DECEMBER 2014 ISSUE
VIDEO GAMES COSPLAY COMICS
IANIME NTERVI E WS & MANGA
180+ PAGE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
EXCLUSIVES SPECIALS PROMOTIONS TONS MORE!
GET YOURS IN STORE.
FROM THE EDITOR Merry Christmas!
What a year! Christmas is almost here and that means many of us will be taking time off for holidays. It might be snowing where you are or hot summer sun, but whatever the weather, holidays are a great time to catch up on some gaming. Some of us will be hoping for a game or maybe even a console under the Christmas tree. Games like Super Smash Bros on 3DS, Destiny, or any of the other titles that stood out in 2014 would be welcome under my tree, as would a PS4 or Xbox One. Yes it’s time to upgrade and get down to some serious gaming this holiday period. Whatever Santa puts under your Christmas tree, enjoy it, have fun and let’s look forward to another big year in gaming where my prediction is we’ll see some of the best titles in a long while come out on next generation systems. I’d also like to take a moment to thank our team, the amazing Giselle is our Art Director and does an amazing job every month. The fabulous team at Sticky Trigger headed up by Nick and Kylie are simply the best reviewers and editors out there. Our contributors including Paul, Khai, Scott and Jess do an awesome job as does Blake and Hayley who are special contributors and writers. Merry Christmas to you all From the team at Gametraders Live Magazine and all the Gametraders Stores, head office team and store staff.
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Your Game Hit List for 2014 Reviews
Cosplay Interviews Special Tribute: Justin ACharacter
THE LIVE TEAM Publisher: Rob Jenkins (Gametraders Operations Centre) Art Director: Giselle Capozza (Gametraders Operations Centre) Game Review & Preview Editors: Nick Getley & Kylie Tuttle (Sticky Trigger) Retro Writer: Jess Wilson UK Writer: Elliott Buddo US Writer: Serwa Aboagye Sticky Trigger Writers: Kylie Tuttle Nick Getley Alex Holmes Sam Babu Nick Pearce Aaron Milligan Ben Rachow Elliott Buddo Bridget Sweeney Sean Fox Miranda Nelson Tim Arnold Matthew Raspe Sasha Karen Liam Church
GIFT IDEAS UNDER
4.25” GLASS ORNAMENT
$ 2.5” ORNAMENT
4” GLASS ORNAMENT
$ 4.25” GLASS ORNAMENT
4.5” GLASS ORNAMENT
5” GLASS ORNAMENTS
CHRISTMAS DALEK’S & MORE DOCTOR WHO TO HANG ON YOUR TREE!
DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS STOCKING!
MUST HAVE FIGURINES! 39.99
GET INTO GAMETRADERS FOR THE BIGGEST RANGE OF FIGURINES, POPS, BOARD GAMES, RETRO, COMICS, TRADING CARDS AND EVERYTHING THAT YOU REALLY WANT THIS CHRISTMAS!
NOW IN STOCK!
WORBLA’S DECO ART . WONDERFLEX WORBLA’S FINEST ART FOSSHAPE . KOBRACAST
BOARD GAMES ARE BACK! Gametraders stores have a huge range of board games to choose from this Christmas, including the popular Risk - The Walking Dead edition, a great Christmas present for all the Walking Dead fans out there!
Get it now at Gametraders!
POPS! THIS CHRISTMAS
One of the most popular gift ideas this Christmas will be Pops from your Gametraders store. Theres dozens and dozens to choose from including those from games, movies and even TV Series like the popular Walking Dead series. As they say - collect them all!
WHATâ€™S NEW? IN GAMETRADERS STORES..
HAVE A NOTE 4? Samsung Gear VR is the hot new accessory for Note 4 owners and promises you an immersive VR experience from your phone giving the wearer a 96 degree viewing angle that creates an amazing viewing experience for those watching a movie or playing games on their Note 4. Powered by Occulus this takes mobile gaming into a whole new are of virtual reality and weighs only 379g. Due out soon, check with your phone retailer for final costs. http://www.samsung.com/au/consumer/mobilephone/wearables/wearables/SM-R320NPWAXSA
LOMO CAMERAS! Something different to get those holiday snaps? Jump into your camera store for these retro beauties. Try a Lomo. If you love those funky Instagram style filters you’ll love a LOMO… Lomo cameras are originally a Russian made film camera that has a massive following due to their quirky nature and the sometimes unpredictable results you get by using these cameras. You can read more on their official site but here’s a few “hip” cameras to consider for Christmas… Spinner 360 is really unique. It let’s you pull a rip cord and it takes a full 360 panorama - approx $140 - http://microsites. lomography.com/spinner-360/
Imagine your Cosplay photos using this retro camera!
GAME RELEASES! DATE
The Crew Limited Edition
PC, XB1, PS4
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix
Persona Q Shadow of the Labyrinth
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
Get ‘em at
MUST HAVE GAMES THIS CHRISTMAS! DISCOUNTED PRICES IN STORE!
Most games available on multiple formats, see in store for massive range!
WHAT'S HOT IN T
AMING IN THE US
Christmas…. The winter wonderland and the most wonderful time of the year! Well, for gamers it sure is a wonderful time of year! My best Christmas memories are running down stairs to a nice warm living room (it snows here in the US don’t forget!) and seeing presents under the tree and then wondering just what I may receive that year! Family is a big thing to me, so it’s always great when we received video games as presents as it was normally something that we could all do together… play, fight over whose turn it was, play some more! So what’s hot for Christmas gift giving in the USA this year?
No brainer here! Without a console, a game is just a nice shiny disc in a pretty case! Christmas time is always a great time for buying consoles. Most retailers will do bundle deals which are great value for money as you not only get the console, but you can also get a game or an extra controller in the deal which normally works out to save some money and everyone likes to do that! This year, the big winners will be Microsoft and the Xbox One. They have a few console deals which see you not only getting a console, but also with pre-loaded games such as Titanfall (yes, there are still a few out there is you look hard enough!) and Sunset Overdrive. A lot of retailers also make up their own bundle deals, so keep your eyes posted on the Christmas catalogues for any deals!
Where to begin! We have been spoilt big time this year with title releases! Far Cry 4, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Sunset Overdrive, Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS, Tropico 5, LittleBigPlanet 3, GTA V for next gen and the list
goes on and on! E3 2014 prepared us gamers for a bumper game giving season this year and gaming publishers haven’t disappointed us! There are a plethora of titles for all console users this year and the gaming industry are sure to make a pretty penny off it, that’s for sure! If you find yourself stressing over what title to get, speak to the sales staff at your local stores about who you are buying for and what games they usually play, they will be able to suggest a great title in your gamers fave genre!
Over the past 12 months, there has been a massive increase in POPularity for those funny little plastic things we know and now love as POP! Vinyl figures! What started out as a niche collectible, POP! Figures are quite possibly some of the most popular and most wanted collectibles this year. Catering to all ages and tastes, Funko have a wide variety figures ranges from not only games, but also TV and movie favourites such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Disney movie characters and more. The hardest choice is working out what one to buy as there are so many out on the market now! For the older collector, the more detailed and detailed figures are always a winner. Sure you can’t play with them like you could with the POP! Figures, but figures like Batman, the Joker, DeadPool etc will be a huge hit with avid fans and collectors alike. Christmas 2014 is sure to be a great one, I just hope you are all on Santa’s good list! Have a fantastic and safe Christmas y’all and stay tuned for more of Gaming in the US in 2015!
WRITTEN BY serwa Aboagye
WHAT'S HOT IN T
AMING IN THE UK
As Britons, my countrymen understand year-long cold. We shiver, we dig deep and we endure. Be that as it may, we all know the real battle lies at the end of the calendar. From year’s beginning to year’s end, that season is always at the back of our minds. We, above all others, have earned the right to say it: Winter’s coming. Fear not dear readers, for there is a solution to the bitter cold! Get inside, turn the heating on, throw on a sweater and get a cup of hot chocolate. Winter’s coming, and fantastic games with it! A title that will really get your blood pumping is the highly anticipated racing game The Crew. The game allows players to roam an open and persistent world, so open in fact that it is purported to take up to 45 minutes to drive from coast to coast. Taking advantage of the vast game area are challenges, referred to as ‘skills’ in-game, that can be found throughout the open world that require you to perform a feat of skill for an allotted period of time. Once you complete a skill your score is immediately, allowing your friends to try and beat the score. Speaking of friends, the co-op feature allows up eight players to participate in races and/or other modes (or maybe you just want to see who reaches the east coast first). The story mode allegedly takes around 20 hours to complete, revolving around the premise of infiltrating a criminal syndicate, working up through its ranks and eliminating its influence over the states. The Crew really is shaping up to be the next generation in driving games.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again…Evolve could not come any sooner. After getting a taste of the 4v1 shooter with ‘The Big Alpha’ it was hard to say goodbye, even more so as I’d just unlocked the playable monster ‘Kraken’. After running around as the Goliath, pummelling the hunters into the dust with my bare (or bear) claws it was refreshing to find that everything from your appearance to your tactics changes with the character you play. The Kraken is not as durable or ferocious as the Goliath but makes up for this with overwhelmingly cruel combat, taking flight and raining death on the unfortunate hunters. 3 monsters will be available at launch with others arriving post launch as downloadable content, yet only 2 of the 3 have been revealed. By now it is quite clear that the 3 standard monsters bear
with well-groomed moustaches and monocles are not oppressing the working classes and are, in fact, hardened werewolf killers. The player takes on the role of Grayson, the prodigy of the legendary Sir Galahad, who is a member of an ancient order founded by King Arthur dedicated to the destruction of monstrous ‘half-breeds’, savage things neither man nor beast. The player will face both bestial half-breeds and human insurgents, transitioning between sticky cover based shooter to survival horror elements over the course of the game. We’ll be thawing out that winter frost with gallons of monster blood, it seems. I could go on, dear readers but I fear the cold is already working its way into my hands so I shall leave you a list of what titles you should keep an eye on over the coming
"EVOLVE COULD NOT COME ANY SOONER.." characteristics of traditional RPG classes, the Goliath being the tanky ‘Warrior’ and the Kraken being the chaotic ‘Mage’. This only leaves the ‘Rogue’ up for grabs, but what could it be? A stealthy feline monster that leaps from the shadows? A poisonous amphibian that wears down its prey with lethal toxins? An insect that drags the hunters to their doom one by one? The wait (and the cold) is killing us, be glad it’s not our mystery monster… Of course, the game we’re all excited about is the third-person shooter, The Order: 1886. Just when you thought the UK couldn’t get more grim, Ready at Dawn decided to create an alternate history London where half-animal monstrosities battle against a morally ambiguous society of classy, gun toting gentlemen (not unlike a normal day in London). Ahem, poor humour aside, The Order: 1886 looks to put an original spin on an under-represented period. For once, characters
months. Brace yourselves, ‘insert Sean Bean line here’. • The Crew (PS4, XB1, 360, PC) due December 2nd • The Order: 1886 (PS4) due February 20th • Evolve (PS4, XB1, PC) due February 10th • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4, PS3, XB1, 360, PC) due Q1 • Bloodborne (PS4) due Q1 • Super Smash Bros. (Wii-U) due November 21st • The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt (PS4, XB1, PC) due February 24th
WRITTEN BY elliott buddo
NEW RANGE OF
Coming soon! Pre-order now in store.
"HIT LIST" FOR 2014!
BY STICKY TRIGGER
2014 Christmas…. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! However, it can be the most stressful time of the year when it comes to gift buying! ALL THE THINGS! So many options! What to choose? Fret no more! We have taken what we think are a few of the best games that have hit the shelves in 2014 and put together a little list for you! Now this isn’t every title that has hit the shelves this year, it’s just a small handful of some of the amazing offerings for gamers this year!
Platform: PS4 Genre: Puzzle Platformer Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Little Big Planet 3 Play. Create. Share. If you have a creative gamer to choose for this year, LittleBigPlanet 3 might just be the winning game! Sackboy is back for a new instalment of the incredibly cute and entertaining platformer which allows users to play the story mode, but also create their own levels. Explore LittleBigPlanet with Sackboy and his new companions Swoop, OddSock and Toogle, meet the inhabitants of the mysterious planet Bunkum and face the nefarious Newton. For hours of plushy enjoyment and on their biggest handcrafted adventure, put Sackboy in your gamers Christmas stocking this year!
Platforms: PS4, PS3, XB1, 360, PC Genre: First Person Shooter, Action Publisher: Activision
CALL OF DUTY:
ADVANCED WARFARE You’ve been given an order soldier! Got a shooter fan in your household? Call of Duty: Advance Warfare might blow their mind! The latest instalment to the Call of Duty franchise is sure to be a hit this Christmas! Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare casts players as Private Jack Mitchell of the United States Marine Corps in the year 2054. The game is called Advanced Warfare for a reason, and the setting of the near future allows for some mind blowing weaponry and action sequences. This isn’t pure fantasy however; as Activision is insisting that every piece of futuristic tech in this game is currently being researched or developed (check out the T.A.L.O.S. Suit being developed by SOCOM if you can!). Soldiers have mobility-boosting exoskeletons (simply referred to as Exo Suits), Predator style cloaking abilities, hover tanks and energy weapons, just to name a few of the military technological advancements found in-game. And with the ever popular Zombies rumoured to be coming as DLC (downloadable content), who wouldn’t want Advanced Warfare this year? HOOAH!
Platforms: PS4, PS3, XB1, 360 Genre: Online First Person Shooter Publisher: Activision
Another highly anticipated game for 2014 was Destiny. Destiny takes everything developer Bungie has previously learnt from all their other games, and combines with fresh ideas, and the features of an MMO. We say “features of an MMO” because Destiny is not an MMO, but is instead being called a “shared-world” shooter. There won’t be thousands of other players running around and butchering the game’s frame rate, but there is dynamic events, drop-in drop-out co-op missions and events and loot. So much loot. Destiny is set 700 years after a catastrophic event has pushed mankind to the brink of extinction. During the “Golden Age”, mankind was able to colonize different planets in the solar system, which led to a great time of prosperity and exploration. All of this was made possible with the aid of The Traveler, a mysterious sphere-shaped entity. The Golden Age was interrupted by an enemy of The Traveler known as the Darkness, which attacked and destroyed all of mankind’s colonies except for Earth, which only has one city left. Destiny‘s greatest strength is the sheer amount of activities that it has on offer. Sure they all revolve around shooting things, but never before has a game been so amalgamative of all its influences. Not only that, but the rewards of each activity will aid the player in another area of the game. A gun that can be obtained only in multiplayer might help you survive a level 20 Strike, or it might need to reach a certain amount of kills before it can be upgraded, which might be a task fulfilled outside of competitive multiplayer modes. In addition to the story, players can enter the Crucible, go on Patrol, complete Strikes, or go on Raids. The Crucible is your competitive multiplayer mode, which has a number of different modes of its own. I was excited when I saw a number of different modes, but some of them are just different takes on Team Deathmatch. Clash is classic 6-on-6 Deathmatch, Rumble is a 6 player free-for-all (every man for himself) and Skirmish is a 3 player deathmatch on small maps with revives. There’s also Control, where players hold key locations on a map (think Call of Duty‘s Domination) and Salvage, where players compete to hold different relics. All in all the multiplayer is fun, but the game’s loot system can come back to bite players on the butt here. You might have a great story mode loadout for your character, but it might not do well at all in competitive multiplayer. While you can compete from a very low level in the Crucible, I wouldn’t recommend doing so until you have a complete set of uncommon gear, and even then you will need to be at least level 15 before you can take on most opponents at low-level modes like Control. Once you level up though, you will be having a ball as everybody having unique weapons and armour makes for very unpredictable matches. You will have to learn who is the biggest threat and why, and adapt your tactics with each game. Will your game become legend this Christmas?
Platforms: 3DS, WIIU Genre: fighting, Action, platform Publisher: nintendo
SUPER SMASH BROS FOR 3DS & WIIU
Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS was one of the most anticipated games for the Nintendo 3DS this year! It saw gamers taking control of one of many of Nintendo’s all-stars like fan faves Mario, Zelda, Kirby and Donkey Kong all duking it out to see who’s the strongest. Being the first instalment of the Super Smash Bros. franchise on a handheld console it has been a huge winner with fans with a whooping 2.8 million copies to date! With the Wii U version just hitting the shelf days ago AND the opportunity to use the Amiibo range of interactive figures with the game, Super Smash Bros could be one of most wanted Christmas gifts this year! Nintendo recently announced a further 50, yes 50 things to come to the game – more players, more modes, more songs, more characters…. More, more, more! The only problem will be is which character do you want to play as first?
Platforms: PS4, PS3, XB1, 360 Genre: Open-world, action-adventure, first person shooter Publisher: ubisoft
far cry 4 Set in the fictional location of Kyrat (pronounced ka-rat), and once again, our protagonist finds himself amidst a civil war. Kyrat (based on the Himalayas) is filled with various locations such as temples and monuments, scattered across a landscape of varying heights and environments. You’ll be able to scale the mountains of Kyrat with the use of grapples and rope tools, which adds an exciting new layer to the Far Cry open-world formula. Assuming the role of AJ Gale, the jaw-dropped individual who is captured whilst attempting to cross the border of Kyrat by military forces on the payroll of Pagan Min, the primary antagonist to the story. When you meet the colourful Pagan Min, he tells you that you that he’s cleared his calendar for you, and you’re both going to “tear sh*t up!”. We should point out that Pagan Min is condescending, sarcastic and absolutely psychotic leader! Gameplay resembles much of Far Cry 3 — an open-world map and exploration with a plethora of guns, contestable points and fortress fights for and a bucket load of popcorn munching action to boot.
