Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Rumor: PEGI Lists Warframe for XBox One Rating (Updated)

Rumor: Warframe Going to XBox One
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 12/31/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy



Sourced by: Kotaku

(Update: 4:20pm CST) 
 Blast Away the Game Review has received an official response from Digital Extremes. At this time there are currently no plans on bringing Warframe to the XBox One. For the full details on this article please visit the Blast Away the Game Review page on Facebook: 


Original Article:
  Earlier today having gone to ESRB and PEGI to see upcoming registrations, I was surprised to see that Warframe has been listed by PEGI. It was interesting to see it listed as going to XBox One so close to its release back in November for the Sony PlayStation 4. According to several online websites, Warframe, developed by Digital Extremes, has only however been registered on PEGI and not the ESRB. We have reached out to Digital Extremes on this and will let you know the response we get. Either way, this game is amazing, and is one that could see a life-long fan base to such a unique title. Please stay tuned for our upcoming review of Warframe on PlayStation 4 and on PC.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Gaming Services: Slowly Coming Back Up From Holiday Overloads

  It seems though while we were all celebrating our own respective Holiday's, the online communities at XBox, PlayStation, Steam, and even Nintendo were shut down due to system overloads. However, within the past few hours PlayStation Network and XBox Live have seemingly stabilized for the time being. If any trouble arises, we'll let you know. Below is an official statement from Nintendo in regards to eShop services. If you have questions, go to their twitter or forums, and let them know!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dragon Age: Origins - Game Review

Dragon Age: Origins - Ferelden Needs a Champion - Review.
Originally Copyrighted and Published by Blast Away the Game Review 12/23/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy



Pros:

  • Very in-depth background story for each character race, social standing, and gender.
  • Very detailed character creation, allowing for players to optimize the appearance, and attitude they prefer for their character.
  • Classic turn based computer like RPG that allows for menu pull ups and move selections to give that original RPG feel.
  • Content that spans over 100+ hours is very welcomed in this day in age thanks to the massive amount of content in the Ultimate Edition.
  • Class variations and team combos can fully determine a battle allowing for some battles being easier than others.
  • Side quests galore will fill up free-time and make it amazingly fun in the mean time.


Cons:

  • Not for those who are not used to optimizing abilities, armors, and team build ups and hot keying. Very time consuming and makes fights drag on.
  • Main quest easily gets distracted by events that pop up leading up to the grand finale of the story.
  • Each characters loyalty missions and gifting can lead to hours of frustration and online research without a handy strategy guide.


Final Verdict: 7.25 out of 10

Final Thoughts: Dragon Age: Origins feels like a tribute to the predecessor franchise Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic that BioWare had developed. In a tribute to it, Dragon Age: Origins is something I could recommend playing as it takes gaming with RPG's back to PC like glory days, and that is something fantastic in itself. For those that haven't tried it, pick up Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate, play it. The game is a lore filled "novel" that is just short of amazing.


 Dragon Age: Origins when I first booted up gave me that feel as if I was stepping into a Dungeon's and Dragon's-esque realm, but soon as the story began, I realized; BioWare has created a new masterpiece, one that will span ages, and end on a beautiful note as it should. Dragon Age's world is not one that I would say is warm and beautiful, instead just in the opening we come to learn that the world is dangerous, dying, and very cruel. With castes, royals, and even nobles; the world is a very unkind place to be in. However, once a threat such as the Darkspawn comes to be scene by our welcoming Grey Warden, Duncan, who has come to specifically recruit your character because of something heroic they have done. 

 The game presents itself mechanically as an RPG, the elements of it are as such, and of course leveling up presents this, but the game itself is truly a crafted storytelling masterpiece. The adventure itself could easily have taken notes from stories such as George R.R. Martin's, "Song of Fire and Ice", and of course Tolkien's, "The Lord of the Rings". With those in mind the game itself stands out among them as its own entity with a uniquely entwined story of fabled legends, demon's, elves, dwarves, and even werewolves. With those in mind, it is not surprising to find the game masterfully crafted into what could be called an epic on its own and something that could easily deserve its own novels. With that noted, it was not hard to see why the game played the way it did, why the PC version ported to consoles so fluid like, and allowed for a hot wheel selection combat system only allowing for a few hot keyed abilities on buttons. With this system it was hard not to feel as if I'd returned to days of games like Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, and in ways Jade Empire even. Once the wheel is optimized by both PC and console gamer's, the combat is fluid, enjoyable, and truly strategy filled combat scenario in every fight. Returning to the old tactics menu, players can select how each character acts, what abilities they use, and how they perform in combat. Unfortunately, for PC players, console players are unpunished from using certain spells and abilities that could otherwise put an entire team at risk, one spell in particular; Fireball. Fireball is the one spell that I've seen almost wipe out entire parties, but in the console version, this is ignored. Unfortunately it is because of the difficulty scaling due to the console aspects that can not be made possible without mouse and keyboard set ups. Hopefully that can be changed with PlayStation 4 and XBox One and their raw power.



