Page 1

LIVE JUNE/JULY ISSUE 2018

FEATURING

TRADING CARD TOURNAMENTS

WIN

A double pass for The Equalizer 2! pg. 28

+ Deadpool 2 pg 22

E3 Opinions - Banjo Kazooie & Harry Potter 20th - Kirby Star Allies

AND God of War pg 134


WIN FREE

TICKETS

Check out page 28 for details on how you can go in the drawn to win! (Australia only)


From the Editor Hello and welcome to the June edition of Gametraders Live! Before you jump in and start reading all our exciting articles, I have a quick bit of news for you. Our editor Rob Jenkins has moved on from Gametraders and will no longer be working on this magazine. We wanted to take a moment here to thank him for all his hard work and to wish him all the best in his future endeavours. I am incredibly honoured to be able to take over as editor and designer for this magazine and I would like to reassure you all that the magazine will continue to bring you all the content you love. With that being said, go ahead and read on, we have a very exciting edition for you, with a special feature on Trading Card Tournaments at Gametraders!

Emily Langford Emily Langford, EDITOR


What’s inside

SOLO: A STARWARS STORY REVIEW AND Pg. 10 OPINION OPINION PIECE

Pg. 18 & 24 “Detective Pikachu oozes charm and intrigue as the narrative peels back layer after layer of the Pokèmon world.”

pg. 44


THE LIVE TEAM EDITOR & DESIGNER: Emily Langford

WRITERS: Shaun Stoddard, Shaun’s Spinions, God of War Norse Mythology Scott Sowter, Entertainment review and opinion Benn Banasik, Gametraders Macarthur Square

DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN REVIEW pg. 120

Paul Monopoli, Dragon Ball R & R Anny Sims, Cosplay & Contact Lenses Stephen LaGioia, Jackson Newsome, Ben Dye, Evan Norris, Brandon J. Wysocki, Taneli Palola & Rex Hindrichs, VGChartz

8-37 MOVIES 28 THE EQUALIZER 2 GIVEAWAY 40-145 GAMES E3: 10 INTERESTING GAMES, pg 64

GOD OF WAR pg. 134

E3: THE MAJOR LETDOWNS, pg 76 INTERVIEW: DANNY BULLA (MOSS), PG 84 INTERVIEW: DECK 13 (SURGE), PG 92

96-119 TRADING CARD GAMES DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, pg 98 MAGIC: THE GATHERING, pg 104 FANS ALTERNATIVES, pg 112

STATE OF DECAY 2 REVIEW

pg. 126

148 DRAGON BALL R&R 152 COSPLAY: CONTACT LENSES


EXCITING PRODUCTS!

DEADPOOL VS THE WORLD

$40

(Recomended Retail Price)

Deadpool makes his mark on adult gaming in Deadpool vs the World, a hilarious party game for mature audiences. Featuring 100 custom illustrations of Deadpool in very strange and unsightly situations, players face off against their friends by filling in the blanks on Caption cards to provide the most outrageous explanations of the Merc with a Mouth’s predicaments. The player who best describes Deadpool’s compromising situations wins the game.


AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR POPS!

Beanies, for the colder weather!

ASK STAFF FOR PRODUCT DETAILS / RELEASE DATES! Get it all at Gametraders! Order in-store.


MOVIE THE EQUALIZER GIVEAWAY

SHAUNS SPINIONS: DEADPOOL 2 & AVENGERS INFINITY WAR

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY OPINION PIECE


ES 2

HARRY POTTER BOOKS 20TH ANNIVERSARY TRIVIA

AVENGERS INFINITY WAR REVIEW


Going solo:

starwars vs s In 1977 the world was introduced to Han Solo. Harrison Ford brought this character to life in the first Star Wars fIlm. He reprised the character in the sequels The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In 2015 with the return of the Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakens we were all treated to the return of Han. The world went nuts when this film came out, it grossed over two billion dollars at the box office and set the stage for what would be the return of the great space opera. Soon it was announced that Han Solo would be getting his own spin off film. Solo A Star Wars Story hit cinemas in May 2018 and well... Things got interesting.

The Force Awakens was met with critical acclaim and love from the fans, as stated it made a boatload of money and was generally loved. A year later Lucasfilm released Rogue One A Star Wars Story, detailing the struggle between the Empire and the Rebels as the Rebels attempt to steal the Death Star Plans leading right into the original Star Wars film. While Rogue One didn’t make quite as much money as The Force Awakens, just over a billion dollar gross is nothing to sneeze at. It also received critical acclaim, and made just over a billion dollars at the box office. It seemed like the Star Wars global domination was on a roll and may not stop.


starwars fans BY SCOTT SOWTER


And then... Star Wars The Last Jedi hit theatres in December 2017. It was the eighth instalment in the main series and followed on directly from The Force Awakens. Anticipation was at fever pitch, speculation reigned with The Force Awakens leaving many questions that fans desperately required answers to. I myself was one of them. I was there at a midnight screening of the film, my head full of expectations and my own little theories waiting to see the epic next instalment of my favourite franchise. I left the cinema at three in the morning not really knowing what to think or what to say. The Last Jedi took every fan expectation and savagely slapped them aside. This movie was playing by no ones rules. On a second viewing I responded more favourably. I actually liked the way the movie toyed with my expectations. It took a darker approach. It shattered our conceptions

of the Force, what is and what would be. The movie is by no means perfect featuring some poor attempts at humour and one wildly dumb subplot involving a casino, but, whatever, it’s Star Wars. There were far worse sins in the prequel trilogy. But then it started. The waves of vicious fan backlash. This movie made people mad! Despite acclaim from the critics fans turned against it. There were calls to have Kathleen Kennedy the head of Lucasfilm fired. Rian Johnson the director received death threats. Some of the actors in the film removed all traces of their social media profiles after being threatened and bullied by fans. It just became an ugly poisonous mess. Fans can be utterly horrible. Behaviour on display that was truly revolting. It was only a movie...


This year Solo hit theatres. Despite a rough start with a change of directors, Solo seemed to be on track to be quite the hit. It looked fun, it saw more of our favourite characters coming back. The Millennium Falcon in all it’s glory. Lucasfilm seemed to have another money maker in the bag. Then the movie came out. Solo is by no means a bad movie. It lacked some of the punch of Rogue One but it was a fun little outing. However the film has flopped massively. The film was estimated to need to gross at least five hundred million dollars to break even with budget and marketing costs. As it stands the film has only grossed three hundred million. No where near the billion dollar club the rest of the new Star Wars films hang out in. So why did Solo fail?


Some blame the troubled development of the film, some “Star Wars fatigue” being released less than six months after The Last Jedi. But I feel, it’s failure is that is was simply released after The Last Jedi. The toxic pool of Star Wars fandom has really turned against the franchise. The sheer hatred of The Last Jedi has seemingly smashed the Star Wars franchise. There are rumours of all spinoff films being cancelled for the meantime. Rumours Kathleen Kennedy may step down in the not too distant future. It has all become kind of crazy. I wish I could say I am shocked... But I’m not. The reality is, The Last Jedi may have killed Star Wars. It’s a shame. I appreciate that Lucasfilm and director Rian Jonson tried their best to give us the unexpected. They tried to bring us a new and daring vision

for the Star Wars universe and it was seemingly rejected. Now with Solo Lucasfilm has attempted to make the safest Star Wars film possible and it has also been rejected. The franchise feels like it is lost in space. With no clear direction. It’s a damned if they do, damned if they don’t situation. I, as a Star Wars fan just want more Star Wars. With the future of the franchise clouded by the dark side of the force it is an uncertain what will come next. Just don’t be a jerk about it. It’s ok not to like a movie, but death threats? I don’t like salt and vinegar chips but I don’t send letter bombs to Smith’s Chips. Just be sensible and responsible. Love your fandom. But don’t be a jerk.

BY SCOTT F. SOWTER

@ScottFSowter


STARWARS

POP! VINYLS!

GET THEM AT GAMETRADERS

All standard size pops. Ask staff for details.


WRITTEN BY SCOTT SOWTER

AVENGERS:INFINIT With a crash and a boom Avengers Infinity has finally burst onto our screens. Marvel’s ten years of hard work and world building has all come to the fore in their most ambitious film yet. But can Infinity War possibly live up to the hype? We have waited for Thanos to crash the party since he showed up at the end of the first Avengers. Well the wait is over. Infinity War pits the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy against Thanos, the baddest bad guy that ever bad... ed. Thanos is seeking the Infinity Stones. Powerful artefacts that grant the owner near omnipotence. Thanos seeks to balance the universe, aka, kill half of all life in the universe. This he claims will set things right. From the get go Infinity War wastes no time in showing us how break neck it’s pace will be. Opening where Thor Ragnarok ended we are given a full taste of Thanos’s power when he beats the Hulk like a drum. From there we know this dude means business and the adventure just powers forward.

The film is relentless in it’s pace. We meet all our favourite characters as we launch from place to place in scene to scene. The film simply never slows down. Which is a good thing given how much content there is covered in this war. It really does feel like a war! There is fighting on many fronts and sacrifices will be made. Needless to say not every Avenger will be making it out of this one alive. Infinity War shines in it’s writing and execution. The Russo Brothers who were behind the amazing Captain America Winter Soldier (perhaps still the best film in the MCU) bring their signature flavour to the film. Amazing wit and solid direction. These guys proved they know how to give us delightful comedy one minute and heart wrenching pain the next. The film moves fairly seamlessly under their guidance and they execute one of the finest juggling acts in cinema history.


TYWAR REVIEW


The films most amazing performance comes form Josh Brolin who, with the power of motion capture gives us one of the most interesting villains in the MCU in Thanos. Thanos comes across as a fairly complex character and you get the feeling that even if he knew that killing half the life in the universe meant he would die, he would do it anyway because the greater good is more important. He is a character that absolutely believes in his goal. That is an amazing thing, especially in the MCU that has sadly suffered with pretty average villains since Loki (Vulture aside). Thanos stands tall as perhaps the best villain the MCU has put to screen, and let’s face it, he had to be! Ten years to get another lunatic who wants to just blow everything up would have been a disappointment.

The rest of the cast does a solid job! I won’t list names because, well this review would be six pages long! They all bring their A-game and for many this really does feel like the end of the road, or at least the end is just in sight. Without spoiling anything, there is a part two to this juggxrnaught of a film that is due out in May 2019. Fans around the world continue to speculate and await anxiously the fate of the the universe. Avengers Infinity War is the ultimate in dollar coaster thrill rides. It is a blast, great fun, however it’s pace makes it a tad exhausting. By Scott Sowter

4/5


SHAUN’S SPINIONS

Deadpool 2 is an incredibly funny, sometimes moving, sometimes inappropriate, but always action-packed sequel and a worthy successor to the first film. The actors who return do brilliant jobs and I have to give props to Stefan Kapici as Colossus for bringing even more of that character to the role and giving him a lot of nuance and development in this movie. Newcomers to the series Zazie Beetz as Domino and Julian Dennison as Russell Collins were incredible, with one of the absolute highlights of the film being the introductory sequence to Domino’s luck powers.

There were a lot of cameos of comic characters that I never thought I’d see done in movies or done right. The X-Force sequence featuring Shatterstar, one of the weirdest characters from Marvel comics, was a definite highlight. Each one was an enjoyable little Easter egg.


The humour in this film though. There were jokes in here that were the deepest of cuts to the comic book Deadpool. Including one which I was the only person in my screening to get. It was about drawing feet (Google Rob Liefeld and bask in the 90s comic art). Never thought there’d be a joke about that in a movie I saw. It was utterly hilarious.

Overall, I’d give Deadpool 2 a 4 out of 5. It had some pacing issues and there were some characters who could’ve got more screen time but all in all it was a very funny movie which had some well-done emotional beats. I enjoyed it a lot and am looking forward to seeing whether they’ll release a director’s cut and the inevitable sequel.

rd a d

n

By S

u ha

od St


SHAUN’S SPINIONS


Avengers Infinity War was the culmination of 18 films over 10 years of world building and hinting at a much greater, much stronger force that would be beyond the skill of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to defend against. It is an exceptional film, if not in execution than in its place in the annals of film development. This is something that hasn’t been attempted before. Sure, there are movie series which are longer or more movies featuring certain characters (The Bond series, The Land Before Time series, the multitude of movies featuring Dracula or Frankenstein), but no effort has tried to tie in as many movies in the same universe as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And it succeeds in this, but it also is constrained by it. There are about 40 individual characters in this movie, and it actually does an admirable job introducing them all, even if some of the

more important characters in other movies are regulated to cameos here. Everyone does a pretty damn good job all told, with Tom Holland being an absolute standout. Josh Brolin is incredible as Thanos as well, even if I didn’t find his reasons for actions to be all that compelling. It’s also a big change from his motivation throughout his appearances in the comics, where he’s either trying to get the attention of the personification of Death or trying to wipe out his own children (A storyline featured in the comic book event Infinity). The feeling that this movie is the first part of the whole story never really goes away while watching it, and as much as it is its own movie I cannot wait to see just how exactly they continue this story. A whole year isn’t too long to wait right? By Shaun Stoddard


ASK STAFF FOR PRODUCT DETAILS Get it at Gametraders!


DOUBLE PASS GIVE AWAY

If you have a problem and nowhere else to turn,

Robert McCall will help – he is The Equalizer. McCall has been aiding the beaten, exploited, and oppressed by serving an unflinching justice. But when McCall’s dangerous past cuts especially close to home, he will need all of his skills to right a wrong. Denzel Washington returns to one of his signature roles in the first sequel of his career. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer, The Magnificent Seven) and also starring Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, with Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo. In cinemas July 19.

