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

Best of 2014: Video Games

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

This year’s nominations are…

Best Console Game

  • Far Cry 4
  • LEGO Batman 3
  • Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes
  • Shadow of Mordor
  • Watch Dogs

Results here.

Best DLC/Network Game

  • inFamous: First Light
  • PixelJunk Shooters
  • Strider
  • TMNT: Out of the Shadows (PS3)
  • Watch Dogs: Bad Blood

Results here.

Onto: Best of 2014 – Collectibles

Best of 2014: Video Games – Best Network Game/DLC

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Network Game/DLC

  • inFamous: First Light
  • PixelJunk Shooters
  • Strider
  • TMNT: Out of the Shadows (PS3)
  • Watch Dogs: Bad Blood

WINNER – inFamous: First Light

The first wave of Playstation 4 games were, by and large, underwhelming. There was a bright spot, though, and that was the PS exclusive inFamous: Second Son. Controlling several different powers was awesome, but my favorite was Neon. I felt like the Flash zooming through the city, beating up bad guys. Imagine my delight when the DLC First Light was made available. This wasn’t just a new level; it was it’s own playable game. First Light explores the origin of Fetch, the fiery young woman that helps Delsin defeat the DUP (bad guys) in Second Son. It won’t drastically change Second Son, but it is definitely worthy of your time, especially if you are looking for a game with badass female character – an option lacking in the gaming world. – Sherif

Second Place – TMNT: Out of the Shadows

TMNT Out of the Shadows Best of 2014 Video Games DLC Runner Up

Some of my fondest memories from the arcade as a kid were playing the stupid (only because I kept losing) TMNT side-scrolling game, so any time that a similar concept comes up, I am right there to throw my money at it like a shuriken. Technically, this game was released in 2013, but the PlayStation version didn’t come out til March of this year. The game definitely contains some technical short-comings, one that can’t be overlooked, but if the Turtle Power within you is strong enough, you can enjoy this game for hours. – Sherif

Third Place – Watch Dogs: Bad Blood

Watchdogs Bad Blood Best of 2014 Video Games DLC Runner Up 2

I put in quite a few hours with Watch Dogs; I loved the way that you could dive into any random stranger’s life and find out their darkest secrets. So when I finally got the platinum trophy, I was a little bothered that there was nothing really left to do. That is, until Bad Blood came out. This doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but instead gives you just enough high to keep you invading lives and blowing stuff up, all from the comfort of your own phone. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Strider

Strider Best of 2014 Video Games DLC Runner Up 4

If you have played the original on PS1, then you have no excuse not to get this. It is a remake of original with upgraded graphics and enhanced gameplay. Anyone with a PS4 had no excuse not to play this because it was free to PS Plus subscribers. This game is worth it just to check out the redesigned Ouroboros boss fight. If you haven’t played this ever, then I can’t recommend it enough, especially for 15 bucks. – Robert

RUNNER UP – PixelJunk Shooters

PixelJunk Shooter Best of 2014 Video Games DLC Runner Up 3

Creativity like this should be rewarded more often. This is yet another game that was free to Playstation Plus owners, and totally worth your time. This game can even be played with two people and involves saving people on an alien planet and solving puzzles. I highly suggest everyone give this game a shot. – Robert

 

Next Category: Best Collectibles of 2014

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Review

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Review

Genre: Open world exploration, Multi-player Co-op,

Released for/Reviewed on: Released on PS4/X-Box One, PS3/XB360, Vita/3DS, WiiU, iOS, Mac/PC & reviewed on PS4

Publisher/Developer: Warnes Bros Interactive Entertainment (Mortal Kombat franchise, Batman: Arkham series, Scribblenauts franchise)/Traveller’s Tales (LEGO… everything)

Notable Voice Actors or Writers: Troy Baker (The Joker in Arkham Origins, Delsin Rowe in inFamous: Second Son), Travis Willingham (Reggie Rowe in inFamous: Second Son), Nolan North (Deadpool in Deadpool, Cole McGrath in inFamous, Pagan Min in Far Cry 4), tons of celebrity guest spots like: Kevin Smith (Clerks), Adam West, Conan O’Brien, Gilbert Gottfried, Geoff Johns and Stephen Amell (DLC coming soon)

