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Gaming News: Black Friday Edition

Hey everyone! It’s November which means it’s almost time for gorging ourselves on Thanksgiving… oh, and that little thing called Black Friday! I’ve found the deals going on this year at Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc and I’ve laid out the specs for you. Whether you are looking for games or a new console make sure you look here!


Xbox

One X – 1TB – Gold Rush Special Edition Battlefield V – $429.99 at Best Buy

One X – 1TB – $399.99 at Wal-Mart (other bundles $70 off)

One S – 1TB – Minecraft Creators Bundle – $199.99 at Best Buy or Wal-Mart

Controllers – 39.99 at Best Buy and Target – $39 at Wal-Mart

X-Box Live 3 Months – $12.50 at Wal-Mart


Playstation 4

1TB – Marvel’s Spider-Man Console Bundle $199.99 at Best Buy and Wal-Mart

Controllers – $39.99 at Best Buy and Target – $39 at Wal-Mart


Nintendo Switch

Super Mario Kart Deluxe Bundle – $299.99 at Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Target

Controllers – Starting at $14.99 at Best Buy


Games

Select Games at Best Buy – $19.99, $24.99, and $29.99

Select Games at Target – $15, $25, $29.99, $35

Select Games at Wal-Mart – $12, $17, $25, $35

Red Dead Redemption 2

  • $59 w/exclusive Steelbook at Wal-Mart
  • $59.99 w/collapsible cup at Best Buy

Fallout 76

  • $59 w/exclusive Steelbook at Wal-Mart
  • $59.99 w/Vault boy keychain at Best Buy

Microsoft Store Deals


PC Gaming

HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop – $599.99 at Wal-Mart

  • 8gb memory
  • 1TB storage
  • i5 processor
  • 15.6″ Screen
  • NVIDIA GTX 1050i 4GB Graphics

Numerous deals at Newegg.com – entirely too many to list! Lots of PC’s and laptops with a few hundred off. As well as parts on sale.


I would love to give you more information about PC Gaming, but we all know Steam keeps it’s Autumn/Black Friday Sale pretty well under wraps. It is coming up, so keep an eye out for it! Also, Amazon has their Black Friday under wraps as well, but they already have Pre-Black Friday sales going on, so head over when you get a chance. I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and good shopping on Black Friday (and Cyber Monday)!

P.S. Please be safe! We all know Black Friday has the ability to get out of hand!

Games to Get Excited About – January 2017

Happy New Year and welcome to the first installment of Games to Get Excited About for 2017! Later in the article we’ll take a look at some of the exciting games coming out in January (including last month’s featured title Gravity Rush 2) but first we’re going to look a little further out for our spotlight title.

fallen-legion-1

Fallen Legion

Fallen Legion is an upcoming action RPG from developer Mintsphere. At first glance Fallen Legion calls to mind the works of Vanillaware with its rich color palette and hand drawn art style. In practice, however, the game has more in common with the classic Valkyrie Profile series while adding new wrinkles of its own. Fallen Legion puts players in the role of a Princess who has recently assumed the throne of an empire on the verge of collapse.

In each level, the Princess will be joined by three other party members and each character is mapped to a face button. The party will proceed through levels automatically, stopping to enter battle as they encounter enemies. Once in combat, players will queue up attacks for each character to build combos and exploit openings in their enemies’ defenses while managing their actions to block and counter the enemies’ own attacks. Players will also have access to spells and special moves to add variety and strategy to the battles as they make their way through the game’s levels.

fallen-legion-2

Why We’re Excited

The battles are only half of what makes Fallen Legion interesting. During levels, players will be asked to make decisions that will affect both the story and the play of the current level. The choices will ask players to balance short term buffs with the long term health of their Empire and can affect available characters, faction allegiances, and even the loyalty of their characters. Each decision only gives the players 10 seconds to decide and the results are permanent.

As a fan of the Valkyrie Profile games, I am very excited to see a new iteration on the style of RPG, and I also love games that ask me to make hard choices and live with the consequences. Hopefully this game will strike the balance between exciting, challenging combat and tense strategic decision making. I’m also a huge fan of the art style and I’m always happy to see new games with hand drawn art. Hopefully this game will be worth the wait when it launches later this year.

A note on versions:

Fallen Legion is currently slated for release on the PS4 and PS Vita. Mistsphere has confirmed that the Vita version will not be a simple port but will instead tell a unique story from the perspective of another character fighting for control of the Empire and will feature its own story scenarios and encounters. Both versions are slated for digital release sometime in 2017. Limited Run Games has confirmed that they will be offering a physical version of both the PS4 and PS Vita versions.