WIN A DOUBLE PASS! Thanks to Sony and Gametraders you could win a double pass to see The Equalizer 2 - in cinemas July 19th. All you have to do is go to the Gametraders Facebook page and like the competition post, tag who you’re going to take and comment why you want to see The Equalizer 2! Competition ends on the 15th July 2018.


©2018 Columbia TriStar Marketing Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


DOUBLE PASS GIVE AWAY


h t 0 2 S K O O B R E HARRY POTT ANNIVERSARY TRIVIA Lord Voldemort had seven horcrux’s: Tom Riddle’s Diary, Marvolo Gaunts Ring, Helga Hufflepuffs Cupt, Rowena Ravenclaws Diadem, Nagini the Snake and Harry Potter himself.

Dumbledore is an Old English word for Bumblebee, Rowling chose this because “one of his passions is music and I imagined him walking around humming to himself”

The Knight Bus Drivers; Ernie and Stanley were named after Rowlings Grandfathers.

Herminones patronus is an Otter and Ron’s is a Jack Russell Terrier. Dogs known for chasing Otters.

The Dementors were physical manifestations of Rowlings experience with depression in her 20’s.

In Prisoner of Azkaban, Proffesor Trelawney refuses to sit at a table with 12 other characters because the first person to get up at a table of 13 would die. In Order of the Phoenix, Sirius Black is the first to stand from a table of 13.


h

Fred and George Weasley were fittingly born on April Fools Day.

Daniel Radcliff went through 160 pairs of glasses over the course of the films.

In 2014 a complete set of Harry Potter first edition books sold for over $20,000 auction.

Bloomsbury gave Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows code names such as; Edinburgh Potmakers and The Life and Times of Clara Rose Lovett: An Epic Novel Covering Many Generations, to stop it from leaking early. Both Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling share a birthday of July 31st.

The Hogwarts school motto, “Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus” is latin for “Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon.”

The Harry Potter books have been translated into more than 70 languages.

Deloros Umbridge, prehaps the worst villan in Harry Potter paid for her crimes by being imprisioned at Azkaban.

FACTS AND TRIVIA GATHERED FROM BUZZFEED, POTTERMORE AND THE INDEPENDENT


R A E G P H R U O Y GET ALL S R E D A R T E M A AT G


R

Ask staff for details.


HARRY POT POP VINYLS

GET THEM AT GAM

Ask staff for details.


TTER S!

METRADERS NOW!


WANT TO BE A PART OF THIS MAGAZINE? EMAIL US AT live@gametraders.com.au


GET FEATURED!

have an idea for something awesome that should be in live magazine? Be it a review, an opinion piece, some pop culture photography or ART WORK; SEND IT TO: live@gametraders.com.au for a chance to be one of two featured in september’s magazine!

CONDITIONS: All submissions must be original work and sent in by 17th August, midnight. Writing pieces must be a minimum of 500 words (Unless appropriate to be shorter, i.e accompanied by drawings or photography), photography and drawings must be high resolution. All content sent to us remains your property and will not be used or shared by us in any way without your permission. When showcasing your content we will provide full credit to you. EMAIL Editor Emily Langford at live@gametraders.com.au.


gameS TRADING CARD TOURMAMENTS

NORSE MYTHOLOGY & GOD OF WAR - SHAUN STODDARD

INTERVIEW WITH DANNY BULLA (MOSS) & MICHAEL HOSS (SURGE)

E3 OPINIONS


S

BANJO KAZOOIE 20th ANNIVERSARY REVIEWS


OUR PICK FOR MUST HAVE

BOARD GAMES! PRE ORDER IN STORE TODAY!


REVIEW by Jackson Newsome

Detective Pikachu For a franchise so focused on evolution, the Pokemon series rarely deviates from its established formula. Even in the anime, Ash doesn’t age, and Pikachu never evolves into Raichu. Detective Pikachu turns this formula on its head and boasts the franchise’s most compelling narrative yet, demonstrating that this old Pokemon can still learn new tricks. The setup is simple.

Tim Goodman decides to investigate his father’s mysterious disappearance and finds himself aided by Detective Pikachu – his father’s partner at the Baker Detective Agency in Ryme City. However, this isn’t any ordinary Pikachu. Tim learns that he can understand Pikachu’s speech just as easily as Pikachu understands his own.


Generally, Tim follows instructions from Pikachu to progress through the story. These instructions range from soliciting testimony to searching environments for clues, including settings in a theme park, laboratory, and cave among others. Players use the bottom screen to interact with Pikachu and present evidence in the correct sequence. It should be noted that the developers set their target on a younger demographic than the mainline meaning there are no game over screens and unlimited attempts for solving cases (if at first you don’t succeed). Additionally, there’s a fair amount of backtracking which, while arguably genre appropriate, doesn’t always avoid feeling like filler content. Thankfully, brief action sequences aid the narrative’s pacing. I only wished these sequences amounted to something more than single button quick time events. More interactive sequences would have added considerable variety to the proceedings. It is difficult to review Detective Pikachu without emphasizing its high-quality presentation. Detective Pikachu is continually impressive and punches above its weight on

aging hardware. The textures appear sharp on the small screen, which brings scenes to life. Unfortunately, the developers’ ambitions prove too much for the base Nintendo 3DS console. Minor frame rate issues appear early on and become particularly problematic in busier sections of the final chapters. Overall, I am uncertain if the larger, more populated environments were worth the performance trade-off. It’s a shame it couldn’t shine on stronger hardware where it might have reached a more purchase-motivated audience, especially considering the game’s conservative use of 3DSspecific features and the popularity of the Nintendo Switch.


I was pleased with the extensive voice acting which, while not always stellar, served its purpose. Interestingly, and unless I’m mistaken, Detective Pikachu features the most voicework of any Nintendo title to-date. The writing is solid, with nine episodic chapters that inch the overarching plot to its finale. I finished the game with an appreciation for the care with which the writing team crafted the narrative. That is not to say it’s perfect; there are a few silly plot points, such as a late-game reveal that Pikachu is familiar with the inner workings of machinery just as such a skill would be useful. How convenient. Beyond its strong presentation and narrative, Detective Pikachu oozes charm and intrigue as the narrative peels back layer after layer of the Pokemon world. I couldn’t resist smiling after Tim meets a rather bold and unsympathetic Murkrow and again after reading Azumarill’s naive assumption that humans could breathe underwater. Furthermore, I was pleased to see Pokemon representatives from each generation, but it is the detective himself who steals the show with his love for coffee, sense of humor, and unwavering dedication to the mystery at hand. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the game’s world building bests both the mainline games and the anime series.


Detective Pikachu paints a world in which Pokemon are anything but superfluous; they are essential. You see Pokemon contribute to the city’s operations and, in other cases, independently living their lives. It is refreshing and stands in contrast to other titles which only halfheartedly cast Pokemon as anything more than chess pieces for combat. The result is the most believable take on Pokemon yet. In short, Game Freak should take notes for the mainline series. Fortunately for fans, the wait may not be too long for a follow-up based on not-so-subtle hints at the game’s conclusion and the upcoming film of the same name. These strengths make for a strong package but one which suffers from sporadic inconsistencies in both challenge and pacing, along with an uneven framerate near the game’s end. Even so, Detective Pikachu is the most exciting offering

from Nintendo’s risk-averse start to 2018. Although it may not steal headlines, the evidence points to one conclusion — Detective Pikachu is a must play for Pokemon fans everywhere. For everyone else, it’s a good point of entry to the world of Pokemon, if only you can tolerate its ease and rookie imperfections.

By Jackson Newmon, VGChartz

7


REVIEW by Stephan LaGioia

KIRBY STAR ALLIES


Our favorite gluttonous puff ball is back again, folks, and this time he’s graced the Nintendo Switch to further flesh out its library, joining the likes of Mario and Zelda. It seems like just yesterday we swung and whipped our way through the charming yarnladen environments of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and made a nostalgic return-trip to Dreamland on Wii, but here we are again. Question is, does the latest entry in the series, Kirby Star Allies, measure up to those titles? Is yet another Kirby platformer warranted when we seem to have been showered with them of late? Well, even though I had my doubts going into my playthrough, I’m pleased to say that the answer to both of those questions is yes, at least in some respects. It’s true the game doesn’t quite reach a level of innovation that Epic Yarn achieved, nor does it rely that heavily on a straight-forward, old school platforming formula that Return to Dreamland pulled off so well. Rather, it settles on a nice sweet spot between the two and excels on the multiplayer front to boot. While Allies borders on being a bit too simplistic and contains a pretty brief campaign, most Kirby fans will know that this is basically par for the course anyway. There at least exists plenty of additional content for completionists sprinkled in, in the form of a sort of hard mode and time trial hybrid, a few mini-games, and a battle arena where you square off against some entertaining bosses.

Some of these can feel like tacked-on afterthoughts, though they do inject a bit of depth, difficulty, and variance to the somewhat straightforward gameplay. There’s also the likely potential of free DLC on the way, if the already released “update 2.0” with new characters is any indication. At the end of the day, Allies proves to be a charming and enjoyable platforming experience decorated with some deliciously vibrant and colorful 2.5D graphics, stellar co-op gameplay, and the amusing gimmicks of combining elemental abilities and recruiting baddies.


Even though Allies leans heavily on these new concepts, it certainly still borrows inspiration from the retro Kirby days in both style and substance, taking on the feeling of a celebration of the charming pink platforming hero in video game form. It draws upon a plethora of old characters long forgotten, with which you can fight alongside and even play as yourself in co-op or as part of the “Guest Star” mode. You don’t just get the likes of the usual suspects, Meta Knight and Waddle Dee, either; Nintendo has also tossed in some more obscure heroes from Kirby games of yorn. There’s Rick the hamster, and Gooey, both of whom first appeared in Dreamland 2 back in the ancient times of the Gameboy. There’s even the amusing jester boss of Kirby Superstar, known as Marx, who coaxed some yuks out of me and my sister as she hovered across Dreamland, firing off electrified beach balls at helpless enemies. Each character comes with their own set of moves and dynamics, which keeps things feeling fresh, exciting, and - at least in the case of Marx humorous as well. As the title implies, there is a heavy emphasis on the presence of Allies, which can be utilized by having additional players fight alongside you from the outset or jumping seamlessly into a stage. You can also opt to play solo by utilizing the less exciting, haphazard AI which follow you around, and only occasionally don’t execute the actions you want them to.

This isn’t to say AI companions are completely boring or useless, though the experience does feel a degree more cumbersome and dull than with actual players. It was clear during my journey through the several dozen stages and four worlds that the game both encourages, and is enhanced by, multiplayer co-op. Recruiting foes is both a helpful and satisfying way to gain an advantage, which is easily pulled-off by tossing a “friend heart” at an enemy.


co-op or as part of the “Guest Star” mode. You don’t just get the likes of the usual suspects, Meta Knight and Waddle Dee, either; Nintendo has also tossed in some more obscure heroes from Kirby games of yorn. There’s Rick the hamster, and Gooey, both of whom first appeared in Dreamland 2 back in the ancient times of the Gameboy. There’s even the amusing jester boss of Kirby Superstar, known as Marx, who coaxed some yuks out of me and my sister as she hovered across Dreamland, firing off electrified beach balls at helpless enemies. Each character comes with their own set of moves and dynamics, which keeps things feeling fresh, exciting, and - at least in the case of Marx humorous as well. As the title implies, there is a heavy emphasis on the presence of Allies, which can be utilized by having additional players fight alongside you from the outset or jumping seamlessly into a stage. You can also opt to play solo by utilizing the less exciting, haphazard AI which follow you around, and only occasionally don’t execute the actions

you want them to. This isn’t to say AI companions are completely boring or useless, though the experience does feel a degree more cumbersome and dull than with actual players. It was clear during my journey through the several dozen stages and four worlds that the game both encourages, and is enhanced by, multiplayer co-op. Recruiting foes is both a helpful and satisfying way to gain an advantage, which is easily pulled-off by tossing a “friend heart” at an enemy. This fun mechanic ties into the narrative - what little exists anyway - as apparently Kirby has obtained the ability to toss his brainwashing hearts by coming into contact with a “jamba heart.” These mysterious shards have been summoned by an evil wizard named Hyness, who has manifested them through a failed experiment, scattering them across Dreamland and beyond. And so, Kirby and his friends venture across a colorful and majestic assortment of environments - which escalate nicely in their epic nature as you progress - to investigate and gather these shards, and defeat Hyness.


Of course, the old mechanic of sucking up various enemies to obtain their abilities still makes a return. Though this time it tends to take a back seat to this game’s gimmick, which essentially revolves around using the aforementioned friend hearts to recruit wandering baddies to join your ranks, of which you can grab up to 3 others. As you march your way across the linear stages, you’ll find that you can often quickly breeze through most of the game with relative ease by utilizing this function. Even with the sup-par AI, the sheer firepower and versatility of having several different friends wielding different abilities usually makes for an experience that’s simplistic almost to a fault.

Generally speaking, attacks can be enhanced by combining various moves and elements. You can fire electrified blasts of water, wield a flaming sword, or ground-pound enemies with a paint-soaked rock. Occasional puzzles are sprinkled about which contain stars and puzzle piece collectables, and often require friend ability combos to pull off as well. In keeping with the easy-going vibe throughout, these usually took me mere seconds to figure out, even when they required a combination of abilities to trigger.