Alluring Element: The winning formula of a LEGO game, this time expanded to include the scope of the entire DCU

Check it out if you liked: LEGO BatmanLEGO anything

Rated: RP/E

 

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

Storyline – 7
Gameplay – 8
Animation – 9
Replay Value – 9
Entertainment Value – 9
Captivity – 7
Variety – 6
Originality/Creativity – 9
Soundtrack – 8
Overall awesomeness – 7

When it comes to games that the whole family can enjoy, there’s nothing quite on the level of LEGO games. From Star WarsHarry Potter and Lord of the Rings to the recently-released Marvel title, there isn’t any fandom that Telltate won’t touch. Where the franchise has succeeded is in its ability to bridge adults and children together. While the games and their mechanics are fairly simple – two attack buttons, a jump button and two character/costume changes, there is an undeniable level of complexity to the completion of the highly detailed levels. There are tons of characters to unlock, and with a ludicrous amount of goodies to uncover, you’ll find yourself smushing your child in the face to push them out of the way and complete the game 100%. Unlike traditional kids game, there is an added effort in trying to appease to the hardcore fan-base. If you are trying to brainwash your kid into getting into comic books, or you yourself enjoys a thorough Easter Egg hunt, this is the game for you. If you don’t git into either category, though, you might be hard-pressed to find a reason to drop cash on this game. It’s the type of game that really depends on who you play with, or the type of gamer you are altogether. LEGO games are ideal for the treasure-hunting, methodical players who take their time and enjoy unearthing all the well-thought secrets that go into the game. If replaying a game five times over doesn’t appeal to you, then the price of admission isn’t really justifiable. Luckily, as somebody who is still just levels into Diablo III with his loving wife, I am all about 100% completion on my games.

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All that in mind, I still want to enjoy the game as I endogenously play through it, and LEGO Batman 3 is noticeably less entertaining than the game that came before it. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes was great in the sense that the story (stopping Lex and Joker from taking over the world) was so dynamic that WB actually re-purposed the cut scenes into a full-length animated movie that was released separately on DVD. LEGO Batman 3, however, did not impress me – and my standards are pretty low as far as LEGO-inspired entertainment goes. The plot, which was some kind of convoluted version of Geoff John’s Brainiac and Green Lantern: Blackest Night, took Batman and Co. around the galaxy to… actually, I have no idea what the purpose was, I just knew that early on, I figured out that I had to travel to each Lantern planet and do stuff before defeating Brainiac with feelings. Yes, the thing that Batman hates more than Robin’s Superman pajamas. It’s a large scope to tackle, and this being a next-gen game, it was expected that we would see an expanded DCU, but I can’t help but feel like time would have been better spent coming up with a more creative way to incorporate different characters into the game. Instead of just boasting a cast of over 150 characters (it will take a WHILE to unlock them all), it would have been nice to actually give each of them a little more attention instead of just skin swaps. Really, only the core cast of Batman, Robin, Cyborg, Lex Luthor and The Joker have multiple uses.

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That being said, the fine-tuned attention to detail is as impressive as it is heartwarming. The Danny Elfman-inspired Bat-tunes are still there, and the custom sound bytes add a bit of flavor to each character’s situation. For example, when entering the character selection screen, hovering over certain characters spawn their very own Batman theme song – Na na na na na na na na, CYBORG! Can you guess which hero this one belongs to: Na na na na na na na na, MEEE! Also, along with Superman’s John Williams theme during flight, Wonder Woman also has her classic Linda Carter theme play while she flies. All the way to down to the most obscure characters in the DC Universe , the sheer amount of geek packed into one game is extraordinary, and will keep dedicated fans combing through each level with increased vigor to unlock all their secrets. You can even mix and match parts and powers to create your own weird-looking LEGO superhero. On the other side of the coin, the allure of having Conan O’Brien, the friendly janitor, tour you around the Justice League Watchtower or saving a pleading Adam West is really fun the first time, but can get severely grating after they repeatedly chime in with the same monologue until you run away screaming or mute the television.

