Tekken 7: Josie Rizal Makes her Arcade Debut!

Posted in Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Tekken 7 on April 21st, 2015 by thelonegamer

The Maven from Manila makes her arcade debut.

Today, April 21, marks the debut of new challenger Josie Rizal in the arcade version of Tekken 7! Already a few vids have been posted on Youtube (such as the one above), showing the young kickboxer in action. Admittedly, her moves and style are very similar to veteran (and MIA) fighter Bruce, which are leading some to speculate he won’t be returning.

Well, I think Josie moves a bit faster and has a lighter feel than Bruce, and I do love her cool spinning kicks. No telling when us gamers in Manila will be able to get play with Josie ourselves- but till then thankfully Tekken 7 footage is not rare these days. So, with Josie out, who’s next to be revealed?

Tekken 7: Josie Rizal Debut Date Set!

Posted in Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Tekken, Tekken 7 on April 16th, 2015 by thelonegamer

Filipino Tekken Fighter Josie is ready to fight!

Some time ago, the Tekken Team introduced the latest totally new addition to the Tekken 7 roster, Filipino Kickboxer Josie Rizal. Whether it was planned or not, this virtual character’s debut certainly was felt throughout the world of social media and the internet, trending worldwide soon after she was introduced thanks to the Filipinos’ penchant for supporting anything and everything Pinoy with their texts and emails.

As well-known as Josie has become, her introduction hasn’t come without some controversy, with objections to the character’s name (inspired by the Philippines’ national hero, Jose Rizal) being voiced by some supposed representatives of government or some sort of authority. A supposed TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) against Josie’s release by an agency of the Philippine Government turned out to be a hoax or April’s Fool Joke, and the supposed agency involved i the fiasco has officially denied giving any such ruling or opinion on the matter.

Bottom-line, Josie Rizal is coming to Tekken 7, and now there’s a release date- April 21. She should be then playable in Japanese arcades, so we are certainly stoked to see just how well she plays.

Guest of Thrones: Jon Snow with Seth Meyers

Posted in Action Adventure, Fantasy, Game of Thrones, TV on April 11th, 2015 by thelonegamer

And I thought I’d love having Jon Snow over for dinner…

Funny video from Late Night with Seth Meyers… with a Game of Thrones-themed skit having Kit Harington in full character as his on-screen alter ego, Jon Snow, as a dinner guest in modern-era New York. The GOT Protagonist may be a heroic warrior, leader of men possessed of a compelling story, but I guess he may not be the most pleasant of dinner guests… or is he? Heck, I thought he was pretty awesome heh. This is just a perfect way to get me into the Game of Thrones mood- the 5th Season debuts tomorrow, April 12 (well, Monday in the US I guess), which means I’ll probably get my hands on the first episode Tuesday or so. Still thinking of getting a bunch before diving into my only TV series of recent times. We’ll see.

10 Reasons Why You Should Play Bloodborne

Posted in Action Adventure, Bloodborne, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PS4, RPGs on April 11th, 2015 by thelonegamer

The Hunt Begins…

I’ve had the pleasure of playing From Software’s latest action-RPG, Bloodborne, for the past week. It’s been bloody bliss, and this from a player who couldn’t get into or through any of the game’s predecessors- the Dark Souls games. Yep, the Dark Souls games make me shrivel and I just don’t have the masochism to endure those nightmares. But how the heck am I getting into Bloodborne then, which is pretty much the third Souls game in all but name? Well, here are the reasons why, from me.

1. It’s a Horror-Fantasy Steampunk Action RPG set in a nightmarish version of Old London, with Lovecraftian elements- and we really don’t get as many of those as we should. It’s a dark, DARK world to explore and experience but somehow is incredibly fun and compelling. You play a foreigner to the land of Yharnam, a Hunter bent on penetrating the secrets of this plague-and-beast-infested place for your own mysterious ends, and once you begin, you can’t let go.

2. It looks GORGEOUS. Despite the 30FPS, this is truly a PS4-magnitude game that will make you happy you invested in Sony’s Black Slab. The settings are darkly fascinating, the creatures that dwell it are things of horrific beauty, and it all looks amazing on a big HDTV.

