All Games Blogs

Street Fighter:  Assassins FistStreet Fighter: Assassins Fist

Have you ever read a book that had such an engrossing story, that you could not wait to turn the pages?  This analogy will sum up my assessment of the Machinima's youtube series:  Street Fighter:  Assassin's Fist.  From the very first episode to the last, I was on a Street Fighter:  Assassin's Fist watching binge as I watched one episode after the other.  Here's why this series was a huge "page turner" for me -- wiithout spoilers, just in case you may want to watch it for yourself.

Storyline

What is a good series without a solid storyline?  I found Street Fighter:  Assassin's Fist with a compelling story and one that was easy to follow.  This was not strictly a video game that was turned into a youtube series, but in my opinion, it would have been an exciting story to watch even it there was not a tie in to one of the greatest fighting video games, Street Fighter.  In fact,  I would have happily watched this series in the theatre as a live, action film.  In my opinion, it was that good.

 The plot involved family, friends, aspirations, discovery, competitions, challenges and much more.  The story was revealed in such a way that kept my interest high, and with the end of each episode, I wanted to find out what would happen next.

Characters

The two main characters in this series are Ryu and Ken.  As you may know, these characters are from the Street Fighter video games.  In fact, Ryu, is the character I usually select when I play the Super Street Fighter IV video game.  There were other characters as well from the video game, including Kuma and others.  I felt  the friendship and comradary displayed between Ryu and Ken were not only admirable but was the glue that held parts of the story together.  The flashback scenes were creatively done where I could relate a past event to what was happening current day with Ryu and Ken. There was a supporting character who had a major role in the series as well.  

A few negatives about this series is I had to close my ears to some of the language, but for the most part the dialogue between the characters were done in such a way to advance the story along nicely and did not lag or lose my interest.  There was also a part where a female character was given an order, almost as if she was a child and one of the supporting characters referred to one of the characters as "a woman" which seemed out of place.  However, these few negatives did not outweigh the positives, in my opinion.  As each episode ended with a Street Fighter logo, I eagerly awaited for the next one to begin.Ryu and Ken in actionRyu and Ken in action

Action Scenes

Since Street Fighter is essentially a fighting video game, you may expect that just about every scene would have fights; however, this was not the case.  Fighting occurs as it fit the storyline, so there was not any random fighting going on.  In fact, there is a scene in one of the episodes that gives the series a chance to make the whole segment about fighting.  I was glad that another direction was taken, and instead of seeing actual fights, defeated fighters were shown being escorted out of the fighting venue as Ryu and Ken looked on.

Again, without any spoilers there were some favorite action scenes that I thought were very well done.  I liked the way the fire ball scenes were enacted and I got the feeling that one was really being crafted as the characters stood to the side with their hands positioned to create the fireballs. I enjoyed watching the choreographed fight scenes where Ryu, Ken and Gouken would pose in karate positions and perform fight moves in unison.  Truth be told,  I liked all of the fighting scenes.  My favorite moves were the Shoryuken and the high jump kicks that, in my opinion, looked exactly like those in the Super Street Fighter video game that I played.

Life Lessons

Of course the purpose of this series is to entertain -- which in my opinion, it did quite well; however, I also took into the account the positive messages that were evident throughout the series, especially when the trainer was imparting advice and enlightenment to Ryu and Ken.  Of the many messages in this movie, the two that stuck with me were "Be Strong" -- and "show the world what you are made of"  -- in a positive way.  When you watch this series, I think you will not only enjoy the actions, story, etc. but you may come away from the series with a message that may get you thinking --  even if the message is a simplistic one such as to "let go of your fears and open up."Ken, Gouken and RyuKen, Gouken and Ryu

How to Watch Street Fighter:  Assassin's Fist

You can watch the series now on YouTube, as well as on your video game console. I watched the series partly on my Mac and on my Xbox One using the Machinima app.  Each of the 12 episodes that make up the series is short in duration (less than 15 minutes).  The only drawback is the short commercials that appear before the series start, but I guess that is to be expected with youtube videos.  If you prefer not to watch all 12 episodes at once, you can always watch a few and watch the rest later.  However, if you do not like to be kept in suspense, you probably will do as I did and quickly advance to the next episode and find out what happens next. 

If you are a Street Fighter fan, or like to watch well-crafted movies and shows, I highly recommend you watch Street Fighter:  Assassin's Fist.  This series has action, drama, suspense, mystery, inspiration, messages, comedy and much more.  Take it from me, you will not be disappointed.

{youtube}https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsXeTKQRtj4{/youtube}

Published in Mom's Minute Blog
Sunday, 27 September 2015 18:20

Boltus Launch Announced

Twin Echoes has announced their first game, Boltus.  Boltus is currently on Steam Greenlight and will launch early 2016.  Twin Echoes LLC is based in Romania and just launched earlier this month by a married programmer/artist duo who like to foster a rapport with their players to build a better experience.

