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Pokémon: The Fourth Dimension


Inspired by the "Pokémon - The Secret Journey" RP Started by Naridar


Credit for the Character of Tobias goes to Shaddow


(Note: Shaddow, if you see this and don't want your character used in the story just tell me and I'll take him right out.)


By Niko DelValle AKA Obrusnine



WAR. War has struck the Averous Region. A plague has been spread among the Pokémon and people of the region, almost always leading to death. This has created a war among the already divided North and South nations of Averous. The Pokemon Professor of the region, Planetree, has been given a blank check by South Averous to try and find a cure. In the meantime, access to starting Pokemon is limited thanks to the plague leaving several aspiring trainers without Pokemon of their own, even though the League continues to run as planned.


In the meantime though, a clandestine criminal group has kidnapped Professor Planetree's daughter and taken her into the North where it is hard to find her, telling him to cease his research or else. For what reason is unclear, but regardless, a few young trainers will have to take up arms in order to save her. The police of the North will not help him because of his alliance with the South, the South won't help because of their lack of influence, and so it is up to Planetree to recruit the trainers he needs in order to help.


These trainers include Cyrus Hayden, an aspiring trainer with a past of suffering looking for a new beginning. Tobias Green, an aspiring trainer influenced by a past accident. Tara Gone, an experienced trainer who has overcome many hardships with her Pokemon. And Erin Red, who has become a trainer in an attempt to overcome the shadow her older brother has set for her.


What they don't realize is that there is more going on then they realize. The clandestine organization may not be who they initially seem to be, Pokémon of myth may be real after all, and their journey may lead them to saving more then just Planetree's daughter.


Find out, in Pokémon: The Fourth Dimension.


Note: This is an AU (Alternate Universe) story. It doesn't take place in either the anime or game universes, but rather a different one that takes inspiration from both sources. This is to make up a more "perfect" version of Pokémon that makes a heck of a lot more sense (in my eyes at least). I may still use characters from either one though, we'll see. There's a lot of information on the Averous region below the map if you're interested.




I'll link chapters here as they are posted.



Chapter 1:

Chapter 2:

Chapter 3:

Chapter 4:

Chapter 5:

Chapter 6:

Chapter 7:




Averous Region – The Averous Region is the north-most region of actual civilization in the world. Dividing the rest of the Atori Continent (a continent separate from the Origin Continent, the location of Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh and separate from the Alpha Continent, the location of Unova and Kalos) from the great Northern Lands where only few people live among the ice and extended dark and light periods. The Averous Region used to be a united land, but two countries have split off offering different ideals. North Averous is heavily religious, with only a few outcast dissidents not preaching to the Grand Four. South Averous relies more on Science and Logic and those worshipping the Grand Four are outcast. This divide has worn down relations over time, and currently North and South Averous are at war due to the break of a plague that the nations blame each other for spreading. The plague, called Planetree Disease, named after the Pokémon professor who discovered it, affects both people and Pokémon and has spread wildly among the wild Pokémon population. In addition, the Averous Region has a lot of ancient historical sites and rotted medieval towers from a time long past. Making it a popular region for Archaeological visits, Anthropologists also have keen interest in the location both due to the history and the existence of the Grand Four religion. In addition, North and South Averous are divided into three sectors each to give each large area an identity.


Averous River – Called such because it runs through the center of the Averous Region.


North Averous - They are highly religious and almost zealot-like worshipping the Grand Four. People who don’t believe in the Grand Four are outcast in the population, including two out of the three Gym Leaders who actually live in the region, and most visiting trainers to their Gyms. Even during war-time, both nations have agreed to leave the Pokémon League mostly intact for trainers who still want to challenge it. Making them diplomatically immune and pledging to protect their safety from war-time conflicts. However, North Averous is resentful of South Averous for being the ones to host the Averous Pokémon League Championships as well as the Elite Four. They are also highly irritated at the denial of their access to the South, where two religious monuments of theirs lie.

South Averous - They are highly scientific and focused on advancement in technology and the understanding of Pokémon. Their heightened focus on logic makes the more religious feel slightly outcast in their society. Though Southerners are more welcoming then Northerners. The Pokémon Professor for the region, Professor Planetree, also lives here just outside of Etios Town which borders the Ergon Forest. They host both the Pokémon League Championships and the Elite Four. They have given Professor Planetree a blank check in funds to research the Planetree Disease and try to make a cure, and to try and find those responsible for its rapid spread, if it is not naturally occurring (which Planetree and the government both doubt). This is a secondary concern for them as they are already set on the North being the responsible party.


The Grand Four – The Grand Four are four legendary Pokémon. There was said to be four of them, one on each of the large mountains present in the Averous Region. They are worshipped as deities as they have never been sighted and are rumored to have been the creator of all Pokémon and people. They are also viewed as taking back the souls they forged upon their death, and then given a new life in the clouds that varies between enjoyment and suffering depending on how they conducted themselves during life. The South believes they exist, though doubts the creationist aspects. They view them as just four extremely powerful Pokémon without any particularly incredible powers of creation.



LANDMARKS (Marked in Yellow on Region Map)


1 – Orias Tower – One of the several aged towers present in the Averous Region from a time long past.


2 – Rocksix Mountain – Rocksix Mountain is one of four mountains rumored to have housed one of the Grand Four. Rocksix is rumored to have been the home of the Steel and Rock type in the Grand Four. All four mountains enjoy regular pilgrimages from worshippers. And it is said that worshippers who don’t pilgrimage up all the mountains at least once during their lifetimes should expect hardship to follow them after their life has reached its end, before being granted their rewards by the Grand Four.


3 – Deserkis Mountain – Deserkis Mountain is one of the four mountains rumored to have housed one of the Grand Four. Deserkis is rumored to have been the home of the Ground and Psychic type in the Grand Four.


4 – Lakeshore Tower – The one tower from medieval Averous, which is within South Averous, which has stood the test of time. It is given regular maintenance by Pokémon League staff as it is now being used to house the Elite Four.


5 – Erishore Tower – One of the several aged towers present in the Averous Region from a time long past.


6 – Firsten Tower – One of the several aged towers present in the Averous Region from a time long past.


7 – Firas Mountain – Firas Mountain is one of the four mountains rumored to have housed one of the Grand Four. What is special about this one is that it is also a currently inactive Volcano. Firas is rumored to have been home of the Fire and Dragon type of the Grand Four. The only rivalry rumored in the Grand Four is between the Firas dragon and its snowy brother in the North, though both were also steadfast friends, they competed in everything.


8 – Snowris Mountain – Snowris Mountain is one of the four mountains rumored to have housed one of the Grand Four. Snowris is rumored to have been the home of the Ice and Dragon type of the Grand Four. The Snowris and Firas Dragons were rumored to have been rivals and friends.


9 – Centris Tower – One of the several aged towers present in the Averous Region from a time long past.


10 – Averous Tower – One of the two towers kept in operation in the North. It is used to store plenty of important religious artifacts, and is also the Tower responsible for offering the Averous Region its name. As the city south of it, Etesan City, was the first established settlement in Averous.


11 – Taskis Tower – One of the several aged towers present in the Averous Region from a time long past.


12 – Snowris Tower – A tower that was built next to Snowris Mountain long ago. An independent company who supports the spread of Pokémon contests to most regions owns Snowris and maintains it in order to house the Pokémon Grand Festival of the region. It also finances all of the contest houses present in the region.



BRIDGES (Marked in Black on the Region Map)


1 – Central Bridge – A huge bridge that connects North and South Averous together. It is also famous because there’s a Pokémon Gym situated directly in the middle of it. The gym leader is Evan. The badge is the Bridge Badge. He specializes in water type Pokémon. A Pokémon Ranger outpost has also been set up, both to conduct their own investigation into the spread of Planetree Disease, and to try and calm tensions between the two nations. This bridge is a neutral zone. No troops from either side can be moved across it. Though both sides still stare at each other from military outposts established at either end to ensure that no conflict takes

place on the bridge. All troops are moved using boats from hidden military outposts along the shoreline.


2 – Terkan Bridge – This Bridge connects the Desert and Bridge sectors of South Averous.


3 – Forest Bridge – This Bridge connects the Bridge and Forest sectors of South Averous.


4 – Snow Bridge – This Bridge connects the Snow and Green sectors of North Averous.



MOUNTAIN RANGES (Marked in White on the Region Map)


1 – Elestis Mountains – A snowy mountain range in the Snow Sector of North Averous.


2 – Lorgis Mountains – Another snowy mountain range in the Snow Sector of North Averous. The largest mountain range in the Averous Region.


3 – Mesa Mountains – A desert mountain range in South Averous.


4 – Deskis Mountains – A normal mountain range in South Averous.


5 – Central Mountains – A normal mountain range in the center of South Averous.



