).
  • Controls using the Dual Shock 4 Touch Pad are absolutely amazing along with character movement and other uses for game play.
  • Very strong soundtrack and high quality voice acting
  • Character models, terrains, and CG work is top-notch, putting it at a Hollywood level.
  • Multiplayer is seamless, addictive, and fun.
  • Audiologs using the controllers built in speaker blows the game right out of the water and provides a laughable jump.
  • Removal of the six-axis mini-games was a very welcomed change.
  • Weapon mods are unlocked via in-game challenges.


Cons:

  • Unfortunate health bar being the controllers light on the front of it.
  • Multiplayer unfortunately has no participating players using the voice chat in-game. 
  • Frame rate drops during multiplayer can be at times unsatisfactory as the game is caching the animations, graphics, and set ups.
  • Character models can't be changed to fit a players preference.
  • A lack of class set up explanation can be hindering for those who are new to Killzone.
  • No back-story as to what happened with the Rico or Sev.


Final Score: 8.5 out of 10

Final Thoughts: Killzone Shadow Fall is a unique entry into the Killzone Universe and provides a rather gritty story that could resemble something close to the war between the Russians and Germans in WWII, but set in the future. With a 20 hour campaign, a ton of hidden secrets, and difficult to find hidden items, players will truly be left with much to do once the campaign is complete. As for multiplayer? It remains untouched, beautiful, and just as enjoyable as I remember it.



 Killzone Shadowfall is the first true game that can be assumed to press the PS4's hardware, but to many, it doesn't. Killzone Shadow Fall is a beautiful display as to what we can expect out of launch titles for the Next Generation of consoles, featuring high tech graphics, game play, and innovative changes that separate it from past entries (referencing Killzone 2, Killzone 3, and Killzone Mercenary). Killzone Shadow Fall tells the story of the events 30 years later after players have defeated Helghan, destroyed what was left of the Helghan home world, and even started a war that could never have been possible. With Helghast having to flee their home, they have settled in New Helghan on the ISA homeworld of Vekta. The event itself will be referenced as "The Terracide" The game itself opens up with a beautiful display of the games powerful graphics engine. In it players are introduced to the Shadow Marshal as a young boy, where we witness a New Helghan removal of Vektan refugees back to the ISA side of "the wall". In this introduction mission players will take on basic commands such as using the left thumb stick to move, push circle to crouch, and of course pressing X for commands such as climb and jump. The game also teaches players without hinting at it how line of sight works. After the first mission ends, we are flash forwarded to the future where Lucas Kellan has used his past to help him move through the ISA's ranks in order to become the best of the best - a Shadow Marshall. Having obtained this rank, players are introduced to some new mechanics, gun handling, using the owl, weapon secondary fire modes, and of course the use of the new echo-locator like device. Granted a mini-map still, players will find the new HUD is not as encumbering as before.



The new UI is fresh, sleek, and even offers a clear look at what the screen should look like so that players can truly enjoy the campaign, but one thing will become a nuisance; no health bar. The health bar has been put on the controllers light on the front, allowing for a show off of what the controller can do, and this unfortunately on the highest difficulty can be frustrating, as can the frequented deaths, lack of adrenaline (to heal or revive) and the owl being on cool down to repair or to recharge depending on what you used it for last. After having sifted through those few annoyances, the game takes on a few interesting twists, Helgast seem to once more have alternative motives behind what's going on, the acts of terrorism, and the mean, interesting, and enjoyable tie-in that occurred in Killzone Mercenary (this is where I suggest having played Killzone Mercenary first). Thanks to missions that include stealth, working with Scolar Visari's daughter (no this is not a heavy spoiler as it happens very early in), and the new control of using Spiderbots, disabling security systems, and going into zero gravity moments, players will be questioning what Guerilla Games was attempting with Killzone Shadow Fall, and it's simple re-inviting the controls, UI, and of course removing those annoying mini games that were used by the six axis controls on the Dual Shock 3 - this is something that will not be missed. 



After beating the campaign, which lasted around 20 hours on the hardest setting, it was time to head to multiplayer with fellow member Josh Turner of Blast Away the Game Review. Thanks to the new set-up for Multiplayer, players can quickly begin to enjoy the competitive warfare that was meant to happen, and the best way we learned was the Classic Warzone mode, which sounds just like what it is. It is a return to the Warzone game mode we have seen in the past title, where teams are pitted against each other to complete objectives before their opposing team does, and all the meanwhile light up the battlefield with gun fire, special class abilities, and using the new and awesome echo-locator device. Remember though - using this device to maximum use and the enemy team will see you also. One significant change is the removal of the hefty class design. Instead it has been moved and refined so that players choose from three classes. Scout (sniper), assault (engineer) and of course support (medic in some ways, but with limited abilities). This was a nice change in all reality so that players do not have to focus on as much in order to feel truly appreciative of the games multiplayer system. After picking a class (find one you enjoy and hammer it out) players will find themselves doing one thing. Focusing on what challenges need to be done in order to unlock customization based parts for each gun, and trust me, each of them has their own pre-requisites for each gun. After having completed the challenges, it's time to swap out parts for upgrades, and begin the frag fest with a more powerful and engaging alternative. With over 1,500 challenges, you will be kept busy for a while, and trust me that's a good thing. For those of you wanting an adrenaline rush based type game, Run n' Gun mode is right up your alley, so is Team Death Match, but this one features a bit more harsh focus. It outfits everyone with an assault rifle type weapon, limits the health given to each players upon respawn, and of course features objectives for you to complete. However, none of these modes are defining for the game mode.