You might, for instance, need to transform into an ice block, at which point a friend will wack you across a platform to push a button, or ignite an otherwise unreachable fuse with the flaming yo-yo friend ability. This messing with different friend abilities can be a bit burdensome at times, especially when you don’t possess the right combination of powers. Thankfully these sorts of momentum-slowing puzzles are at least kept at a minimum. The game tends to emphasize mindless action mostly by way of taking out gaggles of baddies in your wake, which is made all the more enjoyable by playing around with the wide range of friend combos. Overall, Kirby Star Allies keeps in the spirit of what makes Kirby games so appealing, with some sharp and instantly enjoyable platforming gameplay. It does feel as if it plays things a little safe, even with the bombardment of various heroes and friend combos. With the emphasis on buddying up, arena fighting that feels a bit like Smash Bros. lite, and competitive mini games, it certainly leans in the direction of a party game rather than a solo platformer. Thus, it doesn’t quite reach that same potential for enjoyment when playing alone. Still, the game is mostly entertaining and accessible enough that flying solo doesn’t hinder the gameplay. As a whole, Kirby Star Allies shines as a standout multiplayer platformer for the Switch, and one that should satisfy the itch of Kirby fans.

By Stephan LaGioia, VGChartz

7


ASK STAFF FOR PRODUCT DETAILS Get it at Gametraders!


20th

It’s Banjo-Kazooie’s 20th birthday! (June 29th) To celebrate this milestone birthday we’ve put together a list of fun facts and trivia you may not know about the first Banjo Kazooie So read on and see if you knew it all already or learnt something new!


Anniversary


20th FACTS AND TRIVIA Banjo-Kazooie evolved from Project Dream which was a cancelled adventure game for the Super Nintendo Banjo and Kazooie were both named after musical instruments. Banjo obviously named after the banjo and Kazooie named after the Kazoo There was supposed to be an extended ending where before Gruntilda died she cast a spell on Banjo turning him into a frog! In order to win the game players had to play as Tooty (Banjo’s sister) to find items to turn Banjo back.


Anniversary Mumbo Jumbo’s talking voice is inspired by a English football chant; “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.” The characters almost sang in the intro scene alongside playing their instruments but it was unfortunately cut before it could become realMumbo Jumbo’s iconic phrase “Oomenacka” came from Greg Kirkhope continuously saying “Ooh me knackers”

The Jinjos name came from a red headed employees nickname “Ginge” - The first Jinjo created was also fittingly orange

FACTS AND TRIVIA GATHERED FROM WIKIPEDIA, THEGAMER.COM, VGFACTS & GAME INFORM-


THE BANNER SAGA REVIEW


After more than four years since its initial release on PC and two years since it’s release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, The Banner Saga, an epic Norse adventure, has been released on the Nintendo Switch. This comes just in time for the release of the third and final game of the trilogy in July.

game” and was funded through Kickstarter.

Being new to the game it admittedly was a little difficult to pick up at first. As from the moment you turn it on you are dropped into the sprawling world and given choices that could have a huge impact down the line. Maybe. It’s impossible to know what In my opinion, this was a brilliant decision, the your choices might affect and that for me was the Switch is the perfect platform to play this game on, best part and the worst. It was nerve-wracking especially when playing handheld. It looked excellent having to make all these decisions with no idea what and played just as well. Obviously, it’s creators must I was doing. Should I let all survivors into my group? agree as each game in the trilogy is set to be on the Should I charge or create formations in battle? Did switch. that one choice I made about how to get inside the gate change my whole game?! Or was it that The Banner Saga’s creators are a development decision to side with the two brothers, Hogun and company called Stoic which was founded in 2011 Mogun? There’s no way to know. Unless I play it by three ex-Bioware developers. It was their “dream again, which honestly, I definitely will.


This learning curve made it difficult to appreciate the game at first but once I got over it, I was blown away. The art style was beautiful and captivating, the music provided the perfect ambiance. I found that it didn’t take too long before I started to care about the main characters, Hakon and Rook and I wanted them to be good leaders which meant I needed to make good decision. You begin with a prologue and the character Ubin, this is a tutorial in all but name and allows you to get to know the game without making gamealtering decisions. Kind of. Your decisions with Ubin can affect the relationships and choices of another character Eirik later in the game but that as far as I know is the only impact. The tutorial to me wasn’t clear enough and should have been a bit more indepth. Despite going over combat it took me quite a few chapters before I really understood what I was doing. Also knowing when to rest/use up your resources and promote your heroes can be tricky as you never know how long it will be until you get an opportunity to do it again. After the tutorial, you are sent across the map to Rook and his daughter Alette where you will face your first Dredge. Dredge are an ancient race with yellow eyes, supposedly made of stone, that have recently started to reappear in the world. They are the main antagonists of the game and you’ll face their armies in battle many times. Battle in the game has a turn-based combat system not dissimilar to X-COM: Enemy Unknown. It takes planning and real thought to come out victorious. The use of special abilities, powered by willpower, makes it all the more interesting and I’d highly recommend not forgetting about the horn which provides extra willpower like I kept doing. Also picking what order your heroes are in is

something I suggest you actually take time to think about, I didn’t at first but once I did I noticed the battles became far more interesting because I had a strategy, however minimal it was. That being said battle could become quite tedious at times as it really is just doing the same thing over and over for different reasons. Which is why it was so important that the characters and their story were done well and thankfully they were. Once you’ve finished the second chapter with Rook and Alette you move cross the map again to play as Hakon, who you meet when playing as Ubin. He is the leader of the caravan and a strong varl, which is a horned, long living race. Moving from town to town, he and his army fight dredge after dredge in the pursuit of refuge. Which may give you an idea of how bleak the world and situation can feel. Despite the bleakness, overall the story is enthralling, and the battle gameplay is fun and well thought out. There were shocking losses and frustrating moments, especially at first but it’s a fun game and I’d highly recommend picking it up and giving it a play. By EJ Tales

8


PRE-ORDER NOW! OUT 21 SEPTEMBER!

Ask staff for details.


PRE-ORDER NOW! ! R E B O T C O 6 2 T OU

Ask staff for details.


E3 2018, BY Taneli Palola

10 INTERESTING THAT YOU M


GAMES FROM E3 MAY HAVE MISSED The annual hype machine that is E3 has once again come and gone, and as always we saw a huge number of massive upcoming titles shown off at the various press conferences and during the event itself, some to rapturous ovation and others to polite applause.

Yet, with all the attention many of these announcements get, for every game that gets the spotlight shone on it during one of the big press events, there are countless other titles that run the risk of getting lost amidst the sea of games competing for your attention. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of these smaller games that you will likely have missed in all the excitement. Naturally, there’s no guarantee that all of these games are going to be good, but they all have something interesting going for them, be it a well designed visual style or unique gameplay elements which at the very least deserve to be acknowledged. Here are ten interesting games from E3 2018 you might have missed.


Release date: 2019

A PLAUGE TALE: Innocence

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

The only returning game from last year’s list, A Plague Tale: Innocence is conceptually quite possibly the most interesting one on it for me personally. An adventure game set in 14th century France ravaged by the Black Death has massive amounts of potential to be something truly special. If the narrative of the two siblings fighting for survival and the stealth-based gameplay live up to the images shown in the trailer, this could be one of the most intriguing new titles on the horizon.


Indivisible Release date: 2019 Platforms: PC, Mac Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch

Indivisible had me interested from the moment I first saw it in motion. The gorgeous art style and the numerous beautiful locations shown in the trailer quickly pushed it very high on my anticipated games list, but it was the gameplay which looks to combine elements from side-scrolling action platformers and turn-based RPGs that sealed the deal for me. Indivisible is being developed by Lab Zero Games, the same team that created the excellent Skullgirls fighting game. If you need one more reason to keep your eyes on this one, the music in the game is being composed by Hiroki Kikuta, the man behind the music in Secret of Mana.


Outer Wilds Release date: 2018 Platforms: PC, Mac Xbox One

In Outer Wilds the player takes control of an astronaut who finds himself stranded in a solar system which is stuck in an endless time loop that always ends with the sun going supernova, killing the player and sending them back to the beginning once again. However, the player can use the things they learn on these attempts to slowly uncover the world’s secrets and alter the outcome of subsequent playthroughs. It’s an interesting central mechanic that could lend itself to a lot of interesting situations within the game. Hopefully this one turns out good when it comes out.


Greedfall Release date: 2019 Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

This is another game that is on the list based mostly on the potential of its basic concept. Greedfall is set in a newly discovered fictional island paradise during a colonial era ravaged by an incurable plague. The island, a home to magic and the supernatural, serves as the one remaining hope for finding such a cure. However, as the settlers begin to arrive on this new land, conflict between the new arrivals and the native population is inevitable. While the basic premise behind Greedfall is very interesting, there is one thing that somewhat tempers my expectations. The game is being developed by Spiders, a team whose previous games have never really managed to rise above mediocrity. They certainly have plenty of experience in creating action RPGs, but that has yet to translate to anything genuinely good. Regardless, I’m still cautiously optimistic about Greedfall, hence the reason why it’s still on this list despite my reservations.


satisfactory Release date: TBA Platforms: PC

Satisfactory is an open world factory building sim where the player takes on the role of an engineer tasked with constructing one such factory in an alien planet as part of Project Assembly. The player has to not only create a working factory, but also collect the resources and explore the surrounding wildlife while doing so. In addition the game has official support for co-op with up to 4 players at once playing in the same world. The part that piqued my interest was the co-op. The possibility of creating a huge working machine together with other people in a fully explorable world is a hugely intriguing prospect for me. The fact that the game also features elements such as combat against wildlife and various different vehicles the player can use to travel the world is just a nice bonus.


Concrete Genie Release date: 2018 Platforms: PlayStation 4

One of the more unique games on this list and at E3 was Pixelopus’ Concrete Genie, in which the player takes on the role of a bullied teenager, Ash, who has the ability to create living sceneries and creatures through his paintings. As he does so he also discovers that his paintings can purify the polluted walls of his hometown. Besides the interesting concept Concrete Genie also looks beautiful, which certainly helps in standing out from the crowd.


Astroneer Release date: TBA Platforms: PC, Xbox One

Although it has already been released via Early Access, Astroneer is still in development and was one of the more interesting, less heralded titles shown at this year’s E3. The game tasks the player with colonizing countless randomly generated planets and gathering resources to build custom bases either in single or multiplayer. The somewhat minimalistic visual style that uses strong colours with textureless surfaces is a nice touch as well. Astroneer is one of the games to watch and possibly buy right away, though personally I’m perfectly fine waiting until its proper release.


Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk Release date: September 18th, 2018 Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch

Labyrinth of refrain: Coven of Dusk is a new title coming from Nippon Ichi Software, this one providing an interesting take on the classic dungeon crawler-genre. It was already released in Japan back in 2016, but is only now coming to the west. Dungeon crawlers are a rare commodity these days, and any fan of games like Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder, and the more recent Legend of Grimrock titles (like me) might just find something new and interesting to play. The anime inspired visual style certainly makes it different from most other games in the genre.


Desert Child Release date: 2018 Platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch

Desert Bike, as described on the game’s official website, is a racing RPG set in a dusty world where your only friends are a vintage hoverbike and a packet of instant noodles. If nothing else, Desert Bike certainly gets some points for originality. In the game the player takes the role of a gifted racer who must make money through any means necessary, including but not limited to: delivering drugs, throwing races, and hunting bounties, all for the sake of improving your hoverbike and ultimately moving up in the world. The visual style reminds me slightly of the game Another World (known as Out of this World in North America), which is a refreshingly different source of inspiration from the usual 8-bit or 16-bit graphical styles a lot of indie games go for.


11-11: Memories Retold Release date: November 9th 2018 Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

11-11: Memories Retold is a story-driven adventure game that tells two stories, one of a Canadian photographer who leaves for the Western Front in Europe on November 11, 1916, and another of a German technician who on the same day hears that his son has gone missing in action. Their paths through the theatre of war will eventually cross and lead to the most important decision of their lives. One of the main reasons 11-11: Memories Retold caught my attention - well, besides the absolutely gorgeous visual style - was the fact that Aardman Animations is involved in its development. For those who don’t know, Aardman is best known for the Wallace & Gromit series of short films, as well as a number of feature length animations. If the story can match the quality of the game’s visuals and provide us with an intriguing narrative suitable for its WWI setting we might have something exceptional on our hands.

Written by Taneli Palola


YOUR E3 2018; SAY BEN DYE The following is a list of major setbacks or disappointment, in my opinion, from this year’s E3. When I say that, I’m not necessarily referring to the worst-looking games shown (or the most anticipated ones not shown, for that matter). I’m talking about bad direction, or just simply a lack of attention to detail in making something as good as it can and should be. There were plenty of other games or company decisions during E3 that were just plain bad, but they weren’t surprising at all, so I’ve omitted them from this piece.

Opinion:

The Major Letdowns

of

E3 2018


Continued Lukewarm Third Party Commitment to Switch

This E3 we witnessed yet more dedication from third parties to Nintendo’s Switch, but often in a slightly baffling way. Instead of, for example, announcing Fallout 76 for Switch alongside Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4, Bethesda instead announced Fallout Shelter. The latter is actually quite acclaimed, so it’s a welcome addition to the Switch library, but sans a Fallout 76 announcement at the same time it ended up feeling like a bit of a snub.

I don’t want to unfairly single out Bethesda, though. Compared to most western third parties Bethesda has done a much better job of supporting Nintendo devices since the launch of the Switch, with Bethesda Game Studios’ Skyrim being ported over and selling well, and the publishing arm of the company handling publishing duties for Doom and Wolfenstein on Switch.


