Monthly Archives: June 2016

I’ll say it upfront. I loved Warcraft. I may not have been an original fan dating back to the launch of the first RTS, heck, I only know lore from a significant amount of reading and of course, Hearthstone which I’ve been playing for a year now.

WarcraftI won’t pretend to be the authority on what would make a Warcraft film truly good. But I can tell you what made it good to me. For one, I loved the Orcs. It’s rare that you can take war and brutality and make it seem so honorable. These otherwise menacing warrior beasts are portrayed in a way that makes you feel really in on the action.

I also loved the chain of events as they unfolded. There was a really deep narrative building itself on two opposite ends. A lot of characters paralleled each other and the identical situations were made to create an element of sympathy for valiant warrior people. I just couldn’t pick a side, though surprisingly I was leaning a little bit more towards the Horde.

One of the best things about this movie was its execution of really emotionally charged moments. Which I’m sure is hard to do with such a reliance on CGI. I felt the expressions, the posture, the culture in a very rare way.

Anyhoo, I don’t want to end up repeating myself too much but I wanted to go a little bit more in depth on this.

So for any further thoughts from me on why the Warcraft film was truly great, here’s the rest of my review on MMOExaminer. Don’t worry, everything is spoiler free. I think everyone should see this.

Warcraft: A New Era In Game Movies

In the meantime, thank you all for reading and come back soon for more from the GAME ROOM!!!

Hello, Game Roomies! We had a decent time this week! I’ve been hard at work trying to create quality content, but some things have changed. Video Reviews for instance, are just not currently on my radar. I don’t really have enough good tech to make that happen.

I know I haven’t posted every day as I planned, but here’s something to supplement that! Some discussions and articles I did on MMOExaminer this week.

Above is my author page on the site. You can see all of the articles I’ve written here.

Some highlights? My favorites that I wrote this week are the one about Paper Mario: Color Splash where I gave commentary on the E3 2016 trailer. I’m obviously not too enthused about the game.

I’ve also started two weekly segments on MMOExaminer. For instance, “Weekly Tavern Brawl” segment based on Hearthstone’s weekly events. The other is a RetroNight, where I highlight a game of the past. This one is near and dear to me for sure, because as I’m sure you guys have realized, I’m a lover of classic titles. Sneak Peak, I’m gonna write about Earthbound for the first segment.

I also covered the tragic reception that Mighty No. 9 has been getting. Poor Inafune. Not a good time. Anyway, that’s about all for me for today, but tomorrow I plan on writing a special post. Something kind of new to the Game Room! In a sense. In the meantime, thank you all for reading and come back soon for more from the GAME ROOM!!!

You down for a little action? These five games will offer great beat ’em up, hack’n’slash, and straight up brawling action! Here are five games you’ll be mad if you miss this summer, from yours truly!

infamous second son5) inFAMOUS Second Son
At it’s cheapest in the game’s history this title will give you the experience you crave. Boasting great characters, comfortable mechanics, a karma system, and a fun recreation of Seattle to explore, you’ll have plenty to do and be kept occupied for some time. Despite its status as a PS4 exclusive, I consider this game a system seller, and a title all should try.

4) DMC: Devil May CryDMC Devil May Cry

I did a video review of this game not too long ago. It adds new layers and depth to the hack’n’slash series. It’s a classic, and a lot of fun. The story kind of stinks, but all and all, it’s a fun game. I’d definitely check it out if you get a chance. Thankfully, current and previous gen owners alike have access to this game.

3) Hyrule Warriors Legends

I’m a huge fan of the Warriors franchise. I think that these games offer players a unique experience, and while it may not be the most unique, it does take an interesting spin on hoard combat. This game offers some of the best action based combat around, and it’s topped only by the fact that it has such a beautiful franchise as its focus. This is the best the cast of the Zelda franchise has ever looked. No doubt.

2) Bayonetta 2

If you missed out on Bayonetta 2, I’d go back and give it another try. Yet another crazy action game with an eccentric protagonist, and some of the most interesting combos you’ll ever see. If you want to learn how to talk to a lady, play this game.

1) Asura’s Wrath

This rare breed of action game was the focus of a review I wrote last week. It is one of the best and most unique asuras.wrath.03a.lggames I’ve ever played. From a beautiful soundtrack to stunning visuals, a sweet narrative to unique setting, there’s no doubt that this title will last in my heart for many years to come.

