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Life is Strange Episode 2 Launch Trailer March 20, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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I have been counting the days until the second episode of the episodic adventure game Life is Strange gets released.  Today, the game’s developer has just released the next epsisode’s launch trailer just a few days before its digital release.

Just be aware, there may be spoilers. Not just for Episode 1, but for Episode 2 as well.

Life is Strange Episode 2 is coming March 24th, 2015 to the PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4 and PS3

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How to Get a PlayStation System Serviced March 20, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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I know that after the horrible failure rate of Xbox 360 systems during the last console generation, many gamers believed that in comparison, their Sony consoles would last forever. Well, Playstation systems break too. It’s just a fact of life. I’ve had a brand new PS4 break on me in less than a week after I purchased it, and from the looks of it I’m going to need to send my own PS3 in for service soon.

But what is a gamer to do when their Sony console fails on them?  The PS systems hardly use off the shelf parts, except for the hard drive, and any attempt to fix a Playstation on your own without Sony’s permission will void your warranty. 

Thankfully Sony has updated their Official YouTube Channel with some important information on what to do if you’re having trouble with your Sony console. If you live in the US or Canada, you should give this a watch.

Halo: Nightfall Blu-Ray Disc Unboxing March 17, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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Late last year, Microsoft wanted to release a live action feature that set up the backstory of a new character that is planned to appear in Halo 5: Guardians and it was called Halo: Nightfall.  Produced by Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free, Halo: Nightfall was a five-part miniseries which was offered as an extra bonus feature for anyone who picked up a copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection for the Xbox One.

However, for some reason that completely escapes me, Microsoft chose not to include the series on Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s game disc, instead requiring viewers to stream it through the newly released Halo Channel.  Now, while that application has a great selection of unique programming, because it is a streaming service it has completely failed to provide a consistent quality since November 2014.  In the times I have tried to use it, I have had experiences where the feature would drop in quality without warning, or the Halo Channel would deny me access to watching the film for no reason at all.  Also, the series’ episodic nature made it really easy to predict what would be happening in later episodes just by watching the “Next Time, On Halo: Nightfall” short at the end of each episode.  It’s a really frustrating experience overall, made worse when up until today, there was no other alternative if you wanted to watch the film.

Halo: Nightfall has now been edited from a five part miniseries into a feature length film and was released today on DVD and Blu-Ray Disc.  Now, we’re going to unbox the Blu-Ray version of Halo: Nightfall, a disc that should have been released with Halo: The Master Chief Collection in the first place, and see if it’s worth picking up.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Launch Trailer March 17, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Before today, Final Fantasy Type-0 was only released in Japan for the Sony PSP. Today, after North America has waited patiently for some time, the game has finally come to our shores in the the form of an HD remaster for the Xbox One and Playstation 4.

Take a look for yourselves at the game’s launch trailer!

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is out now on the Xbox One and PS4. The Final Fantasy XV demo is included with all Day One and Collector’s Edition copies of the game.

Bioshock Infinite Free on Xbox 360 Through Games With Gold March 17, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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One of the most anticipated games to be released in 2013 was the multiplatform title Bioshock Infinite.

The third game in the Bioshock franchise, Bioshock Infinite sent players to Columbia, a technologically advanced city in the clouds.  The city itself is run by ideologically driven founders who believed that America was great the way it was founded, and that none of the changes made in the past two hundred years should have ever been changed.  Your mission is to find and rescue a mysterious girl named Elizabeth, who has powers she is only beginning to understand.

If you haven’t given this game a chance yet, you really need to rectify that, and now thanks to Microsoft’s Games With Gold Promotion, Xbox Live Gold Members with an Xbox 360 will be able to purchase and download a digital copy of the game right now completely free of charge if you’re a Gold Member.

As with all games offered through Games with Gold on the Xbox 360, once you download your game, it will remain playable in your download list forever, even if your Xbox Live Gold Subscription expires.