Platforms: XBOX ONE Genre: THIRD Person Shooter, OPEN-WORLD Publisher: MICROSOFT STUDIOS
SUNSET OVERDRIVE Sunset Overdrive stars you (a character you will create yourself) in Sunset City. Fizzco’s latest energy drink, “Overdrive” is turning people into mutant beasts, which the survivors of Sunset City have labeled the “O.D”. The streets are overrun by these orange menaces and the only hope of safely making your way through the city is by over-the-top traversal skills. Your character will wall-run, swing off poles, bounce off cars, trees and other “bouncables” and most importantly, grind powerlines, ziplines and other long-running cables and ledges. If it sounds ridiculous then let me assure that it is…and it’s all the better for it. It’s not just the traversal skills that are absolutely bonkers – there are also the game’s weapons and unlockable customisation options. Completing various missions and activities will unlock more clothing options for your character, so it won’t be long before you have a superhero bunny costume or a totally rad 80’s-style get up. Explosive teddy bear launchers, freeze bombs, sharpened metal boomerangs, fireworks launchers and deployable deathtraps are just of the weapons players will use to fight the O.D. And scabs in Sunset City. Visually, there can be a lot of chaos going on at the same time. With that being said the game’s bright and colourful visuals are gorgeous and a refreshing change from the dark blacks and greys of other games. There is also hardly a quiet period when you’re playing Sunset Overdrive, there is an overdose of chaos at almost every mission – something that some players may find hinders their enjoyment as they might get lost in the action.
Platforms: WIIU Genre: ACTION Publisher: NINTENDO
Bayonetta 2, developed by Platinum Games, published by Nintendo and SEGA as an advisor, sees the return of the titular character to consoles since four years ago in the first Bayonetta, where she flaunted her stuff against an onslaught of angels and getting mixed up in a confusing plot. This time she’s managed to annoy not just the holiest of holies, but demons from hell too. The plot in Bayonetta 2 takes off just after the end of the first Bayonetta with the Umbra Witch partaking in a spot of Christmas shopping with her good friend Jeanne and bumbling oaf Enzo, but something doesn’t feel right. Natural disasters have been running rampart throughout the world, and the balance between the angels and demons is off. When the summoning of the demon Gomorrah to finish of an angel goes wrong, Jeanne gets her soul knocked out of her and is sent to hell. It’s up to Bayonetta to save her soul, with the help of the mysterious card-wielding boy Loki and the ever-so-charming journalist extraordinaire and returning character Luka. There’s also the mysterious Masked Lumen who shows up too. If the plot seems a little out there, it is. Things do pick up halfway through and there’s a tone of seriousness, which really does lend itself to the plot. After players have completed both games, everything generally makes sense. In all, there’s 16 chapters to go through! When Bayonetta isn’t fighting her way through foes, she’s exploring wonderful locations. Hidden in nooks and crannies are various journals that explain the Bayonetta franchise’s lore, Muspelheim portals that lead to battles with certain conditions like not being able to touch the ground or defeating all the enemies in a set time limit, and the resting places of fallen witches which when opened can yield various rewards. The environments are gorgeous to look at; the icing on the cake.The Witch is back this holiday season and she means business!
Platforms: PS4, XB1 Genre: STEALTH, OPEN-WORLD Publisher: UBISOFT
ASSASSIN'S CREED UNITY
Fans and critics argued at length about the possible location for this instalment, with the final result being Paris, France. In the open-world stealth game, you’ll play as Arno Dorian, a man who is looking to redeem himself for his part in the death of his father. Some of his ancestors were assassins and he inevitably finds himself drawn to join the order, even though he does not agree with their entire philosophy. This all takes place just before the French Revolution, a rich historical era with plenty of spots to slot the assassin order right in. Arno is considerably wittier than his predecessors, though I’d only class Edward Kenway as having any sense of fun at all, so that’s not exactly big competition. But we all know how the story goes by now: dangerous man becomes assassin, kills a bunch of people, gets betrayed, completely derails society by killing some historical figure only for the Templars to eventually own the world again in the modern day. Where Unity sets itself apart is by tweaking the mechanics. Up until now, Assassin’s Creed games have been almost strictly single player affairs. A multiplayer mode was introduced in Brotherhood and continued through the following games but that wasn’t why people picked up the game. However, since the cooperative play in the Wolfpack training mode for Assassin’s Creed III was so well received, players will have the option of teaming up with others to complete missions in-game in Unity for the first time. Visually, the game is stunning! So much detail – light and shadow work is incredible! Assassin’s Creed Unity sadly was plagued with some game play and bug issues upon it release, however come Christmas day, we are almost positive Ubisoft will have ironed out all the game wrinkles and there will be stabby stabby action for all!
Platforms: PS3, 360, PS4, XB1, WII, WIIU Genre: RHYTHM/DANCING Publisher: UBISOFT
JUST DANCE 2015 If your gamer has boogie fever or can’t control their feet, maybe Just Dance 2015 is just the ticket! Ubisoft’s ever popular dancing franchise is back! With over 40 songs, including some amazing top 40 hits, players can dance their way to earn points by following the on screen dancers. Let loose and bust out some moves to tracks such as ‘Happy’ by Pharrell or try your luck at the Tetris dance… looks easy enough right? Oh you have been warned! The old saying of ‘if it aint broke, don’t fix it’ certainly applies to Just Dance 2015! Its well-polished, fun and a brilliant game to play alone, but better with a group of friends! Will this one shimmy it’s way under your gamers Christmas tree?
Platforms: 3DS Genre: RPG Publisher: NINTENDO
POKEMON OMEGA RUBY & ALPHA SAPPHIRE Pokémon trainers and gamers will be able to travel back to the land of Hoenn for the first time in over ten years this November in the next instalments of the Pokémon series; Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire for the Game Boy Advance, released in 2003. The tried-and-true turn-based role playing game combat hasn’t been changed by developer Game Freak, but what has been introduced and improved has had Pokémon trainers cheering. Taking off from Pokémon X’s and Pokémon Y’s Mega Evolution to further evolve a Pokémon during battle is Primal Reversion, which is said to devolve a Pokémon to a prehistoric state. Primal Reversion can be performed by the legendary Pokémon of the earth Groudon and the legendary Pokémon of the ocean Kyogre to become Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre. Receiving an upgrade from Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire in this game are Secret Bases, the ability to create a, well, Secret Base in the landscape of Hoenn. You can share these bases through StreetPass or with QR codes, and battle your friends! Decorate your base, and establish the battle rules for your friends to fight you with, and it’s like your very own gym! You can also recruit people you like as Secret Pals, where a representation of their character can hang out in your base. Coming in from Pokémon Diamond, Pokémon Pearl and Pokémon Platinum are Secret Base flags, where you can steal your friend’s flags from their own bases. Are you gonna catch ‘em all this Christmas?
Platforms: PS4, XB1 Genre: MUSIC Publisher: UBISOFT
ROCKSMITH 2014 EDITION Get ready to rock out with your… umm… Ok, you know where we were heading with that! Rocksmith 2014 Edition is the fastest way to learn how to play a guitar! Plug in any real guitar or bass and you are ready to join over 2 million other people learning how to play guitar! The 2014 edition is bigger, better and faster! Rebuilt from the ground up, budding rockers will experience new improved features from the previous instalments, a new look, more flexible and deeper practice tool, new techniques and string tunings, over 50 new hit songs to learn and so much more! With the new session mode, Rocksmith 2014 Edition takes guitar learning to the next level by allowing you to play guitar with a virtual band that follows your every lead. Select from an assortment of backing instruments and styles, and sessions mode reacts to the notes you play! Record your jams so you can show your friends or if you are game, share them with the world! With on screen prompting and step by step assistance, Rocksmith 2014 Edition will give you the chance to enjoy the feeling of jamming whether you are a beginner or an advanced player! PS…. If you are going to buy this game, you have to have a guitar or bass already otherwise there will be no jamming on Christmas morning!
Still can’t decide? If you have a gamer who has everything OR you can’t work out if they will be happy with your choice of game, grab a Gametraders gift card! It can’t get any easier than that!
INDUSTRY COMMENT I’m hoping my Christmas Tree will be loaded with goodies, but I’d be particularly happy upon finding a Playsta-tion TV box nestled underneath.
There are so many decent games coming out this Christmas period, it’s hard to pick just one to be under the Christmas tree this year! I’m going to have to go ahead and pick Grand Theft Auto V for the Xbox One. I simply love spending time in Los Santos, both in single player and in multiplayer, and find the city to be particularly beautiful when it’s lit up with the chaos of explosions and gunfire. I’m particularly keen to revisit GTA V on the Xbox One as it has upgraded textures, an expanded soundtrack, first-person mode as well as new content promised for the currentgen consoles (C’mon multiplayer heists!). I loved Grand Theft Auto V’s multiplayer and am optimistic that there will be a few more nifty expansions and patches that breathe new life into Los Santos before the next Rockstar game is announced and ultimately released.
I had to think outside the box so to speak when it came to what I wanted for a gaming Christmas…mainly because I’m getting what I want. I’ve been playing a bit of the original Medal of Honor lately, and Gran Turismo 2. The games that got me into shooters and racers. And they’re still just as fun as they were 15 years ago when they launched. I actually have more fun with them than I do with some modern games. I’d be happy with a modern remake of either one-new graphics, new physics etc, just don’t mess with the gameplay. Got back to your roots, what you’re good at. Strip away the gimics and modernize some classic gameplay.
Whilst not a device I’d buy for myself, the back catalogue of PS Vita games that it enables you to access, in addition to the selected PSP, PS1 and PS3 titles also available, makes the device a very attractive prospect. Add in the fact that the system supports remote play compatibility with the PS4, providing players with the ability to stream games from the PS4 to a separate TV connected to PS TV and you’ve got a device that would be at home in any lounge room. Although Playstation TV is only about the size of a pack of playing cards, the opportunity it offers to play PS Vita games makes me excited to experience highly rated titles I’ve previously never played. Playing a whole new catalogue of games is rewarding enough, but knowing Playstation TV would allow me to revisit classic games of my childhood, like Tomb Raider, Crash Bandicoot and Metal Gear Solid has me giddy with excitement like an 8 year old at Christmas.
Or if that fails, try and convince Gajin to release War Thunder on the Xbox One!
With a solid line up of titles to experience, alongside impressive additional features, I can guarantee that should I find a Playstation TV under my tree as a gift this Christmas, it’d be opened and plugged into my TV within 3 minutes flat!
tash richards WWW.savegameonline.COM
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE THIS YEAR? What I want to see under the tree this Christmas… are amiibo. Be it one or the whole set, I don’t care, but what I want is amiibo, figures from Nintendo that interact with certain games. The first twelve were released on the 29th of November, while six move will be released on the 12th of December. While they’re fully licensed Nintendo figures, they’re fully licensed Nintendo figures that interact with games. If you told eight year old me that in the future, you could buy toys that work with video games, I’d call you a liar. As a collector of material wealth, having amiibo would be a dream come true. As revealed in the November Nintendo Direct, amiibo will create a figure player in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, an computer-controlled character that learns how to combat
against you the more you play it, it can create the Spinner weapon for Link or materials and/or weapons in Hyrule Warriors, and give you a costume for your Mii in Mario Kart 8. These figures have already got so many different uses planned, with many more to come in the near future. They also have the added feature of looking awesome no matter where you put them. If I had to choose one amiibo to have, it might have to go with my inner Pokémon fan and go with the always cute Pikachu. On the other hand, that Samus amiibo does look mighty fine. And then there’s Luigi, and Captain Falcon… so many great characters to choose from!
sasha karen WWW.stickytriggerentertainment.COM
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DISNEY MAGICAL W
Games featuring Disney characters have had an inconsistent past. Some have been absolutely amazing (Kingdom Hearts) and others have been so-so. ‘Disney Magical World’ is a kids’ game that aims to immerse kids in exactly that, a magical Disney world. They’ll meet over 60 Disney characters as they solve problems, socialise, create outfits and explore fantastic environments all set within Disney’s vast film universe. It strikes me as life-simulation of sorts, similar to games such as Animal Crossing and MySims but this is one with its own unique gameplay and take on
the life-sim genre, one that Disney kids will definitely enjoy. Upon starting the game, players create their character from either an existing Mii or from scratch with the game’s character creator. There are a decent amount of customisation options available but kids are going to get really excited when they start making their own clothes with other Disney characters. After creating their character, players arrive at “Castleton”, a town built around a large castle. They’re
greeted by none other than Mickey and Minnie Mouse themselves, with an impressive amount of voice acting that is sure to immerse kids in the game world. After they’re introduced to the game, players will be introduced to the game’s main gameplay, which is exploring the world, meeting characters and helping them with favors (quests) as well as gathering ingredients (such as flowers) to create clothing and other items with. They’ll even go into dungeons and receive special rewards for playing with other players online or via Nin-
was a pleasant surprise.That’s what struck me as the beauty of Disney Magical World – kids can play how they want, when they want and for as long as they want. Not even Minecraft can tout that kind of accessibility. Early on in the game, I did find I got stuck on one particular favour which took me a while to complete. It slightly irked me as the best kids’ game challenge kids but are accessible enough for a kid to play solely on their own – they won’t need their parents to beat a particular part for them. With Disney Magical World,
"BOYS CAN WEAR MINNIE'S BOW IF THEY CHOOSE AND GIRLS CAN WEAR PETER PAN'S PANTS IF THEY WISH." tendo’s StreetPass feature. There’s a decent amount of variety in store, but I feel it comes with a fair amount of repetitive padding as well. That isn’t to say that Disney Magical World isn’t an entertaining title – it is. It’s just that it feels like a game that kids will have to dedicate themselves to in the early beginning to get a taste of some of the really cool stuff that’s also in the game. At one point I used an item to create a hat that I in fact needed to create a quest item for another character. There weren’t any of these flowers left in the garden and I thought I would have to wait an unbearable amount of time for it to grow back like in other life-sims, but Disney Magical World is more forgiving than that. The flower only took a few minutes to grow back, which
there are occasional moments like this, but they are few and far between. Kids are still going to be able to have a fun time with this game if they’re yet to play a life sim or if they love Disney. One other point I like about the game (and this is something I myself have observed, the game didn’t make a point about it) is that the game is fair to both genders. Boys can wear Minnie’s bow if they choose and girls can wear Peter Pan’s pants if they wish. It was refreshing to see a game be fair to both genders and not force boys to do “boy stuff” and girls to do “girl stuff”. Disney Magical World is a decent life-sim featuring everyone’s favourite characters that has rewarding gameplay and decent (although
slightly repetitive) gameplay. It’s definitely suited to kids though if they’re already playing a life-sim like Animal Crossing they might find its gameplay too simple.
PROS: LOTS OF ACTIVITIES AND REWARDS. FUN AND SIMPLE GAMEPLAY THAT TEACHES SOCIAL INTERACTION. A FAIR AMOUNT OF VOICE ACTING THAT IMMERSES THE PLAYER.
CONS: SLOW FRAME RATE MAKES THE GAME SEEM SLOW ON OCCASION. SOME PADDING AND REPETITION.
WRITTEN BY NICK GETLEY
Note: If you’ve heard of Evolution Studios’ ‘Driveclub’ then you’ve also probably heard of the game’s online connectivity problems. Players everywhere are having a hard time connecting with each other which is a shame given that it is a major selling point of the game. Already the recipient of one patch, Driveclub is going to receive the updates it needs until multiplayer is fully functional. With that being said is the game playable and enjoyable right now? Definitely. Driveclub is a PlayStation 4 exclusive multiplayer racing game, where players can connect with each other, form and join clubs and unlock re-
wards for playing together. Touted as an immersive experience that “seamlessly connects you and your friends” and a game that “brings to life the heart and soul of car culture”, Driveclub is basically aiming to be the next big thing in the driving game world. While it doesn’t live up to those bold ambitions, the game is still fun and a welcome addition to the racing game scene. At the start of Driveclub, players are presented with a menu bearing a number of activities. There’s a single player career mode, single player quick race and multiplayer mode,
among the usual options, etc. At first, I was worried that Driveclub would bet yet another needlessly complicated racer with too much story, car setups and tuning that is overly-detailed and controls that are so realistic they’re unforgiving to the casual racing game enthusiast (not a rev head). Thankfully, Driveclub is accessible to just about anyone, regardless of their understanding of cars and car culture. Unfortunately, car nuts looking for depth will be disappointed by the lack of an actual story and in-depth car customisation, as Driveclub simply hurls new cars at the player for completing
events and the only customisation options available are paint jobs. Career mode’s races are made up of a number of different events. There are single car time trials, ghost racing (racing a previously recorded performance of yourself), championships and more. Regardless of which event you’re participating in, you can earn points by performing a number of different driving techniques such as drafting, drifting and racing through sections clean (without hitting another car or scenery). On some events, these techniques are absolutely vital to
7.5/10 winning. I found there was one time trial in particular that I couldn’t earn gold on unless I absolutely mastered the track and avoided collision. In fact, most of the single car events were a perfect-or-fail affair, with no room for error at all. Almost the exact opposite by comparison, multi-car races (races where you race several other cars) allowed much more room for error and the odd collision. I found it strange that
lutely have to learn to not treat the game like Burnout where you can drive a number of ways and still win. One particular feature I wasn’t expecting to be impressed by was Driveclubs environments, which look fantastic. Normally a racing game offers the bare minimum in terms of environments (as the cars tend to get all the developer’s attention) but everything in Driveclub looks as good as each other. With that being said the actual cars them-
"Thankfully, Driveclub is accessible to just about anyone, regardless of their understanding of cars and car culture." on one hand I could be forgiven for driving like an absolute maniac and on the other I couldn’t even toss up a pebble from the gravel without losing the gold. It felt more than a little inconsistent of Driveclub. Now, onto the handling and game play themselves. Much like the game’s presentation, the handling and cars in Driveclub are on-par with any simulation out there. I was reminded of Gran Turismo and Moto GP where the key to success lay in careful braking and not rushing around at maximum speed just because you can. Experienced driving sim players will find that Driveclub fits them like a glove, but more inexperienced players like me will abso-
selves could have probably looked better. Oh well, you win some you lose some. This now leads me to how I feel with the game overall – You win some, you lose some. Driveclub is fun, but probably won’t serve as a challenge to virtual rev heads as someone completely inexperienced like me was able to trounce any event on the first go or within a single retry. I enjoy that the player is rewarded with cars and paint jobs for finishing events, but that in itself also feels too easy. Combine that with the almost complete lack of tuning and customsation and Driveclub might feel a little stale to the experienced racer. Inexperienced and more cas-
ual racers might see Driveclub as a great introduction to the genre, which it is. At the time of writing this, the online multiplayer is in need of several patches, holding this game back from its potential and a higher score. It was, after all, marketed as a multiplayer racer.
