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Everything you ever wanted to know about Nintendo plus where to now... Page 20

POKÉMON In-depth look into the Pokémon universe Page 124








It’s that time of year when the gaming world gets ready for an onslaught of gaming releases the promise to empty your wallet/purse faster then a leaky balloon. There’s a ton of games coming out that we’re so excited about including Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby. Plus GTA V on Xbox One and PS4. There’s Far Cry 4, Assassins Creed Unity and tons more! The coming release of Pokémon got us thinking about Nintendo and how Super Smash Bros is also coming out early December, and so we took a detailed look at Nintendo with our past, present and future look at who was once king of the consoles. Where did they come from and where are they going? We also look at the top 5 Nintendo characters and the best and worst of Pokémon plus we hop in the time machine with jess and look back at Pokémon in our Retro section. But it’s not all Nintendo as we look at Forza Horizon 2, Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, Sunset Overdrive and the best sports games we all look forward to this time of year with FIFA 15 and NBA 2K15. If you love a good gaming scare, check out our Alien Isolation review … will it be worth your money? There’s comics, collectables, cosplay and a whole lot more in this months’ Live so what are you waiting for - jump in! Rob Jenkins Editor P.S. CosCon, the Cosplay Convention dedicated to Cosplayers has just announced Katyuska Moonfox will be one of their guest workshop host! See page 176.

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History of Nintendo

Previews & Reviews

Retro: Looking back at Pokémon Cosplay

THE LIVE TEAM Publisher: Rob Jenkins (Gametraders Operations Centre) Art Director: Giselle Capozza (Gametraders Operations Centre) Game Review & Preview Editors: Nick Getley & Kylie Tuttle (Sticky Trigger) Retro Writer: Jess Wilson UK Writer: Elliott Buddo US Writer: Serwa Aboagye Sticky Trigger Writers: Kylie Tuttle Nick Getley Alex Holmes Sam Babu Nick Pearce Aaron Milligan Ben Rachow Elliott Buddo Bridget Sweeney Sean Fox Miranda Nelson Tim Arnold Matthew Raspe Sasha Karen

OUT 13

NOVEMBER! Get it at



With Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire due out in November, fans will be kept busy!


Halo Nightfall is debuting on November 11 and will ship with the Halo: Master Chief Collection to be release on Xbox One in November and will also be show during the HaloFest live-stream event on the 10th. According to IMDb the first episode is produced by Ridley Scott. Will it be a winner or a poor translation of a great game. Stay tuned.


GTA V IS BACK! Grand Theft Auto V is due out in November for Xbox One and PS4 and Rockstar promises more detailed versions of Los Santos and Blaine County and an array of exclusive items. New weapons. New vehicles. Denser traffic, new foliage and enhanced damage and weather effects are all part of the next gen console version. It’s due out November 18th!

THE POWER OF A DESKTOP IN A LAPTOP! Want full sized power in a laptop? Alienware has a new Graphics Amplifier that gives you the power of a desktop in your laptop! The Alienware Area-51 is the graphic kicking new king of the hill when it comes to PC gaming and promises 4k gaming and a lot more - check it our here:



Get ‘em at





Dragon Age Inquisition

360, PS3, XB1, PS4


Watch Dogs






World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor (Add On)



Assassins Creed Unity Special Edition

PC, XB1, PS4


Assassins Creed Unity Bastille Edition

PC, XB1, PS4


Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor

360, PS3


WWE 2K15

XB1, PS4


Pokémon Omega Ruby



Pokémon Alpha Sapphire



The Wolf Among Us

PC, 360, PS3, XB1, PS4


Far Cry 4 Limited Edition

PC, 360, PS3, XB1, PS4


Tropico 5 Special Limited Edition



LEGO Batman 3 Beyond Gotham

PC, 360, PS3, XB1, PS4, WIIU, 3DS, PSV


Rabbids Invasion (Kinect)

XB1, 360


Halo Master Chief Collection



Just Dance 2015



Shape Up



Little Big Planet 3



Grand Theft Auto 5

XB1, PS4


Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 Team of the Year Edition

PC, 360, PS3, XB1, PS4


Assassins Creed Rogue Special Edition

360, PS3


Call of Duty Advanced Warfare

PC, 360, PS3, XB1, PS4


Disney Infinity 2 Toy Box Combo Pack

WIIU, 360, PS3, XB1, PS4


Scream Ride

XB1, 360


Tears to Tiara 2



Football Manager 2015



Ultimate NES Remix



Adventure Time The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom

3DS, PS3, 360, PSV


Tetris Ultimate



Rocksmith 2014

XB1, PS4


Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

360, PS3


Rugby 15

PC, 360, PS3, XB1, PS4



XB1, PS4


Get ‘em at






G IN THE US A few months ago I bought you an article on Nintendo and its slow, but sure claw back into the market. Today, I can say that this has finally happened and Nintendo again is a runner again in the console war, in my opinion. It make have taken a while, but the time is finally here. 2014 could be the year that brings Nintendo back to its former glory that I remember as a kid! This year Nintendo fans are being spoilt with a plethora of new games, accessories and handheld consoles and it is just the ticket for maintaining Nintendo’s popularity. Since E3, Nintendo fans have been a buzz following the event waiting patiently in the wings for October and November to come around – release time! Revealing an all-star lineup of both original and new first-party games at E3 this year, unique hardware innovation, and an irresistible charm, Nintendo has proved its gamble on Wii U is about to pay off. Nintendo is cashing in on our childhood memories by promising us new memories with the characters we’ve grown to love; a familiar plan, but a plan that will work time and time again. By getting back to the basics and reminding us why we all love to play video games, Nintendo has roared back to life. And that’s something we can all be excited about. If we take a look at one title in particular: Super Smash Bros for 3DS. This title was quite possibly the most anticipated release from Nintendo in the past few years. So

much so that more than 2.8 million copies worldwide have been sold! This first-ever portable instalment of the game has resonated with fans and critics alike! And with the soon to be released Amiibo interactive figures which are compatible with the game, will that number continue to rise? You bet it will! I can almost guarantee that Super Smash Bros for 3DS will be one for the most wanted gifts this Christmas! The recently released Bayonetta 2 is another game that is also receiving raving reviews for is beautiful presentation and captivating game play. This title is another one that I think we will see big sales figures for. Nintendo have been smart. They have taken a long hard look at themselves over the past few years and formulated a way to bring the fun and magic back in to gaming. They continue to offer fresh experiences in upcoming games like Yoshi’s Wooly World and Xenoblade and breathing life back into classics such as Mario Party and Star Fox which we should hope to see in 2015. Each of these upcoming titles promises to recapture the delightful and addicting gameplay only Nintendo can offer. Is 2014 the comeback year for Nintendo? You betcha!





November has to be one of my favourite times of the year! The gaming industry comes alive with a bucket load of releases in preparation for the Christmas rush! We wait and wait all year long, seeing trailer after trailer for all these fantastic games that are on the horizon and then come November, we are spoilt with a multitude of choices! I’ll go as far to say that November is Christmas time for gamers! Let’s check out what’s coming our way this month! Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Love it or hate it, no one can deny that the team behind this game are doing something right to bring back instalment after instalment every year. The FPS (first person shooter). The game has been around since 2003 and sure, they have had a few mishaps along the way (server issues, bugs etc etc) but the fans can look over these issues and this is why it just keeps coming back! I’m very much looking forward to the Kevin Spacey cameo in this years instalment to the franchise. The game looks great – major improvement in the graphics department, first previews of the game are singing praises, so we will just have to wait and see what the end result

is once gamers get their hands on it very, very soon!

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire

Assassins Creed Unity & Assassins Creed Rogue

It’s that time again! The Pokémon phenomenon is back! Pokémon trainers and gamers will be able to travel back to the land of Hoenn for the first time in over ten years this November in the next instalments of the Pokémon series; Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire for the Game Boy Advance, released in 2003. Fans worldwide are rejoicing for the reboot!

With many publishers putting their focus on making games for gamers who have been fortunate enough to purchase an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4, Ubisoft still show they love their Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers by giving the opportunity to play a new instalment from the Assassins Creed franchise. Whens Assassins Creed Unity (for Xbox One and PS4 only) was announced, Xbox 360 and PS3 owners were up in arms at the thought that they were being forgotten about. Little did they know that Ubisoft had something up their sleeves! YAYE! For those with an Xbox 360 or PS3, Assassins Creed Rogue is set in the mid 18th Century during the Seven Years War with gameplay similar to that of Black Flag which came out last year. Xbox One and PS4 owners, Assassins Creed Unity is set during the French Revolution with the story following Arno and his efforts to expose those behind the revolution. Two very different locations for each game, all with the same premise plenty of stabby stabby Arno goodness for all!

The tried-and-true turn-based role playing game combat hasn’t been changed by developer Game Freak, but what has been introduced and improved has had Pokémon trainers cheering. If this is going to be your first trip to Hoenn, your first trip in a long time or you never left, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire is already shaping up to be a wild ride. That’s it from me this month folks! Enjoy November’s releases as it’s the most wonderful time of the year for gamers!



The name Nintendo can be roughly translated from Japanese to English as “leave luck to heaven”. Surprisingly, they did not begin making video games in the 1970’s like most people think and they they are in fact now 125 years old! Nintendo was founded on the 23rd September 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi. Nintendo’s first products produced were handmade Hanafuda playing cards. By the mid 1960’s the company had tried several other small businesses, such as cab services, supermarket food and ‘love’

hotels - yes Nintendo are the PIMP’s of the gaming industry! Nintendo then tried their hand at making toys (Rabbit Coaster, Ultra Hand & Mach Rider to name a few) into the late 60’s and early 70’s before developing into a video game company in the 1970s. This change of direction ultimately made them one of the most influential companies in the industry and one of the largest businesses in Japan. After the Atari and E.T fiasco in 1983 (3.5 million unsold copies of E.T. the

Extra-Terrestrial wound up in landfill after being a flop of a game!), the video games industry was in a bit of a slump. Nintendo was arguably, in many people views the biggest reason the industry survived because they were the first company to make video games with characters people actually cared about. This all began with Shigeru Miyamoto. Originally an artist before becoming a video game developer, he created many of the characters we know and love today, but none more important than Mario - the best-selling video game franchise character of all time.


Nintendo’s first console release was ‘Color TV Game’. Released in 1977 (and phased out in 1979) the series includes five different pieces of hardware, each one with a unique game. Color TV Game systems did not have interchangeable cartridges, so each console could only play a single title. The first real success for Nintendo in electronic games was the Game & Watch handheld consoles created by game designer Gunpei Yokoi. Each Game & Watch featured a single game to be played on an LCD screen in addition to a clock or an alarm and in some instances both. There were 60 different versions released, but none more popular than Donkey Kong and Zelda. Game & Watch put Nintendo on the map and it was at this point that that Nintendo decided to delve more into the video game development for home consoles. The first ‘real’ home console was the Nintendo Entertainment System (aka NES or Famicon in Japan) which launched in Japan in 1983 and the USA in 1985. It was branded an ‘Entertainment System’ and not just a video game machine. The NES helped revitalize the US video game industry following the video game crash of 1983. With the NES, Nintendo introduced a now-standard business model of licensing thirdparty developers and authorising them to produce and distribute titles for Nintendo’s platform. The Deluxe Set of the NES included R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy who was a robot that could substitute for a second player) a light gun called the NES Zapper, two control-

lers, and two games -Gyromite and Duck Hunt. Other smaller bundles were released with Mario Bros. as the game. The NES sold over 60 million units and was the beginning of some amazing franchises that include Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Capcom’s Mega Man franchise, Konami’s Castlevania franchise, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises – all of which still exist today. After the success on the NES, Nintendo released the second handheld

Following on the success of the NES and GameBoy was the next home console - the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) which released in 1991. The SNES had enhanced hardware which allowed some of the first 3D images, a new controller which added two shoulder buttons and two extra face buttons. Some amazing games were released for the SNES that include Super Mario World, F-Zero, Pilotwings, SimCity, Donkey Kong Country, Earthworm Jim, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time,

"It was branded as an Entertainment system not just a video game machine." system - the GameBoy in 1989. A portable handheld gaming device based from the Game & Watch series but with interchangeable game paks like the NES. This allowed one handheld unit to be purchased and multiple game options for the device, unlike the Game & Watch series where you had a buy a new if you wanted to play a different title. The GameBoy competed with other heavies who were on the market at the time - the Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx and the TurboExpress. Despite these other technologically superior handheld consoles, the GameBoy was a tremendous success. The GameBoy and its successor, the GameBoy Colour (released in 1999), have both combined sold 118.69 million units worldwide. Upon its release in the United States, the Game Boy sold its entire first US allotment of one million units within a few weeks.

Kirby Super Star, Gradius III, Star Fox, Killer Instinct, Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts , Contra III, Mega Man franchise ,Castlevania franchise, Mario Kart, Street Fighter II, Super Metroid and many many more. The SNES sparked life into new and old gaming genres, but the most important was the RPG (Role Playing Games) with titles such as Final Fantasy, Legend of Zelda, Secret of Mana & Chrono Trigger becoming household names. After selling around 50 million units, the SNES didn’t reach the same height of success as the NES, however it was still hailed as a victory for Nintendo and the video games Industry. After the success of the GameBoy in 1989, Nintendo then released the VirtualBoy in 1995. Sadly, this was the first commercial failure from Nintendo. The VirtualBoy only released

in the US and Japan and was discontinued in 1996. The VirtualBoy was supposed to be a 3D virtual reality headset, but lack of games, disappointing visuals and motion sickness stopped the console from ever taking off. After removing the sour taste of failure left in their mouth from the VirtualBoy, Nintendo decided to go against the grain and released the once again cartridge driven Nintendo 64 (N64) in 1996. The N64 was in direct competition against Sega’s Saturn and Sony’s PlayStation console after a deal between the two companies to release a CD add on for the Nintendo 64 fell through at the 11th hour. This resulted in Nintendo backing out of the collaboration and again sticking with cartridges for the better load times, where as Sony and Sega went ahead as planned with the use of CD’s as the chosen form of media. The Nintendo 64 launched with Mario 64 - the first game to feature a full 3D world where your character could walk in the direction you pushed the analogue stick. It truly was an incredible time for gaming and it’s now the standard for almost every game made today. The 3D platformer might have gone away recently, but its core gameplay is in every big release we see to this day. The Nintendo 64 also introduced us to console First Person Shooters, who were before the release of GoldenEye 007 (arguably one of the best Nintendo games ever made) exclusive to the PC. Four player split screen multiplayer was also introduced on the Nintendo 64 and it’s a feature still used and one that helped create the online gaming

world we have today. Although the sales for the N64 (33 Million) were low compared to the competition, there was no doubting its popularity with the amount of AAA titles it received - Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie 1 and 2, GoldenEye 007, Mario Kart 64, Shadowman, Super Smash Bros., Donkey Kong 64, Diddy Kong Racing, Perfect Dark, Star Fox 64, Conker’s BFD, Mario Party Series, Star Wars: RS, Yoshi’s Story, 1080, F-Zero X, Wave Race 64, WCW vs NWO, WWF series Turok 1 and 2 and of course, the game some call the best ever made - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In 2001 Nintendo released the GameBoy Advance. This handheld device was a more powerful console than the GameBoy and Gameboy Colour using a shell like design and adding Super Nintendo shoulder buttons it was like a portable SNES. The GameBoy Advance series of consoles have sold more than 82 million units worldwide and even though Nintendo had competition from the Neo Geo Pocket Color, WonderSwan, GP32, Tapwave Zodiac and the N-Gage, Nintendo still maintained the majority of the handheld market share. The GameBoy Advance saw some amazing titles

Legend of Zelda series and many more. 2001 also saw the release of the Nintendo GameCube. This time Nintendo went the disc rout, but opted for mini-dvds (optical discs). The reason for this was to save money and also charge developers (like the cartridges previously) a fee to develop on their console. The GameCube had dual analogue sticks, but also had analogue shoulder buttons and no triggers (like the N64’s Z button) which differed from the competition of Sony’s PlayStation 2, Microsoft’s Xbox, Sega’s Dreamcast who all went with analogue triggers. To this day, the GameCube controller is considered one of the best controllers released for a gaming console and due to its popularity; Nintendo has re-released it for the Wii U. The GameCube was also Nintendo’s first online (publically) console with a small amount of games allowing online access. The GameCube was also the first console to be released in a different model by another company. In December 2001, Panasonic released the Panasonic Q - a GameCube/DVD/CD hybrid console which was sold in Japan only. It was incredibly expensive and did not sell

"The GameCube also was Nintendo 'S first online (publically) console.." which include Pokémon Ruby, Pokémon Sapphire, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Metroid Fusion, the Castlevania series, Golden Sun,

so well, however it since has become a collector’s item among Nintendo fans. Sales for the GameCube were not what Nintendo had hoped and the GameCube is considered Nintendo’s biggest failure to date. Even



though it has some of the best game titles released, only 22 million units worldwide left store shelves. After a 4 year hiatus, 2005 saw the release of the Nintendo DS (Dual Screen). Once again taking inspiration from the original handheld console they created with the Game & Watch, two screens were introduced into a portable, handheld console and once again, and Nintendo’s success with handheld consoles continued. With backwards compatibility for GameBoy titles, new hardware and great new software, Nintendo managed to sell almost 154 million units with the four different models released – Nintendo DS, Nintendo DS lite (a smaller and lighter version of the DS), the Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL which added two cameras and sadly removed the backwards compatibility. In 2006, Nintendo released the Wii console. A strategic release to target the casual audience by using new motion controls instead of the traditional controller they were renowned

huge success. The system saw the release of some awesome games with high metacritic scores. Games included Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2, Mario Kart Wii, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess & Skyward Sword, The Last Story, Xenoblade Chronicles, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Metroid Prime Trilogy, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, Super Paper Mario, Monster Hunter Tri and many more. 2011 spawned yet another handheld device from Nintendo - the Nintendo 3DS. Whilst the basic set up stayed similar to the original DS, the controller buttons were set to a layout the same as a Super Nintendo and the top screen was a stereoscopic 3D screen which did not require glasses you would need to watch a 3D movie. Nintendo widely publicized the 3D capabilities of the system, online gaming, an eShop to purchase old classics and new digital only software along with a 3D camera and Augmented Reality games.