3. The gameplay is fast, challenging but accessible. Even early on, your Hunter can dispatch most enemies fairly fast and easily- if you know how to properly play. Key is understanding the use of your Tools- firearms aren’t meant to actually kill for the most part, but are best used for Parries- shoot an enemy at close range just as they’re attacking, and you’ll stun them, leaving them open to a devastating follow-up. The same thing was also in Dark Souls, but here it is far easier (but still takes learning and mastering) and far more effective (and satisfying).

4. Leveling Up is fast and straightforward. Having a hard time? Level up. Yes, it will entail grinding, but the rewards for your training will pay off as you get better and once deadly foes become easier to dispatch. You won’t be doing as varied builds as with more traditional RPGs or like in the Souls games, as your Hunter will be more about what weapons he or she will be using.

5. You usually get to wear awesome trenchcoats. And there is something darkly badass than playing a basically what is a heroic version of Jack the Ripper prowling London. OR you can just cross-dress.

Uncover the secrets of Bloodborne…

6. The Enemies are AMAZINGLY scary and varied like you won’t believe. Aside from how freaky a lot of these enemies look, the way they act and move makes battles challenging and fun. Boss Battles are HARD but always doable, and once you beat a hard boss, you WILL yell in triumph and it feels freakin’ good. But forget that- even the common enemies are awesome freaks to behold, and it’s a truly weird pleasure to find out what the next zone or stage of this game has in store for you. I am sure- you will find yourself going WHAT THE HELL IS THAT many times in your first go…

7. Bloodborne’s weapons are BADASS. Look for new implements of bloodletting- there aren’t as many as in the Souls games, but you will surely find a favorite, some weird ones you’ll want to try just for how odd they look, and obsess about stats and upgrades like nothing. Find your favorite tool. Love your tool. Master it. You’ll be so happy. Oh, and did I mention you can get a CANNON?

8. This is legitimately a scary game, creepy and disturbing and will push all the right buttons to creep you out. Insane wails and howls, persistent whispers and footsteps, cancerous coughing… it all makes for a feast of disturbing cacophony that makes this game so immersive. Never mind that you will be facing off with freaks of nature, otherworldy fiends and murderous mobs of psychotics- the sheer dread of what lies behind every corner is already suspenseful enough.

9. The Level Design is textbook awesome From Software mastery. Explore and open up shortcuts that will make you smile as your efforts are rewarded by an easier way back to a deadly boss that kicked your arse. From did their work well.

10. In all, Bloodborne is Dark Souls that any gamer with a bit of patience can get into and have fun with, without the hardcore bent and sometimes impenetrable difficulty of that venerated series. Is it for ‘casuals’? Not really either; you need to get into this game, to let it seep into your veins. You will die, and die many times, but you will somehow still be having fun. And just coming back for more.

New Witcher III: The Wild Hunt Trailer… WOW!

Posted in Action Adventure, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Open World Games, PC Gaming, PS4, Xbox One on April 11th, 2015 by thelonegamer

I want into this game. NOW.

With about a month or so left of waiting to go, The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt has been on many a gamer’s wish list for a couple of years now. I myself have put this on the back burner- until NOW. The game is looking positively amazing, with the detail of the world and the complex story being really big draws for me. I have to admit, the gameplay hasn’t totally sold on me- I’ve always found the combat loose and fidgety, too much fumbling about in menus. Still, you just can’t deny the way this game’s looks and feels… IF the devs deliver on all the stuff they’re promising. I do hope the final game is as great as they’re been making it out to be.

Still, the trailer above is something else. This game… I cannot wait to get Witchin’. May can’t come soon enough…

MORE Bloodborne Gushing?!

Posted in Action Adventure, Bloodborne, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS4, RPGs on April 10th, 2015 by thelonegamer

My first life-or-death boss fight in Bloodborne…

Man, I love this game. Really though, just a bit after I posted my first article on Bloodborne, From Software’s recent bloody brilliant new release, I almost gave up on it. But I am so glad I kept playing. A Souls game (as in Dark Souls or such) in look and feel but oddly more accessible and might I say, comprehensible, Bloodborne is an addictive action-horror RPG battle-crawl that will have you coming back for more and then some.

