July 2013 JANUARY 2014 One’s to watch for in
2014 Page 12
Editor’s Choice! Two games get the covetted stamp! Reviews start page 30
“From Russia with Love”
GAMING IN 5 YEARS!
LIVE Magazine gets out the crystal ball
GET EM AT GAMETRADERS! Also available on Wii U, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
WELCOME TO 2014 INSIDE What’s New? Page 4
UK & US correspondence Pages 7-9
Xbox One & PS4 Games Page 10
Ones to watch in 2014 Pages 12-15
Where will gaming be in 5 years? Page 16-23
Previews & Reviews
WELCOME TO LIVE MAGAZINE AND OUR JANUARY EDITION! Welcome to January and depending on where you’re at, I’m hoping you’re either keeping cool or keeping warm. This month we decided to do something that usually get’s you in trouble, we are taking a look at the future of gaming and also what’s coming out in 2014. I got out the crystal ball, polished it and decided to take a stab at predicting where gaming will be in 5 years, and so did our industry experts. There’s a bit of a theme with our predictions and VR and wearable tech seems to be common in our predictions. I love the idea of a more immersive game experience and perhaps if projects like the Oculus Rift can become consumer reality and not have side effects we’ll experience gaming in ways that will leave us breathless. Imagine experiencing other worlds or other times with photo realistic graphics that flow smoothly with sound to match. Imagine AI that is close to passing the Turing Test (look that one up on Wikipedia) and gives you total immersion, maybe so much so you don’t want to leave?
Will our predictions be right? Who knows... we’ll need to check back on that in 5 years.
Happy New Year!
Pages 46-49 Anime & Manga
Rob and Giselle Live Magazine
Pages 53--58 Retro
THE LIVE TEAM
Publisher: Rob Jenkins (Gametraders Operations Centre)
Robocop - Free Tickets!
Art Director: Giselle Capozza (Gametraders Operations Centre)
Pages 62-66 Page 67
Fan Fiction Page 76
Game Review & Preview Editors: Nick Getley & Kylie Tuttle (Sticky Trigger)
Retro Writer: Paul Monopoli
Trading Cards Page 89
Retro Writer: David Kudrev 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
WHAT’S N WATCHES
Look out for an attack on the wrist with rumours of an iWatch from Apple and watches coming from just about everyone else! Rumours abound on what’s coming but we’re betting you’ll see watches from Apple, Sony and an update on the poorly received Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch that IGN described as “Not worth your time”
Coming out later in February, Thief is highly anticipated by fans of the previous games. This one on PC, 360, PS3 and PS4 along with Xbox One. Promises immersive game play, graphics and sound, put this on your shopping list if you love exploration games where you’re the thief!
TITANFALL Set in a distant frontier that’s been ravaged by war this game looks to be a full on action experience with a face-paced multiplayer component. Due out mid March.
GOOGLE GLASS We’re thinking this will be released to consumers sometime this year along with the Google app to work with it. Basically “Glass” is wearable technology that is a bit like having your smart phone attached to your glasses. Tell it to “take a picture” and it will. You can also share on social media that picture, plus you can record video, search and a whole lot more. Check it out here... www.google.com/glass/start/
Happy New Year! We’re looking forward to a big year in games, pop culture and of course Cosplay! Here’s what’s hot at the moment and what’s likely to be popular with gamers and tech lovers this year!
PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANT (PHASE TWO) Sure we had PDA’s a few years back that were interesting but clunky. Today we have really smart, Smart Phones such as the Galaxy and iPhone. Expect these to really connect with you deeper as your personal assistant. Siri on the iPhone will evolve to be more capable and if you haven’t used Siri much try it. While at first I thought it a novelty, I’ve found it a whole lot easier to get Siri to book an appointment for the dentist by simply telling her / him rather then typing it all in with my big thumbs. Learn more about Siri here: www.apple.com/au/ios/siri/ and Googles assistant software - Google Now here: www.google.com.au/landing/now/ (screenshots from Apple)
XBOX ONE AND PS4 TO REALLY CONNECT WITH USERS.
OCULUS RIFT Probably the most exciting tech company to watch for gamers is Oculus VR who have developed the Oculus Rift - an upcoming virtual reality head set. You wear this over your eyes whilst playing and this will be a highly immersive game environment that should make your gaming experience deeper. Named by CNN as one of their Top 10 Inventions we’re waiting for a finished consumer version to see just how amazing it will be.
Expect amazing games for both systems but also watch out for these systems becoming a larger part of your lounge room entertainment. They will likely be the centre of your home entertainment connecting you to friends, movies, games and social media. All you have to do is go out and get one now...
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E L A S ! N O NOW
from the UK
GAMING IN THE UK
the monthly subscription fee is reasonable or not ($15 AUD), however for fans of the franchise have been waiting for this game for a long time and at this stage, I think half of them are prepared to pay anything! The next few months will be very interesting to see what the response is on the new titles when they are released. Gamers need more titles on the new consoles and we are about to be given the goods!
HAPPY NEW YEAR GAMERS AND WELCOME TO 2014! Gaming in 2014 is going to be one we will remember! Sony and Microsoft spoilt us in 2013 by giving us new consoles and this year, developers will spoil us by providing us with some awesome gaming titles. There was some disappointment in the UK after the launches of the consoles. Many gamers were not overly impressed or wowed with some of the titles that came out. The likes of Call of Duty Ghosts and Battlefield 4 were both games that could have been paid on the ‘old’ consoles, along with Assassins Creed 4. And the balance of the launch titles really didn’t give you a lot of variety to chose from.
ploy or a tactic? Who knows! But what I do know is that the first quater for 2014 will be giving us some fantastic releases! Dark Souls II, a new instalment for Ratchet and Clank The Witcher 3 and the highly anticipated Watch Dogs are just few of the new titles we can expect to see early on in 2014.
Good, bad or indifferent, 2014 is going to be a bumper year for developers and gamers and you need to get excited as your gaming experiences are about to change!
The variety of games this year will be incredible. Survival horror which had been in hiding for some time will be making a come back with the release of Dying Light. The usual first person shooters will be out in force with the likes of Titanfall and the first of its kind, Destiny where the gaming environment will ‘change’ in real time
“GAMERS NEED MORE TITLES ON THE NEW CONSOLES AND WE ARE ABOUT TO BE GIVEN THE GOODS!” December should have been a month where developers went nuts and released more titles in time for Christmas, however they didn’t release anything new (besides Gran Turismo 6) and it felt like something was lacking. Could this have been a
and provide some unexpected gaming challenges along the way. Quite possibly one of the most anticipated games to come out in 2014 could be the MMO, Elder Scrolls Online. The jury is still out on whether
Written by Elliott Buddo
from the US
Is 2014 the year of TellTale? It’s sure shaping up to be! Ever since the smash success of last summer’s The Walking Dead, which won numerous game of the year awards, TellTale has gone from little known indie studio to easily one of the fastest rising developers in the industry. Bursting into the last quarter of 2013 with two very successful titles – aforementioned The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us - already under their belt, TellTale has announced two more episodic projects they will be launching next year: Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands. When it comes to episodic gaming, nobody is better in the business than TellTale, and the announcement of multiple ongoing projects is very good news for fans like me.
GAMING IN 2014
GAMING IN THE US
ond episode of the promising Fables IP. At this point, it’s easy to say we may not see the return of Bigby Wolf and the rest of the Fables until early 2014; is this too long a gap between episodes which should ideally be released bimonthly? Absolutely. However one thing’s for sure, fans remain hungry for more despite the excruciating wait.
loaded work schedule. After their quick ascension to recognition within the industry, it’s no surprise how many people are eager to work with the studio; and when big names like Game of Thrones and Borderlands come knocking on your door, you definitely don’t say no. But is adopting two completely new projects a good idea when TellTale seems to already be struggling with keeping release dates on schedule? It’s undoubtedly a suggestion to be nervous, however I have no doubt this little-studio-that-could will rise to the occasion. It no secret that TellTale has been doing a little home renovation: increasing their employee payroll from 125 to 160, including rumors of scoping out new locations for additional studios. Obviously TellTale’s been busy expanding itself into a beast capable of producing the AAA quality episodic gameplay we’ve come to expect of them.
But is the undertaking of multiple projects very good news for the continued success of TellTale? On the
“I HAVE NO DOUBT TELLTALE WILL RECAPTURE THE MAGIC AND EMOTIONAL HEARTBREAK OF A ZOMBIE..” heels of The Walking Dead’s success, The Wolf Among Us was introduced to fans in October 2013, however we have yet to see a sec-
Here’s to hoping the delay of episodes for The Wolf Among Us are not an indication of TellTale’s over-
Plus with their titles being published on Steam, iOS, Xbox Marketplace, and the PlayStation Network simul-
taneously, I think we can grant these guys a little slack when it comes to meeting release date projections. I don’t think they’re spending the extra time sitting around a campfire contemplating how much profit they’re making off of our agonizing anticipation (although I’m sure they make some time for that as well). Instead, they’re using the extra time developing the best episodic gameplay in the industry, creating characters we’ll emotionally connect with, and writing stories we’ll remember long after the last episode concludes. Despite the lengthened wait between releases, I don’t fear for the quality of these IP’s. Even more than a year after the initial release of The Walking Dead, which I have replayed over seven times completely unashamed, I have no doubt TellTale will recapture the magic and emotional heartbreak of a zombie invested Georgia and a girl named Clementine with Season Two. Equally so, I am anxious to return to the world of Fables living in
New York City and the big bad wolf who protects them all in The Wolf Among Us. But even greater than the anticipation I have for two of my current favorite titles, I am thrilled to see the continued growth of this once indie studio into a blockbuster developer and the stories they will continue to bring us with new uni-
verses to explore such as Game of Thrones and Borderlands. As I mentioned earlier, these guys are the best at what they do and I personally believe the minds of TellTale will be a major part of the industry’s future success.
Written by Serwa Aboagye (fruitjungle.wordpress.com)
XBOX ONE GAMES Angry Birds Star Wars Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Battlefield 4 Call of Duty: Ghosts The Crew Cyberpunk 2077 D4 Dead Rising 3 Destiny Dragon Age: Inquisition Dying Light EA Sports UFC The Elder Scrolls Online The Evil Within Fable Legends FIFA 14 Fighter Within Final Fantasy XV Forza Motorsport 5 Halo for Xbox One Just Dance 2014 Kinect Sports Rivals Kingdom Hearts III LEGO Marvel Super Heroes The LEGO Movie Videogame
Mad Max Madden NFL 25 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Mirror’s Edge NBA 2K14 NBA Live 14 Need for Speed Rivals Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Quantum Break Rayman Legends Ryse: Son of Rome Skylanders SWAP Force Sniper Elite V3 Star Wars Battlefront Sunset Overdrive Thief Titanfall Tom Clancy’s The Division EA Sports UFC Watch Dogs The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Wolfenstein: The New Order Zoo Tycoon
Get ‘em at
PS4 GAMES Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Angry Birds Star Wars Battlefield 4 Call of Duty: Ghosts The Crew Cyberpunk 2077 Daylight Destiny Diablo III Dragon Age: Inquisition DriveClub Dying Light EA Sports UFC The Elder Scrolls Online The Evil Within FIFA 14 Final Fantasy XV Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Galak-Z Infamous: Second Son Injustice Gods Among Us: Ultimate Edition Just Dance 2014 Killzone: Shadow Fall Kingdom Hearts III
Knack LEGO Marvel Super Heroes The LEGO Movie Videogame Mad Max Madden NFL 25 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Mirror’s Edge 2 NBA 2K14 NBA Live 14 Need for Speed Rivals The Order: 1886 Putty Squad The Pinball Arcade Rayman Legends Skylanders SWAP Force EA Sports UFC Sniper Elite V3 Star Wars Battlefront Thief Tom Clancy’s The Division Uncharted Watch Dogs The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Wolfenstein: The New Order
Get ‘em at
ONEâ€™S TO WATCH IN
2014 guarantees to provide us with some amazing games. With the release of the Xbox One and the PS4 and the increase in gaming capabilities in both these consoles, developers are going to push consoles to their limits with brilliant game play and graphics. There are so many fantastic coming out in 2014 and we couldnâ€™t include them all, but here are a few we will definitely be checking out this year!
