Tag Archives: writer

Video Game Writer Rhianna Pratchett to Write the Next Tomb Raider Comics Arc

TR13

On November 20, 2014, award-winning scriptwriter Rhianna Pratchett, announced via Twitter, her partnership with Dark Horse Comics to write the next set of Tomb Raider comics. Though she was co-writer on a few of the previous releases (issues 7-12), she will be the sole contributor as of issue 13.

Starting a new arc, this issue finds Lara employed at the British Museum enjoying a quiet life. Suddenly, she is thrust into a game where a thought to be deceased friend’s life is in danger.

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Issue #13 cover

Pratchett has an extensive background, with titles such as Tomb Raider, Heavenly Sword, Bioshock Infinite, Mirror’s Edge and several others under her belt. She was named one of the top 100 women in the UK gaming industry and holds the position of co-director of the 2012 created Narrativia multimedia production company. She is taking over for comic book writer Gail Simone.

Issue 13 is due for release on February 25, 2015 for $3.99.

Source: Darkhorse

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Augustus Bel on 20141208 and was last modified on 20141208 .

Always Sometimes Monsters Review

Always Sometimes Monsters RealGamerNewz

Always Sometimes Monsters is popping and bumping great music from the start and its soundtrack definitely fits the cruise mode storytelling techniques used by development house Vagabond Dog as players are thrust head first into the psychological thriller that is this game.

In terms of gameplay players can expect an Adventure with RPG elements such as item accumulation and finding the best use of quest items in a world full of people who all need something. Players will also get the chance to name some characters as they go, while others have pre-assigned names. Gameplay also involves making choices like, to kiss or not to kiss! And who knows what else… because at RGN we certainly don’t believe in spoilers – especially during Reviews. Let’s just say some choices have a way bigger impact on the the life of characters depicted in Always Sometimes Monsters, but are sometimes presented in a vague and mysterious way to keep things interesting. The consequences of actions may appear obvious-seeming like helping an old lady with her purse or not wasting your precious time to avoid being late for hot work opportunities, but can have widespread effects later down the road, giving personification to the old saying “you never know who’s who!”

The Fate system is a centerpiece as players are effecting their future by making their own choices. As Vagabond Dog says, Circumstance dictates the evaluation of risk and benefit which decides our choice – and Consequence takes care of the rest. Always Sometimes Monsters goes out of its way to tackle social issues gracefully such as characters being trans-gender or bisexual. Decisions between love as a focus in life or something else like a career may come into play, or otherwise separate paths one can take.

Always Sometimes Monsters Gameplay RGN

Graphically the game looks great for a retro-inspired art style. Animations that haven’t been done before such as 8 bit bong rips certainly add to the unique feel of the game and the overall planning of visuals in the game have been given a lot of attention. The lack of voice overs may prevent some full enjoyment from certain players, but long-time veterans of the role playing game genre should find themselves at home with this format of play despite the game being a text-based, reading-involved adventure. To be honest, reading is very good for you and can be fun in its own nerdy way – yeah I said it; deal with it. Besides, there aren’t any billionaires yet who don’t read every day – and you like money right?

Anyways, this game isn’t about that. Always Sometimes Monsters has a gripping presentation and a really enjoyable gameplay experience just waiting for players to sink their teeth into. During this game, I actually felt as if I were the characters I was taking control of. I really understood their story and was presented with an unpredictable world full of interactive environments, other people to interact with (NPCs), and more. These tools are made available for the player to simulate the life of this person throughout the given scenes that take place. It’s very exhilarating and different from anything I’ve ever played. The scenarios in ASM are unique and not your average canon to say the least.

Controls – Despite being standard industry practice, it’s a bit disappointing to see sub-par support for legacy gamepad controllers. Most of them are very old, but this is on the Windows PC platform of course, and simply forcing everyone into buying an Xbox 360 controller or using XB360 Controller Emulators isn’t a totally fair nor complete value offer when other drivers could have easily been included as with many other modern games being released on the Steam market. That being said, the title handles fine on PS4 controllers if the ControllerMAX Physical Adapter is used or for those tech-savvy, some sort of Controller Emulation. A Keyboard can also be used to play the game and both controls are equally responsive so there is nothing to complain about outside of the support issues aforementioned above.