"the console has gone on to become one of Nintendo's most successfully sold handheld consoles.." for. This was a move that helped Nintendo sell over 100 million worldwide and release new genres into the gaming industry with Wii Fit and Ubisoft’s Just Dance series. The Wii Sports game that came packaged with the Wii console allowed you to swing your controller like a tennis racket, hock a golf ball by swinging it like a golf club or even bowl a bowling ball at a TV to hit some virtual pins! Needless to say, the Wii was a

While initial sales were slow due to the lack of software and the price being considered a little high, after a slow few months Nintendo announced a big price drop and offered ten free Nintendo Entertainment System games and ten free GameBoy Advance games from the Nintendo eShop to consumers who bought the system at the original launch price. This strategy was considered a major success, and the

console has gone on to become one of Nintendo’s most successfully sold handheld consoles. In the first two years of its release they are closing in on 50 million units sold. To help sales, Nintendo listed to their consumers who were screaming out for titles. Releases such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Monster Hunter 3 and 4, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Dragons Quest VII, Tomodachi Life, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Yo-Kai Watch, Pokémon X & Y, and the recent Super Smash Bros. for 3DS have all helped push the sales and popularity of the handheld console. 2012 saw the release of the Nintendo 2DS. A wedge designed, dual screen targeted for kid friendly audience and able to play 3DS and DS titles, the lower priced unit isn’t the do-it-all console like you would expect from the 3DS, however its overall performance sales wise to date has been steady. Picking up from its successor, the Wii, Nintendo released their more recent console in 2012 simply called Wii U. Unfortunately, the Wii U has not reached sale targets like Nintendo had predicted but has some unique features compared to the other consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The consoles controller is an iPad like touch screen device with buttons allowing dual screen play like Nintendo’s handheld consoles. The hardware inside isn’t as powerful as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and doesn’t run on PC architecture but Nintendo’s own. Having sold only 6.5 million consoles so far, Nintendo will have some nice tricks and some great exclusive soft-

ware coming out in the next couple of years to help boost sales. The Wii U has seen some great game titles released that are selling really well - New Super Mario Bros. U, ZombiU, Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, New Super Luigi U, Lego City Undercover, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Monster Hunter Tri, Wii Fit U, Rayman Legends. Also with recent exclusive titles like Hyrule Warriors, Fatal Frame and the recently released Bayonetta 2 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U sales should increase over Christmas. But wait…. There are two more to add to the list! The New Nintendo 3DS and the New 3DS XL. These new handhelds contain a “c stick”, second analogue thumb pad, ZR and ZL buttons, as well as an overhaul of the already existing face buttons, such as moving the game card slot, the stylus slot and the power button along the bottom of the hand-

held, and moving the start and select buttons to the lower right of the bottom face. In addition, these handhelds will contain upgrades to the screen, CPU and faster Wi-Fi capabilities in comparison to older models of Nintendo 3DS, as well as the ability to use micro SD cards using the camera and gyroscope to move the ‘3D sweet spot’ which allows for 3D to be viewed from any angle and integration of Near Field Communication technology that will communicate with Nintendo’s Amiibo figures that to interact with various titles, including Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Nintendo Australia recently announced a release date of November 21 for the Australian and New Zealand Market.


Nintendo’s future is somewhat of a mystery at the moment. With the 3DS selling really well (but still down on sales compared to the last generation of handhelds) and the Wii U’s slow start Nintendo, must come up with something new and interesting. Never count Nintendo out that’s for sure! They have the vastest and most beloved characters in the gaming industry and we have only touched on a few of them in this article. For the immediate future, we know Nintendo are poised to have a great holiday season! Super Smash Bros. for 3DS has already reached 3 million units sold and with the Wii U getting exclusive titles Bayonetta 2, Super Smash Bros for Wii U, Sonic Boom, Captain Toad’s: Treasure Tracker (Jan 10th in Australia) and big party seller Just Dance 2015 along with Watch_Dogs, Disney Infinity and LEGO Batman 3, this can only mean one things – sales will be on the up! The 3DS will also see big titles such as Disney’s Magical World, The Legend of Korra: A New Era Begins, Ultimate NES Remix, Pokémon Alpha Saphire & Omega Ruby, Sonic Boom and Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth being released for the console. Other positive things for 2014 heading into 2015 are the release of the Amiibo figurines. With so much hype going on, these yet to be figures are already selling out on amazon and are just going to make money for

Nintendo like the Skylanders and Disney Infinity before them has. 2015 is also looking good for Nintendo with some titles announced already for Wii U that include Yoshi’s Wooly World, Project Cars, Mario Maker, Mario Party 10, Project Giant Robot, Splatoon, Devil’s Third, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Legend of Zelda U, Mario vs. Donkey Kong for Wii U, Project Guard, Star Fox, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, Xenoblade Chronicles X and hopefully a western release of Fatal Frame: The Black Haired Shrine Maiden. The 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS will see titles such as Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Codename S.T.E.A.M, Dragonball Heroes: Ultimate Mission 2, Final Fantasy Explorers, The Great Ace Attorney: The Adventures of Ryunosuke Wright, Yokai Watch, Xenoblade Chronicles (N3DS) and Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson. With these great titles coming out, the Amiibo system and other titles that have not been officially announced the future is looking very positive for Nintendo indeed and my wallet looking empty!



INDUSTRY COMMENT Mine has to be The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time 3D (Nintendo 3DS) I didn’t have the chance to play the original when it first came out on N64, so the 3DS version bridged the gap between old and new that nostalgia would’ve covered if I had. It’s such a monumental game that it would’ve been a shame not to play it. As old as it is, it doesn’t feel dated; the gameplay is pretty solid, and has a lot of features we expect currentgen games to have, like context-sen-

sitive controls, a bunch of tools (like the ocarina itself) and a mount. The setting has a kind of kitschy charm to it, starting off with the forest but running through a diverse range of environments. There’s a wide range in the cast including some strong female characters, but every character conveys such strength of personality. The music is so catchy too, though it sounds even better in concert. The story has a big scale, and it’s

because of the time travel, and that’s an element I love in any story. The way it’s handled in the game lends an added level of sophistication, not only in terms of how the game plays, but in the world itself. It’s rare even now to find a game that pairs the story with the game mechanics so elegantly, and it’s all of that which makes it my favourite Nintendo game.



WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE NINTENDO GAME? Back in 1995, while the N64 was barely on Japanese shelves and 3D console gaming was very much in its infancy, Nintendo teased a new Legend of Zelda game. Innocuously and perhaps predictably titled ‘Zelda 64’ at that stage, it promised so much in its low-resolution magazine screenshots and carefully translated interview bullet points from then-franchise mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto; cutting-edge graphics, a day-to-night cycle, full-3D exploration in a gloriously tangible Hyrule overworld. It was the future of game

design – the start of something big.

felt so flushed by a game since.

I’ll never forget - those thumbnails teased haunted forests –gloomy with the N64’s infamous memory-saving “fog” – used to great effect here. It teased deserts scorched by sun, as Link fought pea-hats and classic Zelda enemies fleshed out in 3D for the very first time. It hinted at green, lush vistas – an open world that begged to be scoured for secrets. I was so eager to oblige. I became obsessed; when it was delayed until late 1998, I felt sick with anticipation. I’ve never

Then the concept art trickled out, and eventually the first blurry videos that I’d leave to download everso-slowly overnight on my 56k modem – cursing anyone who’d call at 2am, stalling the download at 8% and ruining the download process. I’d clipped the iconic character designs and decorated my school diary like a geeky shrine to the gaming gods, willing Zelda: Ocarina of Time into something beyond just a simple videogame: it became a symbol of everything I loved about fantasy, escapism, art, culture and wonder. It remains for me my most beloved Nintendo game – dreamt on, lusted over and eventually delivering so completely that it stands the test of time and keeps my cherished memories forever rose-tinted.



Asking a gamer to nominate their favourite Nintendo game is like asking a parent to pick their favourite child. Well, guess what, I am going to do the unthinkable! But before I crown my favourite, let me tell you about the top 3 contenders: First contender, Wave Race 64 (N64) – yes, I did pick Wave Race 64 above Super Mario 64 and Goldeneye 007. Don’t get me wrong, the aforementioned games are superb, but nostalgia draws me to Wave Race 64. What wasn’t there to like – realistic water physics, challenging courses and an absolutely cracking 2 player challenge - ‘Bonsai!’

The second contender is none other than Super Mario Bros (SMB) on the NES. This 2D platformer catapulted the Mario franchise into the stratosphere for good reason. The game had great level design, matched by awesome gameplay, a mesmerising Koji Kondo tune and most importantly, intuitive control – what more could you want. Well, if it wasn’t for the next game, I guess the choice would have been easy and SMB would have walked away with the prize. Let me tell you about a 16-bit platformer that took the SMB ingredients, gave them a fair shake and then poured the contents into the SNES for a game we call (drum roll please), Super Mario

World (SMW)! With SMW, the 2D platformer reached its pinnacle – sublime level design, 16-bit aesthetics that were an absolute feast for your eyes and the sound was perfectly atmospheric. This was a game that you could lose yourself in. SMW is one of those games you can either pick up and play for half an hour, or play till the wee hours of the morning. SMW walks away with the prize of my favourite Nintendo game of all time. Thank you Mr. Miyamoto for creating the definitive 2D platformer.



WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE NINTENDO GAME? This was no easy feat, how do I pick my all-time favourite Nintendo game? What do I base it on? What genre should I look too? These are all valid questions, however only one game popped into my mind every time I thought about this question. “Punch Out!!” or aka “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!!” It was re-released on the SNES in 1994 with Super Punch Out and again in 2009 on the Nintendo Wii. Whilst I wasn’t big on sports titles on The NES, I didn’t think Punch Out!! Fit into the Sports genre category, it was more of a Beat’ em Up.

You play in the shoes of rookie title contender, Little Mac and you must duck, weave, dodge and of course punch your way through the series of comical characters that stand before you. Names like Glass Joe and King Hippo stood in your way to become the ultimate champion. What is interesting about this game, is that it shipped in two forms on the NES, one featuring, Iron Mike Tyson and the other with him removed. Try thinking of hard to beat bosses and then try your hand against Iron Mike. There is a pattern to follow to beat him, but two punches by Iron Mike and you are down for the count.

Punch Out!! Sealed the deal on me wanting a NES for Christmas. I have very fond memories playing this game at Myer, Highpoint and being completely overwhelmed by its high paced action and comical flavour. Here is a fun fact, Nintendo had to shrink Little Mac to a third of the size, to replicate the arcade version’s over-the-shoulder effect on the NES hardware, but even with the compromise, the game was better on the NES



INDUSTRY COMMENT WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE NINTENDO GAME? It’s extremely difficult to narrow down one favourite ‘all time’ game from Nintendo, a company with so many legendary franchises under its belt. However, after a fair bit of deliberation that involved quite a bit of back and forth, I was finally able to settle on one Nintendo title to rule them all: Donkey Kong Country on the Super NES! What makes Donkey Kong Country so special? Besides marking the return of the loveable Donkey Kong

from arcade obscurity whilst introducing some of his wider family & friends such as his nephew Diddy Kong and his grandfather Cranky Kong (fun fact: Cranky is also revealed to be the first Donkey Kong from the original arcade game!), it also featured revolutionary visuals that would help Donkey Kong Country leap its way into ‘all time classic’ status and to also go on to become the 2nd biggest selling SNES title behind Super Mario World

Created using the latest stated of the art (at the time!) Silicon Graphics workstations, Rare were able to produce lush, colourful graphics that were unlike anything else available at the time and were leaps and bounds above everything else available on the market and showed what true power could be harness out of the ageing Super Nintendo hardware! But while great visuals and audio are one thing, they aren’t worth a grain of salt if they aren’t backed up with fun gameplay, and Donkey Kong Country had it in spades. With over 40 levels of brilliant and fun platforming action, Donkey Kong Country had players traversing across areas such as jungle stages, underwater levels, caverns and glaciers and even allowed players to enlist the services of a rhino, swordfish and ostrich to help them on their way!




ULTIMATE NES REMIX ON NINTENDO 3DS! Features action-packed challenges from 16 classic 8-bit Nintendo games. Dominate exciting chunks of retro Nintendo games from NES Remix, such as Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Excitebike, and Donkey Kong. Challenges from NES Remix 2 include bite-sized chunks of Super Mario Bros. 3, Zelda IIThe Adventure of Link, Metroid, Kid Icarus, and Kirby’s Adventure, among many others. Test your skills in a series of altered 8-bit challenges and improve your times to unlock more challenges! Take on 3 unique challenges from the Nintendo World Championships and Nintendo Campus Challenge, then check your score on online leaderboards to see how you stack up.

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TOP 5 NINTENDO CHARACTERS! MARIO Mario was created by Shigeru Miyamoto in 1981 and originally appeared in the arcade game Donkey Kong. He is Nintendo’s company’s mascot and has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation! The short, pudgy, Italian plumber lives in the Mushroom Kingdom, but he is usually off saving Princess Peach from the evil villain Bowser! His brother, Luigi (who also has recently had a whole year dedicated to him by Nintendo) are playable together in many games. The most popular Mario game was Super Mario Bros. which was released in the arcades in 1985 and on (almost) every Nintendo console released since! Mario also had his own TV cartoon series and a live action film! Mario’s latest appearance was Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Super Mario 3D World, he will appear next in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and our bet is a new 3DS title to be announced sometime next year!

TOP 5 NINTENDO CHARACTERS! DONKEY KONG Along with Mario, in 1981 Shigeru Miyamoto created Donkey Kong - an arcade machine game with a gorilla throwing barrels at Jumpman (later renamed Mario) who had to climb an industrial workplace of sorts to save the damsel in distress (Pauline). After a few sequels to the popular Donkey Kong game, Donkey Kong later became the hero in his own franchise - Donkey Kong Country for Super Nintendo and he hasn’t looked back since! The game spawned two sequels on the SNES and one on the Wii and Wii U. He also got into music games on the GameCube with his own Bongos in a series called Donkey Konga. Along with the Gameboy Land series Donkey Kong has appeared in almost 30 games and he is also a big part of the Smash Brothers series. He also had his own TV series!

TOP 5 NINTENDO CHARACTERS! SAMUS ARAN Created by Makoto Kano, Samus Aran is the lead character of the Metroid science fiction action game series by Nintendo. She is an ex-Galactic Federation soldier who turned into an intergalactic bounty hunter. Renowned for being one of the first female video game protagonists, to put it simply – Samus Aran is a bad ass! Her powered armor suit includes weapons such as Energy beams, Ice Beams and missiles and the ability to morph into a ball. She first appeared in the 1986 NES game Metroid her last appearance was of course Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and before that was 2010’s Metroid: Other M on the Wii. Her next appearance will be in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and according to a Nintendo interview two new titles one to continue the 2D series and one to continue the prime series.

