Gaming Unplugged: Gloom

 

Gloom Logo Sketch

Have you ever wanted to kill your family? Well now you can take out the pent up rage out on sad little people on see-through cards. Gloom is a wonderfully sadistic game where the winner has a team full of losers. In Gloom, each player controls the fate of one family of five lovable losers. There are only four families so the game is designed for four players, but it can be played with five by each player giving up one family member to the fifth player.

The game play is really simple. Each player has one family they are trying to cause misery too while making their opponent’s family members happy. Once you have your family members depressed enough to your liking, you want to try to kill them off one by one. Players can also play actions to make things harder or easier. The first player to kill off all of their family members ends the game and then the sadness (points) are tallied up. Then a winner is declared.

 

The families are already very gloomy to start things out. The little gothic portraits are fantastic and fit the theme of the game perfectly. The families are comprised of delightful characters; the circus family has a creepy clown that’s wonderful. There’s a brain in a box and a Frankenstein teddy bear, weird twins, and what is surely an evil butler, the family dog and the red-headed stepchild. There’s a family to murder for everyone.

Gloom Cards

Game play is simple enough. Essentially, each player takes turns inflicting unpleasantness to the individuals of their own respective families. These misfortunes give each family member a negative number that represents their mood. For example Grogar, the Frankenstein teddy bear, may have “contracted consumption” giving him a mood of -30. Once your family member has enough gloom to your liking, you can happily kill them. No reason a very sad Grogar can’t be “burnt by a mob”, as the card says, “Fifty people with torches and pitchforks can’t be wrong.” Players also can have good things happen to their opponent’s families. Poor old Balthazar, the unfaithful hound has had a rough life so maybe he deserves to be “the toast of the town”, giving him a +15 to his mood. As you’ve probably picked up by now, you want negative numbers on your family; the worse off they are, the better!

When playing the mood altering cards, modifiers, you do have to pay attention to the actions that come along with them. Cards have effects that can be quick and painless or be continuous. You may have to pass along cards to other players or limit yourself to how many cards you can draw. Many of he modifier cards also have little story icons to go along with them. These icons represent story elements to use in the description of the bad things that happen to the characters. They also come into play in different way with the other cards. The story icons can also be covered up and replaced by playing different modifier cards on top of them. There are event cards that are just quick play for quick strikes against your opponents. The untimely death cards are what finish off your family and they all have their own rules and provide bonuses. If you want to play the “died old and alone” card you can’t play it on anyone with the heart symbol currently visible.

The first player to wipe out their clan ends the game and then the players tally up the negative points on their dead family members. Sorry — the alive ones don’t count. The player with the most negative points wins. It’s a simple game of murdering your family that happens to be a lot of fun. I think the best part of this game is the stories players come up with for the terrible things that happen. You can just play the cards and go about your business but where’s the fun in that? Get creative! PLAY GLOOM!

E3 2015: Fallout 4 Details and Release Date

After the teaser trailer was released a couple weeks ago, gamers have been chomping at the bits for the Bethesda panel at this year’s E3 conference. After last night’s panel, we were blown away with details about the upcoming game – including a November 10th release date. If you have some time to kill and would like to watch Besethda’s entire E3 spiel (which includes news about Fallout 4, a new DOOM game, and more), click here. Otherwise, let us walk you through the specifics:

Character Creation:

  • After Funko! revealed to be releasing a line of Fallout Funko Pop! toys (out next month!), pictures showed a male and female Lone Wanderer. This got gears working in fans that maybe there would be a choice to choose the gender of your protagonist. This is confirmed.
  • You will be able to choose not only the gender of your hero, but completely customize the way they both looks (features, ethnicity, etc); even the protagonists’ offspring will share its parents’ traits.

