LIVE OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016 ISSUE
SPECIAL FEATURE INSIDE
Exploding Kittens GAMES, GAMES, GAMES! Video Games, Board Games, Card Games... Fun Issue!
Cards Against Humanity Suddenly Drunk Joking Hazard
WELCOM This issue is a bit different. It’s a very social issue.
Well, it’s a lot different. Firstly you may have noticed the MA15+ icon on the cover. That’s because some of the games we adults play have adult content. Language, themes and all that stuff that censors take a careful look at. Plus we’ve featured a lot of non-screen gaming this issue, and that’s because we’re noticing a world wide trend. Board Games are Back! So this is a card and board game special. In particular party games - games that you will have a blast
INSIDE 4 12 110 136 Feature: Adult Party Games Geek Out
playing with friends on a Saturday night, munching on pizza and having a beer or wine (over 18 of course) . Plus we’ve got our regular Halloween special with our look at horror movies - thanks to Scott. And we thought we’d ask the experts in movies - our friends in podcasting, Phil and Dean from Chillpak Hollywood, they share their top horror too. Get the popcorn ready and invite your friends over for a horror movie night. Enjoy this issue! Rob Jenkins Publisher
THE LIVE TEAM Publisher: Rob Jenkins (GTHQ) Art Director: Giselle Capozza (GTHQ) Game Review & Preview Editors: Nick Getley & Kylie Tuttle (Sticky Trigger) Retro Editor: Paul Monopoli Comics: Scott Sowter Cosplay Editor: Anny Sims & Tiffany Dean Sticky Trigger Writers: Kylie Tuttle Nick Getley Alex Holmes Aaron Milligan Ben Rachow Bridget Sweeney Sean Fox Sasha Karen Jason English Johnny Scene
There’s been a real move toward more social gaming. Board games are extremely popular and experiencing huge growth. Card games too have become massive thanks to the many Kickstarter campaigns that have launched many of the games you’ll see over the next few pages. It seems that people are enjoying each other’s company again. Video games too have a ton of options for social play and we’ll take a look at them next issue, but for this issue we’re looking at card games and, yes we’re looking at Adult Party Games, simply because those are the games fans are rushing out to buy. so let’s take a look at what’s hot...
Warning: some really are quite... adult...
Disturbed Friends is a party game designed to find out how disturbed your friends are, but, more importantly, how disturbed they think you are. You will be faced with horrible situations, sexual scenarios and unethical debates that may cause you to reevaluate your friendships. The game is simple, even a handicapped goat could play. One unlucky player picks up a multiple choice question card and reads it out loud. The other players vote on what answer they think their friend will choose.
Disturbed Friends Trivia and Stuff Firstly it’s... gross and funny. Seriously - no kids You will discover how weird friends are when you play. It has explicit language - again - no kids!! Their website claims... “Our objective was to produce a game that most people would find revolting, and to push the limits both legally and ethically.” Website for how to play - www.disturbedfriends.com Seriously - no kids.
Suddenly Drunk can easily be added to any turn-based board or card game that transforms it into a hilarious drinking game for 3 - 8 Players. Created by veteran Gaming Bar Event Manager and co-owner of board/card/video game bar Beta Bar, Skaidris Gunsmith. Suddenly Drunk is the culmination of years of research in how people enjoy drinking and playing games. Pick your favorite board or card game. Suddenly Drunk works best with simple party games like Cards Against Humanity, Jenga or Uno but can be played with ANY turn based board or card game.
Suddenly Drunk Trivia and Stuff It’s not a stand alone game, you play in conjunction with another game. It helps you... get drunk. You have to take shots. There’s a video on their website so you can see how to play: www.suddenlydrunk.com Don’t drink too much - you get sick.
F**K THE GAME F**K the Game Trivia and Stuff It’s really rude. It has lots of swearing. It’s Australian... It uses a psychological phenomenon - the Stroop effect that messes with your brain’s responses. No - we don’t think it’s got anything to do with the CIA www.f--kthegame.com is the website. No kids!!
F**k. The Game is a hilarious new Aussie card game which will help you get smarter while swearing at your friends. This is a great social card game that will f**k with your head by using a hysterically tricky combination of colours and swear words.
EXPLODING KITTENS In this highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette, players draw cards until someone draws an Exploding Kitten, at which point they explode, they are dead, and they are out of the game -- unless that player has a Defuse card, which can defuse the Kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kittens.
Exploding Kittens Trivia and Stuff The most funded game in Kickstarter history! The most number of backers in Kickstarter history. How to play guide : www.explodingkittens.com Plus thereâ€™s apps on iOS and Android Two editions - one for ages 8 plus and thereâ€™s an adult edition too.
The game is simple. It plays similar to the classic game of Crazy 8s, but with a few evil twists. There are 4 basic Realms to play in (like suits in a card deck) and the Chaos Realm which really screws with the game. All you have to do is be the first player to get rid of all your Monster Rejects to win the game.
Monster Rejects Trivia and Stuff It’s about monsters - well sort of. It has evil twists. It’s not for kids - really not for kids!!! It’s quick to learn. You might need a shower afterwards. Play info - www.monsterrejects.com.
Coup Card Game Trivia and Stuff This one is safer for younger players - most people suggest aged 10+. It’s been nominated by Golden Geek for Best Card game. You need to bluff and be good at bluffing. It had over 5,400 backers on Kickstarter!
In a future where the government is run for profit, all but a privileged few live lives of poverty and desperation. The Resistance rises out of these oppressed masses in revolt and throws the government into chaos. To take command, you must destroy the influence of your rivals and drive them into exile. Only one can survive. Coup is a game of bluff and deception set in The Resistance universe for 2-6 players with a 15 minute play time.
From the creators of Cyanide & Happiness comes a card game where players compete to finish an awful comic strip. Draw 7 cards. The deck plays the first card, select a Judge to play the second, then everyone selects a third card to create a three panel comic strip. The Judge picks a winner. The game includes a deck of 250 unique panel cards - thatâ€™s 15.4 million combinations of comics!
Joking Hazard Trivia and Stuff You play by creating a comic strip using the cards. It too started on Kickstarter and got fully funded in an hour! It is offensive to some. No kids Have fun!
POOP is a game where the first player to run out of cards wins! Take turns pooping but don’t clog the toilet! Some cards make players perform crazy acts. POOP is playable with up to 10 players when combined with the PARTY POOPER Edition.
Poop Trivia and Stuff Yes there is game called Poop. It’s promoted as family friendly It’s kind of like Uno. You can read more at www.poopthegame.com Kids ok... parental supervision maybe..
BOSS MONSTER The Dungeon Building Card Game
In most dungeons, you enter as an adventurer and fight your way to the center. There, you defeat the big boss monster and win treasure or something. Well, enough is enough. It’s time for YOU to be the big boss monster. It’s time for YOU to build your own nefarious dungeon. And it’s time for YOU to destroy more adventurers than your fellow boss monsters. It’s time to play: Boss Monster: Dungeon-Building Card Game.
Boss Monster Trivia and Stuff The creators obviously love retro! It’s created by Brotherwise - a company that is run by... brothers. One brother has lots of hair the other does not - but he looks like he shaves his head. The game is fun and ok for kids 13 plus.
We got some last minute additions that are definitely NSFW - Not Suitable for Kids - MA 15+ and all that rating and warning stuff so don’t blame us if you get offended!
DIRTY NEIGHBOURS Dirty Neighbors is the game that will make everyone funny... even you! It’s the easiest game to play with small or huge groups and gets everyone laughing right from the first card. One person is the Dirty Neighbors while everyone else writes an answer. Bring some originality to your next party!
Dirty Neighbours Trivia and Stuff It’s simple to play They recommend ages 17 plus... It’s got rude stuff Website - www.dirtyneighborsgame.com
EXPLODING KITTENS NSFW EDITION
Exploding Kittens NOT SAFE FOR WORK Edition is a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and boob wizards and sometimes butts. This NSFW Edition of Exploding Kittens is an ADULT ONLY party game for 2-5 players (up to 9 players when combined with any other deck). This is the most-backed project in Kickstarter history and all cards feature illustrations by The Oatmeal. Includes 56 cards (2.5 x 3.5 inches), box, and instructions. This box, like 99.99% of boxes, does not meow.
Exploding Kittens NSFW Trivia and Stuff See Exploding Kittens page and adult mix.
Yes you can get all these at Gametraders, but be warned they are for mature players.
geek o WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PARTY GAME?
WHAT GAMETRADERS STAFF LOVE... WANT, HAVE, NEED
A BRIEF HISTORY OF BOARD GAMES BOARD/CARD GAMES
5 BOARD GAMES you just gotta play!
DEAD OF WINTER: LONG NIGHT
BOARD GAME review
10 NIGHTMARES MOVIES
X-WING ROOKIE PILOTS GUIDE
BLACKTOWN ARTIST TIEN
THE GAMER DIARIES: 1994-1995
ITâ€™S OK TO BE A
TOP HORROR MOVIES
BY CHILL PAK HOLLYWOOD
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOU COULD BE A VIDEO GAME, CARD GAME, BOARD GAME... ANYTHING!
“Cards Against Humanity... especially when your nan gets involved! And wins!” - Trent Moullae
“Rockband.” - Brendan Russo “Hungry hungry hippos with washing baskets where one person holds it, a friend holds their legs and the balls that are in the ball pits are what you have catch with the washing basket lol good times.”
“Super Smash Bros (played with random characters/stages) with all items turned off except for master balls. Non-stop legendary Pokemon insanity!” - Zoe Zatz All Hatt “Kings cups” - Eric W Borchard
- Hoffman Andrew Ashley “Singstar!” “Super Smash Bros & Mario Kart. Any version (preferences are Mario Kart Double Dash & Smash for Wii U). No one seems to complain about playing either of them... but never mention Mario Party!”
- Dylan Faith
- Jean-Paul Bartolomei “The Mario Party series was pretty fantastic & had a substantial amount of mini-games. I really enjoyed Bishi Bashi Special on PS1. It had plenty of wacky Japanese fun.” - Simon Che Rodriguez “Mario Party.” - Cameron Hons
“Jackbox party pack is always fun to play for a few hours with your mates.” - Logan Xavier Skilling
URITE PARTY GAME? “Any Worms game. Especially if no one knows how to play.”
“Cards Against Humanity and Gerty’s drawing cards game.”
- Ben Rachow
- Tristan Thorpe
“Golden Eye 64 or Mario Kart 64.”
- Adzy Wizzle
- Samantha Castle
“Gears n Beers nights. Playing hord till all hours and or not even sleeping.” - Anthony Baseley “Wii sports was a good one for small family gatherings as it was just easy for anyone of any age group to pick up and have fun.” - Angela Haines
Want your response featured in our next live magazine edition? ‘like’ us on facebook and look out for the ‘your say’ status! www.facebook.com/gametraders.australia
WANT, HAVE, NEED
HERE’S WHAT GAMETRADERS STAFF This month staff are excited about some of the great games and pop culture items coming out in time for you know what... Christmas!!
“Things that have us excited: The new D&D book ‘Storm Kings Thunder’ the soon to be released Captain America: Civil War Hot Toys. Kingdom Hearts 3 (when it finally comes out) Horizon Zero Dawn, we practically watch the trailer on loop. Just to name a few things. Here’s what staff are loving: Andrew: the upcoming Star Wars XWing Expansions Naomi: the R2-D2 tea set... Melanie: the Scooby Doo pop figurine set Peter: the Last Guardian Joanna: the new Star Wars hot toys to go with Leia. Jimmy: the new LOTR Larp weapons, they should help to keep some order around here.”
- Staff from Gametraders Macarthur Square
gametraders macarthur square team
“We can’t wait for Watch Ya Mouth! Here’s abit about the game... Watch Ya’ Mouth is the AUTHENTIC, Hilarious, Mouthguard Party Game. Originated in viral videos, Launched on Kickstarter, and we will soon have it just for you! In this laughterinducing, competitive card-based game, teams of players, hampered by cheek retractors, attempt to read and interpret/speak out phrases and... Hilarity ensues!”