TOP 5 NINTENDO CHARACTERS! LINK Link is the hero of The Legend of Zelda series and was again created by the one and only Shigeru Miyamoto. He usually faces off against the evil villain Ganondorf and although there are multiple games of The Legend of Zelda, Link is considered to be a different person in each game. The Legend of Zelda had its own TV cartoon as well! Link first appeared in the NES game The Legend of Zelda in 1986 and his last appearance was Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. His next appearance will be in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and an untitled Legend of Zelda game for Wii U in 2015.

TOP 5 NINTENDO CHARACTERS! PIKACHU Created by Satoshi Tajiri, how can anyone not fall in love with Pikachu? He is the mouse with electrical powers and the repeating “Pika” “Chu” for speech that popularized the Pokémon franchise! Nintendo could stop making games and just sell Pokémon for a living if they wanted to with the trading cards, cartoon TV and films and toys that have spawned from the Pokémon franchise! His first appearance was in Pokémon Red and Blue (released in Australia in 1998) and the cartoon series is really where he made his mark. Pikachu’s latest appearance was in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and his next will be in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. He was created by Satoshi Tajiri.




the worst...

10. Unown

Oh, Unown. A Pokémon that is literally an eye and a squiggle, and because no-one knows what it is it’s called Unown. Is it a nod and wink to the missigno of the first generation? Or is it infact just a lazy design with an eye and a squiggle or two. Yeah, it forms an alphabet. Yeah, it’s still pretty terrible.

9. Voltorb/ Electrode

It’s a… Pokéball? And evolves into an…upside down Pokéball? I know first generation must have had to rush things along the way but really? It’s just a…dang… Pokéball. People who say Pokémon only got lazy with the later generations really need to take of those rose coloured glasses.

8. Giratina

Quite possibly the ugliest looking legendary ever. What is it? A giant centipede with wings? Legendary Pokémon are supposed to look unique and epic, something special. Giratina looks like something I would swat with a shoe if I had a shoe that was both large and powerful enough. You want to own the 3 legendary birds, dogs, but Giratina? No thank you, good sir.

7. Woobat

Look, there’s one reason Woobat is here, and Zubat isn’t. Zubat is annoying as heck, but Woobat earned my enmity because it was a replacement for Zubat that was somehow more annoying. Yes, it looked less like a “normal” bat. But it was also called Woobat and looked like a small child’s rendition of something called that would be called, well, Woobat. And love heart nostrils? Please, no.

6. Diggersby

Like that guy from work or school who always has hygienic issues, Diggersby is always uncomfortable to look at. You don’t know where to look because everywhere you look you are upset. How can you make a rabbit Pokémon unappealing? Well, the Pokémon Company found the answer in Diggersby. There is a silver lining though: if you don’t want your kids or siblings to own a pet rabbit, show them diggersby.

5. Garbador

Look Trubbish is cute after a fashion, and even though it’s abit disgusting and pretty uninspired. But Garbador? It’s just…its design is literally garbage. It has cigarette butts for arms. Who wants that? I literally cannot conceive of anyone ever wanting this thing ever. You know why? I’ve never seen anyone taking their trash for a walk and/or spending recreational time with garbage.

4. Exeggcute/ Exeggutor

Once again showing that later generations certainly do not have the rights to all bad Pokémon is Exeggcute. It is literally just a bunch of eggs with angry faces. And it evolves into a tree with legs that also has egg faces? I know Pokémon requires leaps of logic, and I’m behind them. But this is madness! Or rather, just as bland and boring as my own scrambled eggs. Oh wait, it’s not because at least my eggs don’t have leering faces that make me feel uncomfortable and then somehow evolve to have fangs? Yeesh.

3. Luvdisc

Why, why, why, why? Where to begin? The name? The design? Was this a joke that somehow made it in

by accident? Or even worse, was this thought of as a good design somehow? Even crueller are the fact that you need to farm Luvdisc if you want heart scales to learn forgotten moves. Ironic that Luvdisc could inspire so much…not love.

2. Smoochum/ Jynx

How could one Pokémon be so bad in both its evolutionary forms yet have completely distinct wrongness unique to each? Ask whoever created Jynx, and then whoever created Smoochum! Because oh god. Smoochum is the younger version of Jynx but still looks like it’s trying to a attract you with its lips and its damn name but it looks like it is meant to be really young and its classified as a baby Pokémon and yeah let’s not any more please. Jynx on the other hand has about the racial sensitivity of Mr Po-Pop from Dragonball Z. Yes, Jynx’s design has been “updated” (read: no more blackface) since then, but still just…not great, Pokémon Company. Not great. To add injury to insult Jynx is just a pretty terrible design all around.

1. Foongus

This makes Voltorb look like art. It’s a fungus called foongus with a Pokéball on its head. You are not even trying here Pokémon Company why did you even make this?!? Bonus round: Klefki and Vanillish These two weren’t included because of the sheer cahones needed to actually make them. A keychain and ice cream Pokémon? That’s not lazy or awful, that’s gutsy. That’s insane and it’s cute. I love it. That’s the opposite of whatever Foongus is.

the worst... LUVDISC













the BEST...

10. Whiscash

The water and ground type, whiskers Pokémon, first introduced in Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire (2003) for the Game Boy Advance, is a little goofy, I won’t lie. The W on its head, the whiskers, that smile. But behind this silly exterior is the heart of a beast. Whiscash loves to claim its territory in ponds and swamps. Ponds can be found anywhere and everywhere, especially in the Pokémon world, so trainers better watch their step while exploring. This fish also has the power to both set off and detect earthquakes. And that mouth? It’s said to eat anything, living or dead, that comes by its nest. While Whiscash may look downright dumb and huggable, hiding underneath is an area claiming, earth churning, downright hungry monster.

9. Probopass

The rock and steel type, compass Pokémon, first introduced in Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl (2007) for the Nintendo DS, bristles with potential. Facial hair is seen as quite a manly feat, so the moustache on Probopass should prove to be the manliest Pokémon ever. Probopass is the first-evolution of Nosepass, a Pokémon introduced in Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire, which evolves when it levels up in locations with strong magnetic waves. Something clicks, and before you know it, your walking nose stone gains three extra heads, a hat, and one hell of a moustache. Well, it’s actually magnetic filings, but we can pretend it’s a moustache for the sake of manliness.

8. Octillery

The water type, jet Pokémon, first introduced in Pokémon Silver and Pokémon Gold for the Game Boy Colour (2000), is packing some se-

rious firepower. Octillery confusingly evolves from Remoraid, who looks like a fish. Clever eyed trainers though will see that these Pokémon are based on weaponry; a gun evolving into a cannon. Like any self-respecting octopus, its signature move Octazooka has a 50 percent chance of lowering the opponent’s accuracy; a tricky move to fight back against. For an aquatic cannon, Octillery has quite a few tricks up its tentacles with many different weapons to add to its arsenal: Signal Beam, Ice Beam, Hyper Beam, even Flamethrower. With Octillery, you never quite know what heat, sometimes literally, it’s packing.

7. Exploud

The normal type, loud noise Pokémon, first introduced in Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire, is definitely what you’d call a loudmouth. It sports various pipes, and puts them to good use, having the power to create an earthquake through sound that can be heard over ten kilometres away. Sometimes it’s nice to have your voice heard, and with Exploud, people will start listening to you in one way or another.

6. Zoroark

The dark type, illusion fox Pokémon, first introduced in Pokémon Black and Pokémon White (2011) for the Nintendo DS, comes lurking from the shadows and pounces into this top ten. Packing its unique Illusion ability, Zoroark can temporarily take the name and appearance of the Pokémon last in your party, being able to set up some mind trickery. There’s nothing quite like having your opponent go “Hang on, Blastoise can’t learn Flamethrower…” as you trounce their Pokémon. Outside of battles, Illusion could provide for fun times. Imagine a cute little Pikachu giving a deathly snarl, scaring

the pants off of those who pass by. Even when it’s not masquerading as another Pokémon, Zoroark still has a mysterious allure about it; the black and red colour scheme works, the combination of slicked back and spiky fur, the sly smile. Zoroark’s got the leading edge on cool.

5. Porygon

The normal type, virtual Pokémon, first introduced in Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue (1998) for the Game Boy, s available in its debut game only through the Celadon Game Corner as a prize at 9999 coins, a hard feat to muster. Porygon are the first Pokémon to be manmade, and is able to move freely cyberspace. There’s unlimited potential right here! A Pokémon that could attack online infrastructures, or help you locate a funny video you watched a while ago but can’t quite put your name on. Whether you’re looking to commit a massive hacking attack or to share a really funny and cute cat video, Porygon is the Pokémon for you.

4. Aggron

The steel and rock type, iron armor Pokémon, first introduced in Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire, is a force to be reckoned with. Very territorial, it claims entire mountains as its own and fights whoever encroaches on its territory. Its Japanese name matches this personality, Bossgodora. This name drips intimidation, potentially combining boss and dragon. The spikes on its head, its armour-like body, this just spells trouble, and I love it.

3. Blastoise

The water type, shellfish Pokémon, first introduced in Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue , is available as one of the first ever Pokémon intro-







EXPLOUD OCTILLERY duced in game to Pokémon trainers as the second-evolution of the starter Pokémon Squirtle. When this little squirting squirrel turtle grows up, it becomes the formidable Blastoise, gaining two awesome water cannons in the process. This allows your Blastoise to be seen as a hero with the power to put out burning houses and bushfires, or as a villain with enough pressure behind its cannons to punch through steel. Whether you want to be a good guy or a bad guy, you’ll be the best you can be with a Blastoise at your side.

2. Darmanitan

The fire type, blazing Pokémon, first introduced in Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, packs a powerful flaming punch. Darmanitan is based off the Japanese daruma doll; its face and body is shaped similar to the doll. When a person buys a daruma doll, both eyes are blank. When that person wants to set an important goal, they colour in one eye, and when that goal is achieved, they colour in the other. As Darmanitan has both of its eyes solidly coloured in, you know the trainer who owns it has

completed their goals to own a ferocious fire punching beast.

1. Scizor

The steel and bug type, pincer Pokémon, first introduced in Pokémon Silver and Pokémon Gold for the Game Boy Colour, has been a favourite of mine for as long as I can remember. I like to call it the Ferrari of Pokémon. It has a sleek frame, it’s quick on its feet, and it’s race car red. Scizor evolves when a Scyther is traded while holding the Metal Coat item. There must be some kind of reaction, and the metal coat fuses to Scyther’s body, changing it from a bug and flying type to its new design. Its scythes turn to scissor-like claws, able to crush any material that comes its way. It gets an extra edge in battle with the lightning fast bullet punch, which moves first and chips away at its foes. While it has wings, Scizor is too heavy to fly. Instead, it uses its wings to change its body temperature. Having the power to be quick, to be strong and to cool down wherever, whenever you want? Definitely living the life of luxury.





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PokEmon for

parents! Pokémon is the second most successful video game franchise in the world, just behind Mario, at over 200 million Pokémon games sold. Despite that, not everyone’s played a Pokémon game before, so with Pokémon Omega Ruby Version and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Version for the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS coming up soon, it might be time for a crash course on why Pokémon games are worth playing.

So, what is this Pokémon I’ve heard so much about? Pokémon is a role playing game developed by Game FREAK and Creature, and published by Nintendo. The first games, Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Green Version, came out in 1996 in Japan, and in Australia in 1998 with Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version for the Game Boy. These games starred you as a Pokémon trainer. In these games, you were given the choice of one starter Pokémon.

Wait, hang on. Rewind a bit. What exactly is a Pokémon? Pokémon is the shortened form for Pocket Monster, which is essentially that; a monster that you can fit right in your pocket. Trainers received their first Pokémon from Professor Oak. Trainers could choose from the grass type Bulbasaur, the fire type Charmander and the water type Squirtle. With your new friend, you would then travel across the land, searching far and wide to capture, level and even evolve your Pokémon through battles. Using your captured critters, you would tackle the Pokémon League by facing the region’s eight gym leaders, highly skilled trainers, and then the Elite Four and Champion, five extremely skilled trainers.

Wait, battles? Aren’t there laws against animal fighting?

Dear reader, these aren’t your average animals! Pokémon battles work like a rock-paper-scissors game mixed with a turn based strategy. Your Pokémon is of a certain type, and has moves of certain types. In the original games, there were 15 different type. Each type can be weak or strong against another type. It’s best explained through the types of the three starter Pokémon. Fire type moves are super effective against grass type Pokémon, grass type moves are super effective against water type Pokémon, and water type moves are super effective against fire type Pokémon. Trainers pick one of four moves on a Pokémon, and then they take turns hitting each other. You never know how things will turn out until the very end! Trainers can fight against other trainers, or wild Pokémon. Wild Pokémon can be captured after they’ve been weakened down enough, and caught with a Pokéball. That’s the basis behind the original slogan: “Gotta catch ‘em all!” Trainers can also fight and trade Pokémon with other trainers in real life. Back with the Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version, trainers could communicate via

a Game Boy link cable. Then, you could either help each other out in catching ‘em all, or prove who is the better trainer!

Alright, I think I’ve got the basics covered of the original games. Has anything changed from the first games to now? Funny you should ask this, dear reader. Over nearly 20 years, a lot has changed in the Pokémon world… With improving technology, the way Pokémon trainers communicate has changed for the better. We’ve progressed from in the past with link cables to today, with wi-fi capable devices! Now with the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS, trainers across the world can trade or battle with friends or total strangers. In Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version, there were 151 Pokémon. Now, in the recent Pokémon X Version and Pokémon Y Version for the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS and the upcoming Pokémon Omega Ruby Version and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Version, there’s a grand total of 718 Pokémon. Dedicated collectors have their work cut out for them!

Initially, trainers could only battle in a standard one versus one format. However, this changed in Pokémon Ruby Version and Pokémon Sapphire Version (released in Australia in 2003) for the Game Boy Advance, with the introduction of double battles! Each trainer has two Pokémon out at once; the more the merrier! This was changed up again in Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version (released in Australia in 2011) for the Nintendo DS, which brought Triple Battles (three Pokémon against three Pokémon) and Rotation Battles (three Pokémon against three Pokémon, with only one Pokémon active, and the trainer can switch which Pokémon is active instantly)! So much strategy, it’s enough to make your mind rotate! In Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version, there was a Day Care Centre that helped level up a Pokémon. Then, introduced in Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version (released in Australia in 2000) for the Game Boy Colour, the Day Care Centre allowed trainers to breed Pokémon to make eggs. The babies from these eggs can be entirely new Pokémon, or Pokémon with impressive stats. Time to let out your parental instincts and help nurture a new life to wreak havoc onto the world. That’s what parents do, right? Introduced in Pokémon Ruby Version and Pokémon Sapphire Version, was Contests, which are returning in the upcoming Pokémon Omega Ruby Version and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Version, and sees trainers raise their Pokémon to compete in

contests based upon their Coolness, Beauty, Cuteness, Cleverness, and Toughness, and appeal to judges based on one of these five different criteria. It might be a popularity contest, but you have the chance to be the most popular! Recent additions to the Pokémon world, introduced in Pokémon X Version and Y Version, include Pokémon-Amie and Super Training. In Pokémon-Amie, trainers can relax with their Pokémon and give them a good feed, a pet, even pull silly faces at them! Super Training sees you tough it out with one Pokémon to help improve one of its stats! Options for the lover and the fighter.

That’s a lot of new additions. Thanks for helping me catch up! No problem, dear reader. Maybe now that you’re armed with an overview of 18 years of information, you could pick up Pokémon Omega Ruby Version and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Version for the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS this November 21st.



