GameDaze: The Evil Within Impressions

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The father of modern day survival horror is back with The Evil Within, a return to the tension filled madness that made Resident Evil 4 the classic it is. Kind of.

The Evil Within takes the dark oppressive atmosphere of Resident Evil 4 and some of the art design and mind games of Silent Hill and jams it altogether in a game that is more survival than horror. If you’re expecting something to rival Kojima’s recent PT, then you’ll be greatly disappointed. Think of The Evil Within like a giant haunted house full of tricks which it will occasionally play on you. Doors will slam, reality will twist and alter around you and you’ll meet some of the most gruesome enemies this side of a Silent Hill - but they all serve to add to the fun of the ride instead of outright scaring the hell out of you. It’s all about atmosphere here and The Evil Within excels at it.

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Combat is varied with the usual assortment of weapons you would find in a Resident Evil game but manages to meld it with the environmental traps and stealth gameplay of The Last of Us.

The game has some of the most satisfying headshots I’ve played in a game. Don’t think that just because you shoot a a haunted in the head they’re going to go down. Some shots will just blow off bits of their juicy skulls as they continue to charge down toward you. You can still finish them off with a nice melee attack after a few shots to the head which produces gooey chunks which bath you in pink and red ooze - which is soo much fun!

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Mikami here has done a fantastic job with enemy variety, which isn’t too shocking when we look back at the mans previous work. The Haunted (the main foes you’ll face, which are kind of like possessed zombies) come in all shapes and sizes. From burly clown faced madmen to what appear to be nurses wrapped in barb wire with hatchets. Most annoying so far have to be the invisible tentacle faced monsters straight out of Lovecraft’s wet dreams. 

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Story wise, I have no f*cking idea what’s going on, but I have theories. Small pieces of story litter the game like Outlast, helping you piece together just what the hell is going on. That said, I still have no solid idea what the hell is going on and I kind of dig that. I’m currently in chapter 6 of 15 and it just keeps getting stranger.  

My biggest complaint so far has been on the technical front. idtech5 wasn’t an engine created to deal with the dynamic lighting at play here and it shows. The PS4 version struggles at times to maintain 30fps, I can only imagine how late gen consoles are handling this. To be fair to developer Tango, they’ve done a great job on the art front and audio design is superb. This is one title that was made to be played with a solid paid of headphones. The frame rate problems and small hitches don’t take away from the dreary and blood filled madness at display but I do hope that Tango can manage to patch the title to get a little better performance out of the game. 

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If you loved Resident Evil 4 and dig the aesthetics of anything from the Silent Hill franchise then odds are high you’re going to enjoy The Evil Within. No, it’s not the mind-melting revolution of survival horror that some may have expected but it’s a damn fun game that pushes dread into every carefully crafted digital corner. Just a tip, while you may think that the save room is a place of sanctuary thing again. Nothing in The Evil Within is exactly what it seems, and that’s perhaps the most fun of all.

GameDaze: Walking Into Mordor

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2014 so far has been a mixed bag for new IPs. Watch_Dogs, Titanfall and even Bungie’s Destiny (while strangely addicting) have failed to live up to the promise that many gamers had hoped for. While all of these games have been successful to some degree or other it’s rather strange that the most next-gen experience I’ve had yet has been with a game that many had little to no excitement for. 

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The old adage of licensed games equal crap has been something that has been ingrained in many gamers minds. More often then not we get something that resembles the gaming hell of Superman 64 versus a stunning generational changing title like Batman: Arkham Asylum. I’ll be honest, I was going to pick up Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor whether it was crap or not. I’ve survived the glitched to hell of War in the North and the absolutely boring The Hobbit on the original Xbox. My love of Tolkien and elves knows few bounds. I at least had the hopes that a developer with the chops like Monolith (known for the amazing FEAR series and the often forgotten NOLF series) would do well by the property. Boy, have they ever!

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I could wax on about the visuals, the fantastic animation, or even how the music makes me want to rise out of my chair and slay a cave troll with my bare hands, but I won’t. Instead, the true star of Shadow of Mordor is the lovely Nemesis system.  Instead of your usual open-world game where enemies have be taken out in a particular order; Shadow of Mordor gives every grunt and lazy eyed Uruk a chance to become your own personal worst enemy. If he just happens to take out the mighty Talion (you) he’ll gain rank, power and influence but more importantly he’ll remember how he kicked your ass and mock you for it. Shadow of Mordor brings together the fierce combat system of the above mentioned Batman Arkham series, the open world parkour freedom of Assassin’s Creed and wraps in all in a story that fans of Lord of the Rings will get a kick of. Sure, Monolith has taken some liberties but they’ve also managed to respect the spirit of Tolkien’s universe. 

Warner Bros has another hit on their hands and a series which could be the next Batman Arkham -only with elves and orcs that personally want to kick your ass.