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With all the high performance games out there, expectations for a LEGO game can be a little skewed. Make no mistake, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is just as much fun as Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed, but just like those games, need to be enjoyed by the right person. You can choose to spend hours teaching your kids about each hero’s powers (or learning them yourself), or you can go all Orange Lantern on this bad boy and reap all the buried treasure within the levels. The gameplay won’t blow you away, but it’s as complex as it needs to be, and makes the game accessible for all ages of gamers. The story isn’t all that spectacular, but at the very least, it is a love letter to DC fans; you can really tell that Traveller’s Tales put a lot of thought and research into this game, making it one of the most thoughtful Batman experiences I’ve had in a video game.

 

 

All media credited to Sony Entertainment and Sucker Punch Productions

Best of E3 2014

The E3 conference is the biggest in video-gaming. All the top companies bring out their toys to show the world what they have up their sleeves. Usually this comes in the form of gameplay videos, early-stage rendering or simple announcements if the project is in its earliest developmental stages. With the news giants like GameSpot and IGN flooding content through their outlets, it can get a little overwhelming. To make things a bit easier, we’ve listed out the biggest news, accompanied by a brief summarization – in case you’re at work, or you don’t want to spend time sifting through the content. Enjoy!

The games

Far Cry 4

If this game is anything like Far Cry 3, then you have no excuse what so ever not to buy this. That game was amazing and this game has all that plus you get to ride around on elephants! The story seems a little too similar to the previous game in that they have a villain that seems a little too similar to Vas from Far Cry 3. This game is going to be on older systems but it should look absolutely amazing on next gen consoles.

Mortal Kombat X

The wait for the next project from Netherealm studios is over. There were rumors that it might be Injustice 2 but after comments made by Keifer Sutherland regarding voice over work he did for a new Mortal Kombat game. A few days before the event, Ed Boon tweeted pictures of an X and asked fans what it could be talking about. This game will have new characters along with returning characters and the story will span 25 years into the future directly following the end of the last game. New characters such as Cassie Cage, the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, will be joining the cast including a villain that is supposed to be a surprise.

Batman: Arkham Knight

The conclusion to the Arkham Trilogy is finally here and is going to be exclusively for next gen systems. While WB Montreal was busy creating the piece of crap that was Arkham Origins, Rocksteady was using the extra development time to polish this game to perfection. This time around the game world will be fully fleshed out and we will be given the ability to drive the Batmobile.

LEGO Batman 3

Batman goes into outer space in order to stop Brainiac from using the power of the lantern rings to shrink the Earth. there will be 150 unique characters to unlock from both the hero and villain side.

Dead Island 2

This sequel takes place in sunny California after the infection from the island spreads to the mainland. Newly crafted weapons and character classes are really all you can expect from this sequel

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Trailer

The remakes of Ruby and Sapphire for newer consoles with a possible Delta Emerald in the works

Uncharted 4: A Thiefs End

The final game in the Uncharted series has Nathan Drake coming out of retirement to do one last job. the trailer shows Drake waking up in a hostile environment much like the previews for the last two games. If they get the same people to write for this game that did The Last of Us, then this should be an amazing game coupled with next gen graphics.

Project Spark

Project Spark is a game in which players can create their own video game using tools such as Kinect and SmartGlass.

Assassin’s Creed Unity trailer and Collector’s Edition

Assassin’s Creed players are blessed with not one, but two games this year. Unity will be for the people who have bought next-gen systems only. This years model will have graphical as well as game play updates. This time around players will be given a parkour up and parkour down button to help navigate all terrain as quickly as possible. This iteration is said to focus more on the multiplayer aspect in the story and not just the head to head matches. Players will get a new time period in the French Revolution to run through as well as a new character.