But given how well Switch’s Skyrim has performed, just imagine what a good dayone port of one Bethesda’s modern, high budget games would sell. It’s not just Bethesda either, of course; it’s easy to imagine the likes of Kingdom Hearts III and Dead or Alive 6 performing on a par with the Xbox One versions if they were released on Switch too.

Instead, all too often it feels like publishers are simply saying “hey, let’s throw a bone to Nintendo fans, and if they don’t buy the one title we give them then we’ll have our justification for not giving them any red meat.”


EA Announcing a Mobile Command & Conquer Game sort of audience that attends and watches these events), but even the newest single player Star Wars adventure was rushed through like it was chopped liver (no trailer, no box art, not even a piece of concept art, just a vague description of when it will be). EA then dedicated, what? Five, ten minutes at least to a mobile game.

As someone who has been a fan of the series since I was a child, it’s been sad to watch such a highly acclaimed and treasured series as Command & Conquer slowly trend downhill into irrelevance. The series’ amazing games (Red Alert 2/Yuri’s Revenge, Tiberian Sun, Generals) have long since faded into memory and have been replaced by the likes of Tiberium Wars, Tiberian Twilight, and Red Alert 3, all of which were quite horrible in their own individual ways. Then there’s Generals’ sequel, which was turned into a free to play game. And that leads us to Command & Conquer Rivals, the newlyannounced free-to-play mobile title. It’s not just that it’s a mobile spin-off that has so enraged fans, it’s that no new flagship entry was announced

alongside it, nor does one look likely to be announced in the near future. As if to rub salt in the wound EA ‘showed’ off a full-screen version of the game during its conference. Is this what E3 has become to EA? It’s bad enough a large chunk of EA’s conference each year is taken up by annual sports release (which, while popular, make for unappealing reveals, especially for the

Perhaps I’ve set my expectations too high, or I’m being unfair to mobile gaming, but I don’t feel mobile games warrant being discussed in great detail on the biggest gaming stage of the year, especially when said game is more likely to piss fans off than please them. The E3 stage should be reserved for blockbuster announcements,gameplay premiers, and trailers.


No Halo Collection Games for PC

Halo Infinite is coming to Windows 10. This is both Many PC gamers won’t just want to enjoy the future unexpected and fantastic news for PC gamers. But of Halo, but also the past and present, so this feels if Microsoft is going to release its newest Halo title like a missed opportunity from Microsoft. on both PC and Xbox, then why not also release remastered version of existing Halo releases on PC as well, be it in the form of The Master Chief Collection or separate releases? Halo 5 Guardians and Reach could then also have made the transition to PC.


The Square Enix Conference

You would think, after not having one of these in years, that Square Enix would come out all guns blazing upon its metaphorical return to the conference fray. Well, you’d be wrong. There was a lot of bad in Square Enix’s conference, both in terms of content and presentation. But the single worst part? As I alluded to above Kingdom Hearts III not coming to the Switch. Not to make this a port begging article, but why is it not coming to Switch? It’s surely not because of the graphics, because it’s a title that’s clearly more

focused on art style than graphical prowess (Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey arguably look technically better). Maybe Square Enix doesn’t think a kid-friendly game starring dozens of incredibly popular, family-friendly characters will sell all that well on a Nintendo device? Darn it Nintendo, you became too “hardcore!”.


No Animal Crossing Switch

Seriously, Nintendo, what the heck?! New Leaf came out in 2012/2013 (Japan/rest of the world). We will have had two fully-fledged Fallout games in the same time span as one mainline Animal Crossing game. Heck, at this rate, Elder Scrolls VI may be out before Animal Crossing Switch. Don’t tell me demand isn’t there either. I hear more clamor for this game than any other Nintendo title; I heard it for the Wii U and now the same thing is happening for the Switch. So why not develop one? I guarantee it will sell a whole lot better than Metroid Prime 4, Star Fox, Bayonetta, Pikmin, and a bunch of other new entries in established franchise. The aforementioned New Leaf sold well over 10 million copies, and even the lacklustre spin-off title Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer shifted over 3 million.

I understand Nintendo not announcing it until it’s ready to be shown off. What I don’t understand is Nintendo’s priority when it comes to which games it makes and when it’s going to make them. By all means Nintendo should continue to make games that many of us want but which don’t sell very well, but not at the expense of a series that literally prints money but which hasn’t shown up on a Nintendo home console in almost 10 years now. If you don’t milk the cow, it’s going to be bad news for it further down the road! MILK THE COW!


Honorable Mentions

EA’s Origin Access Premier. Many people have already voiced

their concerns about this, although some are excited by the idea of having a cheaper digital-only solution to their gaming habits. Time will tell if it is a good or bad thing for the industry; there’s a real possibility that it represents the thin end of a very unappealing wedge. We shall have to wait and see on this one.

Frankie Ward’s

over-reliance on sexual innuendo when hosting the

PC Gaming Show.

If Super Smash Bros. Ultimate doesn’t have some kind of

single player story mode, I’ll riot. Who’s with me?

Sony’s odd, poorly paced press conference filled with hardly any new

games.

Nintendo’s fast-paced, very focused conference filled with hardly any

new games.

Written by Ben Dye


YOUR SAY by JACKSON NEWSOME INTERView

INTERVIEW WITH Co-Founder of

Danny Bull


f Polyarc Games

lla [MOSS]

I had the opportunity to interview Danny Bulla, cofounder of Polyarc - the studio behind 2018’s Moss. I was able to learn more of Danny’s insights regarding the game’s development and VR, among other topics. I hope you enjoy reading the transcript as much as I enjoyed the interview!


could have been an “...it alien or a small creature JN: Would you like to introduce The setting came from that, yourself and your role at Polyarc? in terms of where we thought this world would take place. We DB: I’m Danny Bulla, and I’m the wanted a character that you could design director at Polyarc. reach out and interact with and manipulate the world. That limited JN: Can you talk a little about the us to a couple different things. inspiration for the setting of Moss, We could be a giant, and you as well as for Quill herself as the could manipulate smaller sized main character? creatures or humans, relative to you, but we didn’t think that would DB: Yeah! When we started in VR, feel very tactile and physical. So, we started everything not with we went for a small character, and a specific game idea in mind but that left us with a few options. with the idea that we wanted to We could be a mouse, a rodent develop a game for the medium which we ended up on, but it could itself. A lot of our inspiration came also be a toy, or it could have been from us asking the question: an alien or small creature. “What would be good for VR?” The experience is just much more heightened in this medium rather than other media which led us away from other things. We were really excited about physical interaction and the way you could reach into the world and grab things. We also knew that comfort was a big issue for VR and wanted to pick something that was more familiar and not as intense, but we wanted to use intensity where we needed it at certain points in the game. We could bring it out, but one of our goals was comfort.

It was four of us at the time, and we all felt good about rodents. There’s a lot of history with anthropomorphic characters. We have a lot of that in our history. That’s how we ended up with Quill. The setting is where we started asking, “Where did she grow up?”, “Where is she from?”, “What’s in this world?” That was just part of the world building that happened over time, but we didn’t know exactly what the world of Moss would look like as we began the project.



JN: You actually answered a couple of my follow-up questions already! I was going to ask why you chose a fantasy setting, given that some of the team’s AAA development experiences have been quite different (e.g., sciencefiction).

various artists to determine which rodents we’d have in our world. It usually boiled down to, “Oh, that’s cute. We should use that one.” [laughs] Really, it was just matching the tone of the personalities of the characters. It all happened organically.

We knew that the world would come off as something for younger audiences, but we wanted the narrative, the depth of the story, and the characters to really grab us as an older audience, so that’s the balance we get to do as developers, right?

DB: I think also, as creatives, you can grow by working on things that are different than what you have been doing or where you’ve been. For us, it was an opportunity to grab some other things that inspired us and apply it to the game. We didn’t want to keep doing the same thing over and over, especially when we had this opportunity with the new medium.

JN: In trying to avoid spoilers, one thing that really struck me in my playthrough of Moss was the tonal shift toward the end. Was there any concern that it may be too frightening for those who are inexperienced with VR or for younger audiences?

We can try to do things that we think will appeal to most of the audience but also do things that are creatively satisfying. We wanted to test your relationship with Quill and solidify that bond. Sometimes you need sad moments to do that, and sometimes you need exciting moments to do that. Sometimes you just need to be walking through the forest. It’s really the cadence among those that give the texture to the narrative. I would say that, towards the end, the tonal shift was important. It’s our way of saying that this world is not just one tone. Everything isn’t all happy. There’s some dark stuff going on, and we’re just scratching the surface.

JN: That makes a lot of sense. This next question is just to satisfy my own curiosity. Did you study actual rodents for the game? DB: We did measure a lot of different things like bricks and leaves because we found that it was so important that the scale of things in the virtual world matched what we expected in the physical world. We didn’t bring a mouse in here to measure it, but we looked through Google Images and at

DB: No, I don’t think we had any concern. In fact, I think it was our intent. The market isn’t very large right now. We wanted to make sure we made something that as many people as possible could enjoy. Right now, in VR, that means there’s a whole wide range. We’ve gotten emails from 60-yearolds, and we know there are 13 and 14-years-olds playing. It’s a good question because VR really can spike the intensity in a lot of different things. It can bring out different kinds of feelings. It can be sad, it can be fear, it can be joy.


JN: I thought it was a perfect way to cap off the game. It really helped build momentum. On a different note, and in being a new studio, what was it like for the team to see Moss debut to nearuniversal praise? DB: It’s hard when you put so much energy into something for such a consistent amount of time to have enough perspective to really take everything in and appreciate the kind words. Something we said around the studio is that there are a lot of people we haven’t talked to, or met, who have been touched by this world. That was really fulfilling for all of us to know we were making an impact because I think that’s why a lot of us here are making games. I just skimmed through your review again, because I read it early on, and you said some really cool things toward the end about it that I appreciate. Thanks for writing that! JN: Absolutely. Thank you! Due to the nature of VGChartz, I feel I have to ask the next question. Can you comment at all on the game’s commercial response? DB: It hit exactly what we were aiming to do with Moss. As you know with VR, the VR market is nowhere near as large as the console market, right? So, if you look at it like that, you can create different expectations. For us, as a new IP and first release for our studio, what was important for us was people’s investment in the world. As the market grows,

we’ll grow with it. To see people establish that relationship with Quill and the world itself… that was success to us – that people know about Polyarc and people know about Quill. We are proud of that.

DB: Yeah, it’s what it takes. It’s something new that we really haven’t had access to. With new technology, it’ll take time until everyone’s in it – if that ever happens. I think it’s important for everyone to try it and to think of JN: I was a day-one PlayStation what cool things we can do with it VR adopter. I thought about that we couldn’t otherwise. That’s holding out, but I couldn’t resist where you find gold. and felt I got my money’s worth at launch. What would you say to any JN: Speaking of other VR headsets, gamers who are reluctant to dive can you speak to why Moss into VR? Why buy a headset now? was designed for PlayStation VR instead of the Oculus Rift or the DB: I’ve spent a year-and-a-half HTC Vive, for example? or two years in VR development. I just put my pen down and said, DB: For us, as an independent “I can’t convince people verbally. studio, we had to choose one They’ll just have to try it.” I think platform upfront that we really when it comes to skeptics there wanted to focus our energy on. are so many ways to try PSVR and That turned out to be the PSVR. other virtual reality headsets… tour Sony saw an early prototype of buses going around, etc. The best Moss and was very supportive thing people can do is research pretty much since the moment we the content they’re interested in. showed it to them. We said, “Okay. Make sure it was made for VR, not We’re going to work with these just a port. Then, try to find a place partners. They’re going to help to try it out. Once you get inside us.” They were so nice to put us VR and experience good content on the E3 stage, which is a great that makes you feel something exposure for us. That was where that traditional gaming can’t do at we focused our development this point that’s when you really energies. We want as many people understand the importance of VR, as possible with VR headsets to but I don’t think anyone will verbally experience Moss. That’s our goal. convince people. My suggestion is for people to try it, and don’t feel pressure until you find that there’s the right content for you. Interviewer’s Note: Polyarc revealed during this conversation that Moss JN: It’s interesting that you would launch for Oculus Rift and mentioned the opportunities to HTC Vive today. It’s available now! demo VR because I first tried it at a Best Buy the summer before PlayStation VR launched. I was hooked after one try.


JN: I’m currently making my way through God of War. Which games are people playing around the studio? DB: The topic of conversation in our studio is God of War, but I tell everyone to stop talking because I’m really far behind [laughs]. A lot of us in the office play Hearthstone, but a lot of the team plays different games. When God of War came out it made a big splash, and it’s cool to see the different reactions to such a different kind of game than what we’re working on. That’s the best time to be playing these games – when it’s something that’s different. People around the office are obviously playing Fortnite as well. I don’t know... I kind of feel bad that I don’t have more games to throw at you right now [laughs]. Actually, what I just picked up and played was Stardew Valley and Darkest Dungeon on the Switch. Just kind of checking out those and they are really different from what we’re doing. It’s cool to just try different games. We keep a close eye on VR. Oh! That’s the other one. Beat Saber. A lot of people are checking that out as well.

JN: Any final thoughts you would like to share with fans of Moss, Quill, or your work in general? DB: The big thing is to follow our Twitter and social media pages. That’s our channel to everyone, and it’s the best way for people to ask us questions and get more information. If we are fortunate enough to tell the next chapter in Quill’s adventure, we have what we want to tell. We’re just looking forward to the opportunity to tell that story. There are some really cool things that will be fun to experience with Quill but with VR, too. As we learn more about VR, we are learning new ways to take advantage of the medium. For fans of VR and fans of Moss and Quill, we have a lot more we want to do. Keep poking us, and keep talking to us. We’ll let you know what we know when we know it! JN: Thank you so much! Have a great E3! DB: Thanks for chatting!

