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What’s up ladies and gentleman! 2014 is coming to a close and we are hoping that 2015 really turns everything around. We have great writers coming on board, and more than enough content to post for your viewing pleasure–but we forgot to mention that we have a new show. These very very important things that slip our minds. For that we apologize for not trafficking it through the appropriate channels, but we hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

 

 

NERDSYNQ

 

 

 

The Legend of Korra, for those that are unaware, is a western animation produced by Nickelodeon, and is the follow up series to the massively popular Avatar: The Last Airbender (or The Legend of Aang depending on where you live). It follows a young woman named Korra, the Avatar, who is able to wield all four elements within the world this series is set in (Fire, Water, Earth, and Air). Earlier this year, it was announced that Platinum Games, the same people behind such games as Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising: Revengance, and Wonderful 101, would be making a tie in game for The Legend of Korra. Said game came out earlier this month, and I was able to finally get my hands on a copy.

Presentation

This game, at least on PC which I played, looks amazing. The style is reminiscent of the show, with brand new animated sections made specifically for this game in between chapters. The music is mostly what you would hear on the show, and really helped to drive the fact that this is a Korra game home for me. The effects on the different bending styles look visually stunning and the impact of the hits feel right. While it isn’t nearly as impressive looking as previous Platinum games, it still has that Platinum feel to the design that any fan of their games would be sure to enjoy.

Gameplay

The Legend of Korra is an action beat-em-up, of the style that many are used to from Platinum by now. You play as Korra, fighting through waves of bad guys by utilizing the four elements, each style with their own strengths and weaknesses, and fighting a typically challenging boss at the end of each level. This game does kind of fall into the same problem that I generally always have with beat-em-ups, which is that the gameplay does get repetitive after awhile. Being able to switch between bending styles is neat at first, but I found that I would only use one or two of the elements through a majority of the game, only switching when it was necessary. Bosses were typically dispatched by avoiding their attack pattern until you get the one opening to damage them via quick-time event, which has always been something of a pet peeve of mine with this genre of games over the last decade or so. Even so, the game is fun for the time it takes to beat it.

This game is extremely short, with my personal run of the game clocking out at about 4 hours. It does encourage multiple playthroughs, with unlockable costumes, items, and various difficulty settings. Much like any Platinum game, there are a number of medals per level that grade your performance, with an overall medal awarded at the end of the level. Going back and improving these medal scores is always a fun challenge. There is also a small bit of exploration in the game, though I would have preferred a bit more. This usually takes form of a small diverging path where you can get a special trinket for bonus points at the end of the level, though this usually also means an extra-hard encounter to earn your points.

If there was one thing I absolutely despised about this game, it’s the Naga run sections. Naga is the giant polar bear dog (all the animals in Avatar are combinations of two animals) that is the animal companion to Korra, which she can ride. While these sections aren’t difficult, all it takes is a single slip up to have to start over again, and I feel like the game would have been better with their exclusion.

Finally, after beating the game once, you unlock Pro-Bending mode, a fictional sport within the Avatar universe. Once again you play as Korra, teaming up with two AI allies, in the form of her companions Mako and Bolin, to take on other teams of three and attempt to knock them off the stage. This is a fun little mode and a nice bonus at the end of the game, though it would have been nice to have played as someone else.

Story

Since this is a new game I won’t go into too much detail about the story here, but I will warn you right now that if you haven’t seen any of The Legend of Korra the show, then you would do best to steer clear of this game until you have.

This game has it’s own storyline, set after the end of Season Two and before Season Three. After making a miraculous comeback in a Pro-Bending match right at the beginning, Korra is lead into a trap by a group of Chi-Blockers, remnants of the Equalists, an anti-bender group from the first season. Korra gets stripped of her bending through unknown means, and spends the first level completely without any bending. As the game and story progresses, she discovers that a malevolent spirit known as Hun-Dun, who had conflict with the Avatar in a past life thousands of years ago. As the game goes on, Korra will re-awaken her bending with the help of Jinora, a young Air Bending prodigy who is able to project her spirit and assist Korra. While the story isn’t anything particularly special, it was a breath of fresh air to see a licensed game that doesn’t just re-tread the same plot-lines as it’s source material, and instead served to give us an entirely new story and experience.