“Pokemon evolutions due out November will be the most popular card set release since it launched. It’s full of reprints from the base set in honour of the 20th anniversary of the trading card game”
- Byron from Gametraders Hyperdome (ACT)
- Staff from Gametraders Ingle Farm
There’s a quick look at what our team are loving this week at Gametraders. Want to know more about what’s happening - check out the stores’ Facebook pages and join so you keep up to date with the latest releases. Also subscribe so you get our free magazines and catalogues.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF
BOARD GAMES 1.
1. Dungeons & Dragons Rule Book. 2. Pachisi Mat 3. Painting in tomb of Egyptian Queen Nefertari (1295â€“1255 BC) 4. Dungeons & Dragons Game 5. Axis and Allies Box 6. Dice 7. Senet Game Pieces Images from Wikipedia.
All images from Wikipedia.
Board games are back, but have they ever been away? Not if you talk to the many fans out there. But where did it all start? What was the first board game and how did they evolve into the intricate gaming experiences we have today? Let’s take a quick look back in time. In South East Turkey, small carved painted stones were found that date back to around 5,000 years ago and these are thought to be the earliest gaming pieces found. An early board game found in Egypt is Senet, a game with a grid of 30 squares in 3 rows of ten according to Wikipedia, the board features 2 sets of pawns and while details of the rules are sketchy, historians Timothy Kendall and R.C Bell, have apparently reconstructed the rules and game play for modern play. But enough of ancient games, what about classics like Monopoly? The earliest versions were called “The Landlord’s Game” created by Elizabeth Magie, and existed around 1902. The game was one of a series where players bought and sold land and then developed the land. In 1933, according to Wikipedia, a version of the game resembling the Parker Brothers classic, was being sold. It’s thought Charles Darrow invented Monopoly as we have it today and he, in fact, became a millionaire game designer - the first ever. Another game from ancient times is Pachisi which is sort of a early ver-
sion of Ludo or Sorry. It originated in ancient India and is played on a board that is shaped like a cross. The Ludo version was patented in 1896. Dozens of board games if not hundreds, were invented and played in those early years. Back then there was no internet, game consoles etc, so families and groups of friends made their own fun sitting in front of the fire and playing those early games.
game so much so that even those early D&D games had some groups concerned that playing the game could lead to witchcraft and devil worship... according to Wikipedia, the panic by some groups also led to fans and players being ostracised and treated as weirdo geeks (our description not Wikipedia). Like anything in life, you can take things way too seriously and end up letting it overtake your life, whether it be video games, social media or even board games.
Fast forward to the 1970s and we see the first Dungeons and Dragons being published, 1974 to be precise. The game known as D&D was designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and published by Tactical Studies Rules, inc (TSR) and was derived from a miniatures war game called Chainmail.
Today though, most people just love hanging out and playing. Games are a great reason to get together, grab a drink and some pizza and spend a couple of hours battling each other or solving a mystery. Back in the 80s game boxes often came with the descriptions of being great “beer and pretzels” games.
D&D is thought to be the beginning of modern role-playing games. While the game is structured it is also open-ended where a party of players controlling one character each adventure in a fantasy setting.
War games like Axis and Allies would have you locked in board game war for hours on end. Other games like Fury of Dracula had one player take on the role of the vampire whilst others would work together to hunt the evil fiend down.
(Editors Note: Want to see a fun video on Youtube - check out Acquisitions Incorporated - PAX West 2016 D&D Game: youtu.be/XQyicFbPCRs. It’s where players comment on their game and play dressed in costume. Funny but some swearing) Games have evolved incredibly over the years, complex game mechanics and beautifully designed boards and characters immerse you in the
They encouraged team work, laughter and real life social interaction. Don’t get me wrong, we love our tech, our phones and consoles but sometimes sitting around a board game and losing yourself for a few hours is just the best.
5 board games you just gotta play! What happened? We went from a few people playing games now and then to a full on major pastime. I have a theory, no, not a conspiracy theory, although at Live we love to consider those too. But my theory is this... When smart phones became mainstream I think many people became so glued to screens that the personal connections in our lives shrunk to the bare minimum. The Pokemon GO came out and millions of trainers hit the streets, sometimes in packs, looking for Pokemon. That was a good start to getting the social interaction happening again. At the same time, lots of gamers discovered or re-discovered the simply joy of playing a board game, table top game or card game. The sheer fun of destroying your friend or hunting them down or blowing the daylights out of their Tie Fighter in X-Wing was just irresistible! Here at Live Magazine we talk to Gametraders store owners, suppliers and distributors of cool stuff and the amazing thing is how popular these games have become. It seems the good old days of Friday night pizza, drinks and board gaming is back bigger then ever.
Over the past few weeks some of us here at Live dabbled in some XWing and within minutes, we were hooked. The strategy and touch of chance in dog fighting in space is a brilliant gaming experience. We also found that many stores now offer game nights featuring table top games so you can take those skills you’ve honed and test yourself against other fans. Super! Seems many of our readers love board games too from the feedback we get. So we decided to produce a list of the top selling games so that you know which ones to try out and enjoy.. let’s take a look. But first - we’ve also included some video review links from Youtube and we can’t take responsibility for the content - they seem fine but there maybe language or themes not suitable for kids...
colonies? Will you explore more and unravel the mysteries of the Raxxon pharmaceutical location to find powerful items but release stronger enemies? Or will you upgrade your colony to help it better withstand the undead horde? These are all choices you will get to make in this new set, and if you want, you can mix in the survivors and cards from the original set to increase the variety even more. Please note this is a stand alone expansion for Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game... Check the Review and Play Through by The Dice Tower here: https://youtu.be/RTwViWemx9g
Pandemic The Reign of Dead of Winter Cthulhu The Long Night The game has players at a new colony location trying to survive with new survivors against brand new challenges. Can you handle being raided by members of other
Beings of ancient evil, known as Old Ones, are threatening to break out of their cosmic prison and awake into the world. Everything you know and love could be destroyed by chaos and madness. Can you and your fellow investigators manage to find and seal every portal in time?
Hurry before you lose yourself to insanity. • Classic Pandemic gameplay with a horrific twist. • Over 10 Old Ones with unique powers. • Custom die and figures. Review and play through: https://youtu.be/7he6CWIb6Xg
Mansions of Madness Second Edition Mansions of Madness Second Edition is a fully cooperative, appdriven board game of horror and mystery for one to five players that takes place in the same universe as Eldrich Horror and Elder Sign. Let the immersive app guide you through the veiled streets of Innsmouth and the haunted corridors of Arkham’s cursed mansions as you search for answers and respite. Eight brave investigators stand ready to confront four scenarios of fear and mystery, collecting weapons, tools, and information, solving complex puzzles, and fighting monsters, insanity, and death. Open the door and step inside these hair-raising Mansions of Madness Second Edition. It will take more than just survival to conquer the evils terrorizing this town. Review and play through: https://youtu.be/gkt5JgE-4LI
Betrayal at House on the Hill
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Betrayal at House on the Hill quickly builds suspense and excitement as players explore a haunted mansion of their own design, encountering spirits and frightening omens that foretell their fate. With an estimated one hour playing time, Betrayal at House on the Hill is ideal for parties, family gatherings or casual fun with friends. Betrayal at House on the Hill is a tile game that allows players to build their own haunted house room by room, tile by tile, creating a new thrilling game board every time. The game is designed for three to six people, each of whom plays one of six possible characters. Secretly, one of the characters betrays the rest of the party, and the innocent members of the party must defeat the traitor in their midst before itâ€™s too late! Betrayal at House on the Hill will appeal to any game player who enjoys a fun, suspenseful, and strategic game. Betrayal at House on the Hill includes detailed game pieces, including character cards, pre-painted plastic figures, and special tokens, all of which help create a spooky atmosphere and streamline game play.
No moderator, no elimination, tenminute games. One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a fast game for 3-10 players in which everyone gets a role: One of the dastardly Werewolves, the tricky Troublemaker, the helpful Seer, or one of a dozen different characters, each with a special ability. In the course of a single morning, your village will decide who is a werewolf...because all it takes is lynching one werewolf to win! Because One Night Ultimate Werewolf is so fast, fun, and engaging, youâ€™ll want to play it again and again, and no two games are ever the same. Review and play through: https://youtu.be/AM5NYQAolNk
Review and play through: https://youtu.be/8GL-VvJjPT4
want to see more of our top selling board games? visit issuu.com/gametraders/docs/board_game_catalogue
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DEAD OF WINTER: long night REVIEW Dead of Winter is a tabletop game that takes place in a Zombie Apocalypse. In this world, everyone involved must band together to survive, unless you’re the betrayer... in which case, bring them down, bring them all down. Dead of Winter: Long Night is the stand alone Dead of Winter expansion set that adds new characters, new locations, new crossroad choices and more adventures for anyone exiled. As mentioned, it is also a standalone expansion, giving excellent value for money for people wanting to play a Dead of Winter game for the first time. Speaking of for the first time.
Learn How to Play
The photo on the left is my desk after what I thought would be a quick lunch break to learn how to play. While the gameplay mechanic is easy enough to get your head around it after a couple of rounds, it’s putting in the time to learn how to play the game that is the true beginning of the adventure.
This isn’t a light tabletop game, Dead of Winter is deep, requiring at least one dedicated player to sit down with the instructions and have a good read before following that up with a couple of How-To you tube videos. Luckily, Plaid Hat Games thought ahead and included some helpful links to their recommended How-To video.
But how to teach everybody to play all at once?
Always a trickly question, you’ve just put aside the time to learn the game yourself, will it take the same amount to teach the other players? What if you can’t do a great job like the How-To video? There is a simple answer: Pizza & finger food. When embarking on the first play through with friends, schedule the game for an early dinner/ brunch/ or lunch timing. Here in lies the solution, people arrive hungry and you all sit down for food WHILE all watching the How-To video together. The food in your belly assists in the learning of the new game & the deliciousness of pizza combined with good friends makes the 27minute How-To video pass in seconds. Okay. It’s time to play! The turn flow in Dead of Winter is one of its great qualities: there’s a crisis, everyone discusses on how to overcome it, plan out your survivor’s missions to secure the resources needed, weighing up both resource collection and Zombie horde management. The turn flow
Quick Overview Dead of Winter: The Long Night is a standalone expansion for Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game that introduces the Raxxon location where horrible experiments will spill out into the town unless players can contain them. The game has players at a new colony location trying to survive with new survivors against brand new challenges. Can you handle being raided by members of other colonies? Will you explore more and unravel the mysteries of the Raxxon pharmaceutical location to find powerful items but release stronger enemies? Or will you upgrade your colony to help it better withstand the undead horde? These are all choices you will get to make in this new set, and if you want, you can mix in the survivors and cards from the original set to increase the variety even more.
WRITTEN BY I allows for great team cooperative adventure, the happy rush of finishing a team goal together and the satisfaction in culling an approaching Zombie army.
And then the Long Night expansion kicks in... Long Night adds a wonderful reward vs risk facility into the mix with its Raxxon element. There are great chemical advantages to be gained for your survivors in its darkened halls… however, more powerful zombies also lurk in its shadows. The graveyard location will also keep you guarded as new crossroad outcomes unlock Zombie storylines that will haunt the dreams of your survivors. It’s the Bandits that steal the show. Can’t overcome a crisis? You’ve now got an influx of Bandits from a rival colony, and they want your beans. The Long Night expansion brings with it some rather fun outcomes for an innocent player wrongfully exiled... they can become the Bandit King. To make matters worse for the survivors, the Bandit King is
pretty pissed about being thrown out of the colony, and he will have his revenge, in this life or the next. Dead of Winter: Long Night is a flexible game that allows its players to solve a crisis with great freedom of thought. This forces each player to weigh the stressful decision between risk and reward on each dice roll, keeping tension high throughout the gameplay. Thanks to this freedom, Dead of Winter: Long Night offers a unique gameplay experience each time you gather your friends to take on the horde of the undead. The potential of having a betrayer in the group keeps everyone on their toes questioning every action taken. Our own story of a betrayer revolves around confusion on resources needed, combined with some quick and unpredictable group voting. The short story, as a group we exiled an innocent and created a Bandit King. That’s just how the story goes in a Zombie Apocalypse.