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Every so often, gamers need a holiday. And being gamers, we take gaming holidays. Sim racers often would take a driving holiday along the likes of the Test Drive Unlimited series…but that wasn’t a perfect holiday. Then, one day after a long night out and one too many cocktails, Test Drive Unlimited had a head on collision with the Forza Motorsport series. The emergency crew stitched the pair together, and thus created the spiritual successor to TDU, Forza: Horizon. All the open world fun and games of a Need for Speed, Midnight Club or TDU, combined with the highly successful for-

mula that has turned Forza into a real Gran Turismo killer. Forza Horizon 2 takes you on the summer of your life. The most exclusive cars from around the world, set against the stunning backdrop of Southern France and Northern Italy. Horizon 2 gives you the opportunity to compete in a series of championships, each focusing on a particular class and customized to the car that you own. Each championship takes place in a particular city or area of the world; once you win the championship, jump on board the road trip and enjoy the scenic cruise to your

next destination. Ultimately, once you win enough championships, you have the chance to run in the Forza Horizon Grand Finale; which, considering which part of the world you’re in, basically means that if you win, you don’t just win the cup, you win at life. Period. Obviously, in between races and championships, there is a wide open world of Southern Europe to explore and uncover. And the sky really is the limit in this case. Open fields to plow through, forests to dodge, traffic to weave in and out of, and dozens of hidden boards to

8.5/10 smash-not to mention garage find cars, which give you rare vehicles to restore and use. You can easily spend a few hours just getting lost in the countryside; you can fast track to destinations, but where’s the fun in that really? (It also costs credits to do so!) There are over 200 cars to choose from, all with the level of customization you’d find in Forza 5. Performance and visual tuning, vinyls, and much more. They dance along

Like Forza 5, the ‘AI’ consists of real players, friends included. You can join or create your own car club to share cars and designs with, attend car shows to show off (or admire others), and they drive around with you in free roam, creating the opportunity for instant races and challenges. Horizon 2 is well worth a purchase. Turn 10 have essentially taken the open world racer idea, cut all the bad stuff out and spliced it together

" EVERY DRIVING FANTASY YOU'VE EVER WANTED TO HAVE... YOU CAN PRETTY MUCH DO IT." the edge of simulation and arcade handling; some of the Hypercars can be a bit of a handful as a result but as long as you aren’t a complete spanner behind the wheel it’s easy to keep them in check. It allows you to really have fun with the cars, and throw them around to create epic tyre smoking drifts. And rather than discourage hoonigans like myself, Horizon 2 actually encourages it. You are rewarded for just about every driving feat you perform, and the points go towards acquiring skill points which can further better your career. Races earn you XP, which gives you a chance to earn a random prize each time you level up, from cash to new cars.

with their own Forza goodness. The AI characters in the game are also much better to deal with; they don’t get on your nerves, they don’t get overly repetitive and if you’re a car person like myself, you’ll end up finding things in common with them. But a lot of the time, it’s almost as if the game knows why you’re here. And it lets you have a free hand, rampaging through the countryside, sliding through mountain passes, or chilling on the waterfront with a bunch of your friends. Every driving fantasy you’ve ever wanted to have…you can pretty much do it. And it’s obviously made a good impression on me. After all, I took time out from my gaming ‘holiday’ to write it.







super smash bro

ros for 3ds REVIEW

Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS is one of the most anticipated games for the Nintendo 3DS this year, which sees gamers taking control of one of many of Nintendo’s all-stars and duking it out to see who’s the strongest. Does Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS smash it out of the ballpark? Or does it take a punch to the gut? The Nintendudes put Super Smash Bros. through its paces!

Controls Sasha: The controls in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS do take some getting used to. Fortunately, gamers can edit the control scheme of the face and trigger buttons, which allows gamers to get things moving just about the way they like it. The directional pad is off limits and use strictly for taunting, which is a little of a letdown for those who can’t get used to the circle pad for movement. Trying to get the hang of the circle pad for those who have played other titles in the Super Smash Bros. franchise may prove a little tricky. After smashing a few bros. around however, gamers will get into the swing of things.

Graphics Alex: The graphics for Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS are quite impressive when all is said and done. They won’t match the HD of the Wii U version when it arrives, and character models can be hard to follow in the action. However, 4 distinct and detailed characters jumping around, launching all kinds of items and effects at each other and not dip in the 60fps frame rate one bit? That’s impressive stuff, and the ability to tinker with some of the graphics options is a welcome addition.

Roster Sasha: Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS boasts 51 different individual play styles, with over 40 characters. This is fairly impressive for game that features fighting. There’s something for everyone, with characters ranging from the 1980s with the retro Pac-Man all the way to

2013 with the modern Greninja from Pokémon X/ Y or Robin from Fire Emblem: Awakening, so there should be someone gamers can recognise, young and old. None of the characters feel like a wasted roster space; even the clones (near copies of already existing characters) have their own unique spin and are all worth trying out before you gravitate towards your favourites. What’s really cool is the new Mii Fighter function where Mii’s you make can enter the fray. Finally, you can see how Goku or Cloud can compete with Nintendo’s all-stars!

you to go up against harder enemies each time to unlock more goodies. Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS also features an exclusive Smash run mode – which sees you and 3 other players complete for power ups and then face up in a final random round - that feels well intended but often falls short. There is a huge amount of content to get to grips with, but it’s content that will only matter so much depending on how much you care about Nintendo unlockables and how much you enjoy smashing. Needless to say, I loved it.



Alex: Super Smash Bros. has long been a living room multiplayer staple, but how to translate it to a primary singe player platform? A truck load of Nintendo unlockables and modes, that’s how! You can even take pictures mid match, record matches, and share them all with your friends. There are about a bazillion trophies to find and hunt for, and songs to listen to that have some great remixes of some classics.

Sasha: Gamers with an itch to battle over the Nintendo 3DS’ wifi will be pleased to know that everything here works relatively smoothly. Online can be played against friends with the ability to change the options much like a local match, or against anyone. Against anyone is then split into two sections, For Fun and For Glory. For Fun sees four player free-for-alls, or teams of two throwing around items and having a ball for two minute point matches. For Glory draws in those looking for a more serious time, with the options for a four player free-forall, a one-on-one, or teams of two

A variety of play modes are also included alongside the basic smash matches. All of these modes are short and sweet making the game

"Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS is a solid game, and worth while to own for any Nintendo 3DS owner." perfect for on the go play, or bite sized portions of fun as should be warranted on the 3DS. The betting system for “classic” challenge mode is lifted straight from Kid Icarus, allowing you to bet more of your earned gold for bigger rewards, which has the side effect of daring

with two stocks and five minutes. All matches are their Omega variant which removes any stage obstacles and items are turned off. My only complaint about For Glory so far is that everyone’s better than me. No matter where you’re playing, these matches in such a competi-








tive standing are relatively lag free. Lag was a large problem with the previous game in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii, so it’s very reassuring to see that the problems in the past have been fixed.

Conclusion Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS is a solid game, and worthwhile to own for any Nintendo 3DS owner. Nintendo have been a while between drinks (this is only the 4th iteration of the franchise in almost 20 years) which means the gameplay still feels fresh and the new and updated roster helps keeps the franchise feel both storied and exciting. . It’s super, it has smashing, and has the ability to play with your bros. There’s just a little something missing. Whether this was the limitations of the Nintendo 3DS, or because what’s missing will be used in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is hard to say. Regardless, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is a game worth playing.










5 NOV!


$ .95EA








Sleeping Dogs was one of my favourite games from last gen. It was a slick and entertaining open-world action game with a likable protagonist and addicting story. Not only that, but I felt that each and every single side activity was rewarding and fun – nothing was pointless. The cherry on top was the brilliant soundtrack which included artists like Machine Head, Kasabian, Duran Duran, Queen as well as up and coming Asian rappers and electronic artists. So what makes ‘Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition’ the ultimate edition

to win over Winston, one of the Sun On Yee’s Red Poles (a lieutenant or enforcer of the Triad’s rules) and take down the triad once and for all. He’ll have his work cut out for him, as he must convince the Triads and the Hong Kong police of his loyalty, but as relationships develop and trust is forged, where does his loyalty truly lie? Similar to games like Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto V, Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is an openworld game, meaning you can go anywhere and do just about anything in a massive realistic environ-

"THE CITY OF HONG KONG TRULY LOOKS AMAZING, AND LOOKS EVEN BETTER IN THE DEFINITIVE EDITION.." of this already near-perfect game? A lot, actually. United Front Games, having developed the original release, realised what the power of the Xbox One and PS4 can bring to a title like Sleeping Dogs, upgrading the game’s graphics and frame rate, but also adding new animation frames as well as a few crucial changes such as improved vehicle handling and reworked combat. This is the definitive edition of Sleeping Dogs and absolutely everyone who loves open-world action games should play it. Sleeping Dogs: DE sees players assume the role of Wei Shen, an undercover cop who is set to infiltrate one of China’s most dangerous Triads, the “Sun On Yee”. Having grown up with a number of Sun On Yee, Wei Shen has the opportunity

ment. The city of Hong Kong truly looks amazing, and looks even better in the Definitive Edition thanks to United Front’s clever use of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4’s power. There are now much more pedestrians and people wandering the streets, as well as a huge increase in the amount of neon signs and advertising in the environment, something that would have killed the performance of the game on the last-gen version. The Definitive Edition also shares the PC version’s gorgeous HD Texture Pack and reworked lighting to give the game more dynamic colours and contrast. While some of the character models could have used a slight upgrade, the game’s huge environment and lighting in the Definitive Edition is absolutely superb and it runs at 1080p and 60 frames per second!

PROS: BRILLIANT STORY. THE BEST OPEN-WORLD COMBAT YET. YES, EVEN BETTER THAN BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY AND ASSASSIN’S CREED. STELLAR SOUNDTRACK One of the major draw cards in Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is that it’s a crime game that doesn’t overly rely on firearms and coverbased shooting for its action. Yes, there is plenty of it in the game, but more often than not you’ll find yourself engaging in massive Kung Fu brawls that look like they come straight out of a Donnie Yen movie (that means they’re amazing). Wei Shen can attack his foes with a variety of combos and counters, but he can also utilise the environment as well. Payphones, air vents, walls, garbage dumpsters and other items can be used to quickly disable your enemies – some of these environment attacks will see the player (you, not Wei) recoil in shock as Sleeping Dogs can be quite brutal. In addition to amazing combat, there’s also a healthy amount of collectibles and side activities to find in Hong Kong. These aren’t compulsory and you are welcome to simply play the main story if you wish, which is much better than other open-world games that force attempt to bludgeon you over the head with their world’s richness. There’s “Cop Jobs”, where Wei Shen assists the Hong Kong PD in a number of random police operations, Drug Busts, Street Races, Fight Clubs and even


Cock Fights (betting on chickens fighting). Sleeping Dogs: DE activities feel like a breath of fresh air compared to other open-world games, which usually offer the same side activities as each other without much variation. If you do somehow feel like a break from the amazing Kung Fu or main story, the Definitive Edition comes a plethora of DLC that was released after the original release of Sleeping Dogs, including different outfits for Wei that yield specific perks and two additional campaigns. The Nightmare in North Point DLC sees Wei learning Chinese magic in order to combat the forces of hell, and the Year of the Snake DLC is set almost immediately after the main campaign, where Wei has to thwart the plans of an evil cult that wish to bring about the apocalypse on New Year’s Eve. One of the best and most underrated action games last generation, Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is well worth checking out if you’re yet to experience its unique take on the open-world crime subgenre. I myself am having a blast replaying through it all over again, but experienced players may find that retail price is a bit steep to replay a game.








Last month at a hands on preview, one particular phrase was repeatedly used to gamers and journalists alike: “keep in mind that this is a very early build of the game.” This meant that a lot of the games on display and available to play early were not representative of the game’s ultimate quality. Some of these games were still enjoyable (Dead Island 2) and others left me confused a little turned off for the game’s ultimate release. One game with a particularly bad build was Insomniac’s ‘Sunset Overdrive’. It had a sketchy frame rate, too much going on the screen for me to keep

track of and the occasional bug that hindered gameplay. Despite the Xbox PR rep assuring me the final game would be much better; I was convinced Sunset Overdrive would be a title that simply fell short of the mark. Fast forward to now and I’m fortunate enough to have received a review copy of the game. I say “fortunate” because the game really is a ton of fun, so much so that the early beta seemed like a bad dream by comparison. After progressing through the early “learning period” of the game (a necessary process

as the game is remarkably unique), I’ve found that I can’t stop playing Sunset Overdrive. It’s wild, silly, accessible and a damn good time. Sunset Overdrive stars you (a character you will create yourself) in Sunset City. Fizzco’s latest energy drink, “Overdrive” is turning people into mutant beasts, which the survivors of Sunset City have labeled the “O.D”. The streets are overrun by these orange menaces and the only hope of safely making your way through the city is by over-the-top traversal skills. Your character will wall-run, swing off poles, bounce off cars, trees and other “bouncables” and most importantly, grind powerlines, ziplines and other long-running cables and ledges. If it sounds ridiculous then let me assure that it is… and it’s all the better for it.It’s not just the traversal skills that are absolutely bonkers – there are also the game’s weapons and unlockable customisation options. At the start of the game, players have somewhat limited op-

of the weapons players will use to fight the O.D. And scabs in Sunset City. If you’re finding the game too difficult you needn’t worry about trying to unlock guns and clothing from missions alone – there are also weapons and clothing dealers in Sunset City. With such a crazy premise one might think Sunset Overdrive wouldn’t be accessible to some, or that the gameplay would have very limited appeal. My only caveat would be that the game is extreme in every department. Visually, there can be a lot of chaos going on at the same time. With that being said the game’s bright and colourful visuals are gorgeous and a refreshing change from the dark blacks and greys of other games. There is also hardly a quiet period when you’re playing Sunset Overdrive, there is an overdose of chaos at almost every mission – something that some players may find hinders their

" with such a crazy premise one might think sunset overdrive wouldn't be accessible to some.." tions to creating their characters, but they will still be able to create one they love. Completing various missions and activities will unlock more clothing options for your character, so it won’t be long before you have a superhero bunny costume or a totally rad 80’s-style get up. With the exception of the Dirty Harry (a more traditional firearm), every weapon in Sunset Overdrive is a mad scientist’s dream. Explosive teddy bear launchers, freeze bombs, sharpened metal boomerangs, fireworks launchers and deployable deathtraps are just

enjoyment as they might get lost in the action. Looking at the game’s cover art and trailers might make Sunset Overdrive look like it’s suitable for gamers of all ages, something that it is not. There is a lot of swearing and crude humour present, as well as the occasional human exploding, having their head crushed or suffering some other gory (but hilarious) death. There is a vulgarity and gore filter in options for parents and people offended by the content to make


use of, but I personally find Sunset Overdrive hilarious with its default settings. The dialogue is perhaps some of the most modern, relatable and humourous that I’ve seen in a video game in quite some time. The characters in Sunset Overdrive share the exact type of humour that I share with my friends and I absolutely love it for it. Some of the lines have me in stitches. I can’t remember the last game that did that! Sunset’s single-player mode is already pretty darn addictive, but there’s also an 8-player co-operative mode to have fun with as well. “Chaos Squad” is accessed via phone booths throughout the single-player mode’s campaign. You’re able to access these at any time though you might want to unlock some guns from single-player as your character in multiplayer and single-player is exactly the same. What’s great about this is that you will continue to unlock weapons and gear in multiplayer for use in singleplayer, so that you’re never wasting your time with either. Now while I personally love Sunset Overdrive, I understand that it is a game not for everyone. Something that I think Insomniac Games might

have not figured out themselves. Sunset’s story is enjoyable and the gameplay is great, but the mature content somewhat clashes with the tone set by its bright colours and punk protagonist. Here is a game that looks like it could have been the next big thing for young gamers but its content may prove too immature and offensive for parents of young gamers. For what it’s worth, I’ll repeat that there is a content filter in options and I’ll also go on record to state there is no nudity or any themes in particular that are out of line – it’s just immature fun laden with frequent cussing. I can not recommend Sunset Overdrive enough for players who wanting a unique and different game from the FPS flooded market! Yes, Sunset is using many techniques used in other games but it’s in the way that it melds all of these together with a vibrant look and a hilarious sense of humour that sees me unable to put it down! It’s a shame there is no co-op option for the game’s main campaign but I’m certain that multiplayer expansions are on the way. Do yourself a favour and check this game out as soon as you can!