Notable January Releases

Normally January is pretty dead in the water as far as releases go, but a number of high profile Japanese games will be coming out this month in the US.

Resident Evil 7 –  Capcom’s venerable survival horror franchise returns this month with Resident Evil 7. For the past few years the franchise has become overloaded with spin-offs, ports, and and inconsistent main-line entries that have leaned more and more on action mechanics instead of horror. Resident Evil 7 aims to return the series to its roots by focusing on more atmospheric dread and claustrophobic environments.

Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star – The Fate/ series began over a decade ago as a visual novel and now encompasses over a half-dozen anime series and movies as well as visual novel sequels, prequels, and spin-off stories. It has also been spun into a number of RPGs and other games. Fate/Extella is a spin off in the Fate/Extra series and will be the first action game in the meta-series. Extella will allow players to choose from 16 characters including series favorites and new faces in the next iteration of the Holy Grail War. The new game will feature gameplay inspired by the long running Dynasty Warriors series and its many spin offs.

Tales of Berseria – The next installment of the Tales of series comes to America this January. Tales of Berseria switches things up by removing the multiple party members of the previous games to focus on a single heroine in intense action-RPG battles. The Tales of series is well known for its anime inspired visuals and deep game play. Hopefully this next installment will prove worthy of its lineage.

Lifted Chinese Ban on Consoles Leads to Tomahawk F1

As some of you may or may not know, the Chinese government is very well-known for banning the use of various devices and websites within the country. For example, the 2009 Xinjiang riots in Western China sparked the banning of Facebook throughout the country. Because of this, other Chinese specific social media sites, such as QQ and RenRen, have popped up in its place.

Long before the Chinese government ever banned Facebook, however, they banned gaming consoles. In 2000, consoles were outlawed in China for fear that games would have negative effects on Chinese youths. This ban was ineffective, though, as many Chinese citizens were still able to purchase off brand and smuggled gaming consoles, which were being sold openly in many Chinese cities.

Xbox-One-PlayStation-4

In 2014, this ban was lifted with the condition that all gaming consoles must be approved by the appropriate governmental department before hitting the market. Microsoft and Sony both pushed for their consoles to be released in China late 2014 and early 2015, however have gained little momentum among the citizens of the People’s Republic of China.

In an effort to undercut Microsoft and Sony, a Chinese company by the name of Fuse has announced that they will be releasing a console specifically for Chinese gamers. This console, the Tomahawk F1, will run on an Android system and be priced at approximately 899 Yuan, or $140, which is significantly less expensive than either the Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

tomahawk-f1-1068x601

 

It is common in China now-a-days to find “knock offs” of popular western technology at cheaper prices. For example, there are several iPhone rip-offs, including the Oppa 9, and even a Google rip-off, called Goojje. The Tomahawk F1 is along the same lines, a rip-off. While the interface is openly Android, the console itself is designed like the PlayStation 4 while the controller is almost an exact replica of the Xbox One controller.

There is no news as to whether or not Microsoft or Sony will file legal action against Fuse. Given Apple’s recent loss in a high profile trademark infringement case against a Chinese company called Xintong Tiandi, who was using the name “IPHONE” for their line of leather products, there may be no legal action taken at all, as copyright and trademark laws are different in China.

It is Fuze’s plan to have all sorts of games available for the Tomahawk F1, including PC, mobile and AAA games. As of this time, games such as Zheros, Assassin’s Creed, Saint’s Row and more will be available for the Tomahawk F1 upon it’s release.

Happy gaming, China!

Games to Get Excited About: Horizon: Zero Dawn

Games to Get Excited About: Horizon: Zero Dawn

Developers: Guerrilla Games
Publishers: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PS4
Release Date: 2016

horizon zero dawn

Horizon: Zero Dawn is an action RPG set to be released for PlayStation later this year. Not only is it the first RPG created by Guerrilla Games, this game will also be their first new release since the Killzone series started in 2004.

Set 1,000 years in the future, Horizon: Zero Dawn takes place on Earth, which humans have since abandoned. Overrun with robots, only a few humans remain.

The player takes control of a character named Aloy. Aloy is a hunter and an archer, who utilizes both ranged and melee attacks (my favorite!). While I still do not know what the overall goal is, Aloy travels through her Earth, completing missions while fighting all sorts of mechanized creatures along the way.

horizon-zero-dawn

The production of Horizon: Zero Dawn began in 2011. The studio brought in John Gonzalez, who was the head writer for Fallout: New Vegas, to create the story for the game. The concept explores the conflict between the beauty and danger of the world around Aloy. The game also analyzes the idea of humans no longer holding their place at the top of the food chain.