Assassin’s Creed: Comet, the current gen Assassin’s Creed

This new version of Assassins Creed is for people that haven’t yet made the jump to next-gen. It is supposed to be a sequel to AC3 and AC4 and taking place in New York will also feature ships as a part of the story. This seems like a cheap cash in and essentially a rehash of last years AC4. Seeing as details have been a little scarce, I’m not sure how much content besides the story will actually be fresh, but i suppose it is nice that they are still thinking of all of the fans this year. It may be the last year that they do so.

LittleBigPlanet 3

Seems like more of the same only this time around there are three new characters besides sackboy. The content creation is even greater and the worlds will be even more detailed than before. If you have been a fan of the last two iterations than you will most likely enjoy this game as well.

No Man’s Sky

This is an MMO that people need to look up and watch the trailer for themselves, there is no good way of explaining things verbally. Even the developers have a hard time explaining things. It seems like it may be an interesting game to play

Alien: Isolation

Set 15 years after the first Alien movie, you set out as Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley to uncover the disappearance of her mother. This seems like a mix between Dead Space and The Last of Us with the survival horror requiring you to scavenge just to stay alive. Seems like it could be interesting but the Alien franchise hasn’t had a great track record as far as games go.

Sunset: Overdrive

A contaminated energy drink has transformed most of the population into a multitude of toxic mutants. Using unconventional weapons and the ability to run along walls you will fight these mutants and save the city.

The Crew

Ubisofts big MMO racer that has people in different locales around the country racing to take over a gang.

Forza Horizon 2

Another MMO from the makers of one of the most popular race car games since Gran Turismo. Definitely looks better than The Crew but who knows.

Disney Infinity Marvel Heroes

This is a game for kids that is cashing in on the poplularity of the Marvel movies and the Disney infinity series. I don’t think any adult will genuinely enjoy playing this but this is a great one for the kids.

Evolve

A 4v1 game that pits four players against one player who controls a monster that has special powers to hunt down the hunters themselves. This seems an awful lot like Left 4 Dead with a twist.

The Evil Within

Play as a cop that witnesses something supernatural while investigating the scene of a murder. This seems like another survival horror game in a year full of them.

Super Smash Bros.

The sequel to melee and brawl, this time around they add new characters and gameplay mechanics. With the current fanbase being so large and dedicated plus the lack of any major games on the Wii U, this is sure to be a hit Nintendo desperately needs

Homefront 2

Jump into a united states that has been occupied by North Korea for 4 years. This is a living breathing city that changes based on actions you take. I’ve always wanted a game that played like Red Dawn and now it seems we are finally getting it. I just hope it does the story justice.

Kingdom Hearts III

This is the third game in the series and Sora will be on a new adventure with the cast of Disney. This has been a highly anticipated game and I’m sure it will be awesome just like the last two games.

Sonic Boom

This is a prequel to the sonic story created in the television show. This is also the first time that players will get to control sticks, one the new characters created in the show.

Mass Effect 4 (Trilogy coming to PS4)

Not much has been said about the game other than the fact that it has been announced. The developers of the game have stated that they didnt even like calling it Mass Effect 4 during the early stages as it implied being after the third game. This was basically an announcement that it exists and nothing more really, it should however be amazing based solely on the screens they have released.

Star Wars: Battlefront

Another entry into the battlefront series, this promises to be bigger than the last games we had. With the advances in tech since we last got a game and the major shift to online play, this game has the potential to be something quite spectacular.

Inside (from the developers of Limbo)

Not really sure what to make of this game. Graphically it is 3d and much better looking than limbo as well as having a different atmosphere. I enjoyed Limbo and I’m sure i will check this out, but I have no idea what to expect.

Scalebound

Until I see some gameplay footage, this looks like a mix of DMC and Lost Planet while simultaneously being a ripoff of both. This game does look cool but I will reserve judgement until I see some actual gameplay footage.