Life is Strange Episode 2 EGX 2015 Panel March 16, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Since completing my livestream of Life is Strange Episode 1 back in January I have been holding my breath as I’ve waited for DONTNOD to release any new information about Epsiode 2.

This weekend, it looks like the fans at EGX got a special preview of Episode 2 on Saturday, and thankfully we can watch the entire panel right now.  Just be aware, there may be spoilers.

Life is Strange Episode 2 is coming March 24th, 2015 for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, PS3 and PS4.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Xbox One Bundle Announced March 16, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Its no secret that the Xbox has long held the title of being the Halo Delivery Console, and it looks like Microsoft is planning to make this distinction quite clear this season.  Please enjoy this short film.

It looks like the Grunts are not happy about this.  Microsoft has officially announced they will be bundling free copies of Halo: The Master Chief Collection with brand new specially marked Xbox One consoles.

Judging by price, which will be $349 US, and the box’s appearance, it does not appear that this bundle will include a Kinect Sensor.

Life is Strange Episode 2 Release Date March 14, 2015

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The developers of the unique episodic adventure game Life is Strange spoke to a panel at EGX earlier today, and announced the release date for the second episode of their five episode game.

Life is Strange Episode 2 is coming March 24th, 2015 to the PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4.  You can purchase a Season Pass right now to play all of the game’s episodes as they’re released.

Pokemon Shuffle Review March 12, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Reviews.
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Pokémon Shuffle is a free-to-play puzzle game released exclusively through the Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS systems.  Its gameplay is very similar to that of the Pokémon Trozai games, as in both games you are presented a randomly generated puzzle board and have to match up chains of the same Pokémon to clear the puzzle and defeat the Pokémon you are attempting to capture.  However, unlike the Pokémon Trozai games which was fast paced and made players complete puzzles quickly, Pokémon Shuffle’s puzzles have to be completed in a set amount of moves, offering players the freedom to plan out every single move.  As a recent Pokémon convert, it is great to see Nintendo is branching one of their biggest franchises out into new territory for them.

The game opens with a great tutorial which clearly explains the game’s rules over the course of the game’s first fifteen levels.  Every puzzle in the game is represented by a specific Pokémon and if you’re able to complete the puzzle in the amount of moves you are given, you’ll be given the chance to capture that puzzle’s Pokémon so you can use them in later puzzles.  Each Pokémon has a different minimum percentage chance for you to capture them.  Then, the game adds a percentage multiplied by how many moves you had left when you completed the puzzle.  Your projected percentage determines your chances for catching that Pokémon.  If you’re able to capture it, you can use it in later levels.  If you miss your capture, you can play the later puzzles, but you’ll have to replay and complete the same puzzle again to get another chance of capturing that Pokémon.  If you have 2500 Coins and miss a capture, the game will offer you a second chance to capture the Pokémon again with a Great Ball at roughly double the percentage the first time you tried to capture it.

The more you use specific Pokémon in the game, the more they will level up, even if they’re used in puzzles you’re unable to complete.  Just be aware you will have to capture Pokémon evolutions separately, because no matter how much you level your captured Pokémon up, you cannot evolve them.  There is an exception for Mega Evolutions but I’ll talk about that later.

To play a level in the game, you’ll need to spend a Heart.  You start the game with a maximum of five of them, and once you use one up, a new one will return to your inventory after thirty minutes of real-time have passed.  If you run out of Hearts and don’t want to wait for them to recharge, you can buy more of them with Jewels, which you can earn completing specific puzzles for the first time or through daily check ins.  You can also buy jewels from the Nintendo eShop with real money.

After fifteen or so puzzles, the player will be given the task to defeat a more difficult puzzle against a Mega Evolved Pokémon.  These can be more difficult as Mega Evolved Pokémon can throw difficult hazards into the player’s game board, limiting their options for chains and combos.  Thankfully, once you complete a Mega Evolution puzzle, you automatically win that specific Pokémon’s Mega Stone, allowing you to use it in subsequent puzzles if you have captured the Pokémon who uses that stone.