2014 WATCH DOGS
ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE Elder Scrolls fans have dreamt for years of adventuring through Tamriel with a friend, and now, finally, they can. A massively multiplayer online role-playing game, the Elder Scrolls Online will see gamers battle beasts, complete epic quests, forge alliances and seek their glory in a living, breathing world. Why is Elder Scrolls Online one to watch in 2014? The first MMO from the developer that brought you the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is going to be epic. If you love adventure, role-playing games or multiplayer games, the Elder Scrolls Online is going to offer countless thrills.
In the world we live in today, data can and will be used against you if placed in the wrong hands. Data is knowledge and with knowledge comes power.... but at a price. Watchdogs follows the story of hacker Aiden Pearce who uses the high-tech city of Chicago as a weapon. Played from a third-person prospective in an open world environment, you will interact with the environment at your own pace and leisure. Aiden, the protagonist is a highly skilled hacker who can hack into any system to either gain control, extract information or destroy assets at the click of a button. Why is Watch Dogs one to watch in 2014?
When Watch Dogs was announced and footage from the game was revealed, spectators couldn’t believe their eyes. Watch Dogs features one of the most amazingly-detailed worlds in a game yet. Not only that, but the story looks brilliant. The gameplay is unique, and the options that the gameplay offers the player is nothing short of astounding. Do you sneak up behind a guard and knock him out, perhaps you will hack the security cameras by the door or better yet, the traffic lights outside, causing a major traffic pile-up to distract those that pursue you? Watch Dogs looks to be the most original game in years.
TITANFALL From the original creators of Call of Duty, Titanfall looks to shake up the FPS scene with free-running mechanics and enormous mechs. Set on a war-torn planet as mech-style Titans and their pilots. Its action is fast-paced, including abilities to run on walls and hijack mechs, and extended periods between player deaths. Why is Titanfall one to watch in 2014? If there’s one thing Respawn Entertainment’s staff know, it’s how to make an amazing multiplayer shooter. The addition of mechs and free-running is just icing on the cake. This is brand new game, its not a sequel. It’s a fresh new title and amazing things are going to come out of this game!
THE EVIL WITHIN
THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT Taking place in a medieval fantasy world, ‘The Witcher 3’ concluding the story of Geralt of Rivia, one of the few remaining ‘witchers’ - a monster hunter for hire, gifted with unnatural powers. Set in an open world environment, the player must make a series of ‘moral choices’ to change the plot and direction of the game. Why is Witcher 3 one to watch in 2014? The Witcher games offer a rarity in the games industry, namely a mature, adult-oriented RPG experience. This is not Fable, this is not for kids. If you love dark and mature fantasy, you’ll love the Witcher.
An upcoming survival horror genre game, Evil Within presents the story of police detective Sebastion Castellanos and his partners who are called to the scene of a mass murder. Unbeknownst them, a powerful and deadly force awaits them. After witnessing his fellow officers being picked off one by one, Detective Castellanos is then attacked himself and loses consciousness. Upon awakening, he finds himself trapped in a land full of hideous world of death and must fight his way out to survive from the mysterious force that trapped him there. Why is Evil Within one to watch in 2014? Survival Horror games are becoming rare in the games industry nowadays. Not only that, but an original one is even rarer. Evil Within looks to add a more cinematic approach to survival horror, and the gameplay looks to task the player with relying on their instincts to survive, the way a survival horror should be.
WOLFENSTEIN: THE NEW ORDER Taking place in the 1960’s in which the Nazi won World War II, players will assume the role of protagonist William ‘B.J’ Blazkowicz who is given the task of launching an almost impossible counter offensive against the Nazi powers that have all but taken over the world. After suffering from amnesia after the war torn events he faced, B.J spends 14 years in an asylum from which he escapes only to find that the world he once knew is now under control of a new regiment. Why is Wolfenstein: The New Order one to watch in 2014? After a few poorly-received Wolfenstein titles, the grandaddy of all firstperson-shooters looks to be getting back in the game. While other FPS games looks to offer the most realistic military experience possible, Wolfenstein: The New Order is looking to deliver the most outrageous balls-to-the-wall action experience possible. Dual-wielding shotguns, Nazi mechs and experimental space-age weaponry are the order of the day, and it looks great.
Set in a vast and dangerous open world, as the sun goes down, the hunter becomes the hunted. The zombie outbreak has taken over. During the day, the survivors must explore their environment, create weapons and scavenge for supplies. As the sun sets and the world turns dark, the infected become more powerful and aggressive. They climb faster than you. They hunt in packs and they are after you. Your task? Survive the night til first light.
QUANTUM BREAK Being able to manipulate time is a power most would want to possess. Set a fictional US university, when a time travel experiment goes wrong, Jack, Joyce and Paul must make important decisions for the future which will effect the lives of others in the present. A cover based and third person shooter game. Why is Quantam Break one to watch in 2014? Remedy (Quantum Break’s developer) might not make a lot of video games, but they make amazing games when they do. Alan Wake is one of the finest games from the last console generation, and a major part of that was the game’s fantastic writing. Sam Lake (the writer who wrote Alan Wake) is not only writing Quantum Break, but also a TV series to tie-in to the game. We gamers are truly going to be spoilt in 2014.
METAL GEAR SOLID 5: THE PHANTOM PAIN Barely surviving the attack in Ground Zeros, Snake falls in to a coma only to awaken nine years later where he forms new mercenary group ‘The Diamond Dogs’. Working under code name ‘Punished Snake’, he takes his newly forms group to war torn Afghanistan during the Soviet War to track down those responsible for the destruction and attack on MSF (Militaires Sans Frontieres). Driven by revenge, Snake stumbles across a plot to develop weapons of mass destruction with the power to overpower even the Metal Gear system. Why is Metal Gear Solid one to watch in 2014? Metal Gear Solid is one of those franchises that appears to get better every time a new instalment comes out. The games always have a brilliant story line, great looking gameplay and Kojima have advised that The Phantom Pain will be nothing like the previous games which has us very, very excited!
Why is Dying Light one to watch in 2014? First of all, there are zombies and the world just cant get enough of the zombie craze at the moment! Secondly, its a survival horror title and this genre will be HUGE in 2014 with a few other titles to also hit the market. The story will keep you very interested and on your toes! It will be the survival of the fittest and fastest!
? ? ? ? ?? The editor polished up his crystal ball and made some startling predictions...
Sitting at my desk I got to thinking what the next 5 years will be like for gamers. I wondered about Moore’s Law and if that still is true. Basically the law was named after Intel’s cofounder Gordon E Moore who, in 1965, predicted that the number of transistors and integrated circuits used would double every 2 years. According to Wikipedia this has proven to be accurate. Today we see the recent releases of new hardware from Microsoft and Sony and if history is anything to go by these two consoles should be around in 5 years, a little long in the tooth perhaps but still used by millions for gaming and home entertainment.
Rather then dwell on these 2 machines, I got out the crystal ball, gave it a polish and decided to see what it would show me. Before I give you some predictions, I know how dangerous it is as people will look back and say - hey that never happened! Your crystal ball doesn’t work. We’ll see...
WHERE WILL GAMING BE IN 5 YEARS?
Prediction: Headsets such as the Oculus Rift will become consumer products that are used regularly for gaming and watching TV. They won’t make you feel dizzy or sick and they will provide a totally immersive gaming experience. In the past VR headsets haven’t taken the world by storm and this is mostly due to price, the experience of using the device often left people feeling sick and or dizzy. But with Moore’s Law being taken into account and more technological power being available look out for wearable tech like the Oculus Rift, the Sony HDM and Google Glass becoming commonplace.
Prediction: Social media will change dramatically and Facebook will have serious competition. New social media destinations will have a game focus that better connects friends and those interested in the same genre of gaming. While Facebook will still be a strong site, but you’ve got to wonder if it will be the main social media site for people. Crystal ball says no. Social media will change and there will be more sites that are aimed at people with specific needs. Sites like Linked In and Pinterest will be joined by other niche sites for gamers.
? ? ?
Prediction: Tablets will change to extremely thin almost flexible screens that will bend but not crease or break. Chips will be imbedded in them to allow you to use them like an iPad or Android tablet of today, but they’ll be cheaper and linked up to many devices in your home. As for gaming you’ll still prefer an iPad or Android style device but it will allow connection to wearable tech and will better work with voice commands.
Prediction: Expect Nintendo to make a major announcement on consoles and where they will go next.
Prediction: Microsoft will make major changes to the way it does business and Xbox will feature in those changes...
? ? ? ? ? Prediction: Call of Duty 18 and Battefield 10 will be fighting for the FPS crown but expect a new and exciting competitor to blow them both away.
Prediction: Arnie will be working on Terminator 6 with some sort of connection to wearable tech with regard to the game they release in conjunction with the movie.
“WHERE WILL GAMING
BE IN THE NEXT 5 YEA
INDUS TRY COMM ENT
5 years ago autosave was almost an unheard of thing. 5 years ago Call of Duty was yet to become the repetitive title it now is, and everyone was still oohing and ahhing over how big a game changer the original Modern Warfare was. 5 years ago Gran Turismo 4 was still the most recent title in the series, and now we are on the eve of number 6 launching, with the team already talking about number 7. And 5 years ago the PS4 was vapourware, and the Xbox’s successor was still known as the 720. In the same way that mankind has advanced dramatically in just over a century, the gaming industry has skyrocketed in recent years. 10 years ago I could never have predicted what the gaming industry has become now. Need for Speed had just released their first Underground title. Call of Duty was just another World War 2 shooter. Battlefield 1942 was only a year old, and Gran Turismo 3 was still relatively fresh. And here I am now, surrounded by gaming laptops, Xbox’s, Playstation’s, and mobile phones that play games with graphics better than my original PSX. Atari and the original consoles where the Wright Brothers of their time; the genesis of an era that has gone further and further into the clouds ever since. Have we, the gaming industry, gone to the moon yet though? I’m still debating that. Mankind itself has been there, to punch god in the face, to defy our earthbound beginnings and travelled to the greatest of great heights. And yet the gaming industry is yet to take that giant step. As the consoles have developed over the years, yes they have improved. But nothing is yet to take the quantum leap that leaves the rest of the industry in awe. Atari to Nintendo was like Wright Brothers to biplanes. The original Playstation era was the equivalent to the rise of monoplanes and all metal construction. And the PS2, Xbox, and their successors saw the dawn of the Jet age, and the continued improvement that only time and research can deliver. And now we have just seen the launch of the Playstation 4, and Xbox One. The question is though, with the rise in popularity of mobile games, the appeal of free to play games, and the limits of console software…are we witnessing the Concorde moment of consoles? Virtual Reality has started to make inroads in gaming, with several products already on the market to immerse the player in their adventures. Racing Simulators, Steering wheel kits and multi screen setups bring you closer driving a real race car than you ever were before. Could this be the next step? In 5 years, when I read this, will I be right or wrong? It’s hard to tell. Mobile games are the Satellites of gaming, taking your favourite titles to places you never could before. They are limited by their size and capability, but they are still an important part of the industry. Virtual Reality and simulators, however, have the potential to be the Space Race of gaming. It’s almost like the Sims and VR companies are testing their Saturn V engines, whilst the likes of Sony and Microsoft are the Russians, watching carefully, ready to pick up anything they can to exploit and improve their consoles to bring them on par. You can almost bet that the next generation will integrate some of this, but with the speed at which technology is advancing now…just how far will they go? In 5 years, will we be on the moon? Would we have already been there? Perhaps, even, have we gone further? In 5 years time, I will give you the answer. From Mars.