PROS: ACCESSIBLE LOOKS GREAT
CONS: LACK OF CUSTOMISATION INCONSISTEND DIFFICULTY. OFTEN FEELS TOO EASY.
WRITTEN BY NICK GETLEY
CALL OF DUTY: AD
We lay in ruins. A once proud army who fought with the ferocity of wild animals and unrivaled loyalty is no more. Somehow remnants of our forces still remain, with that a spark of hope and the promise of a better tomorrow. No, I’m not quoting or referencing a Call of Duty game or character, I’m talking about the Call of Duty community itself. A gradual decline in the quality of the franchise as well as the embarrassingly bad Call of Duty: Ghosts has significantly reduced the amount of gamers that call themselves “Call of Duty fans”.
best the series has ever seen. In fact, so much so that comparing it to previous CoDs is a disservice to the game. Advanced Warfare looks amazing and is a huge leap forward for the series from a visual standpoint. The cut scenes move away from simply showing a tactical map with generic voiceovers too a more cinematic approach – no doubt a decision made when Kevin Spacey came on board. Speaking of Mr Spacey, he truly delivers a performance on par with anything else we have ever seen from him. There is an unfortunate trend of TV and film actors delivering sub-par voice act-
"THE GAME'S CHARACTERS, CUT SCENES, ENVIRONMENTS AND LIGHTING IS THE BEST THE SERIES HAS EVER SEEN." When Ghosts was released Call of Duty fans and press knew that a better CoD was just on the horizon. With a veritable super group of developers working on the next game for 3 years, this would be a far cry from the rushed and decidedly deplorable Call of Duty: Ghosts. ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘ is finally upon us, complete with an amazing performance from Kevin Spacey and the biggest tweaks to the Call of Duty formula since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but is it enough to win back fans? Is this a return to Call of Duty‘s glory period or yet another sub-par entry in the series? Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare truly benefits, quite obviously, from its three year development cycle. The game’s characters, cut scenes, environments and lighting is the
ing performances in video games (Peter Dinklage in Destiny springs to mind) but Kevin Spacey absolutely nails his performance – and the game itself sets a new benchmark for cut scenes and motion-captured performances. The two coming together make for the best delivery of a story we’ve ever seen in a Call of Duty game. The campaign’s climax is especially gorgeous (visually), very memorable and will be hard to top with the next Call of Duty game. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare casts players as Private Jack Mitchell of the United States Marine Corps in the year 2054. The game is called Advanced Warfare for a reason, and the setting of the near future allows for some mind blowing weaponry and action sequences. This isn’t pure fantasy however;
9/10 PROS: AMAZING CAMPAIGN LOADED WITH MEMORABLE LEVELS AND A BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE FROM THE GAME’S CAST. MULTIPLAYER IS GREAT FUN AND IMMEDIATELY ACCESSIBLE. LOOKS GORGEOUS.
CONS: PREDICTABLE CAMPAIGN. MULTIPLAYER YET AGAIN SUFFERS FROM LATENCY ISSUES (LAG) AT TIMES.
as Activision are insisting that every piece of futuristic tech in this game is currently being researched or developed (check out the T.A.L.O.S. Suit being developed by SOCOM). Soldiers have mobility-boosting exoskeletons (simply referred to as Exo Suits), Predator style cloaking abilities, hover tanks and energy weapons, just to name a few of the military technological advancements found in-game. Mitchell fights alongside Will Irons (who is also his best friend) and Sergeant Cormack in an operation in Seoul in which Irons is killed in action and Mitchell loses his left arm. Due to his injury, Mitchell is discharged from the service though he is later recruited by Will’s father, Jonathan Irons. Irons is the CEO of Atlas, the world’s most powerful PMC (private military company) which has equip-
ment decades ahead of the US government’s defense forces. Mitchell joins Atlas, gets his arm replaced with a cutting-edge prosthetic and is soon back in action. Meanwhile, the world is under threat by the KVA and its charismatic leader, “Hades”. After numerous KVA attacks, it is Atlas, not the US government that comes to the world’s aid. It is not long before Atlas are thwarting the KVA around the world and gaining influence and power with each victory. After being the first non-government representative to be elected to the global security council, Irons begins to question and disagree with the response to terrorism from the world’s leaders, citing his own methods as being much more effective. Tensions between Atlas and the world’s leaders rise as the threat of the KVA looms
over the world. Can Atlas gain world peace through force? Can the KVA be stopped? I won’t go into more detail with Advanced Warfare‘s story but I will say that in more than makes up for the weak storylines of previous Call of Duty titles. The talents of each development studio were utilised brilliantly for Advanced Warfare‘s campaign, and whereas previous Call of Duty titles had one or two outstanding levels that served as the highlight of their game, Advanced Warfare manages to have an entire campaign of memorable levels, each one offering a unique experience to the game but also complementing each other. You’ll take flight in a ultra-fast jet flying through an intense desert canyon shootout, you’ll fight the KVA whilst jumping from moving vehicle to moving vehicle on a highway, and you’ll stalk the shadows, snapping necks and grappling from building to building like a ninja in another. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s campaign is
player campaign would make for revolutionary multiplayer gameplay but the reality is this is still Call of Duty as we know it. Yes you can boost in mid-air, sideways, backwards and even down to ground at break-neck speed (you can even stomp on your enemies to kill them) but if you run into battle boosting without thinking you will find yourself less a futuristic super-soldier and more a futuristic clay pigeon. There are also Exo abilities that can also be used for a few slick advantages on the field (you can cloak, temporarily boost your health and mute your footsteps) but these aren’t so over-the-top that players will have an unfair advantage. This is both a good and bad thing, as the game’s multiplayer is fairly balanced, but the abilities become second nature fairly quickly and probably won’t have the impact with fans that the developers probably would have hoped for. I will say that the multiplayer is the best we’ve seen in a Call of Duty game for years, I
makes up for it. If you’re on the fence about picking up Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, don’t be – just pick it up. The campaign is unparalleled by its consistently exhilarating action and the multiplayer is as reliable as ever while offering a few fresh tweaks and features. Note: Call of Duty’s iconic Zombies mode is on the way in the form of downloadable content. No other details are presently available but it’s important for Call of Duty fans to know that Advanced Warfare does not come with a Zombies mode already included, counter to some internet rumours.
" if you're on the fence about picking up call of duty: advanced warfare, don't be - just pick it up." game of the year material, filled with countless “whoa” moments! The actual narrative of the story becomes predictable fairly quickly, but I didn’t find that is was too detrimental to the campaign overall. Yes, there are no surprises when it comes to the story but it is delivered with panache and ability that few game developers can achieve.
just would have liked a bit more of a shake up to the formula. There is only so much tweaking you can do to Call of Duty‘s solid shooting mechanics before it becomes something completely different, so it’s probably for the best that Advanced Warfare plays to its strengths while sprinkling in some new and nifty features.
Now onto the multiplayer, which is the truly the core of the Call of Duty experience. You might think that the Exo suits from the game’s single-
While Call of Duty: Ghosts was deserving of its harsh criticism from fans and critics alike, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare more than
WRITTEN BY NICK GETLEY
Bayonetta 2, developed by Platinum Games, published by Nintendo and SEGA as an advisor, sees the return of the titular character to consoles since four years ago in the first Bayonetta, where she flaunted her stuff against an onslaught of angels and getting mixed up in a confusing plot. This time she’s managed to annoy not just the holiest of holies, but demons from hell too. Just like her new hairstyle, is Bayonetta just like the first Bayonetta with a new ‘do? Or is there something else lurking beneath the surface? The plot in Bayonetta 2 takes off just
after the end of the first Bayonetta with the Umbra Witch partaking in a spot of Christmas shopping with her good friend Jeanne and bumbling oaf Enzo, but something doesn’t feel right. Natural disasters have been running rampart throughout the world, and the balance between the angels and demons is off. When the summoning of the demon Gomorrah to finish of an angel goes wrong, Jeanne gets her soul knocked out of her and is sent to hell. It’s up to Bayonetta to save her soul, with the help of the mysterious card-wielding boy Loki and the ever-so-charming journalist extraordi-
naire and returning character Luka. There’s also the mysterious Masked Lumen who shows up too. If the plot seems a little out there, it is. Things do pick up halfway through and there’s a tone of seriousness, which really does lend itself to the plot. After players have completed both games, everything generally makes sense. In all, there’s 16 chapters to go through. I would’ve liked it if the story was drawn out a bit longer, but the story mode still has a lot to offer. A look must be taken at the main character, Bayonetta. Coming from the Umbra Witch clan, she’s made a pact with demons and is able to use
their power. As a character, she’s quite confident, to the point when strong attacks and summons are used, her suit disappears, revealing her bare skin and she doesn’t even care. Compared to the first Bayonetta, this hyper-sexual nature have been toned down, but it’s still scattered throughout her character and the game. Scenes and gameplay elements of this nature aren’t on screen for too long if players are concerned about these tones, but the focus is definitely on the gameplay, not the risqué shots.
emy just like in the first Bayonetta, or the newly introduced Umbran Climax which increases the range of your combos allowing you significantly hurt many enemies. With so many ways to lay down the beating, players can spend many an hour to see what weapon works for them. Those who played the first Bayonetta will be also be pleased to hear combat is much more fluid this time around. It does make the game seem a little easier, but that might mean the first Bayonetta could have had less responsive controls.
While the story might be a little too out there for some, the crux of Bayonetta 2 is the gameplay, and what fantastic gameplay it is. As an action game, players move around various levels and smash hell out of forces of angels and demons with various combos with weapons that just like the last Bayonetta can be equipped to hands or to feet. While the first Bayonetta mainly played out
In addition to unlockable weapons, there’s a multitude of items to obtain through Rodin’s returning shop “The Gates of Hell”. New techniques, upgrades, even outfits are for sale for the in game currency, halos. Players will spend a while earning halos to purchase everything they can. If players want nothing to do with the story, or just want more game-
" When Bayonetta isn't fighting her way through foes, she's exploring wonderful locations." on land, this time battles can also be fought underwater and flying in the air, which does provide the variety for different areas. There’s more weapons this time around with guns, swords, flame and ice throwers, a bow, scythe, even a… chain chomp from the Mario franchise?! All of this and more is just waiting for players to discover just how many different ways an enemy can be destroyed. Successfully pummeling foes will result in gaining magic energy, which can cumulate in a Torture Attack which can severely damage one en-
play, then the Tag Climax mode will make many happy. This mode is played co-operatively either with a CPU partner, a friend or a random person online. After collecting the card of an enemy during the story, players can battle the enemy on the card in a quick bout. Players can also bet halos to increase the difficulty as well as the payout if they win, with the halos going back into single player. Earn more points than your partner and earn a bonus. Tag Climax takes the very essence of gameplay and condenses it into
bite-sized battles players can go back to again and again and again, with the ability to just power through the enemies of the game, or to take on a monumental challenge. When Bayonetta isn’t fighting her way through foes, she’s exploring wonderful locations. Hidden in nooks and crannies are various journals that explain the Bayonetta franchise’s lore, Muspelheim portals that lead to battles with certain conditions like not being able to touch the ground or defeating all the enemies in a set time limit, and the resting places of fallen witches which when opened can yield various rewards. The environments are gorgeous to look at; the icing on the cake. Some levels are dedicated to one giant boss fight, which is where Bayonetta 2 really shines. Giant creatures stand in players way, and it’s oh-so satisfying to take them down. There are quick time events that show up in the boss battles, but they don’t detract too much from the action already going on. Some of the boss fights against other humans feature a background with angels and demons fighting, with that battle depending on how your
progress is going in the foreground. They sometimes interact with you, such as having to avoid collateral damage, but overall it’s largely aesthetic. Regardless, it is a very nice touch. Speaking of nice touches, Bayonetta 2 is full of nice touches. There’s little references to other Platinum Games titles like The Wonderful 101, the Nintendo costumes that you can dress Bayonetta up in; a great detail of attention and thought was put into this game. Bayonetta 2 could very well be my game of the year. While having hypersexual tones, the game has its deep moments and plays like an action game should – your fist or whatever weapon you have through the enemy’s face. A plot that has its touching moments, awe-inspiring boss battles, an online co-op multiplayer mode that stays true to the game’s core mechanics; This game is worthy to be played in any Wii U console. Bayonetta 2, which comes packaged, both physically and digitally, with the first Bayonetta at no additional cost, has been released exclusively for the Wii U.
PROS: A SILLY STORY THAT TAKES THE TIME TO TAKE ITSELF SERIOUSLY GAMEPLAY IS FLUID TAG CLIMAX ALLOWS YOU TO PLAY AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN THE LITTLE THINGS
CONS: LEFT WANTING MORE
WRITTEN BY SASHA KAREN
TBC 2015 - PC, PS4 & XB1
THE EVIL WITHIN
Shinji Mikami’s ‘The Evil Within’ carries with it an unfair burden. One one hand, Mikami himself is being put under scrutiny as he is the “Father of Survival Horror” and both critics and gamers want to know if he has what it takes to develop another hit survival horror franchise. On the other hand, comparisons to Resident Evil (Mikami’s biggest franchise hit) will be inevitable from some gamers, meaning they might not be able to critique The Evil Within on its own merits and faults alone. I will be approaching The Evil Within
for exactly what is and calling it as I see it – an ambitious new game from a man who helped define a genre and gain it the fame it now has. Is it perfect? No. Is it scary? Not really, but it is a fun game with genuine moments of dread and tension. It also has a wonderful creativity about it with some of the absolutely bizarre events that take place throughout the story. The Evil Within casts players as Detective Sebastian Castellanos (voiced by Hell on Wheels star Anson Mount), who is sent to investi-
gate a multiple homicide at Beacon Mental Hospital with his partners Julie “Kid” Kidman and Joseph Oda. Things quickly escalate out of control as the team encounter a dark and sinister force in the form of Ruvik, a mysterious man in a white hood who is covered in scars. During the investigation, Castellanos is knocked unconscious and after some gameplay (which I won’t spoil for you, dear readers) escapes Beacon Mental Hospital only to find the entire city being transformed by earthquakes. The dead rise, the world looks terrifying and Castella-
nos finds himself struggling to solve who Ruvik is, what is going on and how to stop it. The story in The Evil Within has a wide appeal, though it can feel inconsistent with its pacing. During actual gameplay, you’re simply trying to survive, reunite with other characters or solving puzzles while learning what backstory you can. During the cut scenes, there can be moments where the game actually explains itself, but these are usually interrupted by something. If like me, you love mystery and all things bizarre, you’ll be drawn in by The
tration exhausted or simply waning. The areas populated with monsters also contain clues and crafting materials to scavenge, so thorough players will find themselves exploring every single building they come across – which becomes extremely tedious. Open doors, creep around at a snail’s pace, open drawers, find a few bullets. Rinse. Repeat. It also throws the story’s pacing off a bit and I found myself having to really try to remember what I was doing and why I was doing it. I’d recommend taking a break from the game between chapters for that reason as you would not want to load a game
"..but i never genuinely screamed or threw my controller down and refused to play from sheer terror.." Evil Within’s sudden weird twists that are hurled at you. One minute, you’re at a nightmarish village running for your life, the next you’re in a dream (or are you?) talking to a nurse at a rundown ward (possibly back at Beacon), or the game will find another way to completely throw off your senses. It creates a tense atmosphere where you really don’t know who or what you can trust. In this regard, The Evil Within’s almost like an extremely gory and twisted Alice in Wonderland as every character and environment can take on another form or dark twist at any moment. Then there are the slow or awkward moments, where the game’s story can feel somewhat goofy or the game’s love of completely transforming itself can leave your concen-
and play from a random point in a level. “Enough about the story! Is it actually scary?” That depends on what scares you, I guess. I find horror is very much like comedy and is subjective. There are moments in The Evil Within where I may have been startled (where you “jump” on the inside), but I never genuinely screamed or threw my controller down and refused to play from sheer terror. Even though it’s in the midst of a major comeback, survival horror is still proving to be a challenge for even seasoned developers. Whereas Alien: Isolation might feel too drawn out for some players, the Evil Within might feel like it strays away from being an actual survival horror game, given
ENGAGING A FRESH TAKE ON SURVIVAL HORROR TENSE AND WONDERFULLY IMAGINATIVE ATMOSPHERE
RPG ELEMENTS WEREN’T NEEDED PACING CAN BE INCONSISTENT NOT AS SCARY AS IT COULD HAVE BEEN
that there are RPG-style character upgrades and multiple weapons to collect. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very much a fun horror title, I just wish it didn’t feel like Resident Evil 4 at times. People who haven’t played many survival horror titles will probably jump at the scare moments and find themselves terrified by some of the undead and monsters that The Evil Within offers.
and turned a switch which transformed my once promising escape route into a bottle-necked deathtrap. Bodies either side of the corridor were swept into giant blades and shredded before my eyes as the blades drew closer and closer. It’s moments like these that make The Evil Within a great title and it has many of these in store for the player.
