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BOARD GAMES for the whole family!


WELCOME Merry Christmas!

Christmas is a time for giving. Gifts, love and time. What I mean is you make time to catch up with friends and family. You give gifts and you take time off for holidays - nothing like summer holidays right? For our Christmas issue we covered a bunch of family game ideas as last month our Adults game issue was hugely popular. Plus we asked readers what they wanted for Christmas and some answers were awesome… including the reader who wants a job with Gametraders… With a new year around the corner we also asked what you wanted from game developers and the console makers.. some very interesting suggestions from readers, take a look on page 20. But back to that I started with and that is Christmas is about giving and we’re giving lots. We’ve got tix to the new Underworld Blood Wars movie to win, tix to the new Resident Evil - Final Chapter movie plus a printed artwork, and a chance to win some free software if you’re a photographer and use a Mac - the developers at Picktorial gave us a download to give away - check page 186. The team at Live wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a great 2017!

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Feature: Fun Board Games

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THE LIVE TEAM Publisher: Rob Jenkins (GTHQ) Art Director: Giselle Capozza (GTHQ) Game Review & Preview Contributors: Nick Getley & Kylie Tuttle (Sticky Trigger) VGChartz Retro Editor: Paul Monopoli Comics: Scott Sowter



CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS! Oh - they’re great gift ideas too! Last issue we discovered that there was a bunch of great adult party games with strange names and strange rules that were actually a lot of fun to play with friends. But they were for our older readers. So this month we are taking a look at games for the whole family. Many are simple to learn and a lot of fun to play. So let’s get to it!

Ticket To Ride First Journey Ticket to Ride: First Journey takes the gameplay of the Ticket to Ride series and scales it down for a younger audience. In general, players collect train cards, claim routes on the map, and try to connect the cities shown on their tickets. In more detail, the game board shows a map of the United States with certain cities being connect by colored paths. Each player starts with four colored train cards in hand and two tickets; each ticket shows two cities, and you’re trying to connect those two cities with a contiguous path of your trains in order to complete the ticket. On a turn, you either draw two train cards from the deck or discard train cards to claim a route between two cities; for this latter option, you must discard cards matching the color and number of spaces on that route

(e.g., two yellow cards for a yellow route that’s two spaces long). If you connect the two cities shown on a ticket with a path of your trains, reveal the ticket, place it face up in front of you, then draw a new ticket. (If you can’t connect cities on either ticket because the paths are blocked, you can take your entire turn to discard those tickets and draw two new ones.)

If you connect one of the West Coast cities to one of the East Coast cities with a path of your turns, you immediately claim a Coast-to-Coast ticket. The first player to complete six tickets wins! Alternatively, if someone has placed all twenty of their trains on the game board, then whoever has completed the most tickets wins!

My First Carcassonne Story: On 14 July, the national holiday in France, the sheep, chickens and cows are set free in the town of Carcassonne. The children have great fun to catch the animals before dusk. The players in turn draw a landscape tile and place it; unlike in normal Carcassonne, they always match. Amongst other features, the tiles show children in the player colors on the roads. Whenever a road is finished, every player places one of his meeples on each appropriate picture. The first player who manages to place all of his meeples wins the game.

Catan Junior Explore the seas! Catan: Junior introduces a modified playing style of the classic Settlers of Catan, giving players as young as five a perfect introduction to the Catan series of games. Catan: Junior takes place on a ring of islands where 2 to 4 players build hideouts and encounter the mysterious Spooky Island, where the Ghost Captain lives. Each island generates a specific resource: wood, goats, molasses or swords, and players can acquire gold. Each player starts with two pirate hideouts on different islands, and they can use the resources they acquire to build ships, hideouts or get help from Coco the Parrot. By building ships, they can expand their network; the more hideouts they build, the more resources they may receive. Just watch out for the dreaded Ghost Captain! Be the first player to control seven pirate hideouts, and you win!

King of Tokyo In King of Tokyo, you play mutant monsters, gigantic robots, and other aliens – all of whom are happily whacking each other in a joyous atmosphere in order to become the one and only King of Tokyo. At the start of each turn, you roll six dice. The dice show the following six symbols: 1, 2 or 3 Points of Destruction, Energy, Healing and Whack. Over three successive throws, choose whether to keep or discard each die in order to win destruction points, hoard energy, restore health, or whack other players into understanding that Tokyo is YOUR territory. The fiercest player will be crowned King of Tokyo... and will end up facing all the other monsters alone! Top this off with special cards purchased with energy that have a permanent or temporary effect, such as

the growing of a second head which grants you an additional die, body armor, nova death ray, and more.... and it’s one of the most explosive games of the year!

In order to win the game, one must either destroy Tokyo by accumulating 20 destruction points, or be the only surviving monster once the fighting has ended.

Catan Family Edition This New edition of the “Settlers of Catan – Board Game” features a six piece reversible board allowing for more replay value than the previous Gallery Edition. Get together with friends or family. Learn to play in about 15 minutes. Then enjoy countless hours of fastpaced fun! Begin a quest to settle the island of Catan! Guide your brave settlers to victory by using clever trading and shrewd development. Use resources – grain, wool, ore, lumber, and brick – to build roads, settlements, cities and key cultural milestones. Get resources by rolling the dice or by trading with other players. But beware! You never know when someone will block your way or if the robber will strike and steal your hardearned goods! Are you the best trader, builder, or settler? Will you master Catan?

Agricola Family Edition In Agricola, you’re a farmer in a wooden shack with your spouse and little else. On a turn, you get to take only two actions, one for you and one for the spouse, from all the possibilities you’ll find on a farm: collecting resources; building meadows; and so on. You might think about having kids in order to get more work accomplished, but first you need to expand your house. And what are you going to feed all the little rugrats? Agricola is a turn-based game. There are 14 game rounds occurring in 6 stages, with a Harvest at the end of each stage (after Rounds 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 14). Each player starts with two meeples that can each take an action per round. There are multiple options, and while the game progresses, you’ll have more: each round a (fixed) additional option becomes

available. Each action can be taken by only one player each round, so it’s important to do some things with high preference. In comparison with the family game of the predecessor, much has changed: the new action each round is fixed, and the game has been simplified by removing stone and vegetables. Similar to Agricola: Die Bauern und das liebe Vieh, there are now buildings (replacing the major improvements) that score points for leftover resources at the end of the game. Also, there are no building restrictions (nor player boards). And finally, there are no negative points or point limits anymore, each player simply scores for all he has achieved.

Takenoko A long time ago at the Japanese Imperial court, the Chinese Emperor offered a giant panda bear as a symbol of peace to the Japanese Emperor. Since then, the Japanese Emperor has entrusted his court members (the players) with the difficult task of caring for the animal by tending to his bamboo garden. In Takenoko, the players will cultivate land plots, irrigate them, and grow one of the three species of bamboo (Green, Yellow, and Pink) with the help of the Imperial gardener to maintain this bamboo garden. They will have to bear with the immoderate hunger of this sacred animal for the juicy and tender bamboo. The player who manages his land plots best, growing the most bamboo while feeding the delicate appetite of the panda, will win the game.

Munchkin Deluxe What makes this edition “deluxe”? It’s got a big gameboard to keep your cards in place, and six colored pawns that you move on the gameboard as you level up! Plus a card to go with each pawn, to make it easy to remember who is what color and whose sex has changed! Go down in the dungeon. Kill everything you meet. Backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run. Admit it. You love it. Munchkin is the mega-hit card game about dungeon adventure . . . with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. You and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. And what magic items! Don the Horny Helmet and the Boots of ButtKicking. Wield the Staff of Napalm . . . or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody

Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slime, and work your way up to the Plutonium Dragon . . . And it’s illustrated (in full color!) by John Kovalic! Fast-playing and silly, Munchkin can reduce any roleplaying group to hysteria. And, while they’re laughing, you can steal their stuff.


geek o WHAT do you want for christmas & why?

your say









TV FEST 2016









WHAT DO YOU WANT FO “A job with Gametraders.” - Mikal Mokbel “I would like to have my student debts erased because it is a neverending cycle of anxiety for me.” - Liam Martin “I want my PS3 and just a few of my games returned from the person who stole them.” - Brendyne Conway “I love getting pops from my boys for xmas im always loving things like that from them.” - Barry Peel

“The games I’m still dreaming about playing... Shenmue & Chrono Trigger. I have a few on the gaming bucket list that are rare to find these days. I want to play them because they are important in the history of gaming. Unlike movies which you can generally find them again in some way and a format to play them on. Gaming needs to be preserved and I’m happy to play Retro any way I can. - Simon Che Rodriguez “A ps4 virtual head set Omg these things exist! #thefutureishere” - Benny Bukchoy Hall “What i’d want for christmas is more anime figurines and an xbox one with forza horizon 3. #gameon #anime” - Taylor Christiansen “ I want my own Gametraders store for Chistmas! I love the franchise & want to open one with more of a video game focus than the others currently have, even if I have to buy stock from eBay & Play Asia to carry as much video games as possible!”

“I’ve got my kids, I’m good. Got the best presents I could ever want!” - Matthew Zessin

- Jean-Paul Bartolomei

“All I want for Christmas is my self esteem to not be shattered by family interactions and questionings over the holidays...” - TeiJay Jackson “Cards Against Humanity is the best present, and everyone knows why” - Ben Rachow

OR CHRISTMAS & WHY? “I LOVE CHRISTMAS, and have already started shopping!!! I want a a few of the new Rose Collection from PANDORA!”

“A tes: oblivion remaster/remake would have been nice.”

“A headset compatible with Xbox one.

- Bevan Sholdas

- Angie Flanagan

“An official Game of Thrones expansion/mod for civ VI - so Sean Bean can narrate his own tech progression/ inevitable death.”

Been waiting nearly a year to get internet put in because we live in the middle of no where (Gympie/Curra) Now we are so close to getting Internet (just a few weeks, have to wait to get new cables put in)

“Two sets of the Lego Spider-Man Bridge Battle set, so I can make a full section of the bridge, and combine all the Spider-Man villains and allies I’ve collected from previous sets and make an epic battle scene worthy of the Spider-Man legend.” - Benson Pearson “Socks....Because of my Medical Condition i have to Wear socks around the house. -__- Slippery Tiles are not fun, but make every day a Risky Business ;)”

- Michael Gartland “Well my sister has been wanting Pokemon moon lately and unfortunately, we are unable to buy it for her due to our tight budget. So what I want for Christmas is for my sister to receive her own copy of Pokemon moon. I don’t really care about myself, I just love seeing my siblings happy.” - Micah Fede

Then we can play on Xbox live with our friends!! So a headset is a must!! - Sarah Chancellor

“The Genesect 20th Anniversary Pokemon card box. And probably Sun/Moon and Zelda merchandise.” - Samui Monahan

- Paul Noddy Ballard “I just want to see my daughter for Christmas, so we can watch supernatural, play lego games and eat ourselves stupid.”

“The kids to get santa to give me a holiday or even an hour by myself.”

“Im pretty much almost done my xmas shopping! (Thank you afterpay and layby lol) i really want the harry potter hard cover illustrated books! Ahh one can dream.”

- Claire H Simmons

- Renae Donohue

- Holden Kelly

“The Mini-NES! Fingers crossed we manage to get one before Xmas. :)” - Fern Brassington


WHAT DO YOU WANT FO “I want a dream cast as its such an underrated console and brings back some fond memories of simpler times.”

“Crash bandicoot on ps1.... Still waiting for a copy to magically appear.”

- Josh Durbidge

- Sebaztian TheRangasaurusrex Barns “Lego! My Toddler has become obsessed, and it’s fun building with him, but I’ve got the urge for some more complicated stuff for myself ;)”

“As above, I would love new head phones to give Logan Xavier Skilling so he stops asking me for some! :P But any prize would be awesome!!”

- Simm Beeston

- Jodie Crazycatlady Skilling

“Batman - Return to Arkham, I’m late the the Arkham series and so excited I can finally get around to playing my favorite superhero on my PS4. Fingers crossed Santa is listening, I’ve been good this year.”

“An Xbox Scorpio? No? How about a Nintendo Switch? Still no?? Ok, then what I really would want for Christmas is a custom designed Xbox One controller from their Design Labs, decked out with my favorite colours and etched with my gamertag, so everybody knows ‘it doesn’t belong to you, so don’t you touch it’!!”

- Jade O’Shea “I am happy with anything I receive ;)”

- Chris McHugh

- Christine Morris “ I would love to get new headphones after snapping mune when raging at cs. Right now im using ear buds which work but hey i need headphones.” - Logan Xavier Skilling

“I want a job for Christmas, that isn’t just a Christmas job, so that I can spend my money on delicious delicious games - Aleida Niamh McCluskey

“A Boba Fett statue/helmet because every year I want to get one for my dad but can never afford it.” - Brad Meehan “2 foam swords for a whacking good Christmas when the family debates get heated.” - Dash Starkey “I would like a magnavox odyssey for Christmas, I would like to experience how it is to play the first console to ever come out.” - Sinan Akdag “I would love the new version of the old NES. It would be soooo much fun reliving my teenage years by playing some awesome old school games!” - Nicole Woods

OR CHRISTMAS & WHY? “Anything besides a plastic world globe from the reject shop that still has the 2 dollar sticker attached to the box from my older brother. Im going to buy him a light up street fighter figurine to make him feel bad about himself this christmas.” - Nathan Evans “If they made Archer Pops and released for Xmas. I would sploosh with excitement.” - Kristin Buzanko “Well I’ve already gotten a present for Christmas from my girlfriend bought from Gametraders-Chermside. Dead of Winter - The Long Night, it is agonizing not being able to open it until Christmas though! For something for myself, I think id love either some more packs for Imperial Assault or some of the new army releases for Halo: Ground Command which I picked up the same time as DoW.”