Fallout 4 character creation

Story background

  • We already knew Fallout 4 would take place in a time leading up to the Nuclear Winter, but now we know that the Lone Wanderer’s journey starts 200 years after the fallout. That’s, uh… quite a bit of time. Somehow, Vault 111 has preserved the family for two centuries. This should make for some heavily evolved creatures and colonies.
  • The player is no longer stuck in long, stupid conversations. Dynamic conversation means you can walk away, interrupt or shoot the other NPCs in the face.

fallout 4 fatman

Gameplay Performance/Visuals

  • The game will be run on the all-new Creation Engine, their “most dynamic engine ever.” Hopefully that means no more crashes. It features “full physical-based rendering and dynamic volumetric lighting.”
  • Your pet dog companion will now be fully-immersed in your adventure. You can point to various things on the map and have him interact with them, from fetching Nuka Colas out of the fridge (I made that up, but it sounds plausible) to picking out enemies for him to engage.
  • It looks like you can now throw flares to alert a ship that will take you around the city, acting as fast travel (that might special to that mission, but fast travel is almost necessary in these enormously-built worlds.
  • Jetpacks… Yes, heavy duty armor with jetpacks. You can choose from a variety of outfit, meaning you won’t be the dweeb running around in a Vault-Tec jumpsuit.
  • One of the signature weapons will be a Laser Musket. Steampunk fans, eat your hearts out. It cranks, then fires a devastating laser shot.

Fallout: Shelter

  • This touch-screen game has been in the works since Fallout 3 came out. It will be available for iOS and Android. You get to create your own vault, and be the Overseer of that Vault.
  • Your Vault dwellers will go out into the Wasteland, and bring back detailed reports of what they did. The Vault can be attacked by Raiders, or Rad-roaches can infest an area. As Overseer, you have to contain the issues, and train the dwellers to raise certain attributes, just like you would the Lone Wanderer in the console games.
  • The game draws inspirations of games like: XCOM, The SimsProgress Quest. It’s free, with no necessary internet connection, or timed releases (lookin at you, Simpsons Tapped Out). Oh… and it’s available NOW on iOS. Talk about instant gratification.

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The Little Things

  • The Pip-Boy comes with mini-games. The couple I noticed were: Red Menace (kinda like Donkey Kong) and Atomic Command (Missile Command-inspired)
  • V.A.T.S. is back, duh, and it looks better than ever. However, the monsters seem to have special animations to kill you with, too – like the Deathclaws and Bloodbug have in the video below.
  • Gamers will now be able to build their own homestead with scraps they find out on their adventure. After enough upgrades, people will begin settling, offering new trade items and allowing users to build infrastructure. This will make for better defense to keep out Raiders.
  • Building goes a step further when players find blueprints to build certain weapons and add-ons, much like Dead Rising but more detailed. Now, all those miscellaneous items you find throughout your campaign finally will have purpose. Besethda promises over 50 base weapons, and over 700 modifications for those weapons; the same process goes for power armor.
  • Lucky us, console players! Besethda has released that both XBO and PS4 owners will have the ability to “mod” the game, which has been a huge source of enjoyment for both Fallout 3 and GTA V players on the PC.

fallout 4 weapon mod

Release Date Info

  • The game will be released on 11/10/15 for PS4, X-Box One, and PC.
  • The Collector’s Edition, bear with me now, will have… A MOTHER F*CKIN PIP-BOY. That’s right, you can hook your iPhone or Android into this baby, and BAM!, working Pip-Boy. This edition cames out Day 1 and is only $120. It also comes with a steelbook, poster, manual for said Pip-Boy, and I’m sure some kind of bullshit DLC. Chances are that shit is gonna sell out faster than a Deathclaw can rip off your face, so Pre-Order it, like… meowannnnd it’s sold out.
  • Even if you don’t have a Pipy-Boy, Besethda has designed an app to supplement your experience in the game, likely showing you stats and progress on your smartphone. I can’t wait to see how many grown men will be in their basement, playing Fallout 4 with their Pip-Boy models.

fallout 4 a furreal pip-boy

 

Fallout 4 Trailer Debuts

Let’s face it – the video game world has been kind of boring. With nothing to look forward to other than Arkham Knight this month, I was feeling kind of bleh about the upcoming E3, but thanks to Besthesda, Fallout4.com treated us with a countdown to the new trailer for the much anticipated succession to the post-apocalyptic franchise would leak today. One sleepless night thinking about Deathclaws, Radroaches and Pipboys, and here it is.

The Fallout series has redefined the open-world FPS genre with each installation, and was the reason behind many late nights of murder, mayhem, and debauchery. Guiding the nuclear wasteland, your character is faced with not only the challenge of survival against scavengers, mutated people and irradiated animals, but whose progression depended on the style of play. In-game characters remember decisions that the player makes throughout the campaign, and will react accordingly. Are you a negotiator or do you take what you want by force? Do you help those in need or take advantage of their misfortunes? And where do your loyalties lie in the campaign?

