What are you hiding, Ethan? #Gaming

resident-evil-7-hands

I’ve been trying to come up with words to describe the marvelous wonder that is, Resident Evil VIIIt’s been a great while since I’ve been legitimately spooked behind my own controller–and to be honest, I am so thrilled with how this has turned out.

Continue reading “What are you hiding, Ethan? #Gaming”

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Naughty Dog punches you in the Feels

If you haven’t watched this trailer yet, please do so. Minor Spoilers in the rant to come.


There’s something about presentation that really draws an audience, to get them invested in an IP. I consider Naughty Dog to be extraordinary in this case. It’s been a while since I owned a Sony Console–not discrediting my Vita but I haven’t picked it up in a while since Corpse Party creeped me out…just saying.

But today, at PSX, the masterminds at Naughty Dog did it… yet again. I didn’t get to see this in real time as it was shown live, but when I got to see it in action, I was simply stunned…

THE LAST OF US was one of the last games I finished on the PS3. I could hardly put it down except when I would get pissed that a stupid Clicker got me and I needed to step away lest I rage quit. Nevertheless, it had my attention to the very end. This Sony exclusive powerhouse is not only one hell of a gut-wrenching and emotional journey…it is a work of art. It has since been remastered and re-released on the console predecessor, the PS4, but I haven’t had a chance to relive that magic.

I was absolutely stunned by this trailer. If you know me, you will know how much I am a sucker for sound design, score and soundtracks. This mostly stems from my passion for horror genre as I am a firm believer that sound (or lack thereof) can make or break any sort of media, if it’s a game, movie, TV, etc. As soon as the girl picked up her guitar, tuned it, and strummed the first note, it had me…the further her song progressed, a woeful ballad about vengeance and strength in such a helpless time, it showed off that gritty, run-down, post-apocalyptic world we grew to admire in the first game, including victims littered throughout the scene.

It wasn’t hard to pick out the sweet, unwavering voice of Ashley Johnson (Ellie), and at that alone it was enough to start the chills and rush of overwhelming sadness that fell behind the words and music. It mesmerized me all the way up to the reveal of the beloved surrogate father and partner Joel (yep, Troymeister himself, [Sorry Troy, it just came out that way lol])…

I found my eyes almost in tears and taking a deep breath to take it all in…
I have said it time and time again I want a PS4 but THIS just compelled me to get one, no matter what. I want it for UNCHARTED,  I need it for THE LAST OF US. 

The song will stay with you, by the way, a haunting melody that will play over and over in your mind. 

Beautiful work, Naughty Dog. You just cost me the price of a PS4 and a well-deserved investment in this game.

 I will be waiting…

Life is Beautiful…

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL … so far.

LIFE IS STRANGE

Earlier this year, Dontnod released the first chapter of their new game entitled Life is Strange. The episodic storytelling experience follows the tale of Max Caufield, a young woman who returns to her hometown in Arcadia, Oregon to attend an institute to follow her dreams of becoming a professional photographer. Rich snobs, bullies, jocks and all of the inevitable tropes of being a teenager all fall to the story’s B-Roll when Max discovers that she is something special. The story unfolds and begins to tie knots in the web of ultra-realistic characters in this setting.

Continue reading “Life is Beautiful…”

Injustice for all!

OKAY.

So I didn’t want to get this game at first, mostly because I am definitely a Marvel girl, but I broke down and decided to give [Injustice] a try.  While the game might have some minor flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed getting a peek into the DC realm.  The graphics are smooth.  Each stage has unique interactive units like statues you can leap over or robots you can program to blow up, even a pig swinging on a meat hook you can push to knock over your opponent.  Transitions are used when a player is knocked through the setting and into another arena to continue the fight.  Transitions also allow you to see some cameos from other DC characters such as: Scarecrow, Riddler, Penguin and more.