BEN RACHOW (STICKYTRIGGERENTERTAINMENT.COM)
BACK TO THE FUTURE
“WHERE WILL GAMING BE IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?” IND US TRY CO MM EN T Where do I see gaming in 5 years’ time? That’s a tough one. In all honesty, who would have thought that gaming in the living room would have accelerated the way that it has over the last 10 years? With the quality and quantity that Nintendo, SONY and Microsoft churn out in the form of entertainment, it’s staggering. I remember the days of local multiplayer at an internet café paying $2 for an hour to battle it out against the counter-terrorist on de-dust in Counter Strike or in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2. Now with the Xbox One we’ve got 300,000 worldwide servers that’ll greatly reduce the need to wait for a multiplayer match and improve the quality of the game whether it’d be improved worlds and lower latency. Online gaming have never been easier. Chatting away with friends in a party or other random gamers in the lobby yapping away, talking about completely irrelevant topics. You never know who you’ll speak to, and the stories of couples meeting whilst playing World of Warcraft or Gears of War and eventually getting married brings a much needed warmth to the heart. We’ve got Sony’s Eye Toy and Playroom where you can interact with little robots within a controller or outside and Microsoft’s Kinect 2.0 which has vastly improved over its predecessor. You can now switch off your TV, set top box and Xbox One with a simple voice command and you can just as easily turn them on, all at once. It’s a gimmick that years ago people were complaining wouldn’t take off and isn’t needed. Now the non-believers are in awe at how well the technology works and, personally, I can turn my Xbox One on, sign in via facial recognition, launch Battlefield 4 and I am yet to even pick up a controller to start playing. That’s where gaming was headed and it has reached its destination. I love this not because it’s easier than picking up the controller or that I’m lazy, but because it’s convenience and it’s showing that this technology works and it’ll only improve in time. I work full time and train roughly 8-10 hours a week lifting the big weights that my controller unfortunately cannot provide, however picking up a few Xbox One’s might do the trick a few times a day. For me after a long day of ruining my body, coming home to activate my devices with a simple “Xbox On” is pure bliss. I personally have no idea which direction gaming will take in 5 years’ time but if the PS4 and Xbox One are any indication then I know that we’re in good hands. We’ve got facial recognition, voice commands, tablet and mobile device integration enhancing user experience with various titles and so much more. Gaming has evolved further than just picking up a controller and pressing some buttons. All I ask for is that the quality of games doesn’t suffer from the current integration of other devices. If what we have today is our peak in 5 years’ time, I ask that graphically developers don’t opt for big explosions and set pieces to awe me but introduce me to rich and vast worlds, characters with depth that I care for and want to know more about and a story that’ll engage me.
ARTHUR KOTSOPOULOS (OXCGN.COM)
BACK TO THE FUTURE
“WHERE WILL GAMING BE IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?” IND US TRY CO MM EN T With the coming advent of Valve’s announced “Steam Machines”, consoles have been reinvigorated with an exciting amount of potential for us to keep an eye on in the coming five years. With the proposed different iterations of the “Steam Box” from separate manufacturers (including Valve), the opportunity for the console owner to update hardware, software and even to change the Operating System – one can find plenty reason to anticipate a revolution in console gaming, right down to how we prepare for “Next Generation” consoles. While we have experienced some level of customization within consoles in the last few years (eg avatars, social networking through console system screens, online digital video distribution services etc), I’m hoping that the concept of customizing one’s console will start rolling like a stone gathering moss. As gamers continue to become more tech savvy, I hope to see consoles become a little bit more like PC platforms in that consumers will reclaim ownership of their devices so that they may maintain their machines in a similar fashion to PC Gamers. IE gamers occasionally updating graphic cards and tweaking their consoles for optimal settings (maybe even a bit of overclocking for the adventurous gamer) so that their machines can keep up with the latest available graphics. This would certainly remove the constraints of video game developers being forced to work on projects based on a console’s permanent specifications. As opposed to working on projects based on where their best tools and talents may take them. I also hope that such liberties within customized consoles will assist in the distribution of indie games in the console platform, much to the same extent that the PC permits. In essence, I hope to see video game consoles become more appropriate and flexible competitors against the PC platform.
SEAN FOX (JOHNNOSHARK-REVIEWS.COM)
Image from Wikipidea.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
“WHERE WILL GAMING BE IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?”
IN D U S T R Y C O M M E N T
With the next generation comes speculation and rumours on what new technology will be added to our devices. I thought it would be easier to cover the console manufacturers and what we may see in the next five years based on the gossip in the gamin world and the actual possibility that some of these ideas may actually become a reality! SONY - PS4 VR HEADSET Though initially Sony announced they were working on their own Virtual Reality headset, we haven’t heard a peep about it in the last few months. What is it? Its a head mounted display, which displays the equivalent of a 750-inch display viewed from 20 meters away - right in front of your face. The glasses can also put out 7.1 virtual surround sound. The intent is to revolutionise gaming. To allow the user to be fully immersed in the game world. It was probably delayed, but fear not, I feel we will see it soon enough. MICROSOFT - XBOX ONE KINECT 3D HOLOGRAPHIC DISPLAY When a YouTuber got a Kinect Sensor for his birthday, he decided to hack the thing (in 2011 no less) and created a Kinect driven 3D Holographic Display. No, not joking! The Holographic 3D projections are using Microsoft’s Kinect beta SDK and a Windows Phone handset. Kinect tracks the position of a viewer and automatically adjusts the image projected by the 3D engine, creating the illusion of a 3D landscape. This means we could well see an in-home 3d holographic display and with the Kinect Sensor, even see something close to J.A.R.V.I.S. as seen in Marvel’s Ironman movies. NINTENDO - Wii U What will we see? I really hope we see implementation of cross system software for the 3DS. I have been saying it for years, Nintendo need to implement the 3DS so that the player can play a game at home, such as a Pokemon game, and then take it with them on the go. There are two ways this could be done, new OS updates for both the Wii U and 3DS, or being able to share your save via the internet to your Wii U. The later seems far easier and more plausible. Ok, so no one got a hoverboard like Marty McFly did in Back to the Future when the 2000’s came around, but with the advances in technology today and the advances that we have seen in the past 10 years alone in the gaming industry, we could just be scratching the surface with regards to what the gaming companies are actually capable of doing.
AL CAYNES (TGEEKND.COM)
BACK TO THE FUTURE
“WHERE WILL GAMING BE IN THE NEX IN DU ST RY CO MM EN T
T 5 YEARS?”
Where do I see gaming in five years? If the current consoles and trends in technology are heading, we are going to see products that eliminate (or all but eliminate) the need for other products. Consoles are going to further blur the line between personal computer and console. Gamers are going to be able to stream their gameplay online for their friends to tune in and see via apps like Twitch, and then take their games with them via smartphones and handheld consoles. What I would like to see in the next five years though, is the return of concepts that were deemed to difficult or “ahead of their time”, like cross-platform play between PC and Xbox consoles. This is something that Microsoft hinted at visiting in the future in a recent interview, and there could be games that harness this concept beyond consoles VS PCs in online death matches. I also foresee more games like the upcoming Spark giving creative control to the player themselves, as gamers (and all people) love to create, and all people love to be an important part of something big. Kickstarter campaigns are proof of this. When gamers unify, amazing things happen. Ultimately, I see more original ideas being developed into game concepts and stories. The number of amazingly talented indie developers is growing rapidly by the day. If Console and game publishers are smart they will support these indie devs and help them create the best games they possibly can. While quite often marketing departments and analysts can predict what games will sell and how much, some gamers don’t fit into a mould. Sometimes, a game with something new to offer can cater to these gamers, like the indie phenomenon Minecraft. In short, I foresee the industry getting a whole lot more sophisticated while getting a whole lot more creative.
NICK GETLEY (STICKYTRIGGERENTERTAINMENT.COM)
BACK TO THE FUTURE
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PREVIEW FINAL FANTASY XV Final Fantasy might be the ultimate misnomer in gaming -the series is now 26 years and counting and with Final Fantasy XV released next year, it shows no signs of stopping! What marks FFXV as different is that square appears to be approaching the series with a much more serious and realistic atmosphere than previous games. That isn’t to say the FFXV does maintain any of the series’ hallmarks – characters will still be able to wield incredible powers and perform exciting moves, but
which rule over a city very much like Tokyo, and hold their power due to a mysterious crystal in their possession. However a neighbouring country decides that it wants the crystal, and war ensues, leaving Noctis to save his family and country. Ever since true turn-based battles were phased out of the series Final Fantasy has struggled to find a battle system that feels a natural part of the world that the games are set in, but is not just a hack and slash.
were seamless, allowing the player during battles to move all around the large environments programmed into the game. Square Enix is known for its high powered game engines and what has been shown of FFXV looks stunning, what will end up in the next gen consoles will truly be a sight to behold. FFXV has been a long time coming for Final Fantasy fans – I can remember being excited for it when the release trailer came out in 2006
“..IT LOOKS LIKE THE WAIT HAS HOPEFULLY BEEN WORTH IT.” the story and atmosphere will take a break from the fantasy element and head to something more like a mash between Steampunk, Noir and classic Tesuya Nomura character and world design (yes, he of FFVII and Kingdom Hearts character design fame – expect lots of zips). You play as Noctis, a prince of sorts, and member of a mafia-esque family
FFXV looks to base its battle system of Kingdom Hearts (tried and tested) while mixing battles on the epic level of the movie Final Fantasy: Advent Children. Square Enix has also invested a lot of time into this game making sure that the transitions between high quality cut scenes and gameplay
FORMAT: XBOX ONE | PS4
OUT: TBC 2014
(It was known as FFXIII: Versus then) – however, it looks like the wait has hopefully been worth it. If all the hard work Tetsuya Nomura and his team have put in pays off, FFXV will be the first fantasy for many new gamers this generation, but far from the final one.
Written by Alex Holmes
SNIPER ELITE III Camping its way onto your current or next gen console in 2014 is Sniper Elite 3, the follow up to 505 games successful 2011 Sniper Elite V2. Grab your rifle, and a sunhat, because you’re going to need it this time around. When a regular Intelligence mission turns into a battle that could change the Allies fortunes, are you ready to dance with the Tigers? Whilst the first 2 Sniper Elite titles were set in and around Berlin during the closing stages of World War 2, Sniper Elite 3 takes the game to the lesser known setting of North
well spell disaster for the Allies. He’s also on the prowl for a new German technology which, according to 505 Games themselves, ‘could crush the Allies resistance for good.’ (Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball perhaps?)
sandbox style of gameplay, giving the player more freedom and control over what they play, and where they do it. Expect to find a few hidden treasures and Intelligence files to scavenge around for as well.
Sniper Elite 3 features many traits that regular fans of the series would be familiar with, with an updated, bone shattering, beautifully gory killcam system that’s sure to upset a few parent groups, realistic bullet drop and wind direction (although you can adjust the difficulty so that these aren’t an issue), and the ability
Naturally, being a sniper, the game has the player utilise stealth tactics as they navigate the arid and unforgiving landscape, with plenty of in your face gunfights and action scenes in between to ensure it isn’t all quiet, repetitive sneaking. An impressive arsenal of World War era weapons are also available, in-
“..GIVING THE PLAYER MORE FREEDOM AND CONTROL OVER WHAT THEY PLAY, AND WHERE THEY DO IT.” Africa, still in World War 2, with the player taking control of OSS operative Karl Fairburne. This time he’s hunting down the Allies newest nemesis, the fearsome and newly introduced Panzer Mark 6-the infamous Tiger Tank, who’s appearance could
to single out weak points on enemy vehicles, such as fuel tanks and engine components (and, of course, the weakest point of all…the driver), dispatching your foes in fiery and spectacular ends. The game also has a greater focus on the open world,
cluding rifles, machine guns, landmines, grenades, and so forth, with the player able to set traps and tripwires using their explosive inventory. Whilst Sniper V2 was simply an updated rehash of the original Sniper Elite, the third game is taking
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRAILER! (IMAGES FROM TRAILER) it to a whole new setting with a whole new storyline, and with the sandbox gameplay expanded a great deal you can guarantee a whole tank full of new adventures and gunfights. Set some traps, pick them off from a distance, charge in with guns blazing, or simply run off into the desert in fear at the mere sight of a Tiger Tank and end up befriending a volleyball named Wilson, the choices are yours. Will you rise to the challenge before you solider? Or will the Germans conquer us all? It’s all on you…so no pressure or anything, right?