Crackdown

The next game in the series is finally here and it looks better than ever. If you haven’t played the first two then you owe it to yourself to check those out. This seems to be focused more on multiplayer but that is just what i gathered from the trailer.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

This picks up right after the first game and comic book series and shows the real transformation of Lara Croft into the badass we know today. If they take as much care with this as they did with the last game, this should be mind-blowing. I can’t wait for this game.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

This is a sequel to the Guardian of Light, this time around there are 4 players as opposed to 2. I didn’t think the first one sold well enough to make a sequel but apparently it did.

Legend of Zelda Wii U

This was the biggest reveal in the show for Nintendo and they didn’t disappoint. This was a major reveal for them and I’m sure that they wont disappoint with this one. Nintendo really needs a game of this caliber on their system.

Yoshi’s Wooly World Wii U

This is another Yoshi game only this time around the catch is you use balls of yarn. I don’t particularly care for things like this and it seems like a lazy first-party game from Nintendo.

Devil’s Third Wii U

This is from the makers of Ninja Gaiden and looks similar to most hack and slash games. Not much was released about this game other than the developer.

Star Fox Wii U

Yet another first party cash in from Nintendo. Since these are the only games people seem to care about on these systems, they are the only ones that developers put any energy into making decent. Because of this, it is pretty much guaranteed this game will at least be decent. This has been a good E3 for Wii U owners and should be a good next few years as well.

Metal Gear Solid 5

This game is going to be one of the greatest games of this generation. After the great yet lackluster experience that was Ground Zeros, we will finally get the true sequel to Metal Gear 4. I cannot wait for this and I can guarantee this will push the limits of any system it is on.

Destiny

The next big thing from Bungie, the makers of Halo, this game promises to be the next big FPS for all systems. People have been waiting to see what is next from the makers of such a historic franchise and this looks very promising.

Abzu

From one of the Developers of Flower and Journey, two critically acclaimed titles, Abzu is the debut project of a new studio. If the other titles are anything to go by, this should be an amazing experience.

Grim Fandango

This is a remastering of the 1998 game that netted a 9.4 score from IGN. If you haven’t played this game yet, this will be the perfect opportunity to check it out.

Tom Clancy’s The Division

The future of the United States always seems so grim in these games. A virus has been released during Black Friday and the country is in shambles. A special unit is dispatched to deal with the fallout. I had heard this was supposed to be an MMO style game but I see no mention of that anymore. Perhaps you can seamlessly join missions with friends instead.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

This is a tactical assault game that has players in a 5v5 match in a completely open environment. The Environment is completely destructible which should open the matches up to complete freedom. This is a game that people should watch the trailer for, it is one of the best ways to describe how this game plays.

GTA 5

The PS4 re-release of one of the biggest games from last year. This looks like an amazing graphical update but I’m sure that the developers have more in mind than just that. The online is supposed to sync up with your account from the last gen so you don’t need to restart from scratch.

Valiant Heroes: The Great War

A World War 1 puzzle game from Ubisoft. I didn’t see much information but based on the price, this looks like a downloadable title.

The Last of Us PS4

If for some reason you haven’t played what was considered one of the greatest games of the last generation, then this is the perfect opportunity to give this game a try. The gameplay and story are nothing short of a masterpiece and you really owe it to yourself to try this game.

Battlefield: Hardline & COD… both rebooting franchise

These are both the obligatory yearly sequels that each franchise wants to put out and then charge another 60 dollars at purchase time to get you for a whole year of DLC. I will probably check out both but I am not sure how excited I am for either.

 

Other Announcements

YouTube to PS4

Twitch PS4

Ratchet and Clank: The movie

Halo: Master Chief Collection

Gamecube adapter for the Wii U

PlayStation TV

PlayStation Now

inFamous: Second Son DLC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

inFamous: Second Son Review

inFamous: Second Son Review

Genre: TPS (Third-Person Shooter), Open world exploration, super-powers

Released for/Reviewed on: Released & reviewed on PS4

Publisher/Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment (all the Playstation exclusives)/Sucker Punch Productions (inFamous 1 & 2Sly Cooper)

Notable Voice Actors or Writers: Troy Baker (Joel in The Last of Us, The Joker in Arkham Origins, Ocelot in MGS5, Batman in LEGO Batman 2)

Alluring Element: Super powers in an open world with the freedom to choose how to use them

Check it out if you liked: inFamous series, Prototype

Rated: 16+

 

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

Storyline – 7
Gameplay – 10
Animation – 9
Replay Value – 8
Entertainment Value – 9
Captivity – 9
Variety – 8
Originality/Creativity – 10
Soundtrack – 9
Overall awesomeness – 9

inFamous has been slated as the PS4’s first killer game of this generation, and it did not disappoint. The visuals on this game are so far only rivaled by other big name games like Metal Gear Solid and maybe Titanfall. What is truly impressive is that they were able to keep this level of detail and graphics so high despite the large and intricate world they have created. The game is set in Seattle – and it is spot on. The dreary weather, Puget Sound, the ridiculous amount of seagulls and hipsters carrying coffee cups – it’s all there and gorgeously textured.

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The premise of the game itself is pretty standard if you have played either of the previous inFamous games – or any type of open world game that involves free-roaming with powers (such as the old Spider-Man or Prince of Persia titles). The game picks up seven years after the events of inFamous 2 and with a majority of the conduits wiped out; the remaining conduits have been labeled as bio-terrorists. This is where are story begins – with leading man, Delsin Rowe. During a prison transport gone wrong Delsin finds out that he is a conduit with the ability to absorb powers from other conduits. The government agency in charge of controlling conduits (D.U.P.)shows up and wreaks havoc on the town while endangering the lives of the town. Without giving too much away, Delsin is forced to go after the head of this government agency in order to steal powers that will help him save his town.

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After some introductory story and gaining a few new powers, the player is given the ability to roam through the city freely while dispensing justice or chaos. There is plenty to do throughout the city and some of the side missions take full advantage of the new capabilities of the DualShock 4 controller. The tagging side missions utilize the features the most as you have to manipulate the controller in many different ways to complete the artwork. The touch screen in the middle is used for absorbing more energy as well as some QTE’s. It is actually a nice inclusion since the system has mainly released ports of games that haven’t made any attempt to include these features. Note: If you’re really into the graffiti missions, there was a PS2 game released in the early 2000’s called Marc Ecko’s Getting Up. where you build your way up to becoming a world famous tagger.

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Free-roaming and combat are pretty standard fare and as are the upgrade trees to both. Throughout the game, the player absorbs new powers that give new combat and travel abilities. I won’t ruin what any of them are, but suffice it to say it is just as much fun acquiring these powers as it is using them. This game does an amazing job of continuously making you feel more and more powerful. Each power has its own strengths and weaknesses and although each upgrade tree is pretty standard, they offers plenty of room for early customization to fit the gaming style of the player (ie – stealth, power-house, run and gun, etc). The melee system is a bit weak, but I think I spent 99% of my time aiming for headshots, anyway, so it didn’t bother me one bit.

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As far as complaints go, I don’t have too many negative things to say – but my biggest gripe would have to be with the way they implemented the switching of powers. You are only able to use one power at a time and have to absorb the energy for the type of power you would like to use at one of the power stations around the city. Finding these power stations is very simple because the whole city is littered with them and they are labeled on the map as well. I personally would have preferred individual power bars that we were able to switch to on-the-fly. This may have made the character more powerful but they could have easily compensated with increased difficulty. My only other gripe with the powers was that the final power you spent the entire time trying to acquire felt like it wasn’t given the same amount of attention compared to the other ones. It isn’t completely developed and you are only given the opportunity to use it on the final boss and end game content. It’s a minor complaint, but I still think that with the lack of multiplayer content, this should have been give more attention. There is the possibility that future DLC can correct both of these complaints as well as add new powers for people to play with.