Set in the carnage-filled, madness-swathed city(?) of Yharnam, Bloodborne follows the path of a Hunter (Your Charater)- a foreigner who has come seeking some sort of cure for an unknown affliction. But unfortunately, you arrive on the night of the hunt, where most Yharnamites can be found wandering the streets, crazed and attacking all in sight, while only a rare few cower in their homes in fear. Blood is the only currency in this place, and you earn it by killing every hostile you encounter. As you kill, you grow stronger and earn/find better gear and upgrades so you can explore further, kill more and stronger creatues, and, well… don’t get ahead of yourself.

The setting, a nightmarish version of Jack the Ripper’s London crossed with Lovecraftian horror and Steampunk, is a vast playground of murderous fun. Explore, find paths, open up shortcuts, DIE, keep exploring- it’s Dark Souls but with various changes that set it apart but tons more to keep it the same. Dying means you lose the money (or Blood Echoes, the ‘Souls’ of this game) you’ve collected to that point, but you can recover them by getting back to the point of death without dying AGAIN. A bit more complex though is the wrinkle that sometimes your Echoes won’t be just on the ground waiting to be picked up- you may need to find an enemy carrying them (look for glowing eyes) and kill it before you get your money back.

You will usually be armed with a weapon or implement in each hand- your left is usually a firearm that is mostly useful for Parrying- fire at an enemy just as they are in their attack animation and you’ll stun them, opening them up to a DEVASTATING follow-up strike or Visceral Attack. Mastering this move is key to owning the stronger enemies in the game, which would otherwise take a lot more striking and dodging. As you explore the game and level up, more and odder weapons and tools will become available, and they should be a treat to discover.

A regular Dark Souls game requires a large amount of patience which often makes the difference between a gamer liking it or not- Bloodborne is for those who don’t have it; it’s more about taking the offense and striking fast and hard, dodging when needed, and attacking again. Blocking is almost non-existent; survival is all about dodging or keeping your Hunter aware of the environment so you can avoid enemy strikes and go in for the kill.

That is not to say this game is a cake walk, or that you’re going to be able to Rambo your way past the huge number of mobs waiting to cut you up into meat chunks. Often you’ll need to lure enemies little by little, on occasion using stealth, to overcome the opposition.
When the inevitable boss battles come though, all bets are off- you’ll need to dodge and use all the skills you build up as you play. But somehow, it’s still doable even to a klutz like me.

Controls though are very intuitive, relatively simple and very easy to get into. The gameplay it, most importantly, FUN and very rewarding. Once you get past the initial hours of frustration and settle into the game’s ‘rhythm’, you’ll just find yourself chuckling in sadness at those who are still struggling with getting into it. Now you realize, so THAT is what these Souls Players are all feeling…

One good thing about Bloodborne is the pretty straightforward Leveling Up system- gather enough Blood Echoes, you can level up back at your little headquarters (after some conditions are met). Every time you level up, you get a wee bit more resistant and resilient- it will surely make your character more powerful and hopefully the game a bit easier… maybe.
There’s TONS of gameplay, secrets and story to be had in Bloodborne, and even with the week’s worth of play I’ve had so far, I feel I’ve only just waded into this world’s bloody depths. This is truly a PS4 game not to be missed (perhaps the first real title on the console that is a true MUST PLAY), and I say if you haven’t yet tasted Bloodborne, you’re missing a lot.

Mortal Kombat X Launch Trailer

Posted in Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat X, PC Gaming, PS4, Xbox One on April 7th, 2015 by thelonegamer

It has begun. Well, in about a week.

Netherrealms just recently posted the launch trailer to their just-around-the-corner sequel, Mortal Kombat X, and it is looking EPIC. The spot shows off scenes from the sure-to-be-awesome Story Mode as well as tons of in-game action, most of which looks just as good as the cinematics. This is truly a nextgen-looking fighter, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Just little more than a week left of waiting. Heck, you can probably spoil yourself rotten on info and cinemas right now. Anyways, check out the trailer above if you haven’t already.