TBC 2015 - PC, PS4 & XB1


I’m going to just come out and say it straight off the bat, I hated FIFA 14. It was too slow and a very such a mid-field slog. I know some people will say that’s what football is, but I just couldn’t get my fun factor from it, all I got was frustration. Now making a sports game every single year or any game for that matter isn’t going to be an easy task, you must improve on last year’s version but not change too much. ‘FIFA 15’ does just that, though there isn’t anything here that screams “next gen football”. Despite a few minor issues FIFA 15 is of a high enough quality to warrant

a purchase and spend hours online defeating your friends (and of course hours and hours and even some extra cash on Ultimate Team Mode). Let’s talk new features and tweaks, so we can get the bad out of the way first. Goal Keepers were supposed to be FIFA 15’s biggest draw card according to EA. In FIFA 15, they are almost like Superman at times! One of the gripes I had with FIFA 14 was that while these guys can save some amazing shots, but on occasion an extremely simple shot can still find it’s way into the goal. This happens

in FIFA 15 as well, but to a lesser extent. Somehow in FIFA 15, you also have the ability to successfully shoot 30m screamers more often than the last few years as well. Overall the goalkeepers feel inconsistent – something that should be addressed. Another small issue is the power has been slightly tweaked yet again for headers and shooting, making penalties and crosses slightly more difficult to achieve, you just have to be a bit quicker now with the power. I have missed shots I would of landed in FIFA 14 or even FIFA 13

as they were too powerful, but after a while you will adjust to the new sensitivity. One of the new features to FIFA 15 I particularly enjoy are the player emotions. While these are purely cosmetic, they make for a much more realistic depiction of the game. Sometimes a player will cop a spray from a team mate over repeated mistakes, other times a player may behave differently for the rest of a match after receiving a foul. There are over 600 of these emotions and it really does feel like you’re watch-



ing real game of football on TV! Tackles have been tweaked and are more successful than FIFA 14; which is great as defenders like Nemanja Vidic have a greater chance at getting the ball from someone that frequently scores goals like Lionel Messi for example. The other big feature is the improved A.I for match situations, which enables the CPU to protect a lead or go all-out attack if they are behind. While this is a bit more realistic it’s also tends to be overpowered, in one match I was up 4 - 1 at half time, early goal in 2nd half to make it 5 - 1. The match finished 5 - 4, they went ber-

sive and win physical battles on the field. The new match day presentations (which really are a nice touch) and the ‘Legends’ players are now exclusive to Xbox. Sound-wise, FFIA 15 is just like any other FIFA title. The soundtrack is great as usual, but the commentary is still repetitive. Overall the audio is great especially in 5.1 you can hear a lot of calls from the pitch and the ball really makes a nice thud when it hits the cross bar! It might seem as though I have a mixed opinion on FIFA 15, and

"it feels like a mix of fifa 13 and 14, which is great as fifa 15 shares their best qualities.." serk in attack and they were almost unstoppable. Another game saw me losing by one goal, with my opponents trapping the ball and didn’t play any sort of attack at all, which made it difficult to get possession back and to score a goal to tie the match. As most of you already know, most of your time with FIFA 15 will be spent playing multiplayer, in either online matches against friends, Career Mode or Ultimate Team. Ultimate Team now has loan deals and concept teams, which are a nice addition but getting those players you want might end up spending a bit of coin. Nothing here has really changed to be honest besides a new attribute for FUT players ‘PHY’ which stands for “Physical” which of course helps them be more aggres-

while I’ve pointed out both the good and the bad features of this title, I still feel it’s a solid football game. It feels like a mix of FIFA 13 and 14, which is great as FIFA 15 shares their best qualities, but it doesn’t feel like a “true” progression for the series. This is one of the best football games in years (in regards to graphics and gameplay) but part of me still feels like I’m waiting for a football game that will truly utilise the power of the Xbox One and PS4. If you’re a football fan and you’re after a more accessible FIFA title, definitely check out FIFA 15.



nba 2k15 REVIEW

The NBA 2K games became the top basketball simulation franchise a few years back and with good reason. The level of detail and realism in the series’ visuals and gameplay is unparalleled by other franchises and with each iteration of NBA 2K the game’s developers seem to improve upon the games while still offering the same level of quality. ‘NBA 2K15’ is finally upon us and while it has a few hiccups, the game is still an outstanding sports sim. Smooth and gorgeous, NBA 2K15 will fast become the new must-have

basketball video game. Just don’t expect to be able to jump online to face off against other ballers just yet. When you first start NBA 2K15, you’re tasked with logging into your 2K account and creating your character. There are two different ways to create a character: one is by scanning your face with your Kinect sensor (or PlayStation 4 camera) and the other is through manual face sculpting. It took me an almost intolerable time to get a satisfactory result from my Kinect sensor and even then I’m unrecognisable. I sus-

pect the PlayStation camera would yield superior results, due to it being a higher resolution and having two lenses (the Xbox One Kinect is basically the 360’s Kinect, after all). After giving myself a chin and eye lift, I then began my NBA career.

characters talking to each other. My character was rude and arrogant and rubbed me the wrong way immediately. This is a basketball game though, and not Mass Effect. I shouldn’t have expected something with depth, I guess.

NBA 2K15 sees players take charge of their own career by a series of dialogue choices, though you are also graded heavily on how you play actual games. If I’m going to be honest I didn’t really feel any gravity with my decisions, I merely felt like I was watching cut scenes of various

Now onto the gameplay, which is where NBA 2K15 really shines. 2K has overhauled a great deal of game mechanics with 2K15, making for a much better game and not just a lazy sequel. The movement and ball handling systems are completely new, with players feeling a






little weightier and the ball needing just that little bit more precision to pull off a successful shot. If you’re hoping to sprint towards the hoop for an easy dunk, be warned: this new movement system will test you. You will have to read your opponent’s defense and react accordingly if you wish to succeed.

staff members what songs they would like included in the game in an effort to put together the most eclectic NBA2K soundtrack yet. With tracks like ‘Personal Jesus’ from Depeche Mode and ‘River Styx’ from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, I think he’s succeeded – and that’s great.

I found it quite challenging, but I’m certain that die-hard NBA 2K fans will get used to the new systems in no time.

Now despite NBA 2K15 being a very addicting and entertaining single player experience, NBA 2K15 does have a myriad of problems

"NBA 2K15 IS THE FINEST ENTRY IN THE SERIES.." Visually, NBA 2K15 isn’t a major leap forward like NBA 2K14 (though that was the first NBA2K game on current-gen consoles) but it still looks great. The players move and look almost as they do in real life, the only real slip ups being the cartoon-like behaviour during the game’s career mode cut scenes and close up camera shots. What is very cool about some of these close ups though is that they mirror individual player’s real-life idiosyncrasies, such as Tim Duncan hugging the ball at the start of a game. I suppose at this point I should mention the game’s soundtrack, which has been curated by Pharrell Williams. The soundtrack is a major improvement over last year’s game, which was put together by LeBron James and executive producer JayZ. Pharrell asked a variety of female

with its online modes, so much so that many people are calling the game “broken”. I know a patch is most likely on the way, but at this point online multiplayer and MyPark are unfortunately unplayable due to a horrid amount of lag. You’re better off playing single player until a patch remedies this. NBA 2K15 is the finest entry in the series, even with the odd progressforgetting bug and mutated face scans. Overlook the little annoyances and focus on the gameplay itself and you won’t look back.




When I first heard of Sega and the Creative Assembly’s first-person horror ‘Alien: Isolation’ I was immediately enthralled. How could deviating from the tired first-person shooter formula in favour of a tense and atmospheric horror set in the Alien universe not work? Considering how rich with creepiness the Alien films are, if the game utilised its source material properly it would be an instant classic! Unfortunately, Alien: Isolation feels like little more than an Alien-themed skin thrown on top of an indie horror game like Outlast, except that Outlast held my attention for the entirety of my time with

it and didn’t feel unbearably tedious or drawn out. In space, no one can hear you yawn. Alien: Isolation casts players as Amanda Ripley, who happens to be the daughter of Ellen Ripley, the protagonist from the Alien movies. Amanda is approached by Weyland-Yutani executive Christopher Samuels, who informs her that the flight recorder of the Nostromo (the ship from the original Alien movie) is aboard Sevastopol, a remote free port space station. He also nosily implies that perhaps Amanda can get “closure” if she joins a crew

headed to Sevastopol and helps recover the flight recorder. Of course, a number of things go awry and Amanda finds herself stranded aboard Sevastopol. Not only that, a lone Xenomorph is terrorizing the inhabitants of the space station. Man turns against man as the alien menace slaughters people, leaving Amanda to fend for herself as she attempts to recover the Nostromo’s flight recorder. It sounds like a great setup to a game, so where does Alien: Isolation falter? For one thing, the setup

6/10 to the game is way too drawn out. Depending on how thorough you are in your exploration, it can be an hour or two before you even gain even a glimpse of the titular Alien. At first, I found myself falling in love with Alien: Isolation’s gorgeous environments, which truly do adhere to Ridley Scott’s original vision for the films. Everything from the environments to the game’s HUD (heads-up display) looks as you would expect of a product bearing the Alien name. The lighting and particle effects in it are spectacular, especially when you first arrive on Sevastopol. After initially loving these things, I found myself to grow tired of the build up towards encountering the Xenomorph. The majority of people who are going to play Alien: Isolation are probably going to share my viewpoint, as well all know what a Xenomorph is

ing the unknown, whether it’s the game’s backstory or what enemies are yet to appear and terrorize the player. With Alien: Isolation, the backstory is the same repeated garbage we’ve had in countless other horror games. The player will discover “secret” emails from longdeceased workers (which are left out in the open for all to stumble upon), audio diaries that more often than not cut off before providing any real information, and the scrawling’s of a madman on a wall. Seriously, what it is it about people in life-or-death situations that makes them scrounge for a marker to write gibberish like “Tomorrow together = NO future”? In terms of “what enemies are yet to terrorize the player”, Alien: Isolation is pre-destined to disappoint.

" DESPITE ALL THESE PROBLEMS, ALIEN: ISOLATION DOES HAVE A FEW GOOD TRICKS UP IT'S SLEEVE.." and what it is capable of and there’s only so many times we can find an audio log or computer journal before we start to get impatient. A long setup isn’t unforgivable though and when the Xenomorph arrives the game certainly ramps up when it comes to enjoyment. Having played other survival horrors where you have no real means of defending yourself (which I’m tempted to refer to as non-combat survival horrors), I’ve found the real appeal behind these games is in discover-

We already know the Xenomorph is bound to make an appearance and we already obsessively know everything there is to know about it. Acid for blood? Check. Mouth in a mouth? Check. The only thing left to discover is if any non-Xenomorphs are capable of scaring the player and while they’re a pain in the butt (especially on the hardest difficulty), they’re just your typical survivalists who have banded together to hold the monopoly on weapons and food. The “Synths” AKA androids are also challenging but in no way

scary. You’ll find that they have seemingly been put in the game to provide the occasional distraction from the Xenomorph, so that he/ she doesn’t overstay their welcome aboard Sevastopol. Despite all these problems, Alien: Isolation does have a few good tricks up it’s sleeve. The use of flares and other tools to distract and therefore escape the Xenomorph are fun, but not particularly clever or original. The alien itself also provides the illusion of “getting smarter” or adapting its tactics to the players, meaning that you will not be able to hide in lockers forever as ol’ Xeno will start opening up every locker in sight by default. The game’s audio is also amazing, especially with a good quality headset. A must if you’re hoping to salvage every drop of horror in the game. I only wish that Amanda would talk to herself so the player had an understanding of her emotional state. That was done in the Tomb Raider reboot and it elevated the game from fun to enthralling! As it stands, the game can be very quiet in terms of character development and narrative. When it comes down to it, Alien: Isolation feels as though it’s overly reliant on its source material, and not in a good way. There’s no room for The Creative Assembly to show just how creative they can be. I understand they wanted to remain faithful to the original Alien film but Isolation comes across as predictable and unimaginative at best when compared to the plethora of horror games recently released and on the way.







A muddy, desolate wasteland stretches out before you. Various encampments infested with orcs have sprung up everywhere, like a pox across the landscape. Looking to the ground, you notice a small flower pushing towards the sky in a desperate attempt to gain sunlight through the constant haze of ash. It is known as athelas and it has anaesthetic properties. With mild trepidation, you pick the flower from the stem and chew it to gain some relief from your wounds. The battle is only now beginning. You are Talion, the protagonist in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Talion lived in the shadow of the Black Gate leading to Mordor, guarding against Sauron’s forces. He and his family were slaughtered in an attack, yet Talion remained alive when several orc chiefs attempt to use him

and dark, it isn’t dull. It’s exquisitely menacing. When I was first dropped into the main game after the backstory, I got a short combat tutorial. I was then given an objective and told to go to it. I’m always keen to ignore such instructions and see what happens, so that’s what I did. The game did not complain. Nothing stopped me from wandering around into random areas, attacking enemies and taking side quests. I even killed a captain before I finally gave up trying to test the boundaries of what the game would let me do before I did what it wanted. This is the true test of an open world and Shadow of Mordor passes with flying colours. The much touted nemesis system lives up to its name. I was killed early on in the game when I strayed into a fort that I was ill equipped to

"Another aspect that really shines is the dialogue between Talion and the wraith..." as a sacrifice and accidentally bound him to an amnesiac wraith. He decides to destroy Sauron’s forces to avenge his family and learn more about his new ghostly companion. It sounds like standard fantasy fodder (magic, death, vengeance) but to say Shadow of Mordor is engrossing is an understatement. Even as a minor fantasy buff, I couldn’t help but be drawn in by the rich history of the land included in the game. Every section feels deliberate and carefully designed. I played the PS4 version and though the landscape is moody

handle. An orc giggled at me for a full 10 seconds when he first noticed my presence. I should have attacked him then or even run away instead of just being creeped out. Soon I was overwhelmed and he landed the killing blow. I watched as he was promoted to captain, with his terrifying giggling gnawing at my self-esteem. How could I permit him to live? His name was Mûglûk Bright Eyes and I tracked him down. I tortured his fellow orcs to gather information

on his weaknesses, watching their terrified expressions and hearing their screams as I used my wraith powers to read their minds because, as your wraith pal says, their minds cannot lie. I wiped that smirk right off the Mûglûk’s face and I felt damned good doing it. The combat is impressively smooth and intuitive. Countless others have said that it is something of a cross between Arkham Asylum and Assassin’s Creed, using lots of counter attacks while leaping around enemies. I wish I could come up with some original way to describe it but that really is the best way, which is great because they’re both excellent combat systems. It’s not impossible to get the hang of every weapon and use them to your advantage against enemy weaknesses. Later on in the game you can even farm out some of your fighting to orcs using your wraith powers to control them. By far, it gives you more choices in how you play than anything else I’ve seen in a while. The best advice I can give is don’t forget your wraith powers! Not only do these offer something different to the bog standard hack and slash style, they can really turn the tide in an overwhelming battle, which can happen FAST. Another aspect that really shines is the dialogue between Talion and the wraith. It’s easy for big fantasyfuelled adventures to take themselves too seriously, with characters spouting their lines through permanent frowns. Their chats can be surprisingly light-hearted at times, as can the dialogue between other main characters. Gollum is portrayed exactly as he was in the

9/10 films, his large, darting eyes hinting at the dangerous tendencies lying just beneath his pathetic exterior. Where the dialogue falls flat, however, is actually part of the nemesis system execution. As orcs wrestle for power amongst each other, new named leaders appear, each with strengths and weaknesses. This is great for battle but not so great at avoiding simple characters and dialogue repetition. As I was approaching one captain stealthily from the top of a wall, he was shouting about how awesome he is. I paused to look around and check for escape routes should too many orcs surround me once he was dead, only to hear him shout the same line over again. Intrigued, I sat upon the wall for a while longer and he kept saying the same thing again and again. It was from being funny to annoying very quickly. The side quests are mostly fantastic and reward you with experience and upgrades (in the form of attachable runes) for your weapons. You can do things like hunt down artifacts, reforge forgotten weapons, and free slaves. These can also get repetitive over time, particularly as the slaves seem mostly interchangeable. This is par for the course in such large games but, hey, a girl can dream of an open world without repetition. These problems are the tiniest specks of dust on an absolute masterpiece of a game. It’s one of the best releases this year and is definitely worth playing. If anything, it offers hope that more games will take the nemesis system (or something like it) even further to offer the most engaging experience possible. Everyone has their own nemesis story to tell. What will yours be?