GAMING G DUSTIN W
Should I Play Dead of Winter: Long Night? YES! AdvantageS Great Value for Money with new Dead of Winter players. Short or Long game objectives allow for tabletop gaming time management. Each objective card has both normal and hardcore mode, allowing for lasting playability. Game mechanics are designed to engage and draw a player in to their survivorâ€™s continued existence. Decisions demand team effort and discussions, this is no Monopoly negotiation on sale price, this is a group of people discussing the advantages or disadvantages on killing survivors to keep others alive. For the greater good...
Disadvantages Learning the game will require time set aside for learning the rules and mechanics. Youâ€™ll need a large table area to play the game properly and to properly fit a bountiful cheese platter.
BOARD GAMES: STRATEGY
X-WING MINIATURES GAME
ROOKIE PILO Which core set should I get? Follow your heart. There are two different core sets available for X-Wing. You have the original trilogy core set featuring 2 TIE Fighters and on X-Wing or The Force Awakens core set which includes 2 First Order TIE Fighters and a T-70 X-Wing. While both sets are different, the differences lie in a different damage card list and the difference in ship stats between the T-65 and the T-70 X-Wing. The short answer, choosing one over the other does not leave you in a noticeable advantage or disadvantage in gameplay or squad building. Follow your heart. If The Force Awakens Starfighter battles filled you unbridled excitement and wonder, pick up the Force Awakens core set. Or, if the majesty of the WW2 dogfight-inspired battles of the original trilogy runs through your veins, pick up the original trilogy core set.
Rebels or Imperials, which faction should I concentrate on? Know yourself.
One of the greatest tacticians in history, Sun Tzu, once said “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” Those words are there to guide you, just as they did Generals hundreds of years ago. Look deep within your soul and meditate on whether you prefer to be small and manoeuvrable or strong and slow. As in the movies, so to in X-Wing miniatures does the Empire favour weaker Starfighters but in greater number while the Rebels specialise in lower number but stronger Starfighters. In your first couple of games you’ll get the feel for the quick (yet unshielded) & zippy TIE Fighter up against the comparatively sluggish but great firepower & shields of the X-Wing. For your first steps into the realm of X-Wing expansions, if you feel yourself
drawn to the Ninja-esk playstyles you’ll be looking at putting your time and money into the Imperial forces. If you like the feeling of shields and heavy laser fire, Rebels is a good direction.
What’s the ship & pilot upgrades all about? To further enhance your play style. Sifting through all your ship upgrades & pilots can seem like a daunting task at the very beginning, but with some experimenting and imagination you can create a squad that complements your play style perfectly. By trying out different upgrades on different pilots you can propel your ninja-like attack style to be near on undefeatable. Upgrading your TIE Fighters with extra hull & assigning pilot cards that come with defence or attack bonuses can turn what was once a weak ship with good turns into an incredibly hard to hit target while packing a powerful close range laser volley.
OTS GUIDE Quick Overview X-Wing is a tactical ship-to-ship combat game in which players take control of powerful Rebel X-wings and nimble Imperial TIE fighters, facing them against each other in fast-paced space combat. Featuring stunningly detailed and painted miniatures, XWing recreates exciting Star Wars space combat throughout its several included scenarios. Select your crew, plan your maneuvers, and complete your mission! The X-Wing starter set includes everything you need to begin your battles, such as scenarios, cards, and fully assembled and painted ships. Whatâ€™s more, X-Wingâ€™s quick-to-learn ruleset establishes the foundation for a system that can be expanded with your favorite ships and characters from the Star Wars universe.
Gametraders stores now have gaming tables where you can see the latest in table top gaming in action!
upon your playstyle first forged in I want to build a 100point the fires of your core set games. squad, what should my first expansions be? There are a lot of Imperial Aces & Rebel Aces pack accessories out for X-Wing, are a great first expansion experi- what one is going to succeed ence. in transporting me to the The Imperial Aces comes with two Star Wars universe? TIE Interceptors (including Royal Gard pilots) & the Rebel Aces pack comes with an A-Wing and a BWing. These are recommended first purchase expansions as they double down on the characteristics of each faction. The TIE Interceptors allow an already ninja mindset to control the space battle through their incredibly good manoeuvring. Zipping along at breakneck speed to loop behind an unsuspecting XWing is the TIE Interceptor’s speciality. The A-Wing gives the Rebel faction a fast, manoeuvrable (and cheap on squad points) interceptor that has the added bonus of shields, it’ll give TIE Fighters a definite challenge. The B-Wing, with its sleek design, may not move too fast or manoeuvre too quickly, however, it’s shielded up the wahzoo and packs a hard punch, especially with weapons upgraded. With these on your list for your first expansions, you’ll be able to build
An official X-Wing game mat. For a long while I was playing on tables, board room tables & coffee tables and using string, masking tape & lanyards strung together to map out the borders. That all changed when I purchased the X-Wing mat. As a lover of giant space battles, I had to go with the Death Star II over Endor for the X-Wing map design. The landscape under your space battles really sucks you into the game, the pieces move better when placing positions and all the border dimensions are nicely played out. My Instagram is now filled with pictures of my Starfighters over Endor. This has been a brief introduction to answer some of the questions I first struggled with when I took up the X-Wing Miniatures Game love. Stay tuned for more strategy, buy guides, new Scum faction, new ships and information on X-Wing!
LEARN TO PLAY tutorial:
Fantasy Flight Games have a series of indepth tutorials to help you go from rookie to fully fledged pilot in no time!
BY dustin wilson
retro the continuing story of retro editor, paul monopoli’s gaming journey...
The Gamer diaries: Being a high school student with a job had its ups and downs. On the one hand, I was able to buy whatever I wanted, and I did! On the flip side, I had less time to do the things that I wanted to do. This trend has continued into adulthood, where I now find myself writing about games more than playing them. I’m not complaining, far from it. I know my video games will be there when I have the time, but it’s interesting to see how life works. In late 1994 I was finally in a position to purchase a PC that was able to handle the newest titles on the market. I ordered my 486DX4-100 and patiently awaited the phone call to tell me that it was ready to pick up. Thankfully it was the school holidays so being available to get it wasn’t he issue, but transport was. My father reluctantly took me to pick up the computer, but the catch was that I had to stay at my Aunt’s house while he went to work. My Aunt lived near his workplace, so it was a convenient solution for him. It wasn’t so convenient for me, as my computer sat in the corner of her lounge room all day while I sat around waiting for him to finish work. I eventually got it home, plugged it in, turned it on and the phone rang. My night fill manager was on the line. He asked if I had picked up the computer, and I confirmed that I had. He said “well, that’s a shame,
as we need you to come in tonight and fill some shelves”. I could hear the mocking smile in his voice, but I needed the money. Before I purchased my PC I had found a cheap copy of The Lost Vikings at Radio Rentals in Tea Tree Plaza. I tried to play it on the Amstrad 5286 but the game would detect the onboard chipset and display a message saying that it would not run on anything below a 386. I installed the game on my new 486 and it ran like a dream. The game is a platform puzzler that features 3 vikings, all with their own abilities, who are lost in time and space. The graphics were nice and detailed for their time, with a decent soundtrack to boot. The controls are extremely precise, so while the game is a little frustrating in later levels, you really have no one to blame but yourself if you die. The Super Nintendo version was available, but the PC version was cheaper. James had started delving into the world of retro gaming well before I did. A couple of years prior his parents had bought him an Intellivision with a bunch of games. I’m pretty sure they picked it up at a garage sale. We had played it a few times over the years, and initially I wasn’t too impressed. With us abandoning our Amstrad computers, we seemed to need more of a gam-
1994 - 1995
ing outlet than the Super Nintendo alone. Almost every time I would visit we would get out the Intellivision for a few rounds of Baseball. James had other games, but he seemed really keen on this one. I remember that Tron Deadly Discs was another favourite. I found the circular control a little awkward, but it is something a person can get used to given time.
The Bi-Lo supermarket at the Ingle Farm Shopping Centre used to have a news agency directly across the mall. There was a hot dog stand in the middle, where an Italian man with an afro hair style would serve hot dogs and soft serve ice cream. I used to indulge in a ‘dog when I was working enough hours to require a lunch break. During breaks or after work I would head across to the newsagent. While I had stopped collecting Amstrad Action, and had sold the Amstrad computer itself, I still kept up to date with the goings on in the world of the CPC. Sadly not much was happening in that world, and the magazine was filled with commercial games being rereleased on budget labels and public domain software. The magazine was also a lot thinner than the 80+ page issues that I used to buy. I was looking for a new magazine to keep me informed about the goings on in the PC scene. I’ve always loved a good magazine, something that allows the writers to display a bit of themselves in their writing. Future Publishing, the makers of Amstrad Action, had released a magazine called PC Format. The title seems a little “gamer unfriendly” but it featured some of the same
writers that used to be in Amstrad Action, as well as having a similar feel. In the 90s I would always be drawn to Future Publishing magazines, as they always felt so welcoming, as well as being full of the content that gamers needed in the pre-Internet days. I would read each issue from cover to cover, sometimes more than once. Now that I had a modern PC I was able to rejoin the world of the pirates and trade games with the kids at school. No one thought twice about piracy, it was just a thing that happened. If someone had a game you wanted you would simply give them a blank disc, only to receive it back the next day with that game copied onto it. I had delved into the world of Leisure Suit Larry with Carmelo, though I wasn’t aware that the game had been remade with VGA graphics. I traded a copy of this version and returned to Lefty’s Bar for a more graphically enhanced attempt at wooing the ladies. The icon system was a little frustrating to begin with, but I enjoyed this more than the original. A year or two earlier I was with my father when he visited a friend of his. As was the norm with him, during the visit I was evicted from the room where the grownups were & was sat in front of an Amiga with a collection of discs. One of the games I played, and thoroughly enjoyed, was The Secret of Monkey Island. It was one of those games where the formula was perfect. The graphics, the interface, the music and the humour all felt like digital perfection. It’s little surprise that the game is still popular today. At school the big game doing the rounds was
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis kept me entertained for many hours, and I completed the game 3 times over. As you progress through the game you are presented with 3 paths, commonly referred to as the “Team path”, the “Fists path” and the “Wits path”. I remembered a game with the same title previewed in Amstrad Action magazine a couple of years prior. The image in the magazine bore no resemblance to what I was playing here, which surprised me. I figured that an 8-bit computer could easily replicate the SCUMM interface used with the LucasArts point and click titles. Alas, it was not to be, and I later learned that the 8-bit computer line received an isometric 3D action game instead of the SCUMM classic. In early 1995 I purchased my next SCUMM title, Sam and Max Hit the Road. For this release the interface was given a complete overhaul and was significantly different to Monkey Island and Indiana Jones. Magazine reviews of the game were favourable, though many reviewers could not take to the new interface. I was more focused on the brilliant story and laugh-out-loud humour than the new controls. I have remained a fan of the game, and one of the highlights of my life so far has been interviewing Bill Farmer (the voice of Sam) about his involvement in it. It’s common knowledge that a sequel was in development before it was abruptly cancelled, but what many people may not know is that
1994 - 1995
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. I noticed the similar interface to Monkey Island and knew that if it was from the same developer that I was in for a treat.
all of the voice work was completed. Bill still has copies of the CDs in his home in Los Angeles. While certain agreements prevent him from allowing these recordings to be released, he did confirm that in the cancelled game Sam and Max switch bodies, meaning that Bill had to voice Max while he was in Sam’s body, and Nick Jameson (the voice of Max) had to do the opposite. What might have been...
1995 saw the release of the first LucasArts archive bundle, and I purchased it on release. I played through Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis all 3 times again, only this time with full speech! It wasn’t Harrison Ford, that much was obvious, but the game was so immersive and so much fun that I didn’t care. Day of the Tentacle was included in the package, and I had read an article in PC Format claiming that it was a much better game than Sam and Max Hit the Road. While I enjoyed Day of the Tentacle I felt that Sam and Max was the superior title. There was just something about those characters that drew me into their world. Sam and Max was also included with LucasArts Archives, and I promptly sold this second copy to my buddy Maurice. One evening I found myself back over my Aunt’s house and The Empire Strikes Back was on TV. I hadn’t seen a Star Wars movie since the 80s, but as there was nothing else for me to do I sat down and watched it. This was a turning point for me, and it began my obsession with Star Wars. I discovered the expanded universe that was being developed around this time, starting with Timo-
I would regularly keep an eye on catalogues, looking for Super Nintendo discounts. Though I now had a job I was only a casual and the games were still expensive. I spotted a catalogue that featured Super Mario Kart for $39.95. An absolute bargain! I made my way to the store, I believe that it may have been Harris Scarfe, and purchased the game. While I hadn’t played it yet, Super Mario Kart was receiving rave reviews in the gaming press, and the footage I had seen of it was quite impressive. Whenever I used to visit James or Clinton, Streetfighter 2 was still the game that saw the most action in the Super Nintendo. When Super Mario Kart came along, we all of a sudden we went from kicking each other’s heads in to racing and battling on the Mario themed tracks.