Always Sometimes Monsters 2 Gameplay RGN

Of course, to find such a small issue with the game is not very much of a disaster. Always Sometimes Monsters is an emotional piece of art that moves us and inspires us. Without taking heed to genre or rulesets of society or any other kind, Vagabond Dog has created something that is new, fun, and has meaning.

Final Verdict:

We applaud the originality in this game’s writing. Despite retro-inspired graphics and text-based dialogue giving the game a requirement for focus on the player’s part, Always Sometimes Monsters grips us in ways we have never felt before thanks in no small part to an amazing Soundtrack and real-feeling cast of abnormal characters. We truly cared about what was happening, but much like real life – had less control over events than we thought when making our decisions and taking action to solve the problems of the characters in-game. RealGamerNewz highly recommends this game for players of all types – it’s one of those titles you have to try at least once, and that you won’t ever forget afterwards. Always Sometimes Monsters gets a 9.5 out of 10 and is awarded the prestige of being an RGN Gold Game.

Official Teaser Trailer:

Overall Score: 9.5 / 10

RGN Rating: Gold Game

Developer: Vagabond Dog

Publisher: Devolver Digital

Available On: Windows PC

Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this product was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20140531 and was last modified on 20140601 .

Creative Vision Behind Star Wars 1313 To Live On Through Amy Hennig / Visceral Games?

Star Wars 1313 Fan Art

Uncharted series Writer and ex-Naughty Dog Creative Director Amy Hennig (who switched over to the dark side peacefully in a recent job change) will be creating a new Star Wars game with Visceral Games under the EA Games label for new rights owner Disney who will lay the responsibility of a new Star Wars Battlefront among other upcoming products upon publisher EA Games and some of their development studios including DICE (who are working on the next Battlefront game).

But what exactly are Amy Hennig and Visceral Games up to in the long term?

Reports are hitting today (mainly based on job listings) that put Amy Hennig in the spotlight again and claim that the project she is working on for the Star Wars universe will have extremely high fidelity graphics and a cinematic action blend of gameplay that many expect to resemble the Uncharted series in its fluidity from moment to moment as well as dynamic levels. Some of you may remember an RGN Podcast Discussing SW1313’s Indefinite Hold Situation. There has been a petition going on Change.org for EA and Disney to finish Star Wars 1313 (Over 8,200 signatures at the time of this writing).

For those who are having a hard time seeing significance in whether or not Amy Hennig / Visceral Games are working on Star Wars 1313 or a new game based on that, keep in mind that the same technology behind the cinematic feel of the unfinished Star Wars 1313 project is advanced and being used in future films. Before the LucasArts closure, the game was shown with a few small but effective scenes that were completely fleshed out and actually existed in final product build quality.

Take a look at the video below, and get hype. This Rumor seems like the best possible scenario, but in the least we can say that the teams working on Star Wars games for EA, Disney, and the fans will be surely influenced by the Star Wars 1313 project and what it represented to gamers.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20140406 and was last modified on 20140406 .

Alice: Otherlands $95,292 Out of $200,000 on Kickstarter Needs Help; NIN’s Chris Vrenna Will Do Music

Alice in Van Gogh's Otherland

Chris Vrenna will be creating some of the music for the upcoming film currently on Kickstarter for funding from American McGee tentatively titled ‘Alice: Otherlands’. If you haven’t heard about this yet, American McGee is trying to put together an animated film with the eventuality of a live action film (in later projects) as a long-term goal with this signifying the first step towards that. There’s more than just Chris joining the project as of recent, take a look at this quote from ‘Once Upon A Time in China’ writer, producer, and director Tsui Hark in the official press release that came out today:

“Alice wanders in the eye-boggling fantasy land. The madness and violence reveal the inner power of a teenager fighting in a hypocrite world of the adult villains. I can already see the impact of the story as a movie. I’d be more than enthusiastic to participate in any effort to make it possible for Alice to come alive on the big screen. I’d join the team to make this project a wonderful success —–Tsui Hark”

CLICK HERE to back this project now or if you’d like to just check out a little bit more about it than view the conceptual trailer by American McGee’s Spicy Horse crew below:

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130722 and was last modified on 20130722 .