“ A Christmas holiday to clear my shameful backlog of games. I’ll wear a Santa hat while playing too haha.” - Liam Aldridge “ I would love a LARP Dark Repulser from Sword Art Online to go with my Elucidator! Also loads of Copic Markers.”

- Matthew Whittingham

- Emma Vince “Like i’d want an PS Vita because well I wanted to get into persona and Gravity Rush. I’ve been a huge fan since borrowing person 4 from a friend and just can’t get enough of the PS Vita. Though it is getting old. It would be amazing to just whip it out when travelling or more importantly on vacation. So excited to see if i even get it for christmas.” - Jeremy Naupay

“New book series. Or stationery.”

“The creepy tongue thing that you can lick your cat with. I don’t know who would want one to actually use on their cat but I’d love to freak out my boyfriend by waking him up licking his face with it :P”

- Jake Hicks

- Kirsty Johnstone

- Cameron Edwards

“I know it’s not available yet, but the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has always gone for innovation, with varying levels of success. But the Switch looks like it will really change the way we think about gaming, and I’m so excited to try it out for myself. Maybe someone could pay for my preorder.”

“OoO I am on Disabilty I can never afford any of your amazingly beautiful figurines that I always visit with anytime I am near your stores (which is often given my gamer-nutzmenfolk! O.o )To be able to surprise them all (Hugely!! ) would be incredible :D ..Husband is particularly fond of anything dragon-related.... Adult son no:1 is a DZ nut to the extreme and Adult son no: 2 is boardgame crazy! :D Just saiyan! O.o....” - Fiona Bottorff



Tell us what YOU WANT FROM

GAMES AND C “I would like this Gen of consoles to man up. So far the best games of this gen are mainly last gen titles. People saying they look forward to play Skyrim or Bioshock. Think it is time to make a new Elder Scrolls.” - Michael Peterson

“VR - Christmas time is coming out and no doubt there are going to be parents looking at VR hardware as a possible gift idea.

Maybe a piece discussing the pros and cons of PSVR - and what games you’d recommend if any” What do you think about VR? What would like to see it become?

“I would love to see Archer pops. Archer is one of the best shows out there. If they made pops I would have to get them all. Just think of the differ types they could make of Pam?? Pam with the dolphin, fight club Pam, trucker Pam from archer vice!! Sploosh! And don’t forget the rest ,Ray in a wheelchair pop.....the possibilities.” - Kristin Buzanko

First and foremost, not for it to be a gimmick. For years we’ve seen stuff like 3D technology, Kinect and Motion Controls praised as the next evolution in gaming. My biggest fear is that Sony will cut their losses (like what they did to the Wonder Book, PSMove, Vita) and abandon the peripheral in a year or so, leaving thousands of gamers stuck with some lousy on rail shooter titles. Next, which kinda ties back to my first point, I want to see developers be brave enough to make interesting titles for the system. Think of interesting ways on how to use the system, and support it as much as they can.” - Jason English

“The Return of JRPGS - It’s been a fantastic year for the genre with some minor missteps (Star Ocean 5 anyone?). We’ve had a great year of some really strong titles like Bravely Second, Digimon Cyber Sleuth, Trails of Cold Steel, I am Setsuna and World of Final Fantasy. Who knows if Final Fantasy XV will be worth the wait but if not there’ll be Persona 5 waiting for us early next year!” - Nige Margetts

“I just want more talk of games being made or brought back rather than hardware. There has been a recent trend in the industry obsessively talking hardware, 4k etc... what happened to good games or telling a story?” - Simon Che Rodriguez

CONSOLES! “The Nintendo Classic Mini while being a great little plug ‘n’ play console, isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be. Don’t let this deter you from buying it, just look at this as the fine print/ asterisks on the box... also it’s sort of a review too. The cords are criminally short! All of them! The HDMI & Micro USB for power are barely long enough to allow it in an entertainment unit & the controller cord is as small as the Wii Classic controllers & Wii nunchuks... which means unless your TV is no bigger than a 26 inch, your gonna need some longer cables! The versions of games on it in some cases (like SMB) are revisions & will have alterations that most won’t notice but I certainly did. Then there’s the input lag... which admittedly is the HDTV’s fault, but since this is a HDMI device... it should have been compensated for via the Mini NES itself. The CRT filter is also fuzzier than the games on a CRT via the old NES & can actually cause eye strain after prolonged use so just stick to 4:3 since pixel perfect is squished too much & adds no performance whatsoever to the games. As for the game selection... it’s pretty good... but some choices aren’t very good. Now this will be on a person by

person basis, but I personally found a few games quite boring or pointless like Tecmo Bowl for me personally is both pointless & boring... but again, this is subjective. Most people will want this for the NES golden roster of Zelda, Metroid & Mario, but it’s variety is really good. Sadly there is no way to expand the library of games on the Mini NES so don’t expect an eShop for it.

The Nintendo Classic Mini NES is excellent value. The same games via the Wii U Virtual Console is valued at $180 so this only being $100 is a much better choice(when it’s available again, Preorder asap!). There’s guaranteed more than enough of the games here to warrant the purchase for young or old & most definitely cheaper than the original hardware & games... but if you already own all or most of them on the original hardware... you wouldn’t be missing anything.” - Jean-Paul Bartolomei

“I really wish new gen games would have spilt screen. It has always been a kind of bonding for my brother and I to sit down and play the Halo campaign together, and it was highly disappointing that I couldn’t do it with halo 5. I would quite happily sacrifice some of the graphics if it meant I could enjoy the story mode with someone in the same room.” - Brad Meehan “I’d like to see evolution through gaming and how we have arrived from PONG to things like watchdogs 2. Being a “retro” gaming franchise, it would be interesting to see your take on what games made the revolutionary mark in history.” - Kodi Willems




Mario was named after the landlord of Nintendo’s warehouse. The gent’s name - Mr Mario Segale.

Nintendo was sued because kids were getting blisters for playing games - they offered to give gloves to the owners of Mario Party after reports of injuries!

All the cast of the TV series, Friends, are in their 40s! Lisa Kudrow - Phoebe, is the oldest, she was born in 1963.

The original Playstation was designed by Sony as a Nintendo console, but when Nintendo changed their mind, Sony went ahead alone!



Live found a time machine... for gamers!

Facebook was originally called Thefacebook and was initially limited to Harvard students.

It’s not often you come across a free book that is a must read when it comes to video games. Halycon Days is just that. Author, James Hague, tracked down and interviewed the people who created games for arcades, early game systems and personal computers. With a forward by gaming legend, John Romero, Halycon Days has interviews with some of the creators of the video game industry, people that John Romero describes as “gods”. If you’ve ever had any interest in how those early games got made or just want to take a trip back in time to the 80s and earlier, this is a must read.

YOU CAN READ IT ONLINE FREE - RIGHT HERE: This is not the editor of Live... he has more hair.

video GAMES

GAMING IS GOOD FOR YOU! Remember back in the good old days when ma and pa said something like, “Don’t waste your time playing those dang games!”

Playing video games also teaches problem solving skills and creativity according to Parents website:

tion, their focus on the physical pain was lessened. You can read about it here:

Well they’d be wrong. You see playing video games is actually very good for you, in the right amounts of course. You don’t want to stay up for 24 hours and exhaust yourself or worse. Playing has a number of benefits. For example, a study of laparoscopic (small incision) specialists with ongoing video game experience had superior laparoscopic skills and fewer errors. The Science Direct websitestated that this may be due to better psychomotor skills in gamers... If you like a good read and don’t mind scientific terms, take a look at the article. (

Researchers from Deakin University in Melbourne, did a study that examined the development of 53 preschool aged children and found that those kids who played interactive games had “better object control motor skills” then those who’d didn’t. Another study by 2009 Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine found games could help with stress and depression. Physical pain too is something that has been studied with two psychologists, Dr David Patterson and Dr. Hunter Hoffman from the University of Washington dreaming up a game called SnowWorld that puts the player in an alternate world and through that distrac-

While theres quite a few more benefits according to different studies, one important one is that games can keep you happy in old age. Researchers from North Carolina State University asked 140 people aged 63 and older how often they played games. The found that those people who played video games, even occasionally, reported higher levels of happiness or well-being - take a look here for more and then convince mum, dad, the grandparents to get playing and keep smiling!

“Yessss I knew it!”


History of Fi

Between Classics With the release of Final Fantasy IV in 1991 the series had found its greatest success to-date with sales of almost two million units across all regions. Encouraged by this continued growth the development team once again went immediately to work on a sequel. Just as IV had been less about experimenting with new design elements and more about improving already existing ones, Final Fantasy V had a very similar ethos, albeit one with a very different focus. While Final Fantasy IV had been all about creating a captivating story and memorable characters for players to become attached to, in V the goal was to improve upon the series’ gameplay, making it more complex and compelling. As a result the game is in strong contrast to its predecessor; the strengths and weaknesses of the two are almost completely opposite from one other.

Switching Focus: Final Fantasy V Hironobu Sakaguchi was once again at the center of the game’s development. He created the basic story and directed the game, while many other familiar names returned, reprising their roles, including Nobuo Uematsu, Yoshitaka Amano, and Hiroyuki. Additionally, Tetsuya Nomura made his first significant contribution

to the series as a monster designer, while Yoshinori Kitase made his debut as a scenario writer, working closely together with Sakaguchi to create the game’s event script. All in all, 45 people worked on the game’s development at various times - a significant increase over the team of 14 that had worked on FF IV. Final Fantasy V was released in Japan for the Super Famicom on December 6, 1992, but unlike its predecessor was not released in the west despite there being plans to do so at the time. The reason cited for the cancelled localization was that the game was considered too difficult for western gamers at the time. It wouldn’t be until 1999 that Final Fantasy V would makes its way to the west as part of the Final Fantasy Anthology collection on the PlayStation, although a fan translation of the Super Famicom version had been created in 1997. The PlayStation version was otherwise well received, but its translation was critisized for being of poor quality and this resulted in subsequent releases of the game using an entirely new English translation, starting with the GBA version that came out in 2006. The game’s narrative centers on four crystals that control the four elements, and which have suddenly begun to shatter for unknown rea-

sons. After a chance encounter the four main characters decide to band together to investigate the mystery. After it is revealed that the crystals act as seals for an evil sorcerer named Exdeath, who is plotting to take control of the unlimited power of the void and control the world with it, the four begin working towards defeating Exdeath and saving the world from him. Final Fantasy V’s most significant change over its predecessor was in bringing back the job system that had been introduced in FF III, but in a significantly improved state. Many of the systems’ issues were fixed, and the rest of it was expanded and improved. The game introduced aspects such as ability points which the player earned in battle alongside normal experience points. They were then used to learn new abilities by using the various jobs. In addition, Final Fantasy V expanded upon the jobs themselves, allowing a character to learn multiple abilities from each job, as well as use their already learned skills as secondary commands with other jobs. For example, a Thief who had gained levels as a White Mage could use white magic while still being a Thief. This allowed for much greater freedom for players in developing their characters, especially as the jobs themselves were also much more

inal Fantasy:


varied than the ones found in Final Fantasy III. There were no more advanced versions of earlier jobs, such as a Black Wizard update for a Black Mage, instead the jobs simply improved as they were used in battle. The ATB system was also improved over its original incarnation in FF IV. Most notably, the game introduced a visible time gauge in battle that filled based on the character’s speed and allowed the player to see which character’s turn would be coming up next. This gauge would become another series staple, going on to appear in numerous later Final Fantasy games in some form. Final Fantasy V also featured numerous new elements first seen here. Among these were various jobs that would become staples of the series, including Blue Mage, Samurai, and Mime. Another new element that would become a key part of the series was the concept of a recurring minor villain, who in this case was one of the series’ most beloved minor characters – Gilgamesh, who himself would later go on to appear in numerous other Final Fantasy games. While the gameplay received numerous notable improvements, the story and characters were much more linear and simplified compared to Final Fantasy IV. The character development is much more subdued and lacking in depth, as the game is largely devoid of events that truly change any of the characters. The story’s main problem is very similar, as it holds very few genuine surprises that would greatly affect the narrative in the long run. Generally, the narrative feels a lot like a simplified version of the more popular parts of Final Fantasy IV.

The music is, as usual, one of the game’s true highlights, featuring numerous excellent pieces of music that have become classics of the series. However, amidst excellent songs such as Clash on the Big Bridge and Dear Friends there were also quite a few forgettable tracks that weren’t quite on par with Uematsu’s usual standards.

tions. His design is silly and overall the storyline surrounding him is quite bland and uninteresting. Even his final battle theme is fairly lacklustre compared to most other final boss themes in the series. It’s really a shame because the game also features one of the most memorable minor villains in series’ history in Gilgamesh.

Graphically, the improvements over the previous game weren’t nearly as clear as they had been in Final Fantasy IV. Minor updates to various visual elements, such as the number of details on the character sprites, were made, but the jump between the previous two games, as well that between this one and Final Fantasy VI, was much greater due to change in hardware in the first case and a better understanding of the SNES’s capabilities in the second.

Does Final Fantasy V Still Hold Up?

The Best Part The job system. It offers a huge amount of freedom and flexibility to the player, thanks in large part to the improvements made to the system from its original version in Final Fantasy III. There are countless different ways to organize and customize your party, and often you’ll have to experiment with various job classes to find the best way to defeat a difficult boss, for example. It opens up a lot of tactical elements for the battle system and makes them much more engaging than in previous Final Fantasy games.