The latest iteration of the series, Fallout: New Vegas, debuted five years ago and was much more of a Wild West kind of theme than the series is used to. The game itself was a HUGE campaign with multiple endings/paths to take and countless side missions to complete. That is, however, if you could play the game long enough to keep from over-loading and crashing, or glitching to the point of not being able to play it. Still, by and large, the Fallout series is one of the most fun to play and immersive game franchises on the market; hopefully, with the power of current gen systems, Fallout 4 won’t be a broken game.

Fallout 4 takes place in what seems to be a time period much closer to the nuclear winter that creates the franchises’ time period in the first place. We get a bunch of back and forth between the current wasteland and what is was like all the way up until the blast. Hopefully we’ll get to see some significant building of how to end times came to be. As far as continuity, it seems to be a direct succession/precession to Fallout 3, with more of an evolved civilization than the last game (electrical towers!). We also know that it will follow a completely new set of survivors from Vault 111 (first time this Vault was mentioned in the franchise). Geographically, Fallout 4 takes place in Boston (you can actually see the Paul Revere statue and Bunker Hill monument in the trailer), so guesses are that it will reflect at least the spirit of Fallout 3 closely.

Fallout 4 doesn’t have an official release date yet, but you can expect to find out more about it at this year’s E3 conference.

Christopher Lloyd is Featured in the New ‘LEGO Dimensions: Great Scott!’ Trailer

The new LEGO Dimensions trailer is here with none other than Doc Brown to proclaim “Great Scott!’ to the newest LEGO figures added to the new game. There were lots of quick glimpses, but I definitely saw Marty McFly, Doc Brown, Batman, Poison Ivy, Gandolf, Superman, Aquaman, Two Face, Harley Quinn, Bane, Joker, The Wicked Witch of the West, and Wyldstyle. Let me know what other characters you saw!

LEGO Dimensions hits shelves September 27, 2015.

Mortal Kombat X Review

Mortal Kombat X Review

Genre: Fighter

Released for/Reviewed on: Released on PS4/XBO & reviewed on PS4

Publisher/Developer: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (every DC Comics game)/NetherRealm Studios (2011’s Mortal KombatInjustice)

Notable Voice Actors or Writers: Ed Boon, co-creator, remains the creative director

Alluring Element: Mortal Kombat on steroids, unleashing the tower of the PS4 with new characters and variable play

Check it out if you liked: Mortal Kombat series

Rated: M for Mature

 

SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):

Storyline – 9
Gameplay – 9
Animation – 8
Replay Value – 10
Entertainment Value – 10
Captivity – 8
Variety – 9
Originality/Creativity – 10
Soundtrack – 8
Overall awesomeness – 9

Any time a new Mortal Kombat game comes out, a sense of overwhelming nostalgia and excitement fills gamer’s faces. It’s safe to say that the majority of MK‘s fan-base has been down since the beginning, and similar to Smash Bros. or Street Fighter fans, they will go out of their way to learn and perfect each new iteration. All the developers have to do is give the next new thing enough depth and variation to satisfy hardcore and casual gamers alike. Unlike Street Fighter, which has put out multiple iterations of the same game (Super SF IVSuper SF IV 3DUltra SF IV), Mortal Kombat has taken the Season Pass approach to keep players engaged. You could throw around the SF vs. MK battle all day long, and nobody would win. What is undeniable, is that while CAPCOM’s target has been a more inclusive audience, something to hand down to the next generation of gamers, it’s quite clear that Netherrealm is going for an adults-only experience. It’s like they still want their now grown up fanbase hiding the game from their parents AND their children.

Mortal Kombat X is disturbingly realistic, perfect for this generation of desensitized knuckleheads. The game is beautifully rendered; there is a realistic approach to the graphics, as opposed to the cartoonish look that 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot had. There is a much higher level of detail put in to not only the character models, but the environments which they fight in. The interactable stage objects from Injustice are back in a big way, and can make a big difference when players’ backs are against the wall. Another noticeable improvement visually is the lack of fanboy fantasy characters. You may remember the hidden Mileena costume from MK9? This time around, all the female characters are highly-detailed works of art, and have some of the best move sets in the game.