With the lack of innovation versus titles like Resogun (review coming soon) on control schemes, Killzone Shadow Fall is still a unique title, and definitely the heavy hitter of the console exclusive release titles, which leaves to one thing - get it now. Shadow Fall will give hundreds of hours worth the fun for current PlayStation 4 owners who are looking for a game to burn time with till the new titles launch in February allowing for a bit more expanded hard drive.

Graphics: Killzone Shadow Fall is by far one of the best looking games to date, boasting a steady 60 FPS and 1080p, Shadow Fall is a true high-definition gaming experience, and only seeing the game in action itself can do justice.

Sound: This is another spot where this game shines like the previous entries. The sound is amazing, realistic, and spot on. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to experience this in surround sound like I'd have preferred due to the Pulse Elites not being supported just yet by the PS4 or the Turtle Beaches for PS4 being in stock. Still, from what I experienced, Guerilla Games pulled every stop they can to make a theatrical experience out of Shadow Fall.

Controls: With a unique twist on the controls, the touch pad offers a supportive micromanagement tool for when players use their OWL in campaign. Accessing his shield, overload, zip-line, and assault modes were easy without having to hold down buttons to micromanage. Aside from that, the controls are unchanged, which is nice for all FPS gamer's and returning Killzone enthusiasts. 

Official Website: Killzone Official Website

Official Twitter:@Killzone

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Toukiden: The Age of Demons Gets PS Vita Release Date for North America

Toukiden: The Age of Demons for PS Vita Gets Release Date
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/28/2013
Information Sourced by Tecmo Koei's PR Team: One PR Studio
Written by Dustin Murphy




 On Nov. 27th, 2013, (Yesterday), Tecmo Koei America announced that their new upcoming title Toukiden: The Age of Demons, will be heading our way here in the West on February 11th, 2014 for the PlayStation®Vita handheld system. This isn't just because you the fans requested it (which I know some of you Japanese game fans did), it is following the fact the game became groundbreaking, and found success with over 470,000 units sold.


 Toukiden: The Age of Demons is set against a backdrop that is inspired by various periods of Japans amazing history, and from what we know, this game is set on the tale of humanity and their last push against the demons (Oni) have begun to invade Earth through cracks in space and time. They have attacked humans using their various sizes, strengths, and abilities to minimize their opposing enemies. Their opposition is only known as the Slayers, a group of people only known as the Slayers, a group that has a secret of protecting humanity from the demons murderous intent.





 Eight years following the time jump and Oni appearing, our hero, a young Slayer appears and embarks on his quest to try to stop the enemy, save humanity, and give them a fighting chance for survival. The young warrior will be fully customization based appearance, clear down to weapons, armor, and even form a group of hunters that will group up in order to take down the Oni once and for all.


The game boasts itself upon graphics, in-depth character creation mode, and the six weapon types available, all that can be forged and upgraded based on a player's play style, while it also hosts a 200 character cast that is based on both fictional and historical Japanese figures, whom will assist players via their souls in order to strengthen a player's team in order for them to defeat the pesky and deadly Oni forces.





Excited yet? I know I am. In order to aid Slayers in their beginning hours of their journey, Tecmo Koei America has also announced a series of in game pre-order bonuses. What are those you might ask? Well let us tell share this wonderful bit of information that they have provided us with (all this seems amazing and we wish you could enjoy each of them at the same time!): GameStop will be offering two extra Mission Collections, along with the "Mitama of Ninjima Yae." Are you an Amazon person? Well, you will be receiving the "Mitama of Momotaro," a warrior's soul that will strengthen a players skill, along with two pieces of armor (Cat Ears, and of course a Fox Mask).


For a release date, Tecmo Koei America will be sharing more details as we creep closer to the release date for Toukiden: The Age of Demons on February 11, 2014. For those of you who collect import titles, this looks promising, and we suggest doing it. Perhaps we will be lucky and get a collectors edition that will offer an amazing physical bonus. Till then, we hope you are just as equally excited as we are.


To Keep up to date for the title check it out on: Tecmo Koei Games or visit : Toukiden: The Age of Demons Website.



About TECMO KOEI AMERICA CORP.
TECMO KOEI AMERICA CORP. is a publisher of interactive entertainment software for current generation consoles, handhelds and digital download content based in Burlingame, California. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of TECMO KOEI HOLDINGS CO., LTD., headquartered in Yokohama, Japan. TECMO is best known for the Dead or Alive®, Ninja Gaiden®, Tecmo Bowl®, and Fatal Frame® series. KOEI is best known for its Dynasty Warriors® and Samurai Warriors® franchises. On April 1, 2009, TECMO KOEI HOLDINGS CO., LTD was established as a result of the TECMO, LTD. and KOEI Co., Ltd. Merger.

“PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ys Memories of Celceta Out Now on PS Vita!

Ys Memories of Celceta Out Now!
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/26/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy
Information: Sourced by XSeed Games' PR team at OnePR Studio.