Resident Evil REmake for Gamecube, A Hidden Gem

Resident Evil REmake a Hidden Gem

Originally released in Japan on March 22nd, 1996, Resident Evil for PS1 was a revolution in gaming. The story of four elite police officers, the S.T.A.R.S. (The Special Tactics and Rescue Service) getting trapped inside a spooky, but not quite haunted mansion, was the first console game to categorize itself in the “Survival Horror” genre. Instead of blasting everything that moved with the small arsenal of weapons provided to you by the game, you were encouraged to conserve your bullets, as ammo was scarce and your enemies took many hits to kill.

At the time, the graphics were amazing, with 3D polygonal characters on top of beautifully hand-drawn backgrounds. The moan of the zombies added to the already haunting soundtrack, making your hairs stand on end. It was very well received at the time. The only complaint many had was the god-awful voice acting. It added to the “B-movie” feel of the game. After three successful sequels (and one awful spinoff), the creator of the franchise wanted to revisit the old mansion that started it all.

Six years later…

The year was 2002. The Nintendo GameCube was trailing behind the juggernaut that was the Sony PlayStation 2, and Microsoft with its Xbox. It was regarded as being a “kiddy” system. Luigi’s Mansion and Pikmin, despite being great games, turned off the older gamer with its bright colors and “cute” characters. Nintendo wanted to expand its demographic. So they came to Capcom and signed a deal with three new RE games exclusive to their purple box. Resident Evil 0, Resident Evil 4 (which ended up being ported to PS2, PC, Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3), and a complete overhaul to the original Resident Evil. This is a “remake” in every sense of the word. Over “70% of the mansion is new” according to Capcom.

The changes were drastic and subtle, like the addition of a whole new wing of the mansion, re-doing all the voice work, and even where zombies would appear. One change occurred that completely altered the way that you approached the act of zombie killing; I’m talking about the addition of Crimson Heads. In the original PlayStation game, when you killed zombies, they stay dead. In the remake they didn’t. If you left their bodies alone long enough, and you got close to one, the zombie you thought was dead would get up and start RUNNING at you. I tell you what, I shrieked the first time a zombie started sprinting at me with it face melting off.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Dominic Rupert on 20130701 and was last modified on 20130701 .

Hotline Miami Review

Intro- I’m just going to keep swinging my fists and walking in your direction, if they happen to hit you in the face it’s your own fault. Remember that game when we were kids, or is it just me? Hotline Miami takes some of the most raw and unforgiving gameplay mechanics derived from street fights and brings them together into a game that will put hair on your chest. In Hotline Miami you are a killer who takes out mansions full of goons who are obsessed with rave club music and putting chicks into bathtubs. Not exactly a hero, you once did this for revenge. Now your anger, hatred, and passion are all blurring into one sadistic blend of combat.

Story- It’s Miami, it’s 1989. “Question Your Own Thirst For Bloodshed”- You’ve lost your mind, the calls keep coming in and they have driven you to kill. Miami’s criminal underworld is just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and honestly you would probably be ready to take out anybody just about now. That’s why Hotline Miami is the game where you are an unlikely hero. The odds are against you. You’re un-armed, out-numbered, and all you’ve got to go on is your rage. Constantly throughout the game, your character is just trying to chill and have a good day. However, messages keep coming through his mailbox, phone calls keep taunting him with random words that he doesn’t even place meaning to anymore. Vague mentions are given about a lost girlfriend, but for those who would cry spoiler alert we shall say no more about that.

The weight of the world is weighing on our main character’s shoulders as his mind slowly but inevitably cracks from whatever is going on within that forces him to not change his phone number and instead take his rage out through murdering people. Hotline Miami doesn’t force the story on you much, you can just skip through it if you want to enjoy the gameplay instead. If you really look into it though, there are psychological tendencies and behavioral mind programming references being made by the game’s emotion-evoking soundtrack and art direction (not to mention your character’s news paper clippings, yikes). It really makes you strongly think about responding to wrong numbers ever again. Equipped with a deep story even if just there to serve its purpose, Hotline Miami’s gameplay is where this title really shines.

Gameplay- Hotline Miami for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita is a pulverizing rendition of the original hardcore brawler seen from a bird’s eye view. Your first mission starts you off beating enemies down and using their own weapons against them by picking them up off the ground before they get up. You can bust through doors to tackle opponents and then swing or throw bats, steel pipes, and this is all just in the first level. As soon as it’s mission complete, guess again. Samurai swords will chop you in half. The people you’re up against are pretty much high life mafia types, so you better believe a few exotic weapons are around and some deadly dogs to boot.

You just killed the last one, jacked him of his briefcase, and now creeping around corners and beating people down into a bloody pulp with that briefcase is the only thing standing between yourself and death. You’ll start off ducking and weaving, but quickly you’ll learn a more aggressive strategy pays off. Boldness is actually beneficial to you in taking out as many enemies as you can in a short time. But as the levels become more advanced you will have to learn better maneuvers and identify when to bring a knife to a gunfight and when not to.

Leave no witnesses when you ride off in your car to the next mission. If anybody tries to act like a hero, figure out their weakness and put them in the dirt. In between missions stop at stash spots and fight their owners for what’s good inside. You’ll also sometimes hit other stops along the way for gear or just to see some people who feel like they know you. At the end of each mission, your points will be tallied up and divided into sections including Killings, Boldness, Combos, Time Bonus, Flexibility, and Mobility. Weapons unlock based on points as well. High scores to unlock masks. Combos, Executions, Door Slams, Double Exposure, and more is also counted up with your play style rated with ratings such as “Generic” and “Combo Trainee”, the time it took you to beat the game, and a Letter Grade rating such as B+.

Sometimes you kill so good you might puke a little. It’s just another day stomping out fools that think they’re slick. Normal, but in Hotline Miami the difficulty increases around every corner. Mastering the world around you and what you can do to your enemies becomes the key to survival and ramps up the fun factor with each successful massacre. Don’t get your head blown off! Things go from melee to machine gun quickly in this game. You’ll find yourself surprising your own senses with the gruesome combos you pull off hacking and thumping away at opponents, which are much better faced off-guard if possible. There’s everything from throwing knives into people’s heads to bashing their faces into the ground, to shotguns. You’ll need to be resourceful if you expect to survive Hotline Miami. The intensity keeps your blood boiling as you take your rage out on enemies and feel the triumph of rising above the sometimes instant killing barrage you’re forced up against.

Controls- If you’re playing on the PlayStation Vita, you’ll be able to lock on to opponents using the touch-screen controls. On the PS3 console you can cycle through lock-ons by pressing L3. This is mostly useful for picking people off with limited ammo after a gunfight. I found it more productive to just use the left and right thumb-sticks manually controlling my character while timing my attacks and the orientation of my character in tandem. Hotline Miami makes every second a decision of stealth gameplay versus aggressive gameplay and constantly being aware of who has what in their hands as enemies scramble to pick up weapons as you scramble to finish them off.

Characters / Enemies- The artificial intelligence knows when to psyche you out and often times you’ll find yourself dying over and over again until you can discipline your fingers to hit exactly the right timing. Precision pays off however, and this is not one of those “artificial difficulty” scenarios in gaming. Hotline Miami is a true gamers’ game, rewarding skills over luck by being brutally reliant on your ability to master its offered techniques. The pace at which new enemies are introduced pretty much makes or breaks this game and Dennaton Games nailed it. You never figure it out to the point where it’s boring, there’s enough seemingly random cause and effect to keep things challenging and interesting. You can indulge yourself by trying a scene out Rambo style over and over until it works, or you can bring your tactics into play and go for speed or stealth.