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Technically, the game plays very well. There is a hierarchy for each skill level of player when it comes to playing the game, but the subtleties are what really set apart the good from the great. Before I started really diving into MKX, phrases like “punishable attacks,” “footsies game,” and “zoning” were completely foreign to me, but they became necessary to learn and master in order to beat any of the online bullies that troll the network, looking to embarrass their opponents. While players with limited fighting know-how can enjoy the game by button-mashing, the good times are short-lived once you level up to a certain point; this means that once you put in enough time, you will be forced to play against opponents much more adept at the game than you. You can try to get into a room with some less-experienced players – if they let you – or you can spend hours in Practice Mode to evolve your Squirtle-like skills into Blastoise-caliber play.

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Online play is the main focus of Mortal Kombat X, and it’s been very good at building a community of players, but there is so much else to do when your crappy lagging connection ruins the fun online. Factions, which group you belong to, will grant you perks and quick Faction Kills upon progress. Performing daily tasks (ie – Perform 5 Uppercuts in one round, etc) and battling against “Invading” AI will add to the overall progress of your Faction, and give you Koins to spend in the Krypt. This time around, the Krypt is a labyrinth of unlockable items and puzzles to complete – or you can be a pansy and just pay $20 to unlock items like: music, brutalities, fatalities, concept art, and match modifiers.

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Brutalities add a whole new dimension to finishing moves.

My favorite part of the game has to be the amount of modifiers included in it. Returning is the Test Your Luck, slot machine type matches, but there is also Kustom Kombat, where you and a friend can choose which modifiers to use in a match. It can lead to a very interesting match. Also returning to the franchise are Brutalities, a way to finish off your opponent in quick, sometimes unexpected ways that are even more satisfying to pull off than Fatalities. Living Towers, a spin on the classic arcade mode, add a bit of variety to the gameplay, as well – and are always changing. Mortal Kombat X has succeeded the most in making this a game that is constantly engaging players. Playing by yourself is fun, but there is always a reason to keep playing, keep progressing, and keep getting better. Even mastering a character isn’t as easy as it used to be.

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New to the game are the character variations; each character has three different “versions” that accentuate certain special abilities and combos for that character. It can be annoying to certain players that depend on a breadth of moves for characters, but it helps even up the match-ups a bit, adding a new level of strategy. Variations aside, the fresh faces in the character selection screen are not just there for novelty. Each of the eight new characters (not including the three new ones in the Kombat Pack) brings something new and unique to the table; they aren’t just there as novelty to fill up space. The game’s clever idea of progressing the storyline forward in time 25 years. The game becomes a more fluid addition to a franchise, and not simply an updated version of the same game. This allows the creators to create, evolve, kill off or completely change characters in the name of continuity.

Concept art for Takeda, unlocked in the Krypt.
Concept art for Takeda, unlocked in the Krypt.

Mortal Kombat X will immediately be recognizable to long-time fans of the franchise. There are so many new odds and ends to learn about both how the game plays and content to keep players engaged that the replayability on this is basically “until you break your controller in anger.” Sure, the game’s poor matching system online can make for some flat-out un-fun experiences, but you either learn to improve your skills or enjoy the game in other ways, killing your friends in new, grotesque ways that have become a benchmark in video game history. If MKX could find a way to become a more well-rounded game, not so geared towards elitist players (not to mention the gore porn), then it may have one of the longest lifespans of the entire franchise.

All media credited to Warner Bros. Entertainment and Netherrealm Studios

15 Best Features in a Mortal Kombat Game… And 5 That Sucked

Through over 20 years of Mortal Kombat, each game has tried to present new and exciting features to engage loyal fans and attract new ones. Not all of these features have stuck around, but some of them reappear throughout the franchise. I’ve put together a list of what I consider the ten best features added to an MK game, as well as five features we wish they never would have added in the first place.

15 Best Features

Honorable Mention: Shaolin Monks

mortal kombat features shaolin monks

Okay, so I know this isn’t exactly a feature; it was its own game. Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is one of my top 5 games of all-time. The 3D side-scrolling fighter was an amazing addition to the franchise, and almost made up for the horrible Special Forces game that came before it. Not only did it get really deep with the story line, but offered a ton of Easter Eggs and, most importantly, CO-OP mode! It’s hard enough to find a good 2-player game, but one with MK characters??