Written by Ben Rachow
FORMAT: XBOX 360 | PS3 | PC | XBOX ONE | PS4
OUT: TBC 2014
SOUTH PARK: STICK OF TRUTH Transporting the charm of a TV show into a game is always a tall order, and even taller with a long-running, beloved series. From the surprising gems to the unmitigated disasters, there has never been any real way to know if a licensed game will be decent or not – except, perhaps, for what Stick of Truth has been promising. Under the very close supervision of the creators of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker have both repeatedly delayed the title simply because they feel it’s not ready yet. If that isn’t heartening, I don’t know what is.
new kid in town, quickly embroiled in a fantastic saga of love, war, and jokes about your mom. In true South Park style, things start very mundanely: a craze of fantasy roleplaying has swept the fourth grade and a grand magical artifact, the titular Stick of Truth, has been stolen. The quest is on, and as per usual for a South Park episode – something which the game has been painstakingly made to feel like, sub-par animation and all – things get very quickly out of hand. If you know South Park, then you’ll know how ri-
the game feels more like an indie project than anything. The relatively recent Penny Arcade games or Costume Quest bear the closest resemblance, with all the usual RPG trappings spiced up by timed attacks and defences, unique status effects like ‘Bleeding’ and ‘Pi$$ed Off’, and crude jokes throughout to keep things rolling along. Through ranged attacks and other context-sensitive actions, your quest is given more flavour than an endless line of 10 year old boys in elf ears to beat up; your personal
“THE QUEST IS ON, AND AS PER USUAL FOR A SOUTH PARK EPISODE – SOMETHING WHICH THE GAME HAS BEEN PAINSTAKINGLY MADE TO FEEL LIKE, SUB-PAR ANIMATION AND ALL – THINGS GET VERY QUICKLY OUT OF HAND.” With writing and voices by the creators themselves and design by Obsidian Entertainment (you know, the guys who made Fallout: New Vegas), The Stick of Truth casts you as the
diculous that can be. If not, you’re in for a treat. Oddly, for all the time taken in making this and the big talents behind it,
kid will be joined by classic characters like Butters and others, giving you the ability to order them around outside of the battlefield as well.
All in all, in an industry where many games are being pushed out the door unfinished, something like The Stick of Truth where the creators of the show themselves are dedicated to making sure it’s not in your hands until it’s ready is a special thing, filled with potential. The Witcher this is not, but if you want an RPG that doesn’t take itself seriously and isn’t loaded down with systems upon systems, then – whenever it comes out – this may be the fart-filled fantasy epic for you.
Written by Aaron Milligan
FORMAT: XBOX 360 | PS3 | PC
OUT: 6 MARCH 2014
RATING: R 18+
RYSE: SON OF ROME Ryse is arguably one of the nicest looking next gen titles along with KillZone: Shadow Fall but are amazing visuals enough to make Ryse worth your hard earned cash, the answer isn’t an easy one with a few people not enjoying Ryse’s simple gameplay but appreciating the technical achievements from Crytek. Developing a Kinect 1.0 only action title proved to be too difficult with the technology Crytek had a few years ago now, so they decided to make an Xbox One launch title with traditional controls instead. Unfortunately
with visuals you have never seen on a video games console before then Ryse: Son of Rome is definitely going to give you some fun.
combat is sometimes mixed up with throwing spears or using Kinect voice commands to execute orders such as arrow attacks.
The controls are fairly simple, A to block attacks, X to slash, Y to shield bash/kick and the right trigger starts your gruesome slo-mo executions, which for some reason you cannot fail with the following quick time event that ensues. Basically you are invincible to attacks and the enemy will flash blue or yellow indicating to press X or Y. If you fail to press in time
Whenever you pull off an execution you can choose what reward you will get by activating one of four options at a time. By default you will get a health regeneration, or you can choose Focus, additional XP or a damage boost. Focus allows more slo-mo time, Additional XP makes unlocking additional executions, health bars and other upgrades a
“..WITH SOME OUTSTANDING VOICE ACTING MAKES RYSE A PLEASURE TO WATCH AND YOU REALLY FEEL LIKE A GLADIATOR, ESPECIALLY WHEN LINING UP AND USING SHIELDS TO PROTECT YOURSELVES FROM INCOMING ARROW ATTACKS.” this shows, as the gameplay is tight but very simplistic. If you are looking for a combat system with some depth you won’t find it here, but for some people who just want to kill roman gladiator style with tons of gore
or press the wrong button you simply get less experience. If you want to unlock all the character upgrades including the more violent executions you will need to time as many quick time events as possible. The basic
much quicker exercise. The extradamage boost makes combat too easy for my liking with sometimes only two basic slashes to get them down.
The audio and visual achievements along with some outstanding voice acting make Ryse a pleasure to watch and you really feel like a gladiator, especially when lining up and using shields to protect yourselves from incoming arrow attacks. The animations and facial expressions are incredible along with the lip syncing; even running at 900p this game really is amazingly beautiful. The story is somewhat very simple revenge plot but it works well enough in my opinion and keeps the pace moving along nicely. You play as Marius Titus as he protects Emperor Nero during the throes of a barbarian invasion of Rome, telling the story of his ascension through the ranks of this epic battle. The narrative works really well it’s just a shame that the game is somewhat about only seven hours long, I really wanted a lot more from this game by the time it finished. In saying that the multiplayer component of Ryse is a lot of fun and a decent challenge. There is three main
maps (I’m sure more will come via DLC) and a good Co-Op challenge mode that will really test you. Just make sure you have a team mate that likes to communicate or it will be a little too difficult. To sum it up Ryse is a fun action hack-n-slash title that suffers from its initial development cycle as a Kinect only game on older hardware, and also being a launch title for new hardware. In saying that it’s technically a masterpiece and if you can accept it for what it is, a rather short, simple gore fest then you will definitely enjoy your time with Ryse: son of Rome! Let’s hope we get a sequel with more characters and depth as I believe Crytek can keep Ryse as a franchise for many years to come.
Written by Nick Pearce
PROS • • •
Incredibly beautiful one of the best looking games ever made Amazing voice acting
Simple pick up and play gameplay
Difficulty spikes from very easy to very hard
EXPLORE THE DUNGEON BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW! Adventure Time (and I say this without hyperbole) is a phenomenon! The Cartoon Network series has exploded with popularity, and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. With great popularity comes great merchandise, and there’s everything from Adventure Time clothing, to posters, sleepware and Funko Pop! figures. Naturally, when a kids’ show becomes this popular, it usually gets its own video games. The first Adventure Time game, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King, Why’d You Steal Our Garbage was released on the Nintendo 3DS and received many posi-
game, released on the Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii U and 3DS. Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW is chockfull of the show’s humour and wild imagination, but is it mathematical? Developed by WayForward (Ducktales Remastered, Double Dragon Neon), Adventure Time: ETDBIDK casts players as characters from the hit TV show as they explore the immense dungeon that lies beneath the Bubblegum Kingdom. Someone or something has been releasing Princess Bubblegum’s captive enemies from the dungeon. Not only that, they’ve also stolen all of her
Gameplay-wise, Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! is very similar to early games from The Legend of Zelda series. The game is presented from a bird’s eye perspective, with retro-modeled characters and environments. The dungeon itself is made up of levels, and similar to classic dungeon-crawlers like Gauntlet, where players have the ability to explore the entire level at their own pace, and then descend into lower levels, which ascend in difficulty. Throughout their adventure, players will come across treasures which will act as currency to purchase up-
“SOMEONE OR SOMETHING HAS BEEN RELEASING PRINCESS BUBBLEGUM’S CAPTIVE ENEMIES FROM THE DUNGEON. NOT ONLY THAT, THEY’VE ALSO STOLEN ALL OF HER TREASURE! IT’S UP TO FINN, JAKE AND THEIR FRIENDS TO SOLVE THE MYSTERY..” tive reviews. ‘Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!’ is the latest Adventure Time
treasure! It’s up to Finn, Jake and their friends to solve the mystery and kick some butt while they’re at it.
grades for their characters. Similar to other RPG-lite games, the stats allow the player to reach deeper
levels inside the dungeon. In addition to the game’s main story line, there are also side quests that the player can complete, adding to the game’s length and allowing players the chance to level up more in order to beat a difficult main quest. Now while there are quests, side quests, upgrades and full voiceacting, it doesn’t feel as though Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW scratches beneath the surface of the cartoon. There is a plethora of brilliant storylines and characters that WayForward could have taken advantage of, but haven’t. It’s a competent game and a fun one, but it falls short of its potential. Kids will be entertained by Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW, but more seasoned gamers and adults will probably find their gaming time spent elsewhere. levels inside the dungeon. AT:ETDBIDK is a game of mixed results, when I first fired it up, I was
delighted by the retro design and the ability to play as Finn and Jake in an RPG on my home console. As my time with the game progressed though, I learnt that it is little more than a diluted Zelda title with an Adventure Time theme over the top. I’m still playing it, and it is worth checking out (especially if you’re an AT fan) but don’t be expecting anything innovative.
Written by Nick Getley
PROS • • •
Up to four player cooperative Adventure Time
Beautifully retro art directed
Bleeps and bloops make for a great retro soundtrack.
Not enough Adventure Time content feels like a wasted opportunity
CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS Another year, another Call of Duty title. It can be hard maintaining an annual release of a game and deliver a quality product time after time, especially as the product’s key demographic expects a certain amount of familiarity whilst they scream for innovation in that same product. CoD’s developer, Infinity Ward, has been struggling creatively since series’ creators Vince Zampella and Jason West left the company (along with a number of staff) over a number of disputes with Call of Duty’s
from the Modern Warfare games in a big way. The campaign is completely over the top, the multiplayer is a huge step backward yet somehow the new game mode, ‘Extinction’, is surprisingly fun. Overall though, Ghosts is a disappointing game that I hope does not set a new standard for the series. The single-player campaign in Ghosts features an absolutely ridiculously hard-to-swallow story. It opens with Elias, an ex-soldier telling his two sons, Logan and Hesh,
strike, with Logan and Hesh narrowly escaping the massive destruction of the city. Thirty seconds into the game, I had already felt insulted by it. Playing as an astronaut and floating around in zero-gravity, shooting terrorists may have been almost believable in a James Bond game, but this was ridiculous. If that wasn’t bad enough, the two brothers back on Earth decide to search for their father while the complete destruction of their city is taking place. They are liter-
“PLAYING AS AN ASTRONAUT AND FLOATING AROUND IN ZERO-GRAVITY, SHOOTING TERRORISTS MAY HAVE BEEN ALMOST BELIEVABLE IN A JAMES BOND GAME, BUT THIS WAS RIDICULOUS.” publisher, Activision. Whilst Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sold well, fans and critics both agreed that the game was nowhere near as enjoyable as previous entries in the series. ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ moves away
the legend of the “Ghosts” and how they first appeared in battle. Meanwhile, space terrorists hijack the Orbital Defense Initiative (ODIN) and use it to attack Earth’s major cities. The United States is hit by an ODIN
ally running around jumping over cliffs and chasms (that used to be city streets) and dodging airborne exploding petrol tankers. And that was just the tutorial. I wouldn’t have felt as insulted as I was if the game
PROS • •
Decent multiplayer, despite being a step backward for the series Extinction is a fun and fastpaced answer to Zombies.
CONS • • • had some degree of self-parody to it. If the characters and story were poking fun at themselves throughout the campaign then maybe it would have felt less tiresome. Unfortunately, the game has been marketed as having an “amazing story” written by Stephen Gaghan, who wrote the Oscar-winning film Traffic. I do know several Call of Duty fans that while admitting it felt goofy, enjoyed the story. I myself didn’t hate the story, I just didn’t feel anything compelling me to finish it. “Who cares? Call of Duty is all about multiplayer!” and right you are, Call of Duty fanboy! While the multiplayer is much better than the single-player campaign, it feels like a step backwards from the entertaining onlinemultiplayer in Modern Warfare 3. The new sliding mechanic is somehow even more useless than the dolphin-dive mechanic in Black Ops, but will probably appeal to people who think fully spinning around in the air before they shoot someone is cool (360 shooting). While the guns and unlock system in Ghosts are decent, the maps feel completely bland compared to iconic maps from previous Call of
Duty games, such as Modern Warfare’s ‘Bog’ and Modern Warfare 2’s ‘Highrise’. If Infinity Ward are smart, they will borrow a page from DICE’s book and release all of their previous maps as DLC for Ghosts. This way, they can offer long-time fans the opportunity to play all their favourite maps on the recently-released Xbox One and PlayStation 4, as well as insert the new dynamic map events into the maps. Lastly, we have the new Extinction mode, which is Infinity Ward’s answer to Treyarch’s (CoD’s other developer) brilliant Zombies mode. Players assume the role of a special task force assigned with eliminating alien nests from an undisclosed city and its surrounding area. Players have in-game and overall experience levels. Killing aliens and drilling nests awards points that can be spent on various perks, from better weapon handling and special ammunition to support from mortar weapons and more. The overall experience levels affect your starting loadout. Do you play as a soldier, who is capable of fast reloads and quicker movement? Or do you choose to play as a medic
Bland multiplayer maps with not even a single memorable one present.