Overall, for a budget title being sold for a mere $15, this is a great game that could have only been better if it had been given the triple-A treatment, especially from such a reputable company like Platinum. If you are a fan of the series, then I think this is worth your time, and if you’re a fan of beat-em-ups or the work that Platinum does and don’t mind some spoilers, the game is a nice fun romp. I would definitely recommend this game, especially to those who are a fan of the series, and if you haven’t seen the series itself, then I would also recommend that as well.

Hearthstone_Logo

Hearthstone was created by Blizzard that has entered its open beta on Janurary 14th.  I was able to get a beta pass prior and have played around with the game over the last couple of months as well in the open beta.  It is a player versus player game that involves cards.  These cards are used in combination to destroy their opponent’s cards as well as their lifepoint/health.  There are many of game modes you can pick from; from playing against the AI or against a player in normal or ranked matches.   You can gain cards through playing to earn coins to buy packs of cards, through “quests” or spending your own real money in the shop.

You can play as many different types of classes, each represented by a hero.  Jaina Proudmoore is representing the mage class and I found her to the easiest hero to play while I was learning the game.  Each hero has its own mechanics as well as unique cards to its own class.

Hearthstone was design to give card games an online interactive mimic of games such as Magic the Gathering and Yu-gi-oh.  Though they do not have a player trading card system to allow for players to trade cards.  They have created a more of a crafting of cards system where players take unwanted cards and turn them into dust to craft cards of their choice.

I had watched this game prior to playing it myself on streams of other players.  First starting as a “while I’m in queue, I’ll play hearthstone.”  The matches are short games where even League of Legends players played and finished while in the queue for games.  The scene for this game has grown to be quite large while it is constantly in the top five games watched on Twitch.  While playing this game, I found it as a novelty to card games that already existed and had hoped for something to be new.  While each class had its own difficulty as well as how well each were balanced against each other, I felt like it was still lacking.  The first couple of plays I did with the game were good and I enjoyed it but after it just wore off.  I felt myself falling into a bit of disappointment with both my luck in getting cards as well as just feeling like I was playing the same thing again and again.  I was never a person fond of cards and had my own few that I did enjoy.  The game itself is well designed and I would say it is somewhat balance but still in need of more balancing.  It is very enjoyable for those who favour both card games and World of Warcraft.

Cheers! Happy Gaming!

Hello and welcome back to Free Games Friday, your source of all things free. It’s been quite awhile since I posted one of these, so I’m coming back with a vengeance with 9 brand spankin’ new games for you to enjoy.

 

yume-nikki-3d-2

So I was going to do a halloween themed week, but little known fact about me (or possibly a well known fact) is that I’m not very good with horror games. So that didn’t happen. I did decide to give you guys at least one horrorish game, which is this very well done 3D remake of a classic title: Yume Nikki. This game falls firmly into the “surreal” category, as you wander through the dreams of a young girl, collecting various effects and exploring the world within. While not a true horror game, the combination of the music and visuals serve very well at giving off an uneasy feeling, and you’ll keep going, wonder what awaits you around the next corner. This game can be downloaded by following the link here.

 

The Scorpion Box

This next game is a fun and somewhat random point and click game called The Scorpion Box. In this game, you have a turtle in a little box, and inside the box is a scorpion. Your goal is to retrieve the turtle and find a way to dispose of the scorpion without getting killed. With multiple endings and solutions, this one is sure to keep you guessing. You can play this game here.

 

flying-kick

Next up is a puzzle game known as Flying Kick. The goal of this game is to make it to the door at the end of every level. Your only method of travel is by… well, flying kicks. You have to use your limited movement options to make your way to the door, usually by stacking items and avoiding traps. This game can be played here.

 

sharecart1000

Finally, The next set of games are kind of interesting. These games all utilize the same save file, under the program known as SHARECART1000, a game designing program that allows you to make some fun and fairly interesting games. I’ve only tried a couple of the games from these so far, but what I have played is really fun, and they are certain to add more games as time goes by. Do be warned though, due to all games using the same save file, you are require to have all your games in the same place. So just remember that when you extract the games, to put them all in the same folder. You can see all of the games that are currently out here, and they are sure to add more as the days go by.