Interview conducted by Jackson Newsome, VGChartz


YOUR SAY by evan norris INTERView

INTERVIEW WITH the creators of surge

DECK 13

In this age of social media and online communities, where almost every video game is previewed, dissected, and analyzed to death before it hits store shelves, it’s difficult to be surprised. Yet The Surge, flying as it did under the radar in 2017, managed to surprise me — and many others, I imagine — in the happiest of ways. I spent hours and hours in the grim dystopia developer Deck 13 had wrought, slicing and dicing my way through cybernetic horrors. In a year considered by some the greatest in the history of the gaming industry, The Surge shone brightly, and yet many never saw the light. When Deck 13 announced plans for DLC, I was happily surprised for the second time. It signaled sales were strong and demand for the studio’s unique take on the Dark Souls formula was healthy. A Walk in the Park turned out to be just as refreshing and addictive as the base game, and, honestly, I was sad when it was over. Then, just last month, Deck 13 made yet another surprise announcement: The Surge 2 was on its way. In the wake of that news, I reached out to the Frankfurtbased studio to ask about the future of The Surge, and the game’s place among Souls-likes and so-called AA games in general. Michael Hoss, PR and Marketing Manager for Deck 13, was kind enough to respond.


EN: When The Surge DLC was announced, I think a lot of fans were pleasantly surprised, in part because it was unclear if the base game had lived up to expectations, sales wise. Can you share sales figures for The Surge, in terms of physical and digital units? If not, can you talk about the business decisions that led to DLC and eventually a full sequel? MH: While I cannot share the exact numbers, I can confirm that The Surge did very, very well. When The Surge was released, our publisher contacted us the next day and shared the news with us. And it was about two weeks after the game was released that everyone agreed on doing DLC. By that time, it was rather easy to justify. So far, the DLC has gone very well, too. EN: As someone who logged dozens of hours playing The Surge and A Walk in the Park, I’m interested to see where the series goes with The Surge 2. So far, we’ve heard about “larger and more ambitious level design” thanks to an improved engine. Can you share more about this upgraded engine and what it allows you to accomplish that you couldn’t in the original The Surge? MH: FLEDGE Delta, the new iteration of the engine, comes with new features which enable us to improve on every aspect. A core thing here is improved performance due to heavily modified multithreading support. This additional performance we can make use of in multiple ways, obviously. Something which helps a lot for the bigger levels is a new, computebased unified volumetric lighting / fog solution which, just to get that mentioned, works seamlessly with transparent objects as well. The engine now also supports DirectX 12.

They asked

for more outdoor settings. Amusement Park? Check. They asked for creepier enemies. Amusement Park? Check. they asked for more varied design. Amusement Park? Check.

EN: Speaking of A Walk in the Park, what inspired the amusement park setting? MH: When it was confirmed that there would be DLC for The Surge, we had multiple ideas with various settings. One was the amusement park setting. What led to that choice in the end was mostly the feedback from players. While the feedback for The Surge was amazing, people criticized the levels quite often: too many corridors inside the factory. They asked for more outdoor settings. Amusement Park? Check. They asked for creepier enemies. Amusement Park? Check. They asked for more varied design. Amusement Park? Check. I could continue the list here, but basically we took the feedback from so many posts on Reddit, Steam, Twitch, dozens of gaming forums, and in reviews. In the end it all led to the Park.


EN: In an industry increasingly populated by so-called Souls-likes, The Surge stands out for me due to its futuristic dystopia and its unique limb dismemberment mechanic. What do you think Deck 13 has contributed to the genre, and where would you like to take it from here?

on. On paper that sounds rather easy, but establishing new processes in a team which has worked together for years - that’s tricky. Lords helped us to establish these structures and The Surge benefited from that. But we then learned so many things from The Surge too.

MH: Lords of the Fallen was our first step into the genre. It got some harsh feedback as it was compared to Dark Souls a bit too much. Even with Lords we already tried to separate a bit from the Souls series with our own ideas but, well, you know, maybe we did not risk enough. With The Surge we did. Take the combat system for example - Souls players dislike it in the beginning quite often, some call it clunky. Then they get into it. It requires a completely different approach, even without the limb dismemberment. Talking about that: limb dismemberment is a thing we will definitely take to the next level in The Surge 2. But yeah, overall there are lots and lots of small little details which do set us apart I think and which make The Surge its very own type of game. Is it a Souls-Like? Definitely. Does it stand on its own feet? Hell yes.

EN: On the same note, what lessons did you learn from Lords of the Fallen? MH: I read that quite often these days. That the market is crowded and that some part of the market is taking away share from the other parts of the market. Honestly? I don’t think that this is a thing. The overall market is growing. If your game is interesting and you know your audience and who you are creating the games for and the marketing adds on top of that, you will find your space. I’m not saying that this is an easy task, but it is doable. Personally I find that it is easier to develop games you’d love to play yourself. Why? Because if you are the audience yourself, well, then you just have to find people who are like you.

EN: Finally, when you’re not designing, programming, and play testing, what games do you like to play? What were EN: On the same note, what lessons did your favorites from 2017? you learn from Lords of the Fallen? MH: Personally I’m sitting on a big MH: We learned a lot. Until that time, backlog of shame. So... my favorite Lords of the Fallen was the biggest from 2017 is Divinity: Original Sin. Yes. project Deck13 had ever worked on. The first one. I finally found the time for And the whole structure of the company it! But in the company itself it varies a itself was not prepared for the size of lot. Some are completely addicted to the project. That led to some troubles PUBG these days and celebrate their and confusions and it cost quite some chicken dinners, others are praising the sweat and blood to overcome those sun all night long and recently everyone issues. That sounds quite harsh - in the started hunting Great Jagras. end it was a learning process. When the production of Lords started, the I’d like to thank Michael and the entire production was quite efficient. But the Deck 13 crew, and Carly Shields of project got bigger, more people got Evolve PR for making the connection. involved, more separate teams within You can read more about Deck 13 on the team had to be formed and so its website.

- Evan Norris


Image by Justin Ladia taken from flickr


TRADING CARD TOURNAMENTS AT GAMETRADERS


DUNGEONS & DRAGONS “There is nothing judge-y about it, you’re free to do what you want”

– Heather

Dungeons and Dragons at Gametraders Macarthur Square started way back in the early 1990s. As a fantasy fan I lapped up everything I could, reading the Tolkien, Feist and the Dragonlance series just wasn’t enough. I managed to convince a group of friends to gather together and play some tabletop role playing. I got to work on creating the world, a story arc, villages and towns. Filling a notebook with maps I felt I was ready, my friends were then released into the world and took to burning down the inn, slaughtering my Non Player Characters and destroying everything I had made – and I wasn’t even mad, I loved it! After high school, time became poor, my family life took over and I was unable to find a group to play with. This all changed when the 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons was released, I purchased the Starter Set in the first month it was released, I felt hooked again. I reconnected with some old friends and we agreed to play together online over Skype, along with some new friends from all over the world, we set a weekly timeslot and committed to the adventure. As the Dungeon Master I took my characters through the Starter Set, Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat. I’ve since retired as a DM and still meet with the group online weekly. One of the first things I decided to do once I owned Gametraders Macarthur Square was to have a place locally for players to meet and play Dungeons and Dragons in a casual environment. Since July 2017 we’ve been running DnD in store and it’s now grown to two nights a week, Friday and Saturday!


Image by Benny mazur taken from flickr


We’ve had some great feedback from our players, some of which are new and others that are well experienced in the art of rolling a D20. They report that they love the environment and the new friends they have met. According to Heather, “Its local so travel isn’t an issue, it’s a lot of fun and the environment is really great because you’re surrounded by a lot of awesome games and surrounded by people in the community who also have the same interests.” Belle agrees, “I was always a gamer and started coming the first day you guys started running DnD, I only missed one week!” Heather jokes “How dare you! That’s dedication.” Belle then laments, “Yeah I’ll always remember that

one week I had to go to a concert.” And Izaak sees the benefit in bringing people together “If you don’t have friends with time to play, having a place where people can come each week allows you to meet new people.” The freedom of expression, the individuality and imagination that is brought to the table that I found so compelling as a young adult has remained a staple for DnD. Where 4th Edition complicated the world and rulesets, 5th Edition has brought back the simplicity that doesn’t get in the way of the role playing. However, more important than the ruleset is the people and place that facilitates the game.


Heather says, “For me it’s the people, in our campaign at the moment you get to play as a little animal so that is adorable! The people I play with makes the game for me.” Belle agrees saying, “I love building a character and the world around you with friends at a table.” An important staple of the Dungeon and Dragons table is the Dungeon Master. Our DMs are now rewarded with store credit, given by the players that attend, it’s a small thank you for their time and the creative energy that goes into making an experience for their group. Image by Benny mazur taken from flickr


Izaak, one of our committed Dungeon Masters, shared the story of how he became a DM. “A couple of years ago I was overseas and I had a friend who was big into DnD, I always wanted to try it but I thought a DM was someone you needed to pay, like you’d have to find them on the internet or something because they know the rules and everything. Once I found my friend he showed me how to do it.” Izaak continues, “so, I said to my friend he should be the Dungeon Master, but he said he wasn’t good at it and that I should try. I just did it and they were like wow! You’re the best we’ve had, so I’ve kept doing it.” And that is exactly what Izaak has done, he now hosts a committed group weekly in store, “I like the world building, making goofy characters and I like facilitating the fun.” Dungeons and Dragons now runs on Friday and Saturday nights in store. Registration is open from 5:30pm with the games kicking off at 6:15pm. New players are welcome and you’ll get the chance to try new campaigns through the DnD Adventurer’s League as they are released.

Written by Benn Banasik, Owner of Gametraders Macarthur Square.

With a special thanks to Heather, Belle and Izaak for their contribution.


MAGIC: THE GATHERING COMMANDER “It’s fun, I like the interactive side of it and I like to play giant dragons!”

– Jeremy

Magic the Gathering events at Macarthur Square have been going for almost 12 months. During this past year the store has increased weekly events to now hosting tournaments two nights a week, Monday and Saturday. Choosing to focus on Commander has created a small but tight community with a more relaxed vibe to more competitive locations in the area. With the new ownership of the store in June 2017, we introduced trading in Magic the Gathering singles from day one. Our first Magic focused staff member Nick helped us get the tournaments off the ground and now our new TCG focused staff member Rune is running the Magic show. We’ve progressed up the levels on the Wizards Play Network and have the ability to do sneak peaks and run competitive events! It’s an exciting time as the community has grown from just a few players to a diverse group that feel comfortable to call our store home for a few hours each week. Commander is a multiplayer format of Magic where players have decks of 100 cards with a single legendary creature available to be called upon. We asked the community what they loved best about the Commander format. Jeremy said “I like Commander as you can be more creative, with 100 cards with no doubles you need to be creative. Its good for everybody and with multiplayer anyone can jank the win.. if everyone thinks you’re not a threat haha!” Josh agreed saying “I like the customisation as you don’t know what you’re going to get as compared to what you’re going to be up against. Anything can happen, in Commander people build what they like or what they can afford and anything can work.” Jackson jokes, “It gives me something to spend money on and it gives me something to spend brain power on, both of which I am severely lacking.”


As you can probably see, our players don’t take themselves too seriously. It is a casual affair where players are creating the craziest decks to try out on each other. The community has tried a few drafting events and excitedly look forward to what is coming out in future for Magic. Their enthusiasm is pipped by Rune who has to be dragged away from the Magic rare folder and boxes of cards that we now offer for the customers. Organising the cards so they are easily accessible is something

that Rune is clearly passionate about and we’re grateful for his support, good staff is what sets us apart from the department stores that surround us. Our players shared some kind words too! Jeremy loves the Monday nights, “I work really long hours and having the game on Monday the working week hasn’t drained me, Monday isn’t good for anybody and this is something to look forward to on a Monday!”


Tim, one of Gametraders Macarthur Square’s youngest players who is about 10 years younger than the majority of players who play loves it when, according to him “When my friends come together to play a couple of games.” He is here talking about his father who also plays and the fellow players that he has met in store. Tim continues “it is more friendly (than other places) and is more for fun.” Jackson agrees, “It’s a friendly atmosphere and you don’t feel intimidated as it is much more casual.” The casual focus, friendly and open environment, with generous prize support and engaging staff is what makes our store different.

Magic the Gathering: Commander runs on Monday night in store. On Saturday we run a variety of Magic events including Standard Showdown as well as Store Championship events alongside our regular Pokemon Tournament. Registration is open from 5:30pm with the tournaments kicking off at 6:15pm.

Written by Benn Banasik, Owner of Gametraders Macarthur Square.

With a special thanks to Jeremy, Tim and Jackson for their contribution.


...Trading cards, tournaments, accessories & more. Get it all at Gametraders.

TOURNAMENTS: MAGIC: THE GATHERING COMMANDER: MONDAY 5:30pm FINAL FANTASY: TUESDAY 5:30pm YU-GI-OH: WEDNESDAY 5:30pm DUNGEONS & DRAGONS / BOARD GAMES: FRIDAY 5:30pm POKEMON: SATURDAY 5:30pm

GAMETRADERS TOURNAMENTS & EVENTS!

Tournaments are subject to change. Please check with your local store on tournament times before attending. Visit www.gametraders.com.au/facebook to find your local stores Facebook page.