1994 - 1995
thy Zahn’s Admiral Thrawn trilogy of novels, and I became immersed in it. Books, comics, VHS originals of the movies, and video games, I had to have it all! 1995 saw the release of Dark Forces, and my recently acquired PC was more than up to the task of playing this game. While it was receiving positive reviews in the gaming press, it was still seen as inferior to Doom. As a Star Wars fan I completely disagree. I have always felt that both games are superior in their own right.
Interestingly, the “VS mode” was the least used, as my friends and I preferred battle mode with the occasional grand prix race. I played the game at every opportunity and became so good that I would use the “shrink characters” cheat code to give myself more of a challenge. This can be achieved by highlighting your desired racer on the character select screen, then holding down the Y button and pressing A. Your character will shrink as if they had picked up a poisonous mushroom. However, beware of the other racers. If you don’t get to the front of the pack quickly then you’re likely to be squashed over and over again! That’s all the space I have for this month. Join me next month as James and I explore the dark side of Super Nintendo gaming!
I can be found online doing crazy things like writing about video games. If you want to see more of what I do then feel free to give me a follow on Twitter, where I am @ dizrythmia See you next time!
WRITTEN BY PAUL MONOPOLI
movies It’s October and that of course means Halloween is coming. Whilst not as big in Australia as the U.S, more and more Australian kids are going to be out door knocking and hoping for Treats. Halloween is also a great time to get your friends around, grab a horror movie or two and get enjoy being frightened. So to help you pick the right movies we thought we’d share our friends in Podcasting, Phil Leirness and Dean Haglunds’ to horror movies from their recent podcast - Chillpak Hollywood The guys talked through their top 10 horror movies and so in the spirit of cross media friendship, we proudly present their list, but first... who’s Phil and Dean?
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From their website bio: “Dean Haglund, the actor, improv comic and inventor (best known as “Langly,” one of the three computer-hacking geeks on “The X-Files” and their spin-off series “The Lone Gunmen”) engages in thought-provoking, insightful, and irreverent cultural conversation with his co-host and producing partner, independent filmmaker and certified violence prevention specialist Phil Leirness in the production offices of Rational Exuberance. Warning: Dean and Phil’s usually hilarious and frequently inspiring discussions are habit-forming, so please, enjoy responsibly!” As a long term listener Chillpak is one of the most enjoyable listens for podcast fans. It’s funny, informative and a damn good listen. Now, over to the boys for their top horror movies and see if their list matches yours.
www.instagram.com/deanandphil www.facebook.com/chillpakhollywood www.twitter.com/DeanAndPhil
DS IN PODCASTING
TOP HORROR MOVIES Phil’s Top Horror Movies
Dean’s Top Horror Movies
10 - It Follows from 2015 With Maika Monroe and Jake Weary Directed by David Robert Mitchell
10 - Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide from 1920 starring John Barrymore and directed by John S. Robertson
9 - Let the Right One In - Swedish Version from 2008 Starring Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson Directed by Tomas Alfredson
9 - Let the Right One In - Swedish Version from 2008 Starring Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson Directed by Tomas Alfredson
8 - Ringu - (Ring) the Japanese horror movie from 1998 Starring Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani and directed by Hideo Nakata
8 - Night of the Living Dead - 1968 Starring Judith O’Dea, Duane Jones and directed by George A. Romero
7 - Texas Chainsaw Massacre - 1974 Starring Marilyn Burns, Paul A Pertain, Edwin Neal Directed by Tobe Hooper 6 - Repulsion - 1965 Starring Catherine Deneuve and directed by Roman Polanski 5 - Jaws - 1975 With Roy Schieder, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss Directed by Steven Spielberg
7 - Candyman - 1992 Starring Virginia Madsen and Tony Todd Directed by Bernard Rose 6 - Dracula - 1931 Starring Bela Lugosi and directed by Tod Browning with uncredited Karl Freund 5 - Nosferatu - 1922 Starring Max Schreck and directed by F.W. Murnau
Listen to Phil and Dean for the rest of the list here... www.chillpakhollywood.com and listen to Chillpak Hollywood Hour number 486
CHILL PAK HOLLYWOOD
Halloween is almost here, my personal favorite time of year! So I was asked to make a little list for you all. As a horror film nut, to put together my top ten favorite horror films! It’s about to get messy!
10. SCREAM (1996) Wes Craven’s irreverent, self-aware masterpiece is one of the best slasher films around. Mostly due to it’s clever and witty script that not only serves to make a great and effective slasher film, but also tear the genre apart in true tongue and cheek satirical style. It also gave us the great screen killer “GhostFace” who would go on to kill again in three more sequels and a TV show spin off. The original film though stands as a great horror film but also as a great dark-comedy. Well worth a watch!
9. Night Of The Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero’s 1968 Night of The Living Dead sees the birth of the modern zombie film. This black-and-white gem shows us a disturbing reality where the dead come back to life to feast upon the living. It is very famous for several reasons. It is one of the first films to feature a protagonist of colour, which still makes it significant. The film really stands as one of the first horror films with a real downer of an ending. Usually in old horror films at the end of the movie, the sun rises,
evil is defeated and the heroes walk off (or limp off) into a safe dawn. In Night of the Living Dead... Nope. After surviving the entire night from attacking undead monsters, our hero Ben emerges from the house only to be shot dead by a group of militant locals putting down the living dead. The film ends with gruesome images of Ben being picked up with meat hooks like livestock and being thrown on a bon fire. A cruel and gruesome end to a good man. The movie leaves you with a sinking feeling in your stomach, as all good horror should.
8. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter’s Halloween still stands as my favorite of the slasher movies. There is something wonderfully horrible about Michael Myers. Seen by the public as an escaped murder/mental patient. Yet his psychiatrist sees him as the living embodiment of pure evil. It presents this somewhat realistic story of a crazed killer, yet at the end begs the question of a seemingly supernatural influence over the story. Just remember that not every trick or treater is out to have fun.
7. The Thing (1982) Another hit for John Carpenter. The Thing is a masterpiece of psychological horror, paranoia horror and ultimately body horror. As an alien being infects members of a remote arctic research base. The remain-
ing crew members are left to work out who is their friend and who is a monstrous alien beast seemingly wearing their friends as a suit. The resulting tension is absolutely fantastic. When you finally see the creature itself it stands as one of the best implementations of practical special effects and still to this day looks incredible and disgusting! You never know who to trust.
6. Jaws (1975) The first blockbuster. I had to have Jaws on this list. It is in my opinion still the finest film ever made. As a horror film their have been better, but as a film, it is pretty flawless. This giant shark movie could be considered the starting point for all other nature run amok horror films, yet Jaws still stands as the best. Elevated by a great script, perfect Spielberg direction and three Oscar worth performances from Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfus. Jaws becomes a great barreling beast of a film that grips you from its dark isolated beach opening till its bombastic explosive finale.
5. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin’s The Exorcist still stands as one of the most terrifying films ever made. The story of a violated youth by the darkness of pure evil and the redemptive story of priest out of touch with his faith still remain such a powerful story.
WE’VE HEARD FROM THE EXPERTS IN HOLLYWOOD ABOUT THEIR HORROR PICKS, NOW HERE’S OUR RESIDENT HORROR LOVER AND COMIC EXPERT, SCOTT SOWTER ON HIS SUGGESTIONGS TO SCARE THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF YOU THIS HALLOWEEN The year of it’s release saw Catholic church attendance go through the roof. It was one of those first truly gruelling cinema experiences. A test to see if you could make it till the end. It’s use of religion and symbolism as well as subliminal imagery remains the best in modern cinema. It is a powerful and remarkable film, but is not for the weak of heart.
4. Re-Animator (1985) Stuart Gordons darkly funny adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story Herbert West Re-Animator is the best adaptation of a Lovecraft story (with the only possible competitor being Gordon’s later adaptation of From Beyond). Re-Animator is a gruesome, often hilarious horror comedy about a scientist trying to invent a cure for death. The results are however... Less than successful. Often turning people into insane monsters. The blood never stops flowing in this insane movie. One scene involving an undead cat is simply the funniest scene in the film. Well worth watching! Also introduced the world to cult star Jeffery Combs.
3. Alien (1979) Alien in my opinion is one of the most remarkably twisted and perverted films ever made. The film revolves around the crew of a spaceship being assaulted by a remorseless killing machine, the eponymous Alien. It first impreg-
nates a man, and comes into the world through a very violent birthing scene! It then proceeds to grow up and crawl about the ship penetrating the crew members. It is a horrific sexual predator. All of the designs from master creep H.R. Giger have a bizarre level of sexual imagery about them, making the Alien and it’s surrounding that much more off putting and terrifying. It is a brilliant and tense film that birthed an epic legacy.
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) The sixties ended with Charles Manson and the death of the hippie culture. The youth of America in this time were left with the Vietnam War and a sense that they had somehow lost. Peace and Love changed nothing... This volatile environment in the social fabric of America gave birth to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Tobe Hooper brings us a gritty, realistic, unrelenting horror film, that is filmed more like a documentary than regular cinema and what it gives you is a pure nightmare engine. The story of a cannibalistic family of serial killers from the remote backwoods of America took the world by storm and introduced us to the killer known as Leatherface, a killer who literally wears other people’s faces. The film is savage and filthy. And at the end of the film, the victim barely escapes although her sanity is left in question and the killers are left to continue their rampage of murder,
torture and feasting. It’s a true HORROR film.
1. EVIL DEAD (1981) My favorite horror film is Evil Dead. The darkly funny, brutal masterpiece from then twenty-one-yearold filmmaker Sam Raimi. The film is just a blood bath. It was so violent it was banned in England on it’s initial release. The film tells the story of a group of friends in an isolated cabin in the woods who unwittingly unleash an army of demons called deadites, who possess the group one by one. The only way to stop a deadite, “complete bodily dismemberment”. What follows is more blood and gore than any other movie of the time period. The film’s real legacy is its hero Ash, played by Bruce Campbell. The film spawned two sequels, a few video games and now a hit TV show. It is a great ride, gory, scary but above all fun. Happy Halloween!
BY scott f. sowter
tien blacktown artist
Here at Live Magazine we love sharing the art and passion of our friends. This month we got to know a talented artist, Tien who is a friend of our Blacktown Store. We asked Tien about her art and how she got started... I got into art from a very young age. Specifically when I was in Kindergarten I really enjoyed drawing and thought how amazing it felt to be able to create and recreate a favourite character with my own hands just by looking at an image. As I grew up, I kept trying to improve my drawings more and so I started creating a lot of my works from scratch during the beginning of high school. What inspires you? Inspiration comes to me when I see other artists’ work. I treat other artists as my own mentor, which motivates me to hope I can one day surpass them with my own style – that leads me to how I start a project. I usual-
ly try to get an idea of how I would compose my work just by looking at other artists’ work or think of different concepts that I could compose my ideas and styles with. For example, my original concept with the bombing of Hiroshima - in link with the Fallen Angel as the mythical creature for that historical event. The image below (left) was for my HSC Major for Visual Arts course of Year 12. You’ve already produced some great art, what’s next? My future goals at this moment with my art, is to get into a design course in University or other pathways, as long as I can get my skills to improve in all aspects, as well as achieve positive and professional recognition when I bring my skills into a workplace. Yes, I have also done studies through school and during my personal time. The way I study designing and development of art is through reading art his-
tory and art critic of different artists (e.g. Banksy, Andy Warhol, Stelarc), I would say it made me more open to the impression of art and it’s not just about the image but the meaning of the composition and concept. Other ways I usually study is also through playing different games on different consoles, as the art itself within different games has taught me how it links with the audience’s experience. Also, watching tv shows and anime has also influenced my art making. To be honest, I truly adore the styles of different mangas/comics and animations. To see more of Tien’s art head over to one of her online pages. Readers are more than welcome to find my work through my facebook page @ facebook.com/tiennieeart, Instagram @tienniee and devianart @ tienniee.deviantart.com.
www.facebook.com/tiennieeart www.instagram.com/tienniee www.tienniee.deviantart.com
During my lunch breaks at work I will often read the news, just to see what’s going on in the world. Yes, outside of writing articles for magazines I have a standard 9-5 job, with all of the adult responsibilities that go along with it. During one of these breaks I came across an article that was written by an alleged ‘comedian’ who goes by the name Greg Larsen. Larsen is a self confessed “nerd” who paints a dark picture of other people who identify as such. The article is titled “Why I Hate the Big Bang Theory”, and while I abhor the idea that many of you might want to go and read it, giving the page valuable clicks, my University training has taught me that citations are important. So in the interests of protecting ones self from any potential problems I will provide a link at the end.