  The most interesting aspect of the game isn't even the combat or how it plays, but instead the lore that fills the world and the decision your hero makes. Having been either good or bad, people will find their character being viewed as either the good and or the bad person, which means your reputation between each character can be easily deteriorate or go up with each choice made. Some of the outcomes however can easily cost lives and look poorly in later titles. Though the biggest problem in this game doesn't outshine what sets in, making sure every loyalty mission is complete, making sure that entire story lines are wrapped up when moving on to future quests.

  When playing the game it was hard not to notice a few gripes I had with it, and one of them is lame, but true; Graphics. Thanks to Mass Effect I was able to understand the power and prowess the XBox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well as PC housed, which is limitless at the time - Dragon Age doesn't show this. Instead the previously released title Mass Effect could easily put this game to shame in graphical prowess and lighting elements. Instead we are handed something that could be considered lower standard and or been produced at an earlier time only to be placed in a vault till later dates. Whatever the cause, the graphics are sub-par, and with BioWares track record - it's in many ways disappointing. Even with a few frame rate hiccups on the PS3 and XBox 360 version, the game is still enjoyable, and is easily recommended for those wanting a PC like experience with a controller. With countless hours of DLC it's hard not to say this game is short, but in truth - the DLC is too. Having put only around 126 hours into the game with all DLC included, I felt as if the game itself was withdrawn, and unfortunately had a lot of room for expansion. We can only hope that Dragon Age sees a prominent growth in content in the future.



Graphics: Unfortunately the graphics are not the high quality that was expected when going into the game. Thanks to Mass Effect having been released previously, it was hard not to frown upon the PS2-esque graphics engine, and only getting what felt like an alpha-version engine.

Sound: High quality voice acting and a musical score give this game an above-average quality, something that redeems it, and stands on-par with the games well scripted story.

Controls: These were not easy to learn sitting in the mind of a in-experienced gamer. Instead even as an advance gamer myself, the games controls had a learning curve, and with the tactics system - downright frustrating. I'd stick to mouse and keyboard if your PC can handle the game.

Replay Value: Moderate

Official Website: http://dragonage.bioware.com/agegate/

Official Twitter: Twitter.com/BioWare

Official Facebook: www.facebook.com/DragonAge

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Gamer Rant: Games That Should Appear On Next Gen.

Games That Should Appear on Next Gen
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 12/22/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy

Authors Note: I know some of these will be appearing, but I'm not talking about new titles. I'm talking about the older games, ones that still have life in them, and could easily see a remake for fans new to the series or old to the series and would like to revisit it in an optimized setting.

 When it comes to gaming, I've had my fair share of gaming franchises, trilogies, saga's, and even single entries that lead me to wondering how they would fair on the next generation of consoles. With that thought I sat down and compiled the games that really hit home, ones that broke every barrier I knew as gaming, and left me awestruck just from having played it. That is where I have gone from game franchises from new and old, some as far as being simple easy to beat games, while others aren't so simple.

Screenshot from the Mass Effect 3 Earth Trailer. Could they upgrade the graphics to this standard?

Mass Effect Trilogy:

 When having chosen this game series, it was quickly unreasonable for me not to pick this franchise, and that's due to everything about it. The series itself has been astounding as far as story telling, graphics, game play, and even emotional attachment goes, which is why I think it would be safe to say; next gen needs it. After having played the PC and console versions, I was able to notice several big changes, and that's where we will start off. The graphics for one on PC put a hurt on console, which is hard to say, and that is because even the console versions were beautiful. With views of galaxies, characters, and cityscapes that could have seemingly been real. Thankfully this is something the PS4 and XBox One could easily do, pump out those PC graphics, and demonstrate the potential the series has just in the older games alone on their maxed out settings. Lets not also forget that with the new 50GB blu-ray discs, the PS4 and XBox One could easily handle all that game data and some if the game is optimized properly. Who wouldn't want to tear across the universe once more with all the games conveniently available on the next generation and not having to worry about choosing decisions that could influence future titles on differing platforms (assuming you are like myself and went from XBox 360 to PS4).



