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Skylanders Imaginators coming in October

The newest installment for the Skylanders franchise is set to release October 16th of this year on PS4, Xbox ONE, Wii U, Xbox 360, and PS3. This will be the first Skylanders game where you can create your own Skylander. The Dark Edition is available for pre order exclusively at Gamestop.

Kaos has discovered the ancient power of Mind Magic and is using it to create an unstoppable army of Doomlanders! Eon is calling upon all Portal Masters and Skylands’ greatest mystic warriors, the Senseis, to stop Kaos and his minions. Now, you must use the power of your imagination to create your own Skylanders to battle in the ultimate adventure alongside the almighty Senseis to save Skylands.

Who are the Dark Skylanders? While on a special mission, a team of Skylanders discovered a secret lair where Kaos was experimenting with a new discovery – Petrified Darkness – which he intended to use to take over all of Skylands!  In the fight to stop Kaos, the lair exploded, releasing a cloud of pure Darkness!  The Skylanders knew they could not let it escape, so they absorbed the dark energy, transforming them into dark versions of themselves.  Fortunately, Spyro had learned to tame the darkness within him long ago.  So with his help, these Skylanders now have also learned to control it – combining its power with their own to fight Kaos and the forces of evil.

  • Embark on an Epic New Adventure
  • Use the Imaginite Creation Crystals to Create Your Own Skylanders
  • Sensei Skylanders are the Ultimate Masters of the Almighty Sky-Chi Powers
  • Battle to Save Skylands with the Sensei and Imaginator Skylanders
  • Use 10 Different Battle Class Types to Defeat Kaos and his Minions
  • Play With Friends in COOP and Head-to-Head Racing
  • Conquer All-New Side quests & Mini-games

Infinite Possibilities to Create with the Skylanders Imaginators Starter Pack:

  • Skylanders Imaginators Video Game
  • Portal of Power®
  • 3 Skylanders Sensei Figures – Master King Pen, Golden Queen & Wolfgang
  • 3 Imaginite Creation Crystals – Fire, Life & Dark
  • 2-Sided Collection Poster featuring the complete set of Skylanders Imaginators Figures
  • And more…

Bring the Skylanders to Life!® and build the ultimate team with over 30 Skylanders to collect and infinite possibilities to create. All Skylanders® Spryo’s Adventure, Skylanders® Giants and Skylanders® SWAP Force, Skylanders® Trap Team, Skylanders ® SuperChargers toys work in the Skylanders ® Imaginators video game.

 

Skylanders Imaginators official reveal trailer:

 

 

 

 

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Opinions

Five Video Game Elements That Cannot Be Done In The Real World

Ah, video games. We all love to play them on weekly or daily basis (based on our schedules). As gamers, we can be engrossed in them for hours and hours. A great game can make time pass by until we realize we have to go back to the real world. Despite how much fun we have, there are certain elements in gameplay that we love to have but we can’t get away with in the real world.

I’m not saying these features are a bad thing. I know they are necessary because they help the fictional story progress, but it is fun to sit back, look at these ideas, and laugh about them if they had real world applications. That is why I dedicate this article to five video game features that are impossible in the real world because we can’t achieve them, they are ridiculous, or would land us in a world of trouble.

FAST TRAVEL

fast Travel

In huge open world games, fast travel seems to be a necessity. Games, like Skyrim, Fallout, WoW, Assassin’s Creed, etc., have huge worlds that traveling on foot would take an immense amount of time. Fast Travel helps us with side quests, story progression, and anything else we want to see or do in video games. This game feature is fun and simple to use, but I feel a bit spoiled when I return to the real world. I would love to have a fast travel ability for my daily commute to and from work on the NJ Turnpike. If Fast Travel were real, I am sure each and every gamer would utilize the function so they can get extra sleep, or spend an extra few minutes playing video games. But alas, Fast Travel only works in video games.

OPEN LOOT IN ROLE PLAYING GAME TOWNS AND BUILDINGS

looting homes

Many RPG Gamers know that a town or city means one of three things in an RPG: Saves and restoration, Story progression, and free loot in strangers’ houses. RPG fans know to check each and every house in a town because we can find a treasure chest or box that contains, potions, powerful weapons, or money for the big quest. At a certain point of the game, this concept is more habit forming because we know something is there for the gamer. We don’t even have to talk to the NPCs who live in the house. We just walk in and open the chest. While this is common for RPG games, this type of action would land us in jail if we ever tried this with people in our neighborhood. We can’t just walk into some stranger’s house, open up drawers, and take whatever we need in an attempt to save the world. We would spend a great deal of our free time behind bars.

I can only try imagine the bizarre logic of the NPCs (if they existed) if some stranger walked in and looted the place.

“Hey, I did not hear a knock when you entered my door but come on in. I guess being a hero means manners go out the window. What’s that? You’re going through my dresser and looking through my personal belongings? You found 800 dollars and you’re keeping it? Well I was saving that for things like: medicine if I got ill, needed it for house repairs, or if I wanted to retire. But hey, you walked into my house and found it, so I guess it is now yours. Have a great day thief.”

Open loot in a video game is an impossible action to accomplish in reality.

DAMAGE AND INSTANT HEALING

Video game characters take a lot of damage as they progress through the game. It makes us often question how tough the character is or how bad we are because the reality of gunshot and stab wounds is completely different from the video game world. I played videogames where the hero took an intense amount of pain and torture and still save the day with finesse.  Heroes can take just as much as they can dish out when it comes to damage and health, but this notion doesn’t really apply to us in the real world. When we get shot by an NPC in a FPS, we can take that bullet and keep going. In the real world, we seek medical transportation after the first shot, stab wound, or point of damage because we all know the seriousness of getting first aid to avoid losing too much blood, infections, and mortal wounds.

Games definitely create the line of separation because we know healing our bodies doesn’t work the same way as video games. Eating herbs, using first aid sprays, and simply waiting behind the corner for instant healing when we are so close to death only applies to video games. In a sense, it does help us to feel invincible when going up against a horde of endless enemies. Which is why I put this game element into my list of things we simply can’t do in video games.

CARRY EVERYTHING IN OUR BACK POCKET

world-of-warcraft inventory bag

One thing video games do is give the player a plethora of items to use in our quest to save the video game world. We can carry a thousand different potions, a walk-in closet full of different wardrobes for any battle condition, and a variety of weapons in case one weapon won’t work against a particular foe. While this notion isn’t a concern to me, the concept of carrying all this in one pocket makes me laugh.

Carrying all these items with ease is not something we can do in real life. In the real world, we look at the materials we carry to work or the things we pack for a vacation and we look like chumps compared to the video game avatars we create. I pack my keys, wallet, phone, and water for a daily jog and I need an over the shoulder backpack for all the stuff. This is why I laugh when I look at my character walking around with ease even though the character has over 90 magi health potions in the item pouch.

TRAVERSE ANY OBSTACLE WITH EASE

parkour

Now this one is mainly on me folks but I am sure we can all relate to this at some point in our lives. We see many protagonists adept in parkour or free running and we can understand the need for it in video games. It is all simple fun, but have you ever tried to learn parkour? Have to gone to a gym to try and get yourself physically tone to run up a building like any assassin from an Assassin’s Creed game?

I decided to try it out just to see if I can pull it off. For those who haven’t tried, it does require a lot of exercising and upper body strength to complete.  While I exercise and build myself up every day, I do enjoy eating sinfully delicious foods like bacon. I suppose I could work harder and give off bacon to improve myself in order to scale an apartment complex. If I had to choose between being able to scale an urban building with ease and a bacon cheeseburger, I will chose bacon every time. Sorry Assassins, you’ll have to save the world while I am on my couch with bacon.

Well here are just five elements about video games that aren’t so simple in video games. Now there are a lot more far-fetched gaming concepts out there and I invite you to share which concept you think are a bit ridiculous. Feel free to post one, and describe your thoughts on the matter.

Happy gaming everyone!

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Prototype 2 Review

Prototype, Radical Entertainment’s open-world game was pitted against InFAMOUS when it was originally released.  Both are very similar games.  Despite the fact that InFAMOUS was generally declared the better of two games, Radical was given another chance and the result of this is Prototype 2.

The protagonist of the original game, Alex Mercer is no longer whom you play as.  Instead you play as Sgt. James Heller, a Marine who is out to destroy Alex Mercer who he blames for killing his family.  The reason for this hatred is the return of the Mercer virus, reportedly spread by Mercer.  As the game kicks off, a mission goes wrong and Heller comes face to face with Mercer who infects him with a strain of the virus that gives him a similar skill set.

The movement in Prototype 2 still feels very similar.  You can still run around New York at will leaping over buildings, running up walls, gliding across the cityscape and landing back on the ground without missing a beat.  That being said there are still the moments when you are running down the street and due to the nature of the movement you start climbing a wall, but that is easily looked over due to how fun it is to just run around the environment.

James Heller is literally a weapon of mass destruction that has five unique weapons his arms turn into.  These include the hammerfists, claws, tendrils, blades, and the whipfist.  While initially they aren’t all unlocked, by the end you will be switching between them depending on who you are fighting.  In the first Prototype one of the biggest complaints was the ridiculous spikes of difficulty that occurred on certain missions that left you feeling powerless.  A great example of that is the first time you fight one of the enemy types the hunters they are very difficult for you to defeat, however by the end they are very easy to take down making it feel like you, as a character, have really evolved into a powerful force.  The biggest problem with the combat in the game is that sometimes when fighting large groups of enemies the lock-on system can get overwhelmed and you can end up hitting the wrong target which can be frustrating.

 

Throughout the game Heller will be evolving in many different ways including the ability to pilot helicopters and tanks to being able to throw a car as fast as you can run.  There are many different ways Heller has the opportunity to evolve including absorbing specially marked enemies, which improves weapon and vehicle skills.  You can also evolve by investigating mutation points, by finding hidden collectibles in the forms of black boxes, and completing a list of objectives in a side quest format called Blackwatch.  Mutations of these variants are split into a series of categories including Locomotion, Offensive, Defensive, and more.  Within each category there are a list of powers, each with its own illustration and description that give a very familiar vibe to that of the Fallout perk system.  Lastly you can improve your basic ability set like health, movement speed, and shape-shifting powers each time you level up.  The customization and depth they have added to the character progression allows you to craft your character to your play style.

The ability to absorb and disguise yourself is still one of the biggest plot and gameplay mechanics within Prototype 2.  There are two reasons you should be absorbing people, for health regeneration and sneaking around.  Any human or basic infected can be absorbed, and you can either perform it stealthily or forcefully.  The stealth consume ability is the focal point of many missions that require you to sneak through military bases consuming people, slowly getting to a certain target and consuming them for their memories.   You also have the ability to search out targets in the environment by clicking in the left stick and following a pulse that targets that individual.  This also allows you to see what enemies are currently not being looked at so you can safely absorb them without putting yourself in danger.

The only ability that has been removed is the ability to patsy enemies, which is when you would point at an enemy blaming them to be you and they would get killed.  While it’s a disappointment it was removed they have replaced it with something I enjoy even more a move called a bio-bomb.  When you use it you plant a sample of the virus in an enemy and they start freaking out which draws all people nearby to them.  They then exude multiple tentacles that attach to anything nearby pulling it towards the infected person killing all living things within them.

The improvement that holds the most weight to me is the choice to throw all the meaningless challenges that cluttered up the map in the original game and creating a series of side missions that actually have story within them.  These side quests are called //BlackNet and are a series of missions separated into different operations that Heller is trying to stop.  There are four different types of missions they can give you in each operation, with only the Cargo Delivery missions really falling flat.  If you were a fan of the challenges from the first game don’t be alarmed because, within each new copy of the game, there is a code for RadNet that offers similar challenges that change each week.

 

Radical Entertainment did a great job addressing a majority of the problems such as bland boss fights and a more fluid combat system.  That being said one of my biggest complaints is that the game never really escalates due to how insane the game starts, which starts to be tiring towards the end.  The lack of variety within the mission types also becomes a drag after sneaking into a base for the fifteenth time or doing another escort mission.  There is an attempt to keep the New York environment fresh by separating the world into three different zones.  The relatively safe green zone where life goes on as normal, the yellow zone where there is a decent infected presence and military law is being enforced, to the all out war in the red zone.  However, past the change of scenery the same missions are being done which wears thin.

However that being said the story in the game is quite entertaining with some great twists and turns. They do a much better job developing the main character into a very deep and twisted man.  Alex Mercer is given more personality showing him to be much more charming and seductive.  The conflict between him and Heller is given an amazing climactic rumble that is worth seeing for any fan of the first game.  After finishing the game you can go back in and finish up any collections or side quests you may have finished or jump straight into New Game Plus.

Radical Entertainment did a great job making a much more polished and superior game compared to the original. While it drags at points, it is a great step forward in what could potentially be a new franchise for Activision.  For anyone looking to cause some mayhem or is looking for a game at this slow time, you won’t be disappointed if you choose Prototype 2.

I give Prototype 2 a 4/5

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Playstation 3 PlayStation 3 Reviews Reviews XBOX 360 Xbox 360 Reviews

Ninja Gaiden 3 Review

The Ninja Gaiden series is one with quite a reputation about it. It is known for being very gory, its futuristic ninjas, and, of course, for being incredibly difficult. Oh and also the ninjas?  So when Ninja Gaiden 3 was available, I had to check it out.

The rough explanation of the story is that the world, yet again, is in mortal danger that only Ryu Hyabusa can save it from. However, unlike Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2, hellish fiends and Archfiends are not anywhere to be found in this game. Instead, a new enemy, the alchemists, is introduced. Ryu also receives a nasty, disfiguring curse to his right arm in the end of the first mission that causes some problems within the game.

The first thing I would like to address about this game is the fact that it is no longer the challenging blood fest that it once was. Where the previous games required an amount of skill to get anywhere, Ninja Gaiden 3 can be beaten with not much more than an occasional dodge or block and constant button mashing. I also have rather fond memories of maiming some particularly annoying enemies in gruesome ways in the previous game, but this game has pretty much eliminated that aspect completely. Why they did this I have no idea, but the animations of the sword cutting through enemies, with the enemies remaining intact, subtracts from the experience somewhat. It made it feel like the game was brought down to cater to children.

 

Visually, the game was not really an improvement, but it didn’t get worse. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t improve the looks much, but since they don’t look terrible, I didn’t think that it was much of an issue.

One thing I found to be extremely disappointing was that, in Ninja Gaiden 2, Ryu was given a great variety of weapons to choose from with their own unique way of fighting, but in Ninja Gaiden 3 everything other than using a katana is downloadable content. I find that to be a little insulting. Why should I have to pay more for something that was free in the last game? It just seems like a slap to the face to the people who loved using different weapons in Ninja Gaiden 2.

I have to admit that I was not looking forward to playing the new multiplayer feature of this game. I was expecting just a “thrown together” multiplayer like some other recent video games have started to do. The first problem I had when trying it out was that I had to download a code and a multiplayer pack from the market place. They were free, but why wouldn’t it just be in the game? After getting past that twenty or so minutes of downloading, I gave the challenge mode a try. It was disappointing to say the least. It was pretty much fighting battles from the campaign with the help of a buddy. If I had to do it myself, what is the value of adding another man to it? The “clan battle” mode was pretty good though. It is not balanced with people of higher level and those that bought other weapons DLC, but there are still ways to get around that. I found it to be unexpectedly entertaining.

 

All things considered, I would have to say that this game is mediocre at best. The gameplay was not that challenging, multiplayer was disappointing, the story was not good and the whole thing made feel like it was rushed.

I have to give Ninja Gaiden 3 a score of 3 out of 5.