Firstly, allow me to say that I am disgusted with news.com.au for not only publishing this article, but paying this ‘comedian’ to write it. Regardless of whether you are a fan of the Big Bang Theory or not, an article that is designed to promote hatred towards a facet of popular culture is simply not cool. I do a lot of work for conventions in Adelaide and Melbourne, so I see a lot of people who identify as ‘nerds’, ‘geeks’ and ‘tech heads’. Like any group of people you might meet, they come from a variety of backgrounds. They have all been raised in different parenting styles, come from different areas, live differently
it’s ok to be a
from one another. If you were to believe the ramblings of Mr Larsen you could be forgiven for thinking that all nerds are tarred with the same brush as he states that: “Nerds don’t sit around in a nice furnished apartment and have healthy social lives/bodies. They are dangerously overweight, or underweight, live in dank basements decorated with Donald Trump posters and scream death threats and obscenities at 12-year-old kids while playing Counter-Strike on their Alienware PCs. I know. I have been in those basements. You don’t ever want to find yourself there.”
I have never seen such a disgusting generalisation written about a group of people from a person who claims to be one of them. He further states that nerds are “bitter little sh*ts who have nothing but contempt for anyone who doesn’t own a $5000 gaming PC with a mechanical keyboard and a triple monitor set up.” Larsen further adds “Nerds aren’t cool. Most of them aren’t studying physics, they are arguing with people in My Little Pony pornography forums, or hacking government websites so they display hardcore porn, or taking photos of their di*ks after inserting stuff into them and uploading it to 4chan. Basically pornography is always involved.” He ends the article by claiming that nerds are “the very worst people our society has to offer”.
WRITTEN BY PAUL MONOPOLI I feel that there are two important points that need to be addressed here; why does someone feel the need to publicly bash a TV show that brings joy to many, and where does this stereotype of nerds has come from? Let me bring both of these together and actually support one of the arguments that Mr Larson has put forward. I was attending an event where two mutual friends were having a discussion. One of them loves Poke-
mon, she plays every game that is released and owns a fair chunk of related merchandise. The other friend absolutely hates Pokemon, he feels that the premise is simplistic, the show is poorly animated and that fans of the franchise go overboard, clogging up his Facebook feeds every time a new game is released. During their discussion, the friend who likes Pokemon casually mentioned that she had been playing the game recently which caused the other friend to deliver a two hour diatribe on everything
that was wrong with the franchise. At the end of the rant my Pokemon loving friend felt genuinely bad for liking it and was close to tears. As a consequence they have little to do with each other and the ‘ranty’ friend is at a loss as to why that is. This is one of Mr Larsen’s “bitter little sh*ts” who are apparently everywhere in the community. Having been involved in conventions and gaming events I have come across a few other people who act like this. These people
brew their own individual form of ‘social poison’ with their attitudes, yet blame others around them when they end up alone with nobody to hang out with. It’s important to note that these people are a minority, and are more often than not rejected from the mainstream nerd communities. While I find Larsen’s description of nerds disturbing, they most certainly do not apply to me. I live in a nice 3 bedroom house that I own, with my gorgeous wife and ador-
ing puppy dog. I don’t own a $5000 gaming PC, and would rather use my 2011 17” Macbook Pro with a single monitor. Being that it’s a laptop, the keyboard is standard Apple issue and is nothing special. I’m not studying physics, but I have a Bachelor of Education with graduate level TESOL qualifications and am studying a Masters in Journalism. I have never had much of an interest in pornography and, not to brag, but I haven’t really needed to if you know what I mean… I would consider myself to be slightly overweight, but I can fit into most ‘medium’ sized clothing. My house is always well lit, I am mild mannered and do not own a Donald Trump poster. I think that covers most of the gross generations that were mentioned. At this point you might be asking what my nerdy qualifications are. Well, I write about games, I play games, I watch anime and I interview video game and pop culture related celebrities. I help to run the website www.retrospekt.com.au, I have hosted video game trivia shows at AVCon, Oz Comic Con, PAX Australia and the Adelaide Fringe, and I contribute video game related presentations at these events. Almost everybody that I know who identifies as a nerd has a job, lives in their own space, and can function in everyday society. I am struggling to think where this extreme stereotype of nerds has come from. Maybe Mr Larsen needs to explore the greater community before passing judgement, and I question whether he has ever attended a pop culture event. The other point addresses the fact that Larsen so brutally criticises a TV show that is beloved by millions of people. Additionally, his knowl-
edge of the program appears to be quite out of date, but as it is continuously being rerun on Channel 9 one could forgive that. Whether you enjoy The Big Bang Theory or not is completely irrelevant, by the way. Love it or hate it, it really doesn’t matter here. I have provided one example of how one over the top rant has caused another person to feel, but this sort of thing occurs all of the time in the greater community, and more often than not by people who don’t identify as nerds. When I was growing up I was always told that most of my interests were “not normal”, and that continues to this day. The kids I would go to school with and those on my (now estranged) father’s side of the family would take great delight in telling me that what I was interested in was not the social norm. Apparently I was supposed to enjoy sports, mainly football, and drinking and gambling when I got older. I was not allowed to enjoy anything that was animated, old, video game related or considered childish without being criticised for it. At family events I would be asked “what position are you playing this year?” only to reply that I wasn’t playing football. This would abruptly end the conversation, as the person who asked the question would turn away as if the last 10 seconds had never happened. If I was watching an anime on the family television I would be told to “turn that rubbish off”. When I developed an interest in Star Wars my father asked me “why would you want to watch that? It’s old isn’t it?” If I was playing a video game I would be encouraged to not play for an extended period and to do something else. The fact that those people who criticised me would spend many hours in front of the television
was ignored. It seems that anything that catches on with the current generation is often heavily criticised by the one before it. I don’t wish to generalise, as Mr Larsen has done, as I know that many adults would play video games with their children, or embrace their interests. I guess I wasn’t so lucky, but from what I have observed in myself and others, those sorts of experiences, like all life experiences, will shape a person. As people we have a choice to use that negativity to either become bitter, or to learn and become more accepting of others. I am guessing that Mr Larsen has become the former, while I have become the latter. There are sections of pop culture that I have no interest in at all. If a person asks me a question about cosplay they will get a polite brush off, as it’s not something I am interested in at all. However, rather than criticise it, I will attempt to redirect the conversation and find something else to talk about. In nerd communities it’s rare to find someone who you have absolutely nothing in common with. The word ‘nerd’ has often been used to describe those who are socially awkward, who obsess over the obscure, and love technology. Keep in mind that the word has only been in the English lexicon since the 1950s, and its definition has evolved over that time. The introduction of the term “sports nerds” and its frequent use proves that this definition is changing. On a personal note, I love that expression. Referring to sports lovers as a different form of nerd puts everyone on the same level, and it has been proven that sports are not as popular as they once were. New, interactive forms of entertainment have been developed that,
to many, are far more appealing than watching or participating in a game of football. I’m not saying that being active has no relevance in today’s society, I myself have a second degree blackbelt in a variation of Kyokushin Karate. There are people who enjoy both sports and video games. The point is that one interest is not superior to another, yet to many people society still dictates that this is not true.
The terms “haters gonna hate” was created for a reason. There is a subculture of people who will ‘hate on’ anything that they have no interest in or don’t agree with. What people need to be aware of is that it’s damaging and hurtful. Everybody needs to understand there there is more in this world than the tiny corner that they inhabit. If you don’t like something that other people do (or ‘millions of people do’ in the case of the Big Bang Theory) then that’s
fine, it’s probably not for you. Being bitter about it, to an extent that others feel bad for enjoying it, is not how we should be behaving, especially in a public space like news. com.au. I can be found doing my retro thing on Twitter. Feel free to give me a follow @dizrythmia Citation:
Larsen, G. (2016). Why I Hate The Big Bang Theory. News. com.au. [online] Available at: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/why-i-hate-the-big-bang-theory/news-story/ ca3469e70d10cadf5c402e491596b5a2
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LEGO STAR W
THE FORCE AWAKENS
LEGO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS The Lego franchise has been a big part of gaming industry since their first licensed release in 2001, which brought us Lego: Harry Potter. Although they have brought out numerous other titles since then, I find that the biggest hype is always around the Lego: Star Wars games and with good reason. Pairing two of the most well-known companies is always going to bring in a crowd, catering to the Star Wars and Lego fanatics in a massive way. For those who have played any Lego games, young and old would agree that they are thoroughly enjoyable in every way. Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is no different, providing us with the countless characters and hidden items to collect, entertaining cinematics and ridiculous amounts of ‘Studs’. With each game there are usually a slight difference in gameplay, The Force Awakens introduces re-buildable blocks, cover-to-cover shooting and space/flying battles. If you are a perfectionist like myself and want to collect everything… Good Luck! Lego provides well over 200 characters to collect, 10 ‘Minikits’ per level and 18 total ‘Red Bricks’. For each character you unlock you may find they will have multiple different outfits to unlock as well, which could be as simple as buying them if you have the ‘Studs’ or collecting materials such as ‘Carbonite Bricks’, which can take up quite a lot of time.
Before each level of game play, you are played a small ‘film clip’. This is easily one of my favourite parts of the Lego games, bringing a humorous and entertaining side to each short clip. Although the clips keep you laughing, they are surprisingly accurate to the movie and progression of the game. ‘Studs’ are the common currency of each Lego title and can be found anywhere in the game. For first time players, the best advice I can give is break everything in sight and explore each level with a fine tooth comb. You will occasionally find blue and purple studs if you find secret areas or hard to reach places. Studs will help purchase new characters and activate any red bricks you have found. Throughout each mission you will find blocks bouncing and moving on the ground. These are ‘re-buildable blocks’ and are strategically placed for you to build a structure to help you progress through the level. In previous games you would build exactly what you needed and move on quickly, but this isn’t the case in Force Awakens. Each structure you build can usually be built 2 or 3 different ways, which in turn gives you trickier puzzles or helps you get to those secret are-
as mentioned earlier. To verify how many different ways, you can build these blocks simply stand in the spot required to build and orange silhouettes will flash in the locations you are able to build. The cover to cover shooting feature was exactly what the game needed to put you in the thick of battle and break up the basic hack and slash fighting that is throughout the entire game. Generally, it will give you characters with blasters in order to actually be able to fight back against the waves of enemies, but it’s not always as simple as shooting back. Most of the time you will be looking for a strategic advantage and switching to characters that help you achieve your goal and moving to certain cover to get better angles on enemies. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there were two types of battles – space and flight battles, each consisting of free flight and linear. During the free flight battles you have complete control of the space craft, allowing you to move and dodge in which any direction which allows for exploring of the arena and interesting fire fights. Linear battles are exactly as they sound, you are generally on one set path dodging and shooting any object in your way.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an overall great game, providing a good mixture of puzzles, space battles, hack and slash and countless hours of game play. If you are a first time player or veteran of the series I have no doubt in saying you will find endless entertainment playing this game.
ACCESSIBLE AMAZING VISUALS ALL AGES WOULD ENJOY
SOME CAMERA ANGLES CAN BE FRUSTRATING OBJECTIVES ARENâ€™T ALWAYS OBVIOUS
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRAILER! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13UyQre0qd4
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Nâ€™S SKY review
NO MAN’S SKY
We are not alone... oh wait.
