Non-Fiction Gaming http://www.nonfictiongaming.com News, eSports, Video Games Sat, 26 Jul 2014 07:39:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 5 Crucial Things Saints Row IV Did Better Than GTA Vhttp://www.nonfictiongaming.com/opinion/5-crucial-things-saints-row-iv-better-gta-v-14883/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-crucial-things-saints-row-iv-better-gta-v http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/opinion/5-crucial-things-saints-row-iv-better-gta-v-14883/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 01:00:26 +0000 http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/?p=14883 So 2013 saw the release of Grand Theft Auto V, which must have been the most hyped game of last generation (yes the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are officially last gen). With so much excitement building up to the release of the game, getting perfect 10/10 scores and GameSpot employees receiving death threats for […]





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So 2013 saw the release of Grand Theft Auto V, which must have been the most hyped game of last generation (yes the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are officially last gen). With so much excitement building up to the release of the game, getting perfect 10/10 scores and GameSpot employees receiving death threats for daring to give it less than a perfect rating, GTA V was essentially promised to be the greatest game ever made.

It was to my surprise then that when I actually played the game, I thought it was dull and repetitive, populated by characters I despised, and wound up feeling like a massive chore to play through.

By no means is it terrible or lacking in some rather fun moments, but I would personally have given the game a 7 or 8 out 10. Meanwhile, Saints Row IV (and its predecessor Saints Row the Third) were doing almost everything better than GTA V, but being ignored by the mainstream.

Read on as I explain why Saints Row 3 and 4 are just plain better than GTA V, despite lacking some polish.

Saints Row IV Golden Desperado

A tribute to Desperado? SOLD!

5. GTA V Has Memorable Characters (that I hate with a passion)

This might be a petty gripe for some, but for me it was a major sticking point. Grand Theft Auto V lacked almost any character I liked playing as or interacting with. Just about everyone who gives you a job is a complete a-hole, whether it’s one of Michael’s horrible family members or some corrupted government official. They act spoiled or smarter than your crime committing trio, even while you do their petty jobs.

There is the defence that the characters are caricatures, parodies or hyperbolic representations of real life personalities (spoiled 20-something gamer, nagging rich wife, racist border patroller, etc).

I completely understand the intention of creating characters like that to mock our society, but just because a character is intentionally designed to be a horrible pain in the ass, it doesn’t stop me wanting to ram a god damned jet into the person in question.

gta v  Jimmy

Anyone who doesn’t want to kill Jimmy is a failed human

Before anyone murders me though, I will admit that Trevor is a great character, even though he is an evil murderous psychopath. He is also the only person in the game to suggest killing everyone who mistreats the player, so he also earns some respect right there.

How Saints Row Did It Better

But all the members of the Saints in Saints Row are lovable rogues, despite being horrible people. Some of the characters whine, some of them nag you a lot, others pretty much spend the entire time calling you stupid (which you are at times). But they were written in such a way I couldn’t hate them at all. Even the villains are so cartoonishly over the top, they are enjoyable to watch even as you destroy their criminal/alien empires.

Saints Row IV Keith David

Also Keith David is playing himself as Vice President. Buy this game

 

4. GTA V Has New Gameplay Elements (that are barely used)

The big new thing Grand Theft Auto V introduced to the series were the heists. They were promoted as being integral to the game with players planning the heist, doing set up missions and choosing a crew of support characters who would level up the more you used them. For me, this is easily the most fun thing about GTA V and I looked forward to every single one of them.

Unfortunately the heists were too few and far between for my liking and constantly limited your planning options.

You get to unlock heist members but it hardly feels rewarding to get a new driver or gunner after you’ve already done two of three heists you can actually use them in. And the levelling up thing is pointless since you might only ever use a hacker or driver twice.

By the end of the game, there are only three real heists (where you plan everything and actually get a reward) and the rest is cover based shooting and talking to annoying people.

gta v Selfie

Seriously… Everyone wants to kill Jimmy. Yes this image is unrelated to the above text

How Saints Row Did It Better

In Saints Row IV’s case, super powers were introduced. A whole Justice Leagues worth of powers are included in the package with my favourites being super speed, kinetic blasts and a gliding ability. I literally spent the first hour or two of the game gliding around the city and saying “WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” And no I do not mean figuratively, I mean literally.

All of the super powers are front and centre, with optional upgrades and alterations available to enhance your already sizeable penchant for destruction. They even include side missions where you can ONLY use certain powers so it even encourages the player to experiment with the new mechanics.

Admittedly, Saints Row does become a little too easy but it is undeniably fun to run around a sandbox with super powers.

Saints Row IV

Notice all the cars getting flipped? That’s the best…

On the topic of sandbox worlds…

 

3. GTA V Has A Giant Open World (devoid of anything in it)

Another big claim about Grand Theft Auto V included the rumour this would be the biggest map in all of Rockstar history. Sure enough, getting my hands on the game revealed a massive continent to explore with varying landscapes. From city to mountains to beaches to deserts, there was a lot of variety in what you could run, jump and climb around. But Rockstar seems to have forgotten to put anything into the map to actually make it worth exploring.

Gta V Quad Bike

Besides awesome views I mean

I played the game for twenty hours of gameplay interspersed with exploration of the landscape, I can still count the thing I found on one hand. A piece of a suicide note, an alien ship fragment and a baseball bat are all I stumbled upon during my campaign. Load up GTA III for comparison some time and you will be tripping over health packs, body armour, random weapons and hidden packages.

While it might not seem important since you can have fun dicking around the map, killing innocent people and blowing helicopters out of the sky, none of that actually requires a giant map to do. If the player isn’t rewarded for exploring the sandbox in any way, why should I bother doing anything more than story missions?

How Saints Row Did It Better

Saints Row 3 and 4 on the other hand don’t waste an inch of their comparatively smaller maps. The game may lack in variety since it’s all just a city in the style of New York but it more than makes up for it with all the secrets to be found. Hidden vehicles, shortcuts to unlock, hidden power ups, autograph opportunities and other collectibles make it rewarding to drive around back alleys and scale buildings. That’s without taking into account all the missions and side quests to be done.

gta v and Saints Row IV

Side missions that unlock the Dubstep Gun. BUY THIS GAME

Speaking of…

 

2. GTA V Has Lots of Activities (that are pretty boring)

Grand Theft Auto V, being a sandbox after all, has a large variety of activities for you to pursue. Sadly Rockstar let me down here. Most of the activities are tedious and/or annoying. Such riveting pass times include triathlons, parachuting, tennis, stock markets… And they are all about as exciting as they sound.

The lowest of low points though has to be yoga, a stupid, boring, drawn out game of ‘hold 4 buttons and two sticks at once,’ that the story actually forces you to take part in.

Source: http://guides.gamepressure.com/gtav/gfx/word/509581134.jpg

Pictured: A 10/10 game

Again, there are a few exciting things to do like street and sea races or the occasional rampage, but nowhere near as many entertaining activities as there were in past Rockstar games.

How Saints Row Did It Better

Volition understands that when someone is playing in a sandbox, they want to blow things up en masse rather than take their miserable wife out for tennis. Saints Row provides a huge assortment of destructive side missions that are genuinely fun.

A small sample of the insanity includes weapon and vehicle rampages, super power rampages, Japanese murder game shows, streaking, car surfing and escorting a ferocious tiger around the city in a convertible (which is as bizarre a sight as it sounds).

Source: http://thecontrolleronline.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/saints-row-the-third-tiger.png

This is from Saints Row the Third though… which you should also buy

These are all the kinds of things a player wants to do as well as driving on a side-walk and they are not only are they available, players are rewarded for seeking out these distractions. Which brings us to the most important point of all…

 

1. Rewards for playing (or lack thereof)

The biggest frustration I had playing Grand Theft Auto 5 (which I may have alluded to already) is a complete lack of any reward for playing the game. While it’s true I should be able to play for the fun of playing, Rockstar seemed to go out of its way to give me nothing back.

It’s no exaggeration to say that more than half the story and stranger missions yield no reward of any kind. And for a game that features property you can buy scattered all over the map or airplanes you can order over the internet, it seems strange that they give the player so little money to work with.

It’s made even worse by the fact that property is about the only thing you can spend money on since clothing options are freakishly limited, car upgrades are pointless when they tend to explode, and you get almost all the guns through the story anyway.

To top it all off, the boring activities mentioned above either give small amounts of money, or no money at all.

Source: http://guides.gamepressure.com/gtav/gfx/word/509581134.jpg

Yoga!? AND I DON’T GET PAID FOR THIS BLOODY CHORE!?

How Saints Row Did It Better

Once more, Saints Row outstrips GTA V by rewarding absolutely everything the player does with money and/or experience. Even seemingly pointless acts of destruction like jumping out of a moving car and watching it crush 5 pedestrians to death will be scored and gain you experience.

Since experience unlocks more abilities you’ll do everything you can to gain XP. And to buy those abilities and all weapon and vehicle upgrades, players will earn as much as possible since they’re so expensive.

Gameplay wise, it’s great since you’ll actually go out of your way to do the crazy things on offer (like streaking) since they are not only fun, but help enhance your gameplay experience and help you progress through the insane story modes more easily.

Source: http://download.gamezone.com/uploads/image/data/1151355/Saints_Row_4_super_powers.jpg

More games should allow us to fly naked through the sky

GTA V and Saints Row Are Both Good Games

Overall though, the same word always comes to the forefront of my mind when I play Saints Row 3 and 4. “FUN.” It is one of the only series that leaves me with a smile on my face no matter what.

Again, Grand Theft Auto V is NOT an awful game and if you enjoy it, more power to you. I just want more people to give Saints Row a chance.

Saints Row 4 is also a fair bit cheaper than GTA V at the moment.

 

Do you agree with KRS? If you’ve played these games and have an opinion, let us know in the comments below.

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Colossatron FREE Across All Platformshttp://www.nonfictiongaming.com/news/colossatron-free-across-platforms-14909/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=colossatron-free-across-platforms http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/news/colossatron-free-across-platforms-14909/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 01:35:59 +0000 http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/?p=14909 A Massive World Threat just got cheaper. Halfbrick today announced a permanent cut to the price of Colossatron: Massive World Threat. You can now control the giant robot snake we first laid eyes on at PAX Australia for free on Amazon, Google Play and the iOS App Store. There are still in-app purchases, however in our Colossatron Review, […]





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A Massive World Threat just got cheaper.

ColossatronColossatron free

Halfbrick today announced a permanent cut to the price of Colossatron: Massive World ThreatYou can now control the giant robot snake we first laid eyes on at PAX Australia for free on Amazon, Google Play and the iOS App Store.

There are still in-app purchases, however in our Colossatron Review, we didn’t find them to invasive.

Colossatron has some massive boss fights and intense battles. Easy enough to pick up and play, the match-3 style puzzle game puts you in the position of the titular robotic snake.

Colossatron Release Date

By attaching 3 Powercores of the same colour onto Colossatron you can increase their power and keep hammering through General Moustache’s (and Earth’s) defences.

Halfbrick Studios is also the team behind Fruit Ninja KinectRaskulls, and Fruit Ninja: Puss In Boots.

According to their announcement,“Their desks are littered with Voltron statues, Transformers and a range of collectibles. It’s safe to say they’re huge fans of ‘90s cartoons and old-school anime!”

Colossatron at PAX Australia

Colossatron at PAX Australia

So if you didn’t get into Colossatron before, there’s little excuse not to give it a try. Massive World Threat is a fun strategy game to pass the time on your mobile device.

DOWNLOAD LINKS:

Available at Amazon 
Get it on Google Play
Download on the App Store

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Why eSports May Be A Career Sooner Than You Thinkhttp://www.nonfictiongaming.com/esports-2/esports-may-career-sooner-think-14795/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=esports-may-career-sooner-think http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/esports-2/esports-may-career-sooner-think-14795/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:00:42 +0000 http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/?p=14795 With DOTA 2′s Ten Million Dollar International Culminating Last Weekend, It’s Time to Really Look at How We See eSports.   Whenever someone mentions the idea of eSports, three sorts of people reveal themselves. The first group are the ones who, for some reason, find it personally offensive. The idea that competitive games even skulk […]





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With DOTA 2′s Ten Million Dollar International Culminating Last Weekend, It’s Time to Really Look at How We See eSports.

 

Whenever someone mentions the idea of eSports, three sorts of people reveal themselves. The first group are the ones who, for some reason, find it personally offensive.

The idea that competitive games even skulk in the shadow of traditional sports is anathema. Secondly, usually the largest collection, are the people who like games but find the concept a bit far fetched. Fortunately, they are often too polite to put it under too much scrutiny. Lastly, there is always a handful who think it’s pretty damn cool.

Recent advances in networking technology and Internet capability built into consoles opened up a realm of possibilities that really pushed what multiplayer games could achieve. It opened up markets that were previously inaccessible.

The ability of gamers to now reliably play online created communities that all but did away with the LAN party culture. Australian gamers especially enjoyed this advent as they could now join in with the larger communities. Indeed, this really set the scene for the resultant spread in eSport culture.

Even Pokemon is on board the wave of competition that global multiplayer creates with its Video Game Championship now reaching Australian shores.

esports gamer

 

Although competitive gaming isn’t exactly a new thing, it’s only now reaching the stage where talented players can bank on earning a decent living playing the game they love. Fighting games, shooters, and some RTS (namely Starcraft) have long enjoyed success through institutions such as Dreamhack,  EVO, Apex, and MLG.

Now, however, we are seeing the effects of a wave of games tailored for eSports.

Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs), evolving from the original Defence of the Ancients, have exploded in popularity in the last five years.

All major contenders (DOTA 2League of Legendsand Heroes of Newerth) have seen flourishing competitive scenes at some point throughout their lifetime. It is this popularity and these competitive scenes that have marched eSports out of the shadows and really made moves to granting it the same credence as traditional sports.

esports crowd

Viewership is certainly no question

 

League of Legends has been the real pioneer of the group. Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings about the game, what Riot has done to further this cause cannot be understated. Through a combination of viewership, player numbers, and negotiations from Riot, League of Legends is now considered an official sport by the United States Government.

What this means is that players can now get athletic visas to make travelling into the United States easier. It’s even gone so far that certain colleges are now adding League of Legends to their list of sporting teams. This will mean that some talented gamers will be able to earn scholarships to continue their education.

Not everything is going the way of League, however, DOTA 2‘s annual championship, The International, will have its climactic moments broadcast on ESPN.

esports byoc

 

What does this increasing parity between eSports and traditional sports actually mean? Well in the near future pro gamer may become a viable career choice. It also opens up job paths that surround the eSport players: commentators, managers, and event and planning staff.

I’ve seen a lot of posts that take the more facetious approach with bylines suggesting this news is a ‘screw you’ to anything that comes between young gamers and their passion. eSports is a burgeoning industry but it needs time to grow.

As someone who spent hours fighting anyone that would play in Virtua Fighter at Sega world London when I was six, the massive strides that developers are now taking towards making professional gaming a reality are very exciting. The notion of people earning a living by playing video games will indeed be fun to see.

 

What do you think about the rise in eSports? Will watching games on TV alongside the likes of the world cup become the norm?

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What We’ve Been Playing (Christmas In July 2014)http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/offtopic/weve-playing-christmas-july-2014-14799/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=weve-playing-christmas-july-2014 http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/offtopic/weve-playing-christmas-july-2014-14799/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 09:51:16 +0000 http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/?p=14799 This week, the Non-Fiction Gaming crew has been showing some love to Sony and playing a lot of PlayStation games. With such an expansive library spanning many genres, there is sure to be something that tickles your fancy.   Dead Space 3 James Wilson I’ve spent my free time playing Dead Space 3 and Strider […]





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This week, the Non-Fiction Gaming crew has been showing some love to Sony and playing a lot of PlayStation games. With such an expansive library spanning many genres, there is sure to be something that tickles your fancy.

 

Dead Space 3

James Wilson

I’ve spent my free time playing Dead Space 3 and Strider for the PS3 and PS4. Admittedly I’m only doing so because I managed to pick both games up for nothing via PlayStation’s free games of the month, though I’ve been pleasantly surprised by both games for different reasons.

I originally thought that I wouldn’t like Dead Space just based on its genre, but I am only just realising how much I’ve been missing out as I highly rate this action-horror, space adventure game.

The player takes control of Isaac, the main protagonist of the series, and is once again forced into going after the infamous ‘markers’ that threaten humanity.

The game is instantly terrifying as you explore the wreckage of a crashed ship in the snow, which reduces visibility and adds to the tension as you encounter some not-so-friendly creatures.

The game is also surprisingly good-looking, as coming back from the PS4 I wasn’t expecting much, however floating around in Dead Space 3 looks really cool.

Back off space zombies!

Back off space zombies!

I’m really enjoying the horror elements, and even playing co-op doesn’t take away from the experience. In fact I think that it increases the feeling of helplessness; as you struggle to fight off waves of abominations with your partner in various missions and optional quests in the search for parts and loot.

 

Strider

Strider is also a refreshing experience as I also didn’t think I was much of a side-scroller, however after playing just a few levels from Capcom’s new platforming slasher game I think that I’ll be playing more. Strider, which dates back to the 1980′s, has much of the same arcade feeling as the original, just with updated mechanics and graphics.

It is also a throw-back to the design of the original game as the player looks like the same ninja badass that patrons of the series will remember.

All in all Strider is a fun, fast-paced action game that I was considering purchasing, but got lucky as I snagged it for free.

Colourful ninja killing cyborgs and/or robots? SOLD!

Colourful ninja killing cyborgs and/or robots? SOLD!

Saw

Aidan

Last week I finally managed to track down a physical copy of one of the Saw games. Although based on the events of the films, Saw 2 Flesh and Blood follows hitherto unknown characters. The majority of the game’s eight chapters involve solving several small puzzles in order to free someone from a larger contraption.

The series’ trademark gore is front and centre with many of the torture devices from the movies making appearances. But the true nature of the game is that of a puzzler. While some are really quite devilish and a pleasure to tackle, others are a bit bland. Floor puzzles are used quite a bit and can be more tiring than trying.

Ultimately, though, using Tobin Bell (Jigsaw) to reprise his role in this game is what makes it. “I want to play a game” became the films’ notable quotable and for Zombie Studios to replicate the ominous spirit of the antagonist was a treat.

Ironically, he looks like some kind of hideous puppet in the game

Ironically, he looks like some kind of hideous puppet in the game

Thief

Senior Stiv

This week has mostly filled with the same stuff I’ve been playing. I’ve mostly been spending my time playing the new Thief. This is the first game I’ve played in the series and thus far I’m enjoying it. Exploring the City is an absolute blast and stealing every last bit of loot using the games great stealth mechanics makes you feel like a true thief in the night.

Honestly, I feel like I could skip the story though. I don’t care much about what’s happening between Erin and Garrett. I just move it forward so I can progress Garrett’s skills and equipment, as well as opening up more of the City to explore. Also, every side mission and side storyline are much more entertaining.

Source: http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/6/66964/2446850-bdyifg3ohba.jpg

Some kind of joke about Batman…

Other than that I’ll be diving into the Destiny Beta this weekend. I may disappear for a little while.

 

Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen

Wilson Tang

I’ve been casually playing League of Legends and have been on and off ever since I started. I’ve also been playing some NeoTokyo (a popular Half-life 2 mod created 5 years ago) lately which recently released. It’s some mindless fun and it helps me get away from the MOBA scene.

There are recent games which I have been contemplating buying and playing ever since they released earlier this year. But being a college student I have to manage my money carefully.

I’ve also downloaded Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen, And I’m happy to breathe life into my PSVita once more, as it has been wedged between boxes in my room cold and neglected. It’s your standard ninja fair, running about and diving from roof top to roof top, but I also like how cliché the story is turning out to be. The gadgets and gear you acquire are fun to use as well as the rag doll physics present in this game which provide a comedic aspect to the gameplay. The combat could have uses with a bit of tweaking.

Source: http://img.vidaextra.com/2011/12/201211_shinobido2.jpg

Although I’m sure face explosions make up for it

 

Saints Row IV

KRS 2

I finished playing Saints Row IV and the two DLC packs (‘Enter the Dominatrix’ and ‘How the Saints Saved Christmas’) and have already started playing again as a female character. I would say it’s probably easier than Saint Row the Third but it is still a blast to play and gets a massive recommendation from me.

However, lately I have found myself playing Burrito Bison whenever I’m supposed to be doing important things (like writing these paragraphs). It’s a free flash game you can play here and… well just read the comic below for the description…

Source: http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/archives/comic/this-weeks-comic-is-about-why-this-weeks-comic-is-late

Source: http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/archives/comic/this-weeks-comic-is-about-why-this-weeks-comic-is-late

That was more or less my experience with the game. Enjoy!

What games have you been playing? Have you found yourself dangerously addicted to flash games? Let us know in the comments!

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Ubisoft’s AirMech Arena Goes Into Closed Betahttp://www.nonfictiongaming.com/news/ubisofts-airmech-arena-goes-closed-beta-14785/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ubisofts-airmech-arena-goes-closed-beta http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/news/ubisofts-airmech-arena-goes-closed-beta-14785/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:05:57 +0000 http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/?p=14785 Ubisoft and Carbon Games have announced that AirMech Arena will go into closed beta from July 23rd on Xbox 360. AirMech Arena is an online real-time strategy game set in a “war-torn future” players get to pilot transforming robots called AirMechs. As players conquer fortresses, they unlock powerful units, pilots, items and AirMechs and can customise their armies […]





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Airmech Arena Ubisoft

Ubisoft and Carbon Games have announced that AirMech Arena will go into closed beta from July 23rd on Xbox 360.

AirMech Arena is an online real-time strategy game set in a “war-torn future” players get to pilot transforming robots called AirMechs. As players conquer fortresses, they unlock powerful units, pilots, items and AirMechs and can customise their armies to fit their personal gameplay preferences.

AirMech Arena

Upon full launch, the game will be free to play for all Xbox Live Gold accounts on the Xbox 360.

Xbox 360 owners can sign up to play the beta of the action real-time strategy game through the official AirMech Arena website. An account for Ubisoft’s Uplay service is required to take part. The closed beta will run from July 23-29.

In addition to unlockable units, pilots and items, AirMech Arena also features single-player and multiplayer modes. AirMech Arena‘s cooperative and competitive modes allow teams of two-to-three players to play with friends while defending bases against enemies.

AirMech Arena

The game is expected to launch on Xbox 360 sometime in the next few months. The original AirMech is available on Steam in Early Access and as a direct download for Windows and Chrome.

Players interested in participating can sign up now at airmecharena.com.

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Mass Effect Garrus in Doctor Who?http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/offtopic/mass-effect-garrus-doctor-14777/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mass-effect-garrus-doctor http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/offtopic/mass-effect-garrus-doctor-14777/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 09:28:25 +0000 http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/?p=14777 Doctor Who fans got a look at the upcoming season during the half-time break of the World Cup final. Some fans believe they may have seen an old friend. There are a score of wacky CGI aliens to choose from but the one that stood out to gamers is this familiar looking face The robot alien […]





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Doctor Who fans got a look at the upcoming season during the half-time break of the World Cup final. Some fans believe they may have seen an old friend.

There are a score of wacky CGI aliens to choose from but the one that stood out to gamers is this familiar looking face

Garrus in Doctor Who

The robot alien seen only for a moment has quite the resemblance to Normandy member; Garrus Vakarian of the Mass Effect series.

It’s unclear if this is intentional or just some kind of inspiration bleed-over effect. Perhaps the monster designer over at the BBC has been spending too much time on BioWare games. Look it’s probably just coincidence, but it’s a pretty awesome coincidence.

Even the alien’s blue eyes so overtly evoke Garrus’ famous headgear and the helmets the Blue Suns wore.

Doctor Who Garrus Mass Effect

When Doctor Who airs in August, we’ll hopefully get to see more of this alien. Until then, probably don’t jump to any crazy conclusions about a shared world between The Doctor and Commander Shepard.

You can watch the Doctor Who trailer here and decide for yourself.

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Robin, Lucina, Captain Falcon Revealed for Super Smash Broshttp://www.nonfictiongaming.com/news/robin-lucina-captain-falcon-revealed-super-smash-bros-14766/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=robin-lucina-captain-falcon-revealed-super-smash-bros http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/news/robin-lucina-captain-falcon-revealed-super-smash-bros-14766/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 23:17:44 +0000 http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/?p=14766 Earlier this week, Nintendo announced that they would be revealing a new character for Smash Bros. 3DS & Wii U on Tuesday at 00:00am (AEST). Fans of Smash Bros waited with anticipation and speculated who it could be. However Nintendo decided to surprise us with not one, but three new characters to the roster!   Robin […]





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Earlier this week, Nintendo announced that they would be revealing a new character for Smash Bros. 3DS & Wii U on Tuesday at 00:00am (AEST).

Fans of Smash Bros waited with anticipation and speculated who it could be. However Nintendo decided to surprise us with not one, but three new characters to the roster!

 

Robin

Fire Emblem

Image source: http://i48.tinypic.com/308zdy8.jpg

Robin (Both Male and Female variety), one of two lead characters from Fire Emblem: Awakening will be joining the fray. He/She will use a sword and magic combination, keeping in line with his/her abilities from the game. They seem to have gone with the default designs and names since they obviously couldn’t have a customised design as they did in Fire Emblem.

But Robin wasn’t the only exciting announcement for fans of Fire Emblem because…

 

Lucina

Lucina Fire Emblem Smash Bros

Lucina will also be a part of the Super Smash Bros. team and is a fellow character from Fire Emblem: Awakening. She seems to have a move set extremely similar to Marth, so we can expect a lot of fast swordplay and light footwork. Here’s hoping she differs enough to make her a worthy addition.

Speaking of fast attackers, Nintendo has finally confirmed a favourite Smash Bros. veteran…

 

Captain Falcon

Captain Falcon from Smash Bros Brawl

Captain Falcon as seen in Smash Bros. Brawl

The triumphant return of Captain Falcon! While not unexpected to see the champion of the F-Zero series return, it must be a huge relief for long time fans of the Smash Bros. games to welcome him back to the latest title.

However, the excitement didn’t end with these three characters…

 

Special cameo: Chrom

Chrom Fire Emblem

Chrom, the other lead from Fire Emblem: Awakening also made an appearance during the trailer. There has been some confusion as to whether he was actually a playable character or not, but after multiple viewing of the reveal trailer it is safe to assume he is NOT playable (though this is yet to be confirmed).

It seems Chrom will only appear for a dual attack during Robin’s final smash. While it is a little disappointing for some fans, it is probably for the best to not have 5 sword wielding Fire Emblem veterans in Smash Bros.

 

What do you think of the latest characters revealed for Smash Bros.? Are you planning to use any of them? Let us know in the comments!

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What Games Are On Your ‘Pile of Shame’?http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/offtopic/games-pile-shame-14747/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=games-pile-shame http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/offtopic/games-pile-shame-14747/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:41:48 +0000 http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/?p=14747 The Non-Fiction Gaming crew could no doubt make a very impressive gaming library out of their piles of shame. A Pile of Shame is made up of games you want to finish but just never got around to it. We all have games that we got in a Steam Sale or a Humble Bundle that were […]





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The Non-Fiction Gaming crew could no doubt make a very impressive gaming library out of their piles of shame.

Pile of Shame is made up of games you want to finish but just never got around to it. We all have games that we got in a Steam Sale or a Humble Bundle that were just extras fattening up the game library.

Every gamer has one. Their dreaded Pile of Shame, sitting somewhere in their house gathering dust and breeding guilt in the back of their minds.

Whether a fan of Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo or the PC, we all have at least 2 or 3 games (perhaps 45… or 102 if you use Steam).

...I wouldn't know anything about that

…I wouldn’t know anything about that

And we all say that we’ll get around to them some day so that it wasn’t a wasted purchase… But then we buy a new game like Transistor and feel a sense of shame and dread as we fork over the money for yet another title.

This week the Non-Fiction Gaming crew shares some of their guilt with you.

 

Alone in the Dark

Aidan

During the holiday period, when there are massive pre-owned sales, I’ve certainly picked up a few games I’m yet to play. But there is one game that takes the cake as far as my games of shame go: Alone in the Dark (Wii).

Source: http://pics.mobygames.com/images/covers/large/1269023257-00.jpg

From what I hear,you are very rarely alone OR in the dark anyway

As a remake of a reasonably successful horror game, Alone in the Dark seemed like a fun sort of game to play – until you actually play it. The opening sequence forces you to blink (down d-pad) every so often or it blurs the screen in such a way it made me feel physically nauseous. From then on it’s a series of decidedly “meh” controls and almost painfully obvious happenstances.

I’ve tried to play Alone in the Dark twice. Once when I purchased it and that playthrough lasted all of 30 minutes. Then, a few years later, I gave it another go. Stuck with it a little longer before giving up entirely.

Now it sits on my shelf, taunting me with the knowledge I actually paid money for it.

 

The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind

Senior Stiv

There are quite a few games on my pile of shame, but I’ll get to a few of the more specific ones.

Despite being a huge Elder Scrolls fan I have, yet to finish Morrowind. Yes I know it’s considered the best in the series, but for some reason or another I could never keep myself in it to continue playing.

Part of it was the layers of complexity it offers compared to Oblivion and Skyrim. Things like the way your movement decides which way your weapon swings and the extra slow walking pace didn’t really encourage me to keep playing. I may need to practice some patience and just slog through the slow parts to get to the good stuff.

Source: http://xboxsuperghost.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/morrowind_screenshots_0.jpg

Good stuff like skeletons performing Mexican waves

As far as more recent games go it’s been difficult to keep up with Transistor. It has a great story and gameplay, as well as an intricate upgrade system to use, but for some reason it’s landed on the back burner.

This is mostly because I’ve been playing the new Thief. I recently played more of it last night and starting to get some of the ways to combine powers and attacking, so hopefully this one won’t land on my pile of shame. Hopefully.

 

Final Fantasy XIII

KRS 2

Ah my pile of shame is quite extensive and spans multiple generations, all the way back to the Nintendo 64. But I suppose we should only touch on some of the things in my pile.

Yeah, let's not get into my Steam library...

Yeah, let’s not get into my Steam library…

I started Final Fantasy XIII about 3 years ago I think? I was actually enjoying the game, probably because I was drowning in nothing but shooting games and anything felt like a breath of fresh air.

However, the game was incredibly linear and for 30 hours I was basically walking down a long path. Then the second I was given the ability to actually explore the world, I basically freaked out and stopped playing because I had gotten so used to having so little choice in navigation.

I almost screamed at the phrase “side-quest” and ran out of the room having been trained to walk a one way path for so long.

 

And the Rest…

Then there is the truckload of games I’ve bought and plan to play but just haven’t gotten around to yet.

Just to name a few I have: Skyrim, because I loved Fallout 3 but I’m terrified to start it in case I lose another 200 hours to Bethesda; Super Mario Galaxy, because it seems to be the best Mario game made in the last decade and it really deserves to be played; Journey, since it’s supposed to be beautiful and I loved Flower and FlOw; Mass Effect 2 & 3, because I played through the first one and enjoyed it (even if the graphics are horribly dated and all the character look likes corpses converted into horrifying marionettes).

Source: http://www.rayman-fanpage.de/rayman_origins/grafik_screens/RaymanOrigins_002.jpg

Don’t look at me like that Rayman… I’ll finish you someday!

There is more but all you really need to know is that I could write a novel about games I either plan to play, or games I abandoned while swearing “I’ll get back to it!”

Borderlands 2

Dan

I just want to go on record and say I’ve been trying really hard to make this list smaller. I look at a game I’ve made a solid effort on in the past and try and get back in the saddle. It’s a busy life trying to keep up with the latest games. Some little buggers get left behind.

Steam Pile of Shame

Yet I still find time to keep playing FTL

There are two I’m most ashamed of sitting in my Steam library judging me. I played what feels like a lot of Borderlands 2. Steam tells me it was 10 hours…

I had a great time running around with friends, getting loot and shooting Face McShooty in the face. I loved Handsome Jack and all the other colourful characters Pandora had to offer.

Something happened and Borderlands 2 was no longer on rotation. It’s a game I still want to revisit, especially because Senior Stiv has been writing an awesome Borderlands 2 quest guide here on Non-Fiction Gaming.

The Vault will probably be waiting a long time though. As ashamed as I am that this game remains unfinished in my pile, it’s going to have to wait a little longer.

 

Bastion

There are only a few games that have brought friends of mine close to tears. The Walking Dead, To The Moon and Bastion have all come highly recommended to me as games that pull on the heart strings. I’ve knocked out the first two and enjoyed every emotionally charged moment they brought.

Bastion

He’s waiting for me

Bastion has much to recommend it like great music, narrative and art style. For some reason it also just drifted away. Writing this makes me want me to pick up where I left off with “The Kid” and see through the story to its end.

With a game like this, you need to be in the right mood. Unless approached in the right headspace I feel like I might waste Bastion’s storytelling potential.

 

What games sit on your shelves unfinished and unloved? Let us know in the comments!

There must be a few unfinished games that give you pangs of guilt whenever you see them or they come up in conversation. If you’re anything like us, there are a few games you’ve started with all the intention of finishing…

 

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Alpha & Omega: Make Your Pokemon Secret Bases Like A Gymhttp://www.nonfictiongaming.com/news/alpha-omega-pokemon-secret-bases-14706/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=alpha-omega-pokemon-secret-bases http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/news/alpha-omega-pokemon-secret-bases-14706/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 01:00:26 +0000 http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/?p=14706 Pokemon Secret Bases = confirmed! It has been 11 years since we first journeyed to Hoenn, and our return trip should be just as amazing as the last! Poke-fans should expect a revamped story, a reimagined Hoenn, new features carried over from Pokemon X & Y, and some super ‘Secret’ surprises! For those unaware, Secret Bases appeared in […]





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Pokemon Secret Bases = confirmed!

pokemon-omega-ruby-alpha-sapphire-secret-base02

It has been 11 years since we first journeyed to Hoenn, and our return trip should be just as amazing as the last! Poke-fans should expect a revamped story, a reimagined Hoenn, new features carried over from Pokemon X & Y, and some super ‘Secret’ surprises!

For those unaware, Secret Bases appeared in the original Sapphire and Ruby as a fort that trainers could decorate and personalize but sadly they were never to be seen again – that changes now!

pokemon-omega-ruby-alpha-sapphire-secret-base03

Pokemon secret bases are back

In the spirit of improvement Nintendo has started to amp up the Secret Bases in Pokemon Alpha and Omega, essentially turning them into a trainer’s own personal Pokemon gym! Players can choose the battle rules, the themes, and the types of Pokemon that interlopers will do battle with in their Secret Base.

From the images here, it seems budding Pokemon trainers will have a huge number of decorations to choose from. This will be good news for those wanting to impress their StreetPass friends with both interior decorating and Pokemon battle skills.

Pokemon Secret Bases StreetPass friends

Street Pass Friends

When you visit another player’s Secret Base you’ll find all the members of that Base hanging out, ready to have a chat or a battle! Flag your friends as ‘Secret Pals’ and you can continue to have Pokemon battles with them. Secret Pals will have “Special Skills” that you can take advantage of on your Pokemon journey, these include sharing new decorations, speeding up the hatching of a Pokemon Egg, or levelling up a chosen Pokemon.

The more Secret Pals you have the more special skills are available!

Capture the Flag

pokemon-omega-ruby-alpha-sapphire-secret-base05

There is also a really cool ‘capture-the-flag’ element added to the Secret Bases. According to Nintendo if you examine the flag beside the Secret PC in another player’s Secret Base you can capture it!

You can only collect one flag per base so visiting lots of Secret Bases will help you to improve your team’s rank and get rewards, including increasing the skills of your Secret Pals.

pokemon-omega-ruby-alpha-sapphire-secret-base01

Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby are available through pre-order from Amazon for US Gamers and OzGameShop for Aus Gamers.

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Atelier Rorona Plus Reviewhttp://www.nonfictiongaming.com/reviews/atelier-rorona-plus-14722/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=atelier-rorona-plus http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/reviews/atelier-rorona-plus-14722/#comments Sat, 12 Jul 2014 08:31:08 +0000 http://www.nonfictiongaming.com/?p=14722 What if I told you not every JRPG had to tell the story of a young hero chosen by destiny to save the world from evil? Or that a JRPG is allowed to tell a much smaller and personal story with characters you don’t have to take seriously? Welcome to Atelier Rorona Plus!  A refreshingly […]





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What if I told you not every JRPG had to tell the story of a young hero chosen by destiny to save the world from evil? Or that a JRPG is allowed to tell a much smaller and personal story with characters you don’t have to take seriously?

Welcome to Atelier Rorona Plus!  A refreshingly light and upbeat JRPG following the exploits of the alchemist Rorona. As the name implies, this is a remastering of the original Atelier Rorona and vastly improves the visuals, upgrades the crafting system and adds new playable characters to the roster. But how does the game hold up?

Atelier Rorona Plus LOGO

Mixing it up

Atelier Rorona Plus is an interesting JRPG as it bucks many trends of the genre. As mentioned above, it forgoes an epic tale for a much simpler goal. Rorona is an apprentice in the local alchemy store which is on the verge of being shut down. However the King is kind enough to give the shop a chance to prove it’s actually an asset to the kingdom and Rorona has 3 years to turn the business around.

"Yup. This new sign ought to do the trick"

“Yup. This new sign ought to do the trick”

 

It’s here where our adventure begins. Rorona will receive an assignment roughly every three month, meaning a total of twelve assignments to complete for the kingdom before the game ends. These will include using alchemy to craft weaponry, healing items and food, or hunting troublesome monsters in nearby areas.

You can also unlock extra rewards by completing additional objectives and side quests. The various side quests are mostly alchemy related and increase you reputation around town and affinity with certain residents, resulting in better opportunities to make money and discounts from the stores or when hiring help.

The assignment structure of the narrative is quite refreshing because while the goals will remain static over the course of the three month period, how you use your time is completely up to you. You can focus exclusively on completing the assignments to get a great rating, or focus on side quests to improve your affinity with the town and get monetary rewards.

Given that the ending of the game is influenced by how well assignments are completed and your relationship with the town, it means your decisions have a lot of weight and you’ll soon find yourself carefully thinking about how to allocate your time.

Do I need cabbage soup!? I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER ANYMORE!

Do I need cabbage soup!? I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER ANYMORE!

Everything that Rorona does in the game will deplete precious time you need to complete assignments. Crafting anything with alchemy, healing yourself with sleep and exploring dungeons for ingredients eat away the limited amount of days you have. By doing this, Atelier Rorona Plus dispenses with the combat focus of most JRPGs in favour of time and resource management, not unlike what you might experience in Harvest Moon.

 

So kawaii…

Atelier Rorona Plus has gorgeous character design. Every single non-NPC character Rorona interacts with has a highly detailed anime style. The girls tend to wear very pretty dresses with cute accessories and frills while the boys wear very sharp uniforms that would make anybody swoon.

Aww yeah. I'd hit that.

Aww yeah. I’d hit that.

The characters themselves are quite entertaining to watch. As mentioned earlier, the game doesn’t take itself too seriously so the people tend to be more fun, making jokes at each other’s expense. They do tend to fill a lot of tropes familiar to any anime fan and may turn off some players. For example, Rorona is the naïve and sometimes stupid lead character who is kind and earnest to a fault.

There are many more characters but clichéd or not, I found the cast enjoyable enough to continue playing the game to see what new people I would get to meet and what dynamics they would add to the ensemble.

The voice acting is quite good and all the actors project whatever emotion their characters have quite well, which helped absorb me into Rorona’s story. The soundtrack conveys the games lighter tone effectively. The town themes are warm and relaxing to listen to as you explore the city or craft in Rorona’s workshop. However the battle music is terrible, but this is forgivable since you will be spending minimal amounts of time in combat.

Did I mention the character designs are pretty?

Did I mention the character designs are pretty?

While the dungeons are varied as you explore forests, caves, tombs and lakes, the designs are quite bland and boring with mostly linear paths and simplistic detail. Luckily they also have branching paths and hidden areas to help break up the monotony as you will be revisiting most areas multiple times.

 

Crafty Business

Of course, as you might expect from a game about an alchemist, Atelier Rorona Plus has quite a sophisticated crafting system that stands out. As the game progresses, you will collect recipes that will yield a huge variety of items. You can craft: weaponry and offensive items such as bombs to assist you in battle; healing items to keep your characters in tip top shape; accessories and armour to customise your characters; or even key ingredients used to make other items.

There is a lot of room to experiment with alchemy as well since the ingredients you use will affect the quality of the items, increasing or decreasing their selling price and effectiveness. Most ingredients will carry positive and negative traits which will also affect the usefulness of the things you make, boosting attack power or reducing durability.

A bomb with exploding spikes can mean devastation to your enemies

A bomb with exploding spikes can mean devastation to your enemies!

Though the alchemy is quite absorbing, you will largely ignore the intricacies early in the game as enemies are quite easy to dispatch and no strategy is needed to defeat them. However, as you progress and the monsters become more sophisticated and assignment requirements become more demanding, the importance of the traits and qualities of your healing and offensive items will become apparent.

This works in the games favour as the alchemy system can seem daunting at first. But by easing players into it with simple tasks they can slowly learn the complexities.

I'm not sure I want my stew to be alive though...

I’m not sure I want my stew to be alive though…

Overall Verdict 8/10

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Atelier Rorona Plus is a refreshing JRPG which eases players into its deep item crafting system before steadily increasing the difficulty. Its assignment structure to the narrative gives players a good degree of freedom as you interact with beautifully designed characters. It is only let down by clichéd character traits and bland dungeon design.

Keep in mind this game has niche appeal, so only anime lovers or fans of JRPGs looking for something different should buy this game. Anyone who has played Recettear: An Item Shops Tale should check this game out, as well as fans of Harvest Moon or similar games.

 

Atelier Rorona Plus is available now on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita with cross save functionality.

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