So while it’s not all raw survival The Evil Within does offer a wonderfully imaginative spin on survival horror. The gameplay can change drastically in an instant, which keeps play-
It might have sounded like I didn’t enjoy The Evil Within at times. Quite the contrary, I rather enjoyed it – I only wish it played to its strengths more and offered more moments
"..i only wish it played to its strengths more and offered more moment of tense horror" ers on their toes in the best way. At one point I was running away from a chainsaw-wielding monster who managed to severely wound my leg. I was then limping and making my getaway at a much slower pace when it seemed as though my pursuer had given up. To my surprise he then locked a door behind me
of tense horror. The characters are unfortunately weak but the atmosphere and the environments are quite interesting. Fans of Mikami’s previous work will definitely enjoy it, as will anyone looking for a good horror title. Just don’t expect to go into cardiac arrest from fear.
WRITTEN BY NICK GETLEY
In November of 2004, I was 13 years old and on the cusp of finishing my first year in high-school in rather anti-climactic fashion. It had been a particularly difficult year as a wildly over-stimulated, shy and incredibly confused kid with Asperger’s making his first steps into that horrible cavalcade of hormones we call puberty. My main reprieves that year came from the occasional days off I spent playing the Counter-Strike: Source beta or checking out the old Halo 2 website Bungie created and checking the behind-the-scenes features while eagerly watching the website’s timer countdown to the
universe and its success are built. We’ve given those players the Halo experience they’ve been asking for, but with more features, tools, and controls to either replicate or enhance the experiences that made them Halo fans to begin with.” When I first played Halo 2 ten years ago, there was an undeniable otherness to it, the build-up and hype to it was almost unheard of at the time. The trailers were among the first to really hit viral status through social media; there were lines for midnight launches at retail stores across the globe and the level of
"halo: combat evolved gave birth to one of the most successful video game franchises of all time.."
So… what is Halo: Master Chief Collection?
celebrity involvement inside the actual game was mind blowing. Breaking Benjamin contributed to the soundtrack with Blow Me Away Incubus with an epically orchestrated series of movements called The Odyssey and don’t get me started on the celebrity guest list! After all this time it’s still funny to hear David Cross and Michelle Rodriguez voicing the two UNSC Marines during the bridge section of the New Mombasa level.
From the mouth of Xbox – “Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a curation of more than ten years of Halo content and there’s enough material in there to allow you to get hopelessly (and we hope happily) lost. It’s also a celebration of that decade of Halo, its features and content, and of the players who are the foundation on which the
Halo: Combat Evolved gave birth to one of the most successful video game franchises of all time but there was one thing that its successor heralded in. Halo 2 gave birth to video game blockbusters and in that sense it became the gaming world’s equivalent to Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film, Jaws. The years follow-
November 9th release date. Playing through Halo 2: Anniversary put me into the mindset of that 13 year old as I came to realize the scope of the franchise’s involvement in gaming history and what Halo means as a video game series.
9/10 ing Halo 2 saw the rise of publishers deciding to push developers into delivering highly-popular content in as a condensed amount of time as possible. Hence Activision started raking in money by jumping between different developers to release Call of Duty instalments every year, beginning with Call of Duty 2 in 2005, while Electronic Arts capitalized on the practice to a lesser extent with a two year turnaround between Mass Effect 2 and 3 and then with a one year development cycle for 2011’s Dragon Age 2. All of these are reminiscent of the Hollywood blockbusters which come to our local cinemas each year, from Marvel super hero films to pretty much anything Liam Neeson has starred in within the last six years. Love it or hate it, Halo 2’s development hell in combination with its adoring fandom is directly respon-
However, the troubles of Halo 2’s development and its status as a blockbuster video game series also helped to pave the way for gamers. Halo is a franchise that came of age with its massive fanbase in both a physical sense and in regards to what gamers now expect from modern AAA titles. Something that is evident in both the evolution of the franchise and how gamers react to the latest releases. This coalesces perfectly within the Master Chief Collection. Make no mistake, Halo 2: Anniversary is the crown jewel of the remastered games compiled together by 343 Industries and what they’ve done is magnificent. The now famed “Anniversary Treatment” is a welldeserved moniker for their work as seeing the visualized expectations
"Make no mistake, Halo 2: Anniversary is the crown jewel of the remastered games compiled together.." sible for the existence of blockbuster video games. The funny thing about Halo 2’s success is the fact that it was not a finished game when it launched. Much like with its original predecessor, the further one got into the game, the more backtracking occurred throughout the later levels, but most noticeable of all was the fact that Halo 2 was missing its final act and as a result gamers were left with an open ending…
of 2004 being matched up against the visualized expectations of 2014 is powerful to observe. Especially within the cutscenes alone as the introduction of Blur Studios to remaster every cutscene with CGI is and really helps to cement the cinematic nature of a blockbuster title by comparison. The music, the in-game lighting, the new character models, the new foley-sounds (which were always Bungie’s weakest department way back when), the new textures - eve-
rything is so vastly improved and up-to-date that it actually becomes jarring to play Halo 3 afterwards. Sure, everything is now playing at 60 frames per second and at 1080p HD resolution but after being treated like a kid in a candy store with Halo 2’s anniversary treatment, playing Halo 3 can make you feel like your parents promised you a trip to Disneyland only to find yourself in the parking lot outside the Dentist’s office. If anything, Halo 2: Anniversary feels more like an adaptation than a remastering due to just how good it looks in contrast to its 2007 successor and, the fact that Halo: CE Anniversary didn’t have Blur’s involvement in the cutscene department and I’m aware that I’m really nit-picking in order to say any of this as a negative aspect of the Master Chief Collection. Halo 2: Anniversary feels like an adaptation of its 2004 counterpart because there’s something Battlestar Galactica actor James Callis said at the Melbourne Supanova PopCulture Expo this year that has kept ringing in my head. “Good stories deserve to be told and they get to be retold several times in different ways…” As I’ve mentioned, Halo 2’s story has a lot of problems but the universe that had been created in 2004 was bursting with energy and creative influences that remastering it not only brings those ecstatic environments back to what they were at the time but closer to what they were trying to be.
PROS: GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR THOSE NEW TO THE FRANCHISE TO GET INVOLVED BEFORE HALO 5 HITS STORES IN 2015. HALO: CE ANNIVERSARY, HALO 2: ANNIVERSARY, HALO 3 AND HALO 4 ARE ALL RUNNING AT 60FPS AT 1080P HD RESOLUTION. IMPRESSIVE COMPILATION OF MULTIPLAYER OPTIONS SPANNING ALL FOUR GAMES. IMPRESSIVE STORYTELLING BUNGIE’S CHEESY ONE-LINERS ARE STILL HILARIOUSLY CRINGEWORTHY
CONS: HAVE A HARD TIME HEARING SOME OF THE IN-GAME DIALOGUE OVER THE MUSIC, GUNFIRE, LAZERS AND EXPLOSIONS. HALO 2’S OPEN ENDING STILL HURTS. HALO 3’S STILL INHERENTLY INTACT IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM AND THUS STICKS OUT LIKE A SORE THUMB AMONG THE REST OF THE RELATIVELY UP-TO-DATE GAMES.
WRITTEN BY SEAN FOX
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STYX: MASTER OF
F SHADOWS REVIEW
Styx: Master of Shadows is a great little stealth/RPG from Cyanide Studios, the same studio who brought us “Of Orcs and Men” which was a fun/interesting take on the medieval fantasy genre, if a little janky. Much like “Of Orcs and Men”, Styx follows in that same style but it still stumbles here and there. The game kicks off with the titular Styx being caught trying to infiltrate a huge tower citadel called Akenash in order to steal the heart of the World Tree, a massive tree that produces a mystical substance known as Amber (which is effectively a replace-
ment for mana) for his own nefarious reasons. What makes this concept interesting is that our anti-hero is a goblin, but that is where it stopped being interesting for me, as the story is fairly forgettable and the game seems to have childish use of swearing confused with “gritty” and “dark”. I have no problem with swearing in the games I play but only when it’s used in believable ways (like when a guard turns around to see a goblin cutting his friend open and cries “F**K! A monster!”), but it’s usually just grating and cringe worthy here. Basically Humans are corrupt and foul, the Elves can’t be trusted, and the Orcs are mindless killing machines, there are a few plot twists here and there, but because the story drops you right in the middle of everything and assumes you know the score with this world it doesn’t explain anything.
of comical deaths trying to figure out what you can hang onto on a given wall (Quicksaving is your friend here). Enemy AI does a pretty good job of patrolling around in search of you, and will actually call any others within the area to the hunt. A complete lack of any peripheral vision on their part means you can get away with some ridiculous stuff.
pecially valued if you’re playing on the games hardest difficulty setting, Goblin. Every enemy will instant kill you if they get close enough, so not ever being seen, ever, is the only way to play (again, quicksaving is a must). The game also does a good job of throwing new enemy types into the mix to keep you on your toes.
There’s a pretty simple skill tree in the game that you’ll spend your SP (skill points) on. SP is tallied up at the end of every mission and is rewarded for completing the main and secondary objectives as well as finding collectables and achieving challenges, like not killing anyone or not raising a single alarm etc. So depending on how you play there’s enough SP going around to spec into what you want. There are some pretty ingenious abilities to unlock,
Several hours in the game introduces Knights, whom cannot be killed with your trusty dagger, throwing knifes, or disgusting clones. Instead you must use the environment to off them (though I would also like to mention it is possible to get through the game without killing anyone, despite only having lethal attacks in the game). For example; Poison their food or water, and when they stop for a snack they’ll choke to death a few seconds later, or there’s my personal favorite, crush them with a hanging object (like a chandelier or cargo crate from a crane).
"..Thus turning what could have been a really tight and focused game into something that just keeps dragging on and on.." Really though, the story is just a vehicle to get the player to cool areas to sneak and stab through, offering the kind of awesome vertical spaces to play in that you would expect from being set in a giant tower. Being a nimble goblin means there’s a parkour-lite system you’ll be using to get around these genuinely huge areas, but Assassin’s Creed this ain’t. While the movement is good and fast, the signposting for what Styx can and can’t hold onto is pretty poorly handled, so be prepared to die a number
like cloning. Styx will barf up a sickly clone of himself who can crawl under locked gates, throw switches, and stay in a hiding spot until a hapless guard walks past in order to pull him in and murder him. The process of using the environment to sneak around, kill, and hide the bodies of guards would often make me harken back to Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, in that despite being as useful as a wet teabag in a standup fight, there is always a way out for the player. Which is es-
Each new enemy requires unique tactics in how to deal with them, and the game introduces these goons at the right times so the core mechanic of sneaking always has a new challenge. “Well this sounds like an excellent game! Thanks you incredibly intelligent and handsome critic, I’m just going to go bu-” Hey now, I’m not done yet! There is one very notable fly in the soup of an other wise very good $30 game, and that is padding. Rather than craft an excellent 1015 hour game, Cyanide instead (seemingly arbitrarily) decided to really force this game into a 20-25 hour experience. Thus turning what could have been a really tight and
focused game into something that just keeps dragging on and on and on and on and on an- you get the idea. This veritable journey of backtracking, heavy asset recycling, and a really protracted end-game, coupled with a so-so story means that I find it hard to recommend as a lasting game with plenty of replay value like some of the other best stealth titles on the market. Sure there are the collectables and extra challenges, but thereâ€™s too much filler around the middle section for it to really encourage repeat playthroughs. This game and the concept of the world surrounding is really interesting and I would love to see something more from these guys, but the overuse of filler content to hit an arbitrary amount of play time needed to finish this game really hampers the experience.
WRITTEN BY LIAM CHURCH
GREAT STEALTH GAMEPLAY INTRODUCES ENOUGH NEW ENEMY TYPES TO STAY INTERESTING FUN AND INTERESTING ABILITIES THAT DO PROVE USEFUL
SO-SO STORY THAT EXPECTS YOU TO KNOW THE PLAYERS AND THE WORLD GRATING USE OF SWEARING WAY TOO MUCH PADDING/ FILLER CONTENT (THAT STOPPED IT FROM BEING A 7.5)
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A VERY RETRO CHRISTMAS! RETRO
This month I was asked to write about my personal experiences with video games at Christmas time. When I was presented with the topic, 3 specific Christmases came to mind. Let’s start with Christmas 1988. As a child I was a fan of Lord Alan Sugar’s miracle computer, the Amstrad CPC. While I had friends who owned Commodore 64s, I was exposed to the CPC 6128 computer at school. They were more colourful, their disc drive was a lot faster and the games were just as much fun. Throughout the year I was hounding my parents, insisting that we needed a computer and using the “homework” excuse that so many kids used back then. A few days before Christ-
puters in the 70s and early 80s. This did mean that come Christmas day I would have a shiny new computer with no games or programs. A day or two later I went out with my rather annoyed father (Christmas shopping can be full on) and came home with an “Ozisoft 6 Pak”. The games included were “Ace”, “Batty”, “International Karate 1 and 2”, “Shockwave Rider” and “Into the Eagles Nest”, which I spent most of my time playing. Imagine an overhead Wolfenstein 3D and you’ll see why I enjoyed this game so much. A remake is available if you want to hit up Google and check it out.
the second one was a compilation pack called “Heroes”. This compilation featured “The Running Man”, “Barbarian 2”, “Star Wars” and “License to Kill”. I was told I could have one game now and the other for Christmas. I chose “Double Dragon” as the game I wanted now, with the compilation for Christmas. Of the games featured on that compilation I probably spent most of my time playing “License to Kill”, which to this day is my favourite James Bond movie. James Bond going rogue, what’s not to love?
One problem with owning an Amstrad CPC computer was that within
In 1992 I still had my Amstrad (though it wouldn’t be long till my parents regrettably sold it), but also owned a shiny new Gameboy. The problem with Nintendo’s amazing little handheld was that the games were rather pricey for a family with a single income and 2 children. My grandparents came to the rescue once again, as they were going to Singapore this time. Again, I was to write a list of games I wanted and they took it with them. The deal was a bit different this time, as I would be given all the games for Christmas. That Christmas I received “Terminator 2”, “The Simpsons: Bart’s Escape from Camp Deadly”, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2” and one of those dodgy pirate cartridges with around 60 games. “Terminator 2” I
"..you'll see why I enjoyed this game so much." mas of 1988 I went out with my father and came home with the shiny black beast. The salesperson told us that the computer came with everything we needed, including games. While the computer came with 2 discs, those discs did not contain games. Instead the discs contained an operating system called CP/M. This operating system predated DOS and was reasonably common among com-
a year or two of me getting mine, stores in Adelaide decided not to sell the games anymore. They were still being made and were plentiful in the UK. Computer even magazines showed that they were available in the eastern states, but for some reason not in Adelaide. Earlier in 1990 my grandparents were going to the UK and I was asked to write a list of games I wanted. When they came back they had 2 boxes with them. One of them was “Double Dragon”,
Anyway, back the the topic!
completed and never touched again as it was rather average. I spent a lot of time playing “Ninja Gaiden” on the pirate cart and the Simpsons and TMNT game. I completed them
both when I was younger, but today I can’t even get close! Memories… It seems they fade along with my video game playing skills!!
WRITTEN BY paul monopoli
TECH & POP
P CULTURE! Every month we look at cool new stuff in the world of pop culture, technology & more!
Contents Make Out Monday Interview Collectibles Comics Video Games & Film Board Games
MAKE OUT MONDAY www.MAKEOUTMONDAY.COM This month Live Magazine visited both Supanova events. Firstly in Adelaide and then in Brisbane. While in Adelaide we bumped into Jeremy Shada and his band, Make Out Monday. The band take inspiration from alternative, punk and pop music and have crafted contagious and catchy songs that appeal to a broad audience. Jeremy, as you may know is also the voice of Finn the Human from the American animated TV show, Adventure Time. We sat down with the boys for a quick chat before they headed off to Brisbane. Boys, welcome to Live Magazine. Tell us how you guys got together and started playing. We’ve all been friends for a while and we’ve worked together in various music projects over the years and one day we just kinda thought, “why don’t we combine all this and make a Band?” So we jammed a couple times and loved doing music together and we decided to start the band! You’ve just released and EP, Kicking Cars, tell us about the songs.
Who wrote them and what inspired them. The “Kicking Cars” EP was fully written by us but lyrically mostly written by Zack(Vocals,Keys) and a lot of it was inspired by past relationships, teenage-hood, and the punky angst that comes from a breakup. The song “Hope Less Romantics” is on Youtube and is a pretty cool clip, tell us a bit about that and the making of the clip.
we’re practicing on nights where everyone is free and we figure it out week to week. The great thing about Jeremy being on Adventure Time is whenever he goes somewhere for a Comic-Con or fan Expo we’re able to bring out the whole band and play shows at those events, which is a great tool for touring in lots of places around the world early on! What’s next for the band? What’s coming up in 2015?
The “Hope Less Romantics” music video is our first video and we really wanted to show off the band and show off who does what in our group. We shot in in less than 2 days on a sound stage in LA and Zack(Vocals,Keys) actually directed the video!
Now that our Debut EP “Kicking Cars” is out the main focus is on playing shows and doing touring as much as we can! We also plan to get back in the studio and start experimenting with songs because we have so many new ideas already so we’re hoping to start recording our first full length album.
How does the band handle Jeremy’s commitment to Adventure Time? Is it tricky getting together for gigs and practise?
We’d like to thank you guys for spending some time with us, where can readers go to find out more about the band?
Surprisingly we’re able to work around his Adventure Time schedule(as well as everyone else’s schedules since we’re all pretty busy) pretty well, we just make sure
You can find us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube as well as www.MakeOutMonday.com if you want to find out more about us and we have all of our info in those places!
Hot Toys Battle Da
C After picking up the Hot Toys DX10 and DX13 Terminator figures, you’d probably think that there’d be no need to get another Terminator figure, especially one based on Arnold Schwarzenegger. But when Hot Toys announced in February that they were releasing a Battle Damaged version from James Cameron’s classic first movie, I just couldn’t resist! And with its release now about 8 months later, I am definitely glad I made that order because it is one of the best Terminator figure ever made!
