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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Review

Posted by Shadowfox364 on September 6, 2015 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)



Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the magnum opus of Hideo Kojima has finally been released and my God is it amazing there is absolutely so much to cover in this review honestly I’m afraid I’m going to have to swap discs after this one. In this review I will divide the game’s various elements (Story, Gameplay, Graphics /Sound) and score them F to S. (F 0 - 59) (D 60- 69) (C 70 - 79) (B 80 – 89) (A 90 – 99) (S 100).

 

Story: (note spoilers ahead) MGS V TPP is set 9 years after the events of Ground Zeroes, Big Boss(Snake) awakens from a 9 year coma following the destruction of his base of operations disguised as an “United Nations inspection” turning out to be Cypher’s unit XOF lead by the mysterious Skull Face. Once Snake awakens he finds he is missing his left arm and Cypher wants him dead, thanks to the help of Ishmael, a man who supposedly watched over Big Boss during his coma. When Ishmael and Snake try to escape they’re ambushed by Cypher Soldiers and two mysterious figures, one resembling a young Psycho Mantis and the other resembling Colonel Volgin from MGS 3 Snake Eater except having unexplained fire powers. Once Boss escapes he is reunited with Ocelot, whom he had met and fought against during Operation Snake Eater. After a chase from Volgin on his flame unicorn (yes a flame unicorn that is a thing), Ocelot informs Snake that Miller has been captured in Afghanistan and has approximately 3 days to rescue him; being fitted with a myoelectric prosthetic arm Big Boss sets out to rescue Miller to find him with one of his arms and legs removed, once rescued Snake and Miller arrive at their new Mother Base and start planning revenge against Cypher and XOF recruiting members old and new along the way. Story Score: A+ (95/100).

 

Gameplay: Phantom Pain is set in a huge open-world, players will be able to go anywhere in the game world via horseback, vehicle, running, and chopper (restricted to various landing zones), before every mission you will be taken to a load-out screen where you can select what gear, buddy, character, you will be taking on your missions; you are restricted to 2 main weapons, 1 secondary and your bionic arm, 8 support weapons (explosives mostly) and 7 items(boxes, cigars, etc..). You are also restricted to one buddy out at a time, but can be changed out during missions via support drops. The game plays exactly like Ground Zeroes, enemy AI will learn attempt to learn your strategies and arrange unit structure around their structures. You can now extract minerals such as diamonds, metals, and various resources to help further construct Mother Base structures or even have your R&D team develop new gear for Snake, and buddy characters. Fulton recovery returns from Peace Walker, but this time it’s more efficient, you will now be able to extract weapon emplacements, vehicles, storage containers, and even animals. Unlike in Peace Walker, Mother Base is fully explorable and can be customized to your preference; even while on a mission you can adjust Mother Base settings, build new platforms, adjust team members(once extracted they will be automatically put in the team that best suits them). New to the series is FOB missions, these are part of the online integration of The Phantom Pain, players will be able to infiltrate other’s Mother Bases, once they infiltrated them, they will be able to steal other players resources, soldiers, weapon emplacements, etc., it is your job as the opposing player to prevent them from obtaining any of your resources or soldiers, and vice-versa. When using first-person mode either via binoculars or aiming, you can mark an enemy and pin-point where they are on the map, as you progress you can upgrade your binoculars to analyze enemies and figure out where they’re best suited for Mother Base, along with even knowing what they’re proficient at. Gameplay Score S (100/100)

 

Graphics and Sound: Phantom Pain is beautiful, everything about the level design to the character models is just purely amazing, running off the Fox Engine created solely for this game in mind, the game looks great on last-gen and current, few textural differences, but nothing to take points off of. The game’s soundtrack is jam-packed with an incredible 80s soundtrack with songs like “Kids of America”, “Rebel Yell”, “Final Countdown” plus the ability to import your own songs into the game; nothing is more sensational than hearing Ninja Sex Party’s “Everybody Shut Up (I have an Erection)” when your chopper is coming to deliver air support or picking you up. I have to say though the weakest part of the sound definitely has to be Kiefer Sutherland as Snake, while he is a good choice as the character, the fact that he is now more of a silent protagonist, with a few spoken lines just feels like a minor waste of talent to me. Graphics and Sound Score A (94/100)

