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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Valkyria Chronicles is coming to Steam!


In about two weeks the PS3 Turn Based Strategy/Tactical Role Playing Game Valkyria Chronicles will be coming to Steam. Originally released as a PS3 exclusive, Valkyria Chronicles tells a story that mirrors WWII in a brand new world, with a unique cross between real time and turn based styled gameplay. Take command of your units (each with their own personalities and traits which can either help or hinder you on the battle field), use your skills to conquer your enemies, and ultimately reclaim your country.

Due to the game's unique gridless battlefield, you are free to move your units anywhere you want, and do just about anything your brain can come up with. The game doesn't limit you on how you pull off a plans, and that in return creates some truly interesting battles. Exploit every weakness and hole you see in the opponent's strategy, and make your team stronger in the process. While the game does use a class/level up system like other tactical role playing games/strategy games, it does things different in this area as well. Rather than leveling up single units, classes level up instead meaning even new units and units you rarely use will enter fights just as strong as the rest of the team. You're never at a disadvantage, and it all comes down to you being able to outsmart your enemy.

The game truly is unique, and it also tells a heart warming story as well. It can be quite depressing at times, funny when it needs to be, and it is filled with excitement. It really is one of those games fans of the genre shouldn't miss out on, and now finally it is open to a wider audience. On top of that, this may be the series' last chance. After a failed release on the PSP, SEGA dropped plans of bringing future entries to the west (including Valkyria Chronicles 3 which some may argue is the best in the series).

So with that being said, feel free to check it out, and show your support

http://store.steampowered.com/app/294860/

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

PlayStation 4 - 2.0 Update is Out! (Share Play and Themes Now Supported)

After almost a year long wait, the biggest update in the PlayStation 4's lifetime is now live. Update 2.0 not only brings general system improvements, and YouTube support, but the most anticipated feature of all as well--Share Play.

Originally announced back at E3 2013, Share Play is the ability to connect to your friend's PS4 and take control of their games. It acts as a virtual "couch" of sorts, where players can freely hand off the controller to other players, or even play games with local co-op without the need for more than one copy of the game. Want to run through Samurai Warriors 4 with a friend who doesn't have it? Well, now you can! Want to make your friend beat Knack for you? Well, you can try... But it is technically possible! By simply pressing the Share button on the PS4 controller, you can easily send an invite to your friend, and begin the stream.

Although Share Play works as a virtual couch, those who are streaming the game will be seeing it in lower quality (1080p would most likely be running at 720p instead for example), and there is a limit to how long they can play in one session. Rather than being able to play until the PS4 is shut off, sessions are limited to one hour before both players have to reconnect. This means players cannot simply hand a game off to a friend to play all day, as both need to be present to keep the connection going. It's understandable why Sony would put such a block, but it is a bit intrusive in it's current form... Nothing major though.

Other than Share Play, 2.0 also adds in themes similar to what we've seen on the PSP, PS3, and lately the Vita. Although you cannot make custom themes at this moment, you can change the background color from the default blue, and download themes from the PlayStation Store. While the selection is currently limited, more will be released over time.

Fight for your Freedom in Freedom Wars

If you own a PlayStation Vita, then you may want to head on over to your local store (or online store) and check out the brand new exclusive "Freedom Wars." Unlike many new titles which release for $40-$50, this one is only $29.99, but don't let that fool you--Freedom Wars is a game packed full of content, and it also provides its players with quite the challenge.

The game itself follows "your" own story. You start the game, make a character, and then get sent to jail for 1,000,000 years. With such a high sentence, you are forced to live your "life" with as little freedom as possible. There is a limit on how much you can walk, how close you can get to others, and so on. You are a complete prisoner in every sense of the word. So, "where is the game in that" you might ask? Well, looking at the name you might be able to tell.

Freedom Wars is a cross between a third person shooter, and a monster hunting styled game. To gain freedom you must go on missions, take down giant robot bosses, and rescue people. Every player receives an android partner (whom looks human and is fully customizable just as your character), and with that partner you can accept these missions and slowly unlock more features in the game. You're given a wide verity of melee weapons and guns to take with you, you can upgrade said equipment/craft new ones, and you can also unlock more customization options for your character as well. While all of this may sound standard for a hunting type game, Freedom Wars does change it up quite a bit.