GameTraders EVENTS & tournaments!

NSW

BLACKTOWN Dungeons & Dragons TCG - Saturday 10am Yu-Gi-Oh - Saturday 10:30am Magic the Gathering - Thursday 6:30pm Pokémon - Saturday 11am

MACARTHUR SQUARE (CAMPBELLTOWN) Magic the Gathering - Monday 5:30pm Final Fantasy - Tuesday 5:30pm Yu-Gi-Oh - Wednesday 5:30pm Dungeons & Dragons / Board Games - Friday 5:30pm Pokémon - Saturday 5:30pm

PARRAMATTA Yu-Gi-Oh - Wednesday 6pm Magic the Gathering - Friday 6pm Cardfight!! Vanguard - Wednesday 6pm

GAMETRADERS LIVE PENRITH Cardfight!! Vanguard - Saturday 5pm Magic the Gathering - Friday 7pm Pokémon - Saturday 12pm X-Wing - Wednesday 7pm Dragon Ball Z - Thursday 6pm Force of Will - Friday 7:30pm Buddyfight - Saturday 12pm My Little Pony - Saturday 5pm Demo board games from Wednesday through to Saturday.

GAMETRADERS LIVE HORNSBY Yu-Gi-Oh - Tuesday 4pm & Sunday 11am Pokémon - Sunday 2pm Magic the Gathering (Draft) - Wednesday 4pm & 7pm Hearthstone Fireside Gathering + Tournament - Wednesday 6pm Board Games - Thursday 7pm Magic the Gathering (FNM) - 6pm (Standard, Modern, Draft) Super Smash Bros - Saturday 1pm Magic the Gathering (Commander) - Saturday 2pm For more special events and tournaments please visit: www.facebook.com/GametradersHornsby


SA

ACT

Yu-Gi-Oh! Coming Soon!

Yu-Gi-Oh - Saturday 10am Pokémon - Saturday 2pm

HYPERDOME

INGLE FARM MARION Pokémon - Saturday 2pm Cardfight!! Vanguard - Tuesday 6pm Yu-Gi-Oh - Wednesday 6pm Final Fantasy - Wednesday 6pm Magic the Gathering - Friday 6pm X-Wing - Every second Monday from 2pm. Check with staff for details.

SEAFORD FREE Monday Night Magic and Vanguard - 6pm (5:30pm registration)

Magic the Gathering Modern and Commander Tuesday 6pm (5:30pm registration) Friday Night Magic - Friday 6pm (5:30pm registration) Cardfight!! Vanguard - Wednesday & Friday 6pm (5:30pm registration)

Yu-Gi-Oh! - Thursday 6pm (5:30pm registration) Pokémon - Sunday 1pm (12:30 registration) Casual events on Saturdays! Check our Facebook page for

QLD

CHERMSIDE Yu-Gi-Oh - Sunday 3pm & Wednesday 6:30pm Final Fantasy - Tuesday 6:30pm Cardfight!! Vanguard - Wednesday 6:30pm Pokémon - Saturday 3pm Magic the Gathering - Tuesday & Friday 6:30pm

MORAYFIELD Magic the Gathering Modern - Wednesday 7pm Magic the Gathering Standard - Friday 7pm Yu-Gi-Oh - Thursday 6pm & Sunday 2pm Pokémon - Saturday 12pm Magic the Gathering Learn to Play - Saturday 12pm LARP Tournaments - Saturday 6pm

details.

SALISBURY Final Fantasy - Tuesday 6pm (5:30pm registration) Magic the Gathering - Friday 6pm (5:30pm registration)

Magic the Gathering (Casual) - Thursday 5:30pm Yu-Gi-Oh - Saturday 12pm (11:30am registration) Pokémon - Sunday 12pm (11:30am registration)

FIND OUT MORE...

each store has their own facebook page! just search gametraders followed by their store locatioN name OR VISIT WWW.GAMETRADERS.COM.AU/STORES.


SHAUN STODDARD

A PLAYERS PERSPECTIVE Dungeons and Dragons - The Original and Some Alternatives My first experience with Dungeons and Dragons was the game Baldur’s Gate 2 on PC. I could be a Druid who turned into a werewolf, and that was awesome. Then I found the Dragonlance books by Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman and found the story of the Heroes of the Lance to be something that I wanted to strive towards. Then I discovered R.A. Salvatore’s Forgotten Realms books and the adventures of Drizzt Do’Urden, who started a hundred Character Creations of arrow made good with two swords and a big cat. Then I actually played Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition. Which was fun. Though what I did much more than play D&D was read the source books and novels. Immersing myself in the worlds they described and memorising the different variations in the worlds. Dragonlance with its steel as currency and exploding half dragon creatures. Greyhawk with its... well... it was the basic setting for D&D 3rd Edition so most of it wasn’t that memorable. Forgotten Realms with its signature Good Drow character and Year of Rogue Dragons (coincidentally my favourite D&D book series). But then I noticed something that I hadn’t before but intrigued me. Turns out D&D isn’t the only tabletop role playing game out there! So here are a few others to check out, if you ever feel like experiencing something new.


(PAIZO) The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game puts you in the role of a brave adventurer fighting to survive

in a world beset by magic and evil! Take on the role of a canny fighter hacking through enemies with an enchanted sword, a powerful sorceress blessed with magic by the hint of demon blood in her veins, a wise cleric of gods benevolent or malign, a witty rogue ready to defuse even the deadliest of traps, or any of countless other heroes. The only limit is your imagination!

PATHFINDER The spiritual successor to Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 and continuing the tradition of being an absolute number cruncher. If you enjoy cosmic horror, fantasy worlds with other planets to travel too, and an all-encompassing love of goblins, Pathfinder is the one for you. Just be aware that there is a lot of numbers to remember. Due for a 2nd Edition quite soon.

GET IT AT GAMETRADERS! Order in-store.


(PAZIO) Strap in and blast off! The Starfinder Roleplaying Game puts you in the role of a bold science-

fantasy explorer, investigating the mysteries of a weird and magical universe as part of a starship crew. Will you delve for lost artifacts in the ruins of alien temples? Strap on rune-enhanced armor and a laser rifle to battle undead empires in fleets of bone ships, or defend colonists from a swarm of ravenous monsters? Maybe you’ll hack into the mainframe of a god-run corporation, or search the stars for clues to the secret history of the universe or brand new planets to explore. Whether you’re making first contact with new cultures on uncharted worlds or fighting to survive in the neon-lit back alleys of Absalom Station, you and your team will need all your wits, combat skill, and magic to make it through. But most of all, you’ll need each other.

STARFINDER A sort of sequel to Pathfinder set far into the future with space travel, guns and new and unique species to explore a well fleshed out star system filled with the usual fantasy monsters and many more creatures. Has some refinements to the Pathfinder model that make it a bit less number crunchy.

GET IT AT GAMETRADERS! Order in-store.


(3thAGESRD)13th Age is an “open� d20-based tabletop fantasy RPG similar in play to games like D&D

3.0/3.5 and Pathfinder. 13th Age makes use of many game mechanics and features that are intended to develop characters and story as the game is played. Mundane combat equipment is based only on the class of weapon and the class of character using it. For instance, a basic attack with a dagger in the hands of a rogue does the same damage as a basic attack with a longsword in the hands of a fighter. Speaking of fighters, martial classes gain some variety in their combat. Fighters, for instance, have features that allow their attacks to proc certain advantages depending on the roll of the die and if the attack hit or not. Rogues build momentum as they attack. Barbarians rage.

13th AGE Take what people loved about D&D 4th edition, mix it with what people loved about D&D 3rd edition, blend in a whole lot of narrativist sensibility and freeform solutions and viola! You get 13th Age. By far my favourite game system, 13th Age works best when people are shooting off improvisations left and right, and adds an incredibly unique mechanic in the Icons, extremely powerful characters that exist within the game world and can affect your game for good and ill.

GET IT AT GAMETRADERS! Order in-store.


(DUNGEON-WORLD) Dungeon World is a tabletop roleplaying game. Gather some friends and embark on

adventure. Play to find out what happens.

DUNGEON WORLD Strip away everything about Dungeons and Dragons. Now start from scratch. Build your world collaboratively with your players. Everything is defined by a Move, which is always predicated by the GM asking, ‘What do you do?’. Really easy to run and easy to organise. Plus, it helps that you only need the one rule book to play. Within this as well are a whole lot of other games which are Powered by The Apocalypse, including the original Apocalypse World, which use the same ruleset for entirely different worlds.

GET IT AT GAMETRADERS! Order in-store.


(EVIL HAT)Blades in the Dark is a tabletop role-playing game about a crew of daring scoundrels seeking

their fortunes on the haunted streets of an industrial-fantasy city. There are heists, chases, occult mysteries, dangerous bargains, bloody skirmishes, and, above all, riches to be had — if you’re bold enough to seize them. You and your fledgling crew must thrive amidst the threats of rival gangs, powerful noble families, vengeful ghosts, the Bluecoats of the city watch, and the siren song of your scoundrel’s own vices. Will you rise to power in the criminal underworld? What are you willing to do to get to the top?

BLADES IN THE DARK Probably the most focused of the games I’m mentioning here. Imagine you were in a gang trying to steal expensive stuff to up your credibility in a world eerily similar to the worlds of Dishonoured and Thief. That’s Blades in the Dark. One rule book which has all the information you need in it, and one hell of an aesthetic.

GET IT AT GAMETRADERS! Order in-store.


(CUBICLE 7) Smaug has been defeated, the Battle of Five Armies has been won, and Bilbo has returned to

the Shire. But much danger still remains, and from the Orc-holds of the mountains to the dark and corrupt depths of Mirkwood a darkness waits, recovering its strength, laying its plans, and slowly extending its

THE ONE RING Set between the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, this game isn’t one I’ve played yet, but I’ve heard enough good things about it that I’m intrigued and really want to play it. It’s use of unique dice and connection to one of the most beloved book and film series of all time certainly helps.

GET IT AT GAMETRADERS! Order in-store.


(RPG.net)The STAR WARS universe is brought to life by this roleplaying game, designed to allow players to

emulate the lively universe of the films. Players may assume the roles of Jedi, Smugglers, Imperials, or any of the many other factions that inhabit the beloved STAR WARS galaxy.

STAR WARS ROLEPLAYING GAME With its core books of Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion and Forces and Destiny it gives the players the ability to be anything from a ship mechanic on the outer rim to a Jedi hidden from the Emperors purges. Plus, the GM gets to play as the Empire. So that’s fun.

Written by Shaun Stoddard GET IT AT GAMETRADERS! Order in-store.


JACKSON NEWSOME

DETROIT: BEC The wait has felt long since Quantic Dream’s last original title, Beyond: Two Souls, launched on PlayStation 3. The wait is now over, and Detroit: Become Human makes up for lost time with an industryleading narrative and visuals previously unseen on current generation hardware. That’s not to mention the game’s surprisingly standout sound design and genre-appropriate soundtrack or the refinements to the studio’s standard (and often critiqued) control scheme. In many ways, Detroit is the culmination of David Cage’s previous works and plays better than all of them.

invention takes its toll, however, as unemployment skyrockets and androids disrupt traditional ways of life. The game follows the stories of three androids against this backdrop – a city split in two by this simultaneous economic boom and collapse.

The stories of the title’s three androids (Connor, Kara, and Marcus) are one of the game’s many highlights, which should come as no surprise based on Cage’s history. Each of the androids’ stories carries a distinct tone, lending Detroit an increase in gameplay variety from the studio’s past titles. Unfortunately, not all stories are created equal, and Marcus’s The year is 2038, and the city of arc is easily the most uneven of Detroit has been revitalized by the three narratives. That being the invention and proliferation said, the stories have varying of androids. In Detroit, androids strengths and evoke different serve human needs, taking on reactions depending on roles in manual labor, childcare, your choices. and even the military. This


COME HUMAN


Detroit is full of twists and turns and boasts high replayability due to the game’s many, many branching pathways. In fact, the branching story pathways make it difficult to concisely review this aspect of the game, yet I reacted positively to the narrative direction of both my original playthrough as well as the handful of chapters I replayed for experimentation. The developers simplified the process of replaying story segments, enabling players to view their decisions and alternate paths at the conclusion of each chapter, which was a very welcome and logical addition for such a storydriven game.

although it is more refined than his previous works, even if the writing occasionally veers toward the implausible or melodramatic. In the end, such criticisms only seem fair when comparing Detroit to films or novels rather than video games. Cage’s vision is virtually unparalleled among his peers in the game industry.

His formula is straightforward but effective: build tension through a combination of dialogue, stellar sound design, and visual cues to a thrilling climax. Even though it was usually obvious when scenes were leading to a dark turn, the game’s direction and narrative managed to genuinely surprise me. Thankfully, Detroit features improvements in There were several instances in which I made a gameplay variety without the confusing narrative decision that led me down a path I couldn’t have choices or sacrificed pacing of Beyond: Two Souls. anticipated, whereas my choices seemed to lead Players can expect a lot of walking and interaction to more predictable outcomes in previous Quantic with the game’s environment, but such scenes Dream titles. The seemingly “safe” options may are often followed by action or escape sequences not be as they seem. In Heavy Rain, for instance, I (typically overcome through quick time events), was more likely to begin a new story path because and, in at least one instance, a stealth mission. I failed a quick time event than because of Cage’s narrative style is still present in full force, ambiguous dialogue choices.