Ridiculous story. Literally feels like five bad games mashed into one. No replay value.
who can revive teammates quicker? Whatever your play-style, there is an option for you. A team of four players each playing a different role will be far more likely to have a successful outcome in Extincion, if they can co-operate. While Call of Duty: Ghosts is no way the best game in the series, longtime fans may find something to enjoy in it. Infinity Ward are going to have to create some stellar DLC to stave off their fans jumping ship to West and Zampella’s new game, Titanfall. As someone who has owned every single CoD since Call of Duty 2, it pains me to write a less-thanfavourable review of a CoD game, but I’m optimistic that the DLC for Ghosts will be decent, particularly if Infinity Ward expand upon Extinction and add some classic maps. Time will tell if Treyarch remain the stronger CoD developer, or if Infinity Ward can snatch that crown back...
Written by Nick Getley
DEAD RISING 3 The Dead Rising series has always been a personal favourite of mine, and though the series has always sold well, I’ve always felt it deserved to be bigger than what it has been. With ‘Dead Rising 3’, Microsoft themselves stepped in and offered Capcom their assistance in helping them achieve their hopes for the franchise. Dead Rising 3 is bigger, gorier and takes the series in a more serious direction, but does that make for a better game? Introducing a new protagonist, Dead Rising 3 tells the story of Nick Ra-
now inhabit it. Along the way, Nick will encounter the zombies, survivors and psychopaths that the Dead Rising series has become famous for. Scrounging for a weapon to fend off the undead may be a difficult task for some folks, but not for Nick Ramos. Being a skilled mechanic, Ramos is not only able to wield a wrench with the ferocity of a Viking, but he is also able to modify two items together to create deadly combo weapons, as well as combo vehicles (a first for the Dead Rising series).
Rising 2 however, players can now create super combo weapons by further adding items to their combo weapons. Adding a katana and a scythe creates the “Grim Reaper” weapon, and adding gasoline to that creates a “Fire Grim Reaper”. Going that extra step and adding a Grim Reaper mask to that creates the ultra-deadly “Ultimate Grim Reaper”, a flaming multi-bladed scythe that launches fireballs out of the multiple skulls that adorn it. Weapons like this are an absolute blast.
“INSTEAD OF CARTOON-LIKE CHARACTERS, DEAD RISING 3 OFFERS MORE REALISTIC CHARACTERS, AND WHILE SOME PEOPLE MAY DISLIKE THEM, I CERTAINLY FELT THEY BELONGED IN THE DEAD RISING UNIVERSE” mos, a mechanic in Los Perdidos, California. In it, Nick must find survivors and escape the city before a large-scale military strike obliterates Los Perdidos and the undead that
Similarly to Dead Rising 2, there is a ridiculous amount of fun to be had in dispatching hordes of the undead with combo weapons. Unlike Dead
Also new to the Dead Rising series are killstreaks. Similar to the Call of Duty series, killing a number of zombies in a set period of time adds a counter to the game screen,
9/10 and with every ten or so kills, the PP (experience) increases, and the payer is able to execute a devastating special move. Many of these are unique to certain weapons (or weapon types), all of them are extremely graphic and therefore, highly entertaining. Online co-operative play makes a welcome return in Dead Rising 3, and with a few minor improvements. Instead of simply cloning Nick Ramos and having two of them run around Los Perdidos, guest players
stead of cartoon-like characters, Dead Rising 3 offers more realistic characters, and while some people may dislike them, I certainly felt they belonged in the Dead Rising universe, perhaps even more so than characters like Frank West and Chuck Greene. Nick Ramos feels more like a normal every day person, caught in the middle of a terrible situation. He’s not used to being depended on, let alone being a hero. He freaks out at the sight of a zombie horde, and when he draws the attention of one, he will say something like “looks like I’ve got company”, which also serves as an audio cue to the player in addition to demonstrating Nick’s somewhat anxious personality. The Xbox One’s impressive hardware means that Capcom Vancouver were able to have more than three times the amount of zombies on screen at once. Not only that, but there many more character models too, meaning that every horde of zombies feels different, especially compared to previous Dead Rising games. Dead Rising 3 also sports a slew of Kinect and Smartglass-based features that really add to the game
“..BUT DEAD RISING 3 (AND OTHER XBOX ONE GAMES) MAKE ME A KINECT BELIEVER.” will play as Dick, one of the characters present in the single player campaign. Dick also has his own voice actor and lines of dialogue when interacting with survivors found ingame, which makes for a refreshing change compared to earlier Dead Rising games, where dialogue was mainly executed via text. You’ve probably heard by now that Dead Rising 3 has a mature vibe about it...well, mature compared to previous Dead Rising games. In-
experience. I know that sounds hard to swallow, given the limited use of the Xbox 360’s Kinect, but Dead Rising 3 (and other Xbox One games) make me a Kinect believer. You can lure and distract zombies via the Kinect microphone, as well as instruct survivors via voice commands and hand gestures. You can also access control shortcuts, such as “drop current weapon” and you can even break free of a zombie’s grasp by shaking the controller or your hands in front of the Kinect’s camera.
If you have the Xbox One Smartglass app on your smartphone or tablet, you can use the ZDC (Federal Bureau of Zombie Defense and Control) PDA app in-game to get you out of a jam. While it doesn’t really offer anything you can’t already do without it, you have the ability to call in air strikes and assistance from NPCs that you’ve rescued. At this point, it is probably worth mentioning to the long-time Dead Rising fans that the series has not lost its unique sense of humour, contrary to rumours. Yes, the series has taken a darker and more mature direction, but if you choose to, you can dress Nick in drag and beat zombies back to the grave with a pink “personal massager”, if that’s your thing. Ultimately, Dead Rising 3 is a fantastic game for any zombie fan. The atmosphere and characters are the best in the series to date, as is the gameplay and multiplayer. With so many titles to choose from with the Xbox One launch, make sure you don’t overlook Dead Rising 3.
Massive amount of weapons to be used and combined.
Multiplayer is a ton of fun
The story feels a little short.
Written by Nick Getley
JUST DANCE 2014 It’s time to break out your best moves and get down with your bad self on the dance floor, well lounge room floor as it may be! Just Dance 2014 is the fifth game released by Ubisoft in its successful franchise and was a launch title for the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. In my opinion, it’s possibly the best Just Dance released yet! For those of you who are not familiar with the Just Dance series, the player needs to mimic a series of
dence (and quite possibly your cockiness) and experience improves, the more daring you can becomes and explore the greater difficulty dance tracks. All sounds relatively easy unless you are unfortunate to have been blessed with two left feet and no rhythm, but never fear, you are fully supported with the on screen dance moves to help you. Inhibitions need to be checked at the door when playing Just Dance 2014 as the more you put into your dance moves, the
selection. In theory, the use of the Kinect as the sole controller was brilliant, as is stops having to pick up the controller, make a selection and then put the controller down to be ready to dance. Getting used to the motion control takes some getting used to, but once you have mastered the art, your will be able to control most of the menus such as game mode and song selection with a few hand gestures. Difficultly levels of the songs in this instalment have been changed from
“OH AND I SHOULD MENTION THAT EVERY TIME YOU BUST OUT A MOVE, YOUR DANCE MOVES ARE RECORDED AND EDITED FOR LATER VIEWING (OR BOUTS OF LAUGHTER IN SOME CASES)!” well timed dance moves with the on screen dancers whilst being backed by popular dance tracks and you are scored on how well you execute the moves. Dances are rated on varying levels of difficulty and as your confi-
higher Mojo points you will get! Get out those jazz hands! I played Just Dance 2014 on the Xbox One and was able to use the Kinect as my predominant source of control when it comes to song selection or dancer
numbers (previously 1-4) to easy, medium, hard and hardest. This change is much of a muchness in my opinion, however it does make it much easier for younger and new players to be able to identify what
8/10 “KARAOKE’ FEATURE WHERE YOU CAN SING ALONG..” songs to start out on. My partner’s 9 year old sister was easily able to identify the easier songs to start out on and stay away from something like Nicki Minaj’s ‘Pound the Alarm’ which is set on the hardest setting. Multiple game modes ensure that Just Dance 2014 will never become boring! There are no less than 7 modes you can select from. A few include: Classic: Like the previous instalments, classic mode is a free-dance mode simply allowing the player to follow along with the on screen dancer. On stage mode: This is a new feature in the game. One player dances the lead and two other players are the back up dancers. This a great feature if you have a few friends over! JD 2014 is a game that can be played alone, but with the option to have up to 4 players dancing simultaneously, why would you? World Dance Floor: This mode allows players to compete with their dance moves with other players online. This feature gives dancers a chance to vote on a track, dance, earn Mojo points and gain popularity in the Just Dance community. One impressive and exclusive feature to the Wii-U, Xbox 360 and Xbox
One version of the game is Party Master. Here one player will take on the role of the Party Master and they are then responsible for the real time changes in song and choreography by selecting various dance moves the dancer/s must then perform! This feature is used in conjunction with the Wii-U GamePad or the Xbox SmartGlass. This definitely is a first of its kind feature in a game! All modes include a ‘karaoke’ feature where you can sing along with the track as you dance thus allowing the chance for a bigger collection of Mojo points! Oh and I should mention that every time you bust out a move, your dance moves are recorded and edited for later viewing (or bouts of laughter in some cases)! You can add filters and effects (my favourite is the ‘giant head’ effect) and upload them to your Facebook or Twitter account and also to the ‘Just Dance TV’ area where other can view your epic tearing up of the dance floor and vice versa. Here other uses can also ‘vote’ on how good ( or bad) they felt your dance moves were. Just Dance 2014 is not just only a way to get down and boogie, it also has inbuilt exercise programs with the use of the Sweat mode. Sweat provides an in home exercise experience for those are unable to get to a gym to do a good cardio work our or
are a little self conscious to exercise in public. It wont go easy on you, let me tell you that much! Your heart will be pumping in one of the 10, 20 or 40 minute sessions or in the free play mode. Similar to the Wii Fit games, calories are tracked on screen and you can get a reasonable amount of calories burnt with around 4-5 songs. The 2014 edition is jam packed with no less than 47 tracks, most of which are well known such as ‘Applause’ by Lady Gaga, ‘Blurred lines’ by Robin Thicke and ‘Blame it on the boogie’ by Michael Jackson, but if that isn’t enough to satisfy your dancing feet, additional tracks are available for download. Depending on the platform you are playing on, the songs available vary, but its around an additional 18 songs at this moment in time. Tracks can be purchased using the Mojo points you earn in game or via in game purchase accounts. Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2014 implores you to have fun! Its got one of the best soundtracks yet and with varying levels of difficulty and DLC (downloadable content) its definitely one game that will give you hours of fun either alone or with a group of friends.
PROS • • • •
Great soundtrack and ability to increase the track listing with DLC. Very well presented.
Suitable for young and old.
Multi player feature will be a big winner.
CONS • •
Use of the motion controller can be a little finicky at times Lack of classic 80’s and 90’s tracks
Written by Kylie Tuttle
IT’S PARTY TIME AT GAMETRADERS! Also available on Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 & PS3.