15.) Tutorials and Practice Mode

mortal kombat features practice mode

When you were a kid, all you had for practice was your younger siblings, and that usually ended with them running away crying because you weren’t being fair. MK9‘s Practice Mode not only helped you see all the moves you were trying to pull off in-game, but let’s you practice how to do Fatalities, as well. This mode has been upgraded in Mortal Kombat X, now allowing two user-controlled players to practice, meaning you can beat the snot out of your sibling with no hurt feelings involved.

14.) Friendships & Babalities

mortal kombat features babality

Mortal Kombat doesn’t have to be ALL murder and annihilation, am I right? Sometimes, you can show your respect for your fallen foe in the most ridiculous fashion. After the outcry caused by pixelized decapitations and the like in MK1MK2 introduced Friendships and Babalities, proving that although it was a quality fighter with great characters, it was certainly not too serious to make fun of itself. We haven’t seen Friendships since MK:Trilogy, and I don’t think the Babalities of MK9 will make another appearance, which makes me sad.

13.) Motor Kombat

mortal kombat features motor kombat

I don’t really care that it was a shameless ripoff of Mario Kart; Motor Kombat was hilarious, functional, and a diverse way to take a break from the monotony of fighting. It was especially helpful in MK: Armageddon, a game that was so chock full of characters that the mechanics of the game suffered. Each of the ten playable Motor Kombat characters got their own unique car and unique special move. It was adorable. People have been pining for the mode to come back for years, but Ed Boon

12.) Kombat Kodes

mortal kombat features kodes

Match modifiers have come along way since their introduction in MK3. Before each Versus mode fight, players were allotted a few seconds to enter in a code using a series of symbols. These combinations corresponded to different fight modifications like no blocking, or one of my favorites, one where the kombatants randomly morph into other characters. Kodes were not re-introduced until MK9, and added a bunch of new options, notably Rainbow Kombat (all the blood turns to colors of the rainbow) and Zombie Kombat (self-explanatory). Mortal Kombat X spins Kodes in a new way, by having them all be unlockables in the Krypt, and you are able to choose multiple at a time for the Kustom Kombat Mode.

11.) Stage Death Traps

mortal kombat features stage death trap

Introduced in MK: Deception, death traps were a way for opponents to even the odds a bit. Nearly every single arena in the game contained some type of trap that opponents could be launched into a death trap unique to that level. It added a whole new level of play to the fights. It could get annoying, since you could be pummeling an opponent and they could beat you with one luckily placed hit; it worked the other way around, too.

10.) Konquest Mode

mortal kombat features konquest

What started as a psuedo-tutorial mode in MK: Deadly Alliance became a fully-enriched adventure game in MK: Armageddon. At its best, Konquest was a fun distraction from the game, full of Easter Eggs and various unlockables. It tried to get a little too wrapped in the game, by introducing two characters we could really not care less about (Taven and Daegon), but I feel that if they did it the right way, exploring the different worlds of Mortal Kombat could be a hell of a lot of fun.

9.) Kreate a Fighter

mortal kombat features kreate a fighter

This is the game mode that everybody wanted, and even though it was part of one of the franchises worst games, people still are krazy about this game mode. You could give characters all your favorite specials, dress them up as cool as PS2 graphics would allow, and take them online to battle your friends. If implemented now, it would be the coolest feature in any video game, but I’m not sure it that will be coming back anytime soon.

8.) Story Mode

mortal kombat features story mode

In 2008’s MK vs. DC, Neatherrealm had the genius idea of adding a Story Mode. Sure, it was a good way to explain how the hell Batman and Co. ended up in Outworld, but moreover, it was a great way to engage players in a decent story, while making them practice at least a few rounds with each of the main characters. This was expanded upon in MK9 to include a story that’s actually canon material for all the games to come.