That’s my five. Tomorrow will be the E3 post-show podcast! I look forward to seeing you guys at 2pm EST on In the meantime, thanks for reading and come back soon for more from the GAME ROOM!!!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been almost two years since the launch of Super Smash Bros. For 3DS and Wii U. These two titles have shaken the world of gaming, as expected from a title in the illustrious series. I mean who doesn’t love Smash? In this designer talk, we’re gonna take a look at the Smash titles. From the original to the most recent, Brawl has been the only title in the series not to have a very large and consistent player-base. Competitive Smash is huge, and until this last year Melee was the game in the series with the largest scene.

Nintendo's greats all in one spot!

What does this mean? Well think about it. Super Smash Bros. Melee launched fifteen years ago. Feel old yet? Anyway, this game has managed to survive, and in my personal experience Brawl was a game I could play for hours at a time, over the span of something close to eight years. What about these games made them so easy to stay close to? Let’s go over that in this designer talk on Longevity.

Longevity basically means that something has a lengthy lifespan. In the context of video games it means that a game will be cherished for years after its launch. MMORPGs often fall under this category in some ways, but it’s generally more applicable to titles that don’t necessarily see updates regularly.

The Wii U and 3DS installments of the series have longevity for one reason. Customization. You can change builds on pre-existing characters and make Mii Fighters. You can hand-draw your own stages, and pick from one of gaming’s largest soundtracks. This game allows you as a player to create your own content, and essentially generate an infinite amount of combinations to ensure that in this FIGHTING game, no two matches will ever come close to being the same.

I really noticed this a few years ago, but it resurfaced for me just yesterday when I decided to drop my usual mains, Pit, Shulk, and Cloud (yes, I play as the anime sword fighters) and pick up Little Mac again. It had been over a year since I used him outside of the Smash Tour mode. When I really started trying to reset myself into my flow with him as a character, the game felt entirely different than with the previous characters I had been using. Based on the character you focus on learning, your style, your flow, your comfort can change so drastically. Top that off with a cast of nearly 60 fighters, and the Mii Fighters, who can have some of the most varying special moves of any character in the game, and you have an immortal roster. The characters in this game will never grow stale.

If you create a game where your style of play influences the experience you’re having in such a drastic way, you can achieve longevity. I personally think the sometimes criticized Warriors series by Tecmo-Koei gets this concept perfectly. Depending on the warrior you select, you’re not just doing different combos. You’re playing a different game. A lot of games are really starting to get on board with this experience. Granted, it’s not for everyone.

Hearthstone: Heroes Of Warcraft manages to maintain longevity, not due to its versatile level of experience, but it’s structure for competition, it’s deceptively simple gameplay, and the ability to pick up and play for brief bursts. There are multiple ways to achieve longevity, but Smash, I feel captures it in a way most applicable to my style of game.

Alright, that’s another one for the books! Thank you all for reading, and sorry there was no post yesterday. Depending on how things go tomorrow, I may try to post twice. In the meantime, thank you all for reading and come back soon for more from the GAME ROOM!!!

My childhood favorite game was Paper Mario. That’s no exaggeration, up until the moment when I played Xenoblade Chronicles, the first Paper Mario game was easily my favorite game ever made. I loved the vibrant imagery, the funny characters, the cute story and tone, and the upbeat music. If I ever felt down, I could go to that game to experience a living, breathing version of the Mushroom Kingdom. Even in writing this, I’m recalling some of my greatest memories being associated with this title. The combat was awesome, a simplistic watered-down RPG that capitalized on the atmosphere of the Super Mario universe, while still paving its own way.

Paper MarioThis series, is in my opinion, the second most painful decline I’ve witnessed in our industry. Especially in a series that has at the very least, always made fun games. Super Mario 3D World doesn’t measure up to the Galaxy games in terms of atmosphere and overall quality. But it’s still a super fun party game experience, with some insane level design.

Fast-forward from the adventurous shot in the dark that was the first Paper Mario and take a dive into its sequel, The Thousand-Year Door. While this game isn’t my favorite in the series, there’s no denying that it is indeed the best. It offers everything that made the original titles good, and slaps on additional mechanics and controls to make a sequel that surpasses the original in every way. Even the story is deeper with more unique characters. Everything feels original and different, yet it’s a tried and true Paper Mario title.

Super Paper Mario is my favorite piece of this discussion, because that game shows that you can change every single mechanic in a game and yet, the game’s overall feel can still be true to the series it’s part of. RPG gone platformer, Super Paper Mario offers something that I truly value above all else. Story. Character. Atmosphere. Between its brilliant look into the minds of three favorite characters, Luigi, Bowser, and Princess Peach, and its unique and creative cast of villains, such as Dimentio and Count Bleck, Super Paper Mario brings a new level o f narrative to this classic franchise in a way that was never done before, and has never been done again.

I don’t want to go into the things that are so truly awful about Sticker Star and Color Splash, because I want to focus on what made this series great. Complaining about these two titles will come later.

Again, it’s never fun to watch a series you love decline in quality so much. From one end to the other, Paper Mario has undergone massive trials. Yet still I am truly hopeful that fans will band together and demand something great. I hope you all enjoyed reading this article, and come back soon for more from the GAME ROOM!!!

Thursday feels like a weird day to do a look ahead, but I feel like it’s necessary. We’re at the end of our E3 coverage, and while we’ll be doing a wrap up/post-show for our podcast next Wednesday at 6:30pm I want to focus on what can be expected this week. Yesterday I did a review of Asura’s Wrath, and I’d like to do a few more reviews over the next few days. I’m also considering streaming some games in the coming months. If you guys have any suggestions on what you might want to see me play, I’d be down. My computer is a toaster, so I’m in the works of getting some more usable technology.

Either way, I make it work because I love what I do. As far as I’m concerned, all of the supporters I have here on the Game Room are the reason I do this. I feel like it’s my responsibility to deliver you guys some in depth, quality, and analytical content. So with that, here’s the plan for this week.

Friday: Cooldown Day (No Post)

Saturday: The End Of An Era: Paper Mario

Sunday: Designer Talk, Longevity Feat. Super Smash Bros

Monday: Most Anticipated Games From E3

Tuesday: Another List! Top 5 Action Games

Wednesday: E3 Post Show

The end! That’s what you have to look forward to, only here on the GAME ROOM!!!

Asura’s Wrath is a very unique title. Lacking any real genre, this game steps into the new territory of playable anime in one of the biggest ventures CyberConnect 2 has ever created. But forging a new way always comes with dangers. Did Asura’s Wrath overcome those dangers and create a truly good title? Let’s go over it.


The story of Asura’s Wrath surrounds eight demigod generals as they fight to defeat the impure Gohma, who threaten to destroy all of Gaea, their home. Vlitra, the largest and most frightening of the Gohma stands tall and strong, and he truly is frightening. Can Asura, the most brash of the generals defeat him? And what secrets lurk beneath the organization of the eight generals?

Seems simple enough, but as the story goes on some very philosophical themes are addressed. Godhood, praise, unyielding loyalty, and many other concepts are brought into the light.

This story is executed in episodes, each with a focus, and true anime-style visuals and cutscenes. If you ever wanted to play a game that was entirely story, this is a good pick.

Despite this, the mechanics are strong as well. Fighting, while a bit repetitive, incorporates elements like screen shake and feedback in a way that really adds weight to some of Asura’s attacks. The reverse health bar element makes for a creative combination of hoards and scripted sequences, ending in a flurry of quick time events that force you to face off in grandiose finale’s to each god level clash.

The biggest flaw of Asura’s Wrath comes with the ending. The game ended in a cliffhanger, teasing a sequel, but that ending ended up being packaged as DLC. I won’t lie, I splurged and purchased the DLC, and the ending was truly amazing, but it’s pretty awful that I had to pay extra money to see the end of the story.

This game excels thanks to many features, but perhaps none are as universally incredible as its beautiful soundtrack. From the main theme titled “In Your Belief” to the music that plays while fighting, the music in this game could bring tears to your eyes.

The visuals are also awesome. The stylized combination of ancient eastern art with futuristic mechanical settings make for a unique atmosphere but one that works well. Airship fleets, lava squids, molten rhinos, and more make this game unique in artistic vision, and the visuals compliment that quite a bit.

As an anime fan, I felt right at home in the game’s structure. But the level of immersion I got from the game, despite its linearity, was something truly special for a title not at all rooted in reality. The fun of Asura’s Wrath comes from watching events unfold with the suspenseful nature of an episodic story, without the fractures in play sessions. You could probably finish the game in 12 hours or so, but it’s bound to be a grand 12 hours.

Again, flaws in the game come from its somewhat repetitive combat, and in some ways the translation feels slightly lacking. Some of the characters are very uninteresting, and more interesting characters need a little bit more time to shine.

Asura’s Wrath is a game made for anime fans, and with the developers behind the “Ultimate Ninja Storm” series of Naruto fighting games, combat feels fun and smooth. Cutscenes are awesome, the scale of combat is infinite, and the soundtrack is simply beautiful. If you’re looking for a game to play on PS3, Xbox 360, or the PS Now rental service, this is a good one that a lot of you may have missed!

Hey Game Roomies!

We really stepped out game up with this one! I’d like to show you all our new live E3 Coverage.

Check it out here!

I’m going to take a break from E3 related things for the next few days. This has been an incredibly complex deal to set up, and it’s been rather taxing, can’t lie. So I’m going to be doing some regular posts, reviews, discussions, the usual! Then we’ll dive into some post conference talk. Sound good? Good!

Thank you all for watching and reading and come back later today for more from the GAME ROOM!!!

The time is upon us Game Roomies! Starting tomorrow at 3:45pm EST you can catch live coverage of the E3 press conferences as they’re happening. While we’re not on the show floor ourselves, we’ll give you the second best experience to being their yourself! If you like the podcast and listening to Jeremy, James, and I talk games, you’ll love this. As previously stated, it’s also in partnership with the guys over at MMOExaminer, so you can check the stream embedded on their site, or on ours. I’ll have that up this evening.

mgameroom coverage

If you like games and don’t know what E3 is, it’s a pleasure to get to tell you what it is. It’s the Electronic Entertainment Expo, where some of the biggest news of the year is dropped by developers about upcoming projects, as well as new territories in hardware, software, peripherals, and so on. I’ve always been a fan of the conference, watching it dating back to my young teen years. E3 2011’s hype is actually the thing that got me into the arena of Video Game Journalism in the first place. So it’s a privilege to be covering it on this scale.

Anyhoo, I don’t want to get into ramblings, and I have quite a bit of setup between now and tomorrow. So I’m going to close out here by saying, you have a new way to experience coverage of gaming’s biggest event. Here or on MMOExaminer. Until tomorrow, thank you for reading and come back soon for more from the GAME ROOM!!!

I’ve always been a firm believer that video game narrative is just as important as mechanics. Action without purpose feels empty, right? I mean, unless it’s in a Mario game where the actions in and of themselves are kind of arbitrary. Running and jumping your way through a castle doesn’t require too much explanation. But what about a situation where you’re actually being made to simulate an act as heinous as murder? Do you truly want to simulate killing with no purpose? Let’s look at inFAMOUS 2 for a second.

I usually pick a game to focus on when I do these designer talks, but I feel like I already covered Xenoblade during my “Autonomy” talk. One day I’ll revisit the original game when talking about narrative, but for the sake of mixing it up, I want to talk about a game that truly masters the art of conflicting choice.


inFAMOUS 2 is a game about Cole MacGrath, a delivery boy who gets a package with his name on it. Upon the explosion that nearly destroys his entire home city, he is given a new set of powers that affords him the chance to fight back against a tyrannical government and clear his name. This sounds really gritty and dull, but it has the makings of a superhero game actually. inFAMOUS is a series near and dear to my heart, but the second game is the one where the narrative truly shines. Karmic decisions are not just minor elements. They drastically influence your skills, relationships, and the overall story of the game. Even missions are different based on the karmic path you choose. But this isn’t about choice, it’s about how choice weaves into narrative, and how narrative weaves into gameplay.


The best example I can come up with is going to come with some very heavy spoilers, so brace yourselves and turn back now if you haven’t played the entire game on BOTH karmic routes.


Two important characters in inFAMOUS 2, Kuo and Nix are the prime example of how much narrative can influence your decision making, and increase the value of the game. You meet Kuo first. She’s obviously got the best interest of the world at heart, as she works with the NSA and wants to soup up Cole so that he’s ready to face off against the ambiguous conduit monster that is “The Beast.” Kuo being the hero is the story you’re fed. But while the bad guys seem to be the biggest issue, you meet this very enigmatic third party by the name of Nix, who takes great interest in the “Demon of Empire City” and aims to discover more about him. Nix is treated like the bad guy for the entire game. All of her more radical decisions, like killing police officers and blowing up warehouses, or even raising monsters, are treated like the immoral side. Cole, Nix, and Kuo are all working towards the same goal, yet the way they go about them in the minds of the writers are morally polarized.

inFAMOUS 2’s final decision carries a lot of weight because of this. The lives of all conduits are on the line and Kuo wants to protect her own life over the lives of the world. Nix, still irrational, wants to destroy the Beast at all costs. You’ve spent the whole game being told you were siding with a representation of good and evil, and the last mission, which screams mental conflict throughout, is now mixing up your perception of who is good and who is evil. Obviously grey area isn’t something new to storytelling by any stretch, but I like that the karma system represented good and evil, yet offered a twist at the end that shows that your karmic decisions were stylized if nothing else. That if you truly identified with the erratic nature of Nix, you should have done a good karma playthrough. It was a strange twist but one that I enjoyed all the same. This post is getting on the long side so I want to sort of narrow down the point I’m making.

It’s key to keep players guessing and give them motivation. Narrative is one of the strongest devices for doing so. I’m going to continue this designer talk once all the E3 hype dies down. Tomorrow will be our big FINAL REMINDER post.

Until then, stay beautiful and come back soon for more from the GAME ROOM!!!