Furthermore, the quick time events in Detroit have been improved and expanded considerably. The game is much more lenient and accurate in interpreting player inputs compared to Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. This improvement means that I did not fail a single quick time event, but it also means that the game is noticeably easier and less dynamic in its potential for quick story changes. Due to this shift, I interacted with a narrative that was dictated almost exclusively by dialogue choices and the thoroughness with which I explored environments rather than the occasional misfortune or error. It’s hard to feel tense when success seems all but certain during major action sequences.


Beyond narrative, Detroit: Become Human excels in both its visuals and sound. The game’s settings were meticulously designed and rendered to perfection. While Quantic Dream may have set the new benchmark for console graphics, it comes at a cost. Environments are still relatively small despite the increased power of the current generation of consoles. I frequently ran into invisible walls which felt discordant with the developers’ presumed goal of player immersion. Even if it is a reasonable sacrifice given technical limitations, the restriction seems odd when considered alongside the studio’s emphasis on player choice and insistence on players replicating real-life movements with precise button inputs. How immersive can it be if one is so often told they went the wrong way just for venturing slightly off the path? However, these qualms ultimately feel like nitpicks when a game’s presentation and gameplay are this good.

Detroit: Become Human is a showcase for the importance of interactive narratives, and it is a testament to Cage’s craft that Detroit works so well. In straddling the boundary between games and films, Quantic Dream continues to deliver unique experiences that evoke feelings of both media, in which immersion and choice are balanced with tightly-directed story beats. Quantic Dream has outdone itself and delivered another must-play PlayStation exclusive. The finished product is quite unlike anything else available today, and I wholly recommend Detroit: Become Human. By Jackson Newsome, VGChartz

8


VG CHARTS REVIEW

STATE OF DECAY 2 State of Decay 2 is a menagerie of game genres – (zombie) survival, role-playing, action, and management simulation combine to offer a deep and entertaining game concept. However, while the concept and framework are excellent, the game stumbles in execution, resulting in a title that’s good but could, and arguably should, be better.

The premise is fairly simple. There’s a zombie infection running rampant, and you have to survive. That is neither original nor noteworthy - what you have to do to survive is, however. Sure, there is still foraging for weapons and

other useful items, but the added complexity and dynamics provided by the role-playing and management simulation set the game apart and, in that respect, above other offerings. As part of surviving the dire circumstances, you’re tasked with managing a community. After the tutorial, you’ll have the first three members of your community. You can control any of them, but only one at a time (you can also have one accompany you as an NPC). Death is permanent for characters, whether you’re controlling them or not. Additionally, you can exile unwanted members and recruit new ones.


Each character in the game has different traits and abilities, some good and some bad. Hilariously, I had one character who had both optimism and a bleak outlook as two of his traits. Each character has health, stamina, morale, and standing. Health and stamina are straight forward, but both can be depleted to the point where only med kits (a rarer health item) or rest (especially in a killing zombies, to contributing base with a level 2 infirmary) resources to the community base. will allow full recovery. To really progress in the game, you must eventually elect a character Morale is usually a product of as the community leader, which you the condition and resources can only do once their standing is of your base, though high enough. sometimes a character will have a particular mission that In addition, there are five will increase their morale if upgradable skills. Four of the five you complete it, or decrease upgradeable skills start off as the if you neglect to do so. The same respective skill (Cardio, Wits, latter option proved to be the Fighting, and Shooting), though, final straw for a good member as each can be upgraded, most of my community during a with a branching option, they can particular rough patch. He and will diverge with progress. The literally left the community as fifth slot is reserved for a unique I was returning with needed skill that can be learned (via books supplies. I was going to that can be found), but also may undertake his mission next (I already be learned by the time you swear), but apparently I had acquire a character. Regardless, waited too long. once that skill is learned, it cannot Standing is simple, but important. Each character’s standing increases as you perform useful tasks, from

be changed, only upgraded. The “fifth” skill will usually add abilities to craft additional items or build new facilities (or upgrade existing ones) on your base.

Base building and management is a major element of the game. There are a variety of facilities to build or upgrade within a base, as well as the ability to move to different bases that might offer more slots for facilities, and/or some built-in perks that others do not. Effectively managing the base and your resources, and utilizing the strengths of your community members, is a critical part of State of Decay 2. Lastly, there are survivors and “enclaves” (factions) all throughout the open worlds (there are three unique maps that you can try to survive on). You will receive random requests for help of one sort or another. Responding or not, and how you respond, all have consequences, though they weren’t always, if ever, too significant in my two playthroughs.


Rounding out the population are zombies. Most are generic, but some are plague zombies, and have the ability to infect your characters with the blood plague, for which you have a limited time to treat. In addition, there are four types of unique zombies that present a greater challenge. Infestations will arise at various locations. As with many other things in this game, addressing those can boost morale; leaving them to fester will lower morale and can increase the chance of a zombie siege at your base. With all of these elements, the pace of the game is relentless. Trying to balance tasks such as

tending to the needs of individuals in and out of your community, eliminating infestations, gathering and effectively managing resources, and simply just surviving, can be incredibly difficult. At worst, it feels too contrived. A good example of this is when a new member of my community, who hadn’t even made it back to our base yet, inexplicably started a fight with an existing member at our base because of low morale – and our morale was a little above stable. However, overcoming the challenges, contrived or otherwise, can be wonderfully

fulfilling. Inspecting the map for locations that might contain needed resources, then gearing up and setting out, and ultimately returning with the resources and adding hope to the community is genuinely satisfying. Losing daylight while doing so is disconcerting. Running out of fuel, stamina, or, as happened to me, overturning your vehicle or having it destroyed by a horde of zombies (and some shoddy driving) is outright frightening and exhilarating. But again, prevailing over such adversities and hardships feels like an authentic, rewarding achievement.


Moments and experiences like those are where the game shines. Other aspects are a mixed-bag. I found combat responsive and pleasing, but the simplicity of it might make it feel repetitive for some. The graphics are so mediocre that, at first glance, I couldn’t help but wonder if they were any better that the original State of Decay on Xbox 360. At times, they’re just fine, but there are some truly bland or ugly textures. The general art direction is good, the graphics just don’t really complement it. The game controls are customizable, and are mostly fine. My biggest complaint is how often the “interact” button (Y by default) is used. Case in point: fuelling up a four door car can be a chore. You have to find the sweet spot between the rear driver’s side door and the trunk - miss it, and you’re managing the trunk inventory or hopping in the car. The same issue applies for looting with an NPC around. In a bind, that can be really frustrating. That brings me to the game’s general lack of polish. Even after a 6GB patch was recently made available, it seems the majority of the issues I’ve encountered remain.

Some are innocuous, however distracting, like zombies spawning in the air, or doors appearing open but behaving as though they’re closed. Additionally, I’ve had NPCs block my path, or yell at me for aiming my gun at them when they step in the way, and I’ve had my character ignore using a ladder, instead walking over the edge. This hasn’t resulted in death, but it has inflicted injury every time. I had a survivor request help at a residence, only for me to clear it out but be unable to find him there. Looking at the map, I saw he was now down the road at another house. I drove to that house to watch him run out of it and down the street to where he was originally supposed to be. Better yet, when I went back and talked with him at that first location, he asked if I would accompany him to the house he had literally just run from. The one time I died, my body disappeared, whereas when some of my community members died, I could loot their bodies. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, until just before beating the game, I found myself near the area I had died, and suddenly the body reappeared so that I could loot it like normal.

Perhaps the most disappointing unpolished element is the multiplayer. Cooperative gameplay is probably the biggest addition and improvement in this sequel. Indeed, it does add some fun and possibilities, but in my admittedly limited time playing co-op (thanks Donovan and Jed), more issues manifested. From performance problems (usually not affecting the host) to issues of items and actions not appearing for all members of the game. At one point I had to quit because I was unable to see or


access the item storage at our base in a multiplayer session. In seeing an ending for two different types of leaders (of which there are four) I suspect a Mass Effect 3-like ending system. They are different, but only marginally so, and I’m not sure how much of an impact your actions make in the end. In one playthrough, despite me making friends with five enclaves, my Warlord leader was met with a lot of resistance because of his “tyrannical” conduct.


All the same, each leader type unlocks a “Legacy Perk” for future playthroughs. You can select up to two of the four for subsequent playthroughs, as well as up to three community members who have made it through previous playthroughs. This adds some nice replay potential. In the end, although no one glitch or unpolished element is game-breaking, they combine to noticeably hinder the experience. I will note that the developer is “committed to fixing issues up to and beyond launch”, but this is where the game is now. The story never really does anything more than serve as a loose form and guidance for your gameplay

experience. In two playthroughs, no character or plot point was memorable. And yet, I’ve had a hell of a time playing the game, and many memorable moments during my time with it. Some of the execution has more room for improvement than you’d expect from a sequel, especially one published by Microsoft, but overall it provides a unique, fun, and satisfying gameplay experience. By Brandon J. Wysocki, VGChartz

6


Review by by Rex Rex Hindrichs Hindrichs Review

Since bursting bursting onto onto the the scene scene 13 13 Since years ago, ago, God God of ofWar War has has been been years one of of PlayStation’s PlayStation’s most most iconic iconic and and one bombastic franchises. franchises.After After several several bombastic games across across numerous numerous platforms, platforms, its its games distinct formula formula had had been been thoroughly thoroughly distinct iterated and and itit seemed seemed as as though though the the iterated franchise as as we we knew knew itit had had nowhere nowhere franchise else to to go go and and would would fade fade into into memory. memory. else Then, during during E3 E3 2016, 2016, God God of ofWar War Then, announced its its triumphant triumphant return return with with aa announced wizened protagonist, protagonist, new new mechanics mechanics wizened at his his disposal, disposal, and and aa new new mythology mythology at to explore. explore. Now, Now, 88 years years after after the the to main trilogy trilogy concluded, concluded, the the series’ series’ main reinvention has has arrived arrived to to do do its its history history reinvention justice for for aa new new generation. generation. justice You reprise reprise the the role role of of Kratos, Kratos, the the You Spartan warrior warrior turned turned god god who who Spartan conquered the the Greek Greek pantheon pantheon of of conquered Olympus inin his his rage. rage.With With nothing nothing left left Olympus to go go home home to, to, he he has has wandered wandered the the to Earth until until ending ending up up far far away away inin the the Earth Norse land land of of Midgard, Midgard, finding finding aa new new Norse home and and starting starting aa new new family family for for home himself.After After many many years years hiding hiding from from himself. his past, past, our our new new game game begins begins during during his funeral for for his his wife, wife, with with his his young young aa funeral sonAtreus Atreus at at his his side. side.Alienated Alienated from from son

each other other by by Kratos’ Kratos’ deep deep character character each flaws but but with with only only one one another another to to rely rely flaws on now, now, the the two two must must learn learn to to connect connect on as they they never never have have before before inin order order to to as fulfill the the mother’s mother’s dying dying wish wish together. together. fulfill As ifif real real parenting parenting wasn’t wasn’t going going to to be be As hard enough enough for for the the Ghost Ghost of of Sparta, Sparta, hard Kratos must must also also confront confront his his bloody bloody Kratos past and and keep keep both both himself himself and and his his past son alive alive when when aa mysterious mysterious and and son powerful stranger stranger shows shows up up on on their their powerful doorstep. doorstep. Thrust into into aa new new journey journey for for solace solace Thrust and survival, survival, Kratos Kratos and andAtreus Atreus set set and off into into aa dangerous dangerous and and unfamiliar unfamiliar off land. Midgard Midgard isis wide, wide, winding, winding, and and land. beautiful.While While not not as as large large as as today’s today’s beautiful. typical open open worlds, worlds, it’s it’s certainly certainly more more typical dense, with with intricate intricate level level design design dense, that changes changes over over the the course course of of the the that game. InIn contrast contrast with with the the zoomed zoomed game. out automatic automatic camera camera of of the the series’ series’ out past, the the game game isis played played from from aa past, tightly focused focused over-the-shoulder over-the-shoulder tightly perspective with with aa camera camera that that never never perspective cuts for for anything anything save save the the menus. menus. It’s It’s cuts an impressive impressive technical technical feat, feat, though though an franchise purists purists may may miss miss the the old old franchise scheme. scheme.


With a new setting comes a new ecosystem, with everything from decorative flora and fauna, to all manner of monstrous beasts, to the powerful gods and sentient races of Norse mythology that must be contended with. To do just that, Kratos has a new mainstay: the Leviathan axe; a versatile weapon imbued with frost magic that can chop, blast, twirl, freeze, and be thrown in a variety of unlockable ways. Just as formidable are Kratos’ shield and bare hands, which can pummel enemies into a stupor that sets up devastating finishing moves. Atreus is no liability either, wielding a bow you can use to stun enemies and prolong combos. With numerous tools at your disposal and multiple ways to use them, combat is deep and satisfying. ‘Deliberate’ would be the best way to describe how it has changed. Fewer, more threatening enemies require more calculated responses from the player and force you to take full advantage of your skillset. Juggling your various attack methods to fend off and vanquish a diverse encounter is very stimulating and watching your skill improve to do so is that much more gratifying. Of course, God of War is also known for its larger than life boss fights and the new game - while a bit more grounded than before - does not shy away from epic and brutal moments (though you may wish you had a bit more control over some of them). You’ll be doing even more exploring than fighting, so thankfully the environments have been given just as much attention.

The hours upon hours of twisting pathways are filled with puzzles, hidden treasure, numerous side missions, and scores of opportunities to develop our characters and the lore of the world they inhabit. Your journey will take you through many distinct realms and each is a sight to behold. One of the game’s most prominent elements is its progression. New RPG mechanics dictate your power and the caliber of enemies you can take on. Your stats are increased by the gear you loot, craft, and upgrade. Experience gained in combat and quests can be used to unlock new moves and abilities. These menus can be overwhelming at first and even unexpected for an action game, but their depth allows you to specialize your characters as you see fit and experiment with different builds. Progression applies to more than just stats and moves, as well; watching the world widen and characters grow before your eyes is greatly rewarding.


Beyond the gameplay, God of War is also a master of presentation. Richly detailed characters and environments, sophisticated animation and lighting, dazzling effects, seamless design, grand sense of scale, clean image quality, beautiful music, impeccable voice casting, and crunching sound design all amount to an industry leading audio visual experience let down by only the slightest bits of pop-in or performance dips. This artistry further extends to the game’s improved writing; Kratos is no longer a one note caricature but a tapestry of scars to draw from. The long, steady development of father and son is some of gaming’s best storytelling and anchors the whole affair. All of these strengths combined exceed the franchise’s reputation. God of War has evolved. After years of legacy and increasing familiarity, the next chapter for a new generation has grown with its audience. With a wider, more balanced scope, loads of content, and the series’ trademark panache, it chronicles an adventure both intimate and epic. A new legend has begun. By Rex Hindrichs. VGChartz

9


God of War Norse Mythology


Playing God of War as a person who loves Norse mythology is like reading a really cool side story to a bunch of books you’ve read since you were a kid, but from the perspective of the villains. There are so many bits and pieces in this game which are the very definition of alternative character interpretation but it all works in the story God of War is trying to tell. How do those characters who are drawn from Norse Mythology measure up to their real world mythological counterparts? That’s what we’re here to find out. Please be warned, this article will contain spoilers for God of War, which should be a little obvious because of just how many Norse characters there are in this thing! Let’s start with the Stranger that knocks at your door. There are some pretty good signs that hint towards his identity in your first knock down drag out battle. His sheer invulnerability to all harm (including a giant rock straight up flattening the man), the big red runes on his back (which spell out cursed) and mentioning his brother in your first conversation. His inability to feel is an expansion of the myths, where the other gods would hurl weapons at him for fun. Later in the game, around halfway through, you learn that he is the Aesir God Baldur. In the mythology he’s not really described all that much, just that his mother asked everything in the world (apart from the plant Mistletoe... or a sword named Mystletainn. It gets confusing. Different cultures within the Norse sphere had different interpretation of this myth) to not cause his death after a vision he had in which he died. Of course,

Norse mythology being as fatalistic as it is, Baldur ends up dying at the hands of his brother Hodr, who was tricked by Loki to throw a mistletoe arrow at him. After Ragnarok, he and Hodr are resurrected to live in the new world that is created. In God of War, Hodr doesn’t feature, so the killing Baldur thing is up to you as Kratos. Next up we’ll take a look at the Witch of the Woods, who is revealed as the goddess Freya. Her incarnation in this game is very interesting in relation to the mythology as she is a combination of two goddesses. The Vanir goddess Freyja, for her magic, her relation to the Vanir, and her being revealed in a side quest to be the original Queen of the Valkyries and the Aesir goddess Frigga, for being Odin’s wife and Baldur’s mother. Most of the characterisation in God of War is based on Frigga, especially her being the one to cast the spell of invulnerability on Baldur after having a vision of his death.


Odin isn’t featured in this game. You may be wondering why I’m mentioning him then. Well, even if he doesn’t physically appear, his actions, his command, and his sheer bloodthirstiness permeate everything within the game. He is portrayed as a villain, a vicious manipulator and murderer who ordered a genocide and is directly responsible for most of what happens in the game. Throughout the game we hear stories from various sources, people who have been directly wronged by Odin, and we are given a look into a side of Norse Myth that we haven’t really experienced before. This is in contrast to most of the mythology where he is portrayed as well intentioned though flawed at times, in his efforts to prevent Ragnarok. Tyr is also not featured in this game. But you see a whole bunch of stuff that he created, and he is portrayed as a heroic figure in contrast to Odin’s villainy. Throughout the game you learn more about Tyr and his quest for peace between the realms and eventually make your way to a place very important to him. In the mythology, there isn’t a lot about him. The main legend in which he is featured results in him getting his arm bitten off by a wolf that will eventually kill Odin in Ragnarok. One of the most heavily featured characters you encounter in God of War, and one of my favourites, is the traditional Aesir God Mimir. Only in this game he’s not a God, more an old school ‘fae’ creature with a charming Scottish accent who asks you to decapitate him.

The reasons why are complicated and are revealed throughout the game but rest assured whatever you might have read in the mythologies, this game puts a twist on all of it when it comes to Mimir. Quite possibly the most important mythological character in God of War, and the biggest change between the legends and the game, is The World Serpent himself. Jormangandr spends the game being in multiple locations because of his size and helping Kratos and Atreus with various parts of their quest. This is huge departure from the mythology where they are the one who poisons the seas and the earth during Ragnarok. A nice snake they were not.


There are a lot more references to Norse Mythology in these games, but talking about them here would spoil more than I already have, and ruin some of the best moments of the game. There are some appearances by Gods and giants I haven’t mentioned here, some of them very surprising. While God of War is a worthwhile experience not only because of the fulfilling gameplay and the interpersonal relationships it is also and interesting look into a type of story we haven’t really seen in the context of Norse Mythology. The reframing of the traditional villains of the legends into allies alongside the interpretations of the Aesir as uncaring conquerors who perpetrated a genocide makes this game an unorthodox and highly unique story. One I hope Santa Monica Studios continue in the future. Written by Shaun Stoddard. Look for more of his work at https://www.facebook.com/ spinionsbyshaun/


GET IT AT GA

Ask staff for details.


AMETRADERS


AT GAMET


TRADERS

ASK STAFF FOR PRODUCT DETAILS Get it all at Gametraders! Order in-store.


WRITTEN BY PAUL MONOPOLI

It has been five years since the defeat of the reincarnation of King Piccolo at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. His arch rival, Goku, is about to learn of his heritage in the most devastating way, but what if the story took another direction?

of Vegeta and Nappa, and the pending re-emergence of Raditz. In the meantime Vegeta chides Raditz for his failure and ostracises him. With nowhere to turn Raditz joins the Z fighters and a new story begins.

It begins the same way as it does in the beginning of Dragonball Z. Raditz arrives and tells Goku about his Saiyan heritage, along with the fact that they are brothers. He expresses his disgust at the fact that planet Earth is still populated and orders Goku to kill 100 people and deliver their bodies to Master Roshi’s island. For insurance he kidnaps Gohan and there’s nothing that Goku can do to stop him. Piccolo arrives on the scene, having encountered Raditz a little earlier, the rivals form a temporary alliance and head out to defeat the Saiyan warrior. The battle plays out a little differently in this version of the story. Gohan head butts Raditz in the chest but it does more damage than in the original Dragonball Z story. Goku grabs Raditz from behind and orders Piccolo to power up his special beam cannon. Piccolo is about to fire but Raditz shifts at the last second, leaving Goku the only recipient of the blast. In the aftermath of the attack Raditz escapes, leaving everyone in shock over Goku’s death. Piccolo decides to train Gohan for both the arrival

This is the premise for the Dragonball “what if” scenario, ‘What if Raditz turned good?’ Developed by Masako X, Goku from the YouTube parody series Dragonball Z Abridged, and his co-writer Haverok, the story has become a fan favourite for people who visit the Masako X YouTube Channel. So much so that it has now been developed into a web comic, complete with accompanying voice cast.


I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but the series centres on Raditz and his daughter Ranch. In this alternative storyline Raditz and Launch (remember her from the original Dragonball?) settle down together and have a family. Ranch provides a different dynamic to the Trunks and Goten bromance seen during the latter part of Z and Dragon Ball Super. By Paul Monopoli

At the time of writing this the first episode is available on YouTube, so check it out over on the Masako X channel: www.youtube.com/MasakoXtreme And the Twitter pages of Masako X and Haverock: www.twitter.com/MasakoX www.twitter.com/havelock_grave


T S A C E H T RADITZ Voiced By Kevin Aghani “Not every battle is played by the rules, you should be prepared for that eventuality.”

LAUNCH Voiced By Amanda Hufford “I know you’ll be fine but... I’m just... Saiyan.”

RANCH Voiced By COURTNEY MEEKER “I BET GIRLS WOULD MAKE STRONGER FUSIONS.”


GOKU Voiced By LAWRENCE SIMPSON

“A TEST OF STRENGTH? COUNT ME IN!”

VEGETA Voiced By ALEX WALKER SMITH

“STRENGTH EH? I’M LISTENING.”

GOTEN Voiced By JENNA KATHLEEN

BULMA Voiced By TRINA DEUHART

“DAD HAS BEEN SHOWING ME A FEW TRICKS OF HIS OWN!”

“GUESS YOUR PRIDE IS NOTHING AGAINST THE POWER OF SHOPPING.”

TRUNKS Voiced By LUCIA LOBOSVILLA “YEAH, GOTEN AND I TOTALLY MAKE THE BEST FUSION!” Check out some of the artists working on this Series: Casual misfit studios (https://twitter.com/LegionCMStudios). Malik Torihane (https://twitter.com/MALIK_DBNA) & Nexus mania (https://twitter.com/NexusMania).


THE DO’s AND DO CONTACT LENSE Non-prescription lenses, known more commonly as cosmetic or novelty contact lenses, are those aimed to change appearance. In cosplay, these are sometimes essential to creating the correct look for your character and are a commonly used part of the make-up process. Unsurprisingly placing something foreign into your body comes with a set of dangers, particularly since Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration does not regulate cosmetic contact lenses. Before you purchase your first set of contact lenses, have a professional optometrist to have

an eye examination. They can identify any preexisting conditions that could increase the likelihood of cosmetic lenses damaging your eyes. You can also purchase cosmetic lenses through your optometrist, which is the safest option for purchasing cosmetic lenses as they are from verified brands and products. Optometrists can also train you on correct handling and storage of lenses. Most cosplayers however choose to purchase through international sellers. International sellers can be good, but they do not follow the same standards of hygiene and care provided by Australian sellers, so extra care must be taken.


DONT’S OF CARE

Cosplay by Anny Sims (Ichigo Momomiya) https://www.facebook.com/ChattyAnny/?fref=mentions

Photography by Dark Age Photography https://www.facebook.com/DarkAgePhotography/


- DO NOT under any circumstances keep

-

Always insert your contact lenses on a lenses in if your eyes are hurting or stinging. clean, make-up-less face and clean, sterilised Incorrect usage of contact lenses can cause hands or tools. Whenever you wear contact cornea damage, eye infections, and eventual lenses, please make sure you carry contact blindness. You do not get another set of eyes, solution for sterilising hands and tools, and a and it’s not worth going blind solely to look clean case. Do not ever re-insert lenses that pretty for one day. are single use, have passed expiry or have been in an unsterilised environment. Do not swap lenses between wearers, wear lenses longer than recommended, use Overall, contact lenses can be a fun and inappropriate contact care solutions, let wonderful way to alter your appearance and lenses dry out, place lenses in unsterilised add to your cosplay; but nothing is worth contact cases, or continue to use lenses past losing your eyesight over. Please be careful their expiry date. All these options increase and listen to professional advice, and you risks of eye infection and overall damage to should have a safe and fun time with your the eye upon wearing. lenses.

-

By Anny Sims

Cosplay by: Anny Sims (Female Loki) https://www.facebook.com/ChattyAnny/?fref=mentions

Photography by: SFX IMAGES https://www.facebook.com/SFXImages/


SEE MORE ON... facebook.com/Gametraders.Australia

twitter.com/GametradersAus

instagram.com/Gametraders

WEBSITE: gametraders.com.au PUBLICATIONS: issuu.com/gametraders


DID YOU KNOW... Each Gametraders store have their own Facebook page! Want to ask your local store a question or keep up to date with their latest product releases? Check out their pages below!

SOUTH AUSTRALIA Ingle Farm: facebook.com/gtinglefarm Salisbury: facebook.com/gtsalisbury Marion: facebook.com/gtmarion Seaford: facebook.com/gtseaford

NEW SOUTH WALES: Blacktown: facebook.com/gametradersblacktown Macarthur Square: facebook.com/gametradersmacarthur Hornsby Live: facebook.com/GametradersHornsby Penrith Live: facebook.com/GametradersLivePenrith Parramatta: facebook.com/GametradersParramatta

QUEENSLAND: Chermside: facebook.com/gtchermside Morayfield: facebook.com/GametradersMorayfield

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY: Hyperdome: facebook.com/GametradersHyperdome


Check our past Live issues HERE: issuu.com/gametraders

SUBSCRIBE:

www.gametraders.com.au/subscribe

FIND YOUR NEAREST STORE... South Australia Ingle Farm...............................................(08) 8265 7283 Marion......................................................(08) 8296 1144 Salisbury..................................................(08) 8281 0966 Seaford.....................................................(08) 8327 1966 ACT Hyperdome.............................................(02) 6293 3751

New South Wales Gametraders LIVE Penrith.........(02) 4731 3894 Blacktown................................. (02) 9676 1411 Macarthur Square (Campbelltown) (02) 4620 0750 Parramatta................................ (02) 9633 2833 Gametraders LIVE Hornsby...............(02) 9477 6477

For more info visit: www.gametraders.com.au Queensland Chermside...............................................(07) 3861 5000 Morayfield...............................................(07) 5495 7705

Profile for Gametraders - Publishing

June/July Live magazine 2018  

Advertisement
Advertisement