GameDaze: Impressions on Destiny
Bungie’s big cross-gen shooter Destiny is finally in consoles all over the world but is it the revolutionary shooter that Bungie has been touting for years? Yes and no. 
Destiny at this point is the WaterWorld of next-gen video games. Huge Hollywood style production but its somehow forgotten to add soul. There’s a lot of good in there and even some great. It’s just buried under a lot monotony.
Destiny is very much the bastard love child of Borderlands and Halo with a dash of the classic Dreamcast title Phantasy Star Online. You’ll find a hearty blend of all of the above, with some incredibly solid gameplay but sadly lacking the charm to go with it. 
Borderlands has charm. Loads of it and loads of loot. While Destiny has the superior gameplay and visuals, it lacks in character. Yes, I love mystery and awe as much as the next person but give this world some context. You don’t want to stuff it full of lore in-game? That’s fine, at least have a codex similar to Mass Effect to let those that want to know more dive in. Oh, wait you do have a Codex. It’s just only viewable on Bungie.net and not in your game? That was a smart move. /sarcasmBorderlands has some insane missions: For example, kill yourself and get money, or call the suicide hotline and be a wimp. Go collect flowers for Jacks grandma and kill the bandits who he hired to murder her so he doesn’t have to pay them. Collect body parts to turn a robot into a human. I don’t expect that amount of silliness, clearly, but for fucks sake - Mix it up!
Playing with friends is a blast. But Bungie has said time and time again that SP gamers would be able to enjoy all of Destiny equally. That’s not the case. I won’t even get into my issues with the lack of no-brainer social features, incredibly rare world events, lackluster NPCs, missions variety and more. Destiny is a good game but it’s not a great one. It has the ability to be though, with time. 

For a game built on the foundations of being a social playground full of possibilities Bungie has crippled communication. The Tower is supposed to be a social Hub, a place to meet fellow Guardians and trade war stories, make friends and find fellow gamers to launch out into a Strike; but I can’t as we can only emote. Shaking my ass and pointing really doesn’t get much across. Proximity chat in social areas and the wild would go a long way in making Destiny the social experience myself and some others want it to be. Being an MMO-lite, the game we’re all playing today could drastically change in 6 months time. Destiny is obviously a labor of love for Bungie. It’s polished, visually gorgeous and has one of the most beautiful soundtracks this year. Couple that with some solid FPS gameplay and what’s there is a fantastic foundation for something that could be very much like the marketing wants us to believe - Legendary. Destiny currently isn’t exactly the game I hoped it would be, but I’m excited to see where it is 6 months from now. Destiny easily has the potential to be the Phantasy Star Online of this console generation. I just hope Bungie listens to fans and builds on what Destiny could be.

GameDaze: Impressions on Destiny

Bungie’s big cross-gen shooter Destiny is finally in consoles all over the world but is it the revolutionary shooter that Bungie has been touting for years? Yes and no. 

Destiny at this point is the WaterWorld of next-gen video games. Huge Hollywood style production but its somehow forgotten to add soul. There’s a lot of good in there and even some great. It’s just buried under a lot monotony.

Destiny is very much the bastard love child of Borderlands and Halo with a dash of the classic Dreamcast title Phantasy Star Online. You’ll find a hearty blend of all of the above, with some incredibly solid gameplay but sadly lacking the charm to go with it. 

Borderlands has charm. Loads of it and loads of loot. While Destiny has the superior gameplay and visuals, it lacks in character. Yes, I love mystery and awe as much as the next person but give this world some context. You don’t want to stuff it full of lore in-game? That’s fine, at least have a codex similar to Mass Effect to let those that want to know more dive in. Oh, wait you do have a Codex. It’s just only viewable on Bungie.net and not in your game? That was a smart move. /sarcasm

Borderlands has some insane missions: For example, kill yourself and get money, or call the suicide hotline and be a wimp. Go collect flowers for Jacks grandma and kill the bandits who he hired to murder her so he doesn’t have to pay them. Collect body parts to turn a robot into a human. I don’t expect that amount of silliness, clearly, but for fucks sake - Mix it up!

Smiley facePlaying with friends is a blast. But Bungie has said time and time again that SP gamers would be able to enjoy all of Destiny equally. That’s not the case. I won’t even get into my issues with the lack of no-brainer social features, incredibly rare world events, lackluster NPCs, missions variety and more. Destiny is a good game but it’s not a great one. It has the ability to be though, with time. 

For a game built on the foundations of being a social playground full of possibilities Bungie has crippled communication. The Tower is supposed to be a social Hub, a place to meet fellow Guardians and trade war stories, make friends and find fellow gamers to launch out into a Strike; but I can’t as we can only emote. Shaking my ass and pointing really doesn’t get much across. Proximity chat in social areas and the wild would go a long way in making Destiny the social experience myself and some others want it to be. Being an MMO-lite, the game we’re all playing today could drastically change in 6 months time. Destiny is obviously a labor of love for Bungie. It’s polished, visually gorgeous and has one of the most beautiful soundtracks this year. Couple that with some solid FPS gameplay and what’s there is a fantastic foundation for something that could be very much like the marketing wants us to believe - Legendary. Destiny currently isn’t exactly the game I hoped it would be, but I’m excited to see where it is 6 months from now. Destiny easily has the potential to be the Phantasy Star Online of this console generation. I just hope Bungie listens to fans and builds on what Destiny could be.

On Another Level: The Walking Dead “All That Remains” review

Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, Windows
Developer: Telltale
Publisher: Telltale
Score: 9/10
Contains spoilers for both seasons

The long awaited second season to one of my most beloved games came out a few weeks ago, and although this review is late I still have so much to say about this introductory episode. The first season felt like a game without that much attention placed on it, until people randomly started playing it and began speaking of it highly. The Walking Dead game snowballed significantly in such a short time due to many factors within media. For one, the show on AMC being as popular as it was, paved the way by intriguing gamers with the allure of a strategic point and click.

Now if you haven’t played the first season of the game, you should stop reading this now and go get on that. This article will contain only the most major of spoilers past this point. You have been warned.

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On Another Level: Dead Rising 3 review

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Platform: Xbox One
Developer: Capcom Vancouver
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Chelsea’s Score: 8.5/10
[Contains minor spoilers]

Zombies are everywhere. On your television, your big screens, and even lately some marathons pit you against the living dead as you run a 5k. When it comes to videogames, there is a really large chance that in-game enemies will be some sort of undead variation. Lately, they are oversaturating the market and probably tiring out a lot of gamers. That’s not the case when it comes to the third installment in the Dead Rising series.    

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Review: Special Edition Assassin’s Creed IV Skullcandy SLYR

Skullcandy is a name that is slowly gaining popularity in the gaming headset market with their PLYR and SLYR series of headsets. Featuring both great sound and comfort at a reasonable price, their latest special edition Assassin’s Creed IV branded SLYR headset continues the excellent base responsive of the original SLYR’s with a fresh new styling and special Assassin’s Creed sound profile. 

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Review: The Wolf Among Us [Episode 1: Faith] SPOILER FREE

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TellTale Games The Wolf Among Us solidifies TellTale as one of the finest storytellers in the industry. 

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, XBOX 360, PS3
Developer: TellTale
Publisher: TellTale

TellTale Games latest episodic series may have done away with the gore and shambling of the undead but one thing that is certainly still front and center is storytelling and character, in ways that few games manage to produce. 

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Telltale’s Poker Night 2 just recently became available for PC, PS3 and XBOX 360. Has anyone else gotten to dabble into it yet?
 You play as a mute character, the other players like to tease and make fun of. The others? Brock Samson from The Venture Bros, Sam, from Sam & Max [Max is also there assisting Sam], Ash Williams from The Evil Dead and ClapTrap from the Borderlands series. The dealer is none other than GLaDOS from the Portal series, being her usual intimidating and insulting self. Mad Moxxi from the Borderlands series serves up drinks, but is ultimately silent the whole time. Buying the other characters in the game a drink, helps the likelihood of calling their bluffs or non-bluffs. Captain Reginald Van Winslow [Tales of Monkey Island] also makes an appearance as s casino chief.
That’s a lot of characters to name drop, huh? The game has been ridiculously humorous and engaging. The game allows you to have chances of winning items like in-game card decks, tabletop designs and chips. You also, depending on which platform you are playing on, have chances to win Borderlands 2 content, XBOX avatar items, PS3 themes and Team Fortress 2 items on Steam.
The game features two versions of poker, Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha Hold ‘Em. Party Banter goes a long way, but some jokes are repeated and does lose charm eventually. 
An iOS version is also on it’s way, no date announced just yet.
Score: 8/10. Fun, simple and hilarious. Jokes eventually get stale.
By: ChelseaHeckaGaming

Telltale’s Poker Night 2 just recently became available for PC, PS3 and XBOX 360. Has anyone else gotten to dabble into it yet?

 You play as a mute character, the other players like to tease and make fun of. The others? Brock Samson from The Venture Bros, Sam, from Sam & Max [Max is also there assisting Sam], Ash Williams from The Evil Dead and ClapTrap from the Borderlands series. The dealer is none other than GLaDOS from the Portal series, being her usual intimidating and insulting self. Mad Moxxi from the Borderlands series serves up drinks, but is ultimately silent the whole time. Buying the other characters in the game a drink, helps the likelihood of calling their bluffs or non-bluffs. Captain Reginald Van Winslow [Tales of Monkey Island] also makes an appearance as s casino chief.

That’s a lot of characters to name drop, huh? The game has been ridiculously humorous and engaging. The game allows you to have chances of winning items like in-game card decks, tabletop designs and chips. You also, depending on which platform you are playing on, have chances to win Borderlands 2 content, XBOX avatar items, PS3 themes and Team Fortress 2 items on Steam.

The game features two versions of poker, Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha Hold ‘Em. Party Banter goes a long way, but some jokes are repeated and does lose charm eventually. 

An iOS version is also on it’s way, no date announced just yet.

Score: 8/10. Fun, simple and hilarious. Jokes eventually get stale.

By: ChelseaHeckaGaming

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