It is an open world game and has been said to be a cross between Assassin’s Creed and Skyrim. When not completing missions, the world can be explored to your heart’s content. In order to encourage explanation, there will be a quest system as well as materials throughout the world that players can use to craft new items.

The fighting style varies by player. You can shoot your enemies with arrows or engage in melee combat, as I’ve mentioned above, but you can also set traps and use explosives to get the job done. For the rogue-loving players, you’ll even be able to perform silent take downs. How cool is that?

horizon-zero-dawn-screen-08-us-15jun15

The elements that I find most appealing about this game are that the main character is a badass female, the world looks absolutely gorgeous, there won’t be loading screens and the gameplay looks smooth and challenging. I only wish there was a more set release date than “sometime this year.”

What upcoming games are you excited about? Let us know in the comments below!

Review: Beyond: Two Souls

Dev: Quantic DreamBeyond_Two_Souls_final_cover
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: Oct. 8, 2013
Platform: PS3, PS4

Starring: Ellen Page, Willem Dafoe

Beyond: Two Souls is an interactive, dramatic action-adventure game in which your choices matter. In 2013, Beyond: Two Souls became the second video game to be featured in the Tribeca Film Festival.

What’s it about?
Jodie Holmes (Page) is an extraordinary girl. Not only do strange things always happen around her, but she is able to talk to and control an incorporeal form named Aiden. Her power discovered at a young age, she is taken in and studied by Dr. Nathan Dawkins (Dafoe), who is a researcher for the Department of Paranormal Activity.

The plot is broken up and scattered. As the player completes each section, making choices that will effect the final outcome, Jodie’s story becomes more and more clear.

What did I think?
Not only is this game stunning in its graphics, Beyond: Two Souls actually gives meaning to the idea of a “choice game.” The way you play the game actually effects the final outcome, which is a nice change from games that give the illusion of choice, but only provide one path for the player to go down.

The game utilizes motion capture technology to create vividly life-like characters. Much like Until Dawn, this game has recognizable characters played by actors and actresses we all know and love. This is a recent renovation in video games that allows for the game to come to life by mixing two mediums of entertainment: Gaming and Movies.

The story line can be confusing at first, since the game was originally built so that Jodie’s memories are scattered. You’re constantly going back and forth in her timeline. This is an interesting feature because we’re seeing her life as she’s remembering it and we don’t always remember things in chronological order. While I like the way it was originally designed, I give big props to the developer for also including the option to complete the story line in chronological order. I know a lot of people who would find that much easier than trying to keep track of scattered memories.

Do I recommend it?
Oh yes. The game has tons of replayability, amazing graphics and an intriguing story line. You’d be crazy not to pick this one up.

Review: Until Dawn (2015)

Review: Until Dawn (2015)

Developer: Supermassive Games
Platform: Playstation 4
Genre: Horror

Okay, okay. I’ll admit it. I didn’t play this game because I don’t have a PS4. BUT! I watched a ton of gameplay on YouTube. Now, I will admit that watching someone play a horror game and actually playing it are two completely different things. That being said, please note that all of my comments are based on watching gameplay from YouTubers such as JackSepticEye and Markiplier.

What’s it about?
A group of friends go to a ski lodge owned by their friend Josh Washington exactly 1 year after the death of his sisters, Beth and Hannah. These friends are subjected to horror after horror almost immediately upon arrival. It is your goal, as the gamer, to keep all friends alive until the end of the game.

What did I think?
This game plays out like a horror movie. A group of friends go to a secluded cabin in the woods to drink and take part in all sorts of debauchery. Everything in this game is a horror cliche, but it’s fairly self-aware and actually scary in a lot of parts.

I really enjoy the graphics and the motion capture. I like that the characters look like their actors and it’s not just voice acting. I’m very impressed by how realistic it all looked.

Until Dawn is the kind of game with multiple endings, which I always love. You make decisions throughout the game that determine the outcome. Different decisions can kill off characters, cause you to overlook items or make you miss huge chunks of the story.

Watching the game being played felt a lot like watching a horror movie with commentary. It made me laugh, but, best of all, it made me jump. And cringe. Until Dawn is actually quite scary and incredibly fascinating. I tell you, if I had a PS4, I’d definitely buy this game.

Would I recommend it?
I can’t say much about what it’s like to actually play the game. According to JackSepticEye, it’s really fun and challenging to play. All I know is that it was fun to watch, so I’m going to say yes. I would recommend at least watching gameplay on YouTube. And if I ever get a PS4, I’ll buy the game and update you all if I change my mind.

-Vanri the Rogue