 Today from their home office in Torramce, California, publisher XSEED Games, the independent-minded console publishing brand of Marvelous USA, Inc., today announced that the action RPG title, Ys: Memories of Celceta, has launched, exclusively on the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system. The series, a now timeless and beyond loved series that spans over 25 years has brought forth a celebatory package for fans - The Ys: Memories of Celceta Silver Anniversary Edition. In the Silver Anniversary Edition, players will get a limited edition 3-CD collection of the original and arranged music spanning the entire history of the games franchise, a cloth map detailing Celceta's lands, a logo-emblazoned compass, and 'Adol's Travel Journal' that spans 130 pages, and covers his adventuring strategies and artwork, all within an exclusive and commemorative package. The cost? If you can find it, 59.99 USD.



 Ys: Memories of Celceta for those new to the series is a very indepth reimagining of the original Ys IV, one of the very few ttles in the acclaimed series with a long-running history that has never made its way to fans in the West. The game has been re-designed from top to bottom by famed series creator Nihon Falcom. The game has also been reworked from the framework of the story so that it has been updated to create a tail that many will come to love and enjoy thanks to the mystery and distrust it has within it.

 For those new to the series and finding them getting their hands on it with Ys: Memories of Celceta, the series takes place around the famed hero of the series, Adol Christin, whom has awakened on the outskirts of the Great Forest of Celceta. As in many entries before this one, he awakens with no memory of how he got to where he is at, and in turn begins his journey forth into the world of Celceta. In the opening minutes, he also finds himself journeying with an unknown companion whom takes on the exploration into the forest in order to help find his indentity, and clues that can explain how he got there.



 For fans and newcomers alike, Ys: Memories of Celceta will be a new and enjoyable title for those to take on an adventure of. Combined with a large overworld map that is bigger than any in the series, people will take on this grand adventure while exploring the world around them, taking on new challenges, foes, and taking on experiences like never before. For those familiar to Ys SEVEN, the combat system has made a return, and with it a host of new upgrades such as enhanced flash-guarding, adjustable party AI and of course unique abilities that will make the encounters feel more fluid, fast paced, and of course make the combat feel fast, furious, and enjoyable. The Boss Rush mode is back, pitting Adol and companions against implacable foes in order to keep the challenge going well after the main story has been completed, which makes for an enjoyable journey to continue around Celceta.




 Ys: Memories of Celceta was developed in Japan by Nihon Falcom and is published by XSEED Games in North America for the PS®Vita. The standard edition of Ys: Memories of Celceta is available for a suggested retail price of $39.99, and the Ys: Memories of Celceta Silver Anniversary Edition is available for a suggested retail price of $59.99. The game is also available for purchase as a digital download from the PlayStation®Store for $39.99. This title has been rated T (Teen) by the ESRB.

 More information can be found at the recently launched product website: World of Ys - Memories of Celceta

 For more information on XSEED Games products, please visit: The Official XSEED Games Website. Fans can also follow XSEED Games on Facebook and Twitter.

About Marvelous USA:
Marvelous USA, Inc. is the US-based publishing operation of MarvelousAQL Inc., overseeing its two North American divisions. XSEED Games, its brand and division for unique and innovative console, PC and handheld games, has been in operation since 2004. Marvelous Online, the company’s brand dedicated to mobile and online social games, is an expansion of XSEED’s mobile team thanks to acquisitions by Marvelous USA. Marvelous USA is a 100% wholly-owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based MarvelousAQL Inc., a publicly-traded company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. More information on Marvelous USA can be found at www.marvelous-usa.com, and XSEED Games can be found at The Official XSEED Games Website.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dead or Alive 5+ - PS Vita Review

Dead or Alive 5+ - Going Small, but Plays Big
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/25/2013
Review by Dustin Murphy



Pros:

  • Handles like a console game on a handheld
  • Cross Play allows for an amazing experience
  • Easy to learn combat that allows for a quick and precise combat.
  • A story that leads to an interesting cinematic experience.
  • Graphics that look like both the PS3 and XBox 360 versions.
  • Interactive environments still exist and play well on the Vita.
  • Character skins, character skins, and character skins galore.
  • Multiple game modes including online cross-play between PS3 and PS Vita gives endless hours of fighting enjoyment (requires most recent update)
  • Touchscreen fights can be fun while the attention to them can be given


Cons:

  • At times character models need a bit better anti-aliasing
  • Some of the moves in the training are tedious and hard to complete.
  • The Ninja's Kasumi, Hayate, Hayabusa, and Ayane not in the tournament story? Would have been quite interesting to see them participate in it.
  • Touch Play Mode seemed more like a burn through of time frame in order to show off the Vita's capabilities.


Final Score: 8 out of 10.

Final Thoughts: Dead or Alive 5+ brings a console experience to a handheld, which leads to be more fun than imagined, but for those wanting a full blown console experience; you're in the right place. I've not tested to see if the DLC carries over between both platforms, but this is a version that should not be passed down for PS Vita owners.