Graphics / Art Direction- Hotline Miami’s graphics and art direction are satisfying to look at for old school gamers and new alike. Inspired by retro games and enhanced by modern filters and backed by a solid set of animations, this game just looks good. If there were only one way to see the game’s graphics (default) it would be a great game as it stands, but some of the different masks available give the player an alternative artistic rendering of the game. The levels that have been drawn here paired with the creative ideas from developer Dennaton Games are enough to satisfy even the most feature-spoiled gamer. Thanks to these great works of art this game flows fast and smooth, and the nature of each stage lends itself to new gameplay dynamics.

Soundtrack / Audio- Excellence- Well above average quality tunes that keep you in the mood to kill without giving you a headache.

Replay Ability- High- In total there are over 25 different ‘masks’ which serve as different alterations to the game to be unlocked including PlayStation exclusive Russel Mask (for creepy cool ‘b/w and Blood Vision’), Dennis Mask (start off with a knife), Aubrey Mask (for more guns!) which you can play through the entire game with extending the replay value through the roof in terms of creating new play-throughs out of the campaign’s different lenses, and more. To top it off for Replay Ability, Hotline Miami also sports Trophies and Leader-boards also track which one of your friends is the best at each stage, and will brag about which mask was used to get that ranking as well.

Engine Performance- Solid- No glitches were experienced during our play-throughs. During gameplay this game runs at a solid frame-rate and has no input lag to speak of. The result is Hotline Miami feels like a premium arcade action experience. The games physics are also great, lend to intuitive skill progression, and remind us of many other old school and/or indie-style games which is always nostalgic.

Final Verdict- My hand hurts and I can’t stop playing! Hotline Miami is a testament to everything the game industry needs to re-learn about itself from great gameplay to an experience that is truly intense, personal, and fun. This game gets a 10 out of 10 and will have you giving your DualShock or Vita the cobra grip. We challenged ourselves to but could not find a single thing to mark Hotline Miami down on points, if you are a gamer- get this now- this game receives the official RGN Rating of Diamond Game.

Official Trailer:

 

Overall Score: 10/10

RGN Rating: Diamond Game

Developer: Dennaton Games / Publisher: Devolver Digital

Now Available On: Sony PlayStation 3 / PlayStation Vita

Also Available On: Computer

Review Copy Info: A digital voucher was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purposes of this Review.

For More Information, Please Read The RGN Review Policy. To Have Your Product Reviewed on RGN Contact Us via Email.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130625 and was last modified on 20130625 .

Fact or Fiction: Microsoft Bribing PS4 Devs to Not Show at E3 – Or More Fake News from PlayStation Fanboys?

Check out this post from Softpedia detailing a new rumor originating on NeoGAF which (as mentioned below) sometimes has truth to their rumors but it should also be known that they have purposely made false press stories and been caught doing so for “teh lulz” as well as possibly exerting its control over the gullible gaming media.

COMMENT AT THE BOTTOM: FACT OR FICTION?

“Has Microsoft resorted to underhanded tactics by paying off third-party publishers to “not show” some PS4 games? (possible rumour)

Microsoft is allegedly paying many third-party publishers so that they won’t show off their PlayStation 4 games at E3 2013, according to a new report.

E3 2013, the most important games convention out there, is set to begin next week, and both Microsoft and Sony are expected to focus heavily on their next-gen consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, respectively.

In order to gain the upper hand on Sony, Microsoft is apparently resorting to some unorthodox practices, like paying a lot of money to third-party publishers so that they won’t show their PlayStation 4 games either on stage or at their actual booths.

The report arrives from a source on NeoGAF, which posted a lot of true rumors in the past, so it’s possible that Microsoft really is resorting to such tactics ahead of E3 2013.

The company emphasized that at the event it’s going to focus only on games for the Xbox One, so it could try to create a false sense that more games are coming to Xbox One than PS4.

[Source: Softpedia]”

Thanks and shout out to Shawn Pwnagraphic Stenberg for bringing this “rumor” to our attention.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Mitch Walters on 20130608 and was last modified on 20130608 .