Assassin's Creed Collection:

  When Assassin's Creed first released I was eagerly at the doors awaiting the experience after having seen the games footage during E3 online, and with it I was left wondering the future of the franchise after having played much of it and the sequels that later followed. With the new consoles coming forth into the dawn of a new gaming era I grew curious to one thing - will they bring the old games onto the next generation? With Tomb Raider having been re-skinned, optimized, and even made to out-perform its previous versions, I've come to a conclusion that Assassin's Creed would bolster high sales on PS4 and XBox One due to the expansive story line it carries. This is a series that defined a new genre of open world, storytelling, and of course playing upon world history. Only time will tell if the folks over at Ubisoft step up and take a chance at doing so.



Monster Hunter:

  This is a series that has been around for a while now, but has never truly broke outside of the Nintendo and PlayStation handheld market, but that is changing soon thanks to the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS success; PC players are lucky to get Monster Hunter Online (currently not available outside of Japan). However, that leads to the wondering of how it would do on the next generation of consoles. When it comes to Monster Hunter, the game has an impressive following, and a one that could bolster sales for the companies involved for hardware sales if they could make a pitch to Capcom that would seem worthwhile and profitable. With massive monsters, seemingly open worlds, and of course now amazing stories (thanks to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate). With a massive online community on the Wii U alone for Monster Hunter Tri, we can only hope to see a future outside of Nintendo products, PC, and of course PlayStation Vita (assuming that Capcom finds life there for their game).


Kingdom Hearts HD ReMIX:
  
  Many of us know the beautiful story that has been weaved by Tetsuya Nomura and his team at Square-Enix have created along side the team at Disney Interactive. The franchise can be considered one of the biggest, most followed, and of course best-selling franchises on the market. With this success only a few games related to it have been created outside of the PlayStation Platforms, and most recently having found more success thanks to the release of the Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX and its follow up successor Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX headed this way sometime in the not so far away future. With Kingdom Hearts 3 also having been announced and that can only leave us to wonder if or when we will see the franchise make its way towards the PS4 for a new found group that would seek to enjoy the franchise as it's meant to be enjoyed.



Dragon Age:
  
  As many know the success BioWare has with their franchises, this is another series that could easily be moved over to both the PlayStation 4 and XBox One thanks to the x86 architecture they use, and would allow for PC like gameplay and graphics. With a beautifully weaved story taking place within the realms of Ferelden and Kirkwall, players would easily be able to enjoy the stories weaved into it, and of course expand upon decisions made when Dragon Age III: Inquisition releases sometime in 2014 on all platforms. Much like Mass Effect the series focuses heavily upon character choices, atmosphere, background, and of course many of the cultures that exist thanks to the multiple races that exist (Elves, Qunari, Dwarves, humans, and more).



Onimusha:
   
   Known for its Resident Evil-esque puzzle, explore, and fighting game, Onimusha offers a deep back-ground filled story that leaves our heroes fighting against Oni (Demon) forces that seek to destroy all of humanity. Thankfully the series seemed to sell strong, carry on many of its story lines between multiple characters and of course even creating new ones. What was also nice about Onimusha was the fact the game kept itself refreshed, didn't copy off other games, and kept itself original to the Samurai era's. Did I mention big swords, mean enemies, and lots of body parts? No? Well there's that too. The series is one that Capcom could capitalize off of if they were to reboot it on the PS4 and it's easy to develop x86 platform. At this time, it is something Capcom needs, and we hope they do.



Parasite Eve:

  Many of us are familiar with Square Soft (at the time) and their adventure into science fiction horror with their title Parasite Eve. The campaign centers around protagonist and heroine Aya Brea, a New York Detective who has had the unfortunate mishap of being sucked into a rather dangerous, and very much alive world through a threat known as mitochondria. Thanks to a mysterious woman only known as Eve, Aya finds herself fighting for the life of all those around her, and of course herself. Through out the series the fight only gets worse and eventually leads to Aya fighting even harder through every obstacle possibly known to her. This is a series that would be amazing to come back with its original play style, storyline, and of course amazing voice cast that was witnessed in Third Birthday (Parasite Eve 3). Hopefully Square-Enix will look back and realize, the fans are still there, which means the series is still very much alive and could be expanded on thanks to the ending of Third Birthday that released on PSP. With the raw power of the PlayStation 4, players can only imagine what Square could do with this series, and that undoubtedly could be a masterpiece in the making as long as the attention to detail is there.



Metal Gear Solid:

  We already know how big the franchise is, but with many of the games having become outdated graphically, and of course control wise; it's time for a possible upgrade. With the PlayStation 4 and XBox One having started to become the mainstream gaming platforms, it is only a wonder if we will see Hideo Kojima re-release Metal Gear Solid as an HD remaster and follow up with new upgraded graphics to the others with the new Fox Engine we are seeing in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain.