The cover art is based off the iconic movie poster with Arnie in his sun-
eye surgery on himself. The other is more battle damaged to represent the scenes later in the movie after his encounters with Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese. Both sculpts have very accurate likenesses to how Arnold appeared in the movie, and the paint application detail is amazing to see up close. Furthermore, both have LED light up features for the exposed eye, with a button that switches on the light and stays on for about 30 seconds before auto switching off. It’s a great feature and just adds the realism in a great way. The iconic sunglasses are also in-
"The weapons that are included are also up to the usual high Hot Toys standards.." nies, and it’s awesome just because of that! I love the battle damage theme also going through the packaging with the bullet holes in the cover and the cardboard slip. It all gives off a cool 80s vibe that I really love. Inside is the usual clamshell plastic coffin housing the figure and the great accessories.
The standout feature of the accessories is of course the two incredible head sculpts. One is only slightly battle damaged to represent the scene where he performs some impromptu
cluded, and are so accurate that they even have a slight orange translucent hue to them. When placed over the eyes, the LED eye can even be seen through them for an awesome look, as you can see in the photo below. The figure also comes with a multitude of hands for lots of pose options. The weapons that are included are also up to the usual high Hot Toys standards in terms of weathering and detail. You get a Smith & Wesson revolver, the iconic .45 long slide, and then the shotgun and machine gun that he used in the police station shootout scene. All are
amagedTerminator th 1/6 Scale
plastic but have extremely clean and detailed paint apps that are exceptional. The last awesome accessory is the figure base itself. Bases like this are normally reserved for their DX figures, but this time they’ve gone all out with this base. It has a great bitumen texture with bloody spatter, bullet casings, and the pipe bomb used in the movie complete with string fuse! It all adds to the amazing realism of this figure set.
The figure itself and its outfit is just superb, with all sorts of mixed media used throughout. The jacket is a really nice faux-leather material that is thin, but really nicely textured to resemble leather very accurately. It’s not so tight that you can’t move it over the body, but it still hugs the body contours really well. The only slight inaccuracy with the jacket is that in the movie the collar was pulled up more, but this can be easily fixed with a minor modification. The jacket itself also has a working zip at the front, but I did find it rather tight to try and zip it up. It is possible, but since I wanted to replicate the police shootout scene, I’ll leave the jacket open like it is in that movie scene. The inner t-shirt comes out of the box looking a little too short, but is made of a nice material that can be pulled down and stretched to make it come down to around the bottom of the jacket. After doing that it
looks a lot better. The battle damage bloody stains and holes to the exposed body underneath is also beautifully done with the blood flowing seamlessly through the holes to the endoskeleton below. The pants are a nice brown/grey khaki type material that is also not overly tight but just right. They fold into the lengthy boots, so a bit of futzing to get them sitting properly into the boots might be needed. And the boots themselves are a beautifully molded and painted soft plastic that allows for some articulation too. The articulation in the body is pretty great overall, with double jointed elbows that really allow for some nice poses with the weapons. The overall looks is just like he stepped straight out of the movie into your hands!
Together with the other recent Hot Toys Terminator figures, I’d have to say this is definitely a better figure than the DX10. The DX10 figure has a head sculpt that looks near perfect with the sunglasses on, but still appears a little off and too young without the glasses. But the DX13 Battle Damaged Terminator from T2 is still the best, with this new MMS238 coming pretty close in both sculpts. Either way, no matter which figure you have, you’ll have an incredible Terminator figure for your collection. If you’re a fan of the first movie, you’ll definitely want to pick this up - this figure comes with my highest recommendation!
KHAI AT KOOL KOLLECTIBLES www.koolkollectibles.net www.facebook.com/KoolKollectibles www.youtube.com/user/ckly76
JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS! ISSUE #2 - COMICS
And we are back! As you read this Christmas is looming ever closer! Last issue we looked at some great comics for this serious collectors out there. This month we are looking a little broader. Here are some top notch comics for the whole family to put under the Christmas tree this year.
Revenge: The Secret Origin of Emily Thorne ABC’s hit television show Revenge has gone form strength to strength over the last few years. While the show certainly doesn’t appeal to everyone (myself included) the comic book Revenge: The Secret Origin of Emily Thorne does. The book published by Marvel comics takes a look at the training and early life of the shows protagonist Emily Thorne and ties into the shows already well established universe. It is a must buy for a family member or friend who might be a fan of the show. Failing that, the art alone makes this book a must buy! I honestly haven’t seen better artwork in a very long time. Dustin Nguyen and Felix Ruiz bring some of the highest quality illustrations to this book, making it not only a must own for fans of the show but a must for lovers of quality art!
Adventure Time There is no denying the phenomena that is Pendleton Ward’s Adventure Time. The show has taken the world by storm. Popular with children and adults a like the show has taken on a cult like status and we can be sure it will be around for a long time to come. Along with all the toys and merchandise available Adventure Time the comic book is a must but for fans. With cute art and jokes to entertain the kiddies and enough of the shows signature ‘weird’ to satisfy the adult fans, the Adventure Time
their hands dirtier and dirtier. The comic has some stellar art as well as script writing to match the shows dark edge it is a must have for any fan of the hit show.
Skylanders The Kaos Trap Skylanders is one of those strange things that has seemed to be dominating childhoods around the world. The video game has become a massive hit and it’s characters and toys are beloved by children worldwide. Now comes Skylanders The Kaos
"the art alone makes this book a must buy! I honestly haven't seen better artwork in a very long time." comic book is a must have for all lovers of Finn and Jake’s wonderful adventures!
Sons Of Anarchy Maybe Dad or your big brothers like their TV shows a little rough around the edges? Well Sons Of Anarchy the graphic novel is for them! Capturing the gritty style of Kurt Sutter’s hit TV show, the graphic novel expands on the shows story, focusing on Jax, Tig and the boys as they get
Trap a graphic novel based on the hit video game, bringing Spyro and all his friends to the inked pages. The story and art is all kid friendly and will certainly delight children of all ages this Christmas!
Ms. Marvel Vol 1 No Normal Finally for the angsty teenager, just becoming self-aware we have Ms Marvel Vol 1 No Normal. This book is a must buy for everyone. It is one
of the most important comic book releases of all time, for many reasons! Firstly the new Ms Marvel is a teenage girl superhero, a demographic that has been sorly neglected by comic book writers for some time. Here we get a genuine, down to Earth, relatable, and above all strong female comic book character! Additional to that, she is also a muslim woman. What we have in Ms Marvel is a groundbreaking attempt by Marvel to look beyond the current state of comic book heroes and give the world something new. No Normal is a great title for this book! It is a sign that we are entering a new age of fairness and respect, where anyone can be a superhero and prejudice is a thing of the past. This book is a great and empowering gift idea for any young free thinking comic book fan! Well there we go some more ideas for Christmas! I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday! Merry Christmas from the comics guy at GT Live!
WRITTEN BYSCOTT F. SOWTER @SCOTTFSOWTER
A PUSH & PULL VIDEO GAMES & FILM Over the last 30 or so years we have seen video games make a leap of epic proportions, we saw games transform from 2D side scrolling adventures into entire universes built for players to explore. Through this transformation, not only have the games evolved but so to has the industry and has spread further than most people could have ever imagined. Gaming is no longer shunned to a dark corner of a lounge room, basement or to the children of the household; it is now exploded onto the silver screen in more ways than one. Although gaming has had a presence within the film industry since Atari brought us the game adaptation of the hit film E.T, which as most of us know, didn’t end well. In the recent years there has been better games to compliment a film of the same name or universe with games like the Amazing Spider-Man from Beenox and Activision that came out with the reboot of the film series of the same title, or the plethora of Star Wars games out there. From early on in their existence game adaptations of films have usually been an area most gamers steered clear of, and are often seen as objects of marketing rather than a fully fledged game. Although there may be some exceptions of this, like Spider-man 2 on PS2 although it isn’t a straight adaptation. On the other hand, the increase of films based off of video games has
been greeted with mixed popularity, with very few films adaptations being a successful hit and many more being thrown under the bus by the general populous of gamers. Films such as Max Payne, The Prince of Persia and the Resident Evil franchise have come out and developed the story from the games into something that can be worthy of the silver screen. Even films like Wreck it Ralph or the Lego movie, while not entirely based on a video game, the stories are derived from gaming in one way or another. Not only are video games and films giving each other a helping hand
lar video game streaming website Twitch.tv where audiences tune in to watch gamers play through their games in a live stream. This development in the gaming industry was a big step for viewers and players alike, giving everyone the ability to create and share content in various ways across the internet, with people from all over the world. The gaming industry has been pushing the boundaries of film and media in every way possible, and the film industry has been pushing back just as much. This push and
"..They each compliment each others way of story telling.." but video games are being used to make films themselves, with companies such as Rooster Teeth creating series like Red vs Blue, a web series made using the video game Halo, that has been running for 12 years. Using video games to create films or short webisodes is a method known as machinima and has increased in popularity to the point where major gaming company Valve released a video creation program using their in house game engine. Gamers are even taking to Youtube to produce their own version of gaming shows, with ‘lets plays’ (episodic playthroughs of games while the player commentates), and the popu-
pull has given us the games we have today, born from a need for an engrossing story and a greater universe to keep gamers entertained for longer periods of time. There will never be a time where film adaptations of video games or game adaptation of films aren’t being made. They each compliment each others way of story telling, games add to the film universe and films help pad out the game universe; even when it isn’t a great success, it still creates a whole other aspect to the story that’s being told. Each industry will continue to fuel the other until one becomes obsolete.
WRITTEN BY Samuel Reimer
BRAND NEW RELEASES FROM THE ICONIC STUDIO GHIBLI!
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top 10 board games! RETRO
Board games have been a popular past time for many generations. While their popularity may have dropped off in recent times, board games are definitely back on the rise with many of the classics being released in awesome video games, movie or pop culture versions. Featured on our list are the top ten of all time. While most people would have played a majority or all of these games some may not. If you havenâ€™t played one or many of these enjoyable games pop into your local GameTraders store or check the website and have a look at picking up any that are available. You never know, it may just feature your favourite characters! For the readers who have played all the games on the list Gametraders havenâ€™t forgotten about you as they also stock a huge range of new board and card games released recently. These games also make perfect stocking fillers!
10. Jenga Jenga is a game which requires mental and physical skill. Featuring 54 wooden blocks, the aim of the game is for players to remove one block at a time from a constructed tower and place it on the top level of the tower creating a progressively taller and less stable construction. It came be played with more than two players with the game finishing when the tower falls down. Jenga
has recently been made available in Donkey Kong, Tetris and Space Invaders versions adding extra game play elements to the game.
9. Yahtzee Yahtzee is a dice game in which players roll 5 dice to get the highest score from the combinations the dice may land on. The game has been one of board games most popular since 1940 with current owner Has-
it was released by Milton Bradley as the popular board game in 1967. At the start of the game the two players deploy their ships which vary in length from two to five squares secretly on their grid. Once the ships have been deployed players take turns guessing the locations of the other player ships by calling out the coordinates on the grid. The grid features holes that hold plastic pegs used to represent the guesses made by the opposing player. The
"..the most recognisable game in the world is Chess." bro claiming an average of 50 million being sold each year in recent times. Based largely on luck, probability and strategy with each player getting to roll the dice up to three times per turn to try and obtain, two, three, four of a kind, a Full Hose, Small or large straight or the best score type, Yahtzee which is five of a kind. Recently the game has been released in many varieties including Mario, Doctor Who, Futurama, Hello Kitty and Pac Man to name a few.
8. Battleship Battleship was originally published under many different names as a pad and pencil game in the 1930s before
first player to deduce and sink the other playerâ€™s ships is the winner.
7. Connect Four Published in 1974, Connect Four has become a popular board game since it was first sold under the trademarked name in 1974 by Milton Bradley. Two players first choose a colour, usually represented by yellow or red, and then take turns dropping the coloured disks from the top of a seven column, six row vertically suspended grid. The object of the game is to connect four of your coloured disks together before your opponent. These can be vertically, horizontally or diagonally. By releasing new themed ver-
sions such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and My Little Pony, Connect Four has helped to spruce up the basic coloured design of the traditional game.
6. Risk Risk is a turn based game for two to six people in which the playerâ€™s goal is to conquer the world. The standard version of the game is played on a board depicting the world map. The Earth has been divided into forty two territories which are grouped into six continents. The goal of the game is to occupy and own every territory. By doing so this eliminates the other players. To take a territory players roll the dice and the results determine how many army members can be used to capture other territories. Versions such as Metal Gear Solid and Mass Effect allow the players to take control of major military groups in their respective video games.
5. Checkers Checkers which is also known by the name Draughts is a classic two player board game that has many variations on the standard version. The most popular forms of Checkers are the International or the English/ American interpretations. International Checkers is played on a 10x10 board while the English/ American version is played on a 8x8 board. The game is pure strategy with the two opponents moving round pieces diagonally over the board. To win the game the playerâ€™s checkers will jump over the opponent pieces, capturing and eliminating that piece from further game play. Once one side is completely out of checkers they lose and the game is finished. An
lots of classic games have been updated to new versions including monopoly and risk! check your local store for details. awesome version which has been released recently is the Super Mario Checkers which feature Mario vs Luigi as the opposing teams.
4. Cluedo “Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick”, is a well known quote from the extremely popular murder mystery board game Cluedo. The game is designed for three to six players with the object of the game being able to determine who murdered the games victim and the details regarding their suspicions death. Players assume the role of one of the six suspects and attempts to discover the facts of the murder by strategically moving around a game board which represents the rooms of a mansion. Once a player enters a room they can announce a scenario including one suspect, weapon and room. Any players who hold any of the three clues announced must show the player that card. The first person to correctly name all three aspects of the murder wins the game. Cluedo has mainly kept to its original version but has recently branched out and released Dungeon and Dragons, Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes variants.
3. Scrabble First published in 1938 Scrabble has become a family favourite. Scrabble allows two to four players to test out their vocabulary and spelling skills by placing tiles marked with letters of the alphabet on a grid of 15 x 15 squares. These tiles must spell out a word defined in a standard dictionary. New words can be played through single letters already on the board. Each letter is marked with a
point value ranging from one to ten with the number of points based on the letters frequency in the English language. If a word is laid on a premium square on the board this will multiply the number of points awarded. The premium squares provide triple and double word scores.
2. Monopoly Monopoly’s history can be traced back to as early as 1903. By 1933 the game Monopoly had been created with Parker Brothers selling the game in 1935. The name of the game is the goal of the game as one player will ultimately have domination of the market as a single entity and drive all competition into bankruptcy. Players move around the board buying and trading properties, collecting rent from opponents and developing their properties with houses and hotels. Chance and Community cards as well as taxes make the game feel authentic to real life. Monopoly is quite a lengthy game with plays lasting easily up to four hours or more. Monopoly has been released in a plethora of awesome themes including: Nintendo, Family Guy, Star Trek, Doctor Who, The Lord of The Rings, Disney, Street Fighter, Sonic and Power Rangers to name a few. The next couple to be released are The Legend of Zelda and the re-made Pokemon Edition.
created in 1475. Chess is the very essence of strategy and tactics in a board game. Each player begins the game with 16 pieces, one King, One Queen, two Rooks, two Knights, two Bishops and eight Pawns. Each of the games 6 pieces move differently and if your piece intercepts an opponent’s it is taken and removed from play. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent’s king in to inescapable threat of capture. Chess has many traditional versions released and recently there has been released more modern takes with Nintendo, Snoopy and The Simpsons. Whether it’s a Friday night game of fun with friends or an all out war with family members, Board Games provide unlimited value and awesome times. They bring people together in a great social, fun experience and with the Holiday session nearly upon us this is the perfect time to whip out an old favourite or try something new. Board games also provide satisfaction when you are doing well. Having someone land on your property with a Hotel active in Monopoly is a great example of this! Of all the board games on the list I have played all bar one. That game is Risk and with Gametraders stocking this intriguing looking game in an all time family favourite franchise, Metal Gear Solid, I know which one I’ll be picking up to play over the holiday session.
1.Chess The most famous of all two player board games and the most recognisable game in the world is Chess. The origins of the game dates back to 280-550 in Eastern India with most of the rules used to this day
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KATYUSKA MOONFOX www.facebook.com/KATYUSKAMOONFOX This month Live Magazine talks to one of Australia’s most popular cosplayers, Katyuska Moonfox. Katyuska tell us what you’ve been up to since we last spoke to you in 2013. Hey there, It’s been that long already? Wow, Ive hardly noticed, time goes by so fast, I’m still working a lot, have a new sewing battle station and have been powering through costumes lately, really feeling motivated it’s great. You’ve been doing some amazing new cosplay recently, tell us what inspired you with those. I’ve been kicking myself into gear with getting all the costumes I’ve wanted to do and finally getting them done. As well as watching a lot of anime on my time off ( and while I sew), It’s so easy to stay motivated to do costumes when you’ve got a little background noise, especially if it’s from the source you’re making your cosplay from. There are a lot of things that inspire me to make the characters I choose as they’re all so different but it’s staying motivated to finish them which is the difficult thing. We hear you’re also a passionate gamer, what’s playing at your place? At the moment I’m up to the last
chapter of ‘The Evil Within’ It’s been great so far, Mikami has done a fantastic job of handling survival horror again, It’s very Silent hill meets Resident Evil ( 4 especially, some of the chapters felt ridiculously similar ). I love horror games and it’s been a fun time. When I finish this I’ve got Bayonetta 2 waiting for me, reviews have me pumped for it! Many of the cosplayers we talk to love movies and TV series - anything you’re hooked on at the moment? I’ve been pretty terrible with being up to date on TV shows. The only one I’ve been current with is the new American Horror Story. I feel lost now that Dexter and True blood have finished and the waiting period between Game of Thrones is crazy long! There’s so many more I need to watch but I just end up watching anime instead. Akame ga Kill is one I’m currently watching, it’s really great. I’m getting so into it. There’s a few cons coming up, which ones are you attending and can we know what you’ll be cosplaying or is that hush hush? Next convention I’m going to is Brisbane Supanova late November, I’m cosplaying Tharja from Fire Emblem for that on Saturday, still uncertain on what to wear on Sunday. I have made and am working on about 10
COSPLAY costumes at the moment so it’s more or less what’s practical that day. Some of the plans are, Leone and Esdeath from Akame ga Kill, Kanako from Star Driver, Jibril from No Game No life. Other then Supanova, I think my next con with be CosCon event, being hosted by Cosplay Live, and the afterparty in Adelaide in March, haven’t planned a costume yet but it’ll be a good one, I’m sooo excited for it! You’re one of the most popular Australian cosplayers on social media, do you have some tips for cosplayers starting out on building their fan bases? Just cosplay because you want to, share the photos on your page when you get some, share some progress pictures, use other sites such as DeviantART, When your friends work on something cool, share their page, vice vers. Cosplay is more or less about the love of characters for me, about the craft and the being able to share that with like minded people. I definitely didn’t intend on being so highly followed or think that I would deserve it as much, there’s so much talent around! Anything they should avoid? Only thing I would avoid is taking it too seriously, Cosplay is always about fun and not about popularity or numbers on a page. Avoid mak-
Photographer: Carlos Mayenco | www.facebook.com/TheSolarGlare
KATYUSKA ing cosplay a contest about numbers, respect one another, be open to making friends and learning things from them and you’ll succeed! What about photo shoots, you’ve done quite a few. Any tips for new cosplayers to help them get the most out of a shoot? Practice posing in front of a mirror! Know your angles, your good ones, your unflattering ones. Neck is always important to have in a photo, oh and confidence! Confidence really shines through, really try to channel your character. Look at some reference art if you need a little assistance. When your photographer directs you, they’re only trying to help make you look your best, don’t take it the wrong way! Well thanks for talking to us again and we look forward to seeing you at CosCon brought to cosplayers by Cosplay Live - where can readers go to find out more about you.
Thank you for having me back! I’m looking forward to Coscon, so I hope you all come along and have a great time, I’m looking forward to learning so many things there and just being in such an awesome environment! You can find me on Facebook (I update regularly): www.facebook.com/KatyuskaMoonFox And DeviantART: http://moonfoxultima.deviantart.com/
Photographer: Kris Ezergailis | www.facebook.com/WhatABigCamera
Photographer: John Pryke | www.facebook.com/JohnPrykePhoto
Photographer: John Pryke | www.facebook.com/JohnPrykePhoto
Photographer: Kris Ezergailis | www.facebook.com/WhatABigCamera
Photographer: Carlos Mayenco | www.facebook.com/TheSolarGlare
Photographer: Kris Ezergailis | www.facebook.com/WhatABigCamera
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WORKSHOPS AT COSCON 2015! Working with Materials, Make Up, Posing for Photography, Martial Arts, Photo Workshops & Much More! CosCon 2015 is Australia’s newest Cosplay event, that’s just for Cosplayers & Cosplay photographers. If you’re into Cosplay, whether you’re a beginner, a season cosplayer, a fan or a pro, or perhaps you’re a photographer wanting to get into Cosplay style photography, CosCon 2015 is for you.
7 March 2015. Adelaide Convention Centre.
SHEENA DUQUETTE ww.facebook.com/SheenaDuquette Tell us abit about yourself, where you’re from and how you got into cosplay. I first started cosplaying in my own home, since I didn’t live particularly close to any conventions and didn’t stop to think anyone else would be interested in this. My very first cosplay costume would have been when I was 9; I put together a super simple Misty cosplay to wear to school for Halloween. I was very nervous! But it was enough fun that a couple years later I wanted to make more, and eventually attended my first convention in Vancouver, BC. Publicly, I started cosplaying once I moved to Vancouver. It has always been a social thing for me, and being geographically closer to more costumers made the hobby more fun. I studied a variety of visual and performance arts, so for me personally cosplay has been another outlet for creative design and construction. I never really learned how to sew, honestly. I taught myself through trial and error, and often my friends and I would share tips and tricks to better ourselves. You have a good following on facebook, how do you interact with your fans on FB and other social media sites? Any tips for other cosplayers? I never really anticipated having people trying to have conversations with me! For as long as I can remember
I drew a lot of fanart and posted it on deviantART in hopes of striking up conversations, so I never really imagined that I would be in that position. The comments and support are really flattering, and I hear a lot of questions that I myself had 10 years ago. I found myself answering the same question, or variations of a question over and over, that eventually I decided to start documenting my process and writing up my methods. I don’t really want to name it a “How to,” or “Tutorial,” since they’re usually myself working on a costume and not an example piece, and I often end up leaving out some steps because of that. I still write them in the hopes that maybe someone will find some answers there, since I won’t always have the time to answer them personally. For anyone who’s interested in cosplay and maybe isn’t sure how to start, there’s no real right or wrong way to do it. I started off making paper clothes as a child, using Heat ‘n’ Bond as a crutch for sewing in my teenage years, and heating craft foam over my stove for armor to eventually lining my garments and 3D printing some of my more complex props and accessories. Contrary to popular belief, mistakes are the fastest way to learn and gain experience, so don’t be afraid of messing up! I make mistakes all the time, it’s just something to apply to the next project.
Do you look up to any particular cosplayers? Haha, it’s actually a funny story! There were several cosplayers I followed closely when I was younger, and I’ll admit I had a crush on a good handful.. Not in a hopeful way, but in a sort of, “Wow, these people are so beautiful!” sense of things. A couple off the top of my head are SushiMonster, Akusesu and PikminLink. I remember being so in awe of their photos, and it’s weird to say I’ve met and befriended quite a few of the costumers I looked up to in my younger days. Maybe “look up to,” is a weird way to put it. I prefer to think of them as people I draw inspiration from. Seeing them progress with their own skills and really push their ideas further and further gets me wanting to push myself and my talents that I’ve gained with each costume and prop. I think that artists are symbiotic to each other, which is in part to why I like to share what I do. Who is your favourite character to cosplay and why? There is nothing I love more than swords and capes. Or maybe just big weapons. Stony demeanor, agile and deadly. Maybe I’m not very good at it, but I love playing those types! If there had to be only one character I could cosplay, it would be Lightning Farron. I really enjoyed her fighting style, and her costumes have all
Photographer: Monty Oum | www.facebook.com/montyoum
SHEENA D Photographer: ETL Graphic | www.facebook.com/ETLGraphic
been very unique and fun to make, as well as to wear! Perhaps I’m biased because of the memories I made with friends while wearing her, but she’s definitely my #1. Do you make all your own costumes/props? If so how long does it take? There are very few costumes I don’t make on my own, usually due to groups or time. As I stated before, I tend to do write ups of all my costumes (if I have sufficient photos!) so if it’s missing, there’s a chance didn’t make it. I tend to write a disclaimer of where it came from if that’s the case. That being said, I mostly sew. While I can also make props, whether or not
I do it myself or commission them often depends on the time frame. Other times there are props or accessories that I commission just for the sake of supporting other artists in the community. I think it’s very important to do that, as artists are all different calibers of different skill sets. Some of my costumes have taken several months on and off, maybe around my job, maybe because I’m being social. Typically a costume would take me ~1 month of collective time. On the other hand, there are some costumes I’ve made in less than a week, and others, less than a day. It really depends on how complex the project is, and how much of it is something I’m familiar with.
Props depend on two things: scale, and complexity. The Buster Sword for Lightning took about a week, from tracking down materials and cutting things out, to priming, painting, and testing. Weiss’ Myrtenaster, which was 3D printed, required a lot of patience to model, print, and clean up; it boiled down to about a month. I like to think I’ve definitely improved my speed from when I started, but there’s always room for improvement! Do you attend many cons? Living in the North West, there were a good handful of conventions to pick and choose from. I frequented the larger Vancouver cons, like Anime
Photographer: Costographer | www.facebook.com/costographer
Revolution and FanExpo, as well as a few in Seattle, like SakuraCon and PAX Prime. These cons weren’t too hard to get to as I could bus down across the border, and share a hotel room with friends. Once I started working full time I was able to afford plane tickets further south to California, where I attended Anime Los Angeles and Fanime. I’ve also been to several other cons around the US, including New York Comic Con and PAX East! It’s very interesting seeing the different atmospheres not only of different oriented-conventions, but also based on their geography. SakuraCon and PAX Prime take place in the same convention center, but the costumes
you bring and the, I guess, “pacing” of the con, is very different. PAX feels more professional and speedy, with lots of lines going nowhere fast and industry developers trying to promote their games. SakuraCon is much more relaxed in comparison, focusing on both new and retro anime series, while game series are also welcomed. Then you take something like PAX East and weigh it against PAX Prime. Just the change in attendees based on East to West changes the mood, the percentage of cosplay, and the food! Every event has its own pros and cons for sure, seeing them for yourself is just part of the experience.
Finally where can our readers go to find out more about you.. I tend to be fairly active on Twitter and Facebook, while my website acts as a manifesto of photos, write ups and artwork. I try to cross post when I can, so hopefully you’ll find what you’re looking for! www.sheenaduquette.com www.twitter.com/sheenie_weenie
Photographer: Darkain Multimedia | www.facebook.com/DarkainMultimedia
Photographer: Darkain Multimedia | www.facebook.com/DarkainMultimedia
Photographer: Sukhraj Bhattal Photography | www.facebook.com/SukhrajBhattalPhotography
Photographer: SoulFire Photography | www.facebook.com/SoulfireStudio
Photographer: ETL Graphic | www.facebook.com/ETLGraphic
Photographer: Monty Oum | www.facebook.com/montyoum
JMJ83 photographer ww.facebook.com/jmj83photos This month Live Magazine grabbed some quality time with Sydney photographer, Jasmine Jenkins from JMJ83. She’s a talented photographer and cosplay fan, Jasmine first up tell us about the name JMJ83. I’m slightly embarrassed as there was no creative process in the name. It’s literally my initials and birth year. Both my first and last name are quite popular, such as Jas photography, Jenkins photography etc, however I’m 99% sure I’m the only JMJ83. I also wanted something simple and wouldn’t put me in one category. And how did you get into photography and particularly cosplay photography? Well quite a few years ago my partner gave me a camera for Christmas. Prior to this, I never done photography. I was happily playing around taking photos of my work industry, horse racing, when someone noticed my work and encouraged me to take it further. I now have a small equine photography business on the side that specializes in horses for sales, owners and syndicates. However, its not the most exciting thing, and I wanted to get creative. I came across cosplay photography in a forum, and it just looked like so much fun to me. I’ve always been a gamer and enjoyed fantasy worlds and pop culture as such, so I quickly got involved into the community and started snapping away.
How would you describe your “look”?
restrictions just adds more excitement to the learning process.
Hmmm, that’s tough. Being that I have only been doing this for a year and a half, I think I’m still finding “My Look” as such. I guess if you had to call it something, maybe “Stylized Fantasy”? well that has been suggested by a friend.
Do you think there is any opportunity for income with cosplay photography?
I think that there is a certain style that good cosplay photographers develop, they have a look and feel that lifts them above everyone else. You’ve developed that look in many of your images, how did you get to where you are regarding that look? I’m big on research. I like to follow many areas of photography, and the great thing with Cosplay Photography, is there are no boundaries. You can literally try all techniques be it Studio, composites, brenizer, strobes, flashes, light painting (the list is endless) and apply it to cosplay. This freedom allows photographers to experiment and learn. Take my shot of BAMF’s Genderbend Pocahontas. I got the idea for that after spending time in North Carolina photographing Wild horses in shallow water. I applied wildlife techniques to Cosplay. I’ve also just recently started looking into Light Painting Landscape techniques and decided to have my first try with Night Haunter’s Pyramid Head. Made a lot of mistakes, but keen as hell to get back out there and try it again. Having no
No. Well, not a livable income. Not that I have heard of. Cosplayer’s don’t have money. Charging for shoots is pointless, plus it takes the fun away. Maybe a gig as an event photographer, but even than, Australia just does not hold enough cons at this moment. However, if you are using Cosplay Photography as a learning tool, one might realize a technique or area of photography they can specialize in such as weddings, editorials, editing etc and expand a career into that. Tell us how you go about organising a cosplay shoot, where do you start with finding the cosplayers and then talk a bit about the shoot itself and maybe touch on your post processing work. I mostly use conventions to network with Cosplayers as I prefer to do planned shoots. I will generally already have an idea of how I’m going to photograph a Cosplay such as If I’m going to studio, composite or location. I will spend a couple weeks discussing my concepts with the Cosplayer. If it’s a composited photo I will look for my stock background first and do a mock edit of it to see if it will work. I also take a print out of this mockup to make sure I get the
Cosplayer: Luna Lockheart Cosplay
lighting correct on my subject. If it’s a location, I will source the place, organize a date, time and transport. I usually drive the Cosplayer there as who doesn’t love a road trip?! Distance has no value for me for a location. Amelia’s Barbarian was shot at Lithgow, which involved quite a few hours of travelling, but it was totally worth it. I don’t think I would have ever gone to Lithgow for any other reason. I love adventuring and exploring. Editing for me can take anywhere between a couple hours to a couple days. Being planned shoots I will generally already have an idea on my editing process before I start. I use Cs5 to do many layers of gradient mapping, toning, curves and high pass sharpening. I’m very open about my editing process. Learning compositing has mainly come from PSDbox and other YouTube tutorials. Its all trial and error. If anyone wants to know more, I’m happy to help. What’s in your camera bag? What do you take on a typical cosplay shoot? Because I really only do planned shoots, my equipment can vary. But not by much. I always use a Canon 5d markii and 99% of the time I will use a 50mm 1.8 prime. This equipment is easy to move around with and never fails to get the results I’m after. This is also the only equipment I will take to cons. I don’t use flashes, I’m not against them, I just find they eat batteries way too fast. If I shoot indoors I’m not afraid to max out my iso. Hezachan’s Panty was shot at Fanime, CA in low light hotel condi-
JMJ83 tions without flashes. I have Darkain Multimedia to thanks for helping me understand my iso range better. I have recently invested in a Jinbei HD-600 Monoblock. This is a great strobe as it has its own inbuilt power source, so great for locations. I try not to rely on it though, as one does not want to hike up bush trails with too much equipment. At the end of the day, a full frame camera, small prime lens and a light fold up sun diffuser really are the only things you need to get a great shot. Do you prefer studio or location? A friend once wisely said to me “Learn to understand and work with ambient light before you play with strobes and studios.” I completely agree, and for most of this time I’ve been an outdoor location girl. For this I think locations will always favor with me, I find there is something magical being in a forest in the middle of no where, or standing in an icy cold lake with a waterfall near you. Cosplayers seem more relaxed on locations. Saying this though, I think its important to learn studio. I, myself have only started taking an interest. Taigakunn’s Sailor Neptune was my first studio shoot and would not have been possible without the lighting assistance from George Wong Photography. I told him exactly what I was trying to achieve, he would set it up telling me why and how. There’s a lot of time and work that goes into studio, and I think that turns a lot of people off it, but there is something awesome about controlling your en-
vironment and lighting exactly the way you want.
Who influences your work. Who do you look up to? In cosplay, at first my work was heavily influenced with critique from Beethy Photography. He has been doing this for so long, and has a great eye and honest approach to helping one understand the basics. As I have started to experiment with technique, my style is moving away from what it was and now I look towards photographers that stand closer to what I’m trying to achieve. I absolutely adore BigWhiteBazooka’s lighting and colors, however Michael Ooi is probably my favorite Cosplay Photographer. He is constantly being innovative with his work and everything he puts out just has a massive punch to it. Out of Cosplay, Joel Robison, who is a conceptual photographer, is by far my biggest influence. I would love to tell a story though an image the way he does. His work is very personal but yet talks volumes to everyone. If you haven’t seen his stuff, go check it out and you’ll understand what I mean. There really isn’t much else out there like him. Finally Jasmine, where can people go to find out more about you? You can find me on Facebook, Deviantart or Cospix.net, all under the same name JMJ83. I’m a pretty friendly person too so if anyone ever has any questions all my contact details are on those pages. Also if you see me at a convention don’t hesitate to come up and say hi.
Cosplayer: FoxxiLoxxi Cosplay
Cosplayer: Jet Shepard
Cosplayer: Night Haunter
Cosplayer: Oni Giri Onigiri
Cosplayer: Darkain Multimedia
geek girl chicago www.chicagonow.com/geek-girl-chicago This month we talk to Geek Girl Chicago, a blogger and cosplayer from the US.
Interestingly, by day you are a science museum employee, what do you do there?
Welcome to Live! Your blog’s goal is to be a resource for the Midwest’s smartest and sassiest nerds according to the bio on OC Dweeb recently. What sort of things do you cover?
Ha! People are often interested in my day job, and I’m not sure why. My museum world and blog world rarely cross paths. Anyway, though, I supervise guest-facing staff in educational exhibits. My employees communicate science to the masses. You’ll find them inside a simulated tornado, behind a Slime-making cart, and in other, awe-inspiring locations. I hire the right people, train them... basically provide all they need to be successful facilitators. If you’re ever at the Museum of Science and Industry and you hear a Tesla coil, think of me; I wrote the lightning presentation.
First and foremost, Geek Girl Chicago isn’t just for girls! It started that way, but I quickly realized it was a foolish move. Fandom is for everyone. So is my blog. I try to give Chicago-area geeks social events to participate in all year. I cover sci-fi and comic conventions in town, geeky bands from the area, local arcades, board game nights, etc. Sometimes, celebrities are kind enough to let me interview them (many from Doctor Who.) I also really push the idea that a geek girl can be as feminine (or not) as she wishes. Thus, I seek out fandom-inspired fashion and cosmetics to review. These are my most frequent topics, but I’ll sometimes comment on current events, or just whatever I’m riled up about. As a blogger, it’s important that I throw personality pieces in from time to time. They separate me from standard, geeky news sites. I hope people like it!
And you’re a cosplayer too. How did you get started as a cosplayer? I have been cosplaying since 2001... sort of. That year, a friend’s mom dressed me in an awful costume she made (I hated it) while my friends and I went to our first AnimeCentral. I was mortified the whole time- not because I was dressed up, but because the costume was so inaccurate. The character, Aisha ClanClan, was supposed to have white hair (nope) armor (nope) and oversized jewelry (nope.) I guess I was born a perfectionist. From then on, I didn’t just want to cosplay; I wanted to
cosplay better. The first costume I made by myself was Yuna from Final Fantasy X. I found her beautiful and inspiring. I also told myself that I resemble the character, but that was probably wishful thinking. ;) I doubt my Yuna costume was really any better than Aisha before it, but it was mine. So, I thought it was incredible. My Yuna cosplay should be making another appearance soon! ...A new version, of course. With all the “cons” in the U. S and particularly Comic Con, how do you choose what cosplay to go in? I used to choose characters that I truly related to, like Yuna. These days, though, I choose costumes that will teach me new skills. When I wanted to learn mask-making, I dressed as Cheshire from Teen Titans. When I wanted to do experimental wig styling, I created Catherine from Catherine. I’d like to try armor soon. How long does it typically take to create a cosplay and what’s your favourite so far? There’s really no pre-determined length of time for my work. With a day job, a blog, and other hobbies, I often push cosplay to the bottom of the priority list. Then, an event will pop up, and I’ll need to throw something together. My Daenerys
Photographer: Jess Cwik | www.jess-cwik.com
geek girl chicago Targaryen Qarth gown took only 3 days. Those were NOT happy days, mind you, but I love that dress. My Rose Tyler pieces are screenaccurate and purchased, so those costumes are “completed” with a mouse click and mail delivery. On the flipside, my favorite costume is Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite. She took weeks and weeks to complete, because I was working with real velvet. I wore it once, only to learn that there were some pretty major inaccuracies. I recycled what I could, threw out the rest, and started over. The effort was immense, maybe even irrational (pun intended,) but it paid off. I got to wear Elizabeth to the Georgia Aquarium during Dragon Con. My now-husband proposed to me there, while we were both in cosplay. Irrational Games was in the building. They featured us on their website, and we were congratulated by thousands of BioShock fans. No costume is ever gonna beat that. You write about cosplay too, what subjects have you covered and where can readers go to read your posts? My most viral post of all time was 5 Things You Should Never Say to a Cosplayer. It’s an etiquette piece, highlighting comments I frequently hear when I dress up at cons. It explains why these phrases are disrespectful, and offers helpful alternatives for those who truly want to compliment a cosplayer’s work.
...That article also brought me my first experiences with plagiarism, but those are tales for another time. Oddly, I still get attention for my post regarding Mulan 2. Gosh, what an awful sequel! You wouldn’t believe, though, the amount of people that reach out to me every day to attack my opinion. I’d make fun of them for getting defensive over a post about Mulan 2, but I suppose the joke’s on me; I’m the one who wrote a fullscale rant about a direct-to-video Disney movie. What about gaming? What’s your favourite game of all time and console? While we are now an XBox household (Mass Effect! Skyrim! Catherine!), I must declare my undying love and devotion to the Super Nintendo. I grew up gaming on that console. Every penny of my childhood allowance was put toward SNES games. My favorite game of all time is Earthbound, a.k.a. Mother 2. I recently babbled on The Nerdologues Talking Games podcast about it for an entire episode. I can’t stop talking about how much I love this title. Earthbound was the first game to ever make me cry. The emotions I felt for Ness, his friends, and his determination to save the world- I was only 8, and couldn’t really understand what I was feeling. I just knew it was great. I’ve remained an advocate for video games my entire life. They can be art. They can be educational.
They can be cathartic, inspiring, lifechanging. ...and if you don’t let me be Ness when we’re playing Super Smash Bros., I will cut you. What’s next for you? What are your plans for the future? Well, I’m recently married, so learning to share my life has been a thing as of late. My husband is totally rada sci-fi writing, 3-D printing, pastamaking, cosplay-sewing, scoundrel. So, I don’t mind sharing my LEGO bricks and Netflix time. 2015 is going to be another huge year for Geek Girl Chicago at conventions. I have Con Alt Delete, Kollision Con, Capricon, and Northwest Indiana Comic Con all piled up before the weather even warms. I’m also now Community Manager for HartLife NFP, a Chicago arts company that produces the audio drama Our Fair City. Finally, I’ve promised myself that I’d learn both how to code and how to play my guitar in the New Year, so... we’ll see. Finally where can readers go to find out more about you? My blog’s main page is on the ChicagoNow network: www.chicagonow. com/geek-girl-chicago but I am also “geekgirlchicago” on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Come geek out with me!
Photographer: Jess Cwik | www.jess-cwik.com
Photographer: Matt Psenicka | www.facebook.com/matt.psenicka
Photographer: Zatoyoshi Photography | www.flickr.com/photos/y0sh1m1tsu/
GEEK GIRL CHICAGO
Photographer: Harrison Kuras | www.fandomtandem.com/
TIFFANY DEAN www.facebook.com/TIFFANYDEANCOSPLAY This month Live Magazine headed south and talked to Adelaide based cosplayer, Tiffany Dean. Tiffany please tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into cosplay? Thanks for having me on board! I’m an English girl whose grown up in Australia. I’ve always had a love of adventure and fun (I’m a horsewoman! lol) and was shown the first ever Tomb Raider game by a friend. I wanted to be like Lara Croft, so many years later I decided I had to make a Lara outfit (as I didn’t like the ones you could buy haha) and that was how I got into Cosplay :). I didn’t know what it was, or had ever heard of it until about 12 months after I made that costume but it is because of the Tomb Raider franchise that my eyes were opened to the world that is Cosplay. What was your first cosplay character and why did you choose them? My first cosplay character was Lara Croft from Tomb Raider Legend. I chose her as I had grown up playing the game with my sister (with Mum watching over and helping out) and friends. I became very drawn to Lara Croft, and aspired to be everything she represented for women. As I was so young, dressing up as her never crossed my mind. Many years later when I played the Legend game, it
re-triggered those wishful memories and I decided to take the leap and make the costume. Lara has so much sentimental value to me so that was the main reason I chose her - she means a lot to myself and my family and I just love what she represents as a character. She has so many great values and represents a strong, independent woman which is really cool to see. You make your own costumes too - how long does a costume take and where do you start? It can take quite a varying time to make a costume, and a lot of it depends on if I can use my sewing machine, and if my sewing machine behaves itself LOL. The fastest I’ve made a costume is in about 2 days that was my Fem Ash Ketchum from Pokémon. Some costumes can take months and months to make, especially as I work full time so have to work around that also. I always try and start with the hardest elements of the costumes as they can take the longest and be the most daunting. If something looks fairly complicated, I try and break it down into smaller pieces and go from there. If you make the pieces you can put them together, and it can often make life much easier and less daunting when making costumes! Props I will always break down as there are just so many pieces and
they can be very time consuming. The fastest prop I pulled together was the massive gun for my Fem Shay Cormac from the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Rogue - I managed make the whole thing completely from scratch (even cutting my own poly pipe!) in less than half a day! I always try and measure myself up (often with the help of mum) before I start too, so I know I can stitch straight away with not too much of a worry of the costume not fitting. I also write a list of my costume break down so I can see exactly what needs to be done and can cross it off as I go. This makes approaching a costume not quite as intimidating, and then there’s the satisfaction and incentive of completing smaller tasks. I have recently been made aware of an App called Cosplanner which is amazing - I use that for my lists now and it gives you a percentage of completion. It’s so helpful and I wish I had seen it earlier! haha You’ve done a few photo shoots tell us what’s the process and what makes a good shoot in your opinion? I love photo shoots! LOL. For me, I always try and make sure the costume is of a high quality. Even if it’s not finished, I will always make sure the parts that are complete are done properly so it is presentable
Photographer: Charlie Nicholson
TIFFANY DEAN and looks finished. I always make sure I get to know the character too - most cosplays I do are normally from games I play or anime I watch etc, but sometimes if I’ve been suggested a character who I adore but haven’t been able to play / watch, I will research it. I look at how they pose, and how they move if there’s any video available. I read up on their personality too. That way I can try and portray an accurate representation of the character. I also google various poses that match the character, so the photographer and I can work together to create an awesome image. It’s important to go into a photo shoot knowing what you and the photographer are after, and enables you to really bring the characters to life. And it can be so helpful for the photographer if they’re not familiar with the character :) I think all of these elements, and portraying an authentic, accurate representation of your character (or your version of) is what makes a good shoot. Making the unbelievable look believable is such an awesome achievement, but that background research definitely needs to be there. You visit many of the “cons” in South Australia, what’s coming up next for you and what costumes are you working on?
The next con on my list is Adelaide Supanova, which is this November. I’m hoping to take Yang from RWBY and also Arcade Miss Fortune from League of Legends. I may be aiming high but if I go on the Friday I may take Moon Moxxi from the Borderlands Pre-Sequel if I get her finished in time LOL. I’m really excited as these characters are just so cool! And I’ve learnt a crazy amount of stuff in making these! haha
make, and to see people give cosplay a go who were perhaps thinking they wouldn’t be able to do it. To lift people’s spirits and show them that yes anyone can do it is really great to see. It makes me happy that I can share what I’ve learnt with others so they can realise their dreams too.
Tell us a bit about your workshops you’ve started for Gametraders what do you teach and what’s the reaction been?
Finally can you tell us where readers can go to find out more about you?
I’ve started Cosplay Making workshops where I can show people methods for making costumes. It includes showing people how to use the thermoplastics - Wonderflex, Worbla and Deco Art, the pros and cons of each, methods to make using them more affordable. I also teach them the processes I use to make the task of costume making less daunting. The reaction has been really positive which is fantastic. People who were a little cautious about using thermoplastics (like I was to begin with!) are now wanting to give it a go. People who thought it was crazy expensive are learning that there are cheaper ways. It’s really good to see people coming out of their shells and becoming more daring with what they
Hopefully I can do more workshops at various Gametraders stores as it really was so much fun!
Readers can find out more about me and see loads of fun crazy stuff on my facebook page www.facebook. com/TiffanyDeanCosplay I’m also on Instagram @tiffanydmakeupandart My Twitter is @TiffanyDean87 For those who follow DeviantArt, they can find me under BabyGirlFallenAngel - I don’t know what I was thinking when I created that LOL. I’m also on tumblr tiffanydmuacosplay.tumblr.com/ and do have a Storenvy which can be accessed through my Facebook page. And lastly I’ve finally joined Pinterest! LOL My Pinterest is http://www. pinterest.com/TiffanyDCosplay/
Photographer: Charlie Nicholson
Photographer: Angelo from I Got Superpowers | www.facebook.com/GotSuperpowers
Photographer: Charlie Nicholson
Photographer: Charlie Nicholson
JULIA THE WRITER COSPLAY
This month Live Magazine was privileged to talk to our youngest cosplayer who comes from Farmingdale, New Jersey and recently did an amazing Red Riding Hood Cosplay. The beauty of cosplay is that it is suitable and fun for all ages from the very young to the older fans. Julia tell us a bit about your cosplay of Red Riding Hood is this your very first cosplay? Yes it actually is. We here at Live Magazine loved your hood and the whole costume, tell us did you make it yourself or have help from anyone? My sister actually made it for me because...just because she’s awesome. I asked her because I probably couldn’t do it by myself. I picked out which outfit I wanted her to make because I liked it the best. Sadly, I don’t have the corset though. Why choose Red Riding Hood? Do you like the story or perhaps the recent movie?
Wait, there was a movie? Well, I like the character but I really, really like Red from the show Once Upon A Time. She’s my favorite character, and that means a lot because I change my mind a lot and she’s STILL my favorite character. Cosplayers are a pretty dedicated group of people with many attending cons and events. Have you gone to any yet? No, but I will hopefully go to one with my sister. Hopefully. We also see your older sister Erin is a cosplayer, how long has she been involved and what characters are her favourites? I don’t know, but I DO know that I’m her inspiration for it! The reason she got into making costumes is because I wanted her to make a costume for a character I made up. She had fun doing it and now she makes costumes all the time. I know she has dressed up as Red Lantern Supergirl and I
think that’s her favorite. She made a Regina costume from Once Upon A Time that is absolutely bowtastically awesome! What’s next for you with cosplay? Are you planning to visit any cons or make a new costume? Yes! I am planning on visiting a comic con. I think I’m going to KotoriCon in January with my dad. I’m planning on going as a new, original character that I’m working on. Me and my sister are going to make the costume together when she visits in December. I eventually want to make costumes by myself. I have a lot of great ideas for original characters. Thanks Julia for letting us talk to you today and we wish the very best for all your cosplay and for Christmas! You’re welcome! And Merry Christmas to you all and to all a good night!
WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/HayleyEliseCosplay Although I should begin this article by introducing Riot’s League of Legends as a hugely popular MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game, it’s highly unlikely that anyone who is interested in video games has not yet heard of it. It is, after all, the most played PC game in the world, with Riot reporting earlier this year that they have 67 million players logging on every month. With this in mind, it’s not all that surprising how difficult it is to go to a convention without running into a League cosplayer or ten. In fact, Riot’s League of Legends cosplay parade on the Saturday of PAX this year attracted 171 cosplayers to their stage, an astounding amount of costumes for a single game. So what draws this many people to cosplay League? I went to the Facebook group for League cosplayers in Oceania to find out – boasting over 450 members, this group is where cosplayers share photos, organise meetups and photoshoots and ask for advice on making their next costumes. It’s probably understandable that, as with most other cosplays, the main motivation for people deciding to make a costume is as an homage to a game that they love. There are, however, many cosplayers who don’t play the game, or at least don’t play often, yet still it inspires them to devote their time and money into
cosplaying it – thanks to the game’s unique appeal. If you’ve ever delved into League of Legends long enough to get past the patcher, you’ve probably been amazed, a little overwhelmed and made a little (or quite a bit) poorer by the incredible range of champions on offer. There are 121 of them, in fact - with one more to be released soon - and the characters range in a broad spectrum from human to inhuman, adorable to sexy, comical to terrifying. And for these characters there are more than 300 skins available – alternate outfits and themes to adorn your favourite champions in. With this range in mind, it is difficult for the average cosplayer not to find a costume that fits their taste in League of Legends. Of course, not to be stopped by what some people might see as limitations – like whether a character has the same amount of legs as they do – many League cosplayers look beyond the limitations of simply cosplaying humanoid characters, and create their own inventive humanised versions of some very unusual creatures. At PAX Aus, you could find at least half the roster of League Champions represented in cosplay over the weekend, with some surprising choices including (notably) Vel’koz, a champion that could quite accurately be described as the unholy offspring of the Eye of
Sauron and a tentacle monster. Character design is undeniably one of the reasons why League cosplay is so popular – there is bound to be a costume in that game for all tastes, styles and skill levels. Indeed, the interesting character choice in League of Legends was what made some members of the Oceanic community begin cosplaying in the first place, whilst the opposite is also true for others – they started playing League simply because of the amazing costumes and presence at conventions. Of course, whilst the huge roster of champions is one main reason the League cosplay community is similarly large and varied, the most important consideration is… well, the community itself. When 27 million people are playing this game daily, it’s highly likely that League cosplayers will run into many people at a convention who recognise – and love – their costumes, and even more again online. A costume is one of the best ways to break the ice with other people who love the same games as you, after all, and with a game like League it’s possible you’ll end up talking forever. A simple “who do you play?” can quite easily turn into a new friend to game with. One of the most interesting things I found whilst talking to Australian League cosplayers is that, once they cosplayed from the game for the
first time, they found it hard to go back. Whilst they may be interested in many different series and video games, the supportive League cosplay community and the plethora of new skins and characters constantly being released mean that League cosplays often come to take highest priority. It’s a common story in the community – one League cosplay becomes two, then Riot releases a new skin for your favourite character and you’ll never get time to cosplay anything else again! Speaking of Riot, they are involved in their own cosplay community possibly more so than any other games company, and are starting to reap the rewards of that effort in the huge turnout of cosplayers at every event. The Riot team in Oceania even run a mailing list especially for cosplayers, keeping them notified of events that are coming up, opportunities for cosplayers and even rewarding the hard work put into each costume by handing out swag bags. On their social media they even feature their favourite cosplay photos, and getting recognition from the company that designed the character is never something to be taken lightly by any cosplayer! Whilst cosplay is a fast growing pursuit that is comprised of so many different elements, fun is still the most important reason anyone gets involved – just as with any hobby. And when you’ve got a plethora of interesting designs and colourful characters to choose from, a supportive and helpful community of cosplayers, and a company that actively encourages dressing up as their characters, it’s no wonder League cosplayers have so much fun that they never want to go back. Look out for them at your next convention and maybe you’ll even discover¬¬¬¬ what all the fuss is about!
League of Legends Oceania
WRITTEN BY HAYLEY ELISE
top 5 tips
WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/HayleyEliseCosplay Armour is something that has always been a little intimidating to many cosplayers, although with the recent availability of thermoplastics like worbla and a plethora of foam armour tutorials all over the internet, there has never been a better time to try! This year I ventured out of my comfort zone and made my first armoured costume, and now I’m here to share what I learned whilst making it!
1. make it suitable Armour is an investment in time, effort and money, so make sure you put the time into your research first so you don’t regret it later! Finding the most suitable material for your armour is your first and most important concern, so think about the design and style of what you’re trying to make. Lots of flat surfaces and hard edges? Try a cardboard and fibreglass build. Flowing lines and curves? How about heat formed EVA foam. Need a shiny, hard surface on your foam, or more complicated shapes? Why not cover it with Worbla! Never think you have to stick to one method for the whole costume, however – maybe each different piece of your armour would benefit from a different technique!
2. make it wearable
4. make it sturdy
To the despair of cosplayers everywhere, fantasy armour is not always as easy to translate into real life as it could be. Armour pieces often float on the character with no real way of being connected, or bend in ways that real armour can’t. With this in mind, take the time to plan how every piece of your armour is going to stay on your body, connect to other pieces, and actually let you move whilst wearing it. Don’t leave this to the last minute, as you might be tempted to do! Velcro, D-rings, elastic, buckles and belts and even magnets are all worth looking into, but make sure you choose the ones that are most appropriate for your particular project!
Just like with any other costume piece, you don’t want your armour to fall apart on you while you’re wearing it! Worbla and fibreglass are two of the best materials for armour simply because they are both lightweight and sturdy. Be careful putting your worbla together if you’re likely to be standing in the sun for a long time for a photoshoot though, as the heat might weaken key joints in your armour. Also be wary of points where your armour might rub against another piece – consider backing your armour pieces in felt or soft fabric to avoid damage to your paint job!
3. make it light
Speaking of paint, this is the most important part of making your armour look amazing! No matter what you’re building it out of, a fantastic paint job is what will bring all your tiny details out, minimise your mistakes and make it look like you really forged it out of steel! Next time, try ditching the spray paint cans once you’ve got a base coat down, and put in some depth and details with drybrushed acrylic paint!
How long are you planning on wearing that costume for? Make it too heavy and it might begin to hurt after barely an hour in the convention! Make sure you reduce weight on your armour in any way that you can, so that you don’t regret it on convention day! Try to hollow out solid pieces and use the lightest materials possible, such as carved expanding foam for overly bulky pieces. Even a small piece of worbla can add to a costume’s weight, so if the back of your armour piece isn’t going to be visible, consider skipping adding worbla to that side!
4. make it shine
for armoured costumes!
Photographer: Magic Missile Studios | www.facebook.com/magicmissilestudios
WRITTEN BY HAYLEY ELISE
WHAT MAKES A GO They say all art is subjective. If you look at what was the world’s most valuable photograph, you’d probably agree that what some people consider amazing others would be wondering… what the…? So what makes a good cosplay photo? That too is subjective. What you may like may not be what your friends like. Is it the cosplayer, the outfit, the photographer’s eye? The lighting, make up or the post processing? Some people may like a fairly simply cosplay photo without complex compositing or fancy effects in Photoshop and I’m thinking that Black Widow in an urban environment would work well. So too with Batman, perhaps perched high on a building overlooking the city. But consider the work of someone like David Love or Michelle Monique, they put tremendous amounts of post processing into their images to build the story. They create art that is in context with the character. Baby Doll from Sucker Punch might look completely out of place standing on a beach or in front of a tree in a park. But put her in an environment that fits the character and you have the beginnings of a good cosplay photo. Browse the web and you’ll see lists like “10 incredible cosplay photos” and while the images are technically good and the cosplayer looks amazing, is it really a good cosplay photo or is it a portrait of a cosplayer?
That, to me at least, is the question a photographer needs to ask themselves when they set about creating a cosplay photo. Batman on the beach, no matter how great the cosplayer and how well the photographer does in creating the image from a technical perspective, might not work as well as Batman in a gritty city environment. Context is a good foundation to creating a great cosplay photo as against taking a great portrait of a cosplayer. With that foundation you do need a great cosplayer with a great costume. You do need a photographer with talent to create a great image. Great make up, hair, and post processing and lighting all work hand in hand to creating an image that wows the viewer. So if you’re planning a shoot, consider the context. Who is the character? Where would they be in their movie/ game or TV show etc? Then build from that foundation. Context is almost as important as the costume and effects the cosplayer adds. Have a look at some of the photos from Michelle Monique who has told a story in each photo by working closely with the cosplayer to build the entire image so that when we look at it, we believe it.
BY ROB JENKINS
OOD COSPLAY PHOTO? PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
Photographer: Michelle Monique | www.facebook.com/michellemoniquephoto
WHATADIFFERENCE ASUPERHERO MAKES SPECIAL TRIBUTE
Photographer: Corduroy Photography | www.face
“To us, that’s all he will ever be... Our Hero”
Justin ACharacter, a man known for his positivity and urge to help those around him recently passed away. His powerful presence, however, is still felt with each smiling face that results from seeing a Cosplay in all its glory. We all Cosplay for fun, the excitement we all feel when we step through the door in a new outfit; Justin’s influential legacy shows us what Cosplay can bring others. We reached out to Dan from Something Wicked Cosplay to witness the power that one Cosplayer can make on the Cosplay Community, the public and their friends. “For those of us affected....... Cosplay has changed. Attending a convention will forever be different. Putting on a costume, transforming into a character, taking on the role of a Hero.... a Villain..... Or as anything really, will always be missing something. A little piece of “cosplay” has been taken from us. To put it simply, Justin Acharacter will be missed. He was a husband, father, teammate and teacher. He had time for everybody and never let people down. An inspiring, talented artist, Justin Costello shared his love for “creating” with the world and it was easy to see, just how amazing he was. As a good friend of Justin’s, I can assure you that life will forever be different for the people he touched. He was a great dad who loved his wife and kids, an awesome friend who was always there for you and never let you down, an amazing role model for people who he inspired and an overall A grade human being. Justin had a natural ability to put a smile on your face and leave you feeling like you’d just met a superhero. To us, that’s all he will ever be... Our Hero.” - Dan from Something Wicked Cosplay
a snaps! supanova snaps from adelaide! november 21 - 23 2014
upcoming supanova dates: melbourne: april 10 - 12 2015 gold coast: april 17 - 19 2015 sydney: june 19 - 21 2015 perth: june 26 - 28
DECEMBER STORE EVENTS GAMETRADERS SA
INGLE FARM No current tournaments.
BLACKTOWN No tournaments in December. Back to normal in January, see in store for details.
MARION (Marion Tournaments will be on break from Friday 12 December)
Pokémon - Monday 6pm
MACARTHUR SQUARE (CAMPBELLTOWN) Yu-Gi-Oh - Wednesday 5:30pm
Cardfight!! Vanguard - Tuesday 6pm
Yu-Gi-Oh - Wednesday 6pm Magic the Gathering - Friday 6pm (Arrive 5:30)
Yu-Gi-Oh - Thursday 6pm, Saturday 2pm
Cardfight!! Vanguard - Sunday 2pm
Magic the Gathering - Sunday 11am
No tournaments in December. Back to normal in January, see in store for details.
School Holiday Additional Tournaments:
Yu-Gi-Oh - Monday, Wednesday & Friday 2pm Cardfight!! Vanguard - Tuesday & Thursday 2pm
Yu-Gi-Oh - Thursday 6pm (5:30pm registration) Cardfight!! Vanguard - Friday 4:30pm Magic the Gathering - Friday 6pm (5:30pm registration) My Little Pony - Tuesday 5pm (4:30pm registration)
Cardfight!! Vanguard - Saturday 5pm Magic the Gathering - Friday 7pm
Board Game Nights - Wednesdays from 5-8pm
Weiss Schwarz - Saturday 6pm
SALISBURY MARSH VIC BACCHUS Magic the Gathering - Friday 5:30pm
GAMETRADERS LIVE PENRITH Yu-Gi-Oh - Saturday 5pm & Sunday 11:30am
Future Card Buddyfight - Thursday 5:30pm
Yu-Gi-Oh (Advanced Format) - Saturday 12.30pm
Weiss Schwarz - Saturday 10am
Board Game Night - Wednesday 6pm
Games Night - Wednesdays 6pm
CHERMSIDE Yu-Gi-Oh - Sunday 3pm Cardfight!! Vanguard - Wednesday 6:30pm Pokémon - Saturday 3pm Magic the Gathering - Tuesday & Friday 6:30pm
No tournaments in December. Back to normal in January,
see in store for details.
Magic the Gathering - Friday 7pm (doors open 6pm)
MILDURA Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic the Gathering and Cardfight!! Vanguard every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Check their Facebook page for times and event details.
ACT HYPERDOME Yu-Gi-Oh - Saturday 10am Pokémon - Saturday 2pm
CHECK YOUR LOCAL STORE FOR TOURNAMENT TIMES DURING CHRISTMAS AND SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AS THEY MAY VARY. JANUARY TOURNAMENT TIMES WILL BE BACK TO NORMAL.
Yu-Gi-Oh - Sunday 2pm (doors open 1pm) Cardfight!! Vanguard - Fortnightly (Check FB) Pokémon - Saturday 2pm (Check FB. Doors open 1pm) Tournaments held at: Unit 5 20-22 Ellerslie Road, Meadowbrook Qld 4131. Pre-Releases and sneak preview events announced on Facebook.
MACKAY Yu-Gi-Oh - Sundays 3:45pm Magic the Gathering - Friday 6:15pm
MORAYFIELD Magic the Gathering - Friday 6:30pm (5:30pm registration) Yu-Gi-Oh - Sunday 2pm (1pm registration)
POKEMON TCG HINTS & TIPS!
When it comes to Building a deck, whether playing competitively or just for fun, make sure you choose Pokemon that you love. Everybody has that favourite Pokemon that they have loved from the start, or a new generation Pokemon that they think is super awesome – so use that to your advantage. If you’re just starting off in the Pokemon TCG world, then build a deck around the type of Pokemon that you like the most. A massive Pikachu Fan? Build an electric deck. You love Mewtwo? A psychic deck is a great way to go. Making sure you like the cards you’re playing with is vital to not just playing but making such a great game enjoyable. A Pokemon deck is made up of 60 cards, trying to fit all the cards that you want into a deck is usually the hardest part. You firstly have to choose how many different Pokemon types you want to have in your deck. Thinking about what Pokemon are your favourites definitely helps the choice of making a deck, but limiting the number of different types you can have can slow down the process. It is recommended that only two different types of pokemon are used in a deck, but limiting yourself to one, or pushing to three or four, but two is the most common. About 25-30 of the cards from the deck should be energy cards. Energy cards are the bread and butter of a Pokemon deck, without them the deck won’t work. Make sure your energy cards are evenly numbered
to accommodate the amount of different types of Pokemon in the deck. Type advantages are something to be taken into consideration, so if you have a grass type, it’s recommended that you have a water type to protect it from any fire type Pokemon that may have the upper hand. It is highly recommended to throw in a few special energy cards to give the deck that extra kick it needs, but they aren’t a necessity. Stadium and trainer cards can be the difference between a good deck and a great deck. Cards like potions and revives are a fantastic way to further evolve - see what I did there - your deck into an all powerful winning machine. Pokeballs and Energy Retrievals are a fantastic way of getting the cards you need out on the field and can be of awesome use to you in the long run. One tip to give any Pokemon player is this – don’t make a deck full of EX cards. They are fantastic and incred-
a great idea to have a few of them hidden in your deck as they can be of great use, but be careful with how many are in the deck itself. Mega Evolutions are awesome, and can help you obliterate your opponent with ease, but you must also take into consideration the cost of having these pokemon on the field. The large amount of energy cards that need to be used to power them up, and the huge retreat cost if things get too crazy can make these cards more of a bad thing than good.
Pokemon Evolutions: If you have an evolutionary string in your deck, you aren’t always going to get the pokemon you want in your hand. Let’s use the example of having a pokemon such as a Venusaur in your hand. You have already picked up the Ivysaur, but to get the Ivysaur on the field you first need to put out a Bulbasaur. You know there
"if things are getting too heavy, then don't hesitate to retreat from the battle and put another Pokemon in to play." ibly powerful, and they are a great addition into any deck, but they can also be your biggest downfall. If one of your EX cards is taken out, the opponent gets to draw two prize cards, which can easily lead to a loss on your behalf. This being said, it is still
is a Bulbasaur somewhere in your deck, so you use a Pokeball card and search through to try and get it onto the field. You have searched through your deck trying to find it, and you come to the sudden realization that the Bulbasaur card you desperately
need is in your prize cards. There is now no way of getting the Ivysaur or Venusaur cards out onto the field because your Bulbasaur is hidden away and you only have a one in 6 chance of getting it if you can manage to take out an opponent’s pokemon. A key thing to remember is to have a couple of the same basic pokemon in your deck. Having two or three Bulbasaurs and two Ivysaurs will give you more chance of pulling the cards you want and need, and getting that awesome Venusaur card out on the field and dealing an awesome amount of damage. Never be too hesitant to have doubles or triples of cards in your deck, as it will do more good than bad having them in there.
Colourless Energies/Pokemon “Colourless” Pokemon are the kind of card that keep a deck together. They are an awesome addition and I recommend using a couple in every deck. A colourless pokemon is one that doesn’t require a specific type of energy card to power it up, so it doesn’t limit what energy cards you can use on it. Never be shy of using them, as strong cards like Kangaskhan or quick cards like Pidgey are great ways to start off the game and put things into your advantage early on in the match. They usually don’t take much time to power up, and they can be great cards to get out early even if they are just being used as cannon fodder to power up your awesome cards on the bench.
Double colourless energy cards are your best friend. They aren’t necessary in a deck, but if you can get them your hands on them then putting them in your deck is a great move to make. They make powering up Pokemon even quicker and are awesome to have in any kind of deck you may have.
Single Evolution/ Legendary cards Getting your Pokemon cards out on the field and having them powered up as quickly as possible is a great tactic for a deck. Cards with a single or double evolution are a great way of getting strong cards out fast. Cards like Gyrados are a great example; it only takes a few turns to get them out on the field, and can be used very quickly on the battlefield. Most Legendary cards are great in this aspect. A lot of them don’t have more than one evolution, and they are incredibly strong cards from the second they are put in play. They have a great amount of health and can take a good beating while hitting back twice as hard. You’ll often find that quite a few EX/Legendary cards are used in competitive decks. They are crazy strong, and the look of vivid fear on your opponents face when you pull out an EX Rayquaza with a whopping amount of HP never gets old. Keeping in mind that most EX/ Legendary cards take a lot of energy cards to be used for them to work effectively, when used correctly you can have a lot of fun with them.
Use Strategy One thing to remember is that you should never stray away from the “weak” Pokemon. They may seem pretty useless and silly looking, but a select few of them have great moves, or can evolve into some of the best cards in the game. Cards like Bidoof have high HP, a Jigglypuff could have the type advantage over the opponents Dragonite, and Emolga could have the right move that can help you power up the awesome card you have on your bench. Never rule these cards out, as they can make your deck strong in ways you would think possible. Another thing to remember is that retreating is never a bad backup plan. If things are getting too heavy, then don’t hesitate to retreat from the battle and put another Pokemon into play. The Key Rule to any Pokemon game is to make sure you enjoy the game. You and the person you are playing against are there for the same reason, and the joy of Pokemon brings us all together in the end. Make sure you love the game your playing, the Pokemon your using, because that’s how you become the very best, like no one ever was.
WRITTEN BY SEAN STOLTE GAMETRADERS MOUNT BARKER
POKEMON TREASURE TIN ...Packed with Pokemon Treasures!
The Pokemon TCG: Collector Chest includes:
5 Pokemon TCG Booster Packs 3 foil preview cards including Treecko, Torchic, and Mudkip A cool Pokemon coin 2 sticker sheets including Legendary Pokemon A mini album to store your favourite cards A Pokemon notepad 4 pencils with unique Pokemon designs A bonus code card for the Pokemon TCG Online
E TH EST G G I B GE AT N A R E BEST TH ICE PR YOU N E H W ADE & TR VE! SA
CLICK HERE FOR PART 1!
KROLLS FAN FICTION: PART 2
The truck, a Vector, moves swiftly through the deserted streets, the heavy rain providing cover but also leaving it vulnerable to attack. A building, the only building still standing, looms ahead. From the looks of it this building was the research facility that went dark roughly a week ago. It’s a tall white building, in stark contrast to the dark sky and dirty surroundings. The rain pouring down makes it hard to see any signs of life but we are not expecting much. Captain Cortez gave us or orders on the way in, simple and straight forward. In two groups of three stay low, get in, check for survivors and at first sign of Krolls get out. The two other trucks apart of our convoy pull up beside us just before the building. As planned the driver of the other vector, does a quick patrol of the border whilst the RWMIK pulls up to park. The RWMIK is to act as backup and provide fire support if needed. About two weeks ago it was discovered that CS gas will stun the Krolls long enough to get away. So with the return of the other truck and each equipped with gas and machine guns we exit the car leaving one driver for each truck and the
three man crew of the RWMIK.
The rain has increased, the air damp and the ground wet and slippery. We split into two groups, Cortez leading one group round the back, putting me in charge of the second group going through the front. The main doors are flung open, the wind whipping through causing the doors to fling back and forth. The place looks abandoned, we sweep through the main room securing the doors closed behind us. As we get deeper into the building we find blood patches and trails. Following the blood trails we come across a room which has been split in two with glass paneling. Body parts and blood cover the floor and parts of the walls. Chains lie broken on the floor and glass shattered around the room. The notes strew around the room confirm my suspicions. A Kroll was somehow caught and tested on in here. I grab my radio, letting the captain know what we found. We move forward, so far there have been no signs of anyone, we move to the stairs leading downwards whilst
Cortez’s team goes upstairs to clear the second floor.
The door to the basement is dented and off its hinges, it is clear it was beaten down. Blood drips over the steps. I signal to Sargent Millers to stay at the top to keep watch whilst Private Williams and I go down the stairs. The basement is dark and even the flash light allows only a small radius of vision. There is a small puddle of blood at the base of the stairs and a strong smell of bleach enfolds us. Just as I step forward to pick up what looks like a notebook, perhaps a diary, my radio crackles to life. A horrifying inhumane screeching noise pierces through along with screams of anguish from what can only be human. Corteze’s voice laced with pain filters through yelling at us to get out.
WRITTEN BY EMILY LANGFORD
A U O Y ES H S I W S R E AD R T E GAM
Y R R E M Y S R A E V RISTM Y H P C HAP ! A R & A E Y W E N
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Special Christmas gift guide edition with the best gaming & pop culture news & reviews. Don't miss this special edition!
Published on Dec 1, 2014
Special Christmas gift guide edition with the best gaming & pop culture news & reviews. Don't miss this special edition!