Along with your android partner, the game's main storyline can be played online with other players (and their androids), and it has a huge focus on teamwork; however it can be played competitively as well. With player vs player death match modes on top of the standard co-op structure typically seen with these type of games, Freedom Wars has a much higher focus on online play--and it doesn't stop there. At the beginning of the game players are asked to select a real world city to represent, which will let them compete against others across the world. Everything you do in the game helps build your city to make it stronger (and unlock rewards), and at times you can compete in community events as well. While players from other cities can still play together, those within the same cities get to work together and stride to be the best.

On top of the online modes, the combat system is unique as well. The game was co-developed by Shift (the creators of the God Eater) and plays similar to their other games with melee weapons hacking and slashing away at enemies, but with the inclusion of real world styled guns things are a lot different. Players can get to high ground to snipe enemies, they can go in for close range combat with flame throwers, or unload with smgs and mounted weapons as well. It's something rarely seen in hunting styled games, but they're not the only twists made to the gameplay. Characters are given a grappling hook which can be shot out of their hand at any time, which allows them to not only scale buildings, but swing around and climb on enemies as well. By hooking onto enemies and flying through the air, you can go for specific parts and begin cutting down said enemy bit by bit. Cutting off parts of the enemy not only weakens them, but it also gives you resources for new weapons and upgrades, and makes your job saving people a lot easier--which is also a gameplay twist not typically seen.

Rather than just killing bosses, rescuing people from these giant robot enemies is the true goal here. People get captured (yes, your android can be captured as well), and it is your job to save them by breaking open the enemy, and carrying the defenseless human/android to safety. While one runs, the teammates must provide cover fire and take on the boss to insure the mission's success. Once again the game requires a great deal of teamwork, and that's where this sort of game shines.

Although Freedom Wars has a reputation of being challenging with a steep learning curve, it's the type of game you have to try for yourself before you judge it. Some may be drawn to the story, but others will simply enjoy the boss fighting and PvP aspects. Whatever the case is, it's a game that at least deserves a chance. It may not be for everyone, but for only $29.99 you can't complain. Especially considering a ton of free DLC will be released each week until the end of November to farther the experience.

With that being said.... Go Chicago City!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire Demos Coming Stateside

Announced today by Nintendo, special demos for Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire will be arriving throughout the coming weeks via various methods.

Promising "special encounters", potentially exclusive to the demo, players will be able to import a Pokemon capable of Mega Evolution into the full game, as well as import any items they collect over the course of the demo. The methods for obtaining the codes are as follows:

- Special cinema locations from November 7th until the 13th.
- Accompanied with the purchase of Pokemon Art Academy, available October 24th, when purchased from the 3DS eShop.
- Accompanied by the purchase of Pokemon Puzzle Challenge, available November 6th, and/or the Pokemon Trading Card Game, available November 13th, from the 3DS eShop. And yes, nonchalant announcement, but Pokemon TCG is coming to the 3DS Virtual Console. Everyone is clapping right now.
- Codes will be sent through promotional email throughout the week of October 31, issued out to any person who has opted in to receive promotional Nintendo emails.

Finally, there will be a holiday mall tour taking place from November 24th to December 21st, where those able to visit one of the 16 as-of-yet unannounced locations will be able to try out several demos and games, and obtain two demo codes, one for themselves and one for a friend. The Game Room will be updated with the tour locations when they become available.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

PlayStation TV Out Today

Are you a gamer who is interested in some of the games on the PlayStation Vita, but do not want to spend over 200 bucks on a handheld? Well, then today is they you have been waiting for. The $99 PlayStation TV (known as the Vita TV in Japan) is now officially on sale in the US. Although the standard version is only $99, you must provide your own PlayStation 3 controller, and it only comes with 1 GB of internal memory for game saves and DLC. Meanwhile a bundle can be bought for around $139 which does in fact come with a controller, as well as an 8 GB memory card on top of the internal 1 GB.

As for you who are wondering "what is the PlayStation TV?" Well, let us explain. The PlayStation TV is a home console version of the PlayStation Vita. It supports close to 700 of the games currently available for the Vita (PSOne, and PSP games included), and it can use other Vita features as well. Applications such as Netflix can be used, PlayStation 4 games can be played on it by using remote play to connect to a PS4 (assuming you have one), the PlayStation Now service (which allows you to stream PS3 games and possibly PS2 and other types of games in the future) can be used, and of course all the key PlayStation Network features are there as well. The PlayStation TV is a Vita, but due to the lack of a touch screen and touch pad games that require them cannot be played (Tearaway for example). Other than that, it is a full console.

If you're a Vita owner who would like to play it's games on the big screen, or if you're one of those who has put off buying one, then the PlayStation TV may be just for you.