Jade Empire:

  Originally released on the XBox Classic it can only be said that the game is and was a masterpiece that died before its time. Having been abandoned seemingly due to the success of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic and the beginning touches on their now successful Mass Effect series. For those that have never played the series, it was what seemed like a prelude to the engine used in Mass Effect and of course Dragon Age, but with martial arts, and a very well scripted Asian back-story that feeds directly off myth and lore of ancient Asia. Set with a backdrop of betrayal, love, and friendship, the game accents the full circle of life and the occurrences with in it, and leaves us truly breath taken by the diligently crafted martial arts RPG they created.



Resident Evil Outbreak Files:
  
  This series was unique in the means that it was not your typical Resident Evil. The game was simple, survive, work together, and try to get to safety as quick as possible, and without dying which was harder said than done due to the enemies. That is what some would find frustrating if not difficult due to the game using the original Resident Evil mechanics that were slightly upgraded in Resident Evil Code Veronica. The game evolves in mini-scenarios where players will take on objectives in order to get to the end. While doing so the game also pits them against multiple types of enemies including Tyrants, Hunters, and the typical zombies. The game with the new online systems would truly be able to shine out amongst the rest as a true testament as to what Resident Evil is about. Especially with the class system having been built upon in Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City.

We know all of you gamer's have a taste in games just as we do, but that doesn't mean you actually play the same games we do, which leads us to asking; what games do you want to see? Is there a specific franchise you hold to heart that needs re-released or could use it? Let the community know by commenting below!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ys Memories of Celceta - An Amazing Journey in the Great Forest! - Review

Ys Memories of Celceta - An Amazing Journey in the Great Forest!
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 10/21/2013
Review by Dustin Murphy



Pros:
  • Beautifully detailed landscapes, characters, side stories, quests, and even atmosphere!
  • Partially voiced characters at their first introduction is amazingly beautiful and detailed, very well done.
  • Very basic controls that are very quickly and easily learned.
  • Graphics and score make this game amazing, emotional, and largely engaging over its entirety.
  • Gripping side-stories come full circle before the end, allowing no open ended questions, no need for asking what went wrong, and of course a glimpse into Adol's back adventures.


Cons:
  • Intermittent frame rate drops can be frustrating, but do not occur outside of cities, which is fortunate.
  • Weapon upgrades are very roughly explained, which leads to frustrating, and if not bad trade offs when actually upgrading.
  • Some instances of treasure hunting require the game to be replayed or revisited at certain points.
  • No notification of side-quests in other cities while progressing through the campaign. Players must revisit cities at their own free-will.


Final Verdict: 8.75 out of 10

Final Thoughts: When having played this game, it was like revisiting the series I grew up with starting back on TurboGFX-CD when visiting friends, and of course later on other consoles as the series progressed. However, until the PSP was released I really didn't get as heavy into Ys as I could now, with that being said - the game is a very well rounded story that involves our main character Adol, Doren, Ozma, and friends that players will meet over the span of the story. Thankfully with much of the game, players do not need to visit past titles to understand Adol's life in this game, instead the game focuses on events going on around the Great Forest of Celceta. This is truly a masterpiece that shines with the age of the series, now spanning 25 years, and now makes its way to the PS Vita on the anniversary of the series.



 Ys Memories of Celceta like any Ys game is a masterpiece in its own. The game like any of the predecessors features our main character Adol Christin who has inspired to be a great explorer, and before he does, would like to have explored the entire world. This adventure carries on that goal by taking players into the amazingly crafted lands of Celceta where Adol partakes in an adventure to explore the Great Forest of Celceta, and meet any inhabitants along the way. However, in this adventure, a misfortune occurs, and our hero is left with amnesia because of it. No longer remembering who he is, his past, or what he was doing; Adol takes on a mission granted to him by the Romn Empire. Shortly after starting the games, players will meet up with their adventuring partner, and a bit of a lousy one at that, Duren, who is your go to when you want slow-hard-hitting damage. Duren will remain that guy through the entirety of the story, which is a re-imagining of Ys IV that was released back in 1993. 

  After doing the introduction, players are able to partake on side-quests that will allow them to gain bonus experience points, items, and of course learn more of the back story to the area around them. This also allows for exploration of new zones, equipment unlocks, and of course more completion for the mapping of the Great Forest of Celceta. What does that earn? Money and items of course as well as trophies for those who love to trophy hunt! After a while, players will also be able to unlock teleportation stones so they can make their way easier through the forests without having to run completely forward and backwards to get where they need to go later in the game. The only downfall? For around half the time, players will be stuck going to teleportation stones of similar colors through each of these dungeons, which is unfortunate as players pick up side quests as they progress in the main story, and of course half to wait over half way through before they can teleport anywhere they wish due to an event that will happen later on in the story.