In its twist on the classic pinball Boltus puts you in the game as the ball and you are trying to capture your enemy team’s base going from bumper to bumper.  This action-puzzler you are released from the constraints of the normal pinball machine and can play both single player and co-op.  Check out their Steam Greenlight page to show your support http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=519408429 or you can check out the Twin Echoes website for more info www.twinehcoes.com

 boltus2

Published in News
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 00:00

Review - Abyss Odyssey [PC]

“To sleep, perchance to dream,” in Abyss Odyssey therein is the rub. Out now for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC Abyss Odyssey presents a very interesting story wrapped in a brawler, a platformer, and a rouge-like game.

Drop into the darkness.
The story is set in the 17th century Chilean capitol of Santiago. Evil creatures are coming up through a hole in the center of town and threatening to overtake the city. You start out as Katrien, a swordswoman who specializes in short swords. As she arrives at the edge of the mysterious hole, the soldiers guarding it tell her to leave, that this is no place for a lady. She tells them they have no idea what they are facing. That they are fighting creatures that are the result of a Warlock sleeping at the bottom of the abyss. Those creatures are being created from the nightmare he is having. With those bold declarations, she drops into the abyss to begin her journey to the bottom in order to confront the Warlock.

abyss screen3 caverns15

Along the way you will die. Several times in fact. Such is the nature of Abyss Odyssey. The first time Katrien dies she reveals that she too is a part of the Warlock’s nightmare, that she died a long time ago. The dying part isn't as bad as it first seems. When Katrien falls she is replaced by a soldier who promises to revive her at a shrine, provided he makes it. The soldier is less powerful, but not entirely helpless. If he does fall in battle, then you are revived on the surface and have to fight your way through again. There are no save points in the game, but you can have temporary checkpoints. At special shrines you can change it into a checkpoint, provided you have the key for it. A note of caution, these checkpoints have a limited number of times you can be revived. Once used up you start at the surface again. This is not necessarily a bad thing either. As Katrien observes, the abyss, like a dream or nightmare, is never the same. Which means that every time you enter the abyss it is randomly generated, making it something new and different every time. It is a nice touch that provides for a lot of replayability.

abyss screen2 bossfight08

While you start out as Katrien you won't play as her all the time. Besides the soldier you will be able to eventually unlock two other characters, the Ghost Monk and Pincoya. Both, like Katrien, have their basic attacks, but also special attacks and weapons. If that's not enough variety of characters for you, there's a way to acquire more. You can capture souls of enemies you defeat. Once captured, you can turn into them and use their powers and abilities.
Choose your weapon wisely.

The characters have some role playing game characteristics in that you can level them up and tailor their fighting styles. You may be slow and sluggish at the start, but carefully choosing how to level up your characters will result in a lean mean demon killing machine. Weapons can be found in the abyss or bought from merchants. A small problem for me was that you couldn’t sell your old weapon. This necessitates spending your money cautiously and wisely. Found weapons can only be picked up if they match your current character's weapon style. So if you are playing as Katrien, you can't pick up pole arms, only small swords.

abyss screen1 plantworld01
Pretty as a picture.
Graphically Abyss Odyssey is stunning. It looks like someone crossed a storybook with art nouveau prints; it's colorful and beautiful. One of the touches I really liked was when you use the block move to stop a hit, a halo appears around them. The halo's design takes on the look that's almost a trademark of art nouveau prints. This art style is present in everything, from the backgrounds to all the enemies. I would love to see an art book created from this game.

Final word.
Abyss Odyssey is a downright stunning game. The art, music, story, and gameplay come together in a beautiful arrangement. Even when you finally get to the end and finish the story the randomly generated abyss makes the game different every time. On top of that the developers, ACE, have stated that at current count there are about 37 enemies are to be captured and used. ACE has hinted at more enemies and bosses to be added to the game in the future. The game also really challenges you with that rougelike system. Can you make it to the end with no saves and limited checkpoints? It's a game that I really think is a contender for my top 10 of the year. I like it that much. If this sounds like your cup of tea, pick it up now.

Published in PC
Friday, 14 August 2015 18:01

Spearhead’s Stories

stories logo

Stories: The Hidden Path is an action-RPG brought to you by Spearhead Games, and will be coming soon to your Playstation 4.  The design director and game designer on Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed II, respectively, bring you a magic filled world full of adventures where your every decision affects the game in real time!

Adventure as Reynardo the corsair as you battle the Armada with its eyes set on domination of the entire realm.  Slice your way through your enemies or fly in your airship but be careful what you choose to do as it will have an effect on the outcome of the Story.

stories12

Published in News
Thursday, 24 April 2014 00:00

Titanfall Review (Xbox One)

 Leave it to Beaver was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid. Everyday I’d sit and stare at black and white reruns of a show that had been off the air for decades yet still managed to spark a laugh and speak the truth. My favorite character wasn’t it’s namesake, Beaver Cleaver, and it wasn't his stoic older brother, Wally. My favorite was Eddie Haskell, Wally’s near delinquent friend. Eddie Haskell was the catalyst for a lot of the problems that the Cleaver boys would get into. Cheat on a test? It was Eddie’s idea. Cut school and go fishing? Eddie was behind it.My favorite was Eddie Haskell, Wally’s near delinquent friend Go to a party instead of the library to study? All Eddie. It wasn’t his bad deeds that drew me to the miscreant Eddie Haskell. I was fascinated by the fact that he never got into trouble. Whenever the boys would do something wrong, they would, of course, inevitably get caught. Back then, parents were always right and were never outsmarted by kids. But still, Eddie would slide away unscathed and slither back into the house the next week, none the worse for wear.