Once you complete the game’s tutorial, the game will allow you to use the Check In feature.  I cannot stress enough to check in with this game as soon as you are able to.  Checking in will not only award you unique game items like Coins and Jewels, it will allow you access to special daily puzzles for unique Pokémon you can capture.  Check In will also automatically install minor game updates if they’re available, saving you from having to go to the Nintendo eShop every time they release a patch.  While you still have to install major updates to the game from the eShop, most of the game’s patches can be installed without having to quit the game, a major convenience for 3DS owners.  You can only Check In once every day.

The amount of content offered by this game cannot be understated.  As I write this review there are currently 150 regular puzzles offered in Pokémon Shuffle, and they can be played in the most recent version.  The game also has about twenty expert levels, which can be unlocked by gaining S-ranks in the normal puzzles.  As of today, Nintendo is also offering several special challenge puzzles right now, two of which offer the chance to capture a Mew and a Kyogre, and they area also offering a different type of special Rotom for each day of the week.  The best part is there’s nothing stopping Nintendo or the game’s developers from releasing updates for more puzzles in the near future.  Theoretically, the game can offer a level for each Pokémon, as well as one for each Mega Stone.  That adds up to over seven hundred possible puzzles.  It took me two weeks to complete all one hundred and fifty of the game’s regular puzzles, I can’t imagine how long it would take to complete six hundred more.

The game’s expert stages work a little differently than the game’s normal stages.  Once unlocked, expert stages can be completed in any order and do not have a set limit to the amount of moves you can use while completing them.  You do however have a time limit, and trust me, unless you’ve leveled up your Pokémon well, you will feel the time stress every time you try to play one of these levels, but they will give you the chance to capture several evolved and legendary Pokémon you couldn’t otherwise capture in the game’s regular puzzles.

I want to talk a little bit about the game’s artwork and audio, because I think that really sets it aside from other puzzle games.  The game’s 2D character designs mash up perfectly with the style of Pokémon: The Animated Series, so fans of the franchise will feel right at home.  This is a puzzle game, so I really can’t talk about the game’s environments, except for the fact I really like what they did with the game’s level select menus.  The game makes no use of 3D, so you won’t be able to notice a difference playing it on a 3DS or a 2DS.  I think something special needs to be said about the game’s music.  In the game’s puzzle selection menu, each set of fifteen puzzles are denoted by their own area, and not only will that area have its own background art style, it will be accompanied by its own music.   You’ll hear pan flute music in the jungle themed levels, to relaxing string music in the tropical themed levels.  The music is quite relaxing and enjoyable, and fits well with the style of each section.

I know that there are a lot of gamers out there who do not want to see Pokémon Shuffle succeed for Nintendo.  Gamers who grew up owning their games simply can’t wrap their heads around not being able to play them for extended periods of time without having to pay extra, but since the end product made for such a fun experience, you won’t find any complaints from me. I grew up playing games like Tetris and Dr. Mario and the NES and this game’s puzzles reminded me of those days.  Give it a download, you’ll find its a fun distraction during your breaks, and if you’re like me you won’t stop until you’ve completed level 150.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD PAX East Trailer March 10, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD made a pretty big appearance at this year’s Penny-Arcade Expo East alongside some other new games that Square Enix has been working on, like Final Fantasy XV.

With Final Fantasy Type-0 HD just days away from release, Square Enix premiered the newest trailer for the game at the PAX East convention, and now it is online for all to see.  I want to give props to the trailer’s editor, they were able to take some intense images and present them in such a way that it feels you are watching art being revealed as you are watching it.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is coming March 2015 to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.  Day One and Collector’s Edition copies of the game will include a playable demo for Final Fantasy XV for the exact same platform you purchased Final Fantasy Type-0 HD on.