 After a while of adventuring players will find themselves at times rushing through dialogue, cut-scenes and of course, the one thing I found the most annoying, but overall it's not because of their dialogue; instead it was how often they are more than not. The game, while good is flooded with a lot of reading, animated cut-scenes that use the in-game engine, and of course at times beyond annoying characters. However, all that is quickly relieved by the games humor, which more often than not outshines the rest. Especially when the combat that takes place is shortly after. The game itself heavily relies on the story, quick action, and of course the after a short period, easy to pick up on occurrences that will lead Adol and friends to investigating occurrences in each area, and unassumingly so, lead players into dungeon crawling to find the cause. It is here where the game begins to shine, thanks to a very easy to use combat system as well as party system that lets players switch between each party member simply by pressing the circle button on their PS Vita. 

 In combat, each character has their own special combat play style, weapons set up, and of course unlockable skills that makes them fun more-often than not. From the close quarters and fast damaging Adol and his slashing damage to Duren and his brutal melee that allows him to break powerful enemy armor, but nothing like the piercing damage of Ozma who can easily take large crowds and put them at bay. This is simply just a sample of what these characters are like and the powers they keep with them. Truly fun to say the last for those who want a diverse play style and cast to accompany it. Each member will also level up their abilities whether the player is using them or of the A.I. is controlling them, this is something Falcom must have though through very well, and executed amazingly. In the fighting however, players will have moments where they've dodged perfectly or blocked perfectly, what does this do you might ask - it allows for a short span of constant critical damage, giving players a boost, and especially when they need it the most. Players will also get items to exchange, upgrade, and move to higher quality items so that they can empower their weapons and armor into more powerful items till upgrades can be found.



 As players explore while playing, they will come across instances where their screen will look as if it is messing up, it'll get lighter, foggier, and almost have a messed up image, but worry not; you've discovered a memory. These memories allow players to learn Adols past so that they can uncover the mystery of his adventure, why he forget what he did, and of course allow for an interesting take on the re-imagining of Adol's adventures through the world.

 Overall, Ys Memories of Celceta is an adventure that adds greatly to the PS Vita's already growing library of JRPG's, adventure games, and support for games coming out of Japan and shows there is home for such titles outside of Japan's fan base. This only makes us wonder, will we see future titles such as this one come forth in the coming years, and or are they done with the series? Regardless, this amazing story is truly fun, inspiring, and will leave players wanting to come back for more.

Graphics: Very beautifully crafted from the characters to the world and the way the designers left the game feeling rather retro in its entirety. 

Sound: As expected, the game carries a sense of high definition, well committed design choice, and provides an experience that will leave players wondering if they are watching a Japanese Anime.

Controls: Thankfully Falcom has made this something rather friendly to people who do not prefer advanced games, the game is beyond easy to control, and is explained thoroughly through tutorials created when they designed it.

Official XSeed Website: www.xseedgames.com

Official Twitter: Twitter.com/XSeedGames

Official Facebook: www.Facebook.com/XSEEDGames

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate - Re-Review; Roaring Itself Up In Score.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate - Re-Review
Originally Posted on and Published by Blast Away the Game Review on 12/21/2013
Review by Dustin Murphy.



Pros:
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate's transfer from Wii U to 3DS and vice versa provides a unique "save transfer" to allow players to go from playing on a console.
  • Very dedicated and friendly online community for the Wii U allows the game to have an enjoyable presence in a dungeon grinding like experience.
  • Hunting high rank monsters on the games campaign mode is openly enjoyable and allows for a console like experience for 3DS owners and prepares them for their online experience in high rank and G-Rank hunts.
  • Despite the graphics, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate offers a very alive world, easy to learn controls, and with MiiVerse allows for an in-depth take from both 3DS and Wii U so that players can discuss the game and seek advise in real time. This also allows for players to find new hunting partners
  • The Wii U's voice chat and text chat allows for quick and easy discussion between hunters and will allow for an enjoyable time.
  • Weapon classes for each play style as well as the armors allow players to take home an experience that could allow them to find a unique play style fit to them.







Cons:
  • Occasional system lock-up's can seem like a freak out moment, but fear not, these are rare and on Wii U only.
  • Character save transfers can cause for lost data and corruption if players do not use the MH3U app for 3DS as recommended by the app, and can also cause guild cards, and Streetpass items to be lost.
  • 3DS version does not have independent online access, but instead, requires the Wii U in order to play online for those owning a Wii U unless they have Wii U version to play. However, localized multiplayer is still fun and provides an amusing time.