Titanfall-1

The mom on the show, June Cleaver, must have known this kid was doing his best to put her sons on a short path to jail or a long life filled with bad choices. The patriarch, Ward Cleaver, had to have known that every word from Eddie Haskell’s mouth was at best a bold face lie. But still they welcomed him into their home. Why? The answer was simple. Because Eddie Haskell was charming.

He never missed a chance to remind Mrs Cleaver how lovely she looked in her pearls. He would be polite to a fault, something that must have been sorely lacking in her day to day interactions with the male-centric world of the 50’s. He made her feel beautiful, respected, and appreciated. He would make a point to congratulate Mr. Cleaver on raising 2 fine boys. And at a time where there was no higher goal than to provide for and build a strong family, Ward Cleaver had to have enjoyed the recognition given to him. Both Ward and June Cleaver were more than willing to overlook the shortcomings of Eddie Haskell, as long as he stroked their egos and made them feel good about themselves.

Titanfall is the Eddie Haskell of next gen games.

Titanfall 2

Titanfall is pretty straightforward, taking the well worn genre of futuristic first person shooters and adding giant robots to the mix. You can fight on the ground with assault rifles and grenades, using parkour skills and jetpacks to run up walls and perch on buildings or you can call in a Titan mech to stomp grunts, let missiles fly, and even self destruct in an atomic mushroom cloud. Titanfall is mostly a multiplayer affair with the campaign seemingly only there to tick off a box on the back of the case. The core of the title is made up of 6 vs 6 online game modes. While 12 players may seem like it would make for a sparse battle in a world where 64 player skirmishes aren’t out of the norm, don’t worry because space on the field is taken up by AI grunts who do their best to get shot instead of you.

Titanfall looks great on the Xbox One. The levels are filled with detail and the Titans inspire the appropriate amount of awe when they drop into the fray. While the levels look fantastic, they quickly reveal how lifeless and static they are.Titanfall looks great on the Xbox One. You would expect that a huge battle taking place within a few city blocks would leave some type of impression on the environment, especially with giant robots lobbing missiles at one another. But after a battle, you would be hard pressed to point out any evidence that a war was going on, much less one involving 30 foot tall robots. Trees survive megaton explosions without losing a leaf. Structures that look like they’re barely holding themselves upright manage to survive multiple rocket impacts without the paint getting chipped. For all the power you wield on the field, you have surprising little effect on it. The titans are epic and the transition from scurrying along the ground to being placed inside of one is seamless. It would be nice to have more variety in the types of mech you can pilot. Aside from the 3 main body types, your customization options consist mostly of switching out the types of guns they carry. If you had dreams of dropping into battle with a customized battlebot, then you will need to scale back your expectations.

The 6 vs 6 player limit is frustratingly low, especially when you realize that MechAssault on the original Xbox was 4 v 4, and that was one of the first Xbox Live games ever. All of the advancements over the past decade have led to just 2 more players per team.Titanfall is the best last gen game you can play on a next gen system The upside to the low number of players is that you’re almost always in the middle of the action, mainly because the levels themselves are so small. Each map is roughly the size of just a few city blocks. These are limitations that you would have expected to be a thing of the past on a next gen system as powerful as the Xbox One. Instead of plowing through an entire metropolitan area, you will be battling over a small patch of land that quickly becomes repetitive. These limitations are ones that I expected to be a thing of the past. And being so early in the life of the Xbox One, maybe it’s understandable that Titanfall feels like it would be just as much at home on the Xbox 360. The more time you spend with it, the more obvious it is that Titanfall is the best last gen game you can play on a next gen system.

titanfall 3

Titanfall may have it’s shortcomings, but still, it’s fun. Charming. When you’re running past the near brain dead AI, you don’t care because they yell encouraging phrases to inflate your ego as you dash by.Titanfall may have it’s shortcomings, but still, it’s fun. You won’t get frustrated after being blown up repeatedly by another player because you can always go mow down a few squads of enemy AI, replenishing any feeling of power you may have lost. Eject from your doomed Titan and look in awe at the magnificent landscape below you. The leveling system is so forgiving and generous that your rank will soar up faster than you can say ‘Prestige’. Despite everything else, the bottom line is that playing Titanfall makes you feel good. Good enough to make you overlook it’s faults. Eddie Haskell would have been proud.

Titanfall-Xbox-One-Box

Score 8/10

Published in Xbox One