 

Replayability- Phantom Pain has so much to do in it, a whopping 257 missions in the game, main and side-op, each mission has at least 3 to 7 optional objectives that encourage players to go back and figure out how to complete them usually they’re prisoner extraction, destroying communications towers, gathering blueprints for supplies. They aren’t necessary for completing missions, but do add a bit of fun and enjoyment to the player. Replayability Score A+(95/100)

 

Controls- Controls are pretty straight forward and have pretty much stayed the same throughout the Metal Gear saga, the Y/Triangle buttons act as your action, right trigger acts as the attack(CQC) and if pressed while holding the left trigger you will be able to fire your weapon, clicking the left stick while holding it will allow you to dash, pressing X/Square will do a quick dive, A/X will change your stance, B/Circle lets you grab unconscious enemies, reload your weapon, etc; the D-pad lets you change between your gear, the Start/Options buttons let you access your iDroid, Select/Share will pause it(note using the iDroid will not pause the game.). Pressing the left bumper will enable you to contact Ocelot and Miller for advice, and the right bumper will is first-person mode making it so you can mark enemies and analyze them. Controls Score S (100/100)

 

Final Score- A+(96.8/100) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the closing to the series that we deserved for the longest time, its dark themes fit the game, and absolutely is great way to celebrate the legacy Hideo Kojima brought to us. Konami thought they could remove the name, despite it being literally in every mission credit, but you can’t get rid of the legacy.

 


Donkey Kong Country

Posted by Mario (RPGfan2005) on September 5, 2015 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)


Donkey Kong Country was indeed ahead of its time. The incredible graphics, the music, the levels, and more. Chosen by our members at LCGK as the retro game of the week. If you have not tried this game yet, either because you are too young, or been lost in all of the virtual console marketplace. Check it out. Or if you have in the past, revisit it one joyful afternoon and play it with a friend. Still nostalgic and as challenging as it was back in the day.

if you want to vote on the next Retro Game of the Week, please register in the members section and visit us on our Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lcgameknights/

Guild Wars 2 Review

Posted by Mario (RPGfan2005) on August 31, 2015 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)


This week we have

"Guild Wars 2" by ArenaNet

Genre: MMO, RPG

Release Date: August, 28, 2012.

This game is definitely revolutionizing the MMO genre and has exceeded my expectations. I have never been able to get into any MMO in my life. Defiance? no... WoW? no... Knights of The Old Republic? no... City of Heroes and Villans? no... But Guild Wars 2 (GW2).... it's different. It throws everything that makes a single player, epic, RPG on a console or PC amazingly great. Now what's better than living an amazing single player RPG experience? Sharing it with your friends and comrades in battle. So take a ride with me, as we take a closer look at GW2

----GAMEPLAY---- 8/10

This might be the only department somewhat lacking IMO for GW2. The game let's you customize your own set of skills based on the equipped weapon(s) you have. Each of the 8 professions has it's own set of limitations and skills even if it is the same weapon. For example, using a short bow with a ranger profession is totally different than using a short bow with a thief profession. The variety of skills and perks for each profession is astounding, even somewhat overwhelming. However, once you play around enough, and find the set of skills that you are most comfortable with; the game starts getting monotonous. almost a "button smasher" if you will call it that.

However, the game is so good at keeping the gameplay interesting. Platforming levels known as Jumping Puzzles, PvP, Server vs Server epic battles known as World vs World, and smaller mini games known as Activities in the open world. A huge, immersive, and certainly overwhelming crafting system to craft your heart out. Even though each of these fun gameplay mechanics offer rewards and definitely worth your time and effort. We all know we want to get rich with virtual currency as fast as possible, when the game demands you to fight and fight and fight monsters over and over to get gold fast and partnering up with people makes this easier, it is still at the end of the day, press keys 1, then 2, then maybe 4, then 3, then 5 and wait until it cools down. World Bosses and Mini Bosses may demand more specific timing and great coreography from your team. But those are less than 1% off all the battles you will be involved in.

All in all, the gameplay is more enjoyable with friends, and it makes breezing through grinding for gold less of a chore. It is, an MMO, after all. So make some friends quick and join a guild! maybe ours? Las Cruces Game Knights Guild in Guild Wars 2

----GRAPHICS---- 10/10

Since it is a PC game, the graphics are limited to your computer's power. My computer lacks heavily in this department, when I set it to the highest setting it lags and frame skips to no avail. So my graphics rating would have been low if I had just judged it on that. However, I had the pleasure of watching it run on a state of the art gaming pc with a kickass graphics card. My jaw dropped and I was up to my neck in jelly. The environment, the character models, and the enemies were popping out of the screen. The fog, the lighting, and the water effects are lifelike. The graphics are so amazing, this is the only reason why I am saving up to either upgrade my PC's gfx card or get a full blown gaming PC. So you must experience the sights yourself.

----MUSIC---- 9/10

The music is amazing. Even from the character/title screen you hear the epic rendition kick in, and you know you are in for greatness, and the hype increases. The cues for the music when you enter battle, start a boss fight, or begin a mission quest is just immersive and well fitting. The reason why it doesn't get a perfect 10. is the same department the gameplay is lacking. monotonous. Once you go through the entire soundtrack, you will probably disable the music and play your own jams while keeping the sound effects on. Now I am talking about months and months of being immersed in an MMO RPG. It wont get old quick that's for sure. It just takes the right amount of times you have heard the same song.

As far as the sound effects go; grunts, shots, explosions, growls, flying arrows and everything in between is crisp and solid.

----CONTROLS----- 7/10

Tank controls.... ugh... At first this was my biggest gripe. I had to buy Xpadder to use a Xbox 360 or PS3 controller buttons as my keys after much programming and downloading software. Got used to them quick and the PS3 and 360 controllers helped tremendously. This however is just to get your brain used to the controls. Once I got to the complicated and precise jumps in Jumping Puzzles, and the trick moves and maneuvers of PvP, I had to ditch the controller. There just isnt enough buttons and keys on a standard controller to get everything correctly. the strafing, the roll dodging, the skill combinations... The list goes on. The PS3 and 360 are acceptable and usable for the majority of the monotonous grinding and monster killing, for other things, get used to the lovely keyboard.

----STORY---- 10/10

Elder Dragons!? rehashed old story??? No. The Lore of GW2 is deep, like really deep. While many RPGs make it so YOU are the hero, this is not the case. There are many heroes and we all partner up to help the chosen one. an NPC...? Trahearne is destined to be the world's greatest leader among the greatest leaders. I don't know about many other players' opinion, but it is nice to see a different side of the chosen hero's story from a different angle.

Story missions are mostly in instances where you and 4 other players of your optional party have to work together a la' Fable 3 style. One player is the one leading the story, while the others can faintly interact with the environment of the mission. The purpose? to make the fighting sections of the story a heck of a lot easier as a group. Once the story is complete, you can choose to have this affect your story as well, or do it your own way on your own time. The experience is shared but not the loot unless you accept the story progress.

The living world concept of the constant updates in story makes this something you can easily dive into and care about all these characters, and become a historian expert on all the world of Tyria has to offer.

----REPLAYABILITY----10/10

For a game developer who claims this is a living breathing world, they weren't kidding. At first I was afraid many aspects of the open world or certain boss fights, events, or items would be gone once that part of the "living world" is gone. This is not the case the majority of the time. While there have been updates and certain items and areas of the world are no longer accessible this does not happen often at all. With the ability to purchase the season of the story missions you missed, while this might seem like a way to get your money, if you stick with GW2 you get to experience the world change and the story missions become available to you. Almost like reverse DLC. The longer you have the game the more missions you get, while if you jump in late in a season storyline, you have to purchase the previous chapters. This is the exact opposite of how a loyal player buys a game at launch and has had to purchase all dlc and character packs since the beginning, then get slapped in the face when the bundled edition of a game comes out with everything with a lower price later on.

There are daily missions and activities to do. As well as achievements to unlock and complete once you beat all the story missions. And unlike gamerpoint achievements and trophies from Microsoft and Sony. Your achievement points can help you unlock some of the coolest and best gear in the game, as well as increase your currency percentage intake and gems to use in the cash (gem) store without ever having to spend a dollar. So replaying the story mission to get the achievements and getting your daily log in rewards is worth at least 5 minutes of your time. Now that my friends... is true replayability.

----GEM STORE AND CURRENCY---- 10/10

Microtransactions have been made popular in recent years due to mobile gaming, and when I first saw the "no subscription fee" label everyone was talking about. I thought there had to be a catch... how I was wrong. I mentioned the fact you could be awarded gems for free just by getting your achievement score high enough, as well as all the gold in the game exchanged for gems depending on how the gem market is at the time. All of this meaning, you can purchase and get every single item in the store without ever having to type in your credit card information. And with the percentage of gold earn increased just being doing your daily log in and achievement score, the more you play the more you earn.

Gems and Gold are just the tip of the iceberg in GW2. There's over 15 different currencies for different items and gear. Available only in certain areas, and only obtainable in certain ways. I love the example Extra Credits on YouTube said a while back. GW2 nails their currency and inflation balancing perfectly. Watch their video here.

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----OVERVIEW----10/10

GW2 has been out for a while now, and in that time Arena Net has proven that it is leading the world of MMOs and microtransactions as well as great story telling and gameplay variety. before this game was only $60 away to add to your collection. But now that it is free to play, there's no excuse. If your PC can handle it. you must get it! now! and don't forget to join our Guild!

- By Mario Sauceda LCGK President

South Park: The Stick of Truth Review

Posted by LaTN_AssAssN on March 7, 2014 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Oh South Park...just when I thought I had seen it all, you find some way to surprise me still. South Park: The Stick of Truth is the long awaited title from South Park Studios and Obsidian Entertainment. Now for the most part, port games (games that take their influences from Movies/ TV/ Comics etc.) have had the unfortunate distinction of generally SUCKING due to either poor budgets or lackluster development (or both in some cases...those are the one's you just want to forget altogether). So when THE creators of South Park stated their intent to create a port of their own, with an emphasis on RPG elements, skepticism is the nicest word that came to many of minds. As this review will show however, between the long running experience of South Park Studios, and the RPG pedigree behind Obsidian Entertainment, the game was 'Destined for  Glory'...here's my Review:

STORY (A)

The Story starts out with you creating your initial character, which even with the 'limitations' of the 2D mechanics of the world, felt pretty robust in choices and options for making the perfect South Park version of yourself. When your character is complete, you start out in the world as 'The New Kid' in town...well Cartman gives you another nickname early in the game and UNFORTUNATELY it sticks he he he...get it...STICKS...STICK OF TRUTH...

...what...fine...

anyway as you leave your parents to go explore the town, you encounter everyone's FAVORITE punching bag Butters getting beat up yet again, and it's up to you to save him. This in turn leads you into the Live Action Role Playing Game all the boys in town are playing, and so it becomes your turn to join in. I don't want to spoil too many of the details, but from class creation, to the tutorial, to calling on your first summons and using your first 'magic' power, South Park TSOT has no problem with keep true to the material, just to put it mildly. Hell the ENTIRE game just felt like a giant FANGASM of content from various seasons that even those who may not have seen all of the episodes or haven't watched in years will still be able to recognize props and scenarios dotted throughout the game. Which leads to ONE negative side with respect to the story, and that is if you've never watched nor NEVER liked South Park, then this game won't be changing your mind anytime soon. This game was built for fans, make no mistake about it.

GAMEPLAY (A+)

Now for those of you not familiar with the works of Obsidian Entertainment...GET OFF OF THIS PAGE NOW!!!

...

...

...I'll wait...

...Ok I think it's clear. Now for the rest of you, this should come as no shock that Obsidian with its long list of successful titles was more than able to step up to the daunting challenge of a South Park RPG. From their impressive structure of the Turn-Based battle mechanics, to the deep level of customization in the forms of upgrades, perks and stat boosts, Obsidian managed to find the niche between user friendly gaming and RPG-centric quality.

 

TECH STUFF (Audio/Visual) (A)

South Park TSOT is not simply a game, it is in every way, shape, and form a fully interactive South Park episode. SO many details that are just South Park in design lend to the feeling of being in the show from start to finish (even when you reload a save, the sound the show makes when you come back from commercials helps out with the experience). The music before, during, and after battle lends to the epic feel of braving the unknown with nothing but your buddy Butters by your side (which honestly in this game is not that bad).

Visually speaking, the game stays true to the 2D environment the show itself has always been known for. During gameplay however, this 'limitation' was a bit apparent when trying to navigate parts of the world, only to be hindered in some way from progressing and not fully understanding why. This is a minor gripe, and comes with the territory.

 

FINAL JUDGEMENT (A)

Between the history of success in South Park Studios, and the RPG pedigree of Obsidian Entertainment, these two powerhouses managed to sire a game that redefines many misconceptions of what a port game is. At the same time, South Park TSOT also shows us what a port game can become when you have the right developer and the right attention to details. South Park TSOT is an excellent demonstration of turning a Cult Classic into a game that can stand on its own.

 

EXCELSIOR!!!

and so it goes...

KeEp oN RoKn,

[email protected]

Digital vs Physical: The State of Gaming

Posted by LaTN_AssAssN on March 1, 2014 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Sup Outlaws,

So I'm sitting at my desk at work the other day and this guy I work with in front of me is going on and on about how much he loved Titanfall (see article below for my opinion on the game btw). So I asked him if he had pre-ordered the game, which he replied "Of course not. Why should I wait when I can download my digital when it hits on the 11th". As much as I hate giving him credit, it did get me thinking about the state of gaming today.

Now I live a pretty rural area in the southern half of New Mexico and I can honestly say that MOST of my friends still carry physical copies of their beloved games. That said, I have friends around the country, heck around the world, who tell me about how much they love just downloading the digital stuff to their HDD. No muss, no clutter of discs, just pay and play (sometimes not even that if you know what I mean there he he he...just kidding Microsoft / Sony / Nintendo / Anybody else who could sue me...I HAVE RECEIPTS!!!).

Also take into account mobile devices. I can't go TEN [email protected]^# steps in my office without somebody talking about Flappybird. Is it silly, abso-freaking-lutely...but it still falls under the same aspects of gaming. I remember not too long ago when my friends and I couldn't stop talking about Metal Gear Solid at the cafeteria table and how freakin Pyscho Mantis would read what game you played last...it's the same thing, just different times.

Evolution is a force that cannot nor should not be halted. As things grow, they evolve and adapt to their environments, be they physical or social. So gaming itself isn't changing, it is simply adapting to the evolution of technology and how we connect ourselves to the world around us. Will there come a day when physical copies are no longer an option...maybe...but that time will and should come when technology can accommodate for the evolution of its time. So bottom line...I'm still going to be standing in line waiting for my Titanfall and other games (cough*SOUTH PARK*cough cough)

Let me know what you guys think in the comments below

Until next time

KeEp oN RoKN,

[email protected]


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