Re-Review Score: 8 out of 10 (original score 2.50 out of 5 or 5 out of 10)


Final Thoughts: After having gotten to play the Wii U and the 3DS versions together, it was interesting to truly enjoy a game that gave me a rather joyful experience, and provided a moneys worth experience. Truly a game 3DS owners and Wii U owners should own, and definitely use as a game to fill up their time while traveling and or on holiday breaks.


Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was an interesting game to review after having played previous entries on PSP over the passing years. With it I was able to spend some time once more revisiting Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and having had the chance to have a thorough play-through with gaming and Blast Away the Game Review’s consultant, Jonny Red, I was able to have a true experience as to what Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is about. The game aside from having an offline and online hunting experience for Low, High, and G-Rank also offers something very unique that hasn't’t really been tried out with Monster Hunter 3 titles before. This time around we are actually getting to visit an offline campaign that will allow players to prepare for G-Rank when they come to the online mode. This is where the game takes an interesting turn for players with the Nintendo 3DS Version. Once they are able to, they can access the Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate App and have a Wii U can send their characters to their console once they've access the transfer data. However, please note that upon the exchanging of characters between 3DS and Wii U, you can actually lose your guild cards and or lose save data, but please note. The app has a built in backup feature, that backs up your characters and guild cards.


After having spent some time with both versions the only noticeable difference between the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS version is that the Nintendo 3DS version does not supply a Network Mode, which is the online features of the game, but it does feature a local ad-hoc mode where players can take on local hunts from low rank, high rank, and of course g-rank and brave the future of their characters and equipment.


In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, I was able to spend sometime with the games offline campaign, free hunt, and of course quests that allowed for me to unlock new things; equipment, farm item levels, voyage paths for ships, and of course new trade items for the Captain of the Argosy. These commodities can help get rare items for crafting, farming, cooking, and anything else that may seem suitable. The part that may become addicting is after spending some time offline, gearing up, and enjoying the campaign, the online multiplayer itself (again only available on the Wii U) offers an amazing experience that allows for a rather interesting community experience. With the addition of the MiiVerse on both the Wii U and 3DS, players can experience an amazing, and helpful crowd that are more willing to help out online and or give useful tips that can later help players in the long run. Also not to forget, the friends system will also allow players to play with friends far away and or close by, which is amazingly fun when wanting to group hunt in any rank. Lets not also forget, this allows players to help each other out.


Noticeable differences between the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS versions:


 The first part is as mentioned before, the lack of online on 3DS, and of course the unmentioned need for a circle pad pro that is not sold with the handheld itself. This provides a few issues that can carry over for Nintendo 2DS owners as there is not a circle pad pro on the market as of yet. This can provide a rough time when trying to adjust camera angles while free-hunting, high-combat situations, and of course trying to keep an eye out for other creatures nearby while gathering or carving items, and of course cooking.
Now that we’ve covered the things that do bother me, it’s time to go a bit more in depth as to what this game is really about. Once online there’s a few things players will need to know, a few things that will need to be noted, and one of them is simple - this is where the game shines the most. After a good chunk of time, we spent our time (Jonny Red and myself) going through G-Rank with random users and welcoming our own Co-Founder Jesse Olvera through a few runs in order to get him progressed through the low rank, and onto high rank. This is the type of community that the game houses, and of course pulls through with over time, which is why this game is so thoroughly enjoyable through and through.


 With easy to learn controls, templates, player can adjust the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS’ touch pad, this is something that I advise players take a lot of control over and learn how to use it thoroughly so that they have quick access to all their needed utilities. Also please note with this as well, the templates do not transfer between platforms, and will require being adjusted between each of them so that players can get full use out of both of them.
 
 Break down of the offline mode, freehunt, and resource points. After certain breakpoints in the campaign for the Moga Village and Moga Woods freehunt, players will unlock new creatures that will appear in the Mega Woods zones, this can be checked by touching or tapping on the Moga Woods “Forecast”, which will allow them to see what monsters they can hunt. After having progressed so far into low-rank and unlocking high-rank, players will be able to experience the games “High Rank” campaign, which will allow for new sub-species of each monster type to spawn up, and allow for a higher challenge as the creatures will change their attack types, resistances, and immunity. This also means new gear will be needed for each situation. Go by this simple rule; there is no end-game equipment except for High-Rank. Each armor set will be good for different encounters, group builds, and situations. This is where I suggest equipment sets as they will assist in each hunt and variations of hunt types. With this, I’d also like to suggest players spend some equal time gathering in free-hunt via the online-mode areas. For those that don’t know, in Moga Village go to the far left, there will be a Felyne on a box dancing around, he’ll have a bandanna on. Talk to him, go to the online, and take a gathering mission to build up resources, these resources will be needed later in the game.