From the ambitious, technological wonder that was the original concept of Sean Murray and Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky that had the gaming community head over heels. Now, ‘No Man’s Lie’, the 2016 Space Action-Adventure has gone from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Minecraft ALPHA in space. No Man’s Sky is not a constant multiplayer game, it is not a spacesimulator, it is not a story-driven experience, and it is by far not what was presented to consumers at exhibitions and public displays. You start on one of ‘millions’ of procedurally generated planets in the middle of a random space-system in the middle of a gigantic universe. Your ship is broken. You have to find a number of certain elements around the planet to fix your ship. You look around; the planet is beautifully vivid and amazingly alien. Fauna, rocks, maybe even a little critter running around. You set off in the most interesting looking direction following the steppingstones of learning the game mechanics, naming your first planet, and fixing your ship. Things are looking good at the first hour mark. At close to the three-hour point you realise what you’ve just begun. No Man’s Sky is a resource management/survival game.
I’d suggest making your own experience and story out of No Man’s Sky. Take your time, discover as much as you can on your first planet and don’t leave until you are struggling to find that last creature. You still look up amongst the stars astonished at the possible wonders waiting for your discovery throughout the galaxy… ignorance is bliss. The bare-bones story involves an entity called the Atlas that sets you on a specific journey to find knowledge stones and learn more about the alien races around you. However, the actual ultimate goal is to journey to the centre of the universe. The journey is long, it’s redundant, and (MINOR SPOILERS – SKIP TO NEXT PARAGRAPH) not worth it at all. I won’t go into detail, but... well, there isn’t much in the ending anyway. Gameplay becomes tedious after about three hours. You’re out of Carbon to fuel your multi-tool. Oh, now you’re out of Plutonium to fly your ship. Whoops, you need to refuel your life-support systems or you will die. This would all be fine resource management if it was backed by some sort of interesting story, motivation driving you to the centre of the universe, small sidequests or plot points that aren’t “Hey… you’re going to need some more of [insert element here] to fuel [insert game mechanic here]
and then craft [progression device here]”. Limited by an extremely low initial inventory space and clunky inventory system, navigating the user interface is not fluent at all and leaves for frustrating crafting and management. This becomes the entirety of the mid-game as it’s integral to upgrade your exosuit and ship to progress to the next systems with ease. Mine, use, rinse, repeat. Use your resources as fuel, to heal yourself, or continue along your journey. Maybe you’ll find some treasure or rare elements along the way, sell it off in the universal market and rake in some space dollars to spend on pimped out space ship – but what’s the point if everything is so dull?
In your now fixed ship, you can freely travel around the planet and galaxy. Each planet is dotted with special locations, such as other crashed ships, star ports, a store, or an area of relief from violent weather conditions. However, after your third planet discovery, the quick realisation that everything is “the same but different”, in the sort of style of a paint by numbers where the numbers just mean different colours each time but form the same picture. You may find a planet ridden of fauna or wildlife, maybe one without a sea, but who wants that? You stay there to get
the required advancements and fly off to the next planet and find something interesting to play. This is fault of procedural generation, a randomiser won’t always provide you with the perfect landscape but it should be at least interesting every time. Despite the pretty much non-existent multiplayer besides possibly finding someone’s 45th already discovered creature “Banana Rider 82”, You’re not completely alone. You’ll regularly run into other sentient aliens. Language is an interesting barrier and a means of progression. Uncovering ancient ruins or knowledge stones gives you additional words you can use to piece together each conversation and meeting. Soon enough, you’ll be able to garner a strong enough alliance with the Vy’keen, Gek, or Korvax that they’ll heal you or your shields. If you’re lucky,
they’ll give you a multi-tool that is slightly worse than the one you already found on the wall behind them. These aliens are interesting and the concept of discovering their language, attitudes, and likes to progress easier in their alliances is great – the let-down is that it goes nowhere. Siding with one race doesn’t grant you much more benefit than another, and they’ll all provide similar options and honestly they aren’t that intriguing or motivating to keep you exploring. Automated drones called Sentinels patrol the universe, ranging from passive to chaotic but typically don’t pose much of a threat unless you continuously mine fauna and kill creatures. Aggressive ships in space are far more of a difficulty, mostly due to the terribly inadequate ship controls. After death you return to the last time you exited your ship or closest save point,
making No Man’s Sky one of the more casual survival games out there with death becoming a mere inconvenience rather than a real threat. What really works with No Man’s Sky is from its technological standpoint. Despite the repetitiveness in some of the procedural generated elements, it is quite astonishing what Hello Games’ were able to do here. Crazy flapping cowant eater contraptions and tiny elephant monsters running around planets are nearly always an exciting experience. The soundtrack composed by British post-rock band 65daysofstatic or 65DOS is also generated procedurally and may even be the best part of the game. It’s atmospheric, it fits the mood of the game, it feels like it’s your theme. The seemless traversing from planet surface, to space, to space station, to another planet
PROS: AESTHETICALLY PLEASING TRAVERSE WITH LOADING SCREENS EXCELLENT SOUNDTRACK GOOD CASUAL SESSION GAME
CONS: LACK-LUSTER STORY CLUNKY INVENTORY MANAGEMENT TEDIOUS GAMEPLAY AWFUL ENDING NOT WHAT WAS PROMISED
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRAILER! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aozqa_7PLhE
is one of the things the developers promised from the beginning and made its way to the final release. No loading screens is almost a shock and awe moment when first experiencing it, as is the aesthetic. It’s a beautiful game to look at most of the time. It literally looks like a surreal, sci-fi, acid trip painting. Graphically, it’s not very impressive and definitely doesn’t stand anyway near the ranks of something as impressive as The Witcher 3, but I believe the look it does provide helps cover that. It’s not what consumers were promised at all. However, for what it is, it’s okay. Not an exciting game, nothing to play to get an adrenaline rush or to delve hours upon hours into in a single sitting. I believe No Man’s Sky is a peaceful casual game, along the lines of Minecraft or FTL. It excelled when
I sat down, chuck on an album or podcast to listen to alongside and spend a good hour or two just flowing through the universe, exploring what you can, making discoveries and just doing what you feel. In result, it’s a great game to introduce gaming to someone new, they’ll be able to pick it up and just roam the planet surface without having to worry too much about the clunky inventory and lack-luster story. Hello Games’ and Sean Murray surely made many massive business mistakes with their promotion and development of No Man’s Sky, but for what we received, it’s mediocre at best. The grand scale space spectacular they seemed to advertise to consumers have lead to much hate, controversy, and critique for the game, which is rightfully deserved with predicted law-suits to come. Nonetheless,
the game we have has a very light story with almost nothing to invest a player into, focusing on boring gameplay mechanics that leave motivation to reaching a disappointing ending void. The economy system is as basic as it gets, though having a nice ship is sort impressive for ten minutes. Similarly, the exploration of the planets and the universe leaves you interested for only a short period until the ecstasy wears off. The game is aesthetically pleasing and combined with an excellent soundtrack composed by 65DOS. Unfortunately, multiplayer is essentially not existent outside learning of random player’s prior discoveries. It is a resource management game. Fun for a bit, but not worth the price.
WRITTEN BY omi WWW.STICKYTRIGGER.COM
Star Ocean Integrit
ty and Faithfulness review
STAR OCEAN INTEGRITY AND FAITHFULLNESS We’ve finally cornered the brigands who have been preying on our castle town, cornering their leader at the precipice of a waterfall with our hastily mustered force. That’s when the bandit chief pulls out something our characters have never seen before, a metal rod that seems to shoot fire. Someone has brought a blaster to this sword fight. Of course, it’s hard to be scared of the occasional neat line of laser fire in a world that has mages. In the boss fight that follows I am more concerned with the brigand mages, who can make the ground explode in area of effect with vortexes of fire. Next to that a tinker toy like a raygun seems almost quaint. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness blunts its own impact with too much adherence to JRPG tropes. It makes sense for healing magic to exist in a fantasy setting, but Star Ocean aspires to a scifi vibe too. Rather than getting a contrast between the old and the new, the medieval and the space age, we have a muddle of different influences. Imagine if one act into a Fire Emblem game the heroes went off into outer space to fight
aliens and you can imagine the feel of Star Ocean. Star Ocean is awkwardly positioned as a niche JRPG classic, good enough for its PS1 and PS2 entries to evoke fond memories but not a monster franchise like Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger. There is a changing of the guard in this entry, the first new entry since the PS2 era, and with new producer Shuichi Kobayashi at the helm there is a very visible attempt to retain what makes the series distinctive. Star Ocean‘s trademark real time combat, generous alternate endings and endless crafting options are preserved, but throughout the experience has been streamlined to bring it into line with the diminished attention span of the timepoor modern gamer. Star Ocean has historically had its space-faring protagonists visiting apparently primitive worlds, the videogame equivalent of a Star Trek away mission where the Prime Directive is put to the test. Here roles are reversed, and for the first few hours the player could be forgiven for thinking they had accidentally booted up a Tales game, with bland sword-toting protagonist Fidel traversing his land of monsters and
magic to raise troops to protect his vulnerable castle town from opportunistic bandits. The sci-fi elements are trickled in, but badly upstaged by the pervasiveness of magic. After a few hours we see futuristic healing technology – complete with stasis tubes – and does not compare favourably with the simplicity of just casting a healing spell. Later, standing on the bridge of a spaceship, there is definitely a Star Trek-style feeling of wonder and grandeur (helped along by Motoi Sakuraba’s inspired soundtrack). But to get there with have to slog through almost strikingly generic, antiseptic fantasy. This attempt to build mood means that the casual player will need to persevere for hours before the game begins to reveal its unique identity. As unwieldy as the moniker “Integrity and Faithlessness” is, refreshingly it points to how the game is seriously interested in using the JRPG to explore a theme of loyalty. Fidel crosses paths with young girl Relia, an amnesiac with the power to stop time, and becomes her protector as various forces in his world vie for control of her. Consistently, characters are forced to ques-
tion their loyalties and sometimes break the rules. In one highlight two interstellar visitors who are travelling with the party incognito debate whether to violate their nonintervention directive to save the life of a party member. The JRPG story so often gets lost along the way that it was very satisfying to see one idea explored thoroughly over the course of the game, and it was just enough to elevate the story here above the average for games. While the story can be quite engaging, the characters are unfortunately on the dull side, lacking
the strong personality of Final Fantasy heroes or the timelessness of Dragon Questâ€˜s warriors. Fidel is every young, benevolent hero with a sword (although in a concession to an ageing audience, he is in his mid-20s rather than a teen). The character designs are quite nice, especially the detail on the clothes, but it is hard to get past the distractingly doll-like, creepy facial animations of the 3D models.
very crowded, and often you just choose one target to whittle away at while keeping one eye on the health of other party members in case anyone needs to be thrown a potion. You can give the party members standing orders to follow in a simplified version of Final Fantasy XIIâ€˜s gambit system, so with a little preparation I never had to worry about any of my AI companions doing anything ostentatiously dumb.