The Worst Part In general, I’d say the story and characters, but more specifically I’d have to say the main villain. Exdeath is just a boring bad guy, with vague, largely unexplained motivations for his ac-

Mostly, yes. There are many genuinely great elements in Final Fantasy V, but also some that, while not necessarily bad, are forgettable or average. Still, most of these are minor issues in an otherwise very good game that is still a lot of fun to play. The improved job and the ActiveTime Battle systems are a joy to use and experiment with, the music for the most part is great, and visually it still has a certain charm to it, despite now being almost 25 years old. Even the story and characters, with their shortcomings and all, are good enough to never feel annoying. Of course, there are certain aspects that don’t hold up quite as well. As already mentioned, the game’s main villain is fairly lacklustre. Exdeath is among the weaker villains in the series in general, although I suppose him being an ancient tree that became sentient and decided to take over the world is at least quite unique. It does lend itself to quite a memorable boss design in the final battle, if nothing else. Final Fantasy V is also very clearly an old-school RPG. There are times when the encounter rate gets fairly ridiculous, and the difficulty level goes through some pretty excessive spikes. The final boss is a very

good example of a tortuous increase in difficulty; one which makes the end of the game feel needlessly stretched out through mandatory grinding for levels. If you’re interested in playing Final Fantasy V there are various different platforms you can find it on. The best version of the game is probably the one on the Gameboy Advance, but naturally that might be difficult to get your hands on. The PlayStation version can be found on PSN, but its translation is quite poor compared to GBA version. The mobile and Steam versions would be highly recommended, as they contain basically all of the elements from the GBA version as well as various gameplay updates, but unfortunately they represent a significant visual downgrade due to the poor work that was done with the character sprites in the process of porting. You’ll get used to the flat

and blurry look of the sprites after a while, and the gameplay is still as good as it has always been, but it’s a regrettable aspect of a port that could have been the definitive version of the game. Ultimately, I feel that Final Fantasy V is a very good game that doesn’t quite reach the same level as Final Fantasy IV. Although the gameplay side is the best the series had seen up to that point, the story and characters simply took too many steps backwards and this hurt the game’s overall quality.

Fun Fact Some designs for new job classes that were originally created for Final Fantasy V, but which were unused in the game, would later serve as inspirations for two characters in Final Fantasy VI. These two inspirations were a gambler who would fight using dice and cards in combat, and

a ninja with a dog, which of course became Setzer and Shadow in FF VI, respectively. These two particular ones were thought up by none other than Tetsuya Nomura, who would later become the franchise’s main character designer. Nomura was also able to impress his superiors during the game’s development with his design book, which not only contained his ideas and notes for the game but also various sketches and artwork that he had created for his ideas. This made his book stand out from everyone else’s, and led to Sakaguchi and Kitase often asking for his book during design meetings. Additional Sources: - Wikia - Weekly Famitsu


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The Gamer dia The Super Nintendo was about to make a big impact on my gaming life as James had acquired a Super Wildcard unit, something I was more than a little envious of. The Super Wildcard was a cartridge backup device for the Super Nintendo. It meant that James could hire a cartridge from a video shop, bring it home, copy it to a 3 1/2” disc, then return it the next day. There was a parallel port in the back of the unit that would allow the device to connect to a PC, though we were never able to figure out how that was supposed to work. I had a parallel cable, but I never found the software needed for the PC to interface with the Wildcard. James ended up selling the Super Nintendo games that he owned, with the exception of Super Mario Kart. The Super Wildcard did not support any extra hardware used in games like Mario Kart or Starfox, so these games were unable to be backed up. He sold his copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4: Turtles in Time to Carmelo, though I ended up finding it in my collection with no idea how it got there. Maybe I borrowed it and forgot to return it or maybe I bought it off him at a later date. Either way, I still have it in a VHS case with a butchered TMNT4 SNES box for a label. While I had always enjoyed the original TMNT arcade game, in my opinion it never received a worthy

port. While the NES version has a hardcore fanbase, I never really felt that Nintendo’s humble 8-bit console was able to do the game justice, and I didn’t enjoy playing it. Turtles in Time was a very different story, and being ported to 16 bit hardware meant that Konami were able to provide a more definitive arcade experience. The lack of 4 player support wasn’t a problem for James and I, and we played through the game many times. The graphics were fantastic and well animated, the controls perfect and the music was just amazing. The only problem I had with the game was that it only lasted around 20 - 30 minutes. I was starting to become obsessed with side scrolling beat em ups. Though I had played a few of them over the years, game developers really seemed to be pumping them out in the early to mid 90s. A few years earlier Double Dragon on the Amstrad CPC had been a favourite of mine, and it was the first of its genre that I played repeatedly. Actually, I preferred the smooth, 128k CPC version of the game over the jerky arcade original, but I digress… The original Final Fight had been released on home systems a few years earlier, and while the Super Nintendo version was to be found lacking, the sequel was not. Final fight 2 disposed of Guy and Cody, and featured Carlos and Maki, the latter of whom has appeared in


1995 - 1996


other Capcom titles including Capcom vs SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001. Poor Carlos doesn’t appear to have shown up in any other games since. Unlike the Super Nintendo version of Final Fight 1, the sequel allows 2 players, and the visuals appear to have been refined. The Mad Gear gang have reformed and kidnapped Guy’s fiancee. Guy is way on a training journey and cannot be reached, so Haggar, Carlos and Maki team up to defeat the Mad Gears once again. The music is as good as the original, as are the controls. I’m not sure whether James and I ever completed the game, but we played it many times. Earlier James and I had played a game called Rival Turf. Everything about this side scrolling beat em up just felt very average. I think that we may have completed it with the aid of an Action Replay, though this was the only way we could beat it. The gameplay was very ‘cheap’, and you could be in the middle of attacking an enemy, when out of nowhere they would be attacking you back with no means of stopping it. Collision detection was also a little questionable, but we persevered. The sequel, Brawl Brothers, was greatly improved over the original. It was James who informed me that the Rival Turf went by the name Rushing Beat in Japan, and that Brawl Brothers was the sequel, also known as Rushing Beat Run. At the time James was far more savvy on video game trivia than I, as I was always more interested in playing the games. Brawl Brothers featured 5 characters, and James

favoured the ninja, Kazan. I would alternate between Hack, a character from Rival Turf, and Wendy, who had a speed advantage. The game featured puzzle elements, though these were a bit annoying at times. The sewer stage is a maze, and going through the wrong door can take you right back to the beginning of the level. While we enjoyed this a lot more than its predecessor, we never did end up playing the final game in the series, The Peace Keepers. Having grown up with Double Dragon 1 and 2 on the Amstrad CPC, James and I were excited to continue the story with Super Double Dragon 4. I had previously played the third game in the series on the Amiga, and was far from impressed. Double Dragon 3 felt like a cash in on the popular franchise, and the media were scathing of both the arcade and home ports of the game. Redemption was to be found in Super Double Dragon 4. The graphics were your average Super Nintendo fare, though there were nice visual affects used. The soundtrack was a high point, with remixes of the original Double Dragon theme song being used. The controls were spot on, and the only problem I could find with the game was the slow down when there were too many enemies on the screen. James had earlier purchased a Nintendo Entertainment System at a garage sale. It had come with a variety of games, one of which was called Ufouria. I was already become a fan of Wonderboy 3: The Dragon’s Trap a few years earlier when Clinton had rented a Sega Master System with the game. Ufouria, like

The Virtual Boy was a console that James and I would read about in Nintendo magazines, and while we were curious about the technology we were put off by the lack of colours. By 1996 it was clear that this console would never make it to our shores, but the Nintendo 64 was on the horizon. The Playstation and Saturn didn’t make much of an impact on me. I’m not sure about James, but I was fiercely loyal to the Big N. As it was, the Nintendo 64 was still a fair way off its Australian release, and we had so many more Super Nintendo games to get through. I remember James not being too fond of Run Saber, though he did enjoy playing Strider on the Amstrad CPC years earlier. I thought that the game was an above average Strider clone, with an option for 2 players. The graphics were nothing special, but the game moved at a brisk pace, and the controls were precise. The music was appropri-

ate, but hardly memorable. We did end up playing this one to the end, though we may have been using cheat codes to do so.

1995 - 1996

Wonderboy 3, is a restrictive platforming adventure that opens up as you unlock new characters. You begin the game with a single character, Bop Louie, who has to rescue his brainwashed friends. You rescue them by battling, which restores their memories and they become part of your team. While Bop Louie can jump, he is restricted by water and large jumps. This is where your rescued friends come in handy, as Freeon Leon can swim on the water’s surface, Gill can go under the water, and Shades can float. James and I would take it in turns playing through the adventure, and Ufouria quickly became one of my favourite games of all time.

The Super Wildcard has a feature called “Goldfinger”, which is a cheat system that’s similar to the Action Replay. Before you can use the cheat codes you have to load the game into the Wildcard’s memory, then you can enter your codes before executing the game. James was given a select number of codes with the unit, but there was supposed to be a way of converting Action Replay codes to be used with Goldfinger. This process was a bit hit and miss, as sometimes the codes would work, sometimes they would do nothing, and sometimes they would crash the game. I have since learned that some SNES games received multiple releases, with different revisions of the game code. This was mainly done to fix bugs, though it may have been one of the contributing factors as to why these codes didn’t work half the time.

Though the likes of Ninja Scroll and Akira were already well known, anime as a form of entertainment was still only starting to gain ground. Anime had been around for years, but the public didn’t really associate shows like Astroboy or Battle of the Planets with Japanese animation. Super Play magazine was where I received my anime education, and I was fascinated with this more adult form of animation. One film that caught my attention was Street Fighter 2: The Animated Movie. I didn’t read about it in Super Play, but someone told me about it… I forget who. As soon as I heard about

After reading Super Play and watching Street Fighter 2 I decided that I wanted to watch more anime. Luckily I found that there were other like minded people at school. Through them I managed to source copies of Space Adventure Cobra, Akira, Ninja Scroll, Legend of the Overfiend, Fist of the North Star and more. Some of the tapes I watched were of questionable quality, having been watched many times or copied again and again. Another title I stumbled upon was Samurai Shodown: The Motion Picture. Having played the Neo Geo titles, I was quite excited by this one. At the time I remember it being a lot of fun, but having recently purchased it on DVD I find that it hasn’t aged well. The dubbing is ordinary, and the story is a bit simplistic. Clinton was also developing an interest in anime, and he introduced me to the Fatal Fury OVA specials and movie. Seeking revenge for the death of their adoptive father, a young Terry and Andy Bogard go their separate ways to develop their martial arts training. 10 years later they reunite to defeat Geese

1995 - 1996

it I went to Alpha Video in the Ingle Farm Shopping Centre and rented it during a lunch break. That night I went to see James and we watched the movie, while making bootleg copies of it for ourselves. I had previously seen the Van Damme Street Fighter movie in the cinema and had been disappointed. In my mind this animated movie was how a Street Fighter film should be made.

Howard, their father’s killer. Terry defeats Geese, but doesn’t kill him. While I was puzzled over Andy Bogard having silver hair in the first OVA, this was corrected in the second OVA and movie.

The second OVA follows the events of the second game, with Geese’s brother, Wolfgang Krauser, attempting to avenge his defeat. Krauser beats Terry who falls into a pit of depression, drinking himself senseless and getting beaten up in pub fights. Terry is stalked by a young wannabe fighter named Tony, who eventually gets through to him. Terry trains to develop a new technique that he uses to defeat Krauser.

The movie is a part of the same series, but doesn’t follow the storyline of any of the games. It appears that this could have led into an adaptation of Fatal Fury 3, as one of the scenes shows Geese developing his raging storm technique. Sadly it was never to be, and no further sequels were made. That’s all the space I have this month. Join me next month as I discover emulation, and take my first steps into the world of Azeroth!

If you want to follow me on Twitter I can be found @dizrythmia or at



CHRISTMAS RE The original James Pond was an aquatic adventure that was released on the Amiga, Atari ST and Megadrive. As the titular James Pond you were required to swim around and solve puzzles in an attempt to defeat the evil Dr Maybe. The controls were a little awkward and the graphics were quite garish. The game was only moderately successful, so it was a surprise when the sequel was released, and it was even more of a surprise to found that it had been ported to more systems than its predecessor. For the sequel, known as James Pond 2: Robocod, the underwater adventure had devolved into a straight forward platform game, and it’s better for it! This adventure involves James, now part machine, once again taking on Dr Maybe, who has kidnapped Santa Claus and taken over the toy factory. Nintendo’s plumber has been a clear influence on the evolution of the series, as James can now jump on the heads of his enemies and hitting blocks will yield a variety of hidden items. Our hero has the ability to extend his body upwards, allowing you to grab items that you can’t reach by jumping. You can also grab on to the ceiling and shimmy across gaps, avoiding spikes and a variety of other nasties. The game uses a lot of colour, and while it’s nowhere near as headache inducing as the prequel, it

certainly comes close. Slow down does occur when there’s a lot going on, but it’s Christmas time. Why are you in such a rush? The game features basic controls, with one button for jumping and another for extending your body. The music doesn’t vary greatly, and you spend most of the time listening to a wintery, Christmassy tune that gets old very quickly. The game does get a little samey after a while, and while there are plenty of items around very few of them actually do anything other than increase your score. It almost seems pointless trying to find everything as there is no reward for it, and no special abilities that James can gain to help him along his journey. With that said, if you’re after a platforming fix this Christmas, then you could do far worse than Super James Pond. Give it a go and you might be surprised.