Overall, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U is a masterpiece, a success story that should be experienced by anyone who loves a dungeon crawling-esque type game. I would have to suggest taking the time, picking it up, finding a cozy spot with friends or online and enjoy the ride you are about to take with your fully customization filled character.


Graphics: Beautifully set up so that characters, monsters, and creatures do not look as cartoonish as I initially stated in my original review. The 3D on the 3DS version makes the detail to the monsters truly stand out, but for those on the Wii U; you are getting some if not slightly better details thanks to bigger screens.


Sound: Thanks to a beautifully crafted score, sounds for flora and fauna, players can get a feel as if they are truly in the Monster Hunter world thanks to the details that Capcom has applied into their title.


Controls: With a slight learning curve to each weapon, the controls are not something players will jump into and feel empowered on, the game is about learning, which it has a lot of. The best thing players can do is spend time with each weapon type and find what suits them best.




Official Twitter: Twitter.com/MonsterHunter



Last Minute Gift Idea List For The Gamer!

Last Minute Shopping? Well here's a gift idea list!
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 12/21/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy



 We know that the Christmas and Holiday season can be hectic and can lead to hair pulling moments as well as the frustration as what to get your gamer in the family or that geek that simply doesn't give you ideas. Well? Hopefully I've got a fix for that! As a gamer I know we can be hard to shop for, that we are hard to find things we don't already have, and this leads to frustration. Well! I got a last minute gift idea list for those folks that are in that spot!

Pops! Collectibles: These unique items vary from the price range of 10-15 dollars a piece and provide a unique, awesome, and cheery place on book shelves, gaming centers, tables, and or anywhere else that your collector for gaming, geeky, and even nerdy stuff might hold.

Hot Games of the Season: As always, this is a hard one to figure out, so here we go on a short list of games for both current generation, next generation, and some even older that can be downloaded!

-eShop Card, PlayStation Store Card, and or XBox Live Marketplace cards. These all are awesome as they will let your gamer get the digital games they want for their Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (eShop card), their PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/PlayStation Vita/PlayStation Portable, and even includes a multiple console release for some digital items, and last but not least, the XBox Live Marketplace cards offer a vast array of games, movies, and even music that your gamer could need or want to spend some time with!

-Super Mario 3D World for Wii U has been highly recommended by many of our team members and even will send your gamer in for hours of enjoyment!

-The Legends of Zelda: Link Between Worlds. This title will provide them with a console like experience on their Nintendo 2DS/3DS handhelds and will last them for days to come in a throwback to classic The Legends of Zelda gameplay style with an all new look to it!

-Forza 5 for XBox One: As we all know racing games are cool, fun, and enjoyable, but with a new console there's not always the funds for this, so Forza 5 is a must have for those XBox One folks that don't already have it.

-Dead Rising 3 for XBox One has been fun, beautifully done with graphics, and provides a seamless onslaught of zombies and story. Did we mention not just a few zombies, but more than you could know what to do with, and that's not even saying there's a slow down of it! 

-Call of Duty Ghosts for PS3/360/PC/PS4/XBoxOne has been one of the most amazing games in the franchise. With a rebuilt engine, limited devastating Kill Streaks, and a new Extinction mode that builds upon the success of the Zombies mode, we can only suggest this as one of our top picks for gamer's.

-Battlefield 4 for PS3/360/PC/PS4/XBoxOne has been a critical success for its innovation with game engines. Providing a PC-like experience on the PS4/XBox One, and Battlefield 3 like experience on consoles, this game is a must have.

-Soul Sacrifice for PS Vita is a game that any dungeon crawler, beat 'em up, and hack and slasher will enjoy. It provides a endless seam of online, co-op, and dungeon grinding in it, as well as a story that is truly remarkable and highly detailed, leaving players wanting more of it's challenging boss-fights, so they can head online, team up, and duke it out once more.

-Tearaway for PS Vita is unique in the means it uses motion, touch screen on both front and back, but also the simple controls. It is cute, fun, and purely enjoyable for gamer's who loved Little Big Planet and want a game that's friendly to all ages.

-Metal Gear Solid: Legacy Collection for PS3 is a very well made collection of every Metal Gear Solid title to date. Included in this 49.99 bundle is Metal Gear Solid at it's finest and includes the Directors Cut of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots as well as digital codes for Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid. This is truly a must have for a PS3 owner. (Please Note: Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid VR missions also work on PSP and PS Vita. Please see support.playstation.com for information regarding backwards compatability).

-Mass Effect Trilogy for PC/PS3/XBox 360 provides players with the entire franchise in its release state for each platform and provides a unique take on human space exploration, aliens, and a catastrophic threat that could put entire universes at risk without the bravery of Commander Shepard and the team made out of it. The series is a 3rd Person RPG-over-the-shoulder shooter that is crafted around the players choices, actions in missions, and of course the people they interact with. Choices from each game will influence the ultimate outcome. (Please Note: The XBox 360 version does not include DLC for the series. PS3 owners will get full content for Mass Effects 1 and 2. DLC for Mass Effect 3 is sold seperately. To play on PC Origin is required as is an Origin account).

-Wii U Bundles: When it comes to getting new consoles, there is always a tricky procedure that goes with it, and that is something we all know. However, fear not! Nintendo has been bundling their Wii U with awesome games such as The Legends of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Nintendo Land, and Mario & Luigi. Definitely a console worth having.

Gunnar's Optics: These things are amazing glasses that help bring out the most in your games while reducing eyestrain, screen glare, and of course the brightness of your computer screen. These glasses also do come in prescription strength and can be found at most Optical Clinics. Check out www.gunnars.com for more info!

J!nx Apparel: These folks are the masters of gaming, geeky, and everything nerdy. Their clothing, collectibles, and gaming memorabilia is beyond worth looking at. Did we mention they also listen to feedback via their Facebook Page and Twitter? Go check them out at www.jinx.com

Last, but not least, Loot Crate. These things are simply amazing and come with gear for gamer's and geeks alike, just like mentioned in our last post. The gear in it is completely handpicked and random by the awesome folks over Loot Crate.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Screenshots for Ragnarok Odyssey Ace on PlayStation 3 Surface

XSeed Games Shares New Visuals for Ragnarok Odyssey Ace!
Originally Published on Blast Away the Game Review on 12/18/2013

Published by Dustin Murphy



 XSEED Games, the independent-minded console publishing brand of Marvelous USA, Inc., today released an all-new set of screenshots for the upcoming PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system title Ragnarok Odyssey ACE. Fans of the popular Ragnarok Odyssey series will have an opportunity to experience cross-platform play for the first time when the game releases in early 2014.

 These new screens show off the Tower of Yggdrasil, an enormous all-new dungeon in Ragnarok Odyssey ACE where floors are randomized and players will be challenged with taking down bosses from the original Ragnarok Odyssey, as well as all-new villains. The Tower also features a brand new NPC, Norn, who will provide various kinds of assistance to players at certain rest points. The game features an all-new “ACE Skill” system, an arsenal of powerful new moves that players can unlock when enemies drop the “Proof of Expertise” item.

 Also new to Ragnarok Odyssey ACE are AI mercenaries. Solo players can recruit any two of these NPCs to fight at their side. AI mercenaries are available for hire in various classes, so players can pick and choose companions that offset or support their particular character class.

 Ragnarok Odyssey ACE delivers on rich, new – yet familiar – content to explore. The game features a plethora of new bosses, items and features that expand upon the original Ragnarok Odyssey experience. Players of the original Ragnarok Odyssey will be able to transfer their character’s basic physical features such as name, face and job class (but not clothing), as well as weapon and monster cards (cards equipped to clothing or acquired via NEAR will not transfer over). Any additional DLC acquired can also be transferred by re-downloading it from the PlayStation®Store.

 Ragnarok Odyssey ACE is developed by Game Arts, creators of the Grandia and Lunar series, together with GungHo Online Entertainment in Japan. XSEED Games will release Ragnarok Odyssey ACE in North America in early 2014. All launch copies of the PS Vita version will ship with a bonus soundtrack CD containing 25 songs.

 For more information on XSEED Games products, please visitwww.xseedgames.com. Fans can also follow XSEED Games on Facebook at www.facebook.com/XSEEDGames and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/XSEEDGames.

Published by Dustin Murphy

Our Take:
 When it comes to hearing news like this from XSeed, it's always an interesting fact to see what is going on with a games progression to a release or even a re-release, and this game is no exception to that logic. When it comes to XSeed Games, it is amazing to see what they are working on, and what us the gaming community will see. After having been a long time fan of the series, it is nice to see it come to the world once more in a PS3 remastered version, which is also compatible with the PS Vita versions. We'll be excited to get our hands on this when XSeed pushes it out here in the West.

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