 Dead or Alive 5+ is something just short of amazing. Featuring a roster of twenty five characters and their alternate costumes, players will spend countless hours in all the modes available, and let me tell you to start off, there is a ton of them. Having spent a majority of my time in the campaign only to move onto modes such as Survival, Time Attack, and of course the basic Arcade mode. The most interesting of all these modes though was the Touch Play Mode. Players would hold the vita so that the D-Pad is facing up so that they are in first person mode. In this players will use their fingers to swipe up, down, side ways, tap the screen multiple times in order to make their attacks count. Unfortunately this mode will only last so long before it runs its course. It unfortunately was not as fun as it seemed like it should be. After having spent countless hours in each of the modes, the most appetizing was the online and of course the arcade survival modes. In these modes they play just as they would sound, in the survival mode of course, I found it the most challenging, but enjoyable, however it could be to hard for some.



 After the arcade mode is put aside, players can take on the Story Mode, which covers a wide array of characters. In it players are focusing on several events; hunting down Alpha-152, the Dead or Alive Tournament, and of course each characters own personal story leading up to both said events. The story itself is very well written, very well played out, and even allows for a well timed balance of story and fighting, and of course giving each player an experience with almost every character available in the games campaign.

 Like any fighting game, the focus is just that, finding the preferred game modes, and of course training endlessly with each character. Training you might ask? Of course - training. Dead or Alive Five Plus offers a unique twist on training called Tutorial Mode. It'll take your through roughly one hundred or so methods of training, allowing for players to learn every twist, turn, and of course combo that will enable them to use each character to the maximum capability they have. With this I can honestly say, it's worth the time, but some of them are quite hard for others, and will leave a challenge some players will not be expecting. This is something I strongly recommend players do, it'll help you hone skills, learn new ones, and introduce you to every possibility out there. There is also a training mode where players can spend an infinite amount of time needed in order to specialize their unique choice of character in order to find their character they can specialize in and become the best of the Dead or Alive Tournament that will ensue online. 



 After this is all said in done, Dead or Alive 5 comes down to new technical details. In it, we are able to see a fighting game that sports the unique 60fps on the PS Vita, which sports some of the highest frame rates to date on a hand held. Unlike many titles before, 30fps steady is an achievement, with Dead or Alive 5+ for Vita, it is truly awesome to see that Team Ninja achieved a steady 60fps, and never slowing down. For those of you PS Vita owners, we suggest you to grab this game, enjoy it, and knock the living daylights out of other players to show who reigns true in the online community as number one for the Dead or Alive tournament.

Graphics: Unlike many PS Vita games that sport HD Quality PSP graphics, Dead or Alive 5+ shows that creating a console like experience on a hand held is more than possible, and this time around, we can say... Welcome PS3 like graphics to a hand held gaming device.

Sound: Just like consoles, this game offers high quality sounds, game play, and of course offers a unique home entertainment like experience for those of you looking for it.

Controls: Unlike other games, the Dead or Alive 5+ offers a variant of ways to play including the D-Pay and analog stick in the normal game modes or the rather responsive touch screen in the Touch Play Mode, which offers the touch screen functionality. Either way, each mode is highly entertaining and offers hours of endless game play.

Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/TecmoGames

Official Website: http://teamninja-studio.com/doa5/us/

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z Screenshots Released!

New YAIBA NINJA GAIDEN Z Images Are in the Wild!
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/21/2013

Written by Dustin Murphy


Authors Note: Please Note - There is a link at the bottom of this article for a Blast Away the Game Review Exclusive Gallery.

 Earlier today Team NINJA released some new information to us about YAIBA NINJA GAIDEN Z to display an all new area, elemental based combat and the introductionary look at the new types of enemies that Yaiba will be dismembering in order to complete his mission. The new images have been released showing off all this content, and what we've been shown has been excitingly awesome. Luckily for you, we've got an inside scoop, and will have a gallery up for your browsing habits.



 In the newest images we've seen, Yaiba is stuck in the deepest areas of a sewage plant, where is he is taking on endless hordes of enemy zombies that are well - puking at him with elemental attacks. Being the ninja Yaiba is, he know he's able to adapt and of course taking these stomachs from the Blister Sister's and using the bile as their own newly adapted weapon. Even with the Zombie Bride using her shocking attack, Yaiba can fall victim to his arm being short circuited if she is to get him with her lightning puke attack, but fret not. He can tear into her spine and rip it out and obtain his electrical whip, only to whip flame zombies around, and of course create an amazingly powerful magnetic storm. From there, the real fun will begin. Yaiba's flail is a beautifully disgusting weapon, and of course it will seek zombie flesh, just like the rest. The hordes of enemies will only fall victim to him as they are hit in one cold deadly blow, but this weapon unfortunately runs solo with combos of those seemingly powerful cyborg rocket punches or a bit of a users own taste; the sword.

That Whip? Simply electrifying

 For Yaiba there are only questions to be had as he enters in the new age, and ends up meeting a hideous beast, which seemingly snarls at him from a sewer grate. It will be interesting to see how Yaiba discovers documents, journals, and of course begins to question the past events, and the roads that lie ahead, by seeing recordings from past events with his cybernetic eye. We can only hope on this slaying path through toxic sewers, Yaiba can finally find his arch nemesis - Ryu Hayabusa.

