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Review – Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

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You know what? I haven’t even finished Blood Dragon. I probably could have given you an honest review after watching the intro. I’m taking my time with this one on top of a new baby in my life, so I wanted to get this out sooner than later. What has Ubisoft created here? Probably the greatest thing ever.

Blood Dragon bears the name Far Cry 3, though the similarities end at the gameplay. You still do stealth kills, level up, upgrade weapons, hunt animals, etc. But, this time it’s with a neon sheen and some of the best retro-synth imaginable thanks to Power Glove. Now, before this was even official I made a blog post about 80s retro in general – and this game is the manifestation of that. This creative risk Ubisoft has taken really works – using the Far Cry name to push sales, base good gameplay on, and hopefully this exposure will mean more risky creativity.

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As I said, the game plays just like Far Cry 3, which is a great, forward-thinking plan for exposure. I love FC3 and think it includes many gameplay mechanics that should be standard in the genre moving forward. Almost like how leveling or achievements are pretty standard across gaming. Some gameplay differences here with this standalone $15 title, include skills auto-unlocking depending on your level and a lot less side-missions. I have completed every garrison mission and have gone through a few story missions. So, I’ve completed a big bulk of the game and just can’t wait to experience the cut-scenes. These cut-scenes are 8-bit retro throwbacks – so perfect.

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The story of Blood Dragon pretty much entails scenes from every radical 80s movie. See, this isn’t a retro game. It’s not Duke Nukem Forever, but a modern game that is aware of its love for all things 80s. I think that’s how DNF failed. By the time it was released, its gameplay style was a bit stale, so the game was just a slide-show of watching who Duke is. Blood Dragon is a modern FPS within the retro world. I don’t think we’ve seen this done much in the gaming industry and hope this risk pays of and paves the way for more.

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I hope that made sense. If not, just buy this game anyway. This is the future. It is 2007.

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Weekend in Gaming – New Baby, Blood Dragon

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What a weekend! Well, my new little boy is actually quite tame. He tends to just squeak when hungry and does sleep a lot. While at the hospital with not much to do, I started back into Jamestown on my laptop. It’s actually an excellent shmup. Not only is the music and graphics fantastic, but the scoring system is pretty fun. The game is broken up into levels and bonus levels, with extra ships to purchase. It’s set up in a way that allows a player to get better.

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I then jumped into Blood Dragon. It came out the day before my sons birth, so I knew I’d go a few days without. Back in, and I’m enjoying it 100%. What can be said about this game? I’ll be posting a review and/or impressions this week. I lived stream my game time with it Sunday, and below is the video.

I then finally got around to finishing the 2nd Adam Plays a Shmup. Last time I recorded it, my audio levels were off quite a bit so it was just worthless. I fixed it this time, with the video available below!

And some shmup pickups for the from the weekend: Raiden III and Taito Legends 2 on PS2.

Some more #shmup action. #retrocollective

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Screenshock: Tomb Raider – Dat Hair!

Tomb Raider is an amazing game. On top of that, it looks incredible. I have an ATI card, so I get to take advantage of TressFX – AMAZING HAIR PHYSICS! Yeah, it’s just alright, but the environmental detail is stunning. I do get 60+ fps most of the time. It only slows down during any in-game cutscene where the camera is set looking at the back of Lara’s head. DAT HAIR.

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DFW Retro Fest 2013 – Retro Video Game Festival

I don’t see this often in the DFW, where I reside. The DFW area consists of Dallas/Ft. Worth, plus the suburbs. I’m right in the middle in the city of Bedford. But other than a bunch of Gamestops, one-off retro-game retailers aren’t aplenty. In fact, there isn’t any near where I am specifically. I can drive 40 minutes one way, or 40 the other. Kind of don’t want to with online places like Amazon available. But browsing is fun!

Luckily, a local gamer put together the first Retro Game Fest in the area (as far as I know). You can check out his YouTube page here: Echo036. Here are some pics I took:

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I saw a lot of items in the high-price range I would have picked up. But for now, I settled with a alternate Sonic CD case that I didn’t have. It was a good event with a surprising turnout. I can’t wait for the next!

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Childish’s Movie Review – Iron Man 3

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I’m back! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a movie review, but I would like to start again! And what better way to start than by a review for the highly anticipated superhero money maker known as Iron Man 3. I would like to start off by saying I was so amp’d to see this movie. I thought the trailer looked interesting, and I always look forward to seeing how my favorite villains get the Hollywood big screen treatment. And before I get into it I would like to add that I really enjoyed Iron Man, and I thought the sequel was just OK. Let’s go!

So, with Iron Man 3 Marvel decided to go with another director, Shane Black, who also wrote the screenplay. Now even though Jon Favreau is out of the directors chair, he still reprises his role as “Happy”. No hard feelings I guess. I thought this was a good move by Marvel, to maybe give the franchise a little new life and get Iron Man to be seen through a different director’s eyes. No spoilers yet, but I was very wrong with this assumption. Now with IM3 we get to see one of Tony Stark’s biggest archenemies and fan-favorites from the comic series, the Mandarin. For those of you who don’t know who the Mandarin is, it is probably the best for you. And if you do know him, I could only hope Stan Lee is waiting outside your local cinema after you watch it to give you a hug and say sorry (we can discuss this more later). What I read and watched about this movie pre-release is that Mr. Black was going to go for a more realist approach with the Mandarin, using the current events of recent years of terrorism. Leaving Tony Starks to battle the real threat that most people around the world get to deal with on a daily basis. I will give IM3 that, they did a good job of making the “terror” theme really believable and it kind of hits home.

Onto the action of the film. It was pretty awesome! All the way into the end scene there is just all out, no expenses paid, action. Tony Stark even has to overcome most of his foes without the full force of his armor during most of the movie. At first, I didn’t like this idea. I wanted all out Iron Man all the time, but they actually pulled it off well. There are even a lot more armor types and abilities in this film. No real spoilers, but one scene he only has the left arm and right leg of Iron Man. How he dispenses the foes during this scene is sort of like parkour on crack. I think going into an Iron Man movie no one ever really worries about the action, we just hope the story and character treatments are in place. As for the story, to brief it up quickly, a nerdy self-conscience bitter “scientist” that Tony snubbed in 1999, is back now as a dashing, rich, and well off scientific entrepreneur who tries to work with Pepper Potts at Stark Industry. He has devised a way to somehow hack into the brain’s central nervous system to help the human body evolve and also regenerate limbs and heal wounds. Pepper, seeing that this could be used in a harmful way, sends the scientist out the front door not agreeing to work with him. Also, there is a mystery man bombing areas around the world, while hacking into TV stations to show the American world what he has done and plans to do.That’s pretty much it.

Now for the biggest disappointment of the movie, it’s not really a spoiler but if you don’t want to risk it then just skip down to my score. They completely f@cked up the Mandarin. Like, completely. If you saw Wolverine: Origins and how they screwed up Deadpool, then you know this is possible. The movie hasn’t been released yet in America, so when it does, I hope there is a huge fan backlash against this film. For the 1st 2 thirds of the movie it looks as if everything is going as planned and you await the ultimate foe known as the Mandarin to release his undeniable power. Well, leave the movie before the last third when Tony finally gets face to face with him because you will be severely disappointed. For non comic people, they may like this twist. For us die-hard fans, there are no words for it. I don’t want to completely spoil it, but they could try to justify it by trying to set the theme of the movie in the real world, but based on the baddies that Iron Man fights, there is no way this could be reality. I really don’t even want to talk about it. I couldn’t even sleep good the night I saw the movie and I even woke up angry.

All in all, the story, action, toys, and most of the characters are in place. It is an entertaining movie. But, if you are a fan, and know about the comic book adaptation of the Mandarin, then you will be severely hurt by this film. I wrote a better story for the character in my head in 5 minutes than this crap Shane Black tried to spoon feed us. Shame, shame, shame.

Iron Man 3 (6/10)

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Weekend in Gaming – Tomb Raider, Retro Fest, Moar Shmups

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This weekend was rather eventful on top of having some of the best weather this year. Almost pool weather here in Texas. The cool mornings keep the water too cold, though. Just Friday I learn of a ‘Retro Fest’. A gathering to buy, sell, and trade games from retro eras and today. It was located in west Ft. Worth, which is a good 35-40 minutes away from me. I’ll post about the Retro Fest this week.

In between the beautiful weather and trip to west Ft. Worth, I’ve started on Tomb Raider. I am late to the party but was engaged in other games. It looked like another Uncharted, which is a good thing – but Tomb Raider takes it to a whole new level. This game is fantastic for many reasons, but the most obvious are the controls. I was afraid a game of this type would be stiff, similar to Assassin’s Creed or Uncharted, but that is not the case. And did I mention the game looks gorgeous? Luckily, my rig can pull off 60+ fps on max. Even with dat hair.

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I also received Under Defeat and Otomedious Excellent to add back into my shmup collection. I won a $10 Amazon gift card and used that toward a $10 copy of Raiden III on PS2. I also found someone interested in a cart-only Mario 64 DS that had a CIB Phelios on Genesis. Yes, a trade is taking place.

#shmups to add to the collection. Both on the cheap through Amazon.

I did a long play of Quackshot for the Sega Genesis which I will post later today. I’m expecting a baby boy to join me this week or weekend, so Week in Gaming may be delayed – for good reason!

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Review – Sacred Citadel

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I love beat ‘em ups, which have a long history in gaming. And then I’d say I also love RPG elements too. Not that I like RPGs all that much due to the turn-based combat, but the skill-points, skills, leveling, etc., adds a bit of personal interest in your character. Luckily, Sacred Citadel mashed those two aspects together with interesting visuals and audio on top like a cherry on a sundae. Actually, that’s an odd comparison to make – so let’s say the audio and visuals are the hot fudge- never mind, now I’m craving ice cream.

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Sacred Citadel looks a bit like Torchlight. It’s a neat look. Not exactly cell-shaded, but still a bit cartoony. It’s pleasing actually; a style that works within this fantasy realm with the beat ‘em up style combat. This is no Sacred, however, except in its RPG roots. The audio is very, very interesting. With some western, twangy guitar riffs in the menu, and some wacky-but-lovable organ-laden adventure music during the main levels. It’s all very stylized and artistic. Many kudos to the dev team.

The game comes together with its delicious combat. You have two attack buttons, a magic button, dodge, block – yes, this is a full-on brawler. As you level up one of the four unique character classes, you unlock moves that are both for weapons, secondary attack, and magic. There is a lot here to choose from. Between levels you can visit a village that allows for shopping. This even includes potions and gems – another element of combat. Gems can be equipped as temporary buffs that usually help out for boss battles. These items, as well as weapons, can be found as dropped loot throughout the game.

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I played co-op online with Sean quite a bit, which I think is where most of the fun is had. Strangely, only three players can play at a time, but I’m sure there’s a reason for that other than trying to stick it to the player. I then played some local co-op on my PC with my wife. It was actually a lot of fun seeing how much she was enjoying the game not being a hardcore gamer like myself. It offers the perfect balance of core gameplay elements for traditional gamers, yet simple enough for casual players. I recommend this title for sure. Something fun to always have around for local co-op. In fact, this makes me yearn for more loot-based-skill-leveling-co-op-beat ‘em ups with a combo system somewhat comparative to a God of War-style game.

Sacred Citadel is available for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Steam. The review is based on the Steam version.

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BioShock: Infinite Ending Discussion – Spoilers!

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Hello, everyone on the internet! I have a video to show you from a new Spoilers! series on BlueGamer TV. This week’s episode, myself and friend Dillon Spears discuss the ending of BioShock Infinite which really entails mind-blowing revelations and just overall mass-confusion. It was a wonderful game with a wonderful ending, so check it out if you’re interested in our take of it!

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