 

 

That’s all there is for this week, hope you come back another time for some more free games.

The Days of Past List

(Aka My Top 10 of Reminiscence)

Cafés are a great place for idea pondering or even the backseat of a car, listening to rock n’ roll while sleeping.  After having a talk about games that I grew up with, I started to wonder about what I would consider my favourite games.  At first I thought how could I even give this list a sense of order and understanding and thought about how many hours may have been spent playing them or even the memories I had of these games.  So let’s start with my two honorable mentions.

Honorable Mention #2: Mario

OH MY GOD! How can I put this down here? What blasphemy?  For me, I grew up with a Sega Genesis, Playstation and a computer, I rarely had access to a Nintendo system and when I did it was when I went to my babysitter’s for the afternoon or night.  Her two sons had it and constantly played Mario; though my memories of game was usually fighting and me sitting on a couch rolling my eyes at them.  Boys will be boys and no one wants to play Luigi it seems.

Honorable Mention #1: The Game That We Had For Sega But I Can Never Remember

As the title says, this game I remember playing but I never remembered the name.  It was a dungeon crawler game that the final boss was a dragon and it was a very dark and old gothic feeling game.  It used to give me nightmares as child and I had a tendency to hide behind the couch or my mum when it was played.  My family used to play on the Sega and the Playstation together, yelling and screaming and enjoying the time together.  I felt like this was one of my favourite games not because I remember how good or bad the game was but the time spent.  If anyone can remember a game that was dungeon crawler with a dragon boss in a keep, let me know. I would love to have this mystery solved.

Word Munchers#10: Word Muncher

A Dos game that I’m pretty sure ever elementary school had or the other game called Number Muncher.  Personally I was more leaning towards Word Muncher than the others because it was easier for me as a child to play with.  This was a game that tied into my love of books and I was proud to say as geeky as it was, I usually had the high score in it.  This game was one of the few that we had in our classroom for the computer until the Apple computers replaced the old computers in the library and the few computers each classroom had were removed.  It was a sad day for all since we couldn’t play on them during a rainy day.

Duck Hunt Dog#9: Duck Hunt

Classic, annoying and pretty sure many enjoyed this game for same reasons.  You didn’t get to play with a controller but the gun for the Nintendo system and EVERYONE wanted to shoot the dog.  Who wouldn’t?  That laugh was so annoying, always taunting you when you missed.  This game was a lot easier to share than Mario was between the boys so I’ve put it higher up on the list.  Good old nostalgia.

American McGee's Alice in Wonderland#8: American McGee’s Alice in Wonderland

Oh goodness this game.  This one has to be one of the first games that I ever experienced gamer’s rage.  My first introduction to this game was in Costco where they had it in such a large bulk on the table.  It was one of the few games that had a box tab and within the creepy images of the Cheshire Cat.  While the graphics weren’t exactly high on the list as the story was.  This game was the definition of cult classic and the story of Alice in Wonderland was a cult favourite childhood story. While Lewis Carroll’s version was a bit more of an LSD trip, McGee took the story to a horror level while appealing to the masses’s hearts on a darker version of their favourite story.

My biggest issues with this game was the controls and why it’s so low on my lists. Oh how many times I fell to my death while kiting.  The controls were either way too sensitive or barely there depending on how you adjusted them.  They would drive me crazy when I first played the game and again when I played it in my first year of college and when the sequel came out.  Gladly the controls for the second one was a lot better, less ragey for everyone.

Mortal Kombat#7: Mortal Kombat

Enough said.

I kid.  I think there is very few people of my generation and those above and below who have experienced this game.  This was the first game many people either played in an arcade or at home.  It was well known for it’s ‘Fatalities’ where you could brutally execute your defeated enemy when the computer told you to ‘Finish Him’.  While the game had an interesting tweak about the finishing moves, it had high level of bloody violence and gore which we were all excited about because not many other games where this crazy.  The series is highly successful as time goes by and the brutality got worse.  In the 2011 Mortal Kombat, the finishing move of Kung Lao against Mlieena is probably considered to be one of the most painful fatalities every created in the game.

#6: Warcraft: Orcs & Humans

Warcraft: Orcs & HumansNo. This is not about World of Warcraft; there is no nostalgia there for that version for me.  This is about the first Warcraft that we have ever experience and it was the first one created.  I’m talking about the real-time strategy one.  My family was big into the strategy games such as Risk and while we did play Starcraft, I felt this one was more nostalgic for me.  I remember when my mum would work nights coming home about 4 in the morning and I would sneak down the stairs to watch her play and spend time with her before she sent me back to bed.  While playing this game with her and on my own, it gave me a sense of strategy that I would have to say I fueled into chess and playing League of Legends and other MOBA and RTS games.  I really enjoyed the phrases and little walk animations of the game; while the small side stories that were developed deeper into the second and third made a place in my heart.

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo#5: Super Puzzle Fighter II TURBO!

While this one will tie a bit into number 4 I feel like it has a place of its own, just because it’s just a whole bowl full of awesome for me.  The title is a parody of Super Street Fighter II Turbo and it has a lot of characters from the Street Fighter franchise.  It’s cute and different way of tetris; I’ve still highly enjoyed this game even when they brought out the HD remix of it.  College parties with tetris have never been weirder.

#4: Tetris

TetrisPlusSingle… Double… Triple… Tetris!

Hearing those words bring such memories. One of the first games we ever owned as family was a game called Columns III for the Sega Genesis which was a kind of like tetris but more on the puzzle side.  We didn’t own a pure tetris game until we got the Playstation and from there we had a game called TETRIS Plus.  It had its own version of tetris with a small storyline and 52 levels of puzzle nightmares.  It also had a second game added to the disc which was the good old traditional tetris without the fancy puzzle levels.  Both are quite entertaining and I still like to crack open the case and play myself some old fashioned tetris but I have to say listening to the little professor in the puzzle tetris was quite entertaining.

Final Fantasy VII#3: Final Fantasy VII

I’ve heard it all ladies and gents, why did I pick VII? Simple, it was the first one I ever owned and I do believe the second or third game for the Playstation we owned. I’m quite confused on what came second so I’ll just take a rough guess.  At the time, this game was huge when it came out and was the first game that had a sequel created through Crisis Core which was really a prequel.  It also had a movie… but that has nothing to do with why this was high on my list.  It was the first game to use 3D graphics which made it three discs long!  I enjoyed playing through the game while I was a child and again as an adult only understanding more and more about the storyline I couldn’t as a child.  I enjoyed the franchise of the games considerably, owning and playing through almost all of them.  Hell I even own the animation and model book they released after the movie.

Baldur's Gate#2: Baldur’s Gate

This game was the first game where I was introduced to Forgotten Realms Series of games and to Dungeon & Dragons.  This game was so well loved in our house that the 3rd disc was so over played and scratched that you had to use turtle wax on it to keep it playing.  This game ran on D&D rules for the advance 2nd edition and it had some modifications for it to works as game.  This game was a huge tie in for everything I loved a child: fantasy, lore, knights, magic and DRAGONS! How can we forget dragons?  One of my favourite characters has to be this crazy berserker called Minsc and his animal companion named Boo which he believed to be a ‘miniature giant space hamster.’  Stay crazy Minsc… Stay crazy.

 And finally….

#1: Sonic the Hedgehog

I kind of thought as I was writing this list that I feel obligated and honor bound of putting this here.  My first console was a Sega and with it came Sonic.  I had all the Sonic games for the Sega genesis and had a blast playing them.  This was when they were actually good being with the new ones I find myself more and more disappointed but this is about what I enjoyed.  These games were a good mix of challenging and fun.  Some levels were more frustrating than they had to be while others seemed easy and whimsical.  These games were ones I can still enjoy as much as I did as an adult and that’s why I put them as number one.

Sonic the Hedgehog

This wraps up of the first one my top ten lists, stay tune for the next one. Who knows what it will be about? I’m not even sure yet.

Cheers! Happy Gaming.