PRE-ORDER NOW! OUT
PACMAN & THE GHOSTLY ADVENTURES Pac-Man must be the busiest man in gaming. He has just seen the release of his highly-successful PacMan Championship Edition onto Steam with Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+, as well as the smartphone game Pac-Man Dash!. The TV series ‘Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures’ started airing in June, and smart cookie that he is, Pac-Man has just released a tie-in game to the series bearing the same name. You would be forgiven for thinking that Pac-Man and the Ghostly Ad-
gameplay, and while it is fun, I think the amount of entertainment offered really depends on the individual. If you enjoyed old-school platformers like the Ratchet and Clank or Kirby series of games, you will probably find Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures fun. As one would expect, players assume the role of Pac-Man as he gobbles ghosts and foils evil in the city of Pactropolis. To be honest, the overarching storyline itself is pretty forgettable when compared to other
Adventures wins me over is in the platforming sections and combat sequences. It would have been hard adding strategy to the simpler gameplay of the classic Pac-Man games, but by adding a dash of Kirby Namco Bandai have created some pretty entertaining combat sequences. During the levels, Pac-Man will acquire various powers, which allow him to solve various puzzles and defeat tricker enemies. One puzzle sequence involved defeating a
“WHERE PAC-MAN AND THE GHOSTLY ADVENTURES WINS ME OVER IS IN THE PLATFORMING SECTIONS AND COMBAT SEQUENCES.” ventures was a hurried cash-in game specifically made just to take your money. This isn’t the case, but I do feel that the source material of PacMan and the Ghostly Adventures (the cartoon series) limits the potential for the game itself. There isn’t a great deal of variety in the levels or
games, or rather, I felt as though I couldn’t engage with the story because I am unfamiliar with the cartoon series. Either way I’m certain that fans of the TV series will get a lot more out of the game. Where Pac-Man and the Ghostly
group of fire ghosts and then freezing a water fountain to jump up to a higher level. Kids might get lost with puzzles like these as the game doesn’t guide the player at all. It’s up to the player to figure things out on their own.
There is a multiplayer mode included in Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, which will keep kids entertained. It’s a modern take on the classic Pac-Man gameplay that made Pac a household name, and up to three players can play as ghosts! If you ever wanted to experience a competitive Pac-Man game, this mode is for you. Platform games are getting increasingly rare nowadays, and while PacMan may not be offering anything new, it is offering simplistic platforming fun suitable for young kids and parents. Pac-fans and fans of the cartoon series will definitely want to check out Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures.
Written by Nick Getley
Simple, fun and accessible gameplay
Four player competitive Pac-Man!
The lack of a decent story is a waste opportunity
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK BETWEEN WORLDS
The Zelda series has long been synonymous with Nintendo both handheld and living room consoles, and it could be said that no Nintendo console is complete without a Mario game and a Zelda game. With the arrival of A Link Between Worlds the 3DS now has both, adaptations notwithstanding, and it is a triumphant arrival indeed. Combining old school sensibility with a top down styled display, but fresh new twists on classic Zelda puzzling, A Link Between Worlds is a pleasant romp that should satisfy old school fans and will entrance newer players alike.
same one – down to the map – of the classic A Link to the Past, but you are a different Link than the one in that game (for readers confused by Zelda chronology, check out the Hyrule Historia and Zelda timelines online). Going about your day’s business you stumble across Yuga – an evil so-and-so – who is kidnapping all the sages from the kingdom of Hyrule. Yuga turns you into a painting, like he has all the sages, however you are (of course) able to escape this entrapment, but maintain the ability
journeying to Lorule, Hyrule’s dark twin reality. For additional fun, there are numerous references to other Zelda games peppered throughout, from Majora’s Mask hanging on the wall of Link’s house, to the story of Ocarina being told through large majestic paintings on the wall of Hyrule castle. A Link Between Worlds’ gameplay takes the view top down, reminiscent of the Zelda games of old. However the 3DS allows the stereoscopic 3D to really make a difference in dungeons with lots of lay-
“THE GAME MAKES YOU THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX SO OFTEN THAT THE RESULT IS A THOROUGHLY ENGROSSING EXPERIENCE AND ONE THAT REALLY IS FUN AND REWARDING TO PLAY.” A Link Between Worlds features the usual setup of a boy called Link (or whatever you want to name him) waking up to a normal day on Hyrule. This particular Hyrule is the
to turn into a painting. Link meets up with Princess Zelda who gives him his marching orders, and then has to make his way through various dungeons to save the world, eventually
ered levels (hint: there are lots) and literally ads another level of depth to the game. The normal Zelda items also make
a return: the Master Sword swings with a tap of B, and fires beams of power if you are on full health, which is thoroughly awesome. All the old favourite items return as well: the bow, the hookshot, the bombs and so on, but this time with a twist. A Link Between Worlds does not require you to find the requisite item for a dungeon within the dungeon (or even have a dungeon have requisite item), but rather all these items can be rented out at the start of the game, being returned to their owner Ravio (who has set up shop in Link’s house) when Link loses all
dungeon has its own unique flair to it and presents some real brain teasers of the variety that will cause you to slap your head when you can’t figure it out, and then again when you do. Of particular note is the new 2D gameplay, where Link can turn into a painting to assist in solving puzzles. This allows the level design to reach a new dimension, literally.
his health. The result of this means that the dungeons can be tackled in any order you wish and become true puzzles that don’t require gimmicks to solve. Additionally, Link losing his items when he dies means that there is a real edge and urgency to some of the trickier elements of gameplay, and it adds the delightful edge of consequence which makes each win that much better, and each loss hit that much harder. Save points are only gripe as they are naturally irritating to me – I much prefer to save at any time I choose. Still they do have the added bonus of doubling as quick travel points, a welcome addition that prevents tedious backtracking when you realise that you went the wrong way, or forgot something.
and level design results in something that feels classic, yet fresh – emblematic of the game as a whole.
The true gameplay of Zelda lies in the dungeon building and level design and A Link Between Worlds has inventiveness in abundance. Each
The game makes you think outside the box so often that the result is a thoroughly engrossing experience and one that really is fun and rewarding to play. The resulting gameplay
The art direction of A Link Between Worlds creates a whimsical and beautiful experience. The score is a perfect selection of classic Zelda tunes and a sprinkling of new ones wonderfully recorded with real instruments, creating a fresh yet familiar soundscape. Of particular delight to me was the 8-bit noise Link’s sword makes as it hits enemies, helping to make this game feel old school in a very cool way. The graphical depiction of Hyrule is also quite lovely with 3D sprites creating the population of Hyrule and the monsters that live there too which makes the game to feel like a long lost Zelda classic from the NES and SNES eras. There are hours of puzzle solving fun packed into Zelda and the lighthearted tone of the story suits the
nature of the gameplay to a tee. Combined with simple yet gorgeous graphics, a whimsical and beautiful soundtrack and a simple feel of fun and exploration, Zelda hasn’t been this much pure fun since Windwaker. There are lots of “gritty” and “realistic” games that are currently flooding the market, but none could match the charm, whimsy, and simple magic and sense of wonder and adventure that A Link Between Worlds has - it is an outstanding game and most pleasant experience for anyone who decides to try it out.
PROS • • • •
Classic yet fresh approach to the whole game Wonderful, innovative and brain teasing new dungeons Fast travel is very welcome
Art direction is whimsical and beautiful
CONS • •
Save system is not ideal
Some of the graphical depth is literally lost if you play on a 2DS
Written by Alex Holmes
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SWORD ART ONLINE pre-order now!
One of the most requested fan titles of the year! Don’t miss out – Sword Art Online Volume 1 In Stores Now! Once you log on, there’s no logging out. Die in this game and you will die in real life! In the year 2022, a next-generation game known as “Nerve Gear” has been developed, making Full Dives into a virtual dimension possible. “Nerve Gear” The world’s first true VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) ”Sword Art Online (SAO)” has generated worldwide buzz, and on its official launch day, one player, Kirito, immerses himself in its virtual world. But Akihiko Kayaba, the developer of SAO, proclaims the following to all players. This game is inescapable unless all levels are cleared. And in this world, “Game Over” is equivalent to death in the real world.
out 15 jan
out 19 FEB
© REKI KAWAHARA/ASCII MEDIA WORKS/SAO Project
MUST HAVE! OUT 8 JANUARY !
LA STORIA DELLA ARCANA FAMIGLIA What do you get when you combine the Italian mafia, magic with tarot cards and a whole lot of familial issues? Why La storia della Arcana Famiglia, of course!
ture even the most serious of characters are embroiled into this take with humorous ending scenes for each episode. That is not to say that there isn’t any drama involved.
Set on a fictional island called Re-
The story centres on our main hero-
fluid and consistency is maintained across all episodes. Overall Arcana Famiglia is sure to appeal to anyone after something that isn’t too complex or too dark and disturbing.
“..LIGHTHEARTED SPIN ON WHAT EASILY COULD’VE BEEN A DARK PREMISE” galo, we have the Arcana family whose job it is to protect its citizens. The series takes a lighthearted spin on what easily could’ve been a dark premise. The members of the family are to some degree comical by na-
ine Felicita who suddenly finds herself in the midst of a battle for becoming the heir to the family. But when each member is battling his own demons then things gets a little complicated. The animation is
LITTLE BUSTERS Based off of a popular visual novel by Key, we have the latest adaptation in Little Busters!
of friends who in their last year of high school decide to form a baseball team.
Lauded to be the best visual novel by Key who has produced works such as Clannad, Kanon and Air, you can
Unlike previous Key adaptations, JC Staff animates this series. The colour palette whilst watching Little
come attached and considering the sheer size of this cast, there will be at least one character that will sure to draw your attention. In the end Little Busters! is a story that relies on your attachment of its
“..LITTLE BUSTERS IS BRIGHT AND COLOURFUL TO SAY THE LEAST..” be sure that this series will be a real tearjerker. The series differs greatly from previously adapted titles for its lack of romance and the sheer length to this complex storyline. The story focuses on a childhood group
Busters is bright and colourful to say the least and is sure to keep your eyes drawn. The characters are what really bring out the series and with each arc focusing on different characters in depth you’ll sure to be-
characters for proper enjoyment. The sports side of the story is just a means to exhibit the complexity of friendship and drama in all its facets.
OUT 27 FEB!
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Image: EA Arcade Classics (Colecovision)
RETRO HOMEBREW GAMES: MAKING NEW FOR THE OLD There has been a recent spike in interest of retro gaming among young and old gamers alike, and game developers are aware of that. With the recent release of Killer Instinct on Xbox One along with the up and coming Strider on PS3/PS4/360/ One in early 2014 as well as Thief due sometime this year, the proof is in the pudding. But let us spin things around and delve more in to homebrew games that people have recently made and are still making for older consoles. Dedicated fans of retro gaming have gone that next step to learn to code
wind for the SEGA Dreamcast which came out in April last year physically as a regular and limited edition release. Sturmwind is a side-scrolling shooter along the likes of R-Type or Darius with amazing graphics and sound. The game was in development since 1997 and originally was going to be an Atari Jaguar game with the moniker ‘Native’ although that ended up being just a one-level demo on a CD. Another recent release which was from a Kickstarter campaign. The Super 4-in-1 Multicart for the Super Nintendo (NTSC release) was made
for the ZX Spectrum in which you collect money to advance to the next level (ala Mighty BombJack). Mazezam Challenge is a puzzle game similar to the block moving puzzle game Sokoban which was out on everything. Skipp & Friends is a game resembling The Lost Vikings in which you and your friends have different abilities which are needed to get through each level and N-Warp Daikusen which is a fighting game, and notable is the first ever SNES game to utilise not one but two Multitaps bringing in 8 player gameplay.
“..THE SAME WAY SNES GAMES WERE PACKAGED BACK IN THE DAY.” the same way developers have developed games back in the 80’s and 90’s. There are dozens of homebrew games made but here are just some of the many out there. The first cab off the rank is Sturm-
in a limited supply packaged the same way SNES games were packaged back in the day. The pack contains 4 independently developed games: UWOL: Quest for Money which is a homebrew release
Tony Cruise of Electric Adventures specialises in making games for the Colecovision console and the MSX Computer which was more popular in Japan. The latest release is the EA Classics multi release.