FORESTS (Marked in Blue on the Region Map)


1 – Ergon Forest – The forest bordering Etios Town.


2 – Central Forest – The largest forest in the Averous Region. Near the center of South Averous and the Central Mountains.


3 – Loshis Forest – A small forest that used to belong to the Central Forest, a large part of it was cut down to make room for the Loshis Canal.


4 – Terol Forest – A small forest in South Averous.


5 – Four Forest – A small forest in North Averous.


6 – Snow Forest – A small snowy forest in North Averous’s Snow Sector.


7 – Aros Forest – A small snowy forest in North Averous’s Snow Sector.


8 – Tarson Forest – A small snowy forest in North Averous’s Snow Sector.


9 – Averous Forest – A small forest named such because of its proximity to Averous tower.


10 – North Forest – A small snowy forest in North Averous’s Snow Sector.


11 – Snowris Forest – A small snowy forest named such because of its proximity to Snowris Mountain and Snowris Tower.



CITIES/TOWNS (Marked in Red on the Region Map)


1 – Etios Town – A small laid-back town that borders the Ergon Forest. Pokémon Professor Planetree’s lab is located on the outskirts. There is no gym in this town.


2 – Orias Town – A mid-size town located in South Averous. The Arc Gym is located here. Its badge is the Eclectic Badge. The gym leader specializes in Electric Pokémon. Gym Leader is Lectra, traditionally challenged first.


3 – Mountain Town – A large town located in South Averous near Rocksix Mountain. Gym Leader is Rick. Its badge is the Endurance Badge. The gym leader specializes in Rock Pokémon. Traditionally challenged second.


4 – Center City – The capital city of South Averous. Gym Leader is Forest. Its badge is the Middle Badge. The gym leader has no specialty, he uses a wide variety of Pokémon types. Traditionally challenged last.


5 – Dererket City – A mid-size desert city in South Averous. Gym leader is Dyna. Its badge is the Mesa Badge. The gym leader specializes in Flying and Dark types. Traditionally challenged third.


6 – Firas City – A small city at the end of the Central Bridge located in North Averous. It is by far the least religious of cities in North Averous, despite its proximity to Firas Mountain. This is mostly due to South and North culture’s clashing. Both religious and non-religious people wander the street, and because of the chaos of the city crime is quite common. The gym leader is Edgar. The badge is the Chaos Badge. He specializes in Fire type Pokémon. Traditionally challenged fourth.


7 – Harkan City – The capital city of North Averous. Gym leader is Asra. Its badge is the Grand Badge. She specializes in Psychic and Dark types. She is the only religious Gym Leader. Traditionally challenged fifth.


8 – Orole Town – One of the two towns of North Averous’s Green Sector. The people who live here are mostly committed to their sermons and church visits. Gym leader is Derek. The badge is the Grandiose Badge. He specializes in Grass Types. Traditionally challenged Sixth.


9 – Fakresh Town – One of the two towns in North Averous’s Green Sector. The people here are mostly committed to their sermons and church visits. Gym Leader is Lara. The badge is the History Badge. She specializes in Dragon Types. Traditionally challenged Seventh.


SHRINES (Marked S on Region Map)


S – Shrine of the Four – A neutral island in-between North and South Averous on the Averous River. It’s extremely difficult to reach thanks to rocks and eclectic weather. A lot of ships have actually been lost trying to reach it. Modern technology though has made it slightly easier to reach with an experienced boatman. The Shrine of the Four is rumored to have been the place where the Grand Four assembled to create humanity and Pokémon. In the center of it are stone structures and a big clear pool of clean water rumored to have slight regenerative powers. Some North Averous residents have claimed to have cured common diseases using the water.


Hey guys! I thought with IGN's total butchering of a Top 25 PlayStation 3 list that I would post a top list of my own. One that actually makes sense and doesn't leave out some fantastic games. Here are the rules for this list! Also, yes, I will eventually post this in video form.


RULE # 1: No multi-platform games.


Why?: Because why would you look a top list for a specific console unless you wanted to see games that are things you can only play on that console?


RULE # 2: Only games I have played.


Why?: Because I haven't played them, I don't know how good they are. Refer me some good ones though! I'll change around this list once every year until it's done.


RULE # 3: This list is my opinion.


Why?: Please tell me that's a rhetorical question.


RULE # 4: Only one game per franchise.


Why?: Because this is a list for people to find games to play, so if they pick up one and like it, they're picking up the rest already!


Anyways, let's get started.






While I personally don't find much enjoyment in LittleBigPlanet's creative tools, I do appreciate how good this game is, and how unlimited it's content is. It's campaign is nice and fun, having a great sense of humor and one of the best narrator's in existence, and it's creative tools are extensive. This game is a whole lot of fun, especially with friends introduced to make it even more chaotic. The creative and sharing tools also make sure that there will always be more content to play, being created by your fellow players only makes it better! Even if it can be a little difficult to find the gems, it's always worth it.






This game started a really cool fighting game franchise. Never has an anime been translated so well into a video game. Flashy jutsu, a good retelling of the Naruto story, and amazing visuals elevated this game to a whole new level. Every anime game that comes forward from the release of this game and it's sequels should follow Cyber Connect 2's example.






This game is crazy under-appreciated because it's a PS Move only game. It's the best use of the peripheral since it launched, and if it had launched alongside the Move I think it would be a better utilized peripheral today. It was delayed far too many times, and while the final product was short, it cannot be understated how much fun this game is. The Move is utilized brilliantly, allowing you to precisely aim spells and stir potions alongside other things. Along with great gameplay though, the game also has genuinely good and funny story with great characters.






This game had a really unfortunate fate that led to the closing of a really good developer. This game was unfortunately released just before the PSN outage, and being a multiplayer focused game this led to it's horrible sales. Thanks to those horrible sales, Sony closed one of their best developers. SOCOM 4 was a great game, there was a lot of content, Move support, really fun multiplayer and co-op... sure, the campaign and story were pretty cliche and not that good, and it disappointed some SOCOM veterans by making itself more accessible... but this game was one of the best shooters on the market at the time of it's release and it's fate was completely undeserved.






This game almost wasn't brought to America at all, but thanks to Atlus it was. It was great, had awesome gameplay, was challenging, and had a bleak atmosphere. Not only that, but it had one of the greatest multiplayer components ever imagined. Fantastic game, and thanks to PS+ even free for people who were subscribed a few months ago! In my opinion, far superior to it's spiritual successor Dark Souls.






This game is gorgeous, fun, and way way ahead of it's time. The writing was fantastic, even if it was a bit long-winded (just like the other MGS games, that's part of its charm), the graphics were gorgeous, and the gameplay was something to behold. Not only was it the perfect cap-off to Snake's story, but it was extremely fun to play, and also incredibly lengthy. I still pop it in from time to time to play through it again, because it's just that good.






Ever since playing this game I have been a huge fan of Quantic Dream. It's dark and film-like storytelling was great. Not only that, but it is the best Move game I have ever played. Sure, Sorcery may have used it better, but Move turned this game into an even better one, increasing immersion. It has a great control scheme that makes you feel involved in the action, and even though everything is technically a quick time event it never gets annoying. There are also no game overs, no matter what happened the game continues going and spins off into a multitude of endings. Sure, there are a few plot holes, but overall this is a game worth experiencing.






One of the best, if not THE best, downloadable titles ever created. Journey is a game that must be played. Beautiful, innovative, cheap, and with a splendid and intriguing multiplayer mechanic... Journey is just that good. A beautiful sendoff to ThatGameCompany's exclusivity to PlayStation. If their games ever again come even close to matching how spectacular this game is, then they demand your attention.






Never before has a sequel improved on it's predecessor as well as Uncharted 2 improved on Uncharted Drake's Fortune. All of the problems from the first game were fixed, from the touchy shooting controls to the environmental variety, while also pushing the series forward with a excellent and fun mutliplayer component as well as intense setpieces. The characters are fantastic, the setpieces reach highs no other game can even approach, and the graphics and gameplay are nearly beyond compare. What else could you possibly ask for in a video game?






The most recent game on this list is also the most fantastic. Of all I could've asked for in a game to be the sendoff of this console generation, I never expected a game quite as fantastic as The Last of Us. Emotionally compelling, one of the most gripping stories in video games, incredible atmosphere, excellent controls, innovative mechanics, and even a fresh kind of multiplayer experience. I may still love Uncharted more, but that is for different reasons, and I can see where the better game lies. This game really established Naughty Dog as one of the best developers in game development, and Sony is lucky to have them.


blog-0986149001377938674.jpgLAST EDITED: 8/31/13


So, the time has come. I've been watching the opposing factors of PS4 and Xbox One, and they are getting closer and closer with every passing month. I am here to offer you my opinions and observations about why purchasing one console is better then purchasing the other. As the differences between the two seem to be dissipating more and more as time moves on. I will update this article as time moves on and more things are revealed.


Before we start, as in my PS3 vs Xbox 360 article from before. This is a rational and logical comparison. I will attempt to keep my own personal opinions out of it as much as possible, but in the end it is an opinion piece and you can take from it what you will, think about my arguments as you will, especially as I am passionate about this subject and more of my opinion has filtered in then I intended. This is meant to help people with their purchasing decision, and when the consoles are finally released and no more is left to be revealed I will be re-editing this specific entry into video form.


Still, as always. I don't care which console you use. This is just rational debate, not an argument. Defend your console of choice, offer your own observations, but there is no need for venom or toxicity.


But let's get started.




The Playstation 4 uses...


-A BluRay Optical Drive

-8GB of GDDR5 memory

-A Single Chip Custom AMD Jaguar CPU with 8 Cores (No Clock Speed listed, I think it's 1.6GHz)

-AMD Radeon Graphics with 1152 Shader Cores

-A Peak Shader Throughput clocking at 1.82 Teraflops

-A Removable and Replaceable 500GB HDD


The Xbox One uses...


-A BluRay Optical Drive

-8GB of GDDR3 Memory

-A Custom Microsoft 8 Core CPU (I think it was designed by AMD though)

-853MHz AMD GPU with 768 Shader Cores

-An Estimated Peak GPU Shader Throughput of 1.31 Tearflops

-A non-removable 500GB HDD


The specs themselves aren't actually all that different at the surface, and it will likely take a few years to achieve the full capabilities of either system. But in the end, PS4 is actually packing a significantly higher amount of power under the hood, with far more shading power, and better memory.




The PS4 while also being more powerful packs all of it under a MUCH SMALLER surface. This is without an external power block, which Xbox One has, and Xbox One still has no bluetooth but a seemingly superior ethernet card. If you're trying to save space, PS4 is definitely the way to go for now.


What does that all mean?


It means the following.


PS4's exclusives will have far better graphics thanks to an increased amount of shader cores to take advantage of. Also, the GDDR5 memory will allow faster loading times, and more fluid movement between levels using Naughty Dog's method of streaming the game's data too the console as you're playing to avoid loading times. It also means third-party games will more likely run better on PS4, especially now that the infrastructure itself has been re-designed by asking the game developers themselves what they wanted.


It also means that all of this power is in a smaller package, which is always better as you don't need too many things cramping up your entertainment center.


In my opinion, the PS4 also has a much sleeker and more aesthetically pleasing design. Whereas the PS4 has a stylish slant, the Xbox One is just a brick. Ironic considering the implications of many of the policies Microsoft has thrown out the window to appeal to their customers.






The PS4 has combined the already much more functional XMB into a nice simple browsing window to look at your collection and boot up your games faster. As well as accessing your variety of services more easily.


The Xbox One hasn't revealed much about the new OS. All we knows is that a lot of it functions simply by voice commands (which is now rumored to be a feature of the PS4 camera as well, but I won't factor rumors into my decision). There is also a nifty snap-to feature for apps, allowing you to do multiple things at once. The instant switching between things also looks cool, but from what I've seen, and I'm not totally sure of this, PS4 seems to be able to do it as well.


What does this mean?


Not much so far. It seems though that PS4 has a better physical interface. If you don't have Kinect plugged in, it is unclear how well the dashboard will actually function this time around.


I need more information to call this for one or the other.




SECTION 3: Exclusive Studios, Games, and Content


Sony owns the following game development houses...


-SCE Japan

-Polyphony Digital

-Naughty Dog

-SCE Santa Monica

-SCE San Diego

-SCE Bend

-Sucker Punch

-SCE London


-Guerilla Games

-Media Molecule


Microsoft meanwhile owns...


-Connected Experiences

-Kids and Lifestyle Entertainment

-Platform Next Studios

-Playful Learning

-Lionhead Studio

-Lift London

-Rare Ltd

-Black Tusk Studios

-Microsoft Studios Victoria

-Microsoft Studios Osaka

-343 industries

-Twisted Pixel

-Good Science Studio

-Microsoft Flight Studio

-Big Park

-Xbox live Productions

-Turn 10 Studios


Sony has created partnerships with several indie developers, Quantic Dream, Ready At Dawn, and apparently Rockstar.


Microsoft has created a semi-partner ship with EA and some partnerships with other studios.


What does this mean?


Sony's partnership with indie studios and others create an avenue for a greater variety of exclusive content for the PS4. Meanwhile, all of their first party developers are industry veterans. Proven development houses that frequently make excellent highly acclaimed titles. Which means better content. The number may seem smaller, but under the surface of Microsoft's studios you can see the number is a lie. With a few only making Kinect games and other digital content. So not only greater variety, but probably a greater overall number, as well as better quality.


Microsoft meanwhile has partnered with EA to ensure some exclusive releases, like not releasing Titanfall on PS4 (it's on PC, not just Xbox One, so it isn't an exclusive), as well as earlier releases for Battlefield DLC. They've significantly expanded their first party stable, but as mentioned they are in the majority an inexperienced lot with little history, and what little history there is, is poor. Sony's exclusives have greater variety, but overall Xbox's probably has greater popularity. We can assume the return of Halo and others, but considering Microsoft only generally runs with generic action games and such, my personal confidence isn't very high.






There has been little revealed about the online other then Microsoft's impressive 300 thousand servers backing Xbox Live.


At the same time, the quality of either PSN or Live doesn't seem to swing in either direction very much. We can expect them actually to be rather similar, with services being the deciding factor.


Xbox Live has Xbox Live Gold, but in order to play online or access (completely unrelated to multiplayer gaming) services like Netflix and such, you MUST be subscribed Xbox Live. Xbox Live Gold gives out 2 free games a month right now on Xbox 360, and we can assume the same for Xbox One. The problem here is that so far these games are generally very old, and even bad (like Fable III).


PS4 has PSN, which has been re-worked for PS4 (as we have seen). As said, PSN and Xbox Live don't seem very different. Meanwhile though, PS4's subscription is for PS+. You DO NOT need to be subscribed to PS+ to access PSN, have a friends list, or access services unrelated to multiplayer gaming. Some free-to-play games don't even require a subscription to PS+. In addition PS+ currently offer 4 free games a month, usually across multiple platforms. We can expect the number of games on PS4 coming to go up as time goes on, as there obviously can't be many PS4 offerings in a launch lineup. But still, PS+ again has far greater variety in the games it provides. Whereas Xbox Live Gold gives you 2 old retail games, PS+ often gives a retail game no more then a year old along with 3 other indie games or older titles. Their offerings as well have gotten consistently better as time has gone on.


As for other services, both offer Cross-Game Voice chat, some second screen functionality through tablets and smart-phones, live streaming of your games and game DVR (either to Twitch or their own online services as it seems, PS4's thus far proven to be better at this point, with a button on the controller even being dedicated to that function), Voice Commands (may be a rumor, but it is listed as truth in IGN's comparison list as the truth),


PS4 meanwhile offers some special features like the use of Remote Play with PS4 games as long as you are using PS Vita. As well as the ability to have to PS4 turn itself on and download/buy games when you're out through the website or your phones/iPad


The Xbox One has it's Kinect features, which I'll get more into later, and the ability to download/buy games remotely as well... but it is unknown whether or not the system can turn itself on like the PS4 does. It is good to note that the Xbox 360 did not (as well as noting that it is not yet confirmed that you can use your phone for this, you cannot buy games remotely using smart phones with 360), the PS3 it seems currently does (I am not absolutely sure about this).


Still, as far as Online goes, there is a mandatory Day 1 update on Xbox One. There is no guarantee what will happen if you do not participate in the update, but it is quite likely that your console will be a brick until you can connect it to the internet at least once.


As far as services go, Xbox One requires that every game be installed onto your hard drive, whereas PS4 does not.


What does this mean?


Better features and services on PS4.


PSN and Xbox Live more similar then ever.






The pre-order numbers don't lie. PS4 has far outsold Xbox One, with over a million pre-orders and no guarantee Sony is even going to be able to keep up with the demand. I am not sure about Xbox One's pre-orders, but I do know they are nowhere near as high in any territory.


The community meanwhile will also be filled with Xbox converts. So you're Xbox Live friends, if any, will more likely then not actually be on this console (Microsoft has not done the best at messaging with their console). At the same time, you also have you average PSN community, seemingly filled with more mature people. I suppose the adults after all know how to research things before they buy it, and thus make the better purchasing decision.


What does this mean?


A much bigger PSN community, bigger then ever.






Microsoft has show an increasing amount of disrespect and ignorance when it comes to knowing the gaming world as it is today, and how it treats it's own fans.


Sony meanwhile has shown that it cares about having a wide variety of content and services, cares about having a system and tools that's the best for developers to work with, cares about having it's fans be satisfied with their purchase, and cares about being the best in their market. A huge 180 from the last generation.


What does this mean?


That PS4 is probably the better investment in the long run, and that Microsoft obviously isn't a company to be trusted when it comes to anticipating their fans wants and needs. As well as a company that can't stand it's ground when bringing controversial policies onto a market. Willing to back down and make their console more like their competitor's when it comes down to it.






PS4 retails for $399.99.


Xbox One retails for $499.99


What does this mean?


That Microsoft is unwilling to remove an accessory bundled with the console that it's fans obviously don't really want in order to sell it's console at a competitive price point.








The Dualshock 4 for PS4 has attempted to do something new with it's controller, while making these additions completely optional. There is a nifty touch-pad, as well as a Playstation Move light on the back of the controller. Of course the Playstation Eye is required to use the Move light, but I don't anticipate too many people really wanting to use this feature, and of course the camera is thankfully packaged separately so I only have to buy it if I want to. Not an accessory that is forced into the box, increasing the price, when I do not desire it. Critics have also said that the ergonomics, triggers, thumbsticks, and d-pad have also been much improved from the Dualshock 3. This is the most massive revision the Dualshock brand of controllers has ever experienced. It also has an easily rechargeable internal battery.


The Xbox One controller has stuck with mostly the same design as the 360 one. It makes a few ergonomic improvements and such, but it basically isn't much different from it's 360 brother. Which Xbox fans will say is a good thing, because they feel the controller was perfectly fine already. Microsoft agrees, they feel it is so fine in fact that it STILL uses AA batteries instead of an internal rechargeable one. I would say this is more or less unforgivable for a next-generation console. It's even more insulting to me that they sell a rechargeable battery pack separately.




Motion Controls have proven that there is not much of a future for this technology in the industry. Still, Microsoft has chosen to pursue the technology with their next generation. Bundling the Kinect 2 and even at first requiring it to use the console at all.


Still, if the tracking for the Kinect is better this next gen. I think it has some real potential.


But overall, it feels better to have something physical in your hand. Playing a Kinect game feels incredibly disconnected in comparison. Also, PS Move has so far proven that it's library is superior to Kinect. With games like Sorcery and Heavy Rain, while Kinect only has 1 or 2 good games like Gunstringer.


What does this mean?


That Microsoft has chosen to invest heavily into a technology that has shown it is not popular, even though it's library is already shallow at best. It has also chosen to stick with a tried-and-true design rather then to attempt any sort of innovation.


That Sony has chosen to mostly leave behind motion controls and focus on the traditional way of gaming that people seemingly prefer. It has also tried a few new things on its controller, instead of sticking with it's old design.






In my personal opinion, Microsoft has truly failed at designing their next-generation console. At least with Xbox 360 and PS3 it can be seemingly argued the smallest bit that Xbox 360 is a better console, but that is not remotely possible with Xbox One and PS4. PS4 is the better console, and there is no doubt in my mind, nor should their be doubt in anyone else's. It's got better hardware, better services, more games, and the backing of a superior company... all at a better price.


The u-turns that Microsoft has made in regards to policy have not saved it from being inferior to it's competitor in nearly every way.


If you have friends that are sticking with Xbox One, or are really in love with their brand of exclusives. Then go for it an buy the Xbox One. It is not a bad product (anymore), but go in knowing that it is not the best.


If you're buying Xbox One merely to be loyal to it's parent company, at least consider that Microsoft basically tried to drive a knife through the backs of it's own customers. Disrespecting both them and their intelligence to make the right purchasing decision, and to know how a next-generation console should be designed when Microsoft themselves obviously didn't. Consider that the people who market their products all feel fake and forced, and a lot have recently been "let go" like Adam "deal with it" Orth or Don Mattrick, whereas the people who market Sony's products really genuinely seem to care about games and gamers. People like Shuhei Yoshida, Jack Ryan, John Tretton, or Mark Cerny. If you still come to the same conclusion about your purchase, at least you can be sure of your decision and not plagued by doubts.


But it is best if you at least do not doubt this. Microsoft has not made the best product in it's market, it doesn't treat it's customers with the respect they deserve, and obviously doesn't understand it's community in any way.


The PS4 is the better product, that is that.




What are your opinions? Sound off in the comments below.


blog-0026936001377116219.jpgTHE GOOD


- Incredibly choice driven gameplay that lets you play how you want to. You can remain unseen sneaking through the environments killing no one, you can stalk and hunt down the enemy killing everyone you see, or you can bust in guns blazing.


- Great environments and level design.


- Gadgets and options to tailor your experience to your style of play.


- Addicting.


- Story with a relevant premise and connections to other Splinter Cell games.


- Amazing Assymetrical Multiplayer with Spies vs Mercenaries. Both Classic and Blacklist modes!


- Everyone can find something to like here.


- Perfectionist difficulty caters to the hardcore Splinter Cell fans, while still having other difficulties for everyone else.




- Awful character models with the exception of Sam... who is merely acceptable. The Unreal engine is capable of more then this.


- New voice actors ruin established characters.


- Not enough options for upgrades and gear to purchase.


- Some frustrating control moments.




While the new voice actors for Sam and Grim can really ruin character moments, the overall story is sound. But the real fun to be had here is in Splinter Cell's gameplay and how awesome it is. It's incredibly approachable and hardcore both at the same time. There are so many options to tailor the experience to how you want to play and that's what makes this game so good. Both in the awesome fun single player and co-op modes, and the Asymmetrical multiplayer modes.


The score for this game will be somewhere above 9. I don't even have to question it. Because the story isn't the main draw of this game so it doesn't matter how bad it screws it up. The gameplay and options will always be there. This game is incredibly addicting and packed with content.


blog-0628034001372397955.pngThis is a list of all games awarded with a "Best of 2013" award (can only be awarded to games with a review score of 9 or above), and thus automatically nominated for GOTY. Remember to suggest titles you think deserving of GOTY! I will make an attempt to play them and see if they are worthy of the list. Alternatively, if more then 20 people suggest a game to me, then it will also be awarded with a Best of 2013 award.




The Last of Us - Release Date: June 14th, 2013 - Review Score: 10

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - Release Date: February 19th, 2013 - Review Score: N/A


TNLG Best of 2013

blog-0374989001372389480.pngI am pleased to announce a new facet to the game reviewing side of TNLG, and that is the TNLG Best of 2013 awards.


Throughout the year as I review games, I will give games that score 9 and above a TNLG Best of 2013 award. At the end of the year, I will hold a peoples choice vote that will decide which game earns the TNLG Game of the Year. Each editor (currently only myself...) will also pick their personal GOTY and get an Editor's Choice award.


Note that I am not omniscient and thus will be unable to review every game that comes out during the year. There will be some games that will earn the Best of 2013 award regardless of this. With that said, if you have a suggestion for the Best of 2013 awards, please recommend it to me so I can play it and see if it's worthy!


At the time of 8:58PM EST, I am about to start my first stream. I am waiting for my Duo Partner to get past the ridiculous login queue times at the moment because of the servers going down.


Find the stream at! It's live right now!


Stream ended, I had a lot of fun. Thanks to Arin for joining me and my Duo Partner Kithri!


The Last of Us Review

blog-0023646001372389174.pngDefinitive proof of the emotional power of video games.


*This game (obviously) was reviewed for PS3*


*You can watch the video review by scrolling to the bottom*


Hey again guys, here we are with my review of the Sony exclusive developed by Naughty Dog, The Last of Us.


There are certain video games out there, video games that can make you feel something, to video games that can submerge you in something instead of just showing you the picture. Games that can submerge you in emotion, world, story, characters, gameplay... and I am pleased to say that The Last of Us is one of these games. But how is it able to do this, and how well does it do so? Let's find out.














This game does so many things to immerse you in it's world. The atmosphere assembled in this game and impressed upon the player is probably the most engrossing I have ever seen in a video game. Not only does the game look fantastic, and it does... with gorgeous lighting, excellent and detailed environmental design, great particles, fantastic character models, and some truly beautiful locations... but it has really raised the bar for how atmosphere should be communicated in video games.


The locations always match the tone the story is going for. The darkest moments of the game make you want to so badly see the sun again, to escape from the creatures and people that are besieging you, that when you actually do make it that far again, it is such an enormous relief.


I have never felt so immersed in a video game. Even if the story and writing wasn't there, each and every location feels like it has it's own story to it. The writings and paint on the walls, the bodies and infected scattered around the environments, the camps of survivors... it all goes to making the world that Naughty Dog has crafted in this game feel that much more real. Makes the player feel so much more empathetic to the situations that people are going through, and makes the player feel that this just might actually happen to all of us.


Even the sound design is fantastic. When you hear the sound of a clicker over the noise of the environment (I'll get to what clickers are later), I started to feel real fear. It is so rare to feel real fear and tension in a video game. Just like everyone in the game reacted, I reacted like that inside. In the game, I hit the deck and immediately start looking around for it, afraid that it might catch a sound I make and kill me right on the spot.


Then we have Gustavo Santaolalla's beautifully understated soundtrack. It never encroaches on the gameplay at hand, only serves to lift it up and make the player feel more like a part of this world, only serves to enhance the incredible atmosphere that has been so painstakingly created for each and every location.


That isn't even it either. The acting is all around fantastically done, as is what they have done with the faces and body language of the characters. Some things don't even need to be said. There are lines in the video game that instead of being seen and heard are felt through the faces or movements of the characters. The things that aren't said can sometimes be even more powerful then the things that are.


It really is a game that has an experience that has not been matched by any other video game I have played to date. Even just looking at what's happening and watching is not enough to perfectly communicate how much Naughty Dog has done to keep the player inside of the experience just from presentation terms. It's a game that has to be experienced first hand to be entirely felt. To feel the emotions that only the player can feel. The fear, the tension, and the straight out immersion.










If that wasn't enough, the story even further enhances the world at hand, makes it feel even more like a real place (if it didn't enough already).


Each and every location always has notes and things lying around, and this is one of the first games I have actually sat down and read the little tidbits. One of the first where I actively tried to look around to find them so that I could read the stories of the people who had lived, stayed, or passed through this place where I was.


But even without that, the story has a strong and emotional core. It has one of the best opening sequences I have ever seen in a video game. I won't spoil it for you, but needless to say I became connected with the character of Joel, the person you play as for most of the game, faster then I have for any video game character in existence. Not even half an hour into the game, and I was already worried about him, what would happen to him, and what the future would hold.


The story of this game truly is character driven. But there is more to it then just the characters. An outbreak has happened, one in which people become infected with a fungus known as cordyseps. People infected with it become aggressive and mutate over time into creatures that aren't human anymore. There are those who have been infected for a long amount of time called clickers who have lost their eyesight and use sound to find people in the environment, and anyone bitten by one of the infected, or anyone who breaths in the spores around the world will become infected as well.


The story picks up 20 years after the outbreak, with Joel being a black market smuggler for taking things out of one of the quarantine zones the military has set up. Anyone infected is killed on the spot without hesitation. But one thing I really took away from this game is that everything is shades of gray. Black and White don't exist anymore, only people doing whatever it takes to survive. No one is right, and no one is wrong, even Joel and the characters you play as throughout the game.


The military might seem like the bad guys, but they are only doing what they can to preserve order in a world without it. The hunters who rob people of their things might seem like bad guys, but are only doing what it takes to protect those closest to them and to survive themselves. The infected might seem like bad guys, but are only acting like that because of a predatory infection. Even Joel himself seems like a bad guy sometimes, but he is only a man who has lived in such a horrid world for so long that he only thinks about survival, and how things could effect him in the long term.


Then of course there is the violence present throughout the game. A lot of games really just have violence for violences sake. TLOU is not one of those games at all. The violence only serves to make the game feel that much more real to the player, to yet again further immerse them in the world at hand. It serves to show them just how far the world has fallen. The world here is literally so grounded, so human, that it doesn't feel like some world in a video game, but a real place.


But all of these realities are still not what makes the core of this game. The core of this game is the relationship between Joel, and a girl he is charged with smuggling to the a resistance group (the Fireflies) far away. Ellie. These two characters make up the real emotion behind this game. Their struggles are what make this story so compelling. The way they and their relationship develop at such a natural pace, and the way that they come to care about each other, but at different times.


The characters don't feel like they are just characters in a video game anymore. They feel like real people. Existing in a world where there is no such thing as morality anymore. There are contextual things where you can activate conversations between Joel and the other characters around the world, and see even more about them. But seeing them as real people, it is such a powerful thing to realize that, and to see them go along on their journey. It is a true character driven tale matched by no other video game I have ever played to date.


What I really appreciate though is the ending. How unlike other video games seem to be doing recently does not try to do something unique and crazy. It doesn't try to become something it isn't, and it doesn't do something that ruins the journey you've taken. Although I do meet the slight sequel bait of it with a tad bit of chagrin.


Even with all of that said though, I still haven't mentioned the supporting cast. Which is so well done it's crazy. They are well-realized characters in their own right, definitive and clear personalities that have clear effects on the story, but they somehow never get in the way of the core of the game... the relationship between Joel and Ellie.


It's not to say as if there is nothing wrong with it. There are some facets of the gameplay that can sometimes make you feel less immersed in the experience, and there are a few time-skips in the game that don't let you see how the characters reacted to what they had just went through. One in particular seemed to have them brush something rather important off like it hadn't happened. But it didn't really effect the overall experience, in fact, nothing did. I could still feel the world and characters that Naughty Dog had created. In the end, that's what's truly important.










Now we get to the gameplay, the one part where games this story driven sometimes falter. This is not one of those games. The gameplay in The Last of Us is fantastic. The shooting is smooth for the most part (with some frustrating aiming), and the melee combat is brutal and simple, but that's not even the best of it.


The gameplay primarily revolves around it's completely choice based combat. You can choose to sneak, you can choose to fight, or you can choose to avoid combat altogether. While the narrative is straight as an arrow, the gameplay is not. The ways each situation can be approached are so varied they give the game immense replay value. You have a lot of different weapons and tools at your disposal here, and each and every one of them will need to be used against your enemies.


One thing though that you have to consider in combat is your supplies. You will have to scavenge when and wherever possible for supplies so you can build tools like nail bombs, shivs, and other useful objects. Not only that, but crafting is done in real time, and some objects require ingredients that you need to make yet other objects. So considering everything at hand and then using those tools at your disposal is such a rewarding experience.


But the thing combat so successfully does is instill tension within the player, and not because of just the real time crafting system. I have never been so scared of dying in a video game, and it's not because it sets you back a long way or anything, but purely because you feel for the characters so much, and the atmosphere is so well realized that it makes the player want to stay alive that much longer. To make it to the next fight, to see if you can finally escape from the nightmare that you've been dragged into. In a game so focused around survival, this is such a fantastic thing to have, such a fantastic thing to introduce.


There are some times when the AI can totally ignore fellow characters presence (to protect the game from turning into a big escort mission), and it can break immersion somewhat, but the game is so well constructed I hardly even realized this was happening. Same thing as when Joel and other characters are making loud noises around clickers but they don't notice it. It almost seems as if nothing can break the experience that's been presented.


That is such an incredible achievement that it really is all I need to mention. It doesn't bring down the overall experience at all, and that makes it nearly not worth mentioning at all. All of this, and I still haven't mentioned the small bits of environmental puzzle solving throughout the game, and if you get stuck in them, it'll give you the option for a hint that will spell it out for you. Making sure that nothing is there to bog down the pace of the game.


Safe to say, this games gameplay does very little wrong. It's not perfect, but nothing really is. The best thing, and the most important thing for it to have done, is lift up the rest of the experience and raise the rest of the game to new heights. It does this, and it does it most admirably. That's what's important, that it contributes to the experience. This is what makes is so good.


SCORE: 9.5








The Last of Us is a beautiful game in more ways then one. It is one of the games that makes me proud to be a gamer, one that paints the picture for the rest of the world that yes, games are art. If not in gameplay, then in character driven story. If not in character driven story, then in beauty. If not in beauty, then essense.


The story of Joel and Ellie is extremely powerful. Constructed in moments. Moments of fear, sadness, anger, defeat, victory... and more. Never have I been so compelled by a video game, or a movie, or even a book. The Last of Us is one of the most compelling games I have ever played, and as such well deserves this single-player score.


SCORE: 10 "Near Perfection"













While the atmosphere isn't nearly as palpable in the multiplayer as it is in the single-player, it strikes a delicate balance between the harsh reality of the single-player, and the fun that should be in any multiplayer game. None of the gruesome violence is spared here, with brutal execution animations and grunts of pain. Multiplayer is just as bloody as the singleplayer, and that plays into the games overall favor. It even helps The Last of Us multiplayer establish itself even further as quite a unique multiplayer experience. While it isn't as palpable, that's not to say it isn't palpable at all.


The acting for the multiplayer characters is of course average, but it's enough to communicate a bit more tension. Overall, the graphics are still extremely solid in multiplayer, and the menus are well designed. One thing I do think could've been done better is something to do with the multiplayer clans. I'll get more into this later, but basically there is a meta-game behind everything you do in TLOU multiplayer. Every player is themselves a leader of their own clan, and even game you play is a day. While this is a great idea, it isn't very well presented. There are some alerts notifying you to their status, and some pictures, but I just feel it could've been done better with some more visual accompaniment and representation of your clans current state... rather then just blank numbers.


The level design is even great. You don't have notes strewn around like in the single-player, but as always the environment always feels like it's been lived in by somebody before... and this really is the best part about it. Just seeing the aftermath even as you try and out-wit the other team.


Overall though, the presentation is definitely great, but it isn't what truly makes the multiplayer such a great experience.










This really is where the multiplayer game shines. The Last of Us really does excel on the multiplayer end. It's not the run-and-gun fragfest a lot of other multiplayer games these days are. You need to take it slowly, plan your approach, gather supplies, and try to get the drop on your enemy.


The best thing about this is just how many elements from the single-player make it over into the multiplayer portion of the game. Real-time crafting? Yup, it's still there. Shiv executions? Yea. Pretty much every gameplay element except for the infected makes an appearance in the multiplayer, and it makes the gameplay really engaging. It makes it different from other multiplayer games in that you actually feel threatened here, like you are in a true, tense, battle for survival.


The meta-game adds another layer of authenticity to this as well. Managing your clan can be really tough at times, forcing you to conserve your resources in the game so that you can get a larger payout of supplies. You can even populate your in-game clan with facebook friends to make it more personal to you, although as I said, involvement is a bit limited.


Sure, there are only two game modes... which for some people won't be enough... Supply Raid (which is basically Team Deathmatch until both teams run out of re-spawns) and Survivors (Basically Elimination from Uncharted). But more engaging objective modes aren't really necessary. It's all about conflict between people, and I actually think that's a great choice. For instance, even though Supply Raid is Team Deathmatch... you still get tense careful combat and people not trying to run-and-gun. It's really slow and careful, and just like in the single-player, that's what makes it great.


SCORE: 9.5








Keeping so many elements of the single-player in the multi-player makes it that much more fun and unique. Not only that though, but everything you learned during the singleplayer can be applied here against other people in interesting ways. Best of all though, it never takes away from the single-player in any way. It's a perfect companion piece to one masterpiece of a game, and that's something to be proud of.


SCORE: 9.25 "Incredible"









The Last of Us packs one hell of a story and some fun gameplay. Games like The Last of Us are why I play games. To be involved with characters and stories that feel real, and sometimes even give me something that I'll think about for a long while.


With all of that said though, I am pleased to announce that I will be presenting TNLG's first Best of 2013 award to The Last of Us.




- Incredible character-driven story.

- Incredible atmosphere.

- Tense gameplay.

- Well-realized world.

- Fun and unique multiplayer.



- Some finnicky aiming.

- Time skips that sort of ruin impact.

- Underdeveloped multiplayer clan system.

- Some immersion ruining moments.

- Little variety in game modes.


FINAL SCORE: 10 out of 10


Watch the video review!



blog-0535084001371325511.jpgHere we are folks, it's time for another round of Initial Impressionz. I have just received Sony's new exclusive game "The Last of Us" in the mail, and here is what I think of Naughty Dogs next project so far.




- An incredibly written and character driven story, in an incredibly grounded and human world.


- A sometimes truly scary experience driven by a fantastically realized atmosphere.


- Combat filled with tension.


- Incredible choice driven gameplay.


- One of the best looking games I have ever played, with great particles, water, and lighting.


- Real time crafting that can increase tension during combat.


- Extrememly well realized characters.


- A fantastic opening sequence that really makes you connect with Joel's character and the world he's been forced into.


- Gruesome violence that serves to uplift the story, instead of violence for violences sake.


- Extensively well delivered voice acting and cinemetography.


- A nice underlying soundtrack that serves to boost the already great atmosphere.


- Incredible sound effects that again serve to boost the atmosphere.


- Places that feel real... places that feel like they always have their own story behind them.


- A great sense of progression thanks to a variety of upgrades and crafting recipes you can unlock.


- The quieter moments are often the more powerful ones.


- A great relationship that forms at a natural pace between Joel and Ellie.


- The characters develop at a very natural pace over a perfectly proportioned set of time.


- The supporting cast is very well realized without ever interfering with the plot or main characters.




- The aiming can be a slight bit frustrating sometimes, the sway is a little bit over-stated, although it serves a dual purpose of increasing tension so I can't really say it's all bad.


- Enemy AI will sometimes completely ignore the people with you, pulling you out of the experience somewhat.




Even in the few hours I have played it, I can confirm that it is an extremely powerful experience that is only complemented by the tense gameplay that accompanies it. I have not touched mutliplayer yet, but I have yet to finish the main story. This really is one of the best games of this generation, and as a huge Uncharted fan, it surprises me how much NOT like Uncharted this game feels while still being rather similar. Everything, from the movement of the characters to the story at hand, feels so much more grounded in reality.


As for score, if this great experience keeps up, who knows? It could be my second 10.


PS4 Size Comparison

I don't understand why people are complaining about PS4's design. It's a lot sleeker, and even if you don't think so, look at this picture. It's way smaller, while at the same time being more powerful and much cheaper. Can you image how small the slim version of this thing would be???




blog-0149042001371012002.jpgHello there guys. Here we are with my Top 5 games of E3 2013.


Number 5 - Battlefield 4




Clocking in at the bottom of the list of Battlefield 4. There first showing of the game, a single-player demo, didn't impress me. But the multiplayer demo absolutely did. The game looks gorgeous, and they BOUGHT DOWN A DAMN SKYSCRAPER!


Number 4 - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain




MGSV was the first game shown. I really liked the open-world stealth they were promoting. The horse ride actually reminded me a bit of Shadow of the Colossus. I like the implications shown by the demo, and as much as I dislike that Kiefer is voicing Snake, the gameplay still looks great.


Number 3 - Dragon Age III Inquisition




Sure, we didn't see any gameplay. But the fanboy within me got very excited when we saw Morrigan!


Number 2 - Watch Dogs




Watch Dogs continues to impress! I cannot wait to play this game!


Number 1 - Tom Clancy's The Division




The undeniable winner of E3 in my opinion! Ubisofts conference was pretty boring until this amazing trailer came out and blew me away... only to finish with some awesome looking implications of an open world New York City with hundreds of players out scavenging for supplies! Like Day Z in the Tom Clancy universe mixed with Defiance gameplay.


What were your favorite games at the show?


blog-0168458001370993585.pngOkay, so I've seen quite a few people claiming that we'll be going "all digital" in a few years.


Yea, just saying, not likely. At least not for game consoles and gaming PCs. Sony said that the average size of a next-generation game is over 50 gigabytes. Have you ever tried downloading something that large? It takes FOREVER, and takes tons of bandwidth.


With ISP's imposing limits to how much we can download, and this being the United States who is way far behind in both prices and services for the internet (also with this country of ours having the largest gaming population in the world), this would be rather impossible. Not to mention that physical media is a much faster way of getting the game, and then, there's never something that will compete with having the real retail box in your hands. That's the moment when you truly feel like you own something.


So yea, all I'm saying is that it's not something to be worried about for at least a few decades. Until the following requirements are met.


1. ISP's stop charging ridiculous prices and then limiting how much we can download.


2. The United States finally gets universal, and cheap, access to fiber optic internet without limits.


That's pretty much all I can think of, if I think of anything else, I'll edit the post.


What do you guys think? Sound off in the comments below.


blog-0475313001370980012.pngOkay, so this is a subject I am very passionate about. Ever since the initial reveal of the Xbox One I have been absolutely pissed at Microsoft. I'm not even an Xbox gamer, nor do I think I will ever be one, but what Microsoft has done... it could have huge effects on the industry at large, and that is what pisses me off.


Microsoft is showing no respect for the consumer at all. That online authentication for your system every 24 hours on Xbox One? That's to keep tabs on you, to make sure you aren't doing anything nefarious. It might as well be blatantly pointing a finger at the consumer and accusing them of thievery. I am sure I am not the only one that takes great offense to this.


Also, what if you want to bring that console anywhere? You can't do that if you want to take it to anywhere without internet access. So screw all of our troops stationed overseas, screw underprivileged people who don't have internet access, and screw everyone not up to date on current events in the gaming world. Not only that, what if the servers go out? What if maintenance lasts for longer then expected? What if you don't want to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold? What happens if Microsoft goes out of business and their ever so important servers go down?


You want to know what happens then? You're highly expensive gaming console becomes a highly expensive cable box/BluRay Player. If you don't buy into either of those things, it becomes a paper-weight. Completely and utterly useless.


That's not the only measure either. Once you install a game on your system from a disk, the disk becomes pointless. No one else can use that game, you can't let your friend borrow it, you can't sell it or give it to anyone else. The only circumstance in which this can happen is if Microsoft ALLOWS you too. They are asserting direct control on how you handle what is apparently YOUR PROPERTY. They are straight up ripping your RIGHTS as a consumer straight out of your arms and into theirs. You might as well not be making a purchase at all, because at a whim, they could take it all away from you.


This is not the thing we should be encouraging. Not at all. If Microsoft succeeds with these idiotic policies, then all we are doing is encouraging them to go forward with more draconian security measures. More DRM. More control for them, and less control for the individual.


In my opinion, every single person needs to stand up for their rights as a consumer. If nothing else, they need to refuse to buy Xbox One regardless of some exclusive franchise or game. They need to show that we have a voice, that we can stand up for our rights as consumers, and that we deserve to be respected. That we provide them with the right to go on, and that because of this they should try to cater to us as much as possible... not the other way around.


Tomb Raider Review

blog-0279154001370615523.jpgA derivative, but tight and emotional experience.


*This game was reviewed for PS3*


*You can watch the video review by scrolling to the bottom*


Okay, so this review is very very late. I apologize for that, but I was getting a bit of my stuff together. Also, from now on, I will associate a video review with each one of my reviews. You can choose to either read the written, or watch the video. Which I think is really great! Of course, the written review is really the script for the video review, so they are more or less the same thing. You'll get the same content regardless of which one you decide to use!


Anyways, it's been a little bit since our Last Tomb Raider game. The last one being Tomb Raider Underworld, which was a great romp with a nice story and good gameplay mechanics. Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have decided to reboot the Tomb Raider franchise. Were they successful you ask? Well, why don't we find out?














Different from some other Tomb Raider game locations, this time around Lara finds herself on an enclosed island. Without a doubt though, this island is absolutely gorgeous. It's huge, varied, and has lots of great looking places.


The environment isn't the only thing that fares well though. The character models are also great, with very expressive animation. Lara very naturally moves around, climbing and jumping along at a good clip and looking great while doing it. Water and other effects also look great, with some excellent lighting and weather to boot.


It really is fun climbing to the highest points on the island to look down on the world below you. The optional tombs around the game don't fare nearly as well though, while they each sport different puzzles, you enter the same way, through very similar looking hallways through each and every tomb. While the rest of the island is varied, all of the tombs have a very generic and gray look about them.


It doesn't hurt the game much really, but it is definitely worth mentioning.


The UI around the game is also good and simple. The menus when accessing things like campfires works well, and it's simple and easy to navigate, as is selecting your weapons. The game definitely prides itself on the simplicity of it's menus, and because of this it looks and moves very well.


In a game that looks this good, there's very little to complain about.


As for the sound, it's excellent as well. The game sports some very good voice acting that make the game and story even more believable. Camilla Luddington does a great job as the new and younger voice of Lara Croft, and she really helps this origin story along.


The soundtrack is also well done, with a few really notable tracks. It's not the best game soundtrack I've ever heard, but it is definitely not lacking in quality.










This is without a doubt where the most value of the game comes from. The reason you will remember this game long after playing it is because of it's fantastic storyline.


This really feels like the origin story to the iconic character of Lara Croft because it is so well written. Without this writing, whether it be in the dialogue or the overall plot, it wouldn't feel like it respected the character. But it definitely does, and it makes it the best story in any Tomb Raider game yet hands down. We truly see the evolution from the young and frightened girl that arrives on this island, to the confident woman that we all know that leaves it. It's a marvel to behold, and the reason the game had me hooked from start to finish.


One thing that struck me as off though was after Lara had made her first kill. She kills a person early in the game, and stands there crying about it, but five seconds later is killing people with very little reaction at all. It's very jarring, and kind of ruins the moment, but overall doesn't have that much effect on the tale.


The supporting cast though is rather flat, and in some of the sadder moments of the game, it can really lack impact. When characters other then Lara are driven into desperate situations that you have to try and save them from, you don't really find yourself caring all that much. Because they are such flat faces, and the only reason you care about saving them is because Lara cares about saving them.


It really is Lara's show, and it works more than well enough. After all, the moments that define Lara are the high points of this game, and if the supporting cast was getting in the way, it wouldn't be anywhere near as good. So it's a trade-off in the end.










Unfortunately though, I think that this part is where the game falters a bit. I'm not saying it's bad by any means, but if you have played any game in the Uncharted franchise, you will find that this game will feel decidedly familiar.


The "improved" platforming for instance feels exactly like the smooth mostly automatic platforming of the Uncharted game. I feel that this is the worst part about the gameplay here. All of Tomb Raider's original challenging platforming is gone, and while it's gorgeous to behold, I don't really feel the danger from it anymore. There's little excitement or tension when you're making a difficult jump, because just as in the Uncharted games, it's supposed to be fluid and easy.


The rest of the gameplay fares a bit better though. The combat for instance is an absolute blast, it gets close to those standard third-person shooter mechanics, and again a lot of the enemies feel like they're straight out of Uncharted, but I feel that it treads it's own style enough so that it doesn't feel too familiar. Especially the bow, which is a lot of fun to use and actually feels like a bow.


There are stealth elements to the game, but I didn't find myself liking them all that much. When the section is designed to let you sneak around, it works very well, and taking out a bunch of enemies without them seeing you is really exciting. But if it isn't, you don't really have any choice but to engage in all out combat, which is still fun, but may disappoint some fans of being more stealthy like I am.


There are some really Uncharted reminiscent set-pieces as well, and they are all really fun, cinematic, and exciting. They give the game great surges of adrenaline that help drive the game forward both narrative-wise and gameplay wise, going as far as to serve as a great way to break up the gameplay and show off the best the game is graphically capable of.


The game also has a great sense progression. As you go along the game, you will unlock new tools that give you new ways to traverse around the island and open up new paths. It's very reminiscent of the Metroid games, and it works very well. When you come back to a part of the island with a new tool, it really makes you feel like an explorer. By the end of the game, you will be able to get to pretty much wherever you want to go, and it's a whole lot of fun, even with the very derivative platforming of the Uncharted games present.


There's also more to do after the game ends, running around the game finding collectables that sometimes give you some more insight into the backstory of the island. What are really disappointing though are the tombs around the game that are entirely optional. Why are they disappointing you ask? Well, two reasons.


First of all, and this is a problem in the main campaign to, the puzzle-solving is really easy. The massive and clever puzzles of the past games are almost entirely gone, replaced by pathetically easy ones that don't challenge your mind at all, and are mostly a group of 5-minute one-offs. It's boring, and it's an insult to both my intelligence, and Lara's.


Second of all though, there are hardly any of them around. I found myself done scouring all of the games hidden tombs and most of the collectables thirty-minutes after beating the main campaign, and I had hardly done any of this during the actually main story.


There's also this sort of "survival skill" system that you use throughout the game. But it's very superfluous and useless. There are a LOT of useless upgrades. Just as superfluous is the hunting in the game. It had potential to be a cool survival idea, but it's completely optional and offers very little rewards, so is just as pointless.


Overall, it's a shift to a far more accessible Tomb Raider. It helps in some areas, but in others it makes the game boring and un-original. While it's more then worth to play this game just for the excellent story, the gameplay is a bit of a let-down.


SCORE: 7.5








This game was a fantastic reboot. It didn't do everything right, but a lot of re-boots end up ruining the spirit of the franchise they belong to, and this one doesn't. It's a great game, even though it has it's own share of let-downs. I only hope that Crystal Dynamics shifts the next game more towards it's roots then this entry does, and bring back a bit of the challenge that was lost in the transition.


SCORE: 8.5 "Amazing"













Now we move into the multiplayer sections of the game. Visually and sonically, the game is very good in the presentation department here too. The great sound and visuals from the main game carry over rather well to the multiplayer, forgiving some bland level design.


I don't remember if there was an announcer or not, but if there was, it wasn't particularly memorable.


SCORE: 8.5








Let me just say this up-front, I barely touched this games Multiplayer, and I don't recommend you do either. It's quite boring. The overall suite is very bland and un-original, and it's just not that much fun. The signature weapon, the bow, is really hard to use in multiplayer, and the modes aren't any fun.


Overall, it's a passable multiplayer game, but it's nothing interesting or engaging. Believe me, the bulk of this games value rests squarely on the shoulders of it's single player game, don't bother with the multiplayer, there are much better multiplayer experiences out there.










Boring and not worth playing.


SCORE: 6.5









If I could just judge this game as a single-player package, it would've turned out a lot better. But I unfortunately have to judge it as an overall package, which obviously draws down the score. I'm only saying this because I don't want you to think I have anything against this game, the single-player is absolutely amazing, but the multiplayer portion drags it down.




- Fantastic storyline.

- Good soundtrack.

- Fun combat.

- Great set-pieces.

- Great sense of progression.



- Very derivative.

- Boring multiplayer.

- Superfluous hunting and skills.

- Flat supporting cast.

- Easy puzzles.


FINAL SCORE: 7.5 out of 10


Watch the video review!



What have they done? WHAT HAVE THEY DONE?


Oh, and I know those sound effects in the intro sound like they are from RPG Maker. They aren't, just some Royalty Free SE's I found online. The resemblance is uncanny though...



Hey guys, I was wondering if I could get some feedback on some templates I want to use for my video reviews. Right now there is only one, will update with more later. Here is the example.




This is the template for scoring by section.




Finally, here is the template for the end-of-video overlay.




blog-0772460001362946371.jpgAn underwhelming, but still good, sequel to Arkham Asylum.


*This game was reviewed for the PS3*


*I have fused the Audio and Presentation sections together, and they will stay this way going forward*


So, I actually finished this game a few days ago and only got around to reviewing it just now. But the game is still rather fresh in my mind so I don't see it impacting the review. Still, regardless, I'm going to say right from the beginning that I just don't feel this game is as good as Arkham Asylum.


While the game is solid, there are just enough mistakes that it drags down the overall experience somewhat.













I want to make sure this is clear from the get go, this game looks fantastic. The detail on show is is downright ridiculous.


The character models are just downright fantastic. While Bruce Wayne's initial model has wonky eyes, the rest of the detail on show here makes up for it. Especially in Batman's costume, that degrades as the game goes on. By the end, it'll be torn up so badly it's hard to recognize it as the same uniform. It looks absolutely great.


Another thing that it gets right is the environment of Arkham City. It all looks great, and even with such a limited setting, it does manage to convey a nice if small variety of locations. It's also a nice open-world as well, even if a few loading screens between areas tend to get in the way.


But lets not also forget the animations, which are smooth and really helps sell the Batman persona. Especially the way the cape moves with your actions, I never saw it once clip through the rest of Batman's model, and I say that's an accomplishment. Because a lot of capes in games just seem to clip through some part of the model, and it always ends up screwing with immersion, but that doesn't happen here.


But it's not just Batman himself that displays this, other characters such as the Joker are also well displayed. Their character models definitely maintain that quality during cutscenes as well.


The menus on the other hand could definitely use some work. Especially the progression menu which is poorly laid out, hardly explained, and hard to read. I mean, you get the gist, but it could still definitely use improvement. The main menu isn't that much better either.


Luckily, the Heads-Up-Display always seems to convey the right amount of information at the right times. Detective Mode also looks very cool, with that webbing effect other games use, while also not being completely necessary and seems to be balanced nicely with the gameplay so that it doesn't end up becoming intrusive. My only complaints about it is that some important objects aren't highlighted very well and the text when you're looking at something is extremely small.


The audio is also pretty good with a decent soundtrack (with an awesome, but a bit overused, main theme). Not to mention some amazing voice acting, including Mark Hamill's final portrayal as the Joker. Kevin Conroy also puts in a great performance as Batman, and there is solid acting all around, even for the less important character (although, one of the side characters obviously had the same voice actor as Oracle). The sound effects are also good and well implemented.


Still, this game has some fantastic presentation. Without it, the game wouldn't be nearly as good, as it's that atmosphere and animation that really sell the game and make you feel like Batman.


SCORE: 9.5








This is where the game really falters, especially compared to the original and brilliant Arkham Asylum.


First, there are really two main plots to the game. They don't weave together all that much, and when they do, they aren't very well implemented.


But the biggest problem with this dynamic is that one will end up interfering with the other quite often. Just as your getting interested in Joker's storyline, it'll pull you into Strange's, and vice-versa. It makes the game feel inconsistent and shoddily put together story-wise.


Another thing that only irritates this problem is the wide variety of characters on display, and how they just completely randomly show up. The first time you here from Oracle, she tunes in at a completely random and rather out of place moment. The one and only time you see Robin is completely out of nowhere.


This extends to the villains to, which only seem to exist for the point of being there.


The plot is an absolute confusing mess. It's extremely hard to follow because it keeps switching it up way too often, bringing in villains at random moments and making the plot lack meaning. It tightens up in the games last hour or so, but this doesn't help the rest of the game feel any less random.


The problem here is just that the game tries to convey too much in too short a time. There are too many characters, two separate storylines shoddily weaved together, and too much confusion. It never slows down to really explain whats going on, so you often end up really depending on the loading screen recaps, and sometimes they don't go far enough back to be very helpful.


You think I'm done? Nope.


Not only does all of that happen, but another problem that irritates and my biggest one really is that the game makes sure you know it takes place in the comic book universe. Unless you are an avid comic reader, expect to be lost from pretty much the very start of the game. Arkham Asylum tried to reference the comics as little as possible as far as I remember, this game does it all the time, and it makes the game confusing for people like me that just want a Batman story that doesn't require background understanding.


Oh, and don't buy the Catwoman DLC if you buy this game used or rent it. It's completely unnecessary unlike some will try to tell you, and adds very little to the storyline, and actually only ends up screwing with the pacing. She's a cool character and her story is rather cool, but she only makes the games plot even harder to follow, and as I just said she interferes with the pacing by popping in at seemingly random moments instead of feeling integrated with the main storyline.


Still, the game does sport an awesome and completely unexpected ending, which I suppose is a plus. The dialogue is also pretty well done when it doesn't come from absolutely nowhere. But, as I said, it is not enough to redeem this complete mess. It really disappoints me to, because the potential was there.


It just lacked the necessary focus.


SCORE: 4.5








But, Rocksteady still managed to nail the gameplay. The reason this game is still good is because it's just merely fun to play. It may be a bit simple, but it's still fun.


There are basically a few things you'll be doing here. Number one is combat, which is fun. It's a simple one button to hit, one button to counter, one button to stun, and one button to evade system. But while it's simple, it still requires tactics to be good at and you won't win by just button mashing. Another thing that really adds to the combat is the variation of enemy type and the gadgets you acquire throughout the game.


Most gadgets have hotkeys and short button commands to use them during combat, and as you go through you'll get more and more gadgets that help you mix it up. For instance, after you get the grapple, you can use it during combat to pull a guy in and then clothesline him. Then there are freeze grenades you get late in the game that you can use to freeze enemies in place.


One problem with the combat though is the way the combo counter functions. It's a bit unforgiving, and somewhat discourages you from using your gadgets as it will probably end your multiplier. There are no real physical beneficial effects from combos other then feeling cool, but it still would've been more fun if it gave you a bit more time to make your actions.


Still, if you can ignore it and just focus on having fun, then you should have a blast with it. Because this game is no cakewalk, it's actually rather difficult. The problem with this is that most of the difficulty doesn't actually come from the combat, but the clunky stealth mechanics.


I don't remember having this many problems sneaking around in the original, but I had a lot of them here. Mostly because nearly every enemy in the game is using one of those annoying heartbeat monitors. This makes the game extremely frustrating to sneak in, because you can't take out a guy silently without everybody in the room running to his locations.


This can make the game overly difficult, because the sneaking sections contain a bunch of guys with guns. You don't want to get in these guys line of sight, because they will completely tear you apart in seconds with their extreme level of accuracy. So the problem ends up being that you have plenty of options, but not the circumstances to use them in because the stealth is just downright clunky and frustrating when it should be fun. Not only that, stealth sections are rather common. Most of the time I would just use brute force to force my way through these sections instead of trying to actually be a predator, which frustrated me because I am a stealth fan.


Still, the combat and navigation around Arkham City really end up alleviating these problems. It's a lot of fun to glide around Arkham City, and there's plenty of side-stuff to do as well.


If you're one to collect things, there are hundreds of Riddler Trophies hidden around the city for you to collect... and they net you some pretty neat bonuses like audio logs with interesting stuff.


My interest was mostly vested in the side-missions, which put you in some cool situations without the writing getting in the way of your experience. There are also quite a few of them, so it'll keep you busy for a few hours completing them all and they are pretty fun with some small side-stories. Although, I avoided the Riddler ones because I hate the guy.


There are also challenge rooms to practice your skills in. These are also a fun distraction.


Also, there are some small but neat puzzles.


Oh, and just before I get to mention, the last thing to cover is the great boss battles. With the exception of the Two-Face boss in Catwoman's storyline, they are all fun and require some good thinking and instincts. Unfortunately though, there aren't that many of them so they end up being a rather forgettable part of the game.


My point here though is that the game is fun to play, regardless of issues with stealth and the poorly set up progression system.










So is this game great? No, it isn't. But is it good? Is it fun? Yes to both of those things.


In my opinion, Arkham Asylum is just the better game for those concerned with story, but that doesn't mean I hate this game. It's a very well put together game whose writing could use a lot of work.


SCORE: 7.8














- Great combat.

- Decent soundtrack.

- Excellent voice acting.

- Amazing graphics and character models.

- Awesome extras.



- Frustrating stealth.

- Poorly written and confusing storyline.

- Characters that come out of nowhere.

- Too dependent on the comics.

- Poorly laid out menus.


FINAL SCORE: 7.8 out of 10

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