Fortunately combat is fresh and engaging, real-time brawls where you control one party member. As your party fills up, battles become
Combat itself depends on a simple but effective rock-paper scissors system. Light attacks can be blocked and countered, but heavy
FUN REAL-TIME ACTION COMBAT BRISK PACE FANTASTIC MUSIC
DULL CHARACTERS FEELS LIKE A RELIC FROM ANOTHER ERA TOO GENERIC TO REALISE FULL POTENTIAL OF PROMISING SETTING
attacks can crush block. Light attacks can also interrupt heavy attacks, so while you have three options none of them are always safe. This means you always have to pay attention to what opponents are doing. Green dragons you face early on provide this lesson, always countering light attacks but leaving themselves open to be smashed with a heavy attack. One fun early boss would constantly spasm with light attacks, and just by keeping up my block and being patient I was unable to unleash a lot of meaty counters. For the most part, combat isn’t much challenge, especially when party ranks swell and you are taking on enemy mobs with a small army. I had the most fun in the extra-tough ‘Cathedral of Oblivion’ bonus dungeons, which along with some rocking music set my party against some very nasty Beholders. Memories of classic JRPGs came flooding back in one 20 minute battle against a floating eye
that wiped out my supply of healing items and left me with just one character between my party and game over. Here I felt some of the old excitement and tension that has been almost completely beaten out of the genre. Where the game feels freshest is in pace and presentation. Random battles are gone, with another nod to Final Fantasy XII having enemies always visible on the world map and nearly flawless transition between exploration and combat. Menus and maps also pop up instantly, removing a flow-breaking niggle that has crippled too many games in the genre. Less successfully, the commitment to a seamless experience means that there are no dramatic cut scenes, just party conversations like the ones in Dragon Age, although here they are mandatory and unskippable. As laudable as the developer’s aims are here, being trapped in a red ring while character models deliver dialogue to each other isn’t
an improvement on the dynamic storytelling presentation of cinematic camera angles. The graphics are decent if a little generic, but the real star here is Motoi Sakuraba’s outstanding, pounding space opera soundtrack. Combat tracks get the blood pumping while the main theme has a searching sense of wonder that fits perfectly with the majesty and expanse of space. Integrity and Faithlessness is a bold attempt to both preserve the Star Ocean brand and update if for a new audience, but it is still a throwback to another era, shamed by the vivid characters and settings of modern classics such as Xenoblade or Persona 4. However it trims just enough flab from the genre to justify a play, a fast forward blitz from tutorial to last boss. On the PS2, this would have been a classic, but it is too mired in the past to be more than a curio or a fun timewaster.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRAILER! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewkFPMMhx6I
JOHN ROBERT LOMBARD WWW.STICKYTRIGGER.COM
WHAT DO YOU LIKE AB “The Xbox one S has been a big game changer for me, the most part of this gen of consoles I have played my ps4 mostly, aside from exclusives. With the launch of the S I haven’t even touched my Ps4 since picking up, it’s a much crisper an clearer gaming experience an being able to watch 4K movies had been a blast. I even have friends that just want to come and hang an watch Deadpool. I feel this is a huge step in the right direction for Microsoft and could even be the claim back into the console war they’ve been needing. I would also recommend the following games because these are the
ones I’ve noticed a massive difference in the visuals on. Rise of the tomb raider, revisiting this game on the S was an amazing experience. Arkham knight, if you’re a big batman fan and thought this game can’t getter any better, let me tell you that I can. And Fallout 4 this game seems to be the best upscale I have found so far, the depth in the fog and the increase in the intensity of the rad storms is much more than I had expected. This so far is my must play for the Xbox one S.” - Brian Stacey
“I haven’t got an Xbox One yet... but I do want a 500GB Xbox One S though. No power brick is a plus & it’s whisper quiet too. As for games... yeah I can’t really see anything outside of Rare Replay, Halo & maybe Gears of War 4 being worth the purchase since most of the games are also on PC... but it still has the best multiplayer around. Look, I’m a Nintendo/Japanese games kinda guy... so Xbox One isn’t my top pick. It’s a casual media box that plays games every blue moon & is great for the audience that grew up on Xbox. Also I’m 30 so I focus on single player games & games with a story.” - Jean-Paul Bartolomei
BOUT THE XBOX ONe? “My partner has the Xbox One in this house, I haven’t used it much. But I do love the variety of media formats you can use on it, the variety of games on offer, and the state of the arts graphics it provides for a console. My son loves Minecraft, and this runs smoothly on the Xbox One. I have been told this is a highly demanding graphical game, so thumbs up to Xbox for the continually increased attention to graphics.” - Ashley Beech
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WHAT DO YOU LIKE AB “ I have the XBox One Halo 5 Limited edition, it looks cool and has some nice media features once you get the apps for it. So here’s my list of recommended games for the XBox One. Halo : The Master Chief collection. It wouldn’t be XBox without Halo and The Master Chief is a must have for anyone who are new to Halo franchise or those who want to add another addition to their Halo library. It has all four main Halo games into one disc and it runs at 60 frames per second.
Rare Replay Rare has joined in the retro games compilation club with the likes of Namco, SEGA, Atari and Capcom with their title Rare Replay. They have most of their games on here ranging from the ZXSpectrum up to the XBox 360 with many titles that you know and love, like BanjoKazooie, Killer Instinct Gold and Conker’s Bad Fur Day (The original, not the XBox classic one).” - Marc Sola
“If I’m honest, I really like the Xbox One S most because of it’s looks. The original is a hideous beast compare to the beauty of the One S. If that weren’t enough they finally got rid of the external power supply, it just fits better everywhere now. It’s hard to think of games when I have played and loved so many, but I can recommend the ones I am playing now. Overwatch is a fantastic game for people looking for online competitive play. Recently I picked up ReCore and I am loving it. Combat is easy and intense all at once, free to roam openworld with some super fun dungeons thrown in and you get to make robot pets! Now that is badass.” - Hamish McNaughton
BOUT THE XBOX ONe? “The Xbox One is by far the best console MS has made, and it keeps getting better. With regular updates every couple months and lots of new features based on community feedback. With an impressive array of first party titles and backward compatible functionality of which the list keeps increasing I’ll soon have no need for my 360 to play some older games, as the X1 controller is a lot more comfortable than the older 360 controller. The older games run exactly the same as they did then (some that struggled then perform a little better now) Not to forget the media functionality, when I have friends over or having a night in, I’ll often bring up the Youtube App to catch up on trailers or Lets Plays on my bigger TV, plus I can plug in an External HDD and watch media from that, but I have one permenantly connected for extra storage space for my games. Speaking of games, if there’s a must have game, it’ll have to be Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Halo being Microsoft’s flagship title this
bundle has it all, with Halo 1-4 and ODST as an optional extra. On top of that, Halo 1 and 2 are the Anniversary editions, marking the 10th anniversary of both those titles and have been given a makeover, giving a graphical, sound and music overhaul. But, if you want to see how they looked originally, with a simple press of a button you can switch to classic mode and play them exactly as they were before. From the collection my favourite part is the redone cutscenes for Halo 2 Anniversary. All of the scenes were done in full movie quality CGI by BLUR, who’ve worked on various movies in the past and have worked with Microsoft before on some other Halo projects like Halo Wars. This bundle is excellent value, with all 4 games for the price of 1 and featuring their original Multiplayer, plus a special Multiplayer version for H2A. That’s over 100 multiplayer maps total and 45 campaign missions. So if you ever wanted to try out Halo but didn’t know where to start after hearing about last year’s release of #5, this is the best place to start out..” - Matthew Caust
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COSPLA THECRYSTALSHOE COSTUMES
TASK FORCE TAIPAN
AY COSPLAY HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: CEASER237 ART sfx images photography tips horror pics by readers horror photo tips by mike rollerson
Instanto | www.facebook.com/ instantofotografia
HOE COSTUMES www.facebook.com/thecrystalshoe
Welcome to Live Magazine! First up, can you tell our readers where you are based? Hello! I’m a 24 year old cosplayer based in Argentina. And how did you get into cosplay and making costumes? I started collecting and going to conventions and I saw all the cosplayers and wanted to do it immediately ! I started cosplaying back in 2010. What’s been your most challenging costume so far?
The cosplay scene in Argentina started to grow in the last couple of years, we are no a lot but we have a lot of great artist here ! Are there many cons and what are your favourites? Yes there are! My favorite con in Argentina is Argentina Comic Con. Do you travel for cons in other countries? I only traveled to New York to the NYCC 2015 to compete in the Nycc Championship of Cosplay with my Queen Amidala costume.
My most challenging costume si far is Queen Amidala from star wars, I made the pre-senate kimono. It took me 4 month, a lot of new techniques and a lot of patience
Tell us about photo shoots you’ve done, how does a typical shoot get planned and what happens on the day?
You’re based in Argentina, what’s the cosplay scene like there?
Usually, I make costume to make photoshoots, when I finish the costume I start looking for any photographer colleague that
would like to photograph me with my costume, and try to choose someone with a matching style. On the day, I wake up early, take a shower and start with the makeup slowly and relaxed to get everything okay, I get dressed up and I leave for the photoshoot! Do you have any tips for cosplayers who might be planning their first photo shoot? Yes! Try to practice postures, investigate what other cosplayers did as an inspiration and look for reference photos of the characters ! We love your photos you’ve shared, where can our readers go to find out more about you? Thanks! You can look me up in facebook as Thecrystalshoe Costumes and Thecrystalshoe in Deviantart.com.
Fernando Brischetto from Photograpes Sans Frontieres | www.facebook.com/ PhotographesSansFrontieres
Dr. Dani Photography | www.facebook.com/Dr.Dani.Producciones
Dahlia Fortescue | www.facebook.com/dahliafortescueph
Ramroche Michael | www.facebook.com/Ramroche-Michael-284180838340876
Task Force Taipan Welcome to Live Magazine Task Force Taipan -Thanks Hallam Bassett, Craig Faehrmann and David Benveniste for letting us interview you. Tell us what got you started. HB - It all started when I met some guys from Sydney a few years ago and we all had a common interest in military games, so we decided to make a cosplay group of like-minded people, it just sort of went nuts from there. DB - The military theme will always be the core of what Taipan is about, but it’s also just the start of what our group has produced. Quite a few of our members will get together to assemble group cosplays based on other gaming franchises such as The Division recently, and films like Star Wars. Your team do amazing props how long does an average pistol take and what’s the most challenging weapons you’ve created? HB - as one of the original members and prop makers I can confidently say a pistol mod (depending on the model) would only take an hour or two, the most challeng-
ing was probably an AK I made for a customer that wanted it to weigh as much as a real one and be sturdy enough to take harsh usage.
we would happily welcome more girls to get involved.
CF – On top of that though, painting the prop can often take as long as the build itself depending upon the method e.g. by hand.
HB - Probably the biggest highlights were when David and I attended EB Expo in Sydney and when Taipan had their own stall at AVCON here in Adelaide.
The uniforms are so amazing too - where do you begin with creating them? HB - Usually we buy our uniforms from air-soft websites and off of people through Facebook swap meet pages, but sometimes we do a bit of sewing too.
You attend a lot of cons, what have been some highlights?
CF – This one convention, can’t remember which, but we’d had a group attending in excess of ten, and we’d split into teams patrolling the con and were maintaining radio contact throughout the weekend. That was a lot of fun.
CF – Often times we also purchase the legitimate military grade clothing, for example when our members want the most accurate option, if we can’t get large enough sizes or when we’re sick of them becoming damaged or torn too easily (Laughs).
DB – I’d have to agree with Hallam personally, making the trip over to Sydney for EB Expo a few years back was a fantastic opportunity for both of us. Having the chance to meet the lead writer of Watch Dogs, whilst in my Aiden Pearce outfit, was pretty awesome too (laughs).
Are there many females involved in your team?
Do you have tips for cosplayers making weapons?
HB - There are a couple of female members in our team but
HB - the list of tips on making weapons is huge (Laughs) main
Australian Cosplay Group
Steamkittens | www.facebook.com/steamkittens
Steamkittens | www.facebook.com/steamkittens
things I’d recommend would be to do research on said weapon, get all the specs and go from there, it’s like building a computer basically, familiarize yourself with all the components first. CF – Yeah I agree with Hallam, take your time, make sure you have every part you need before you begin a stage. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a build and suddenly realizing you’ve made a mistake early on. However if you do make a mistake, just stop and take the time to think about how you can work around the problem. What about the legality of these weapons? Do you have to be careful in transporting them to cons? HB - yes very careful, they can land you in hot water so we make
sure to properly tag them when they’re in public view and when transporting them they stay well hidden. DB – This extends to the way we treat our other equipment and uniforms too. We try not to wear our uniforms out and about, especially before and after a con. Most times we’ll get ready on the site of the convention. To follow through on your cosplay I’m guessing you all study weapons handling too - any tips you can share? HB - Some of us do practice weapon handling, really the only tips I would give is 1. Remember they are props, not real guns; however they can still get you in trouble. 2. If you are making a film and want it to look somewhat realistic, research videos of tactical
instructors and see how they use weapons. Lastly have a look at what real guns look like then familiarize yourself with them and you should be able to look pretty convincing with your prop. Finally where can our readers go to find out more? HB - We have a public Facebook page people can go to: Task Force Taipan - Australian Cosplay Group, also I have a personal cosplay page, you can message mine which is Ice Giant Cosplay, and Craig has one which is called Hunter Forged Cosplay. Otherwise, look for the guys in camo at cons. CF – There’s a pretty good chance it will be us (laughs).