7.) X-Rays

mortal kombat features x-ray

The X-Ray feature is one of the most hard-hitting features MK has ever introduced. It began as a new feature in MK9 as a possible response Street Fighter‘s Ultras. With each character possessing a personalized X-Ray move, it is the perfect way to not only show your dominance, but it is great when your life is low and you need a final push towards defeating your opponent. X-Rays demonstrate slow motion, bone-breaking combinations which are just shy of the savageness of Fatalities and Brutalities. Another notion which makes X-Rays excellent, it the ease at which you can dish them out. With a simple two button combination, make your opponent look like a weak ass mofo.

6.) The Krpyt/Unlockables

mortal kombat features krypt

Unlockables are completely necessary in terms of replayability. The more useless crap I have to kollect, the more hours of my life I will spend finding it. The Krypt was a place players could go to redeem the koins they earned from performance-based fighting, unlocking anything from in-game costumes and fatalities to concept art and stage music. The Krypt has evolved since it’s introduction in Deadly Alliance each game, and added an exploration element to it. The more goodies, the better.

5.) Chess Kombat

mortal kombat features chess kombat

Another fun feature that MK: Deception gave us was Chess Kombat. You got to pick characters for positions on the board, each with their own special abilities. The match carried out like a chess game, with the end goal being to literally kill the king. There was some strategy to it, but you were never screwed if you didn’t play the game with a lot of strategy. This is one of my favorite modes because it was still Mortal Kombat but it gave you something to aim for each round other than moving up the fight ladder.

4.) Hara-Kiri

There wasn’t a more satisfying way to lose than to prevent your opponent from completing a Fatality on you. Mortal Kombat Deception, the only game thus far to feature Hara-Kiris, brings a pretty cool feature to the mix. Even if you can’t beat your best friend, you can get the last laugh by determining your own fate. It hasn’t been used since MK:D, and I’m not sure why it still hasn’t been implemented. Maybe it conflicts with Warner Bros’ wholesome family values.

3.) Test Your Luck

mortal kombat features test your luck

Evan, Adrian and I would spent hours in this mode. Test Your Luck was a twisted kind of slot machine that only gives you horrible modifiers. Usually, it comes in the form of falling missiles, random freeze balls or no-throw/no-block modifiers, but there are also interesting ones out there. All of that competition and rage goes away when Armless Kombat is drawn.

2.) Brutalities

mortal kombat features brutalities

Fatalities (which didn’t make the list because they were too obvious) are so dramatic. Your opponent sways drunkenly while you dance to make your character do his or her move. Well in Ultimate MK3, Midway introduced Brutalities. They were finishing moves that could be integrated into the gameplay with an intricate button sequence, ending with an explosion of bones and gore. It was extremely over-the-top fun that was more impressive than insulting. Brutalities are making a comeback to MKX in a big way, with even more detail and stipulations to pull off.

1.) Puzzle Kombat

mortal kombat features puzzle kombat

Just like the old Super Puzzle Fighter II, Puzzle Kombat is a Tetris-like competition game. Unlike SPF, though, each player had a distinct special attack that would either help them offensively stack more lines, or would inhibit their opponent from stacking. All the while, tiny deformed caricatures of your players would have a simulated battle below which would go the direction of whoever is willing the puzzle battle. They even came with cute little Fatalities! It was great to play something not kombat-related, but still be branded as an MK minigame.

5 Worst Features

5.) Weapon Styles

mortal kombat features weapons

Deadly Alliance was a huge evolution in the quality of play for the series. Each player was equipped with two different fighting styles and one distinct weapon to use. While the variation in fighting styles (and the ability to link combos from one style to the next) was revolutionary, certain characters’ weapon styles were unfairly skewed to inflict maximum damage with little risk of being punished. I’m all for heavy damage, but only if it comes with heavy risk. Weapons have since been linked to combinations, and are more fluid to combat.

4.) Throwaway Characters

mortal kombat features bad characters

Mortal Kombat has a kollection of nearly 75 characters in its 23 year history. Of that total (73 in all), less than half of them have appeared in only half the games. And around 20 of those characters have been in two or less games. Mostly, I’m talking about the horrible additions to the post-MK4 games. Including so many characters in Armageddon also did away with the unique fighting styles of Deception, lending them to the other characters with less development. With the series rebooted, we probably won’t see the good ones again for a while, but I am loving the new characters in MKX, so maybe Neatherrealm learned from their mistakes.

3.) Kombo Breakers

mortal kombat features breakers

MK: Deception introduced the Breaker system, which was a terrific idea, but poorly executed. In its first iteration, players could abuse the system to a fault. Interrupting combos time after time (three per match) could greatly throw off players’ momentum, giving button-mashers a huge advantage. The moves have since been regulated better after the introduction to a meter system that only allows players to build enough energy for a Breaker sparingly throughout the match. Even still, they burn a lot of energy at the cost of prevented damage.

2.) Aerial Kombat

mortal kombat features aerial kombat

Fighting belongs on the ground – that’s the best take I can offer on MK: Armageddon‘s Aerial Kombat. Adding several combination hits while the opponent is floating helplessly in the air isn’t just ludicrously defying the laws of physics, but it just wasn’t that fun, either. MK has always been colorful in terms of humor, but the type of Moon gravity attacks here just made the game silly. It was so dumb. I was happy to see it left out of the most recent two games, and hope to never see it again.

1.) Kreate a Fatality

mortal kombat features kreate a fatality

MK: Armageddon is looking pretty crappy right about now. In order to fit all 63 characters into this PS2/Wii/X-Box game, they had to cut a very integral part of the game: Fatalities – or at least as we knew them. Instead of giving each on the roster their own move, opted to allow players to quickly input a series of commands to allow for a string of moves to kill their opponent. It was unimaginative and took away the spirit of what makes Fatalities fun. I understand that it had to be done to accommodate the massive roster, but they could have saved Motor Kombat for another time. It’s by far the worst feature of the franchise, making for the worst game in the franchise.

Gaming Unplugged: Smash Up

Have you ever wanted an army of aliens and zombies? What about one of robots and wizards? Well all of your crazy arm dreams have come true with Smash Up.

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Smash Up is a simple fun card game for two to four players. The gameplay has a much shallower learning curve than a lot of modern tabletop games. Each player picks two different deck s at random; the decks represent different armies or races. There are eight very different armies to you could wind up playing with, some combinations are utterly ridiculous. The basic Smash Up box has robots, aliens, zombies, tricksters, pirates, ninjas, dinosaurs (which may be cyborgs), and wizards. You play two of them at once! Players use these armies and the special abilities that come with them to take over bases. The bases are also themed after the different armies.

Now despite each army being awesome in their own way they also have their own play style. Zombies let you draw from the graveyard, aliens change the bases, wizards allow players to chain action cards. Every time you play you’ll have to compose a different strategy because you’ll never know what you’re dealing with. Playing aliens and changing out a base right before it scores is super satisfying.

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Players win by playing minions on bases to score the bases and claim victory points. Each base has different point values and different bonuses/extra rules. The bases all of have a point value and players place minions, with their own point values, on the bases in order to reach the total for the base. Once the last minion necessary to score the base is placed the three players with most minion points score the victory points for that base. Each player scores a different amount and sometimes it’s better to have the second most on a base. That sounds like a lot of number, but trust me once you look at the cards you’ll understand.

Smash Up looks like a really goofy game, and it is, but it’s also a very strategic minded one. You have to pay attention to what everyone is playing and determine the best course of action for yourself. On top of playing minions to score bases you all play actions. Actions are special cards that pair up with the style of play your particular army has. For example Pirates are great at moving units between bases and eliminating weaker minions so they have action cards that focus on those attributes. The pirate action “broadside” let’s you wipe out any minions of a chosen army with a value of 2 or lower. They can’t really take out anything stronger than that though. Smash Up is a fantastically strange strategic card game.

There is a lot of replay ability with Smash Up since the armies are always chosen at random, it’s the box of chocolates of card games, you never know what you’re going to get (sorry couldn’t resist). If you find yourself getting bored with the basic armies Alderac Entertainment Group, the makers of Smash Up, have put out some wonderful expansions with some of the most terrifying armies around (BEAR CALVARLY). The latest edition is the Pretty Pretty Smash Up it’s full of princesses, kittens, fairies, and horses.

If you’re looking for a great little card game with friends that is sure to get a few laughs, or if you’ve ever wanted to control an army of ghosts, Smash Up is an excellent choice. With plenty of reason to play multiple times with a different experience each time. Mix in a few expansions and you can play Smash Up until your hands can no longer hold the cards.