There are concept art pieces you can look through to see the evolution of each character.  The game is voiced by a lot of well-known actors of the industry, such as:

Troy Baker (Bioshock Infinite, Catherine)
Phil LaMarr (Metal Gear Solid 2) – Aquaman
Nolan North (Uncharted, Spec Ops: The Line)
Jennifer Hale (Metal Gear Solid, Mass Effect)
Fred Tatasciore (Gears of War)

Even Stephen Amell (Arrow) joined the team, as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, though only available in an unlockable skin.  Sadly, Mark Hamill did not make a return as Joker for this title, but the voice behind the sinister prankster was still excellent.

My only complaints so far is the fact that the characters only have ONE cinematic that is performed every time you trigger the super move, much like in Mortal Kombat.  Each entrance and victory is the same, although the dialogue changes a bit if you pair up a couple of notable rivals like Green Arrow and Deathstroke, Superman and Lex or Joker and Batman.

Solomon Grundy & Wonder Woman

Other than that, the game actually offers more than just a “press start, button mash, win/lose, restart” formula.    There’s a handful of game types to choose from.  There’s of course Versus mode, where you and a local or online opponent can duke it out as your favorite hero or villain in a few notable locations like Arkham Asylum, ruined Metropolis or Wayne Manor.  Single player offers Story mode, Battles (allows you to choose the stipulations for your match including: Impossible which throws every single Injustice cast member at you and only one health bar, Countdown mode gives you a certain amount of time to defeat your opponent, and Help from above restores your health bar every thirty seconds), S.T.A.R. Labs sets the objectives for a match and the goal is to obtain 3 stars, Single Fight (essentially quick match) and lastly, a chance to practice your moves with any character in Training mode.

Without getting into too much detail, the story takes you into an alternate world where Superman has turned his back on mankind and has taken control with other League members to run the world as Gods.  Those from “our” world, or rather the world we know them from, go into this alternate-verse to stop Superman and those following his commands from controlling the human race and destroying the world.  It was as compelling as it could get in a fighting game, but it definitely made the DC universe likeable to someone like me, who knows very little about it.

Although very comparable to Netherrealm’s other big fighter, Mortal Kombat, Injustice definitely did the DC universe some…well, justice.  I would recommend the game to anyone, DC fan or not, who would like to play a solid fighting game.  Favorite characters of mine are definitely Nightwing and Catwoman, because of their quick fighting styles.  Other technical fighters like Batman and Aquaman are definitely high on my list as well. (Yes, I said Aquaman. On record: He’s totally badass in this game!)

Injustice was released April 16 on Xbox 360, PS3 and WiiU.

That’s my two cents on the matter, stay tuned for IC Chris’ review of the game, out later this upcoming week.

Game On! 😉

-IC Krys

Infinitely captivated…

Bioshock: Infinite – First Impression
(as previously written for Players In CTRL)

Has a game ever gripped you and held on tight?

Bioshock had this effect on me. The first one had me…the second one had an obviously different feel however it, like most sequels, wasn’t terrible.  Bioshock: Infinite released today and I must say, it was worth the wait. Yes, I was greatly disappointed when it was pushed back from late last year until now.  However, as I have grown to know, if a game simply isn’t finished, it is not ready to be released or else you end up with products like Aliens: Colonial Marines or even more recent, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. The outer shell made a spectacle though a mere facade; a product that lacks the hearty substance that was promised in trailers and promos.

So yes. The wait was most definitely worth it. Right from the get go you can see the effort invested in this project, already making me attached and in even deeper awe at the genius of Levine and team Irrational Games.

So far it is NOT disappointing at all. The atmosphere is one hundred percent present. The game has already been given so much praise and it is definitely well-deserved. The voice acting is genuine, even from the NPCs. The music adds so much life to the surroundings with its classic ambiance. The gameplay is fluid and the graphics are gorgeous.

I am looking forward to delving deeper into the story. As it has already been said: do not rush through this game. Take a stroll, take in the environment and immerse yourself into this game.

It is amazing…