 In YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z, players will battle fierce zombies as Yaiba, a cyborg ninja who will do anything to get revenge and stay alive. Cleaved in two, he is brought back to life with cyber-technology. Brandishing his ninja sword and the mecha weapons in his cyborg arm, he slaughters zombies with brutal, over-the-top abandon. Step into a stylized living comic book where stunning graphics depict a world gone mad. Hordes of undead can only be stopped by Yaiba’s willingness to use any means necessary to get the job done. Will he kill by turning his cyborg arm into a razor chainsaw for slicing up undead - or just rip off an opponent’s arms to use as zombie nunchucks? Both possibilities fill Yaiba’s heart with twisted laughter in this upcoming collaboration between famed developers Team NINJA and comcept’s Keiji Inafune.

 YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z will be available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Steam® (PC) March 4, 2014. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

More information about YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z can be found at YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z Official Site, on Facebook at Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Twitter @YaibaNGZ.


For more news about Team NINJA, visit The Official Team, and don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook at Team Ninja Studio Official Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter @TeamNINJAStudio.

Blast Away the Game Review: New YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z Screen Shots Gallery!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Call of Duty Ghosts Review for XBox 360 and PS3.

Call of Duty Ghosts - A World of Phantoms and Dystopia.
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/20/2013
Review Written by Dustin Murphy



Authors Note: Before reading, please note that this review is for the XBox 360 and PS3. Jonny Red and myself will have a PS4/XB1 and PC review review coming soon.

Pros:

  • Graphical enhancements became noticeable when comparing against past titles.
  • New cover system allows for a more tactical advantage while competing against each other or against the A.I. in the new 'Extinction" mode.
  • New extinction mode allows for up to four people to cooperatively fight against enemies and achieve new levels, equipment, and or buffs.
  • New weapons unlock system allows for a more enjoyable multiplayer experience.
  • Characters are represented as unlocks, each character has 50 of them, and of course there is 10 characters. Prestige modes are theoretically gone.
  • Campaign leads to a very open world, and allows for a more believable future, and of course allows for expansion away from the typical scenarios we've seen in past installments.
  • Call of Duty App allows for players to follow their stats between each console in an overall career, which is quite awesome.
  • Customize-able characters can be made female for the first time to allow female fans to truly enjoy their experience.


Cons:

  • Random frame rate drops can be seen on both the XBox 360 and PlayStation 3 playforms, leading for a slightly frustrating experience.
  • Lack of a ground war game mode can be quite upsetting and frustrating to those preferring large scale battles.
  • Requires a 3GB install on XBox 360 in order to play.
  • Online multiplayer careers for PS4 and XBox One will not be shared between all consoles, only ones of the same type, meaning current gen will not get badges if going to XBox 360 to PS4 and vise versa. 
  • At times textures seem grainy, unfinished, and lackluster at close range, truly something that needs to be fixed with a patch or add-on content.


Final Score: 8.5 out of 10

Final Thoughts: Having been playing the PlayStation 4 version, it was noticeable to see that the game was neatly crafted for the next generation console and unfortunately having seen a noticeable downgrade to work on the current generation while fans await seeing the PlayStation 4 and XBox One versions. However, this does not take away the enjoyment Infinity Ward, Raven Software, and Neversoft have provided. Definitely one of the best Call of Duty games I've played in my duration as a Call of Duty fan.

 When Infinity Ward and Activision first announced that the game was in production for release with a demo, I was quick to start reading up on it, and of course begin to prepare for the release as it came quickly approaching for current approaching current and the now releasing next generation of consoles. In the demo's that they revealed there was no ability to deny the new systems they presented from damage hit boxes, to character models, and the new corner lean system, allowing for players to take a tactical advantage against opposing players. However, that's not where I will focus this review as Call of Duty Ghosts didn't take a major leap on this current generation as it with the computer and next generation of consoles has. The graphics none-the-less are beautifully done, allowing for a truly atmospheric, and dystopian future where America has fallen into shambles due to the an enemy threat known as "The Federation". The campaign felt as if it were stupid, a action film parody, and an attempt to make an action movie, which lead me to honestly enjoying the game. 

 In Call of Duty Ghosts, I was able to experience the game through several view points, one as Logan Walker who was accompanied by his brother Hesh and their friendly and nimble dog; Riley. Through the campaign the game is centered around the events that take place after The Federation devastated the United States in an attack using a mysterious weapon technology only known as "Odin". After the attack has taken place, the United States is sent into shambles, sending them into a defensive, which is where our heroes of the story pick up as heroes of the day for the once mighty United States military. This leads us to melodramatic death speeches, the scene where you get to see the guy who thinks he rules the world and is flipping off the enemy while driving off, the father preaching about how his boys are all that he has left, and that they need to be kept safe, and of course the mysterious yet vengeful enemy that is on a manhunt that seem as if it will never be completed due to the need for Call of Duty sequels. All of this corniness is why the campaign did become so enjoyable and lead me to beating it more than once (one of them for the PlayStation 4, soon to be XBox 1).

 Outside the open ended campaign, which is not unusual, Infinity Ward has greeted us with a new mode called Squads. In Squads mode players have all ten characters available and can edit each of them, which sets them up as different classes, different weapons, perks, and even kill streaks. After having built the classes, players can then take these pre-made characters into a off-line game mode, which simulates online multiplayer. Unfortunately you will find yourself spending more time setting up the A.I. characters than actually playing if you are wanting to experience a different play style for each bot, which can be described as underwhelming.