Image above: Skipp and Friends (SNES)
The release contains three titles resembling classic arcade titles that defined retro gaming like Asteroids, Pac-Man and Galaga but recreated from the ground up to look and play as close to the arcades as possible. There are so many more that I could mention, so if you are in any way interested in hunting down new games for old video game consoles or computers? There is a wealth of a community out there dedicated.
Written by David Kudrev www.retrospekt.com.au
Image below: Sturmwind (Dreamcast)
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LATEST STATUE REVIEWS
Kotobukiya ArtFX+ New 52 Justice League Statues
I’d been on the fence about the Kotobukiya ArtFX+ line of statues for a while, since I was trying to stick to action figures only. But the quality of their ArtFX+ Star Wars line of statues is excellent, so when Kotobukiya began releasing the DC Comics New 52 Justice League characters, I was very interested indeed! And once I saw the statues in person, I was pretty much convinced on the spot that I had to have the core team of 7 that they were releasing!
The box also features artwork of each character, that together form a collage that makes for one awesome background for the statue display! Each statue is made of a hard, lightweight material, and comes with magnets within feet that hold them quite securely to a black magnetic base emblazoned with the Justice League logo. The beauty of the use of magnets is that it gives some awesome flexibility in placing them on display, especially when grouped
So how do they look out of the box you ask? Absolutely SENSATIONAL! Each character is based from Jim Lee’s interpretation of the iconic team, with a bit of Kotobukiya’s anime influence thrown in. The quality of the metallic paint work is very high overall, and is definitely the stand out feature. These look great in pretty much any direction, and in all kinds of lighting, although if you have lights that are better for reflecting or spotlighting (eg. downlights, LEDs), then these will really
“EACH CHARACTER IS BASED FROM JIM LEE’S INTERPRETATION OF THE ICONIC TEAM, WITH A BIT OF KOTOBUKIYA’S ANIME INFLUENCE THROWN IN.” The statues are packaged very nicely in clear transparent boxes that showcase the characters very well.
together. I much prefer these to the usual bases that come with action figures that have pegs.
pop! Read on for a closer look at each superhero in the team!
SUPERMAN The Superman statue I think captures a great mix of the classic, iconic look with the modern touches of the New 52. There was a lot of controversy over the new costumes, but I think they look great. Of course it helps that the Kotobukiya statue has an amazing metallic paint app that really makes the costumes shine and stand out on display. The head sculpt is quite good, with a more serious visage that I prefer. The hair is sculpted nicely, and the facial paint app is quite good. Eyes are always difficult areas with lots of
GREEN LANTERN The Green Lantern is certainly not one of the superheroes I’m most familiar with. But this statue looks great, so much so that now I want to go back and look into the character’s history and origin! The sculpt is again designed by master sculptor Goutaro Takeuchi, lending an anime style to the facial expression. In fact, I was starting to get confused with the Green Hornet Kato character for a bit there! Regardless, the paint on the face and mask is nicely done, with the skin tone not overly pale or tanned, and the hair is well sculpted and finished. The musculature on the statue is great, and the lines and pat-
terns on the suit are also done very precisely. The pose again is fairly subtle and not overly dynamic, with the ring on the fist giving a nice punctuation to the stance. The metallic green looks nice and deep, but the figure doesn’t stand out as much as Superman mainly due to the matte black finish on the rest of the suit. It would’ve been interesting to see what the statue would have looked like if they had finished the black in a metallic shiny finish like the other statues. Perhaps that might have been a bit to “bright”, so they went with the matte finish instead. Either way, it still looks great, especially when displayed with the others.
paint slop around the eyes and face, but Kotobukiya have done a nice job here. The pose they’ve selected for the statue depicts strength and an inner purpose without being too over the top or dynamic. The muscular sculpting is also done nicely, without the overly buff look that can sometimes affect other anime characters. The iconic “S” on his chest is done very nicely, with a nice gold colour used too. Overall, this Superman statue is pretty much perfect as the lead figure in a New 52 Justice League group display.
FLASH When you first open up this Kotobukiya New 52 Flash, you’re pretty much astounded by how amazing the dark metallic full body paint finish looks on this statue! I think overall, the paint app on the Flash statue is the best in the series, and makes him stand out from the rest. The way the light reflects of the suit is dazzling! The head sculpt is again anime influenced, but perhaps not as noticeable due to the helmet. The gold wings on the head are very nicely done in a rich gold, but be careful because they are quite delicate and could easily break off. The paint around the face and eyes is very nicely done too, with no slop to detract from the
WONDER WOMAN I don’t have many female characters in my collection, but if you’re going to start, what more iconic character could there be but Wonder Woman! There’s been a lot of controversy over the New 52 character design changes, and none more so than Wonder Woman. Before the #1 issue of the New 52 comics, it was revealed that Wonder Woman would sport a new suit with pants, and not her iconic bikini. I guess the fan outrage was heard, because I believe prior to the release of the first issue, the cover art was changed to revert her back to a bikini. Thankfully this Kotobukiya New 52 Wonder Woman statue retains her pants-on look, which I totally prefer.
The costume, coupled with the simple and stern pose and facial expression, make for a hero to be reckoned with, not one to be perved at. Maybe I’m just showing my age, but this version just seems more kick-ass to me than one jumping around in a bikini. The sculpting is very nice, with delicate features in the face and gorgeously sculpted hair. The sword and golden lasso are done very nicely, but are only attached to the body by very thin plastic or glue, so be very careful in handling these areas. Overall, this is another sensational statue in the series. The dark blues, reds, and silver highlights look stunning, and the detailed pattern on the suit really bring the quality of this piece to the fore. Of all the female superheroes around, I’m definitely glad Wonder Woman is the first in my collection with this great piece.
delicate details around the helmet and face. I really like the pose on this one, with a serious but playful fist-in-palm look. It looks sensational from every angle. The flawlessness of the deep red paint and the musculature sculpting is an awesome mix on this one. With so much red, the paint had to be flawless, and it is. I love the deep gold accents too around the waist and especially the boots. I find the mold on the boots particularly good, with precise and great looking patterned lines. Many new collections these days are dominated by dull and dark blacks, browns, and greys. But with this New 52 Flash, the shelf simply looks so much more alive with the burst of colour! This Flash is definitely one of my favourites from the New 52 series of statues.
AQUAMAN I remember watching the Aquaman cartoon back when I was a kid in the 80s, but that was pretty much the last exposure I had with the character. But opening this awesome Kotobukiya ArtFX+ New 52 Justice League statue just makes me want to get back up to speed on all these characters. Again the head sculpt has the anime influence, which is a little strange coupled with the flowing sideburns down his face!! But the look actually works and the hair sculpting really brings out the visage on this one too. The sculpting for the fins is nicely done too and give the statue some
BATMAN Again the New 52 suit is eye catching, and the costume perfectly blends the classic with the modern, making for a beautiful statue in its detailing and colour. The metallic silver on this suit is amazingly done by Kotobukiya, and is the stand out feature. I love the new lines and pattern on the New 52 suits, and this paint app simply brings it to life. The pose is simple on this one, which suits the character pretty well. The cape, similar to Superman, is done with a softer plastic material, so be careful when moving it around as the sharper points may chip if you bump it. Regardless, I love the way the cape flows back over the shoulders
really nice accents around the arms and legs. The pose is purposeful and not overly dynamic, perfectly in line with the others in the series. The statue also comes with his iconic trident, which still looks good despite it being only plastic and not metal. But itâ€™s the paint app on his body that is the shining feature! The scales on his upper body are really brought to life by an amazing gold/orange/ yellow collage of colour that almost changes before you eyes as your rotate the light around it! Couple that with the awesome dark metallic green and the statue absolutely pops on the display shelf! In fact, this rivals the Flash as the stand out paint app in this line of statues for me.
and doesnâ€™t come too far forward of the arms. That look was fine for Keaton Batman, and this new character needs to show off that suit! The gauntlets on this statue are also amazingly detailed and painted well. Adding the shiny boots, the black here really accentuates the silver in a very classy way. Sure the paint app isnâ€™t as amazingly in-your-face beautiful as the Flash or Aquaman, but this one is a little more subtle in its awesomeness. Overall with the great sculpting, I think this is perhaps the best statue in an already stellar lineup!
CYBORG The final statue to be released in this New 52 Justice League lineup from Kotobukiya is Cyborg. And it was definitely worth the wait! With the team setup together, they look simply outstanding! The Cyborg statue stands just on 20.5cm (or over 8”) in height, and is the tallest from the core group of seven. As with the others in the line, the paintwork is sensational, and has very little slop. The face sculpt is very nicely done, and blends the skin and metallic face cover neatly. The metallic silver over the suit gorgeously reflect the light, and has subtle differences in the silver tone
throughout. I also love the varying greys around the torso and thighs that give some variety to the suit. The pose is simple, but matches perfectly the box artwork and the others in the team. The arm cannon is nicely detailed and sculpted, with beautifully done red accents that simulate bright lights. The detailing on the rear is also sensational, with the jet pack looking sweet, and the red centrepoint being very well defined. The overall body looks great with the detailing in the suit and subtle colour variations. Like the others, the Cyborg statue looks incredible from pretty much all angles, and definitely has a lot of shelf presence due to its size and bulk compared to the others.
SUMMARY I haven’t really been an avid follower of DC Comics for a number of years now, but this new line of statues from Kotobukiya has definitely tweaked my interest! They have done a sensational effort on all fronts with these statues – sculpting, detail, poses, and especially the amazing paint application! Kotobukiya have also announced additional statues in the New 52 line, including Black Adam and Shazam, Catwoman, Supergirl, Batgirl, and Nightwing. And for Marvel fans, they’ve also announced the Avengers Now lineup for 2014 too, with prototype images that look incredible!
I could not recommend these statues any higher - if you’re remotely into comics, superheroes, movies, or just the geeky side of things, then you should definitely look into these!
Written by Khai at Kool Kollectibles www.koolkollectibles.net www.facebook.com/KoolKollectibles www.youtube.com/user/ckly76
“I COULD NOT RECOMMEND THESE STATUES ANY HIGHER..”
ROBOCOP In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the centre of robot technology. Overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years - and it’s meant billions for OmniCorp’s bottom line. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it. When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit - is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer. OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and even more billions for their shareholders, but they never counted on one thing: there is still a man inside the machine pursuing justice. Only at the Movies! February 6, 2014
ROBOCOP ©2014 MGM/CPII. ™ Orion. All Rights Reserved.
RELEASE DATE: 6 February, 2014 CAST: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton,
Samuel L. Jackson, Jay Baruchel, Abbie Cornish
GENRE: Action/Sci Fi DIRECTOR: José Padilha WEBSITE: www.RobocopMovie.com.au
WIN A DOUBLE PASS! We’re giving away double passes! Watch the second trailer from the website above & inbox us on our Gametraders Facebook page the answer to this question! What does Michael K. Williams say after being asked “Want to play good cop bad cop?”