One final note, if you feel like cheating then follow these steps. At the start of the game extend your body up to the roof and you will see 5 items. Collect them in this order: cake, hammer, earth, apple, tap. The first letter of each item spells the word “cheat”, and doing this will grant you invincibility.







the wester the king of the wild west: looking forward to

red dead redemption 2 In case you missed it, Rockstar Games officially announced that Red Dead Redemption 2 is in development. Even better, they’ve even let us know the release period: Fall 2017 (that’s Spring 2017 for us Aussies!). That’s right gamers, one of the greatest openworld action games is getting a sequel in 2017 and will be available on all current-gen consoles. So what do we know about the game so far and what can we expect? Here’s what we think, but please note, that as very little is known about red Dead Redemption 2 at this point, some of this article will be simple speculation.

A Massive and Gorgeous Open-world Rockstar Games have a penchant for creating massive detailed worlds such as the ones seen in Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto V. In fact, they are considered by many to be the pioneers of the open-world genre, as Rockstar’s own Grand Theft Auto III set the standard when it was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2001. The original Red Dead Redemption

released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2010 – roughly two and a half years before the current generation of consoles. It was built on Rockstar’s RAGE (Rockstar Advanced Game Engine), the same game engine that powered titles such as Grand Theft Auto IV and Max Payne 3. Whilst Rockstar’s games pushed the last generation of consoles’ hardware to the limit, they were still a couple of years ahead of the next console generation. A lot has changed since 2010, and today’s consoles are more much more powerful than that of the last generation – and there are even more powerful versions of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on the way. While Red Dead Redemption 2’s trailer didn’t reveal anything about the game’s story, the one thing it did show was an immense and breathtaking world. Lush, green fields, craggy cliffs, dusty deserts and bustling towns were all on display. Deer and bison roam the landscape, with steam-trains roaring along heavy iron tracks. From a more technological standpoint, the game utilises more advanced visual techniques as well, such as crepuscular rays (AKA God rays). It’s fair to assume that there will be

other modern design techniques in the final game as well, such as more advanced particle effects for dust and debris. One this is for certain, this is bound to be the best looking version of the Wild West we’ve ever seen.

A Layered and Rich Story The original Red Dead Redemption had a fantastic story, and featured one of the most popular protagonists in gaming history. Playing as John Marsten, gamers experienced the story of a man who needed to bury his past, only to have it catch up with him. Travelling across the land, Marsten encounters a host of colourful characters, and goes on a number of thrilling adventures. He’ll take on the Mexican army, defeat a gang of bandits, and even face corrupt lawmen in his quest for a new life with his family. Red Dead Redemption captivated players with its enthralling story, and while it was unmistakably a Rockstar game, it had a more cohesive and emotive narrative than that of Grand Theft Auto IV, Bully and the Max Payne games. As far as Rockstar game plots go, it was the cream of the crop.

rn is back!

Screenshot from Rockstar Games official site.

All we know about Red Dead Redemption 2’s story is that it is set in the Wild West and features a posse of seven men. Who these men are and what their roles will be, is anybody’s guess. Are they a gang of bandits? Have they been riding together for years, or have they just formed a posse recently? If Grand Theft Auto V is anything to go by, we could see a return of multiple protagonists. Rockstar surprised the world with story missions that saw the player switch between multiple roles on the fly, and some of GTA V’s best missions were easily its heists, where co-ordinating multiple characters was essential to success. Could Red Dead Redemption 2 feature a similar mechanic? Will players use one character to snipe guards while another plants dynamite to blow open a safe? Will they sneak into an enemy camp with one character while others engage in a fire-fight with the Mexican Army? With the seven riders featuring in the game’s trailer and concept art, anything is possible.

More Missions Than You Have Bullets If there’s one thing the original RDR had, it was missions. There were 57 story missions, 18 Stranger missions, 20 bounty locations, as well as outfits, rare weapons and more. Not only that, but there were side activities including Poker to play. Not only was the player spoilt for choice, but the game’s quality ran consistently throughout – there was no padding, just quality activities.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is likely to have even more missions and side activities in its single-player campaign, as Rockstar’s more recent GTA V has over 69 story missions.

An Exciting Online Component Rockstar’s most recent game, Grand Theft Auto, has seen a very healthy post-launch lifespan because of its online mode. Rockstar are frequently updating GTA V’s online mode with free content, whether it’s more missions, clothing, vehicles and game modes, or something different altogether. It’s unusual for a game that isn’t an FPS or MMO to have the longevity that GTA V has had, and most FPS games drop support for a game after the first 12 months (when the next game in the franchise releases). It’s a credit to Rockstar Games that players are still hungry for more GTA Online three years after GTA V’s release. It’s safe to assume that Rockstar will be aim for similar success with an online mode for Red Dead Redemption 2. It will be more difficult to fill an online Wild West with as many activities as GTA V’s Los Santos (there will definitely not be any parachuting or jet races!) but we’re hoping we will have riverboat casinos, saloons, heists, and heck, maybe even some farming or gold panning. Let’s have a balance between the chaotic and the authentic!

An Atmospheric Soundtrack Red Dead Redemption had a fantastic soundtrack, which helped provide the player with an amazing atmosphere. Whether you were riding through the desert, tracking animals in the forest on a hunt, or playing through an intense story mission, the soundtrack was integral to the experience. It was one of the first games from Rockstar Games to have an original score, which was composed by Bill Elms and Woody Jackson. Elms and Jackson aimed for a similar sound to popular Western films of the 1960’s, such as A Fistful of Dollars. Making a soundtrack for a two hour film and a forty plus hour video game are two very different things, however, with Elms and Jackson achieving something truly special with the RDR soundtrack. At certain points in the game, Red Dead Redemption’s story played very real music from Jose Gonzalez, perfectly capturing the mood of the story’s current state. They were two of the very few times in modern video games where music and gameplay fuse together to become art, and we’re hoping that something similar pops up in RDR 2.

A Musthave Game Regardless of what direction Rockstar Games takes Red Dead Redemption 2 – whether it has more of a focus on an online mode, whether it has a staggering

The original Red Dead Redemption scored highly with gamers and critics. It has a score of 95 on metacritic, and a user score of 8.8.

amount of single-player content or even (fingers crossed) if it has a co-operative multi-player campaign, one thing is for certain: it’s going to be an amazing game. This is a studio with the Midas touch, with a string of hits dating all the way back to 1991 with their smash hit Lemmings (back then Rockstar North was called DMA Design). They’ve pioneered the open-world action game sub-genre and created some of the best video games in history, and Red Dead Redemption 2 can’t come quick enough.


WRITTEN BY nick getley

YOUR SAY MOVIES The trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 recently dropped onto our screens getting fans excited for what might be. The original game, Red Dead Redemption developed by Rockstar Games was released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 back in 2010 (the first of the franchise was Red Dead Revolver). It sits on a score of 95 at Metacritic from critics and is probably the best westerner themed video game released. Coincidently our “Friends in Podcasting” Phil and Dean over at Chillpak Hollywood did a show on the top 10 western movies of all time. We’ll take a look at their picks in a minute or two but first I’m sitting here on a spring Adelaide morning wondering what is it about the western genre that we love..? There’s been some brilliant western movies, like one of my favourites, The Outlaw Josie Wales, with Clint Eastwood as director and star. (Philip Kaufman was the original director and had completed much of the work on the film’s pre-production). So as I’m sitting in my comfortable office, I’m trying to imagine what it was like back in the 1800s, no airconditioning, no cars to quickly run down the shop and grab milk and bread. No TV, game consoles or mobiles to keep you amused whilst hanging around... it was a very different world.

speaking of wes



(If you don’t know much about Chillpak, check out their website here Phil is an independent film maker and and Dean is a comic and actor who you’ve seen as Langly in the XFiles... As Phil says, westerns matter... you need to listen and appreciate how well thought out this list is and to simply get some ideas for great movie watching over the Christmas break.

So to get a feel for the west, Phil and Dean have a list of their favourite western movies that we highly recommend you take a look at over the Christmas holidays. Let’s take a look...





phils top 6:

10 - (a flawed western) One Eyed Jacks, a 1961 film directed by Marlon Brando and was originally directed by Stanley Kubrick. Brando is the lead character and it also features Karl Malden and Katy Jurado.

For number 10, Phil has two pics:

9 - The Magnificent Seven made in 1960 with a huge cast including Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson plus a ton more. Directed by John Sturges and also added to the U.S National Film Registry for preservation. As Phil says, it wasn’t originally a hit in the U.S until they changed the marketing campaign, which it then became a hit. Based on a Japanese movie - Samurai Seven, it’s not only a great movie but has a great musical score! (listen here : 8 - Cowboys featuring Jack Lemon and Glenn Ford, the film is about a Chicago hotel clerk who falls for the daughter of a hotel guest and dreams about being a cowboy. The director is Delmer Davis. 7 - Blazing Saddles - the 1974 satirical western directed by Mel Brooks and starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder ( who recently passed away) it’s a classic comedy that features a bunch of moments you have to see as they’ve now become classics! 6 - High Noon directed by Fred Zinnemann in 1952 and starring Gary Cooper. Interestingly it’s almost told in real time - as the clock counts down to high noon. It’s the story of a town marshal forced to face a gang of killers by himself.

10 - The Oxbo Incident 1943, directed by William A. Wellman and starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews and Mary Beth Hughes. In 1988 this film was selected for preservation in the U.S National Film Registry. 10 - The Professional directed by Richard Brooks and starring Burt Lancaster. It’s based on the novel by Frank O’Rourke - A Mule for the Marquesa. 9 - 3.10 to Yuma (1957 version) with Glenn Ford and Van Heflin and directed by Delmer Davis. Based on a short story by Elmore Leonard, and has been remade in 2007 and it too, was selected for preservation by the U.S National Film Registry. 8 - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance made in 1962 and featured James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles and Lee Marvin. Directed by John Ford it is also preserved in the Film Registry. The story is about the myth and the truth behind the myth 7 - The Magnificent Seven - already mentioned by Dean. 6 - Rio Bravo from 1959 features John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelso and Angie Dickinson, it’s directed by Howard Hawks and is based on the short story by B.H. McCampbell. Unlike High Noon, in Rio Bravo the towns folk offer to help the sheriff but he declines.

For the rest of the list you’ll need to head on over to the podcast for the top 5. In fact if you’re into movies and humour get over to iTunes and subscribe, it’s one of the most refreshing and funny podcasts around and it’s been on air for 10 years!


TV FEST 2016 Ahh, the holidays. A time where you really have nothing but time to kill. It can lead us to catching up on a lot of things we missed out on. Thus, I present to you, four top notch TV shows to catch up on in this holiday period.

ASH VS EVIL DEAD WESTWORLD HBO brings us this thrilling adaptation of the 1973 film of the same name. That said, if you have seen the film you ain’t seen nothing yet. The TV show explores the theme park Westworld. A painstaking recreation of the American frontier. However not all is what meets the eye, the theme back is populated by what people call “hosts”, highly advanced robots that meet the every need, wish and desire of the park’s guests. In a story where average people get broken down and begin to indulge their darkest fantasies you watch a story where you begin to feel more and more sympathy for the robots who are seemingly real people. Sometimes to the point where you don’t know who is a guest and who is a host. Things slowly begin to take darker and darker turns as the hosts begin to learn and evolve. Season one is nearly over but I’m sure it’s not going to end well for the guests of Westworld. Catch this one on iTunes or on HBO services or even on Foxtel, but it is a must watch!

Wow! For any fans of the 80’s masterpiece Evil Dead and it’s subsequent sequels Ash Vs Evil Dead is a dream come true. The series picks up some twenty years after Army of Darkness and we once again follow Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams into the dark and twisted world of the Necronomicon. Deadites, insane violence and returns to some of the series best locations ensues. This show is just a breath of fresh air. So insane and over the top it is simply a joy to behold. That said not for the faint of heart or for the younger viewers. This show is violent! Like full tilt 80’s horror splendour violent. Just blood everywhere... Just... Wow... But for the horror fans or for fans of Three Stooges slapstick comedy this show was made for you. Evil Dead and Ash himself have become pop culture icons and this show is a warm reminder that not all things that die are dead.

STAR WARS: REBELS Star Wars Rebels is a fantastic example of good child based television. This show is for the whole family. The show is set between Episode Three and Episode Four of the Star Wars films and introduces us to one of the first bands of rebels that would become the Rebel Alliance from the films of old. We get some wonderfully complex characters for a children’s television show as well as some fairly mature plots that have wonderful payoffs. We also get the return of some of our favourite Star Wars characters, Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Maul, Lando just to name a few. For a fan of Star Wars this show is simply a treat. It rises mush higher than the clone wars series and it really feels like a great deal of love and care went into making this show a reality.

There you have it, three fantastic shows to keep you busy this coming holiday’s! Each show has some super cool merchandise available too! So if you love them don’t forget to check out the awesome toys you can get yourselves aswell!

WRITTEN BY scott sowter

twitter: @ ScottFSowter



INGREDIENTS 1 Handful of Friends 1 Serve of Social Lubricant 4 Pizzas from a Reputable Pizza Establishment (Recommended serve more is always better) 1 DVD (Or Bluray) of The Muppets Christmas Carol 1 DVD (Or Bluray) of Gremlins 1 DVD (Or Bluray) of Die Hard ? Serve of Presents (Remember to work to a budget!)