  After spending time editing bots or going online, players can go online, unlock up to ten characters using squad points by leveling up or performing challenges that can be completed. Those challenges can also unlock new character customization parts, which can have a dramatic effect on their characters overall appearance. This also leads to helping unlock new guns, grenade types, accessories, and of course attachments. All of these require the said squad points that can be obtained in some of the new game modes such as Blitz, Grind (reminds me of Halo's headhunter mode to be quite honest mixed with CoD's Kill Confirmed), and of course a very familiar to many game mode called Search and Rescue. The Blitz game mode could easily reflect a capture the flag kind of mode, instead players actually have the goal of sliding into the enemy teams "goal" in order to score points. In scoring points, players will be teleported to their base and not give up their kill streaks or life for that matter. Instead they are left vulnerable In Grind players are pressed for time in order to kill enemy players in order to gain their dog tags. In doing so players have their life expanded by just mere seconds. In their life being expanded, players are able to move faster, deal damage in a quicker pace, and of course lead up to teeth clenching moments as you move for another set of tags and your time is running out. After this hectic time players can try the new Search and Rescue, which sounds, plays, and acts just like it's described. The goal is for the teams to earn kills in order to revive team mates, think of it as a "elimination" mode, which only honors re-spawns based on kills of enemy players.

 After spending time with those and returned game modes, it was time to pick apart the new "dynamic map" scheme that Infinity Ward bragged about, which unfortunately is very negligible in appearance, and at times will never be noticed by players. Unfortunately I've only seen this once when an enemy player activated a KEM Odin strike, which unfortunately can only be seen on Strikezone and will change the map completely from the traditional lay out it had, but instead making it a nuclear wasteland and having wiped out most of the enemy teams players or even your own teams players if they are in the initial explosion area. In other maps, players can find walls that can be destroyed by grenades, areas that will allow them to hide in water, and of course like on Octane, blow up the gas station, and add cover to their area. Unfortunately, if you are looking for Battlefield-esque maps, this game is not for you, but if you are wanting a very competitive game that is not a head-turning kill-fest, this game is for you. The biggest and noticeable change is kill streaks are less air based this time around, allowing for fewer choppers, attack planes, and or even drones flying around as UAV's. This provides a nice change and a hope to note die within seconds of accessing their chance to spawn up. (Please note we will not be comparing the two as they are not the same in any means besides the fact they are first person shooters, and that is all).

 Tired of the multiplayer? Well thanks to Infinity Ward, they took a queue from Treyarch with their new "Extinction" mode, which is just as neat, fun, and challenging as Zombies from the Treyarch titles. In the Extinction Mode, players will take on the role as multiple classes they can choose from leveling up. One for example is the engineer, who can repair the drill, which is used to mine through alien hives, and kill them off. This allows for the players to obtain more money, and move on, but this can sometimes be stalled by the drill being damage; this is where the engineer comes in. The engineer is able to provide the drill with repairs allowing for the team to move on quicker and of course seek their goal of moving on into further waves. Players in this mode will rank up just like in multiplayer for completing goals and destroying the aliens they are poised to fight against. This mode in its own is truly amusing as players will be able to find a vast amount of guns, rewards, and of course traps to use, which lead to multiple challenges being completed or failed, which allows them to level up abilities (equipment load outs). However, far as I have seen there is only one map available at this time, but fear not - there will be more we can expect in future downloadable content.

 This Call of Duty has never felt more organic, more laid back, and more about true player skill. Players will still find people hiding in corners, shooting out of windows, and or simply just running around tearing up the score board, but this provides a different change of pace from past Call of Duty titles, which left players banging their head on the wall.

Graphics: Much like Black Ops 2, Call of Duty Ghosts has decided to touch up on the XBox 360 and PlayStation 3's graphics engines, which allow for players to enjoy a more "realistic" and grime world around them. Player models have never looked this good for a CAll of Duty game on the current generation.

Sound: The sound for Call of Duty is more realistic than ever. Each gun has their own unique sound when firing, player characters and even A.I. tell a unique story to them while in combat. In multiplayer characters call out where they saw an enemy. Even explosions have their concussion like sound they should have when exploding.

Controls: This is a feature that has remained untouched, but refined. Some players will find it a bit difficult to use the highlighted corner lean points on the maps, which can grow frustrating when learning how to take advantage of this.

Replay Value: Moderately High

Official Facebook: Call of Duty: Ghosts

Official Twitter: @CallofDuty

Friday, November 15, 2013

PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Network Issues on Launch Day?


Playing PS4? Suffering Issues? So Are We.
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 
Written by Dustin Murphy.


Upon logging in, my PlayStation 4 was quick to update the mandatory 300+mb update, that activated many of the features. Many of them were amazing till one thing happened... The servers have been anything, but working, and or amazing. Let alone, many of the games are working, some gamer's are able to log-in, party chat, play games, and even download without any features, but the concerning part is a lack of responses from Sony Entertainment. We know that they have a lot on their plate, especially with a few people having issues with PS4's not working, HDMI ports not working, and now the unfortunate Blue Light of Death, but fear not. The amount of hardware failures have been very few and according to Sony Entertainment's president, Shuhei Yoshida, these are within their predicted range of .4% failure rate. Currently we are waiting to hear back from Sony to get an official response related to the connectivity issues. If you are having issues let us know in the comments below, if not are you enjoying your PlayStation 4? If you are, how are you preparing for when the servers smooth out?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

SENRAN KAGURA Burst Published by XSEED Games Available Now!

SENRAN KAGURA Burst Available on 3DS eShop
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/14/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy



 Earlier today, XSEED Games, the independent-minded console publishing brand of Marvelous USA, Inc., excitedly sent out the email stating only one thing, and we are now excited to tell you - SENRAN KAGURA Burst is now available on the Nintendo eShop in North America, exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system, for 29.99 USD. Those of you interested can check out the all new gameplay trailer that introduces the playable characters of the Hebijo Clandestine Girls' Academy via YouTube (we'll have one of those soon!).

For those wondering, SENRAN KAGURA Burst is an over-the-top side-scrolling action title that is set to be a highly humorous title, and is also set in a prestigious academy, whch is served as a front for an underground school where talented students are trained in the art of ninjutsu. The game will consist of two separate storylines, which is introduced to players by character; Skirting Shadows. She will introduce players to the "good shinobi" of Hanzō Academy while its counterpart, Crimson Girls, turns the tables to tell the same tale from the rival Hebijo Academy’s point of view.

Players will assume the control of their chosen school's five primary characters whom will train, fight, and aspire to become full-fledged shinboi. Inside the academy's "Ninja Room" hub, character interactions will reveal the true thoughts and feelings of each playable student before and after each of the games missions. The story for the game is told in a novel-style story scenes then precede other missions, offering a deeper look into the games world. Throughout the game, players will complete combat assignments for each of the mains missions for each character, including retrieval missions, multi-character battles, and epic boss fights to advance the game's plot. During combat, damage to the girl is revealed through the gradual destruction of their shinobi outfits, eventually leaving them in their bikinis when they are close to being knocked out. Fans of this imported series will be delighted to experience the original Japanese voice-overs, which have been left intact and will be translated side by side with English subtitles.

Players can earn experience and level up throughout the story, unlocking new moves, powers and outfits. The Nintendo 3DS system’s stereoscopic 3D capability is supported, allowing Shinobi Transformations, special moves, victory poses and a few additional surprises to be viewed in full 3D.

SENRAN KAGURA Burst is developed by Tamsoft together with MarvelousAQL Inc. of Japan. XSEED Games will publish the title as a digital download on the Nintendo eShop in North America on November 14. The game is rated T for Teen by the ESRB. For more information on XSEED Games products, visit www.xseedgames.com, and fans can also follow XSEED Games on Facebook at www.facebook.com/XSEEDGames and Twitter at www.twitter.com/XSEEDGames.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blast Away the Game Review Breaks 6,469 Reviewers!


Blast Away Has Officially Broken 6,469 Views!
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/12/2013

Hello, this is Dustin Murphy, founder of Blast Away the Game Review, here on Facebook! I first of all want to thank all of you for your helping us grow and move to sitting over 6,469 viewers since August 14th. What does this mean? We've grown to a size that is unlike anything we had hoped to actually have it, but with hard work, dedication, and passion as ours here at B.A.T.G.R. we want to thank you our readers for this opportunity and want to know we truly appreciate your help in making this happen. I want you to know that your help by reading, sharing, and getting new likes to our page means we will grow even more, and help us reach our highest dreams and goals and help us strive to succeed in dreams we've yet to accomplish and help us set new goals and wants. As we do grow you help us make our highest dreams become possible, and in turn give us a chance to grow to a point we may even have to look into a blog very soon! We've grown just that big (likes to our page have been deceiving!). We will starting this Friday begin working on PlayStation 4 and XBox One titles. Unfortunately, we do not have an XBox One focused writer, which is disheartening, but fear not - we will get there before you know it! Thankfully though, we will be looking forward to gaining an XBox One writer that could possibly help with co-reviews and bring more Blast Away the Game Review exclusive reviews. With that said, I want to thank you all on the behalf of the Blast Away the Game Review team and I for making our dreams a possibility, and we will strive to make new ones and reach for new dreams and goals as they become possible.

Cheers,
Dustin Murphy
Founder of Blast Away the Game Review

Monday, November 11, 2013

Heroes of the Storm - Blizzards Project Titan?

Blizzard Announces Their MOBA: Heroes of the Storm.
Originally Copyrighted and Published by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/11/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy.

Are you a fan of MOBA games such as League of Legends and DOTA 2? Well there is some new competition coming into the scene. The masters of RTS and MMO's have once more decided to play their cards in the upcoming months, they have decided to step into the world of MOBA gaming, and this we can safely assume is their "Project Titan" - Heroes of the Storm. So far Blizzard has safely announced several heroes "Summoners" (Players) will be able to use from Diablo (Diablo 3 version), Sarah Kerrigan (SC2), Arthas (WoW), Malfurion (WoW), Gazlow (WoW), Valla (D3 - Demon Hunter), Naziba (D3 - Witch Doctor), Raynor (SC2), Tassadar (SC2), and Illidan (WoW). With this string players in the beta will get quite a few players to choose from, which is actually quite interesting, and we hope out of the hundreds of characters possible in the Blizzard titles that we could eventually see some iconic ones such as The Lost Vikings make an appearance, but even perhaps smaller versions of Deathwing and maybe even Krasus.

We can only wonder what it will look like and play like. If you are interested though remember to log into your battle.net account, enable opt-in for betas, and make sure to sign up for it! It looks like it could give DOTA 2 and LoL a run for their money in the MOBA market.

With this news are you interested? Will you try it out? If you play League of Legends or DOTA does this seem like it could threaten your time away from it or even your spending? Let me know in the comments!

For the official page check out the link below.
Heroes of the Storm Official Game Site
www.heroesofthestorm.com
Enter Heroes of the Storm, a team brawler of heroic proportions starring your favorite Blizzard characters. Sign up for a chance to play in the beta test for PC/Mac

Friday, November 8, 2013

Blast Away the Game Review and My Blog Break 3k+ Views!


3.1k + Views Since August!

    Before I continue I want to thank you all for your contributing to this! You have no idea what this means to me, my team or myself. With this momentous occasion I want to give a bit of a surprise at what the first next generation review will be! Jonny of Blast Away the Game Review and myself will be doing a co-review of Warframe. I will also be doing a cross-gen review for Call of Duty Ghosts in the upcoming weeks! I want to again thank all of you for making this possible and you have no idea how much this means to me! Again, thank you, and hopefully we remain a source you all continue to read!

Call of Duty Ghosts For Next Gen Install Official

Call of Duty Ghosts Next Gen Install 49GB Before Updates
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/8/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy

  

 Have your memory woes for next generation consoles begun to get a bit worse? Well let them deepen as we welcome in the first official picture for the Call of Duty Ghosts PS4 case, now XBox One purchasers, guess what? You aren't escaping this one earlier. After visiting GameStop I was reluctant to get my hands on a XBox One copy in order to see the case, confirm the install, player size as well as capabilities that the PlayStation 4 version will have. Does this scare you? In ways it shouldn't for you PlayStation 4 owners due to Sony and their ability to allow you PlayStation 4 owners to upgrade your hard drives to larger ones, but for XBox One owners, there is no official statement at this time stating whether or not the capabilities for external hard drives will be available on launch or shortly after. However, this has not been the first time we've heard of games to be this size when they launch, but we can still speculate that games will use less install size as the consoles begin to optimize the games and the memory use.

 With this it still leaves the question as to why the next gen versions are using as much memory as that of the PC version. However, we can only hope with this information that the game will have better graphics, animations, and terrain detail will show when we get the first glimpses of it soon. Till then, what do you hope to see? Are you going to be playing next generation or has CoD: Ghosts treated you well on the current platforms? Comment below!

SENRAN KAGURA Burst Gets a November Release Date

SENRAN KAGURA Burst Gets Nov. 14th Release Date.
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/8/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy



Are you a fighting game fanatic? Like anime like graphics? Side-scrolling fighters? Want a game that's a buxom ninja brawler? Well your wait is slowly coming to an end as the upcoming brawler from XSeed Games is becoming available, it will be released on November the 14th, exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system as a Nintendo eShop digital download sitting at the awesome price of 29.99 USD. Want to see more on it? Well lucky you, XSeed games has an official website up for it over at www.hanzonationalacademy.com, as well as a new trailer giving some background on the Hanzō Academy, one of the two rival factions in this upcoming title.




SENRAN KAGURA Burst is an over-the-top side-scrolling action title that is set to be a highly humorous title, and is also set in a prestigious academy, whch is served as a front for an underground school where talented students are trained in the art of ninjutsu. The game will consist of two separate storylines, which is introduced to players by character; Skirting Shadows. She will introduce players to the "good shinobi" of Hanzō Academy while its counterpart, Crimson Girls, turns the tables to tell the same tale from the rival Hebijo Academy’s point of view.

Players will assume the control of their chosen school's five primary characters whom will train, fight, and aspire to become full-fledged shinboi. Inside the academy's "Ninja Room" hub, character interactions will reveal the true thoughts and feelings of each playable student before and after each of the games missions. The story for the game is told in a novel-style story scenes then precede other missions, offering a deeper look into the games world. Throughout the game, players will complete combat assignments for each of the mains missions for each character, including retrieval missions, multi-character battles, and epic boss fights to advance the game's plot. During combat, damage to the girl is revealed through the gradual destruction of their shinobi outfits, eventually leaving them in their bikinis when they are close to being knocked out. Fans of this imported series will be delighted to experience the original Japanese voice-overs, which have been left intact and will be translated side by side with English subtitles.




Players can earn experience and level up throughout the story, unlocking new moves, powers and outfits. The Nintendo 3DS system’s stereoscopic 3D capability is supported, allowing Shinobi Transformations, special moves, victory poses and a few additional surprises to be viewed in full 3D.

SENRAN KAGURA Burst is developed by Tamsoft together with MarvelousAQL Inc. of Japan. XSEED Games will publish the title as a digital download on the Nintendo eShop in North America on November 14. The game is rated T for Teen by the ESRB. For more information on XSEED Games products, visit www.xseedgames.com, and fans can also follow XSEED Games on Facebook at www.facebook.com/XSEEDGames and Twitter at @XSeedGames.