Gushing About Bloodborne

Posted in Action Adventure, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS4, RPGs on April 6th, 2015 by thelonegamer

Let’s get this out of the way first- I am NOT good at the Souls games. Never finished any of them- from the original Demon’s Souls to Dark Souls II, never got through them. I probably played a bit of Dark Souls, but I never got past the second Bell. The plot is just too- cryptic, the directions non-existent, the game system impenetrable to anyone not wanting to research on forums or FAQs aplenty.

Perhaps Skyrim and Bethesda games or other RPGs spoiled me, but really- there’s a culture of Withstanding Adversity and Seemingly Unrelenting Difficulty that I really never got into in the Souls games. As often said, you either hate these games or are a fervent worshipper. I fall somewhere in between- I love them, love the idea of them, am intrigued by the world- but I just can’t play them. So more or less, I live my Souls life vicariously through Let’s Plays on Youtube (Brickwallgames for Dark Souls and Super Best Friends for DS2).

That said, for some reason, I bought a copy of Bloodborne, and unlike most PS4 games I have at the ol’ Gaming Sanctum, I actually popped it into the Black Slab last week and tried it- and promptly coughed up blood after getting my head handed to me by a hulking, axe-wielding Hunchback in the first level. There I thought, NO WAY. BIG mistake.

It was only after watching an episode or two of SBF’s Bloodborne LP did I find out that heck, that boss that was giving me trouble is apparently an optional boss, and at the starting level is very much a challenge (unless you’re a veteran at these sorts of games). To be fair, I did almost kill the bastard by throwing a fortune’s worth of Molotov Cocktails at him, but screwed up at the last moment. When I picked up the game again and tried it a second time- suddenly something kinda clicked.

At some point, I stopped being a player trying out a new game, and was suddenly just a Hunter, a newcomer and stranger to the gothic nightmare city of Yharnam, a place fallen almost completely to madness and horror. Somehow, wading through the crazed citizens and utterly hideous beasts had lost the feel of being a chore, and had become inexplicably satisfying and rewarding. Needed more Blood Echoes. Needed to get stronger. Need to see what comes next. I was done in- Bloodborne was in my, well, blood.

I think part of it is in the vastly different pace compared to the earlier Souls games. From Demon Souls to Dark Souls 2, it was a game of patience, waiting, baiting and striking at the most opportune moment, or deciphering an enemy’s patterns. Otherwise, you’d usually end up dead, and worse (yes, Worse) frustrated.
Bloodborne is far more player-friendly (and casual friendly, I say) by rewarding a more aggressive sort of play. Make no mistake, you will still die and die quickly if you rush in like Rambo in every situation, but the more bloody, active and fast-paced combat is far more accessible now.

The key is in a couple of mechanics- you hold a weapon in each hand- the left is usually a kind of firearm, while the right holds you main means of death-dealing, usually some gory weapon of slicing and dicing. Guns don’t really cause much damage, but are used to stun foes which leaves them open to evisceration from your other weapon. You have no shield and protection is limited to whatever armor or protective clothing you can find/buy, so dodging or hopping out of the way when an enemy attacks is key- however. That said, it all seems more doable now, far more forgiving than any of the Souls games.

But a Souls game Bloodborne really is, despite a lot of mechanics being either toned down or simplified. You still have a Hub world which provides the only safe haven, as well as an comely but somewhat creepy lady fair to comfort you (and level you up). There are weapons to find/earn/buy and upgrade, your attributes to improve and a world to explore. And the ENEMIES. DAAMN, this game is not for the faint of heart. Enemies are downright scary and though I’ve seen only a few of them so far, I am sure that there will be truly twisted beings lying in wait for me as I explore the streets and crevices of Yharnam.

I don’t know how deep into this game I can get, but this early, I have to say I am hooked. I can’t wait to get back into Bloodborne, and that’s a good sign.