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ASSASSIN’S CREEDPART4:1 - THEBLACK FLAG STORY BEHIND THE GAME.. The sun glitters against the aqua blue water that stretches out all around me; the day is hot and perspiration trickles down my back. Every now and then the wind picks up and sweeps along my arms and face bringing blissfully cool relief from the blazing heat. My hands clench around the wooden wheel in front of me, I relish in the knowledge that I am in command of this ship. I am responsible for keeping this ship on course and out of harms way.. unless of course profit is to be made.
sing shanties as they go and call out to each other their voices carrying out over the wind. The weather is calm and my ship sways gently as the waves crash against the hull. Always on the lookout for booty, our destination is the pirate town Nausa. I keep a watchful eye out for enemy ships, in particular a fleet of imperial navy carting cargo ripe for plundering. However my mind drifts off to the thought of my wife back home and with these heavy thoughts on
I have left behind and to think only of treasure. One of my crew calls out ‘Ahoy Captain a ship is ahead’. I snap out of my musings, instantly seeing the large ship to the far west of our position. Reaching for my telescope I simultaneously call out my orders. ‘Let loose the main sail, we my friends are going in’. My command is met with cheers and we bear down on the large Spanish schooner rapidly. My ship approaches from the starboard side, the main sail is pulled in and the
“I PICK UP ON HIS PRESENCE IMMEDIATELY; HE IS IN ARMOR FAR GREATER THAN THAT OF HIS MEN AND IT SHINES AGAINST THE SUN.” My gaze sweeps across the deck below me, my crew is spread out, each going about their duties, they
my mind my focus diminishes. Amid the Caribbean seas with freedom at my fingertips it is easy to forget what
side cannons are fired on my order for a direct hit. The schooner doesn’t stand a chance and we are
boarding within mere minutes. My crew and I swing across and without pause we are at battle. Swords clash and smoke clouds around me from the firing of muskets as I go in search of the Captain. I pick up on his presence immediately; he is in armor far greater than that of his men and it shines against the sun. He is at the stern of the boat his sword drawn as he battles one of my men, Chotto. As I race towards his position I am flung back by a man holding a sharp sword. The fight is quick and without mercy, without the element of surprise, I am far stronger and moments later his sword is gone from his grasp. The tip of my sword is pressed against his neck and I see the fear in his eyes. I hear the groan of old wood being trodden on behind me and without pause I pull my gun from my belt aiming it at the man behind me. He drops his sword and
soon two of my own men are there waiting for my order. I nod once at my second in command and then direct my attention back to the men. ‘You don’t want to die today, so I suggest you cooperate.’ The fear in their eyes is replaced with confusion, and then gratefulness. I lower my weapons allowing my men to grab the two enemies turned crew. I turn towards where I last saw the Captain. He is still fighting Chotto however he now has the upper hand and I arrive just in time to fling my sword between his and my man’s neck. I push my sword against him, causing him to stagger back giving me my advantage. I counter against his strike and the dance begins. Around us the noise of swords clanging and men falling is dim in my ears. I lose myself in the fight and it be-
comes that of memory and instinct, the Captain is strong but he is no match for my skill and experience. I easily parry against him sending him to his knees, he stares up defiantly and there is no hope for redemption. My men and his have halted in their fight, watching, waiting to see what will happen. ‘Any last words Captain?’ I sneer. He spits blood from his mouth, his eyes dart around him looking for escape but there is none. Resigned to his fait he asks ‘Who in the hell are you?’ I laugh without mirth. ‘Me? I am Edward Kenway, Captain Edward Kenway.’ Then I chop off his head. Written by E.J Tales
STAY TUNED FOR CHAPTER 2 IN THE NEXT EDITION OF GT LIVE! Do you like this story? Send your feedback to: email@example.com
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
Cosplay is growing in popularity across the globe with “cons” on in many countries now, and we’ve been fortunate to speak with cosplayers from Australia, Spain, Germany and today we’ve got our first Russian cosplayer, Verisa or more correctly written as Ver1sa. We spoke to this amazing Russian cosplayer about what it’s like to cosplay in Russia and what the cosplay scene is like... Firstly tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from and how long have you been a cosplayer?
How did you get into cosplay? What started your interest?
What is the cosplay scene in Russia like? Are there many events or as we call them “Cons” you can go to? In Australia we have Comic Con and PAX, what do you have there?
My best friend and I like to watch anime and periodically we found on the Internet a variety of photographs of the people were dressed in costumes of the characters. We didn’t even know what it was called, but decided that it is really cool and fun, so we tried it too. We went to the usual clothing store and bought
The level of cosplay in Russia has grown over time, we can say that our cosplayers went out on the world stage. Oh, and in general much more people get involved in cosplay. Most of our festivals are not like the foreign ones, they are held in a slightly different format. A lot of attention is paid to the stage pro-
started cosplay in 2008, it turns out that I have been doing cosplay for five years, so I`am really into it!
“THE LEVEL OF COSPLAY IN RUSSIA HAS GROWN OVER TIME, WE CAN SAY THAT OUR COSPLAYERS WENT OUT ON THE WORLD STAGE.” Hello everyone! My name is Vera and nickname is Verisa (Ver1sa). I`am 20 years old and I live in Russia, St. Petersburg. My main activities is study, cosplay and video games. I
some clothes that looked like characters` costumes and went to a Christmas anime party where I met people who told me about cosplay.
gram: performances, karaoke and K-POP dancing. But recently festivals appeared in a more cammon format like Comic Con, BlizzCon and etc, and this is awesome.
What are your favourite characters to dress as?
Do you play video games and if so what are your favourites?
At the moment, I prefer to cosplay character from video games, but also I love the costumes from movies, they are very detailed, stylish and beautiful. But the main point for me is the love for the character.
I spend a lot of time playing video games and I have a lot of platforms - Wii, Xbox, PC and Nintendo 3DS. My favorite games are: Pokemons, The legend of Zelda, Fallout 1-2, Heroes of Might and Magic III, The Elder Scrolls Oblivion and Bioshock. Of the games 2012-2013 years I really like Bioshock Infinite, Dishonored and Metro: Last Light. I also spend a lot of time in DotA 2.
Do you make your own costumes? About 70% of costumes I do by myself, but sometimes this is hard work I have to get the help of a seamstress and my boyfriend.
Where can our readers go to see more of your cosplay?
To see more of my cosplay you can visit my deviantart page: http://ver1sa.deviantart.com/ Read my blog on the tumblr: http://ver1sa.tumblr.com/ I can also give you my facebook cosplay page: www.facebook.com/ VerisaWindrunnerCosplay, but it`s not popular in Russia because we have our own social net: http://vk.com/ver1sa Thanks for your attention. From Russia with love :) P.S. Sorry for my english.
Photographer: Envy the One www.envytheone.deviantart.com
Photographer: Envy the One www.envytheone.deviantart.com
Cosplayer: Hekady Cosplay www.facebook.com/HekadyCosplay
JESÚS CLARES COSPLAY PHOTOGRAPHER
This month we not only interviewed some amazing cosplayers but we also spoke to Spanish photographer Jesus Clares who lives in Madrid, Spain. We chatted with him about his cosplay work and firstly asked him how he got into cosplay photography...
the next day and I took a bunch of pictures. Since that day, I never miss a convention in Madrid. I made very good friends there and I sometimes do photo shoots in other locations.
players and friends.
How many cosplayers have you photographed?
Welcome to Live Magazine - tell us how you got into Cosplay photography?
A lot! I usually take pictures of lots of cosplayers at the events. I always try to take pictures of costumes I like, costumes that are well made from my point of view.
Nowadays there are at least four important conventions in Madrid. I attend all of them. I could say Expomanga is my favourite one. I’d also like to attend “Salón del Manga” in Barcelona the next year as it’s the biggest event in Spain.
Cosplay events are held in a place near home, so I found about cosplay by chance. One day I was driving my car and I saw a lot of young people wearing costumes. Back then I
When I make photo shoots away from the events I usually work with a more professional and limited group
Do you go to many of the cosplay events and which ones are your favourites?
Tell us how you go about doing a photo shoot of a cosplayer - how do you plan it, Who comes up with the ideas?
“I ALWAYS ASK THE COSPLAYER TO GIVE ME SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHARACTER TO THINK ABOUT THE POSES AND THE KIND OF PICTURES THEY WANT.” was looking for models to practice my photography skills and I thought they could be interested in posing for me. So I attended the convention
of cosplayers and I also take commissions if anyone is interested. I must specially mention Nebulaluben & Erikku-kun, a couple of great cos-
I always ask the cosplayer to give me some information about the character to think about the poses and the kind of pictures they want.
Then we try to find a location that fits it. Once we agree that points, I contact a make up artist if the cosplayer wants it. This is very important if they want to feel beautiful. I also use to ask some friends to come with me and help me with the lights. I make them work so hard carrying the equipment!
Cosplayer 1: Hekady Cosplay www.facebook.com/HekadyCosplay
Cosplayer 2: Nika Cosplay www.facebook.com/NikaCosplay
Do you have a favourite character that you enjoy photographing? No, I donâ€™t actually have any favourite one. I love all of them and itâ€™s always enjoyable to do a cosplay photo shoot. Cosplayers are fun young people. And where can people find out more about you and your work? You can find me in my Facebook Fanpage http://www.facebook.com/ jesusclares and, of course, in my website http://jesusclares.es.
Cosplayer 1: Sumyuna Cosplay www.facebook.com/SumyunaCosplay
Cosplayer 2: Sender Cosplay www.facebook.com/SenderCosplay
Cosplayer: Nebulaluben www.facebook.com/NebulalubenErikkukun
Cosplayer: ThĂŠlema Therion Cosplay www.facebook.com/ThelemaTherionCosplay
FREDDIE NOVA COSPLAYER FROM AMERICA
This month we venture across to the U.S to speak to Freddie Nova from Clevland, an awesome cosplayer who got into comics at just 14... Can you please tell us a bit about yourself. Where you’re from and how you got into cosplay.. I’m a Dog/Cat groomer/salon owner by day, Craftmaster with no life by night. I’m from Cleveland (yeah, I’m sorry about it too) & grew up like many legit nerds in this community as a blacksheep type which inevitably leads to be stereotyped as a NERD, A title I wear proudly. I got into comic at age 14, mostly inde-
learning & improving my craft. What sort of characters are your favourites? How long does it take for you to get into that character look? The “Badass Women of Comics” are my favs. Examples: Lady Death, Witchblade, Dawn, Vampirella. I am drawn to the rebels with their own code of Justice like Huntress & even Supergirl are known for, I’m also known for my custom versions & crossplays like Lady Skeletor. How long? Obviously that varies on complexity of the costume, body
by comparison to most female cosplayers, I suit up way faster than most. Do you do all your own make up or have someone help you? Body paints require someone else cause I can’t reach my mid to upper back anyways but I’ve always done all my own face & prosthetics otherwise. It’s actually been hard for me to find any help. Also do you make your own costumes or buy them or a combination of both?
“ ...KNOW YOUR CHARACTER, POSE LIKE THAT CHARACTER, MASTER THEIR FACIAL EXPRESSION.” pendents aside from Batman and by age 17, I made first Lady Death costume. In my 30s now & still can’t stop
paints take the longest, as paint alone can take 1 1/2hrs to apply but I pride myself on NOT being girly, so
Both technically, cause I recycle & repurpose random items & pieces, much more economical as this hob-
collide with them, there was a full force head butt at NYCC 2012 (they came outta nowhere!) & then next Con, I had just learned the “Scoop/ Slap”, only had been doing it to Men’s moobs so I miscalculated D cups & hand planted down REAL hard leaving finger prints. Ooops. My latest Wima & Betty Pin-up shoot was a non-stop riot too, but it’s hard to take a shoot seriously with Iconic Cosplay photog & creators of Broadsword Comics directing on how to pose Betty Paige style, spanking someone with a Dinosaur bone. Photography is a big part of cosplay. Capturing the cosplayer in just the right pose is so important - can you share any tips you’ve picked up to get the best photo of yourself?
by gets REALLY expensive really fast. But I deconstruct & rebuild/sew anything I purchase, I never wear a whole commission or costume purchased. Most things I make from things I find at Home Depot or out of EVA foam. There are so many “cons” happening now - do you visit any and if so what character do you prefer to go as? I attend many Comicons, but they MUST be for toys or comics, not
into anime or gaming only. I always change up my costumes, cause the crafting of them is my passion, so I don’t stick to any one character or even genre. Have you had any funny cosplay experiences perhaps at a con or a photo session you can share? OMG, always! I’m a hyper goofball, so the laughing barely stops, that’s why it’s worth it to me. Funniest moments have involved my friend Jen’s breasts & my uncanny clumsiness to
#1...know your character, pose like that character, master their facial expression. Print pics & take them along if you have to. Don’t do YOUR make-up, lots of girls get stuck on their daily make-up routine & look the same as each character. Don’t be afraid to transform. And don’t be afraid to “look ugly”. Other than that, just mind your angles, whatever is closest to the lense, looks the biggest in the pic. And keep moving & changing expression but slowly, increases getting that perfect shot when you review pics. Finally where can people go to find out more about you? I have ONE personal FB page, www.facebook.com/freddienova. There is a FOLLOW button, it allows anyone all the same privileges as my “Friends”, I just ask people to be respectful. There is no fanpage, no site to buy my prints....Just dorky Ol me & the progress of how I make my costumes.
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