Step 1: Invite over your closest friends, this can be done via tools such as Facebook, instant messaging or you could even experiment with calling them on the telephone and asking them with your words! The old fashioned way we call it. Step 2: Ask your guests to bring a social lubricant of their choice. Don’t forget to get some for yourself! Step 3: Order pizza. Don’t forget to ask your guests what kind of pizza they like. Not everyone likes meatlovers, so remember to get a selection, we recommend a peperoni or even the simple yet elegant margarita. Remember that smaller pizza joints usually make bigger and better pizza’s than their corporate rivals. Step 4: Insert DVD or Bluray of Gremlins. Enjoy the Christmas classic from horror director Joe Dante and Steven Spielberg. This gem will shock and delight with it’s insane use of puppets that tear a town apart on Christmas. Keep an eye out for Gizmo, that guy is just the cutest. Yes he is, he’s so cute! Step 5: The Muppets Christmas Carol. This one will bring the group together with classic songs put together and sung by our favourite furry puppets, the Muppets! It will also get everyone in the Christmas spirit and remind everyone why you are all together at this special time of year. The message is important, as is Gonzo the great, THE BEST MUPPET! Step 6: Presents! Step 7: DIE HARD! BOOM! EXPLOSIONS! Bruce Willis shooting terrorists yeah!!!! This one is the ultimate Christmas movie and the ultimate end to your ultimate Christmas Eve party, filled with explosions and epic one liners like Yippie Ki Yay Mother F*&$@! Remember to Christmas Responsibly.

WRITTEN BY scott sowter

twitter: @ ScottFSowter


UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Lara Pulver, Tobias Menzies, Bradley James, James Faulkner, Charles Dance Genre:

Action / Supernatural


Anna Foerster

The next instalment in the blockbuster franchise, Underworld: Blood Wars follows Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) as she fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice. Only at the movies! December 1.

Watch the trailer: Š 2016 Screen Gems Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Watch the trailer above, and tell us what Kate Beckinsale says after co-star Theo James says "There are too many of them..."? Facebook Inbox us your answer here:

UNDERWORLD Kate’s back as Selene in Underworld Blood Wars! Like Resident Evil, the Underworld film started out in the early part of 2000 and featured a strong female lead. Rather then zombies, we see vampires and werewolves featured, with Kate Beckinsale as Selene, a Death Dealer who kills Lycans (werewolves) who she believes killed her family. The first film, Underworld, directed by Len Wiseman and written by Danny McBride sees Selene hunting Lycans. With a budget of just $22 million the film went on to gross $95 million, although critics generally were negative. The rich visuals and gothic stylings, however, stood out and were praised. The film delves deeply into vampire and werewolf lore and as critic Andrew O’Hehir conceded that despite the movie’s flaws, the complex vampire-werewolf mythology back-story “has been meticulously worked out.” There’s a lot of gothic architecture, lots of leather wearing and drama by the vampires with gory fight

scenes. Beckinsale is spot on as Selene and moves with grace and determination according to her character. In 2006 Underworld: Evolution was released and again featured Beckinsale as Selene. The plot is detailed and complex, take a look here:

With a budget of $45 million it went to to make $111.3 million but again was not well received by critics. Fans loved it and this led to Underworld : Rise of the Lycans in 2009 - a prequel to the original and did not feature Beckinsale as the story was not based on her character but was narrated by her. Instead we see Rhona Mitra as Sonja, Viktor’s daughter who falls in love with Lucian, the first werewolf capable of taking human form. With a budget of $35 million, it went on to make $91 million at the box office. In 2012 Beckinsale reprised her role as Selene in Underworld : Awakening. Filmed in 3D, IMAX 3D and 2D. The story is set six months after Evolution and in this film the gen-

eral public and government are now aware of the existence of werewolves and vampires. The government commences a program to harness the powers of both and Selene is then imprisoned in cryogenic suspension. Twelve years later, she manages to escape, fighting her way through tunnels infested with Lycans. The film had a budget of $70 million and made $160 million at the box office. It’s a fast paced action film, again with lot’s of leather costumes and blood and gore. The success of the series sees the next title about to be released: Underworld Blood Wars. Again with Kate Beckinsale as Selene. The film is due for release in January 2017. There’s a bunch of clips here: and look out for ticket giveaways in this issue of Live Magazine.



With the new Underworld Blood Wars film about to hit we got together with a local cosplayer and fan of the series to have some fun creating some photos inspired by the movie. Megan (Yaniv Cosplay) and I sat and talked about the new movie and I first asked what she loved about the Underworld films. “I love that they are so in depth, there’s a lot of underlaying history, characters and events that are happening during the movies and before the movies which makes them feel more in depth and detailed, making them feel more realistic to me.” What about the sets used and the mood they create? Do you think they capture the whole feeling and drama of the story? Definitely, I think the darkness mixed in with the rain and gothic costumes make the story feel so much more intense and add this edge of drama which I love! It draws me into the movies more and makes me feel as though I want to be a part of it. Kate Beckinsale is perfect as Selene - What did you think of “Rise of the Lycans” and Rhona Mitra in the key role as Sonja? Kate Beckinsale is my ultimate female crush and is perfect for the role of Selene! I don’t think anyone else would’ve been better suited for the job. Out of all the movies, Rise of Lycans is my favorite. I like how the producers of the film really wanted

to tell the story of how the war between the lycans and vampires (death dealers) started. I think that Rhona was the perfect for the role of Sonja. She is a fantastic actress and really made me feel like her love for Lucian was real and that she would do anything just so that she could be with him. I also think that her sharp features made her look intense and perfect for the role as a vampire. Which movie is your favourite? The first film is my favourite, but they are all fantastic! Thanks for the chat Megan! If you’d like to see more of her Cosplay, head on over to:



Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Ruby Rose, Iain Glen, William Levy, Shawn Roberts, Rola Lee Joon-Gi


Action / Sci-Fi


Paul W.S. Anderson

Based on Capcom’s hugely popular video game series Resident Evil comes the final instalment in the most successful video game film franchise ever, which has grossed over $1 billion worldwide to date. Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse. Only at the movies! January 26.

Watch the trailer: © 2016 Screen Gems Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Residen become

imitating Art When Constantin Film bought the rights to the first Resident Evil film in 1997, the original choice for writer and director was George A. Romero - he of Night of the Living Dead fame. ( Capcom producer, Yoshiki Okamoto stated that “Romero’s script wasn’t good, so Romero was fired.” A new script was written by Paul W. S. Anderson and in 2000 he was announced by Sony as writer and director. A key point by Anderson was that the movie would not include tie-ins with the game as he felt the movie deserved a good “celluloid representation”. Milla Jovovich was announced as the key character, Alice. She was also in the Fifth Element as Leeloo, and previous to that was a super model who quit school at age 12 to focus full time on her modelling. Synopsosi (source: Wikipedia)

The first film, simply titled Resident Evil, sees us introduced to the Umbrella Corporation and Alice, The Red Queen and the T-Virus: In the film, the Umbrella Corporation operates a top-secret genetic research facility named The Hive. Lo-

cated deep beneath Raccoon City, The Hive has been sealed by The Red Queen (the AI that controls the Hive) due to the release of the T-Virus into the facility. The Red Queen kills every living thing in the facility to ensure that the T-Virus doesn’t reach the surface, but the T-Virus reanimates them, transforming the humans into ravenous zombies and the animals into highly aggressive mutants. Alice (Milla Jovovich), once a security operative working for the Corporation until her memory was wiped by the Red Queen’s nerve gas. As the team attempts to escape The Hive, an Umbrella test subject, a huge monster called the Licker, escapes and pursues the team. When they reach the train that leads them to the exit, the Licker attacks and scratches Matt before Alice can kill it. When they reach the surface, Matt is taken away by Umbrella workers and he eventually transforms into Nemesis. Alice wakes from a coma to a ravaged Raccoon City after a T-Virus outbreak. With a budget of $40million, the film did borrow elements of the game and went on to make $102 million worldwide. While not all critics liked the film, fans did, including James Cameron (Terminator and Aliens)

stating “You don’t have to defend a guilty pleasure.” There’s a bunch of references to the game that you can find in the detailed article on Wikipedia including the the wedding picture Alice finds and the newspaper headline. In 2004 Resident Evil: Apocalypse, again featuring Jovovich in the lead was released and made even more at the box office than the original film but again critics were mainly negative. Fans however proved that they would decide the success of the film. In 2007 Resident Evil Extinction was released. Alice (Jovovich) leads a group of survivors across the desert to Alaska to escape the zombies. The film was number one at the North American box office on its opening weekend and made $147 million worldwide. Again critics were negative with the film gaining a rating of just 22% on Rotten Tomatoes. The next title, Resident Evil: Afterlife hit screen ins 2010 and featured Jovovich again as Alice. The synopsis from Wikipedia:

Set after the events of Extinction, Alice and her clones attack the

nt Evil : The game es a 6 MOVIE SERIES

Umbrella Headquarters in Tokyo. Wesker escapes and destroys the facility, killing the clones. Wesker is confronted by Alice aboard his helicopter. He injects Alice with a serum that removes her super-human abilities. The helicopter crashes, and only Alice is seen emerging from the rubble. After months of a failed aerial search for other survivors, Alice heads toward the supposed location of Arcadia. She lands on an airfield in Alaska, where she finds Claire in a different state. Claire has an Umbrella controlling device attached to her chest and her memory has been wiped. Claire and Alice fly to Los Angeles, where they stumble on a prison where they meet Luther West and Chris Redfield, Claire’s brother. The survivors explain that Arcadia is really a tanker off the coast that has been broadcasting a looped message and is picking up survivors. During an attempted escape, Alice, Claire and Chris are the only ones to emerge and they reach the tanker only to find it abandoned. Claire’s memory begins to return when she remembers Umbrella workers attacking her group of survivors and moving them to the tanker. They learn that the ship is an Umbrella research facility, which is conducting experiments on the survivors. The three then meet Wesker, who has been granted super-human abilities due to the T-Virus. After the fight, Alice transmits a message to survivors calling them to the tanker and hopes to create a new and true safe haven. As the film closes, a fleet of Umbrella Corporation gunships led by Valentine prepares to

lead an assault on the survivors. In 2012 Resident Evil Retribution arrived featuring Milla Jovovich in the lead, Michelle Rodriguez (who played Rain Ocampo in the first film) and 3 characters from the video game not previously seen in the movies. - Leon S Kennedy, Barry Burton and Ada Wong. In the film, Alice awakens in an Umbrella base where she is interrogated by Valentine. During a power failure orchestrated by Ada Wong, Alice escapes from her cell and encounters her. Wong explains that Wesker plans to aid Alice’s escape and battle the base’s supercomputer Red Queen, in order to save what’s left of mankind. Wesker has organized a team of freelance operatives to infiltrate the base and help Alice and Ada escape, including Leon S. Kennedy, Barry Burton, and Luther West. Along the way, Alice finds a clone of a girl named Becky. They also face clone versions of Carlos Olivera, One, and Rain Ocampo, who are all under the direction of Valentine. After Alice meets up with the rescue team, Valentine’s soldiers catch up to them, resulting in a shootout that kills Burton, Olivera and One. Alice, West, Kennedy, and Becky reach the surface and are met by a submarine, from which Valentine, the clone Rain, and a captured Ada emerge. With new orders from the Red Queen to kill Alice, Valentine battles Alice while Rain fights Kennedy and West. Alice manages to remove the scarab device from Valentine, returning her back to normal. Alice joins Kennedy in defeating Rain. Alice, Ada, Becky, Leon, and Valentine

travel to Wesker’s base. Wesker injects Alice with the T-virus, returning her former superhuman powers in order to enact his plan, then tells her that she is responsible for saving the remaining humans from extinction.[22] (source Wikipedia) Resident Evil: The Final Chapter - is released in December and again sees Paul W. S. Anderson at the helm as writer / director and Milla Jovovich as Alice. According to Sony, the film: Picks “up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.” WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Paul W.S. Anderson PRODUCED BY: Jeremy Bolt, Paul W.S. Anderson, Robert Kulzer, Samuel Hadida EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Martin Moszkowicz, Victor Hadida CAST: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Ruby Rose, Eoin Macken, Fraser James, Rola, Lee Joon-Gi with William Levy and Iain Glen We at Live are looking forward to the latest and last instalment, fingers crossed this one will be awesome!

All images courtesy Sony Pictures Australia



YOUR SAY local artist



illustrations One thing that crosses all our interests, whether it’s video games, board games, anime, figurines, comics etc, is the amazing artwork. Without the artists creating characters and backdrops we see in our entertainment our enjoyment would be no where near the same. In fact it’s that artwork, whether it’s realistic as in a racing sim or a fantasy quest of some sort, that suspends our disbelief enough for us to forget about the real world and all it’s troubles and stresses and be immersed in an alternate world of enjoyment. Continuing our support of Australian artists from last month, we caught up with another local artist with amazing skills, Kit10 Illustrations, who’s based in Adelaide and we think has a tremendous future ahead. Welcome to Live, tell us a bit about yourself: I’m an 18-year-old artist who comes from the country town of Whyalla, SA. I moved to Adelaide early this year and I’m currently studying an Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development, with a specialisation in Game Art, at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment. How did you get into art?

I’ve loved creating art for as long as I can remember; even as a child I was always drawing and painting. In the third grade of school, I had a teacher named Matt Mallee, who worked painting backdrops for the local cinema, and was a freelance artist in his own time. He taught me so many different methods of drawing and colouring, which really helped develop my love and interest for art! And what’s your favourite type of art? My favourite kind of art at the moment is digital art. I love drawing people and characters - both fullbody and portraiture. My art style fluctuates a lot, but I usually try to stick to semi-realism. Who inspires you? I’m not sure who directly inspired me to get into art. I’ve been doing it for so long I can barely remember, but I know Matt definitely played a part. I’ve had a lot of different artistic influences and inspirations throughout the years. When I was younger, I used to enjoy creating anime-styled pieces and fanart - I remember looking up to artists like Tite Kubo and Yana Toboso. Now, I can easily say my single biggest influence is Wenqing Yan; oth-

erwise known under her pen name Yuumei. What’s been challenges?



So far, my biggest challenge has been working with mediums I’m not used to. I generally try to avoid the areas I’m not good at rather than trying to improve them, unfortunately! I tend to give up on pictures that are proving to be out of my skill level. That being said, I struggled a lot with a picture of Orta from the game Panzer Dragoon: Orta. The green of her dragon against the peach-coloured background wasn’t working out, and the perspective of the image was too difficult for me to work with. I only managed to get it half-finished. I also have a ridiculous amount of struggle with drawing hands! What tools do you use to create? For my art, I’m using a Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch (Medium) tablet. The art program I use is called FireAlpaca; which seems to be almost completely unheard of. It’s a free to download program that can be found online, and I love working with it!

I used to use Painttool SAI, but it didn’t really agree with my laptop so I ended up having to change. When I work traditionally, I just use a normal, spiral-bound A4 book from Cheap as Chips. At the moment, I just swear by my Faber Castell TriGrip pencils - but I one day hope to be able to save up for some Copic markers or Faber Castell Polychromos. Whats next for you? I am hoping for the opportunity to study a tattoo apprenticeship next year, as I won’t be continuing my studies at AIE in 2017.

On the side, I’ll probably continue taking art commissions online. Any advice for people wanting to get into art? My advice for people who are wanting to pursue art as a hobby or career would be to never stop trying. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s the truth. Sometimes your art won’t look as good as you want it to - but that’s okay. If you can stick with it long enough and work hard every day, you’ll get past it. When it comes to art, there is always room for improvement! Try not to compare yourself to others because your art is unique.

Lastly, never throw away old drawings. You can look back on them to see how far you’ve come! They’re also great to have around for when you’re feeling disheartened about your work - looking back on old stuff helps you appreciate what you can do now. Hey where can we see more of your work? To see more of my work, you can check out my Facebook Page; Kit10 Illustrations



Artist: Kit10 Illustrations

YOUR SAY local artist


TY HANSON Millennium Exile is an Australian based project by Ty Hanson. Working with artists from around the world, Ty plans for his title to one day become a Japanese Anime. Ty, how did you get started in art? Who inspired you to begin? I have always been drawing for as long as I can remember and I grew up watching Anime such as Astroboy, Mazinger Z, Macross and Tekkaman Blade. However at the age of 11 my mother passed away from cancer. I never had many friends growing up and I was bullied rather severely. Anime was an ‘escape’ for me back then. I was so fascinated with the art style and the stories that were being told.....I found Anime so much deeper than a cat chasing a mouse, or a rabbit messing with a duck for 30 minutes. I guess you could say that when things got darkest for me, it was my passion for Anime that quite literally saved my life. As I grew older, my passion for Anime turned into a great respect and I wanted to be a part of the industry that saved me - to be able to entertain and fascinate others the way I had been. In 2008 I decided to start writing my own story which actually started from a simple character design assignment.

Many, many Anime have inspired me along the way. Titles such as Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion, Soul Eater and Full Metal Alchemist were always among the most watched on my Television, however it was Gainax’s “Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann” that really changed my perspective. Gurren Lagann’s story was so bizarre and insane, yet it gripped my imagination with both hands and made me feel as though a fire was burning within my chest. It quite literally made me realise that no matter what the premise, any story can be made if it is well written. While my story is certainly no Gurren Lagann, it was definitely my biggest inspiration and I would consider myself one of the shows biggest fans. What tools do you use to create? Is it digital or do you use paper and inks or paints? I use pencil on paper sketching and then transfer everything into Photoshop where it is re-drawn. That being said however, most of the art you see here is from artists from around the world who I have commissioned to draw my designs.

While I am a pretty decent artist, there are those in the world who make my work look like a fifth graders. In order to get noticed, I needed to start taking the project more seriously and decided to start hiring and paying artists to draw for me. Back in 2009 I reached out to a young Indonesian artist named Hary Istiyoso who was not only my first artist but is still drawing with me today and has embarked upon this long journey with me with such enthusiasm and loyalty. From there I started contacting other amazingly talented artists, from freelancers to artists who work in the gaming industry for some rather large companies.

To my knowledge, most of them use Photoshop, Sai and drawing tablets as their preferred tools for drawing. The artwork we’ve seen is amazing - extremely moody in some scenes and captures an almost 3D feel - on average how long does each page of the art book take? Thanks, The design process is a long one....we go through several stages before a finished product, and it varies depending on the type of image (character profile, battle, environment etc). Usually it starts with my initial design coupled with a bunch of notes explaining the mood / vibe I want from the image as well as any extra requirements, but I’m always careful to allow the artists plenty of room

for their creativity in each piece. When do you think the project will be finished? The project has been going for so long, it’s strange to ever think of it being completed lol. That being said however, I am coming to the “pointy end” of things with most of my artwork for the book having been completed and a few more scenes still being drawn up for the demo reel. Although I technically have enough to start pitching to studios now, If I’m taking the time to travel to their offices, I would prefer to have a completed art-book and demo reel in hand to convey professionalism.

I’m hoping to speak with Netflix in Los Angeles mid 2017 as I would love to have Millennium Exile conceived in Australia, funded by the United States and animated in Japan. I wish to break down the borders and boundaries set by conventional methods so that love, respect and hard work can allow for creations within the industries we love. Sounds great! Finally, where can our readers go to see your work? You can find my project online at the following locations: Official Website: Facebook:

Instagram: @Millennium_Exile


this Millennium Exile print by ty hanson! Simply tell us your favourite Anime or Manga and why - inbox us on Facebook: Winner announced 10th December!

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A Look Back

the Best (and Most Polarizi With Titanfall 2 due out tomorrow, it seems like a good excuse to revisit the 2014 title that started it all. The original Titanfall first appeared on the national radar at E3 2013, where it quickly became a critical darling. It won over 60 awards, including an unprecedented six E3 Critics Awards. Amongst the gaming community, though, the reactions were more mixed. Some saw it as deliverance from an increasingly stale and safe genre. Others dismissed it superciliously as “Call of Duty with mechs.” What explains the divergence in opinion? First-person shooter fatigue surely played a part. Yet just as real estate is all about “location, location, location,” all too often video games are about exclusives, exclusives, exclusives. The fact that Titanfall found a home on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 — and not PS4 — rubbed some fans the wrong way. As a result we saw many Xbox fans championing the game as the Second Coming, and many PlayStation fans doubting its quality and appeal. So, over two years later, who was right? Well, both sides in a way. On the commercial front, Titanfall failed to capitalize on the enormous level of hype surrounding the title in the months leading to launch in March 2014. Forbes’ Paul Tassi wrote in April that “very shortly after release,

the buzz seemed to fade abnormally quickly.” The exact number of units sold across three platforms is difficult to discern — developer Respawn boasted of 10 million unique players and Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen stated “a little more than 7 million units”. Our estimates currently put it just shy of 5 million sold at retail. Regardless of the actual figure it’s safe to say that Titanfall was neither the blockbuster hit nor the Xbox One “killer app” that many anticipated. Why did Titanfall’s buzz drop precipitously in the months after launch? I’d argue it hinged on two factors: lack of modes and zero offline content. Although a large number of modern gamers enjoy broadband internet and are accustomed to playing online, many remain wary of onlineonly games. Server support is finite and can end suddenly. Look at Dead Star, which is losing server support on November 1 after only seven months on the market, leaving only the tutorial playable. The fact that Titanfall launched with only five modes — all multiplayer — also hurt post-launch momentum. A proper single-player campaign would have done wonders, as would a co-op mode or a free-for-all com-

k at Titanfall,

ing) Shooter of the 8th Gen BY evan norris FROM VGCHARTZ.COM

petitive mode. Extra content, including “Frontier Defense” — an addictive co-op mode inspired by Gears of War’s “Horde” mode — and “Deadly Ground” did arrive eight months after launch, but it was a case of too little, too late. So on the commercial side of things, the Titanfall detractors were more or less correct. In terms of quality, though, the Titanfall believers found their faith justified. Put simply, Titanfall is one of the most inventive and engaging shooters in years, a musthave title for Xbox One owners, and the all-around best first-person shooter of the eighth generation (so far). Why is it so good? Well, the answer, paradoxically, has a lot to do with why many players ignored or forgot the game: the singular focus on competitive multiplayer. Respawn’s deep focus on multiplayer allowed the studio to forge one of the most accessible and balanced shooters in a generation. Staffed with industry veterans who had worked previously on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and its sequel, Respawn was able to draw on its past experiences and pave a road toward the future of the genre, focusing on player mobility, survivability, and the merger of single-player tropes with multiplayer action. On the mobility front, Respawn scored a home run. Titanfall’s pilots are fast, agile, and capable of dashing across maps like a ring-tailed lemur. The game features maps that are impressively large, vertical, and open for exploration — a far cry from the plodding, mostly-flat maps

in rival shooters. Titans are of course bulkier and slower but add even more flavor to each match. Equally important was survivability. Titanfall producer Drew McCoy explained a few months after the game launched that Respawn “looked at how you increase a player’s life span without reducing the lethality of it, because that time from to kill to kill is one of the big hooks. Players like getting constant kills — they don’t like being killed constantly.” Enter Titanfall’s much-maligned AI bots, which ease novice players into the game and act as a buffer of sorts between opposing pilots. Last but not least, Respawn infused elements common to single-player campaigns into Titanfall’s competitive multiplayer. With cinematic introductions, AI soldiers dotting the landscape, and an epilogue that follows every victory and defeat, each match feels like a small battle in a much larger war. Even a loss can feel like a live-to-fight-another-day scenario. Although Titanfall failed to reach EA’s lofty sales expectations and moved far fewer Xbox One units than anticipated, it stands today as a shining example of the first-person shooting genre. By drawing in creative minds and focusing deeply and intently on a single concept — competitive multiplayer — Respawn created the heir apparent to Modern Warfare, and by prioritizing mobility, survivability, and immersive single-player “moments,” forged the most disruptive shooter since 2007.



Forza Horizon 3 First Expansion to Feature Snow BY WILLIAM D'ANGELO FROM VGCHARTZ.COM Microsoft has teased the first expansion for Forza Horizon 3. The expansion will be taking racers to some “less-than-ideal road conditions” with snow. VGCHARTZ.COM







batman: return There is little doubt that the Arkham games are some of the best gaming experiences that last generation had to offer. With a 92 and 96 on Metacritic respectively, 2009’s Arkham Asylum and 2011’s Arkham City received widespread critical acclaim from both gamers and Batman fans alike, thanks to developer Rocksteady’s superb polish and the games’ outstanding voice cast, storytelling, and combat system. Last week saw the release of Return to Arkham; a remastered collection of these two games which includes all of their DLC, and the promise of updated visuals making use of the superior specs of current-gen hardware.

The first major update by Virtuos, the development team behind the remastered collection, was porting both games from Unreal Engine 3 over to Unreal Engine 4. This is relatively uncommon for the remastered space, as other re-releases (such as the Bioshock Collection) continue to use their original engines, just with updated graphics, 1080p resolution, and an improved frame rate. The main changes you will see in Return to Arkham are favoured towards improved graphics rather than improved performance. Updated character models are the most notable difference, specifically, the textures of their clothing and skin. While their hairstyles are still pretty stiff and unnatural look-

to arkham

ing, the clothing textures of characters now show significant detail – you can even identify fabric types on an insignificant, deceased security guard. Batman himself looks incredible, with his suit, cowl and cape all looking their best.

Unreal Engine 4 also brings with it updated lighting, with noticeable changes in the colouring of cutscenes, lighting models, and the overall mood of both games. While this lighting is technically better, its effect can be a little hit or miss throughout the games. There are improved shadows and reflections, but the brighter atmosphere can reveal other graphical shortcomings, and at times can be conflicting with the dark and gritty aesthetic we’ve come to associate with the series. Again, this is most noticeable on the character models, which are sometimes so vibrant that they can look out of place amongst their surroundings. While overall, the improvements made to graphics are welcome, they may have been at an expense to the games’ performance. Frame rate looks to be an issue for both Asylum and City, with City’s performance on PS4 hovering around 30-35fps, with performance spikes from around 20fps up to

60fps. Asylum differs in that it has a 30fps cap, yet still experiences performance stuttering at certain points throughout the game. The increased computing power of current-gen hardware has at least improved the loading time for Asylum. Walking through automatic doors around the island (particularly the ones that scan you in the Penitentiary) used to bring gameplay to a halt as the game repeated animations until the next area loaded. Now, these transitions are near flawless and Asylum experiences very minimal loading times. When a game gets remastered for a newer console, I think it’s reasonable to assume that the better specs will see an improvement in performance over the original game running on older hardware. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case with Return to Arkham. While there are definitely improvements in some areas, ultimately the game runs best in its original PS3 and Xbox 360 state. While I’m very thankful for this rerelease (Asylum is my favourite game of all time), I’m somewhat confused why they’ve decided to remaster the series if it was not going to reach a decent performance.

4.1 /5

Whether or not you purchase Return to Arkham will depend on how you parted with last-gen. If you’ve completely moved on and no longer own the older hardware, this may be a good opportunity to carry over some of the best games available to those consoles. And if you’ve not played an Arkham game before, this is definitely the time to start. However if you main PC, you’re not missing much here apart from some improved textures and more vibrant palettes. Unfortunately there is no content exclusive to this release that has not been released before, which I think is a missed opportunity. I’m also disappointed that Asylum saw no upgrades to

its FreeFlow combat system, as it was quite jarring using the original tech, which did have some flaws before it was updated for Arkham City. On a personal level, the Arhkam series has had a huge influence on my life – they got me into Batman, collecting, and gaming! These games have never been anything short of fantastic, so for these reasons I’m glad that their lifetimes have been extended and I don’t have to leave them behind on lastgen. I’m sure I’ll be replaying these games for many years to come.




EFIELD 1 review



I was admittedly late to board the Battlefield train, only first jumping into the series with both Battlefield 4 and Hardline earlier this year when they were going for $6.50 each. Despite not really being the biggest fan of FPS games, I soon found myself addicted to the series, relishing the ability to play in a variety of different ways and commandeer assault vehicles, racking up points in ways other than simply having the fastest trigger finger. Battlefield, above all else, rewards teamwork, and there’s no better feeling than when you form a squad with a few buddies and try to make a difference in the fullscale war exploding around you, as opposed to the more lone wolf style of gameplay that the Call of Duty series has devolved into over the years. So, I came to Battlefield 1 with extremely high expectations; despite missing out on the multiplayer Beta, initial gameplay reveals looked promising and the prospect of waging a miniature battle in the new multiplayer mode “Operations” seemed to naturally expand upon the point capturing chaos of the series’ hallmark “Conquest” mode. Another appealing aspect was the focus on the first World War, albeit in a heavily revisionist way.

Shooter fans had been crying out for a return to the classic “bootson-the-ground” gameplay of yesteryear as the genre had increasingly branched out into scifi influenced futuristic directions, adding boost jumps and robo-legs to what should arguably be a more straightforward affair. Battlefield, as a series, has never really suffered from deviating from its proven formula, preferring to instead take chances on moderately successful spin-offs like Hardline (Hey, I thought it had its moments!). By remaining focused on the core elements of the genre DICE have been able to refine the mechanics to almost perfect precision, offering up shooter fans one of the most surprisingly robust and rewarding multiplayer experiences of the year. But first, the campaign – Despite many finding the single player campaign for both Battlefield 4 and Hardline to be lacklustre, personally I thought they each had their merits, particularly Hardline’s episodic structure. Unlike these previous efforts, however, DICE has decided to present a series of five vignettes rather than a singular cohesive campaign. Things kick off in spectacular style with a tutorial sequence that man-

ages to reach the same dizzying levels of pandemonium felt when storming the beaches of Normandy in that pinnacle of classic FPS opening sequences from Medal of Honour: Frontline. Not only does this first introduction to the game effectively capture the brutality of combat and give players the opportunity to get to grips with the basic mechanics, but it also serves as a somewhat sombre reminder of the ultimate futility of war and the human cost associated with it, something that’s all too often glossed over with the jingoistic “Ooh-Rah!” mentality of most modern shooters.

The five short stories vary in length and quality, although for the most part they’re fun to breeze through. Whether you’re darting around the beaches of Gallipoli as an Australian Runner, donning a suit of armour as an Italian soldier or soaring through the skies in search of glory, each vignette feels authentic and also doubles as a pressurefree way to get to grips with the controls and different vehicles for multiplayer. Battlefield 1’s campaign effortlessly captures the aesthetic of being thrust face-first into a bloody conflict, forcing your character to make morally dubious decisions

as you pick your way through the crumbling buildings littered with the corpses of fallen comrades. The attention to detail is commendable and the atmosphere is bolstered by the almost photorealistic quality of the graphics, with DICE squeezing every drop of potential out of the Frostbite engine to make for the most realistic depiction of large scale warfare to date. You’ll often notice little incidental touches that the game won’t draw your eye to but help to serve to flesh out the world. The sound design is similarly accomplished, making for even more immersive battles with dynamic explosion and gunfire effects that’ll almost cause you to instinctively duck for cover, particularly with a decent sound system or set of headphones hooked up. But, as surprisingly decent as the single player portion has turned

out, the real meat and potatoes of any Battlefield game is its multiplayer, and I’m glad to announce that Battlefield 1 is pretty much free of the many netcode and myriad of other issues that plagued the launch of 4. Throughout my time with the online component I’ve not encountered any connection issues or loss of progression glitches and, without exception, every match I’ve jumped into has been smooth and lag free. The biggest addition to multiplayer is the aforementioned “Operations” mode and, boy, is it a doozy. Each team attempts to capture a sector by simultaneously holding two points, forcing the other team to retreat to another sector of the map; it’s a complex and exhausting battle of attrition as each side push against each other, making that eventual victory all the more satisfying. The tide of war can turn on a dime and it feels like you’re

actually waging a concerted battle, added all the more weight due to the history that comes attached to the maps. War Pigeons is the other new mode and it plays out almost exactly as it sounds – you hunt down pigeons. Each much would descend into chaotic hilarity and makes for a nice change from the more traditional gameplay modes. At launch players also get access to the tried and true Conquest, Rush, Domination and Team Deathmatch modes but it’s the newest additions that make for the most fun this time around. The maps are well designed, for the most part, although spawn points can feel a little off at times, sending you face down in the dirt seconds after hitting the battleground. There are nine maps at the moment, with a tenth to be added via free DLC in December: Fao


4.4 /10

Fortress, Ballroom Blitz, Argonne Forest, St. Quentin Scar, Empire’s Edge, Suez, Sinai Desert, Amiens and Monte Grappa, with Giant’s Shadow to come later. Allowing for battles on a grand scale, nothing beats taking down an enemy tank equipped only with a handful of dynamite and a pair of brass balls, and watching iconic landmarks crumble as the battle wages on never loses its charm; the destructible environments on offer here are among some of the best I’ve ever seen. Each map is best suited to a particular mode but offers up enough versatility so as to be effective across the board.

There’s a wide variety of loadout options to unlock and equip and, playing to its strengths, Battlefield 1 lets players engage in the battle in whichever manner they desire – Better at darting about and providing support fire and medic assistance? Go for it? Feel like strapping on a machine gun, barging a tank and then leaping in to a fighter plane for some inspired dogfighting? The world (War) is your oyster. The Assault, Medic, Scout and Support classes all make a return with tweaks to balance them out, although one might argue that the Scout is a little overpowered in its current state.

With a gripping, if slightly short, campaign and the most satisfying multiplayer to date, DICE has really knocked it out of the park with this latest entry in the Battlefield series. Maintaining a respectful tone whilst also offering up high-octane gunplay is a fine line to tread but Battlefield 1 pulls it off with aplomb, giving gamers the most cohesive and action packed entry in the franchise yet. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, DICE wants you to go to War.



fia 3 review

REVIEW Fun fact: Mafia II holds the dubious honour of having the most swearwords spoken in any game. 397 F-bombs alone litter Vito’s bloodsoaked journey through Empire Bay, boosted up even further with various other curses and racial epithets we won’t discuss here. It’s almost refreshing. There’s nothing more jarring than watching some movie and seeing a warrior, blood-soaked and panting, turn to his colleague. The gun is gripped in his friend’s hand, still smoking. He’d shot that man right between the eyes. You’d seen the blood splatter; heard his death rattle as he dropped to the ground. Then the protagonist, painted with the blood of a dead man, shouts, “What the heck?!”

mafia 3 him, discussing Lincoln’s actions, character and his place in history. It gives the whole game a very unique feeling, letting the game focus on the human element – loyalty, family, strength of character – while not sacrificing the big-picture shootouts the previous games were known for. All the exposition needed to set up late-60s America flows naturally through these little interviews, saving players the chore of poring over database entries or enduring hamfisted exposition.

Mafia II kept it real. With that kind of foul-mouthed pedigree, Mafia III really has to step it up. Rather than the pastiche of 1950’s bigcity America that was Empire Bay, Mafia III occurs a little further south: New Bordeaux, Louisiana, 1968. Touted as a “modern town with traditional Southern values”, it’s no surprise that New Bordeaux is a rough place to be for a young black veteran. As Lincoln Clay, a young man just back from the Vietnam War, you are facing the kind of prejudice any black man might face at that point in history. To do otherwise would be to pretend that such prejudice never existed.

The actual story is simple, but effective. Just returned from the Vietnam war, Lincoln Clay heads back to his adoptive family, leaders of the local black mob, Sammy and Ellis. Lincoln fully intends only to stop in before leaving the crime life and taking a real job, but things – as they always do – go awry. Too spoil too much would be to do the game a disservice. Suffice to say that this is very much a revenge tale. We know as soon as Lincoln promises to take everything from the man who murdered his family that this is not going to be a story of half-measures.

Lincoln’s story takes place within a documentary framework. Missions are punctuated by interviews with historians and people who knew

It’s not all grim depression, though. The Mafia games have always excelled at big, bombastic set-pieces, and the third entry is no differ-

ent. Intense shootouts, high-speed chases and harrowing escapes are littered throughout the story, all without ever having to introduce a single laser gun or superpower. Mafia goes big, but it keeps its feet on the ground. There are no virtuous reasons behind Lincoln’s story, either. What he wants is revenge, total and crushing, on the mob that took his people away. This opens up possibilities for the kinds of activities a ‘hero’ could not usually do. Lincoln is a man on the warpath, trained in psychological warfare and fresh from the battlefield. The things he does and the effects he suffers from them fit that to a T. The gameplay is nothing you haven’t seen before. Mafia III basically represents a collection of all the successful open-world features that came before it. ‘Hacking’ junction boxes to reveal details on the nearby map is straightup Watch_Dogs. Sneaking around and performing cover kills and takedowns mix in Assassins’ Creed and Arkham in equal measure. Lockpicking is charmingly lowfi in its use of a crowbar and combat knife, similar to Fallout. There’s nothing new in Mafia III‘s toolbox, but none of it is done poorly. The developers have clearly gone for

a strong, competent sort of gameplay rather than wild innovation, and that’s just fine. Lincoln’s particular path of vengeance is a methodical one, too. Obviously, you can’t just plug one between the killer’s eyes and be done with it. To bust up a particular racket, Lincoln must complete activities in that area until he has caused enough ‘damage’ to lure the lieutenant out. Once that’s done, he can either kill or recruit that lieutenant to his side. Do that

to all the rackets in the area and Lincoln’s true target will come out, allowing him to be dealt with. The way that most things can cause damage – stealing money from areas, killing guys, destroying contraband, or just plain ol’ completing the objectives – allows for a much more free-form experience. If you don’t want to do certain activities, that’s just fine! There’s more than enough stuff to damage that you can mostly avoid the parts that bore you.

Taking over these rackets allows you to assign them to your own people. The associates you gather end up being some of the strongest characters in the game: do extra tasks for them and increase both their earnings and their loyalty. It’s a nice little detail which keeps you returning to earlier areas, stopping that feeling of finishing an area and never visiting it again, or feeling as if your closest confidantes are people you’ve known for maybe five minutes total.

don’t catch them first – unless it’s a convertible. Then, without having smashed a window to get in, you can cruise off scot-free. The game takes pains to avoid the tired of ‘all white people are racist’, but the reality of the time still sits there, harsh and real thanks to these little moments. That gives Mafia its character above all else. There are bugs too, of course, but none game-breaking. Mafia III more has the ones that make for perfect GIFs. Lincoln flipping out of an upturned boat onto the top in a split-second, crashed cars falling into the ground or floating into the sky – funny stuff that doesn’t impact your actual progress. In any open world game, these things are bound to happen and will no doubt be addressed in later patches, as it always is.

Where Mafia III shines brightest is in these little details. Police respond slower to crimes in poor or black neighbourhoods, if at all; going into whites-only stores or into employee-only areas anywhere can get Lincoln quickly into trouble. Even if you’re only walking down the street, any passing police will immediately be aware of you. Similarly, if people see you stealing a car, a witness will run off to tell the police if you

This isn’t to say it’s a perfect game, of course. No game is. While Mafia III lets you skip a lot of the boring side-mission stuff if you’re not in a mood, there’s still plenty that can really drag down the pace. Wiretapping junction boxes, for example, requires you to collect fuses scattered around the map. Each box requires several fuses, though. If you’re not diligent in stopping to grab them when you see them, it can easily lead to having to scrounge around the map when you’d much rather be shooting. Add in that cars have an irritating habit of despawning or relocating and there’s a lot of time when you’re just running down the street, searching for convertibles to steal.


3.9 /5

Also: there are not one, not two, but six different kinds of collectibles to grab on your way through New Bordeaux. It’s a reflection of the time and a call back to previous Mafia games, but having Playboy magazines and actual nude pinups being things to collect is a little on the nose in 2016. Even if the Playboys do, in fact, contain articles. I hadn’t expected to see a 1968 interview with Stanley Kubrick in my gangster game – but there it is! Mafia III is one of those rare games which excels in one area without failing in others. New Bordeaux feels like a real place, filled with real people. It responds to your actions and does not flinch away from portraying the brutality of Lincoln’s actions or the social injustices of the time. It may not rewrite the book and the missions might get repetitive, but it does what it sets out to do: present a story of loyalty and revenge, and present it well. Turn back the clock and take a look.