9/10 The other day as I walked through my house, I noticed a tissue box sitting upside down on the floor. ‘How did that get there?’ I wondered. I paced around it, trying to understand what chain of events had caused it to appear there. Had someone come into the house and knocked it down? What was their motivation? Do they have something against my tissues? You might recognise this as the movements of an idiot but I have an excuse – I had been playing Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments and I was just really into it. I’m also a bit of an idiot. =/ Developed by Frogwares, Crimes & Punishments is the newest instalment of their Sherlock Holmes game series and it’s a great time to release it, with the strong interest in film and TV adaptations. The games in this series, however, are particularly faithful to the original material of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and they definitely prove that you don’t need A-listers to make Sherlock Holmes an appealing character. You play as the titular character, obviously, and work your way through six separate cases. Most of the popular characters make an appearance, including Mrs Hudson, Mycroft Holmes, and even Toby the dog. Scotland Yard are absolutely hopeless without your help and so you attend crimes scenes, find clues, and interrogate people just to combat your own boredom. It’s a pretty simple concept but the art is in the execution. For example, the game stresses that the first thing you should do when you meet a new witness or suspect is to profile them

using Sherlock’s legendary powers of observation and deduction. Time stops and you highlight sections of their face, clothes, and body to piece together what sort of person they are. You can then use those observations to catch them out when they lie. There are lots of other parts to the investigations as well. Some clues you find need to be tested with the chemistry set in the office. You also

clues, AND combine the deductions the right way. You then have to decide whether you want to condemn or absolve the criminal. I decided to make my Sherlock sympathetic to the plight of criminals because I’m just that nice. Plus, it annoys Mycroft. The game then gives you the option of going back and picking another conclusion to see how it plays out, which is handy because most peo-

"It's a pretty simple concept but the art is in the execution.." have to search Sherlock’s archives to get more information on events or objects. There’s lock picking and environmental puzzles. To keep track of this, Sherlock has a journal that records what has been found so far and what objectives are left to complete. When you have collected enough clues to draw a conclusion, you’ll enter a special screen to combine your thoughts. Combine two of them successfully and you have a deduction, which will meld together with other deductions to allow you to progress. Accuse the alleged criminal and voilà! You’re done with the case. But hold on a minute, are you sure that’s the right conclusion? Although you’re allowed to accuse someone (and have them go to jail or the rope for it), you can’t be sure you’ve got the killer unless you interrogate everyone, collect all the

ple probably wouldn’t play through each case several times just to see each one. The most painful part of this otherwise excellent game is the loading screens. These force you to pay attention while nothing is happening. It takes a long time to load each area and you are able to access Sherlock’s journal as he travels in a carriage. Unfortunately, the game requires you to press X (or the corresponding button/key on your chosen system) to continue once it has loaded, which brings up yet another quick loading screen. I don’t really need a nice scene of Sherlock reading Dostoyevsky. What I’d like is for the game to load faster. One thing that struck me is how little faith the game seems to have that people would want to solve the cases on their own. You don’t even have to fail a mini game before you’re offered the chance to skip





it, a tactic that reduces adventure games to mildly interactive movies. It makes no sense to skip them because they’re easily solved with a bit of thought and, really, isn’t that why anyone would want to play it? The characters also tend to be a little broad, with few facets to their personality besides being an alcoholic or an enthusiastic botanist. The voice acting is mostly fantastic, though, even if the facial movements of the characters could still use some work. Even if you’re just a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I’d recommend checking this one out. The flaws don’t define the game. It’s not a big challenge but the adventure is worth it and you might come out of the experience with fun new ways to judge people.





















$ 59.95































































MAN $19.95


$44.95 $19.95





NGA! $14.95






Kotobukiya Bishou Kotobukiya have been releasing some amazing statues recently, covering a large range of source material from DC and Marvel comics, to Star Wars and anime, and also gaming with Tekken and Street Fighter. I reviewed their first Street Fighter Bishoujo statue in Chun-Li a few issues back, and now they have released an equally amazing statue in Cammy. As always with Kotobukiya, the sculpting and paint application on the statue is outstanding, and up close really brings out the detail in the character. The pose is dynamic and for the most part faithfully captures the Bishoujo artwork by renowned artist Shunya Yamashita. The standout feature is definitely the musculature, that really captures the strength and beauty of Cammy. Many statues have only one or two directions in which the it looks best on display. But with such a dynamic pose, this Cammy can be placed in many directions with all looking equally awesome.

The leotard itself is nicely molded and painted, with no bleed through onto the skin texture. It even has great moulded lines and black wash to bring out the realistic nature of the costume. And as always with Kotobukiya statues, it’s the little details too that bring the statue up a level. The moulded detail on the boots with the laces, to the shiny metallic red finish on her gauntlets, to the painted details on her fingernails and eyes, all sum up to make for a statue with incredible presence on display. When paired up with Chun-Li, these two perfectly complement each other, almost as if they are sparring. I was so impressed with Chun-Li previously, but I think this new Cammy statue out does it on almost every level. If you’re a fan of Street Fighter, or anime, or just the Bishoujo line of statues in general, I would highly recommend the new Cammy statue. And Kotobukiya have already teased

"..IT'S THE LITTLE DETAILS THAT BRING THE STATUE UP A LEVEL.." Front on shows her strong fighting pose with her fist close to her beautifull rendered face, and her outstretched arm flashing out in attack. While from behind, the statue really brings the focus to her hair, legs, and of course iconic leotard.

the upcoming statues in the line with Juri, Sakura, and Poison confirmed to be next in the Street Fighter series. I can’t wait to get those as well! ☺

ujo Cammy COLLECTIBLES review




Pokémon was first released to the world in the form of two Gameboy games in Japan known as Pokémon Red and Green. These first two titles were released on February 27, 1996 and captured the heart of a generation. Since then the monsters as well as the games have evolved and grown in many ways. Starting with only 151 pocket monsters in the first generation, this number has ballooned to 718 as of the sixth generation. The premise of a main title game is always the same with the player controlling a trainer throughout a new region in their quest to master Pokémon battles, defeat the 8 gym leaders and finally being able to take on the Elite 4 and Champion to become the greatest Pokémon Master. Another objective is to complete your Pokedex by capturing or owning all creatures in the game. The games plays as a turn based RPG in which your Pokémon battle, level up and evolve to new stronger versions. The franchise has also become hugely popular from the amine, card trading games, spin off games and many types of different merchandise.

Main Games Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow AUS Release Date: October 23, 1998 (Red and Blue), September 3, 1999 (Yellow)

About: Launching over two and a half years after Japan, Pokémon Red and Blue hit stores on October 23rd 1998 in Australia and the games did not disappoint. Pokémon Red and Blue introduced players to the region Kanto and the 151 pocket monsters which roam the land. For the first time players had the chance to capture monsters, train and evolve them, battle Gym leaders and become the Pokémon Champion. These games captivated a generation of players,

features to the second generation include: new Pokeballs and the ability to create them from Apricorns, a new item storage system called the Pokegear, Pokémon being able to hold Berries and other items, Pokémon breeding and a day/night system that followed real time in which certain Pokémon and events were available at certain times and days. These new features helped to immerse the player in the world of Pokémon as something new was

"..released on February 27, 1996 and captured the heart of a generation" many of whom still play Pokémon to this day. Yellow allowed the player to have their first Pokémon in their party follow the playable character. This made the entry feel more like the anime with Pikachu following Ash. Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal AUS Release Date: October 13th, 2000 ( Gold and Silver) September 30th, 2001 (Crystal) The second generation of Pokémon started with Gold and Silver and was set in the region of Johto. Expanding the Pokedex to 251 and adding the two new elements of Steel and Dark players were faced with an even harder decision of which monsters to use in their party. Other new

always happening. When Crystal was released this gave players the option to play as a girl trainer for the first time. The second generation is unique as it also includes the ability to travel to Kanto once you have defeated the Elite 4 and take on the Gyms from the first game. No other main series title has included a previous region. Pokémon Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald AUS Release Date April 3rd, 2003 (Sapphire and Ruby) June 9th 2005 (Emerald) About: After the many advances that were made in Pokémon Gold and

Silver, Pokémon Sapphire and Ruby disappointingly left some of these features out. The games of the third generation again expanded the Pokedex, with 135 being added bringing the total to 386. Gold and Silver allowed the player to experience real time events through the day/night and week cycle. This allowed certain Pokémon to be evolved and caught depending on the day and the time of day. Sapphire and Emerald unfortunately do not include this feature. The real time clock was replaced with an in battle weather system. While adding a new spin on battles the weather system did not contribute anything more to the game. The removal of the feature made the game feel incomplete after playing the previous generation. Another restriction was the trade feature. Due to the incompatibility of the Game Boy and the Game boy Advance trading from the first two generations was unavailable, limiting the Pokedex to 202. The third generation did introduce some features that remain in the series today. These include Double battles and Pokémon natures whereas the customisable Secret Bases are an exclusive feature for this generation. For the first time also depending on which version you purchased determined which one of the two legendary Pokémon you were able to catch. Emerald includes story, gameplay and character changes as well as area additions. Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum AUS Release Date June 21st, 2007 (Diamond and Pearl) May 14th, 2009 About: The 4th generation kicked off with the first of many Pokémon games released for the Nintendo DS. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl managed to evolve back to the ad-

vances made in Gold and Silver. The real time clock returned as well as the ability to trade between the previous generation. The fourth generation added 107 new species bringing the National Dex to 493. The restriction of only being able to catch the main legendary pictured on the box cover carried over to these games. This Generation is set in Sinnoh and the main evil organisation is known as Team Galactic. Diamond and Pearl also introduced the ability for players to battle against other from all around the world via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Pokémon Platinum was released as the third game in the generation two years later. While the game had the usual aesthetic, storyline and game play changes the main addition to Platinum was the Distortion World where the Legendary Giratina is waiting. The Distortion World features floating floor-like sections at ninety degree angles. Laws of physics are not taken into account here with the ability to surf down a waterfall and the camera will also change between isometic and perspective views depending on where the player is. This world is only inhabited by Giratina and is the only place he will appear in his Origin Forme. Pokémon Black and White AUS Release Date March 10th, 2011 About: Black and White started off the fifth Generation by introducing players to the region of Unova and the 156 new Pokémon found there. In these entries only the new 156 monsters introduced are available to capture until you defeat the Elite 4, the Champion and enter the Hall of Fame. A main feature introduction in the fifth generation is the changing of TM’s to be an infinite use item. In previous games once a TM was used the item was gone for good.

While a handful of the TM’s were available to purchase most were given as a reward for defeating a Gym leader or found as an item along your journey. This freed up the tough decision on which Pokémon to use the strongest TM’s on. Another large feature is the introduction of Seasons. Each real time month the season in the game changed from Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. The changing of seasons added the aesthetic changes of some areas only being accessible in certain seasons. Different Pokémon and different forms of Pokémon were also found at different times of the year. The length of days also changed with night being between 19:00 and 6:59 in Winter and 21:00 and 3:59 in Summer. The Fifth Generation also introduced us to triple and rotating battles. Triple battles are an update on the Double battles which allows three Pokémon from each side to battle at once. The rotation battles added a twist as the three Pokémon are sent out onto a circular platform and can be rotated around without losing a turn. Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 AUS Release Date October 11th, 2012 About: For the first time in Pokémon’s history a sequel was released. Black and White 2 is set two years after the events of Black and White. Many changes have occurred in Unova over the period of time. Team Plasma from Black and White are back as the evil organisation set on world domination. New locations in the southwest and northeast are accessible and some previous locations are restricted or cannot be visited till later in the game. For the first time in a Pokémon game two monster are fused together to make one. The leader of

Team Plasma combines the power of the legendary dragon Kyurem with the power of the Black or White Legendary monster creating Black Kyurem or White Kyurem. A new facility added to these sequels is the Pokémon World Tournament. Players are able to battle every gym leader and Champion from the core series games in various types of battles. Pokémon X and Y AUS Release Date October 12th, 2013 About: The first 3DS Pokémon Game X and Y brought with it the sixth Generation of Pokémon and 70 new creatures bringing the Pokedex total to its current 718. The new region of Kalos re-sets the route numbering system to 1. X and Y are the first games in the series to feature a three dimensional style of game play with 3ds model and creatures being used. These have replaced the sprites from previous entries. Since the introduction of new elements in Gold and Silver, X and Y are the first to introduce a new element. The Fairy type has been added with new and existing Pokémon fitting into this element. The Fairy type helps to balance out the domination of Dragon type which was previously only weak to itself and ice. A couple of new battle versions are again added. Sky battles take place against trainers standing far away, such as on a cliff and are restricted to flying Pokémon. Some Pokémon with the ability Levitate can also participate. The second new battle element added is the Horde Encounters. These allow battles in which it’s possible to encounter several wild Pokémon at once. Up to 5 wild Pokémon will face off against the trainer’s one Pokémon and theses battles offer a

lot of experience. Some moves will hit all five wild monsters while the players Pokémon must withstand attacks from all five. Pokémon-Amie is a new feature that allows players to develop stronger bonds with their party. It utilises the touch screen by allow the player to feed, pet and play with members of their current team. Mega Evolutions were also introduced in X and Y. It is a temporary in-battle transformation which results in an overall increase in stats. It can also change a Pokémons type and ability. Not all Pokémon can mega evolve and the ones that can need to be holding its mega stone and the trainer has to have the key stone.

Remakes Pokémon Fire Red and Leaf Green AUS Release Date September 23rd, 2004. Format GBA About: The first remakes released were Fire Red and Leaf Green and the pair re-visited the original region of Kanto. The characters, plot elements and challengers are the same as the original Pokémon Red and Green but they also feature important upgrades that brought them on par with the second and third generations which had been released. Again like it’s other GBA counterpart the real time clock system is missing, meaning the completion of the Pokedex is impossible through normal means. Moves and Pokémon have been changed and updated to match the introduction of the two new elements in Gold and Silver and you can also play as either a boy or girl trainer. A new feature for these remakes was the resume feature. This featured once the file was started and listed the four most important events the player achieved in the

game the last time it was played. Pokémon breeding was also added and in the post game Team Rocket has an expanded role after the Elite four and Champion has been defeated. Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver AUS Release Date March 25th, 2010 About: The second remakes featured the best games of the series. Heart Gold and Sold Silver once again allowed players to experience the immersive and amazing game presented in Gold and Silver. The game once again starts off in New Bark Town with the player taking off on a Pokémon Adventure. While the game features several expansions in key areas the overall story follows the same plot. Some aspects which were originally only available in Crystal are also featured. A feature which has only be available in one other Pokémon game (Yellow) was added to these remakes. All 493 creatures that were released at the time were able to follow the player’s character. The first Pokémon in your party would appear behind the player. This allowed the player to develop a stronger relationship with the monsters in a quicker fashion.

Spin Off Games 64 games Pokémon Stadium and 2 Release Date Stadium: 23rd, 2000 Stadium 2


About: Pokémon Stadium is a Nintendo 64 game that allows players to upload their party from Red,

Blue, Yellow and Green. The game features several battle arenas for the uploaded Pokémon to battle in. Stadium Mode is the main game mode where the player needs to win four different cups. Each of these cups has different rules to keep the battle fresh and different. Another mode is the Gym Leader Castle. The players goal is to climb the castle while taking on the Gym Leaders from Kanto in order, followed by the Elite Four and lastly the players rival. The game features a mini game mode and gallery for taking pictures of Pokémon. Professor Oak’s Lab is a handy addition where the player can insert their Game Boy game into the Transfer pack and store Pokémon, items and also to trade Pokémon between game cartridges. Players could also play their Game Boy versions on the television by using the Transfer pack and accessing the GB Tower. Pokémon Stadium 2 is very similar to the original game but allows Gold, Silver and Crystal to be used in the same way as the Game Boy Versions. It features most of the same modes and has an improved and larger feature with the portable games. My Room and the Mystery Gift options were added for further interaction with Gold, Silver and Crystal. Pokémon Snap Release Date March 23rd, 2000 About: Released on the same day as the first Stadium game was Pokémon Snap. Pokémon Snap is quite different to other Pokémon games. Instead of catching and battling Pokémon the professor has asked you photograph the creatures for his research. Pokémon Island is only inhabited by the creatures making it

the perfect place to study Pokémon in their natural habitat. As a skilled photographer you take on the request without a moments delay. The game play is restricted to tracks in which the player is constantly moving as the Pokémon go by. As you are moving the aim is to take the best photographs of the Pokémon at the best angle. Some creatures only pop on to the screen for a second so fast reflexes are needed to get the perfect shot. The player can also use Pokémon food to keep the creatures occupied, pester Balls to knock or stun Pokémon and the Pokémon Flute to wake the sleeping.

GameCube Games Pokémon Colosseum AUS Release Date June 24th, 2004 About: The first Pokémon game for the Nintendo GameCube was Pokémon Colosseum. Pokémon Colosseum is set in the new region Orre where a sinister organisation known as Cipher is capturing Pokémon and misusing them. Once caught Cipher is corrupting the Pokémons hearts and naming them Shadow Pokémon. The player owns a device which is able to capture trainers Pokémon as if they were wild. This allows you to be able to re-capture the Shadow Pokémon and release the corruption from their hearts via the Purification technique. They can be purified by walking around with the Pokémon in your party, rubbing scents on the Pokémon or battling with them and calling out their name when it reaches Hyper mode. Unlike previous Pokémon games there is no ability to walk to new places. There is an overall world map which

allows for fast transport. Without the exploration side of the game this limits which Pokémon the player can use to only ones featured in the story. The ability to transfer your team from Ruby and Sapphire was also provided to allow for more variety. Pokémon Gale of Darkness AUS Release Date November 19th, 2005 About: The second game released for the GameCube was Gale of Darkness. Once again set in the Orre region, five years after the events of Colosseum, Cipher is once again determined for world domination. Cipher has again corrupted the hearts of Pokémon and the player must snag the affected creatures and unify their hearts. Unlike in Colosseum, Gale of darkness has areas where you are capable of battling and catching Wild Pokémon. These areas are called Poke Spots. They are three spots available. These are the Rock, Oasis and Cave spots. Different Pokémon can be caught at the different locations. Wild Pokémon are lured into the areas if a Poke-Snack is left for them. While the Pokémon are eating away the player is notified of the appearance via the in game PDA. If you arrive before all the snacks are eaten you can battle with the wild Pokémon and try to capture it.

DS Games Pokémon Ranger Since the debut of the first Pokémon Ranger game on the DS, two more have been released for the console.

The first game was released on December 7th, 2006. The idea behind these games is quite different to the normal Pokémon Battles of main series entries. In this game the player take on the role of Pokémon Rangers. Rangers are in charge of solving climate problems, helping the city of the region Fiore and the always important defeating and capturing of criminals. As Pokémon are not caught in this game but lend their abilities to the ranger no Poke Balls are needed. A device known as the Capture Styler is used to calm and control the Pokémon till its ability is used and it is released back into the wild. Both the second and third game follows the same formula. The second game Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia was released November 13th, 2008 and it set in the region of Almia. Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs was release two yeras later on November 25th, 2010.

Merchandise Pokémon Monopoly - While a new Pokémon Monopoly is set to be released very shortly the first Collector’s Edition was released in 1998. The board featured Pokémon in place of the streets found in the traditional version. The houses and hotels were replaced as Pokémon Marts and Pokémon Centres. The rules are the same as normal Monopoly but had a set of quick play rules based on Pokémon to speed up the usual lengthy game. The six token pieces featured the six popular monsters of Pikachu, Charmander, Mewtwo, Bulbasaur, Blastosie and Clefairy. Pokémon Pokedex books and strategy – Every trainer needs a

Pokedex and Nintendo has constantly delivered on updated versions each time a new game is released. Many Pokedex’s have been released in the form of books over the years with the first being published in 1999 alongside Red and Blue. Each book features all Pokémon found in the game it ties with providing information on where to find the monsters, evolution tree, levels and move to name a few. Another successful venture Nintendo has undertaken is by releasing strategy guides as a companion for its current generation game. The books are a handy tool as they provide players with location information, item locations, hints and tips. Trading Cards - Pokémon trading Cards is a collectable card game based on the Pokémon Video Game. They were first published in Japan in October 1996 and the card game is one of Nintendo’s last remaining links to its origins as a playing card company. The game provides playing with the ability to take on the role of a Pokémon trainer using their cards to battle. Each Pokémon feature on their own cards with multiple versions being available for each creature. Another type of card is the energy cards. Some attacks require a certain type and amount of energy to be used. The card game was very popular in the nineties and early two thousands when the fist generations of video games and the anime were released. While not as popular today the cards still sell well and rare cards can fetch quite a price tag. The Pokémon Mini – The Pokémon Mini is a handheld game console themed around the franchise. It is Nintendo’s smallest hand held

and weighs 70 grams. Released in March 2002 the handheld came in three colours: Wooper Blue, Chikorita Green and Smoochum Purple. During the systems life only a handful of games were released for it with a few of them being Japanese Exclusives. How and why Pokémon has stayed so popular for so long What is it about Pokémon that has kept the series so popular for so long? Is it the need to catch them all, the goal of being the very best or something else completely? To me the main reason for my continued love of the series is the great fun each game provides. By updating the Pokedex with each new generation Game Freak keeps the game feeling fresh and new. Each generation also features new abilities, new stories, being driven to catch them all once again and new memories to create. After playing games for over twenty years and playing Pokémon since the first generation many of my fondest memories of games have came from Pokémon. It is a series which is loved by gamers young or old and with the release of each new polished entry in the series it doesn’t look to be slowing done. And also who doesn’t love belting out the original Theme Song!

WRITTEN BY jess wilson



So it’s that time of year again. The time of year where you need to buy gifts for people... Christmas! Have some comic book loving friends? Got a friend who wants to learn more about comics? Got a friend who likes to read or a friend who likes art? Well here are some of the best comic book gift ideas for your geeky friends!

Daredevil Omnibus Oh yes! DAREDEVIL. But not just any Daredevil. This is the best one of all; Frank Miller’s Daredevil. Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil is widely regarded as the best run on all of Daredevil. It has all been collected in this one massive omnibus. It is the perfect gift for any hardcore comic book fan. While this is a pricey book it is the perfect addition to any Marvel fan’s collection and the ultimate showcase for one of Marvel’s best characters!

Absolute Joker Luthor Hot shot DC writer Brian Azzarello brings his groundbreaking vision of The Joker and Lex Luthor to life in these stunning hard cover volumes. This great gift set includes both Azzarello’s Joker and Luthor together in one fantastic set. Both books feature dark, unsettling, modern interpretations of the two

DC villains. Joker brings the Clown Prince of Crime into a savage and unrestrained Gotham City where he is free to hang out with fellow crims and try to get back on his feet after a stint in Arkham Asylum. Luthor takes a look into the mind of Lex Luthor to see how he ticks and we learn that this genius has more at work in his mind than just the desire to stop Superman. Both books come together in this fantastic hardcover and is a must buy for any DC fan or fan of the darker characters in the comic book line up.

more! The book also has recoloured art a must for fans of the classics!

Sandman American gothic novelist Neil Gaiman brings us his twisted vision of Sandman in this complete collected edition of his epic story! All ten volumes in one massive box. Sandman tells a tale so strange, twisted and deep that I simply can’t put it into words here. But if you need to buy a book for a strange friend, one who is into horror, crazy art, or just damn good writing, then Sandman is the

"if you need to buy a book for a strange friend, one who is into horror, crazy art, or just damn good writing.."

Absolute Watchmen There is no doubt that Alan Moore’s Watchmen might be the greatest comic book ever created. His writing teamed with Dave Gibbons’s stunning 80’s art pack one of the most powerful punches in comics history. Behold, Absolute Watchmen! This great hard cover volume has an oversized reprint of the entire Watchmen story combined with heaps of bonus materials including new artwork and

gift for them this Christmas! These four books are absolute must haves for comic book fans and would make the ultimate gift! Failing that, pop into your local GameTraders or comic book store. Staff will be more than willing to help you out. Always stick to big books. They are sure to wow your perspective gift receiver, failing that try something more obscure... Mark Millar’s Super Crooks or Secret Service are great comics that will delight anyone who reads


them! Other titles such as Warren Ellis’s The Authority or Matt Fraction’s Sex Criminals are also top notch books to gift to your friends, family or significant other. Don’t be afraid to dig around to find some gold. You never know, the comic you get that person could wind up changing their life! That’s a pretty cool Christmas gift!



Brought to you

Every month we bring you the worlds best c news as part of our new Cosplay Liv

Pre-Register now for news, ticket info

7 March 2015. Adelaide Convention


u by Gametraders..

cosplayers, interviews, tips, photographs and event ve website ( and expo.

Inside: Interview with: Lonstermash Breathless-ness Pompay Cosplay Special Report: Photography tips Cosplay tips

ormation, and cosplaylive updates.

n Centre.

COSPLAYLIVE special guest:

katyuska moonfox! Cosplay Live saw that a war was raging; two forces battling for supremacy, each power wanting to control what the world saw as a Cosplayer. We see the side of good launching into the fray brandishing gleaming swords of passion, fighting for the Cosplayer as an artist. The side of evil was raging like an angry sea, swelling on plankton of negativity, wanting to wash away Cosplay from its shores. We’re building our army, soldiers of fabric, thermoplastics and body art. Yet, who will lead this Band of Cosplayers, who will help us refine our

skills, who will be our Captains, our Lieutenants, our Worbla strengthened boots on the carpeted convention floor? Meet Katyuska, a Colonel of Cosplay. It is with loud and reverberating applause that we welcome one of the highest followed Cosplay Artists of Australia. Powered by untold hours playing JRPGs, Katyuska has levelled up on very powerful skill tree, The Cosplayer Look. With every mighty quest completed, she pumped her xp into this skill set knowing that

7 March 2015 CosCon & Afterparty Adelaide Convention Centre

one day she would be called on to teach these hard learned lessons in Cosplay make up. Male, female, crossplay and genderbend, Katyuska’s workshops at Cosplay Live will show you how to perfect your next cosplay look. The ranks of cosplayers outnumber more than the Elves of the Host of Gondolin and it’s Cosplay Live’s mission to supply you with all the knowledge and power you need to hold your head up high and know that you’re a Cosplay Artist.

Australia’s first dedicated cosplay convention & afterparty!

workshops . tutorials . demonstrations . activities . and more!

Brought to you by

Lonstermash Hi Lonstermash, tell us how you got into Cosplay and when? I got into cosplay by accident, and my first actual cosplay was at Stan Lee’s Comikaze in Sep, 2012. Halloween is my favorite time of the year, and all of my cosplays began as Halloween costumes. I live in L.A., but I was visiting someone I barely dated, who lived in San Diego, two summers ago. It just happened to be Comic-Con weekend, so she asked if I wanted to check it out. I was totally up for it, and even though we didn’t have passes, we totally loved looking at the cosplayers outside the venue. This made me reminisce to when I had dressed up as Wolverine for Halloween a few years before, so I decided I would come back to San Diego the following year and re-vive it. I had NO idea that there were other conventions (I barely even knew what cosplay was), and a few hours later, someone handed me a flier for Comikaze, which is barely 20 minutes away from where I live in L.A., so I attended that a couple of months later, and that was how it all

started. I ended up being featured in someone’s video, and my now good friend and fellow cosplayer Angi Viper was also in the video. I just happened to read her complimentary comment about me a few weeks later while watching the video on YouTube, which led me to contact her and become friends with her and her cosplay friends. When this happened, I was then really exposed to the world of cosplay, which led me to attend another fairly big convention, Long Beach Comic & Horror Con, with Angi and her friends soon after. THAT convention was where I really met a lot of fellow cosplayers and photographers, so that when I started going to other cons, I was now recognizable and known. Who is your favourite character to cosplay? Even though I’m most known for cosplaying Wolverine (and I DO love this cosplay, obviously), my favorite cosplay is my Rocky Balboa, because he is my all-time favorite fictional character, and I am the biggest


fan on the planet of those movies. It was watching those movies as a preteen and young teenager in the early to mid 80’s that inspired me to work out, too, as I really wanted my body to look just like Sly Stallone’s. What influences you most, tv, movies, games or any other characters? I’m most influenced by movies How do you find being a male Cosplayer when so many of the ‘bigger’ names are females? I find that being a male cosplayer is tough in terms of getting recognition, Facebook LIKES, and with selling merchandise, because, as you said, the cosplay world IS so dominated by hot looking females (not that I have any problem looking at them, of course). It’s definitely not a “man’s world.” Do you make your own costumes/ props and how long does it take?

I don’t make my own props (unless you count my carrot claws for Logan Cottontail/Who Framed Logan Rabbit?) or clothes, but I do make my own special effects make up (which takes anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes). I also make my own facial hair (which takes at least 3 weeks to look sufficient) and muscles (which has taken me 29 years in the gym, working out 2 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week), lol.

fun, first and foremost, learn and practice your best poses so that you can quickly get into good position for picture taking at cons/photo shoots, be very nice and friendly to your fans (on your FB page, IG account, and, most importantly, AT cons, where they actually meet you), and hand out business cards so that you will get tagged pictures back, hopefully.

Have you got any tips for male cosplayers starting out?

Cosplay & photography go together hand in hand, tell us abit about how you prepare for a professional photo shoot.

My tips for male cosplayers starting out are no different from my tips for females starting out. I say just have

I prepare for a photo shoot by, as I said, knowing my best poses, and by coming to the shoot with pre-con-

ceived ideas for pictures. I try to do as much variety of pics in terms of outfits and backgrounds, too, while I’m at the shoot, so that I end up with a lot of material. Finally, where can our readers go to find out more about you. To follow and learn more about me, your readers can go to my Facebook page at Lonstermash. I have an Instagram account, too, at the same name, but I use it mainly to promote my FB page, which has far more pictures.




Photographer: Craig McNelley Photography |


BREATHLESS-NESS This month we talk to Cosplayer Breathless_ness from Sydney, Australia. How did you get into Cosplay and when?

sign. I love replicating the 2D images in a 3D form and either making them look real world or like I’ve stepped straight out of a comic book.

I went to my first convention in 2003, I think. That was where I first saw cosplay happening! It piqued my curiosity and definitely spoke to my creative side. I had just finished studies in Graphic Design so I thought I’d give it a go.

Do you make all your own costumes or do you prefer to buy them?

I was really into comics at the time, and wrote/illustrated my own comic as a major work for my design course. I thought “who’s costume do I know better than my own character?”, so I chose to become her through cosplay! Who is your favourite character to cosplay? Definitely Batgirl!! I’m in love with the character so much (both Steph and Babs) that making their costumes is so much fun! Cosplay can be very challenging, both mentally and in construction, but the Batgirl costumes never felt like a chore! They are also the most fun to wear, because really, who doesn’t like Batgirl! What influences you most, tv, movies, games or any other characters? I’d say comic books and anime mostly. They’re the forms of media I relate to most since I have a strong background in illustration and graphic de-

I make every one of my costumes. There are times where is easier to source some items for a costume from pre-made clothes by either modifying them or using as is. But really, the real fun for me is the challenge of recreating outfits I like and being proud of what I’ve acomplished. If you make a costume, how long does it take you to make and what goes into the preparation of the character? Each costume takes roughly 3-6 weeks depending on how detailed they are. I usually start by gathering reference images, making sketches of the outfit and breaking everything down piece by piece. I’ll decide on fabrics and source them during this process and start constructing the quick and easy bits first. A to-do-list is a must!! You’ve got a great social media following, have you got any tips for people starting out? I do appreciate everyone that follows

COSPLAY what I do! The best piece of advice I can give anyone that wants to give cosplay a try, is just do it! Whether you buy a costume, ask someone to make one for you, or do your absolute best to make something yourself with no prior experience. It’s all about having fun! There are plenty of resources online to help you, tutorials and other cosplayers you can ask. Cosplay & photography go together hand in hand, tell us a bit about how you prepare for a professional photo shoot. I usually plan a shoot once my costume is finished. It takes away any pressure from deadlines and allows me to make a reliable commitment to my photographer. I’m lucky to know so many photographers as friends, so together we organise locations or studios, lighting, props and dates/ times. I also ask friends to help out with holding reflectors, lighting equipment, adjusting props, my costume, things like that. There is quite a lot involved behind the scenes and everyone puts in a lot of hard work! Finally, where can our readers go to find out more about you. They can check out my facebook page ( or tumblr (breathless-ness. Plus I’m also on instagram (breathless_ness)

Photographer: CMOS Photography |

Photographers featured: Pireze: | | Strawdoll:

POMPAY COSPLAY Hi Jessica, how did you get into Cosplay and when? I have always connected with the arts. Because of this I was always enrolled in my school’s art classes. It was in my junior high art class that I had a friend ask me to help them sew a kimono for a ‘cosplay’ they were doing for a cosplay contest. I didn’t know what cosplay was but I wanted to help my friend with this project. Of course, I had no sewing knowledge what so ever. The kimono was held together with safety pins. She told me that the cosplay contest was held at a local anime convention. Luckily she won a prize and everyone was happy. This got me thinking about attending this local convention. It was called ‘Otafest’. This was over 10 years ago. My first convention ever was in 2003 at Otafest. I was inspired by how engaged people were with characters; crafting to create exact replicas of their appearance and even acting the same way as the character. This was a celebration of fandom, and I loved it. The first time I cosplayed was in 2004. I cosplayed Black Rose from .Hack. Who is your favourite character to cosplay? My favourite character to cosplay would have to be Neytiri from Avatar. She was such an inspiration to me

when I saw the movie. The character design was phenominal and I knew right away this was what I wanted to cosplay. The best part of this cosplay was wearing it at another local convention called “The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo”. The look on people’s faces were so motivating and enlightening for me. I love making other people happy. To my surprise there were quite a few younger children who knew which character I was and they wanted a hug and picture with me! I couldn’t have been more happy. What influences you most, tv, movies, games or any other characters? The major influences in my life are character design. I fall in love with how a character looks before I engage with a character’s personality. I’ve always been drawn to visual stimuli in every medium, including television shows, movies, books, video games, etc…To me, a character with strong visuals is a character to be remembered. Do you make all your own costumes or do you prefer to buy them? I have made the majority of my cosplays, but there are some where I did buy specific parts and alter them to fit the character. I honour both made


and bought cosplays because to me cosplay is all about having fun. If you make a costume, how long does it take you to make and what goes into the preparation of the character? When I make a costume the first thing I need to do is study the character through google image search, blogs, fan art, or pre-exsisting cosplay. I look to see what elements need to be exaggerated, which should take priority, and which need more finetuning. Every part of the character matters to me. I also study their language and posing. This gives me a chance to see how I should model in front of a camera. Then I buy all the materials that I believe will work best. Sometime I need to buy different materials because things don’t always work the way we want them to. It’s all about experimentation and finding out how materials work. It’s okay to make mistakes!! I’ve made thousands of mistakes but I’ve learned so much from those experiences. The next step is to make the cosplay piece by piece. I always make sure that I order wigs first because they usually take the longest to get. Otherwise the whole process can take me anywhere from one week to three weeks. Cosplay & photography go together hand in hand, tell us abit

Photographer: DMacStudios |

about how you prepare for a professional photo shoot. Preparing for a photoshoot gets easier the more you do it. The most important thing to remember, for me, is to bring food and water. It is a lot of work to document a cosplay, both for the cosplayer and the photographer. A few other important things are to get ready before you meet the photographer as best you can. This saves time and gives you more opportunities with the photographer. Also bring make up, hair products, and anything else you’ll need for touch ups throughout the shoot. Remember to look at the poses of the character you’re cosplaying. Try to remember key positions or movements that define your character. If you can, bring a friend with you. It’ll help so much to have someone around to carry your bag and offer help to carry equipment. Another really important thing to remember is to bring cosplay cards, or cards with your information so you can keep connected with the photographer. We need to remember that we are the people who can keep a healthy relationship with the photographer or videographer community. If you see anything that you know isn’t right, let them know. Talk about it! We’ve had occasions where a few photographers upset each other and we felt it was best to all sit and talk about what happened. Keep happy and motivate others to do their best. Finally, where can our readers go to find out more about you. I have a few social networking sites including Facebook, Deviantart, and Instagram. Feel free to message me any comments or questions! I am always here for you! Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/PompayCosplay Deviantart: http://pompay.deviantart. com Instagram: oopompayoo

Photographer: Andrew Gossen |

Photographer: Vicky Lau |

Photographer: Darshelle Stevens |


Photographer: Chris Klein |


Photographer: Andrew Gossen |

top 5 tips for s


Whilst I have been cosplaying almost seven years now, I still remember the excitement and frustration of making my first costume – starting at level one with absolutely no experience in sewing, propmaking or wigs, with only an abiding love of the character to guide me! So for all those who are thinking about getting into this unique hobby, here is a list of things that I wish someone could have told me seven years ago:

1. research The first and most important step in starting a cosplay is to know the outfit you are trying to recreate inside out and back to front! Play the game, watch the movie, find concept art on the internet and make sure you know what each part of the costume looks like and how it all will fit together. Some cosplayers find sketching out various pieces to be good practice – even if you aren’t an artistic prodigy, it always helps to visualise particularly tricky outfits. Take this opportunity to start looking at materials and techniques you could use – look at other cosplayers’ costumes and decide what look you like the best!

2. experiment Wait! Is that spray paint going to melt your intricate foam armour piece? Once it comes to the assembly stage, experimentation is the best way to improve your costuming skills and avoid messy mishaps. Make small ‘proof of concept’ pieces before you go too ambitious, and it won’t be so painful if they fail! Even if a particular technique doesn’t work out for what you are trying to make, you now know a new skill which might be perfect for your next costume. You might even invent your own innovative technique to share with others!

3. ask Have you seen someone who’s already made something that you’re currently having trouble with? There’s no harm in asking! Most cosplayers are happy to share details of how they made costume pieces – some even run blogs detailing entire builds from start to finish! Keep in mind that some cosplayers may be too busy to answer your questions, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask. Remember to be specific with what you ask, and you’ll be more likely to get a useful answer!

4. do a test run So all your costume pieces are finished, the spray paint is finally dry and it all looks awesome – ready to wear to the convention this weekend right? Wrong! Make sure you get a chance to put on your entire costume exactly as it’ll be worn to the convention, at least a few days in advance. That way you’ll be able to foresee pieces that are likely to break, or perhaps make modifications to make a costume more comfortable for a full day of wear.

5. HAVE FUN! Above all else, there is no point to cosplaying if you’re not enjoying it! If by chance you do find yourself with half a costume falling off at 2pm on a convention day, the best thing to do is to laugh and make friends with a cosplayer who brought a hot glue gun with them!

starting out in cosplay

Photographer: What A Big Camera |


MAKE THE MAIN THIN Avoid clutter!

This month we’re talking clutter. How to avoid clutter and at times how to use clutter effectively to produce more attractive images. Clutter to me, is when a photo has so much in the frame that doesn’t add to the image that you lose focus on the subject. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes you are telling a story and part of that story is about the clutter. A busy street scene or an action shot that needs those other elements to tell the complete story in the one frame. Other times you want to focus on your subject only. So how do we do that? Here’s a few tips that will help you make the main thing … the main thing. Bokeh Regardless of how you pronounce this Japanese word it means (from Wikipedia)… “In photography, bokeh is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out of focus parts of an image produced by a lens.” It’s that soft blur in the background you see that keeps the viewers eye on the subject. See example featuring JusZ Cosplay cosplaying Black Cat. The background is softer then the main subject but in a way that you recognise she’s in a city location but it’s blurred enough so that it doesn’t distract from her. Yet the photo still has context and tells the story of her character being in the city. The second photo of Tiffany Dean in a workshop is meant to have lot’s of detail to show the environment she’s in. A workshop that fits with her 50s style

look. This would have been a very different photo if I’d blurred out the background. I wanted to tell the story of her being in a workshop environment. The third shot was done with a 56mm Fuji lens using the Fuji XT-1. I set the aperture to be pretty fast at around 2.0 and zoomed with my feet by framing her and getting in close. This meant the background blurred nicely so she was the main focus of the image. For this shot I didn’t need the fountain to be clear as it didn’t add anything to the photo or model. So in short: Fast lens - aperture of 2.8 or so. The lens ideally works better when a bit longer of say 50mm or so depending on what camera you are using. Frame the subject in the frame so they are the main focus. Having the subject some distance (3 meters or more) will also help the background blur out. A full frame camera with a larger sensor can give even nicer bokeh but you can get good results with a 4/3rds camera or crop sensor such as the Fuji XT-1 or Canon 7D MKII etc. A clean wall can give you uncluttered photos and means your subject doesn’t have to be 3 or 4 meters or more away from it. That allows you to get nice clean photos in a small area. Experiment with your camera and a subject - you don’t need a model. You can set up something at home and move around trying different distances, aperture settings and angles to work out what looks best for you. See you next month!



CHASE LAWRENCE This month Live Magazine contacted Cosplay Photographer, Chase Lawrence, and discovered he’s a man of many talents including an accomplished actor on the SyFy series Town of the Living Dead. Chase, tell us how you got involved in the show? I got involved about 6 years a go when I tried out for a acting role in my friend John M Ware’s indie film “ Thr33 Days Dead” a Zombie film about 3 Childhood friends Patrick, Jeff, and Justin trying to escape the lake after their day of fishing is ruined by the discovery that zombies are in their midst. They escape to the city of Jasper only to find that it too has been overtaken by these flesh hungry creatures. Along the way they meet the brother/sister duo of Pete and Valerie, and together they fight for their right to survive in a world that is no longer their own. Ever since then I have been “Jeff “in the film. You’re also a cosplay photographer, tell us how you got into photographing cosplayers. When I was younger I loved anime, and one of my friends had told me about Cosplayers the first thing I did was research about them and thought it would be cool if I could ac-


tually bring their characters and hard work to life. What sort of characters do you prefer to shoot and how do you find subjects? I love to shoot action characters, Comic books, and video games the most. Its fun to find locations for the person I’m shooting with and use my special effects I either make or buy to create the perfect image. Where I find most of my subjects are at cons, I net work with a lot of people that see my work and I usually have a wide selection of people I can work with. If I cant find someone I make a post about my project that is in the works and people usually respond. Have you had the opportunity to photograph any zombie cosplayers and how does their cosplay compare to the TV show’s make up? I have not gotten to shoot with to many zombie cosplayers because they are on such short supply. I have shot with a few that deal and work with professional makeup that are fantastic. It would be great to do a resident evil shoot in Birmingham since it really looks like Raccoon city. Cosplayers would be interested in knowing how the make up pro-

cess for a TV show compares to their cosplay, can you give us some insight into the process that the show goes through? The process goes through a lot, sometime having to sit in a chair for hours getting different types of latex , putty , fake, blood, and goop slapped on you. Also not to forget getting wardrobes together for the film and making sure things are met on time. It is a very push and go subject that not only is an art form but makes us think about what is appealing to the fans of the movie itself. We really have to deal with the wow factor a lot and my director and producer manages a lot of it. In my opinion they are geniuses of making things bigger for the better. I cant forget our makeup department Laura Beth Bramblette , Terry Hunter , and Miranda Walker do amazing job of creating our zombies we call them our mad scientists. You’re described as the “baby” of the group meaning the youngest, how does it feel to be involved with a TV show on SyFy and are you wanting to more more into acting? Actually that is kind of a kicker , I am actually the longest standing member of the original filming cast besides Tina and john. That was brought up as kind of a funny quote our producer had said that got thrown in to the mix. As for how it feels to

be involved with a tv show on SYFY it’s pretty awesome I have worked with the crew for so long they literally have became family. It has been one of the most fun experiences I have ever had and would never stop if I can continue doing it. As for acting I use to act in theater when I was a lot younger, I would really like to gain more acting roles in the future and try to make this a career. Do you visit any of the cons in the U.S and have you photographed there? Any tips for photographers visiting their first con? I have photographed at several cons which the list is kind of long so I will name a few that I really love. Top of the list is AkaiCon, Dragon*con, Mtac, Hamacon, The geek gathering, AwA , Nerdacon and Kamicon along with several more. Some of them I have been honored enough to be a guest at and host panels. As for newly beginning photographer, Do research, research everything you can about photography, lighting ,lenses , anime , Japanese cultures. Anything and everything will help you out, the more you know the better. It will open door ways to really cool ideas that can lead to some of your best work. While it’s the photographer who creates the image, readers like to know what gear people use, tell us what’s in your camera bag.

I have a Pelican 1650 case that carries 4 Alien Bee strobes (2 ab1600 and 2 ab800) with multi colored gels 1 Vagabond mini and 1 vagabond mini extreme 2 strip boxes, I carry 2 Paul C Buff beauty dishes light meter 4 Hi speed sync triggers a mini tool kit various wires and cables 5 speedlites Velcro, super glue, a mini fog machine 3 cameras my canon 5d m3, 7d, and 6d Lenses are the sigma 35art 1.4 , canon 70-200 2.8 L ,canon 17-40 L, canon 85 L 1.2 and the sigma 24-60 2.8 along with a golf bag full of stands and sand bags. Whats so funny is this is my set up I carry to every con with me and I use everywhere I go, definitely not a run and gun photographer. Finally where can readers go to get some more information on the show and on your photography? Readers can find us on the SyFy’s web site under shows, Town of The Living Dead. If they would like to find us on facebook look up thr33 days dead , Town of The Living Dead, and on twitter @Livingdeadsyfy If your looking for me and my photography look up: Facebook: Affliction Cosplay Photography Twitter: Chaselawrence28 Facebook public figures page: Chase Lawrence.






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Day 1

Day 2

It started so quickly, so suddenly. For months nothing happened, the pods as we called them, just sat there unmoving and unmovable. How were we to know what would happen, how could we have prepared?

I was fortunate that I had had only one semi-close encounter with these creatures. My own observations and the partial descriptions that have been relayed to me by the soldiers created in my mind a horrifying alien. The face if you can call it that is practically death. Their mouth is wide and the teeth are blackened and pointed. Their eyes are black and beady,one soldier described them as soul wrenching devil eyes. Back then I thought he had it worst, he’d lost an arm and both his legs but now I realize it’s the ones that don’t escape that suffer the most.

The ten pods landed on the equatorial coast of Africa. They seemingly just fell out of the sky. There was panic at first, no one knew what they were, no one trusted them but over time their presence became normal. Scientists were sent in right away but results were inconclusive, Everyone wanted them to open, to find out what was inside but when they finally opened and the terror was unleashed all anybody wanted was for them to go back. The creatures are roughly eight feet tall but I had only seen them from a distance. They’re quick for such large creatures and powerful, if you get too close, if they are to see you then you have no chance. My name is Mark Bannister, I worked for the world health organization and I am writing this journal in the hope that my findings, my observations might lead to an end to this horror.

their stomach. But the most horrifying part of them is their back; it is almost a copy of the front but not quite .The main features are there but they have not properly formed. At first we had no clue what the pouch was for and the back of the creature stumped us even further but as time went on it became apparent.

A man was sent to our lab, he was of dark skin and barely spoke any English. His translator spoke for him and what he told us should have made me run, I should have left, fled to the colony’s but my curiosity got the best of me. The aliens, the creatures they fed off of

"they were practically indestructible.." The aliens, if that’s what they are have long legs and their arms which end in pincer like claws are powerful enough to cut grown men’s limbs clean off their body. Their skin is unlike anything I’ve seen before, it is bloody and looks almost translucent. Circular glowing patterns trail down their body leading to a pouch at

us, they would cut the legs off of the man they caught and use him as a sustainable food source. I say him because they only go after the men. The popular theory was that the men were stronger and therefor provided more sustenance but that was just a theory. The real reason was sickening, gut wrenching, these aliens don’t want to just kill us all and take over our planet, no that

ROLLS would be kind they want to enslave us, to have a never-ending food source, that’s why they never went for the females, they were breeding stock.

It’s been two days since my colleagues and I were attacked, I’m alone down here, there’s barely any food and less water. I feel like I’m going crazy, I swear I can hear them, their inhuman screeching, sometimes I think they are stalking the corridors looking for me. I locked myself down here when they attacked, I listened to the screams of my colleagues,my friends, I don’t think I can last much longer.

Day 3 We got so close to finding how to kill them. The man that had been sent to us was instrumental in our findings but it wasn’t until we caught one that we finally understood. They are practically indestructible, we spent two weeks experimenting on it and all we found was that they were almost deaf. If their sense of smell and eyesight were worse, perhaps this would be useful. Over time it became apparent why they cut the legs off their victims. It was not as we originally thought, so that he could not run but instead it

meant they had an instant conduit in their pouch to the flesh and blood they needed to survive, from the legs up they feed and slowly the person is eaten alive. Of course the only way for us to find this was to use human ‘volunteer’. We were sworn to secrecy but what do I care now, everyone’s dead and I will be joining them soon.

These creatures are highly evolved. We found when the victim was first deposited into their pouch that the internal workings of their system seemingly took over the function of the victims heart, lungs and blood flow. The alien acted as a form of life support and kept the victim alive. The victim stays alive for about a month in perpetual agony as he is slowly consumed, at the end the creature ejects the head and what’s left of him from its pouch , at this time the formation on it’s back starts to evolve.

Any day now and they will be through the door. I need to get this out now. There was never going to be any more arrivals of them, the krolls as we called them, they conquer from within. The back of the kroll wasn’t a part of it, it was another one being formed. Somehow it was growing one on it’s back, if only we had known. We fed the captive one too much and we didn’t know another would be made. In the space of twelve months the original ten krolls become 40,000 and they will have consumed an estimated 300,000 men by then. Stay tuned for Chapter two of The Krolls in the December edition of Live Magazine

Day 4 The army said this was a safe place, that we would be protected. They were so wrong. The creatures are clawing at the door, screeching. It starts, it stops, I can’t escape this hell.

Day 5





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November Live Magazine  

This month we take a look at all things Nintendo, plus a huge feature on Pokemon, celebrating the releases of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire....

November Live Magazine  

This month we take a look at all things Nintendo, plus a huge feature on Pokemon, celebrating the releases of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire....