The World of Gundam is Coming West!

Where were you in the mid-90s when ‘Gundam Wing’ was dominating Adult Swim? Well, if you were anything like us then you were probably glued to your television set. There is something sweet, simple, and absolutely alluring about watching giant robots beat the heck out of one another. We’re a fan of the entire mecha genre and the ‘Gundam’ series has been at the forefront of it for, well, forever. Now, fans out West can get their hopes up for another new entry on their consoles in the mecha field — ‘Gundam Versus’.


‘Gundam Versus’ is being released through Bandai Namco Entertainment America within the next year. The game focuses on 2 v 2 battles and it features many of the most famous mechas from the ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’ universe. The game will be released on the PlayStation 4 in both North America as well as Europe. Are you ready to get back into the mecha fray with a game that has been translated and ported for your enjoyment? We know we are.


Gundam fans have, for years, been forced to make due with shoddy translation via imported games. Gundam games seem to be released only in Japan, leaving many fans out West bereft of their wonderful mecha action. All of this isn’t to say that we’ve forgotten ‘Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS-Force’ which was released on the PlayStation Vita. Extreme VS-Force was a fun entry into the portable action genre, but it wasn’t the kind of game that gets us to glue our butts to the couch while we let our eyes focus on the screen.


‘Gundam Versus’ is going to bring to the screen more than 90 different Mobile Suits from the coveted Gundam Universe when the video game drops. Bandai Namco has been propping up this entry with particular oomph, which is a good sign that they believe that the series will be a success in America. We’ll get to put ourselves into suits from all eras while we play alongside friends in fast paced, frantic 2 v 2 action. We all know that Japanese imports can be hit or miss so, for right now anyway, we are holding our breath and hoping that this game is more ‘Endless Waltz’ than it is ‘SD Gundam’.



Super-Villains Play A Big Role in Injustice 2

The new trailer for Injustice 2 really does the video game, well, a lot of justice. Fans of D.C. Comics are going to really love this game. The game is filled with many top heroes and villains from current movie and television projects featuring D.C. characters.


Cool heroes such as Green Lantern and Wonder Woman are present, but it is the villains who really steal the spotlight in the trailer.


Back in the 1970’s, D.C. Comics gave The Joker his own comic book. While the writing was solid, the book didn’t sell. Comic book fans simply were not ready to accept a book with a villain featured so prominently. All that has changed now that fans of comic books and related movies and video games find many villainous characters intriguing. Adding more depth to various classic villains has paid off.


And then there is another factor in the mix. Some video game players really love being villains themselves. Anyone who really cheers for the bad guys has a lot to cheer about after checking out this trailer.


Gorilla Grodd opens up the trailer and he thrashes both The Green Lantern and The Flash. Grodd was a character unknown to the mainstream for years. The brilliant villain was made famous to large audiences on The Flash TV show. His presence on the video game should really move sales. Grodd is an awesome bad guy.


The same can be said of the menacing Bane, a character that debuted in one of the all-time most famous Batman story arcs in The Dark Knight’s history. Tom Hardy’s portrayal of the powerful anarchist in The Dark Knight Rises absolutely cemented Bane’s pop culture legacy. Bane truly looks incredibly tough in the trailer for Injustice 2. The character loses none of his trademark menaces.


Villains really do need to be formidable in order to be successful with fans. Incredibly powerful villains are not pushovers. While heroes always win out in the comics and the movies, such may not be the case in a video game. Players really need to perform at their best in order to win. Beating the bad guys of Injustice 2 absolutely won’t be easy.


Nintendo Released A New Patch For Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Nintendo just launched the 1.1.1 patch for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and although the company did not describe exactly what the brand-new functions are, it is known that it intends to enhance the game’s frame rate.


Through the Nintendo site, it is stated that the patch includes settings for a more pleasurable gaming experience. And although that doesn’t mean anything by itself, gamers have been reporting that the update enhances the frame rate per second in various locations.


It is suggested to download the update as quickly as possible, as it will enhance the experience and bring more enjoyment out of the online functions of Breath of the Wild. The download will start instantly if your console is online.


Previously, Nintendo announced the end of production of the Wii U, due to poor sales of the system and the arrival of the new Nintendo Switch. In spite of this, the company launched The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for both systems. This game caused an increase in sales to the Wii U system, as it is stated by Eric Bright, director of GameStop.


The executive commented that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild not only indicated an excellent launch for Switch, it also assisted to renew pre-owned Wii U sales. In that regard, they started offering numerous used Wii U consoles along with brand-new copies of Zelda.


Bright offered his viewpoint of Link’s brand-new experience by saying that Nintendo is really excellent at providing high quality video games, and that Zelda is one of the most highly ranked video games we’ve seen in a while.


It is easier to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Wii U and it is a lot cheaper. It has to be taken into consideration that there are currently not enough Nintendo Switch units in the market. GameStop stated that they will not have stock of the brand-new Nintendo console, regardless of the high need of the system.



‘We Happy Few’ to Get Movie Treatment

Video games have served as a basis for several movies, with an erratic success rate at the box office. While the storied franchise of “Resident Evil” video games has given birth to fourteen years of films within a parallel universe to its own gaming universe, other contenders like “Assassin’s Creed” have failed to bring in notable profits. Despite the shaky odds that game-based film adaptations have fostered, some studios remain hopeful.


At least one of these impending video game adaptations greatly differs a great deal from its forebears; the survivor-horror title “We Happy Few” is up for a film adaptation. Beyond the source material’s rather distinct setting, aesthetic and premise, the We Happy Few film differs from previous game adaptations by being derived from an independent title, rather than a game produced by a major studio or belonging to an established franchise. The basic setting of the source material is a small ’60s English town whose populace is pacified by chemicals. The game’s premise is one of dark humor, paranoia, madness and survival as the player’s character struggles to escape without alerting suspicions.


While the video game was produced by Compulsion Games, We Happy Few’s film will be handled by dj2 Entertainment and Gold Circle Entertainment. Its production team consists of Gold Circle’s Paul Brooks and dj2’s Dmitri M. Johnson and Dan Jevons. Stephan Bugaj, also from dj2, will serve as the film’s executive producer. Gold Circle’s cinematic body of work includes “Pitch Perfect” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” As things currently stand, there has been no announcement of a screenwriter or director for the project.


News that We Happy Few is getting a film treatment should bring joy to fans of video games and horror. It is also heartening to learn that even indie games can garner enough attention that studios want to bring it to the silver screen, possibly bringing even more attention to the titles produced beyond the influence of major game studios. That being said, We Happy Few’s film is still very young and much could happen between now and the time of its completion.


Thimbleweed Park Reinvents the Old School PC Game

There is a new video game called Thimbleweed Park, available for the PC, that looks like it stepped right out of the 90s. However, this game intends to have an old-school look and feel to it. This point-and-click adventure that leads two detectives into a very bizarre town. The two main detectives, Antonio and Angela, are the main characters of the game.


One reason that this video game excels is because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. A game involving detectives tracking a murderer should definitely have a serious tone. However, Thimbleweed Park keeps a balance of seriousness and humor that serves as a reminder that this is all just a game. Taking a cue from the popular DOS adventure games of the 90s, there are plenty of fun locations to explore.


Balancing a mixture between adventure and puzzle solving isn’t always easy in video games. Thimbleweed Park is able to strike a great balance between multiple game genres. The dialogue and voice work balances between adding to the story and injecting just the right amount of humor to keep things relatively light.


Certain point-and-click games of days gone by used to feel quite restrictive. Making matters worse, users would often have to complete such specific tasks in these games, it would take the fun out of the whole game. However, Thimbleweed Park allows the player an amount of freedom that is rarely seen in these types of games.


Don’t expect Thimbleweed Park to be a walk in the park. This game is one that can require deep thinking and plenty of trial and error. If you have grown up playing those old-school DOS games of the past, you will warm right up to the experience that Thimbleweed Park presents. Getting to solve a mystery within a town is a fun overall main story. The characters really add to the experience and the atmosphere throughout this game is superb. In addition, gamers who enjoy a little bit of difficulty will love the constant challenge that Thimbleweed Park offers.


Final Fantasy XV’s ‘Episode Gladiolus’ Is A Less Than Stellar DLC Debut

At one point during the course of “Final Fantasy XV,” Gladiolus, also known as “Gladio” and the bodyguard of Prince Noctis, leaves the party for a few chapters without explaining his reasons. While Gladio’s reasons for his temporary departure were never explained in FF XV, the recent DLC material of “Episode Gladiolus” yields an answer. While this offering allows you to take direct control of Gladio during his absence from the party, its execution leaves something to be desired.


Episode Gladiolus begins with the four-man band hanging out around the campfire with Prompto yapping his mouth and Noctis focusing on his phone. The friendship among these characters is one of Final Fantasy XV’s greatest benefits; sadly, things quickly change up so Gladio pairs up with Cor, a marshal loyal to Noctis. The main premise of this episode focuses on Gladio’s efforts to becoming the best retainer he can. Gladio’s path has him tackling the trail of Gilgamesh, a memorable character with several franchise appearances. Despite the heartening premise of tackling Gilgamesh, his “trial” is a series of linear corridors, broken up by combat sequences. While the Gilgamesh fight makes for a satisfying finish, the entire episode takes roughly 90 minutes to finish.


While FF XV’s combat has been relatively lackluster, the lack of access to Noctis’ teleportation and spellcasting abilities further diminishes that combat. Gladio’s combat boils down to spamming “attack” with an occasional dodge or shield-raise. The one unique way of attacking, using stone columns as improvised weaponry, quickly loses novelty.


Over the episode’s 90 minute running time, it never really satisfies narratively or mechanically. As if to further point out the distinction in protagonist, Episode Gladiolus shows up in a separate console window from FF XV and has you controlling a level 24 Gladio, regardless of your progress in FF XV. While there are a handful of parent game benefits after completing the episode, none are really notable except maybe shirtless Gladio. Overall, Episode Gladiolus is more of a mild chore than a lark whose main positives are a fight with Gilgamesh and a teaser for Prompto’s episode.


Gameception: Man Programs ‘Pokemon Red’ Inside of ‘Minecraft’

YouTube talent “MrSquishy” has been a very busy individual within the game of “Minecraft.” Specifically, he has invested over 21 months, nearly two years, of his time in order to program a fully functional version of “Pokemon Red” inside of the voxel-based exploration game. Despite all of the effort involved, MrSquishy is a seasoned professional at this game-within-a-game approach to design and has previously managed to fully program “Pac-Man” within Minecraft, complete with a voxel arcade cabinet.


MrSquishy’s newest offering allows users to play Pokemon Red inside of an unmodded version of Minecraft. MrSquishy has been able to accomplish these coding feats due to understanding that Minecraft’s code contains command blocks. Because there is no way by which a person can just upload the ROM of a given game, he had to manually code in every element of Pokemon Red, even going as far as recreating several of the iconic glitches and exploits of the handheld title. Because presentation can be just as important as execution, MrSquishy’s “Pokemon: Minecraft Edition” includes an entire Pokemon-themed battle stadium surrounded by massive voxel sculptures of a Blastoise, a Venusaur and a Charizard practically holding a massive red version of the Game Boy Pocket handheld gaming device which serves as the display device to play MrSquishy’s “transcribed” edition of Pokemon Red.


Actually starting up a game of MrSquishy’s Pokemon involves using a pulsing book item. The player is then presented with six pages of options that include activating or deactivating the controls for Pokemon Red, changing the settings and controls for the game and even changing the colors of the Game Boy Pocket’s frame and case to reflect the equipment users may have had back in the late 1990s.


Rather than having to make a series of button presses to physically navigate a player’s Minecraft avatar to push the giant buttons on the monolithic Game Boy Pocket, all of the controls for this version of Pokemon Red are governed by keyboard inputs. While the directional inputs are easy to understand, the other four buttons are keyed to the spacebar, shift, “F” and “Q” keys.


No MCU Connection to Marvel’s Video Game Releases

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe like to keep score. They not only watch the movies and television programs, they read tie-in novels and play licensed video games. And they wonder who much of the material outside of television and movie screens is part of the overall canon. Some sad news is breaking for video game fans. The forthcoming video games based on Marvel properties are not tied in with the MCU.


Two highly-anticipated video games are coming out in 2017. A Guardians of the Galaxy Game and a Spider-Man game will debut to surely huge sales. Players, however, won’t be making any contributions to the MCU.


The decision to keep the gaming adventures separate from the motion picture and television tales is not done to snub gaming fans. Rather, Marvel and its gaming partners feel locking the video games into the world of the MCU limits what can and cannot be done in the videos. By allowing the video games to stand in their own universe, Marvel is not limited in any way in terms of what stories to tell.


Perhaps Marvel would like to revisit an original 1960’s story with The Vulture for a new video game. This would not be possible if the video game had to follow along with the narrative of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The Vulture is being completely reimagined in the film. So, the video game would need to play second fiddle to the creative approach to the film’s screenwriters. There is no reason to do this. Giving the video game developers complete freedom should lead to better games.


Current Breakthroughs In The Video Game World

Nintendo has outdone itself yet again. In 2017, it plans to release yet a new version of the Nintendo game console. With a price tag of fewer than three hundred dollars, this video console combines both technology and versatility. It has been developed using the latest technology making it friendly to play at home and in outdoor environments. Unlike any other video console, Nintendo Switch comes in the form of a tablet, which encourages docking to a flat screen television.


Nintendo Switch allows remote use since it houses two wireless Joy-con controllers. The gaming console fascinates many players, mainly because the left and right Joy-con controllers can also be docked together to form the usual gaming pad. With a six-inch display, a gamer can get an unobstructed view of a particular game.


As an advanced console, this gadget will make video capture possible. Also, more than two players can play a single game at a go. Hence, this is a real innovation. With thirty gigabytes of storage, one can be able to store and play any game on this console. With a memory card in place, there is room for additional storage.


Although yet to be released, this console has gained quite an audience. Development of Nintendo Switch began with an idea, an idea that has created a video game console much better than that of previous versions. Players that have had the opportunity of using this console are very much pleased with its unique design which not only allows for flexibility of play but also its ability to accommodate a much larger screen. Docking capabilities mean that one does not have to be at home so as to play.


Another marvel that comes with this console is the amount of time it takes to transition from big screen to tablet mode after detaching it from a television screen. High processor speeds make games load pretty fast. Finally, this gaming console offers comfort to players. Players can use the gaming controllers comfortably due to their small size. Also, the tablet is lightweight in nature.

The Rep of Games

Video games can seem elusive to some people, particularly those who feel it offers too steep a learning curve. It’s not uncommon for someone to come across a gamer engrossed in a screen, only to stare at it with a bit of contempt at the perceived convolution. Role-playing games can seem deceptively difficult, but they ultimately only require a relatively short amount of time investment before a novice gamer becomes acclimated to the controls and stat-based game play.


Of course, some people don’t like games merely because they find them too childish or useless. While it’s true that video games can certainly sap an individual’s time, it’s unfair to suggest they don’t offer any merit or substance. In fact, there are many games that feature sprawling stories, vivid characterizations, inspiring visuals and orchestrated music that can rival other forms of entertainment by leaps and bounds.


Video games aren’t just a time waster either, they can also help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, which can be especially helpful to those struggling with mood disorders and other mental health problems. Video games also have the power to teach. A recent study conducted by Brown University aimed to find the key behind video game related skills and how this information may be applied to environments outside the virtual world.


First-person shooters were used in the study, including Halo: Reach and Starcraft 2. These games are based on real-time action and players need to have quick reflexes. Even players who are quite experienced can have trouble going head to head against the most elite players.


The study found that the most skilled players didn’t dedicate their every waking second to playing the game at all. In fact, data suggests that those who play twice as often are likely to be less skilled. The results of the study concluded that a methodical, yet moderate approach to the game would net the highest rate of skill.


This study seems to indicate that video games can be an interesting tool to help people understand other avenues of thought and discipline. Whether it’s breaking the cycle of anxiety, broadening artistic horizons or understanding skill acquisition, games seem to have more importance than their reputation would dictate.