COSPLA skyler jean cosplay interview








Welcome to Live Skyler Jean! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where you’re based. In my free time I love to play video games and work on new cosplay ideas. I also volunteer at a Humane Society where I help cats get adopted. I love volunteering for non profit organizations and doing things to help improve the community. Growing up I was very much of a tom boy, loving superheros and comic books. I also grew up around mostly boys; one of which was my brother who is 5 years older then me. He introduced to me video games at a very young age and never let me win or went easy on me. This made me try even harder to become better then him.I was born and raised in California (in San Diego County). I am now working towards a degree in hospitality and management. How did you get into cosplay and when was that? Most girl’s fairy tales are about a princess finding her prince, yet mine where about superheros and characters in games coming to life. Later on I discovered cosplaying and I had always wanted to try it. A little over a year ago

SKYLER J I had finally created my first cosplay. Do you visit cons and what’s been your favorite so far? I love to visit as many conventions as I can. My favorite so far has been Nerdcon 2016. It was a smaller convention but I loved how nice and interactive everyone was. Speaking of favourites - what’s been your favourite cosplay? Based of off the character I would have to say Samus, but if we are going off of comfort it would be Supergirl. Plus the cape was fun to take photos with. Who inspires you? Honestly meeting genuine people in the cosplay community and seeing how much they love what they do really inspires me. Even meeting children that are so excited to see a character makes me want to go to even more conventions and make new outfits.

Do you have some tips for new cosplayers attending their first con? I would say definitely go with someone who you are comfortable with (like a friend or family member). Also the night before think up some poses and practice them in front of a mirror so you see what you would like in photos. It doesn’t matter how many photos are taken of you or if any are taken of you. Just remember to have fun and make friends with like minded people. Ok, 5 quick questions for fun: 1 - Who would you love to sit and have dinner with - past or present? My best friend because she will never judge me for what I eat.

What cosplay’s are you working on next?

2 - Your heading off into space for a year long journey - what book, movie and music do you take? For a book I would say Harry Potter because I have never had the time to read it. The movie would be ether Pirates of the Caribbean or Grease. The music would defiantly be any of Michael Jackson’s albums.

That is top secret information. ;) I am currently working on several different cosplays.

3 - What sci fi character would you love to be? If it had to be a girl then Princess Leia, but if I could I


Brian Calilung |

would be Han Solo. I most relate to him.

money were no object? I have always wanted to go to the U.K.

4 - What super power would you wish for if you could have just one? Shape shifting would be the best.

Finally where can our readers go to find out more about you?

5 - You’re going on holiday - what destination would you choose if

I have an Instagram which is: Skylerjeancosplay I will soon be making a facebook page for my cosplay.

ONLINE: www.instagram/skylerjeancosplay

Brian Calilung |

Brian Calilung |

PAX AUS PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) returned in 2016 enticing those of the gaming community out for 3 days of celebrating gaming culture. Many we spoke to were returning attendees, proving the PAX community is growing strong after 4 years on the Australian convention circuit.

PAX provides a unique space for this community to connect the players and the fans with game publishers, eSports stars, developers and industry representatives. From indie developers to industry heavyweights all have the chance to showcase and connect with the people that make their games great – those who love, adore and most importantly play their games. This is what makes PAX special and a unique event for the Australian stage of gaming. However you play PAX wants you. From the huge stands of PS4 and Xbox, Tech giants and big ticket games as you moved through the excited crowds past the flashing lights to the stage of the Arena, people gathered squeezing into seats all wearing their favourite eSports team jerseys they purchased from PAX. Here PAX hosted the ESL Counter-Strike: Global Offensive AU & NZ Championship Finals and many tourna-

ments throughout the weekend, highlighting the local talent and giving their fans the opportunity to meet and cheer them on.

Moving on from the Arena you are met with a real treat – and I’m not talking about the Skyrim sweet rolls that were so highly sought after each day. The Indie developers have a serious stamp on the PAX map. A great chunk of floor space is dedicated to the colourful and often swamped booths of games like Mallow Drops, Orwell and Hyper Jam. Most gamers know the big titles – they’ve pre-ordered them, have seen walkthroughs, trailers and previewed the game before playing it at PAX. This is where the Indies win. You don’t know what you’re going to find and are often pleasantly surprised – the journey from booth to booth is part of the fun. When you move through to the next hall you really find where PAX shows its heart. The tabletop area is huge- I mean you probably won’t find an Australian event where there is such a large gathering of players playing this variety of games. Magic the Gathering ran events all weekend – decks of Kaladesh selling like hotcakes. The fun was brought by games like The Ultimate Drinking Game, expansion packs of Cards against humanity and the games

that were likely to come out at night after a full day of shopping and playing. New card games like Final Fantasy were being taught in their own tabletop areas, multiple booths selling every board game you can think of, precious stone D20 sets, miniatures with a painting area – this was tabletop mecca. The really amazing part of this is that there was barely a spare seat. The players were coming together with people that shared the same love of the game – complete strangers outside PAX, but here they were friends playing their favourite game. A place for players – whatever your game - PAX is where you come to play. Every person can find their place at PAX. You have the free to play PC areas, crowds watching the speedruns, retro gaming area, tabletop, pinball, console – and of course this year you couldn’t miss the next dimension of gaming – VR. There was a VR set up on most of the major booths. From HTC Vive to Playstation VR the lengthy lines for these experiences showed that this is not a fad. The next level of gaming was seen as players walked around ducking, turning and shooting with their headsets on. It didn’t really make sense un-

STRALIA til you started watching what was happening on the player’s screen – then you could see just how immersive the VR experience is.

After a full day of gaming PAX continues into the night. The Panels go until 10:30pm and are as varied as you can imagine. BethesDA Trivia, How to become a Streamer, Game Development Explained with Sock Puppets – yes sock puppets. Seats filled out with the events running all day giving everything from advice for young developers, those seeking a career in the gaming industry and those for your pure entertainment. The streaming community was no better represented by the Twitch booth which was busy all weekend. Popular guest streamers made appearance for photo opportunities and the crowd enjoyed the opportunity to jump in behind the camera and feature on their favourite channel through the viewing screens. Twitch didn’t have all the fun though as many tech booths were streaming live all weekend from competitive matches to creative minecraft builds. The latest games and the opportunity to play them sometimes before release is one of the

PAX AUSTRALIA 4-6 nov, 2016 melbourne, vic photos by

blake robertson


STRALIA benefits of attending PAX. The long waiting lines didn’t daunt players that were keen to have their turn. Yes the newest titles were there to play – Final Fantasy XV, The Last Guardian, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Watchdogs 2, Dishonored 2 – the list goes on but the competitions like time trials on Forza, highest score on classic arcade games to win a PS4 pro added some extra fun for the competitive gamers. Many gamers love sharing their fandom through t-shirts, collectibles and the ever popular pop vinyls. There is plenty on offer when someone visits PAX to bolster their collection. Shopping for tech is one of the great things you can do as there are great specials for your gaming set up – many attendees walking away with bags of purchases and mad smiles as they excitedly recount-

ed their haul to friends. PAX 2016 brought again what every gamer wants – no matter how you play – but sharing and experiencing gaming culture is what this event is all about. From the people attending you can see that this PAX community is at the centre of the Australian gaming scene. No wonder the welcoming iconic yellow banner reading “Welcome Home” resonates with everyone who walks in those doors. The real question is, will you join them next year for PAX 2017? Everyone who came would tell you “DO IT!”

written by IMOGEN hubber















BETTER PHO This article isn’t for the casual photographer that loves to go along to XYZ Con and shoot some cool photos of cosplayers and that’s them done for the month and or year. No, this is for the photographer that wants to get better. Wants to improve themselves as an artist. Firstly though, I want to explain how cosplay can help you become better as an artist. The main benefits of cosplay photography is you don’t have to worry about make up, hair styling and even models - if you know some cosplayers they’ll usually happily organise a shoot with you. What you do need to do though, is ensure your location matches the character or mood of the shoot. If you’re at a “con” the challenge is that the background is often a bunch of people walking around having fun. So, what I tend to do is treat a con shoot as almost a journalistic style shoot - capturing the day and the colour and costumes of the event. Cosplayers know their characters and generally know how to pose to suit. So you end up with much of the photo worked out before you even shoot. So how does other genre’s help you improve? Some time back, on a cold winters day, I was walking the city streets wanting to do

some street photography and after a while I noticed myself exploring angles and shadows. I took the time to seek out these subjects as I walked. I forced myself to try getting lower down, to climb higher places and to really look at how shadows intersected walls or even people. Taking notice of these things got me thinking about applying more drama in my portrait work, using shadows more creatively. Angles reminded me how if I’m up high shooting down, you can make a subject look a bit submissive. Shoot from a lower angle and the subject grows taller and more dominant. Characters like Batman are strong characters and perhaps a slight angle shooting up toward them will give them a stronger more dominant and powerful feel. Also shadows can really enhance the mood of the Dark Knight. Experiment with light, colour, angles and mood and then apply it to your next cosplay shoot so that you may grow in your art. Take a look at some of the most creative photographers on the web and you’ll see experiments in light and angles that can make a mundane photo become a photo that pops off the screen and grabs your attention.


OTOGRAPHER Experimenting with portrait, landscape, street photography & other genres can help improve your eye as a photographer.




Photos for this art

This photo shows good use of angles to create a dynamic feel. The character is looking off screen so your eye is drawn to her and you wonder what she’s seeing. Then you notice the weapon and combined with the costume and angle you get a feel for the story the image is telling. This picture from above is shot to capture the whole scene from a top down perspective and the subject not making eye contact adds to the story.


ticle courtesy of Peck Photography

The Last of Us image shows good use of shadows with just one light beam lighting the character. The simple but effective light adds mood. What do you think when you see this image? Do you start to imagine the story of the character?


Hey there’s a new software app that we’ve been trying out and we really like it!

It’s called Picktorial and it’s a simple app that works on the Mac platform and is a doddle to use. The development team is based in Jerusalem and is a young startup founded by three entrepreneurs who are really into photographic software and it shows. Picktorial is very simple once you get use to the controls.

textures, patch some spots out and fix shadows, add contrast and even defocus - check the sample images for all Picktorial’s tools. Picktorial also has a bunch of cool presets that most photo apps offer these days including... well we won’t say cause there’s a competition! Giveaway - the Picktorial team have given us a free copy to giveaway (valued at $24.99 in the App Store).

It has an advanced processing engine with the ability to undo edits at any time and in any order. And yes … it works with RAW images.

Want to win it? Simply tell us one of the presets that Picktorial offers - visit their website : http://

I used it on an old MacBook Pro and it ran quickly allowing me to clean up a portrait, airbrush some

And tell us the name of the preset you like best and we’ll pick a random winner to get a free copy.

Here’s the competition form:


HOW RATINGS WO The Australian Classification CTC

CTC - Check the classification. The content has been assessed and approved for advertising unclassified films and computer games. Any advertising of unclassified films and games must display the CTC message on posters, trailers, on the internet, and any other types of advertising. G - General. The content is very mild in impact. The G classification is suitable for everyone. G products may contain classifiable elements such as language and themes that are very mild in impact. However, some G-classified films or computer games may contain content that is not of interest to children. PG - Parental Guidance. The content is mild in impact. The impact of PG (Parental Guidance) classified films and computer games should be no higher than mild, but they may contain content that children find confusing or upsetting and may require the guidance of parents and guardians. They may, for example, contain classifiable elements such as language and themes that are mild in impact. It is not recommended for viewing or playing by persons under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians. M - Mature. The content is moderate in impact. Films and computer games classified M (Mature) contain content of a moderate impact and are recommended for teenagers aged 15 years and over. Children under 15 may legally access this material because it is an advisory category. However, M classified films and computer games may include classifiable elements such as violence and nudity of moderate impact that are not recommended for children under 15 years. Parents and guardians may need to find out more about the film or computer game’s specific content, before deciding whether the material is suitable for their child.

ORK: Board

There are two separate Boards that are independent from the government and from each other. There is the full time Classification Board that decides the classifications of films, video games and certain publications and the Classification Review Board that meets only to review a decision of the Classification Board when there is a valid application for review. The Board bases its’ classifications on six elements: Themes, Violence, Sex, Language, Drug Use & Nudity Below are a list of classifications you’ll find on games and movies:

MA 15+ - Mature Accompanied 15+. The content is strong in impact. MA 15+ classified material contains strong content and is legally restricted to persons 15 years and over. It may contain classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug use that are strong in impact. A person may be asked to show proof of their age before hiring or purchasing an MA 15+ film or computer game. Cinema staff may also request that the person show proof of their age before allowing them to watch an MA 15+ film. Children under the age of 15 may not legally watch, buy or hire MA 15+ classified material unless they are in the company of a parent or adult guardian. Children under 15 who go to the cinema to see an MA 15+ film must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian for the duration of the film. The parent or adult guardian must also purchase the movie ticket for the child. The guardian must be an adult exercising parental control over the person under 15 years of age. The guardian needs to be 18 years or older.

Parents and guardians may need to find out more about the film or computer game’s specific content, before deciding whether the material is suitable for their child. R 18+ - Restricted to 18+. The content is high in impact. R 18+ material is restricted to adults. Such material may contain classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug use that are high in impact. Some material classified R18+ may be offensive to sections of the adult community. A person may be asked for proof of their age before purchasing, hiring or viewing R18+ films and computer games at a retail store or cinema. There is also an X 18+ for adult films and these titles are only available for sale in the ACT and the Northern Territory. Sometimes games are refused classification. This can cause gamers to be frustrated, citing that the R18+ classification should take care of adult content. But still some games don’t get classified until the publishers/developers have addressed the concerns of the Classification Board. Want to know more? Visit the Australian Classification website


WANT MORE? Check our latest Cosplay Live Magazine, Retro Live Magazine & Top Selling Board Games Catalogue HERE:


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Terms & Conditions December/January Magazine pricing valid til 31 January unless specified otherwise. Stock is subject to availability. Pricing and advertised products valid only at participating stores. No Rain Checks. All ratings and prices are correct at the time of printing.

New South Wales

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