David Benveniste | www.facebook.com/TaskForceTaipan
Steamkittens | www.facebook.com/steamkittens
COSPL HALLO SPECIA
LAY OWEEN AL October means Halloween, so we put together some special Halloween Cosplay from Cosplayers, Photographers & fans...
CEASAR237 ART www.cesar237art.com
Firstly can you tell us a bit about yourselves and what you do.
you organise a project, sourcing the model, etc?
Can models or cosplayers contact you about a photo shoot?
My name is Cesar237 and I am a self taught photographer based in Los Angeles. For the past 5 years I have been creating dark and disturbing photography. When people look at my photos I want there to be lots of questions.... who is that?....what’s going on?.... what does that mean? I try to create a balance between beautiful and creepy; something that might almost be overlooked if it were hanging up in someone’s home and you weren’t looking closely.
Horror movies have a lot more freedom to express an idea, like sound and movement. With an image you are much more limited. I want to create the type of horror that is more psychological; blood and gore will only get you so far. A project starts with an idea. I don’t always use a model depending on what i’m trying to do, sometimes it’s just me in the photo. I do a rough sketch of the idea to help me visualize the layout and details. Once I know what I’m doing I start gathering everything for the set, props, and costume. I build the set from the wallpaper to the lighting and if I can’t get a hold of the props I need I will build it. I design the costume and my wife helps with the sewing; she also does the hair/make-up for my shoots and assist on set. Once the shoot is over I edit the photos to help bring out the creepiness; sometimes I will even change costumes and pose multiple times so I can edit different images of myself into the same photo. When we use models I usually meet them on Facebook believe it or not. There are lots of model/ photographer groups for different areas where you can post a casting call; I’ve met my best models through these groups.
Absolutely! I get lots of models who want to try something different. I can build custom sets for cosplayers so they get the most out of the hard work they put into their costumes. Emails email@example.com. Or you can go to my website, cesar237art. com. I’m also on Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr; just search cesar237art.
Your website is a horror destination for fans - how do you collect all your content? All my content is original. I take inspiration from several different sources; I try to bring a hint of a vintage look to most of my photos because I am a huge fan of the 1930’s to the 1950’s. Another big inspiration is my fascination with forensics and crime scene investigation. I’m working with the idea of recurring characters in some of my photos and I’m trying to create the world in which these photos come from...almost like an alternate dimension. Tell us about your photography with regard to horror - how do
With Halloween coming what are your plans? I’m very excited to attend Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. It’s an annual tradition for us and this year they have some of my favorites. Some quick questions - what’s your favourite 3 horror movies and games? The Shining The Conjuring Friday the 13th Silent Hill Resident Evil Doom Finally where can readers go to find out more? They can go to www.cesar237art.com
www.ceaser237art.com www.facebook.com/cesar237art www.instagram.com/cesar237art
based in Sout
R BY SFX IMAGES
ADDING MOOD tips to making your cosplay pics creepy I’m no Mike Rollerson - that guy’s a photo genius, especially when it comes to horror photography, he’s got it down to an art form. But a while back our photo group and a bunch of our cosplay friends got together for what I called “Fright Night” based on the classic movie - no, not the remake but the original from 1985. We headed off into the night to create some creepy photos. I don’t have the compositing skill some artists do so I decided to keep it simple. Using the cosplayers skills as models and costume makers I looked for shadows and creepy locations to try to get some photos that I though were a bit on the horror side. The first photo is a silhouette featuring Bec (Graceful and Graceless cosplay), we found a hallway and I exposed the photo so she was just the shadowy figure and the
hallway was exposed well. She posed in that weird creepy way you see in some of those Japanese horror movies and then I simply turned it to black and white and added grain. The second photo features Lightish Red cosplay - she was in a Harry Potter film inspired cosplay and we found another hallway that hd weird light. This one too featured her posing in a creepy pose and then I turned it black and white and added a bit more grain to give it that old horror look. I made her stand under the light so that her face had some light on it but not too much to spoil the mood. The third image features JusZ cosplay and Lucy from Villain Visage - in this photo I put Lucy as the “innocent” victim of a Japanese “The Grudge” inspired at-
tack by JusZ cosplay ... ok so she’s not quite innocent looking in this costume but you get the idea. Again this photo is made black and white for effect as black and white tends to reduce distractions in a photo leaving you with the main story or focus of the picture. Then it’s all them - the cosplayers here made the photo with their acting skills. Justine (Jusz) is doing her best Grudge pose. The long dark hair, the creepy hands reaching out to her victim and the look on her face make this photo. So like I said before, I’m no Mike Rollerson, but using simple backgrounds, good cosplayers and moody lighting you can create simple horror photos for Halloween. Yes you can even use your camera phone as long as you get the basic right. Have fun!
Rebecca - Graceful and Graceless Cosplay
Lightish Red Cosplay
Reader’s love horror too -
Dead Space Isaac Clarke. Avcon 2014. Also being a massive fan of the Dead Space series, i wanted to do a fully lighted Isaac Clarke Engineering suit. The EL tape worked better than I expected to light up the helmet slots and back piece. Was a fun cosplay to make and wear and it’s quite functional!
Resident Evil Biosuit. This was from Avcon 2013. I wanted to make an infected style biosuit and used a welders glove with expanding foam/ shoulder spikes/leg decay and about 1/2 litre of fake blood :). I made this as I’m a HUGE fane of Resident Evil and wanted to do something a bit different. This one currently sits at Gametraders offices as I donated it to the Cosplay Museum :).
- hereâ€™s their cosplay photos!!
Safehead The Evil Within. After playing the game, I knew I wanted to make one for Avcon 2015. The hardest part of this cosplay was being able to see out of the safe head, which I didnâ€™t manage to achieve. I could see a blur in front through one of the dials, and about a metre in front of me from looking down so was sherpered around most of the time lol.
All photos by Simeon from www.facebook.com/SpargosCosplays
Readerâ€™s love horror too hereâ€™s their cosplay photos!!
My daughter Maddi and I at Oz Comic Con Perth. - Julian Hart.
My Maitlands costumes. I made the masks from paper mache. Iâ€™d love to get a cool photo of them with a smoke machine behind. :) - Julian Hart.
TIPS FOR CREATING GREAT
HORROR PHOTOS BY MIKE ROLLERSON My top tips for creating great horror photos involve lighting, action and framing. I’ve been a longtime fan of the horror genre and over the years I’ve picked up some different tricks that I feel really take horror photos to the next level.
FIRST UP: LIGHTING Lighting plays a huge role in setting the mood and this is especially true with horror photography. A backlight to create a silhouette, a top-down lighting to create some interesting shadows while showing a bit of detail on the subject and some low-light ambient tones and different colors will really help set the mood (whether it’s a cold look, a warm one or just to outline your subject). Play around with the lighting and you’ll see it really start to set the mood! Play around with neon lights, black lights, different modifiers and just see how the look of the shot can completely change.
NEXT UP: ACTION
Most of the time you want your subjects to be still to keep them in focus and get a nice sharp shot. Everyone loves a really clean shot but sometimes it’s that mystery that adds to a horror shot. Shoot at a high ISO to get a grainy shot, shoot at a low shutter speed to get some motion and have your subject get intense and move quickly for some shots. Holding a smile might be easy but holding a “scary pose” proves to be much harder and doesn’t photograph as well. Having your subject act and move around can create some really unique images and you’ll see some major differences in even the poses.
Use an ultra-wide to get an upclose shot with a full-body and background in the shot, use a fast prime or telephoto to get a neat detail shot, don’t be afraid to try new things. Angles and framing will make a huge difference in your finished product. Sometimes it won’t work, but when it does you’ll get some really unique looking shots so don’t hesitate to try new things.
POLAROIDS by mike rollerson One of our good friends in cosplay photography is Mike Rollerson and it wouldn’t be a Halloween Cosplay Special without touchiing base with the Master of Horror who, interestingly has a fun new project that is so cool and retro... Polaroids! Mike, tell us what it’s all about...
I’ve always been a big fan of printed photos. The first convention I ever went to, E3 Expo (many, many years ago!), I ran around with a backpack full of disposable film cameras and had a blast.. having all of those memories as actual photos just seemed so different from what we end up with today in the world of digital photos. For the last decade I’ve shot exclusively digital, bought into the newest DSLR cameras, lenses and flashes and would spend hours in Photoshop editing these pictures and eventually getting many of them printed as largescale posters and wall-art for the studio. Recently the Instax and Polaroid cameras have been making a big comeback and I picked one up for some general behind-the-scenes photos and to bring along to conventions. After taking it out to a few conventions and shooting around 2,000 instant photos, I’m really loving the look it gives. You learn to make each shot count (each one has a cost associated with it), you learn the little tips and tricks (there is no live preview, the viewfinder is off and there’s minimal control over the photo settings), but those couple minutes after taking a photo while you watch it develop are a lot of fun, seeing just how the shot turned out and super rewarding when everything just works together and you’ve got that one-of-a-kind shot!
(Love these Polaroids? Experiment at your next Con and grab a Fuji Instax or similar and start producing prints that are so much fun - Ed)
HOW RATINGS WO The Australian Classification CTC
CTC - Check the classification. The content has been assessed and approved for advertising unclassified films and computer games. Any advertising of unclassified films and games must display the CTC message on posters, trailers, on the internet, and any other types of advertising. G - General. The content is very mild in impact. The G classification is suitable for everyone. G products may contain classifiable elements such as language and themes that are very mild in impact. However, some G-classified films or computer games may contain content that is not of interest to children. PG - Parental Guidance. The content is mild in impact. The impact of PG (Parental Guidance) classified films and computer games should be no higher than mild, but they may contain content that children find confusing or upsetting and may require the guidance of parents and guardians. They may, for example, contain classifiable elements such as language and themes that are mild in impact. It is not recommended for viewing or playing by persons under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians. M - Mature. The content is moderate in impact. Films and computer games classified M (Mature) contain content of a moderate impact and are recommended for teenagers aged 15 years and over. Children under 15 may legally access this material because it is an advisory category. However, M classified films and computer games may include classifiable elements such as violence and nudity of moderate impact that are not recommended for children under 15 years. Parents and guardians may need to find out more about the film or computer gameâ€™s specific content, before deciding whether the material is suitable for their child.
There are two separate Boards that are independent from the government and from each other. There is the full time Classification Board that decides the classifications of films, video games and certain publications and the Classification Review Board that meets only to review a decision of the Classification Board when there is a valid application for review. The Board bases its’ classifications on six elements: Themes, Violence, Sex, Language, Drug Use & Nudity Below are a list of classifications you’ll find on games and movies:
MA 15+ - Mature Accompanied 15+. The content is strong in impact. MA 15+ classified material contains strong content and is legally restricted to persons 15 years and over. It may contain classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug use that are strong in impact. A person may be asked to show proof of their age before hiring or purchasing an MA 15+ film or computer game. Cinema staff may also request that the person show proof of their age before allowing them to watch an MA 15+ film. Children under the age of 15 may not legally watch, buy or hire MA 15+ classified material unless they are in the company of a parent or adult guardian. Children under 15 who go to the cinema to see an MA 15+ film must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian for the duration of the film. The parent or adult guardian must also purchase the movie ticket for the child. The guardian must be an adult exercising parental control over the person under 15 years of age. The guardian needs to be 18 years or older.
Parents and guardians may need to find out more about the film or computer game’s specific content, before deciding whether the material is suitable for their child. R 18+ - Restricted to 18+. The content is high in impact. R 18+ material is restricted to adults. Such material may contain classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug use that are high in impact. Some material classified R18+ may be offensive to sections of the adult community. A person may be asked for proof of their age before purchasing, hiring or viewing R18+ films and computer games at a retail store or cinema. There is also an X 18+ for adult films and these titles are only available for sale in the ACT and the Northern Territory. Sometimes games are refused classification. This can cause gamers to be frustrated, citing that the R18+ classification should take care of adult content. But still some games don’t get classified until the publishers/developers have addressed the concerns of the Classification Board. Want to know more? Visit the Australian Classification website www.classification.gov.au
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