As I mentioned in my review, D4 is one insane title. Here are some of my fun highlights from my play-through of the game. (more…)
Real Talk By: KJ
Formerly a Kinect only title, this Xbox exclusive has morphed into a 3rd person brawler. Since its shocking unveiling at E3, gamers have been anxiously waiting to play the new and improved Ryse. Developer Crytek has taken a lot of heat despite showing off some stellar visuals. Players were complaining about Quick Time Events appearing often in gameplay demonstrations. Would it detract from the experience? This was the main concern. From the start we were shocked that Son of Rome was a launch title in the first place. This looks like a major undertaking for any company. Were they able to get the job done? Is it more than just a tech demo?
You Control Marius Titus. Lead him in his quest for revenge. Control a Roman Army and bring order. The story is filled with great voice acting, and decent writing. Destroy the Barbarians that killed your family. Ryse is a linear game. plain and simple. Go from Point A to B with little exploration options. In rare occasions though, players can slip off the main path to find hidden collectibles. They include: Chronicles, Scrolls and Vistas. Using tablet devices you can see what each Easter Egg represents. Read passages from fallen soldiers, look at concept art. Users can do it by installing the Smartglass App. Windows 8 owners can do it too.
The journey from a visual standpoint, stays fresh. Each level bears no resemblance to the next. The CryEngine does wonders with this new hardware. Everything from a little mud puddle to the highest building is rendered in fine detail. Blood looks good. Slice/dice, and see the crimson pour. Armor looks realistic. It accurately shines given the situation. All NPC’s received the same treatment. Whether Marius is fighting in broad daylight or pitch black environments, it does not matter. Still, more traveling in these beautiful areas would have been nice. Let us soak in this bold new generation. Levels are narrow in scope, does the combat follow suit?
I posted an article focusing on the combat in Ryse. There were a few concerns with the game. Questions were asked, and they will be answered. Are the Controls pick up and play? Absolutely. It feels great pulling off moves, the trick is in the timing. All attacks have force behind them. Hold in X to lunge at enemies, or Y to break their guard with a shield strike. Simply jamming on the button will get you killed, especially if your playing on Centurion or Legendary difficulty. Time the A button and block/deflect attacks, or B to roll away. Some foes have unblock-able moves, this is where evading and proper parrying will come in handy. The fighting gets rather challenging in later missions. One of the final boss fights will put everything you’ve learned the test.
Points are racked up for landing executions. This is also where the negative press aimed their focus. Is this game QTE overkill? Yes and no. after beating the mess out of an enemy, a skull will light-up above their heads. Initiate the cutscene by hitting the Right trigger. Or continue to time your strikes till the barbarian is defeated. It’s up to the player. We asked if the sword combat would get stale. Eventually. While Marius can throw his pilum at foes, use crossbow turrets, the bulk of story mode is all-sword. It depends on who is behind the wheel to keep it fresh. Use points from playing to buy more executions. Surroundings will help. Near a cliff? Chain a combo and kick someone off it with authority. There are 100 executions in total, so make sure to unlock many early in the game. Also when the focus meter is full, players can stun enemies, slow down time, and unleash a barrage of pain. Get two guys weakened enough and Marius can lock both of them into special double executions. Movements all look incredibly realistic make the payoff satisfying. The Motion-captured performances are top flight.
Like the executions, Heath and focus upgrades can all be purchased with experience points. Similar to Forza 5, want more gold and XP, then pay real world cash. For a game that can be completed in 6-8 hours even on centurion difficulty, this feels incredibly unjust. Also villain variety is sparse. Since so much detail was taken into each character, it stands out more. You’re killing the same people a lot. Could they have changed the hair color on some guys at least?
Controlling your army was fun, but never fully realized. You cannot call for help unless the game prompts you. The Roman legions that periodically fight by your side, are of little use in battle. They will clash with the bandits, but never really killing them without your help. They’re more for background garnish. I did enjoy the parts where everyone moved together at the same time, using shields in unison, deflecting enemy arrows. More of these sequences would have made ryse’s campaign feel more than just a solo act.
In some multiplayer components, the visuals take a hit to accommodate everything. While Gladiator mode is only two player online, not a single sacrifice was made. We could see people having more fun in this than the campaign. Earn favor with the audience by performing executions. You can taunt to raise the crowd excitement meter (just like Capcom’s PS2 gem, Shadow of Rome). Playing stages solo is an option. Enemies of all skill levels come after you. Select a god to fight for. Each has special enhancements that benefit you and the other player. Health bonuses, XP, focus, ext. Nice map variety freshens things. Different objectives come up, like defending an object from attackers or killing messengers. Special items are in each. Wooden Spikes, Bear Traps, play the game right and you can really do some damage to others. Also exclusive to this mode, are double executions where both players kill a single barbarian at the same time. Go through the stages and see the arena change before your very eyes. Upgrading swords and armor takes quite a while. Those who refuse to pay for a boost, will work hours before getting nicer accessories. With just one main melee weapon, some will be unwilling to put in that much time.
Ryse: Son of Rome is a fun launch title while it lasts. Your treated to a visual spectacle that features jaw dropping stages, and realistic violence. Fun as the combat can be, a sword and shield can only take you so far. We can understand the repetitive nature of the gameplay will wear out some. Fans of the Dynasty Warriors series would be the best group to recommend it to. For everyone else, it’s a solid rental. Or you could wait for Ryse’s price to fall.
Ryse: Son of Rome Gets
Out of Five
+Grand Presentation (Graphics, voice acting, soundtrack)
-Too light on content for $60
-Barbarian clone army
-Silly Micro-transactions (this isn’t a FTP game!)
Real Talk By: Ms Throwback
It’s been almost a week and a half since Xbox One’s release and we have a few things to talk about. How are the games? Is the interface legit? What exactly is Ms. Throwback’s professional opinion on the matter and when is she bringing the real news? I’d love to answer all of these questions and more, I’d love to be reviewing titles for you, but I can’t, because Microsoft has once again let me down as a customer by selling me a defective system.
Now you may have seen the news articles stating that Microsoft has already admitted they are having an outstanding issue with some of the disk drives in the Xbox One. Because of this If you tell Microsoft customer support about the problem and go through the Xbox One exchange plan, they’ll send you the digital code for a game of your choice: Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse, or Zoo Tycoon. (Which I already bought of course.) Since it’s digital, you should be able to play your new game while you wait for a replacement. Microsoft has stated this has affected a “small number of Xbox One’s” I find that extremely hard to believe. If this is the case for you great! Go for it, I did, but realize that this is no small issue. This week brings you an article about Xbox One’s downfalls instead of a review because my personal Xbox One broke. Yes dear friends I am no more than a week in and already on my second Xbox One console. Let me bring you the truth.
About a half an hour into the setup of my Xbox One my system began to act glitchy. I would be pushing buttons on my controller but the screen would be frozen and all the button inputs would catch up all at once on the screen leading me into some portion of the interface I wasn’t even trying to reach. After about 20 minutes of fiddling with it by pushing a button, waiting 2 minutes for it to catch up, pushing a button, and so on, I figured I would call Microsoft customer support to see if there was something I could do about the situation.
I contacted customer support online as the wait time to contact them online was an estimated half hour as apposed to the 45 minute wait to call, which in of itself is ridiculous. After approximately 40 minutes a customer support representative starts chatting with me. After taking me through the usual, “are the cords hooked up properly” shpeal, and restarting the console four times I get frustrated and say, “okay is there just some kind of hard restart. I know it’s not the cords of the system. I’ve been doing this for over a decade something is wrong with the software or something. How do I hard restart?” At this point my console now only freezes on the Xbox One introduction logo or goes to black right after showing it. After 10 minutes of waiting for the rep to tell me how to hard restart (she obviously had no idea.) I hold the main button on the console down until it turns off and back on, the standard these days for a hard restart. It successfully hard restarts but still doesn’t fix the problem. Then I get a phone call from a friend that their Kinect has just stopped working.
At this point I am completely ticked off thinking about all I have been through with Microsoft when it comes to their Xbox consoles, so i let it all spill out. “I have been through five Xbox 360 consoles! That is 4 times as many Xbox’s as I have been through any other system in my entire life. I still have the original Atari I owned. The only other consoles that broke on me were a Playstation 2 which was replaced outside of the warranty, and a Nintendo DS which was replaced for another color they happened to release around that time and supplemented with three games on top of it (which they didn’t have to do.) because of all the merch I had registered. Do you know what happened when my Xbox 360 broke? I had to go buy another one, because Microsoft decided to put a 90 day warranty on their original consoles, which is the worst hardware manufacture warranty I’ve ever known of. My first one broke at the 110 day mark. Microsoft then extended the warranty to a year, my second one broke after a year and three months, when I called again it wasn’t replaced, so I bought another one to which they extended the warranty to two years. My third one broke within the warranty period, finally, so replaced it with another one which they sent to me already broken! I immediately sent back the fourth one to get my fifth and final one, which of course broke just before the release of the Xbox One. Never in my life have I had such terrible quality assurance, and never have I had such horrible customer service. What are you guys going to do for me?”
The response? “I’m sorry this has happened to you, I’ll go ahead and replace your Xbox One. I’ve sent you a link to verify your identity.”
What happens when I click the link? It doesn’t even work! There is an internal server error so they have the billing department call me in the middle of the night to solve the problem. The console was to arrive in 3-5 business days and it’s already been that, it hasn’t arrived. Untimely and unprofessional service is all I’ve gotten with my Xbox One and needless to say I’m putting it out there. I wouldn’t be complaining over just one mess up but this is ridiculous. Microsoft’s customers demand that we get better quality assurance and customer service. We spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year on consoles, hardware, software, apps, downloads and the like. We shouldn’t expect to spend an extra 50-100 dollars on top of it to buy the extended warranty that Microsoft won’t provide. We shouldn’t have to worry about day one launch consoles with disk drive problems, hardware/software issues, and Kinects that break. We deserve a viable product on day one, not some half thought out piece of work thrown out into the industry. Unacceptable, unappreciated, and despicable. Microsoft should be ashamed to let such an amazing product have such little care and consideration.
@PlayLegit #XboxOne #Realtalk
Real Talk By: KJ
The characters look really cool in Fighter Within. A truly diverse cast.
If you’re wondering how to play without breaking something, the developers have looked out for you. Fighters will be able to activate specials and other moves doing simple punch and kick motions. No need to Liu Kang kick your TV. Evasive movements have been incorporated as well. Blocking and dodging is all possible. Players who think before striking will have the most success.
I posed the question; Will this be another Fighter’s Uncaged? You have to consider it, since the game’s coming from the same company. We will remain optimistic.
Play Legit will bring full coverage, when the game launches in November
Dropping exclusively on Xbox One, Crimson Dragon will utilize the new Kinect. The price is $19.99, in what could possibly be the new price tag for many downloadable titles. (more…)
Real Talk By: KJ
Hopefully Ubisoft has learned from the mistakes of ‘Fighters Uncaged’. That is still known as one of the worst Kinect titles around. I’m trying to be optimistic, but this kind of concept needs time, yet ‘Fighter Within’ (ironically announced at Gamescom too) is an Xbox One launch game. Hopefully Ubisoft can take full advantage of the improved Kinect device. If so, We might have a fun party game on our hands. We look forward to seeing full gameplay soon, and throwing perfect kicks and punches at our television sets.
Microsoft’s staff continues to show off Xbox One exclusive features, this time focusing on the controller. Forty improvements have been made. The D-Pad appears to have been “pimped”. Realism has been added to the controller rumble feature. In Forza, bump the right tire, that side of the game pad will shake. Shooting with different guns, the controller will rumble accordingly. Overall, do the upgrades impress you? @PlayLegit
Reported By: KJ
Formally a Kinect only adventure, this game has most certainly morphed. (more…)
Real Talk by: StephO
Disney Interactive and Harmonix have announced Fantasia: Music Evolved, a “breakthrough musical motion video game” for Kinect on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Inspired by the classic animated film, Fantasia: Music Evolved takes players into a magical realm to become the new apprentice of sorcerer Yen Sid. Players can explore music through motion-control gameplay and take creative control by remixing and layering songs from over 25 artists. Fantasia: Music Evolved aims for release in 2014. The current announced artists and songs include:
- AVICII – “Levels”
- Bruno Mars – “Locked Out Of Heaven”
- Fun. – “Some Nights”
- Kimbra – “Settle Down”
- Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Reported By: Ms. Throwback
Microsoft announces the Xbox One today in a press conference showing us features like no other system to date. While some people aren’t impressed with the name I for one find it to be a good fit for the competition. With names like Wii U and PS4 the name has to be short and sweet. Xbox One is short and it says exactly what it wants you to do. Use it as an all in one console for all your entertainment needs. Lets break down the good and bad in the bullet points:
- Catchy easy to interpret name.
- Kinect, Voice Recognition, and Google Glass features.
- Amazingly useful and simple interface. Literal flick of the wrist or spoken words work the entire thing.
- Updated sports stats in game from live sporting events. True to life in game weather and wear and tear.
- Amazing Hyper-visuals. Did we doubt it?
- Microsoft is focusing on exclusives with 15 titles.
- Are Kinect and Google Glass in the box? If so we are looking at one heck of a price point.
- Hardware looks like a Wii U except humongous! We wish they had more inspiration.
- I might use xbox to turn my tv on for another system, if i pick up my Wiimote im tempted to play it. This is a lost opportunity for Xbox.
- Hopefully xbox is smarter than Siri.
Xbox definitely took some notes from Nintendo and added some spice of their own. we still have to see how the interface and recognition work together but if they work like they were shown this is a worldwide game changer…literally. While there is no doubt about the graphical power of this generation of Xbox, gamers expect more content. Now that our eye candy can’t get much better the challenge is on. Will Xbox match our expectations? We have to wait for E3 to find out, but if the first round of EA sports titles and Forza show us anything it’s that the potential is endless. Now about that price point?
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