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The last complaint that I have would be with the length of the story. While it was a solid (albeit simple) and engaging story, I did feel that by just going through the story it was a bit on the short side. It’s not nearly as short as the previously reviewed MGS: Ground Zeroes, but it will only clock you in at around five hours to complete the story and grab all the collectibles, roughly half of what it took for the first two games. Granted, the game is intended to be played twice for both the good and evil choices; once you have done that and completed all the side quests, there is very little left to do until possible future content is released. This is where the compensation comes in: Paper Trail! Paper Trail is one of the most innovative additions to a game I’ve seen. After all is said and done, there are special missions that you actually have to go online and do some detective work to complete. Once you solve the clues online, you unlock missions in the game. I’m not sure how it will work going forward – there are only a couple missions currently unlocked – but I thoroughly enjoyed the ones that were there.

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inFamous: Second Son is not a perfect game, but it is a noticeable improvement of last-gen games – especially the previous two inFamous games, which set the bar very high for PS3. The addition of versatile conduit powers really let you customize the game in terms of how you play it. The side-quests, even though they are short and repetitive, add a new dimension to the game that made the older ones monotonous; coupled with Paper Trail make for some great fun after the story is complete. Most importantly, Delsin Rowe is a hero (or villain) gamers can really relate to. He’s just a normal kid with powers, not the prodigy that Cole McGrath was. His personality also makes players invest more in his cause. I get Delsin in a way I could never understand Cole. Minor complaints aside, this is an amazing game that everyone who owns a PS4 should consider picking up. For anyone wondering what the future console generation was going to look like need look no further than this game. This is but a starting point for what the future of this gaming generation is capable of and the future looks amazing.

All media credited to Sony Entertainment and Sucker Punch Productions

Shut Up and Take My Money: Mass Effect M-6 Carnifex

The money in our bank account is limited, so how unfair is it that there are endless gadgets, collectibles and toys out there that demand to be purchased? Let us help you sift through the crap, so you don’t can save that hard-earned cash for the things that deserve it. In other words, we give you the power to go to the counter and say, “Shut Up and Take My Money!”

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Item: Mass Effect M-6 Carnifex Full Scale Replica

What it is: While I wait for inFamous: Second Son and Metal Gear Solid V to come out in March, I’ve been keeping myself busy by re-playing the Mass Effect trilogy. Mass Effect is one of the best games I’ve ever played. It created it’s own universe, with new species, planets and, of course, weapons. The M-6 Carnifex was officially named in the second game, and fully-detailed in the third. It is a Magnum-like pistol with heavy rounds and high accuracy. For a video demonstrating its badass-edness, check it out below:

The replica weighs in at seven pounds, which tells me that it’s sturdy and feels realistic – not some plastic knock-off. So you’d be paying for the real deal – minus, you know, the fact that it doesn’t shoot out lethal beams. It does, however, have functioning LED lights that turn on when the trigger is pulled… so there’s that.

How Much it Costs: The M-6 Carnifex is not for the faint of heart. When the replica was announced last year (along with the M-3 Predator and Geth Pulse Rifle), it retailed for $400 (the Pulse Rifle is still available for pre-order if you are willing to drop $750). The Carnifex is sold out everywhere, but with just a little bit of digging, you can find it on eBay or Amazon for around $250. This isn’t out of the ordinary, as a lot of Tri-Force’s collectibles are highly-coveted and, therefore, highly-priced.

Is It Worth It?: It’s a tough call. Fans that are interested in hard-core cosplaying for Mass Effect should jump at the opportunity to adorn themselves with such an incredibly detailed sidepiece. Collectors should also jump at the chance to own a Tri-Force collectible. Only 500 of these babies were made, so once they run out on their first cycle through eBay and Amazon, the price will skyrocket. Picking up one now would be a sound investment. Casual fans of the game and collectibles should probably just admire the pretty pictures and move on. Paying over $200 for any collectible is a serious investment, and you may end up sleeping on the couch with your new pistol if it’s not the investment you try to make it.

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Bottom Line: This is a premium replica at a premium price. If you love Mass Effect that much, or want to invest in a collectible that will undoubtedly give you a return, go ahead and pick one up. These things are selling out like divorce attorneys at a Kardashian family reunion, though, so act quickly if you aim to buy. Hopefully, the success of the Carnifex will lead Tri-Force to try out other video-game replicas.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib