The Clone Wars

(Before I get started: hello, everyone! Sorry it’s been so long since my last rant post. Glad to be back!)

I love the term “clone.” It’s so derogatory and dismissive. It’s the video game review equivalent of calling someone an asshat on the internet: “0/10 Just another clone.”

But here’s the thing: I enjoy playing clones. There, I said it. Maybe there are support groups for people like me.

I’m excited about Planets Cubed (Minecraft clone). I enjoyed Craft The World (Terraria clone). I enjoyed Cthulhu Saves the World and Breath of Death (Final Fantasy and shameless Breath of Fire clones, respectively). I enjoyed Dust: An Elysian Tale (Megaman X clone), and Shovel Knight (another Megaman clone, but stealing more from the original). I love Saints Row III and IV, even though they’re just GTA clones. I could go on and on about the clones I’ve enjoyed (and I’m about to).

DustCthulhu

What do I enjoy about these clones? Well, first: they’re well-made games. They have great art, wonderful storylines (most of ‘em), well-developed battle systems, character development, balancing, and variety in strategy. A couple even have good voice acting (something I’m not sure FF can boast, even today). Now, if I had pitched these games to you and you hadn’t played a similar game earlier in your life, you’d probably think they’re great games! That’s intentional, of course: I picked the most successful clones out of the batches of clones that were cloned by their clone-y game developers.

But when we start implying things are knockoffs of other things that we enjoy, and they are somehow less worthy of our attention because of it, we’re undermining the medium of video games as a whole (and we’re being kind of ridiculous as well). I saw a comment on Craft The World that called it a “Minecraft/Terraria clone with a bit of Dwarf Fortress.” And I have to ask myself: doesn’t this irate clone-hater really mean: “This game has elements of Minecraft, Terraria, and Dwarf Fortress and yet cannot accurately be described by the characteristics of any one of them.”? Don’t a different art style, a different balancing, a different way of progressing through the game, a different set of enemies, a different tech tree, and totally different music and sounds give the developers enough room to weakly cry, “Hey, dude, I’m my own game!” before being drowned in a cataclysm of internet-hate?

Let’s talk about a great game: Final Fantasy 7. Obviously a fantastic piece of work and I know half the people reading this blog just got nostalgia-roused. Cloud’s seriously awesome. The game’s seriously awesome as a whole. What about Final Fantasy 8? Albeit not the most critically-acclaimed of the series, but a heavy hitter in its own right.

But it’s a clone. Look at it! It has Limit Breaks! It has summons! It has a taciturn, emotional main character. The guy’s name is even a meteorological term: Cloud? Squall? Clone, I say! Final Fantasy 9? Another one! They thought they were being clever by adding in that whole “Trance” thing, but let’s be honest, it’s just a gimmick to mask how much of a clone it is. Evil bad guy who turns out to be related to the main character? Way too convenient.

To be fair, Sephiroth wasn't into crossdressing.
To be fair, Sephiroth wasn’t into crossdressing.

Why is it when games that are really quite similar are made by the same studio, they get a free pass? We just call them members of the same game genre (which they are). But all of a sudden, when somebody else makes a game in that genre that resembles another game by somebody else (especially a critically acclaimed game like Minecraft), we cry foul and call it a clone of whatever game it’s most similar to, even when it’s much less similar to it than those FF games are to each other.

Though why are we stopping at video games? Bach’s a poser. His Fugue in G minor is just like his Fugue in C minor! That prelude in D? “2/10, Prelude in A clone.” Arthur Conan Doyle writes Sherlock Holmes finding and solving a mystery in every book! Not to mention, he’s not the first mystery writer. The whole series is a clone. He even used 95% of the same words that Dickens used. Van Gogh? Used a lot of the same base colors as Manet and Degas. Not to mention, he did dozens of paintings of haystacks. Sure, they might be different haystacks but that doesn’t stop them from being clones.

Okay. I think I’ve sounded sufficiently ridiculous. Here’s the point (at last):

When you call somebody’s game a clone, you are marginalizing and dismissing every ounce of work they poured into that game. YOU weren’t there when they got together and started building their engine. YOU weren’t there when the artist’s mom passed away and they had to quit with only half the assets done. YOU weren’t there during the coding, during the endless hours of debugging. YOU weren’t there when the lead developer’s car was broken into and their laptop was stolen. YOU weren’t there during the crippling self-doubt of the question, “Will this be successful?” YOU weren’t there when EVERY game studio who has ever made ANYTHING had to overcome the insurmountable hurdle of completing and releasing a game. And you think you’re justified in calling their efforts worthless simply because they aren’t completely unique from everything else that’s ever been made? Go make a game, even a simple one (even a “clone”), and get back to me. When you realize the magnitude of effort it takes to make a knockoff of something that came before you, you’ll consider the “clone” genre a little differently, and maybe even find it within yourself to enjoy them from an artistic perspective.

Video games are an artistic medium, like it or not. And when we rate things poorly because we deem them clones, we are telling artists everywhere that we don’t want different pictures painted with the same colors. We don’t want different stories told with the same words. We don’t want different recipes made with the same ingredients, no matter how tasty they might be. And I’m not okay with that.

So when you go to type your scathing comment on some internet forum about how a game’s a clone, ask yourself: did this game tell a different story? Did it challenge you in a different way? Did it look different, feel different, seem different at all? And then, if the answer to all these questions is truly and honestly “No”…

Still don’t post your comment. It just makes you an asshat.

What We’re Playing This Week – The 4th Edition

By the Last Token Gaming Staff

 

Michael Mygind – I was recently given back my old 9” Hitachi CRT TV from my parents that I used growing up. So, I’ve been having a blast playing retro games on a retro TV. I’ve also been digging through my NES library to play the classics and discover some new ones. I fought my way up to Bald Bull in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! and began playing Silkworm, an awesome co-op shmup with two different vehicles. Also, expect a console review of the Neo Geo Pocket Color and LTG’s very first arcade review, Ghosts ‘N Goblins!

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Terry Randolph – After having blitzed through Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare I’m just playing a few games until the Master Chief Collection I still need to complete Sunset: Overdrive as well as Alien: Isolation. If I need a break from those, I’ll continue tearing up the NBA with the Sacramento Kings in NBA 2k15!

Jake RushingI just picked up Lethal League (yay for half off) so now I’ll be playing that game as a way to destress after long days at work. It’s a fun party game to play with your friends. It’s like Super Smash Bros fused with Pong. It’s a simple and fun game with it’s own set of mechanics and features and yet it can be a terrific game. Since Sonic Boom will be coming on Tuesday, I’ll be picking the game up and play it for the sake of reviewing the game for the website.

LTG Official Live Streams November

Streams NovemberWeen

Announcing the Official Last Token Gaming live streams.

Come join the LTG crew as we play through our games.

For November we’ll be celebrating NovemberWeen, as in mostly spooky horror like games.
Why have all that fun in just October right?

Tune in Fridays around 6pm to 8pm and later for our regular show.
Saturday and Sunday may also have some streams so keep an eye on it.

http://www.hitbox.tv/lasttokengaming

Also keep an eye on the whole team as we stream on our own channels along the week.

http://www.hitbox.tv/team/LastTokenGaming

Want to play video games with Last Token Gaming? Check out the poll below!

Because all of us at Last Token Gaming love video games. Which is why we want to try something new — we’d like to play games with you, the readers!

That’s right, for this upcoming weekend and potentially through the rest of the week, we’d love to sit down, grab a drink, some snacks and play some games with you. It could be first person shooters, resource building, MOBAs, you name it! It could even be you just want someone to talk to while playing through a campaign, we’re up for that too.

With that said, here’s a poll of some games we can think of to be able to play with you. If you see a game you think would be even better and don’t see it on the list, why not let us know in the comments section, on twitter, or facebook?

So what do you say? Want to play?

[polldaddy poll=8432683]

How about on console?

[polldaddy poll=8432691]

Foreign Favorites : Volume 1

There are some awesome retro imports out there that a lot of people don’t know about. So, this is a feature that I’ll be writing from time to time to put a spotlight on some of great foreign games that I feel are worth checking out. I won’t go into great depth, but I’ll explain why I like them and let you be the judge. Before I start, I will note that all of these games are accessible regardless of a language barrier. So, RPG’s and text adventure games will most likely not be making many lists since their gameplay is so dependent on the text. Until I acquire European (PAL) games, all recommendations will be for Japanese games. Also, at the bottom of the column, I’ll include a little information on how to play these games on your American console if you are new to the import scene and don’t feel like buying an import console. Lastly, feel free to suggest any import games that you’ve become fond of in the comments so that we can open more eyes to some great games that we might not have gotten on our side of the world!

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Super Puyo Puyo 2 Remix (1996, Compile, Super Famicom)

Super Puyo Puyo 2 Remix is the revised sequel to a popular Tetris-style puzzle game on the Super Famicom. It made my list for multiple reasons. It’s a fun, colorful game with beautifully animated sprites and the option of simultaneous four player gameplay with a multi-tap. It’s also quite affordable. A fun fact is that the original Puyo Puyo was ported to US consoles, but did not have the same characters or branding. Its release on the Sega Genesis, Master System and Game Gear would be Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine while its Super Nintendo release would be Kirby’s Avalanche.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsQjquC7wVc&w=420&h=315]

Money Idol Exchanger (1997, Athena, Game Boy)

Money Idol Exchanger is another puzzle game and a Game Boy port of a Neo Geo arcade game of the same name. The objective of the game is to consolidate coins into larger increments from 5 to 1,000 before you become buried in coins. It’s a game that is best explained by watching, but it’s unlike anything that I’ve ever played and is incredibly addicting. It is also compatible with the Super Game Boy with a special on-screen background. It also received an arcade accurate port on the Playstation, which you just might see a review on in the near future…

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfDAIr4DmA0&w=420&h=315]

Sonic Wings (1993, Video System, Super Famicom)

This is the only game on the list that is not an exclusive to a particular region. Sonic Wings is the Japanese version of its American release, Aero Fighters. This is the first game in the amazing series of vertical scrolling jet-fighter arcade shmups with hundreds of enemies and screen-clearing power-ups. Now, why is this game being featured in a list about awesome import games if it’s not a region exclusive? Because there is a startling difference in price. At the time of this article, Aero Fighters for the Super Nintendo is currently selling for anywhere between $250 to $450 online due to a very limited release in North America, making it one of the rarest SNES games. Its Super Famicom counterpart, Sonic Wings, has a going price of about $30. Being a long-time fan of the series that wanted to experience this game at home on my SNES, I was floored when I saw what Aero Fighters was going for. But, then I started looking into imports and noticed this loop hole of sorts. The name is different and it’s for a slightly different system, but for roughly 1/10th of the price, I will happily play the Japanese version.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5DQm49w2Lc&w=420&h=315]


Playing Import Games on your American (NTSC) SNES and Game Boy consoles (Myself nor Last Token Gaming assume responsibility over any damages that are made to a console or games by trying any of the suggested methods. Tamper at your own risk.)

Super Famicom: Unlike the NES and the original Famicom, Super Nintendo (SNES) and Super Famicom (SFC) games are made exactly the same and can be played on either system with one stipulation: Their cart shapes. Inside every SNES console, there are two tabs that will lock into two slots on the bottom of every SNES cartridge. SFC games do not have these slots, meaning that they will not fit all the way into the system. This leaves four options for playing these on your American SNES console.

  • Swap the Cartridge Cases: Use a gamebit screwdriver to open up a SNES game and a SFC game and swap the boards. While tedious, a SFC game will play just fine when put inside a SNES cart. You can find a gamebit for about $5 online and it will become a necessary part of your collection when it comes to repairing and cleaning games and consoles.
  • Modify Your Console: Hold open the flaps on the cartidge slot and use a pair of needle-nose pliers to carefully snap off the two tabs inside of your SNES console. You will then need to sand these down until the SFC game will fit. This is a quick procedure because of how weak the tabs are and it won’t require you to pull apart your console. It will be counted as modifying your console which some collectors will frown upon, but it can double the console’s playable library and is the most convenient method in the long run. This is my personal recommendation.

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  • Modify a Game Genie: Snap the tabs off of a SNES Game Genie adapter just as instructed in the previous method. I cannot personally vouch for this method as I’ve never tried it and the plastic on the adapter is a lot stronger than the flimsy plastic that the SNES was made with, leaving the potential that you can permanently damage this accessory if you break off more than you planned. If done right, you’ve created an import adapter without doing any tampering to the console itself.
  • Use an Adapter: An import adapter will do the job without requiring any tampering at all, but it won’t be cheap. These are quite uncommon and can run for $50 or more each.

Game Boy: Plug in the game and play! There’s no region encoding and the carts are exactly the same, making for one giant library of games to begin with!

What We’re Playing This Week

By the Last Token Gaming Staff

 

Marshall Garvey: While I dressed up as the Angry Video Game Nerd this Halloween (complete with a 12-pack of Rolling Rock), I ended up not playing any terrible games. For a genuine Halloween scare, I popped Dead Space back into the 360. I had put it aside after getting stuck on the part where you have to dislodge that goddamn asteroid in zero gravity, but finally managed to finish that so I’m set to cruise through the rest of the game. And by “cruise” I mean “repeatedly pause and collect myself in anticipation of inevitable jump scares that I know are coming but will still get me anyway.” In a nutshell, I think that’s why it’s one of the scariest games ever made. Not surprisingly, it will be inducted into the Last Token Gaming Hall of Fame in the future.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMhW6q9xSzM]

Ryan Goddard: 

I’ve been playing lots of Alien Isolation, The Evil Within, and Sunset Overdrive.

Sunset Overdrive:  Oh man, where do I start? Pretty fast paced. A little repetitive. All sorts of fun. It definitely scratches that Jet Grind Radio itch I’ve had for so long. The comedy isn’t for everyone. Many will wish for a censoring option, and the good news for those people is that there is one.

The Evil Within: Despite a few technical issues, I get the old Resident Evil feeling all over again. Well, without the tank controls. Most of the reviewers out there love it. Some hate it. Put me in the love it group. It’s awesome fun, take it for what it is.

Alien: Isolation: To say this game is fun puts it in the wrong category. The fear factor is crazy, as you’re always afraid of getting mauled at any given time. The atmosphere is dark and terrifying. No matter what platform you have, you have to get this game. It is an experience you will never forget.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMKhoHl9BnE]

Terry Randolph:

Darn you Cameron, you’ve got me hooked to Fantasy Life! I am thoroughly enjoying this game; there’s plenty to explore, quests and challenges to take on, let alone several lives (aka classes) for you to explore, that it really becomes your story. Other than that, been playing a lot of Forza 5 since Drive Club just isn’t living up to what I expected it to be. I’m also really getting into Sunset Overdrive as well as Alien: Isolation this weekend. Sunset Overdrive has been a lot of fun so far in its self-aware, carefree style of presentation. I only hope it doesn’t get old fast.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS_i2HTJp2o]

Patrick-James Reyes:

Great googly moogly my CoD spree is finally nearing an end, but I have one major huddle ahead of me, and that’s trying to get through Call of Duty 4-10. Immediately after that come Tuesday next week I’ll be knees deep in Call of Duty Advanced Warfare. It’s way too much CoD though the completion of all these games will signify the end to my retrospective series and a possible video I’ll drop next Monday…but I do it for you dear viewer…I’m doing all this for you…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sRUZ9p4oYQ]

Michael Mygind:

Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of Money Idol Exchanger, an addicting puzzle import on the Gameboy and port of a Japanese Neo Geo arcade game. Also, I recently received my end of a trade from a good buddy that has been on my NES want list for a long time, Fire ‘N Ice.  That’ll definitely be on the playlist along with some recommended imports for a future piece that I’ll be working on.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t782B0zK3Y]

 

Michael Ros:

It’s been exactly three weeks since Miku Expo in Los Angeles as of this writing and I’m still high on Hatsune Miku! The concert fronted by Japan’s virtual songstress was an experience unlike any other. (That is, until next year’s Miku Expo is announced!)

[youtube=http://youtu.be/NQReOUzN1lI]

Everything else has gone on the backburner as I dive into the insanity of Japanese rhythm games with Hatsune Miku Project Diva F, the first in the series to see a North American release. It’s been a long time since I’ve played any rhythm games, the last one I can remember being Rock Band 2. However, instead of clicking a plastic guitar like I’m used to, instead I’ll be button-mashing like a maniac! Indeed, Japanese rhythm games require a lot more precision than the rhythm games I’m used to. Your timing must be meticulous and absolute. Add onto that the fact that simply reaching the end of the song isn’t enough to merit a success, and I’m in for one hell of a ride. Possibly the only thing harder than the game itself is getting Miku to sing. I’ve tinkered around with the Vocaloid software for quite a while now and I’m still baffled as to how someone could get her to sound as realistic as this whilst still maintaining the characteristics of her signature cutesy tone.

Regardless, I am super-hyped as I dive further into this unusual phenomenon, working towards ultimately becoming a participant in this community and contributing my own Vocaloid songs for my fellow Miku fans to enjoy.

Jake Rushing:

I’m taking a break from playing Hyrule Warriors after facing some tough missions. So I figured I’ll try to finish Super Mario 3D World. Once I’m finished with that, I’ll finish up Clock Tower and get the remaining endings (3 out of 9). Since I went to the Day Of The Devs event in San Francisco, I’ve been inspired to finish Five Nights at Freddy’s and start playing Transistor. I also picked up the Early Access key of Spy Party so I’ll check that out! I played this game at last year’s Day Of The Devs event and I had a fun time with it!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foXTsDKvRgc]

Sean Willis:

More Trove, seriously I’m having too much fun with it despite how much grinding there is. Free to play MMO’s…what can ya do but at least it can be pretty fun. Also getting into the old DOS game Realms of the Haunting and playing around with the Mii Plaza games on my 3DS. They had a special weekend event where Nintendo Zone gave out random street pass signals. (You can actually set these up at home with a spare router, convenient.)

Retro Review: “Truxton” (1989, Toaplan, Sega Genesis)

One of my all-time favorite genres is the scrolling shoot-em-up, commonly referred to as shmups. The feeling of drifting along, collecting power-ups and clearing everything in your path with a hail of gun-fire is an exhilarating experience. Being a fan of a genre, it’s always a pleasure to discover new classics that might’ve added a new component or paved the way for the genre. 10735965_368442329987616_1435740503_n One such game is Truxton, developed by Toaplan for the arcades in 1988 and ported to the Genesis in 1989. This game introduced many to the almost masochistic gameplay seen in later titles of the shmup genre with its massive levels, attacks by 3 or more large enemies at once, erratic flying patterns of enemies that can appear from all sides, and the sheer amount of targets on screen at one time. 50938 Like most arcade games of the 80’s, the story is brief like it should be. An alien race is staging an all-out assault on the planet of Borogo aboard five massive asteroids. On the way, they destroy a Borogo cargo barge. The lone survivor of this attack hops in the remaining fighter craft and crashes their party by attacking one asteroid at a time before they can reach and destroy your home planet. 50940 The three types of firepower all have their own strengths and weaknesses; each is represented as a color. The first is the red power-up, or “Power Shot,” which is your starting weapon and an average powered spread-shot that shoots in three directions. The second is the blue “Thunder Laser” that can easily clear anything small that it touches and locks onto bigger enemies, but takes its time to do damage on them. This does allow for mobility while still inflicting damage. The last of them is a constant stream of lasers called the “Truxton Beam,” which will deal the most damage but does not spread, making you maneuver more than with the other weapons. Speed power-ups can also be obtained. The one tweak in the game is that you can pick up power icons, which when added up to multiples of five, will upgrade your current weapon. Your starter spread-shot that once shot in three directions is now shooting in six crossing directions to lay waste to all that crosses your path. As usual, you also get a bomb that clears the screen. However, this bomb clears the screen with the image of a giant skull. truxton-w-_003 The game’s music is pretty diverse, ranging from mellow to almost power metal. It’s pretty awesome listening to two dueling solos as you’re unleashing hell on aliens. Overall, it complements the action well and keeps the pace going. 50939 If you’re a shmup fan, you probably already decided at the end of the second paragraph that you’d be adding this to your list of games to look for. But, if you’re new to the genre and enjoy a challenge with tense gameplay and a bit of strategy, Truxton is a must play.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHvg5Ert2wU&w=420&h=315]

Xbox One Gets Price Drop on all SKUs This Holiday Season

Group_ThreeBundles_StackB_hires

According to a recently released Microsoft press release the Xbox One will be seeing a $50 price drop on all units including bundles this holiday season starting November 2nd for U.S. customers. Every unit from the basic Xbox One unit without Kinect that normally goes for $399 to the Call of Duty ($499 dropped to $449), Sunset Overdrive ($399 dropped to $349), and Assassin’s Creed Unity ($399 dropped to $349 without Kinect; $499 dropped to $449 with Kinect) console bundles will be affected by the $50 dollar price drop. The promotion ends January 2nd, and there’s currently no word as to whether or not the promotion will be extended to other regions.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA2nTZ0WhQM&w=560&h=315]

What We’re Playing This Week

By the Last Token Gaming Staff

Marshall Garvey: Aside from playing Red Dead Redemption for its upcoming Hall of Fame Review, I’ve also popped Donkey Kong 64 back into the old system for another go around. Right now, you’re probably instinctively ready for a warm, glowing burst of nostalgia about my days spent playing this game in 1999, and how amazing it is, and how delightful it is to have Grant Kirkhope on my Facebook friends list, etc. Well, you’re dead wrong! I’m here to bitch about having to play the original 1981 Donkey Kong arcade game in Frantic Factory in order to obtain the Nintendo Coin, a necessity in order to beat the game. Whoever chose to put that in this otherwise incredible N64 classic is a pure, unbridled sadist. Unlike the space game you play for the Rareware coin, you can’t just grind for a high score to win. You have to actually beat all four levels, with endless obstacles, irritating sound effects, and no option of restarting within the arcade game. (You have to keep pulling a lever to get back in each time you fail, which is incredibly tedious.) Not to mention, Mario dies from falls that are hardly falls at all. As you’ve guessed, this feature (which should have been nothing more than a fun tip of the hat to DK’s past) is the reason I haven’t beaten DK64 all these years. In the bigger picture, though, it was arguably Rareware’s only mistake until the infamous Microsoft purchase of 2002…

(Note: I may elaborate on this ordeal to the fullest extent in a Levels of Hell article like I did for Raid on Sullust from Rogue Squadron.)

 

Michael Ros: Let me tell you just how far behind I am on gaming. As of now I am playing Team Fortress 2 with my good friend Marshall. I’m still new to the game, and it is very different from other class-based shooters I’ve played in the past. I love the emphasis on the different roles of each class and how you have to really work together as a team in order to succeed. I’ve also been steadily building my PS2 collection. For nostalgia’s sake, I’m revisiting Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. Having grown up with Legos since my preschool years and still being an avid collector to this day, to have a game built around it that is actually really damn good is incredible given the history of movie licensed video games. This will also be my first time playing through the original Kingdom Hearts and I can’t wait to dive into it. I hope to catch up by the release of the third installment coming out in 2015.

Michael Mygind: After leaving it on the shelf for a year, I’m revisiting Final Fantasy X (PS2) from my last save point with about a quarter of the game left to go. Aside from this, I’ll be playing a shoot ‘em up classic, TRUXTON (Genesis) for an upcoming review. I love me a good shmup, so I’m stoked to share my thoughts on this one! On the topic of shmups, I recently got Castle of Shikigami III (Wii) in the mail, so that’ll also be on my list of games to play.

http://youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1ZOyrdjMtk

 

Patrick-James Reyes: After having conquered the cliffs of Point Du Huc and stormed the African desert via Crusader tank in Call of Duty 2 Iast week for this Saturday’s Call of Duty Retrospective article, I’ll be shifting my focus to other fronts of WWII starting with Call of Duty 3 in preparation for next week’s write up. Not content to stop there I’ll also be tackling the campaigns and multiplayer modes of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty World at War as well in order to refresh my memory of what differences (little they may be) came about throughout the series. Hoping their respective articles more frequently before the latest installment comes out. Man, I’m going to be on CoD overload at this rate until mid November comes along.

Terry Randolph: After having finished Shadow of Mordor (Xbox One) for its recent review (which you can read here), I’ll be also finishing up Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance and getting into Alien: Isolation. Provided I have some time left over from the Spartan Run I’m doing this weekend, I’ll also play Kingdom Hearts (HD Remix 1.5 for PS3) to write up its Hall of Fame review. Let’s just hope I can do most if not all of this.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqWelDhUj7c]

Sean Willis: Been playing a lot of Carmageddon. one of the most violent demolition/racing game ever. It’s harmless fun, with depictions of unrealistic violence against pedestrians left in a city clearly taken over for a demolition race. A race in which all the cars get crunched up and smashed with what was at the time new 3D effects of cars crushing, depending on where you hit them. They have a new remake on Steam Early Access but its still in Alpha, plays the same though and it’s lovely. Taking time away from that for a little Smash Bros 3DS (also finishing Sukara Samurai, look it up) and way too much building and farming in the game Trove. I prefer to describe it as a mix of the games Cubeworld and Vox (it’s on Steam, look that one up too) together. Plenty of action RPG combat mixed with block building mechanics. It’s all voxels after all. It can get rather addicting digging for ores, though the F2P item grind is still there I’m still compelled to build my club world and grow plants so I can ride a silly rideable pumpkin mount. You can also ride a raptor…ya, I usually don’t like MMOs but this one got to me. Lots of player submitted equipment too which keeps things fresh.

Cameron Hall: Currently, I’ve just picked up Fantasy Life for the 3DS. This game is a god send for me and I think anyone else who loves JRPGs, non-toxic online interaction, customization, and long-time playability. It’s developed by LEVEL 5, the same studio behind Ni No Kuni that I’m also playing. It’s got an overall feel that would fit people from young to old. The best way to describe gameplay though is Elder Scrolls meets Animal Crossing. You can choose from 12 “Lives” or what most of us would think of as classes, but you’re not restricted to just one. More so, you can carry skills from one class to all the others and make your character custom fit to your play style, as everything you do gives you experience that deals with a Life in a manner similar to how Elder Scrolls levels up your skills as you do the activity associated with it. Besides Fantasy Life, I’ve been playing Smash Bros 4 for the 3DS as well as Legend of Legends. On Smash, I mainly play with Kirby, Pikachu, and Mii Fighter.


Jake Rushing: Currently, I’m playing Hyrule Warriors because there is something about bashing hundreds of Moblins and Skeletons that makes me get addicted to the game. Even though that some points of the story could use some redefining, it’s a fun game to play nonetheless. I’m currently playing the Adventure mode so I can unlock the remaining characters to play (which are Princess Ruto, Zant, Agitha, and Ghirahim). I’m also playing a little bit of Clock Tower (for SNES) just to give it a taste for my Halloween Stream this week, which will be one of my two streaming sessions I have going on this coming week. On Tuesday, I’ll be playing Ride To Hell: Retribution, and then I’ll play Clock Tower for the SNES for the stream on Halloween. Keep your eyes out for the times and link to my stream channel this week!  

A Look Back at the Longest Virtual Tour of Duty – Call of Duty 2

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Call of Dutys initial success on PC back in 2003 helped put Infinity Ward on the map in the eyes of PC gamers, and the success of its expansion and the then-current generation console spin-offs (PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox), United Offensive and Finest Hour respectively helped to keep the CoD name in the periphery of gamers in 2004. And whilst the latter two games were produced by different studios, Infinity Ward themselves were hard at work at producing the next numerical Call of Duty title. Much like the first game, Call of Duty 2 would see a PC release date whereas its spin-off title, Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, would see a release on the current-gen systems of the time. However, the bumped up release of Microsoft’s next-gen console, the Xbox 360, would provide Infinity Ward the prospects of releasing their flagship title on a console, thus introducing a whole new market to the fully realized Call of Duty experience delivered on PC. Come 2005, Call of Duty 2 would make the first attempt at leaving a lasting impression not only of the core series of the franchise, but also the name Infinity Ward in the console market. Continue reading