Kicking Butt and Taking Names in Thedas

Posted in Dragon Age Inquisition, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, Open World Games, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, RPGs, Xbox One, Xbox360 on December 1st, 2014 by thelonegamer

Vivienne and Cassandra show off their stuff in the latest Characters Trailer for DAI.

When I last posted about Dragon Age: Inquisition, I told of my epic, uphill battle (well, more like WAR) against the first dragon in the game- the Hinterlands’ Ferelden Frostback- supposedly the ‘easiest’ dragon in the game. Well, humorously enough, since then I’ve killed THREE more dragons, and although the battles were certainly epic, I actually killed them all pretty much as a matter of course, thanks mainly to my character- the Inquisitor in particular- suddenly becoming this all-powerful badass.
As I’ve said before, my first Inquisitor is a female Elf Mage. At the start, mages are very weak, with low damage output and low armor. It was offset by the variety of flashy spells at their diposal (with Barrier, glorious BARRIER). However, it is always a bit of a scare when you see big, armored bruisers gleefully running at you, aching to bury their huge swords hilt-deep into your gut. Well, that changes once you become a frekkin’ Knight Enchanter.

Once you reach a certain level in DAI, you can specialize your character- which opens up a new skill tree and new spells and powers to employ. For Mages, you can choose from three- Necromancer, Rift Mage or Knight Enchanter. I went for KE, which the trainer touted as the class for those who want ‘To Lead’. Basically what it does is turn your scrawny mage into a Magical Tank, wading into the thickest battle and laying waste to the opposition with her magic powers and a blade of solid light. Yes, basically you’re a goddamn JEDI in Thedas.

Your initiation is pretty straightforward- you gotta build your own Lightsa- well, spirit sword hilt (which entails you opening up an area to collect the needed metals). Once you do, congrats! You’re on your way to becoming a veritable scourge of the battlefield even Iron Bull will respect.

The key to your power is both your offense and defense- the Knight Enchanter uses Barrier to keep themselves from being damaged. With the right passive skills in place, you can keep your barrier up indefinitely by simply hitting with your spirit blade- so basically the more you attack and cause damage, the more you keep invulnerable. It sounds awesome, and it IS. However, it’s doesn’t make you TOTALLY unkillable or indestructible- I was overmatched in one instance by a pretty exceptional enemy group, but other than that I have been kicking ass every time- it kinda helps that I am a bit over-leveled now- at Level 20.

You’d think some games would become boring or un-fun once you become too poweful, but not really in this case- nor was it when I reached a certain level in Skyrim. It just opens up the world for you which is quite liberating and empoweringly fun. Also, being so powerful fits with you character being this unstoppable leader of what amounts to Thedas’ most feared and powerful army of justice, and at this point I am having so much freakin’ fun with the game. FINALLY I got back to those stupid overpowered Rifts in the Hinterlands and wiped the floor with those damn demons. Heh.
I’ve actually still got quite a bit of the game to go, but thanks to my power, I do think I’ll more or less coast through to the ending, which is fine. I wonder though what class I’ll take in my second playthrough… and I hope it’s as powerful or just as kickass… but hell- my Knight Enchanter Elf Inquisitor is one almighty fury on the field. Love it.

The Lone Gamer’s Tips to Playing Dragon Age: Inquisition

Posted in Dragon Age Inquisition, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, Open World Games, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, RPGs, Xbox One, Xbox360 on November 28th, 2014 by thelonegamer

Have you made the leap into Thedas yet?

Since I started playing Dragon Age: Inquisition last November 18, I’ve clocked in more than 50 hours into this mammoth Bioware RPG. There are things I’ve learned during that time that will surely make the lives of subsequent Inquisitors a lot easier. Here are some of them, placed for your reference!

Being a Pack Rat is Good. Like in every good RPG, one thing you’ll want to do as a matter of course in DAI is to just grab everything that isn’t nailed down and stuff it into your Inquisitor backpack. There are dozens of things to find- loot, weapons, armor, valuables, crafting materials and what have you. Every so often you’ll find an awesome sword, staff or clothing to upgrade your party members. The random stuff you pick up may be a crucial ingredient for some sidequest, requisition or potion, so you’ll kick yourself if you realize you ignored that rare reagent.

Don’t Buy. Craft! In the course of your journeys, you’ll eventually amass a lot of gold (sell those valuables!) and you may get tempted to grab some powerful-looking weapon or armor from some merchant. I say, resist. The most powerful gear is stuff you craft yourself- save your money for buying RECIPES and SCHEMATICS. Crafted arms and armor have the benefit of getting max values and additional properties like buffing the wearer’s health or giving them extra powers.

Socialize. Always take the time to find your companions when you’re hanging out in the stronghold or so. Chat and get to know them, and perhaps unlock a romance option or a personal quest. These sidestories are the best parts of DAI, so don’t miss out on them because you were too focused on silly crap like saving the world…

Find those shards! Yes, they have a use and they’re kinda worth the effort. Gotta get ‘em all!

Killing Dragons is Awesome. To be sure, these monstrous titans are not to be taken lightly. But don’t be afraid to give it a try and see if you can make a dent in the buggers. Tactical Cam view may be key to taking them out, or just really good preparation or a strategy. When you do take out a dragon, the rewards are worth it and, well, it just feels damn good. Kinda sad though that there are only ten of them…

Get Fade Step. If you’re a Mage, there’s a power in the Winter
tree that lets you zip forward like a white flash- kinda like Whirlwind Sprint but one you can actually curve or aim if you wish. Using this can get you to some seemingly unreachable parts of the world- all the better to get those darn irritating shards…

Broaden Your Horizons. Don’t stay too long in The Hinterlands. This is something a lot of sites have said, and they’re right. Don’t try to finish off an entire zone before moving on. You can always revisit them to finish off whatever you missed. The variety of locales and atmosphere you’ll see in Thedas is awesome, and you shouldn’t burn yourself out in just one region for days and days. Take care though that some regions will probably be very high-level and dangerous unless you’ve leveled up some.

Save Often, and do Many Saves Slots. Sometimes you may want to redo a dungeon, or discover that you missed a crucial part or segment. Or maybe you wish you answered someone differently? Making saves ensure you can give something a second try if you want, without having to go through another new playthrough to do so (unless you want to!).

But one thing I still recommend is to NOT rush. Just take in the sights, read what can be read, do what you want to do. This is a game that is so stuffed with content you may miss a ton if you don’t see things through with care. But hey, whatever floats your boat is good. You can always just play again. Thedas is your oyster, peeps! A demon-infested oyster but heck, isn’t that the best kind?

Guilty Gear Xrd’s Story Mode Previewed!

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Guilty Gear Xrd Sign, PS3, PS4 on November 21st, 2014 by thelonegamer

Go beyond the Arcade Mode…

Arc System Works recently streamed a couple of major videos showing off their upcoming console releases of Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN. One showed off the game’s extended Story Mode, which goes beyond the uniform ‘Bad Ending’ everyone seems to get in the regular Arcade mode. Unfortunately, unless you speak Japanese, the action above will be kinda hard to follow. However, we do see Leo, the newly-revealed additional character
It also looks like after Sol wins and is subsequently attacked by Ramlethal, an intervention by new character Elphelt allows Sol to turn the tables, capturing the kawaii boss girl. What happens then? Can the heroes somehow stop the apocalypse from the Backyard? Does every character get the full story treatment like the cinematics above? I do hope so- this looks amazing.

A LONG features promotional vid is available as well.

Aside from the Story Mode preview vid, ASW also posted a more than 12-minute PV showing off the game’s many features, modes and even extras. It’s all in Japanese, but hey, we get to see more of the game which is never bad. GGXrd is out in Japan this coming December 4, while US gamers get it on December 16.

Let’s Hype: Far Cry 4

Posted in Action Adventure, Far Cry 4, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Open World Games, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, Xbox One on November 19th, 2014 by thelonegamer

Welcome to Kyrat!

Along with GTAV and Dragon Age: Inquisition, one of the Xbox One games I purchased yesterday was Far Cry 4. Now, I am not traditionally a shooter fan- and this is definitely an FPS. However, it IS an FPS with character and an amazingly colorful setting to play in.

I remember of course that I also loved Far Cry 3- the reason for which was probably centered mainly around the game’s psychotic villain, Vaas, who figured prominently in the advertising. Insane but fun adversaries have since become the apparent trademark of the Far Cry series (I don’t recall FC2 having as much focus, but then game marketing then was a bit less flashy). Similar to FC4, Far Cry 3 also had a gorgeous setting to cause havoc in- although I guess there was a bit disconnect in that the story of FC3 didn’t really allow for you, the protagonist, to tarry too much.
Far Cry 3′s hero, Jason Brody, is the single member of his group of friends to escape capture by the island’s ruthless gangs of pirates. Against the odds, Jason had to arm himself and work towards rescuing his brother and friends- though in reality a lot of the time you’ll probably also be hunting the local wildlife, zipping around on a jetski, enjoying the views and making yourself a lot of cash.

Far Cry 4′s story and setting allow for far more open world exploration and taking in the lay of the land. As Ajay Ghale (pronounced in-game as Ah-jay Gah-lay), a returning Kyrati-American, you arrive back in the fictional Nepal-like Kyrat with the initial purpose of spreading your deceased mother’s ashes in her homeland. Soon after arriving though, you find yourself embroiled in the country’s ongoing civil war.
On one side, and certainly filling in the slot of psychotic madman is Pagan Min (voiced by Troy Baker), he of the pink wardrobe and blonde hair, Kyrat’s despotic tyrant who rules the land with an iron fist (pinky finger extended). On the other side are guerrillas of The Golden Path, apparently commanded by two leaders of differing ways of going about things. It’s clear at the outset that you’re going to eventually choose sides in this war, but in the meantime you are also given quite the leeway to find your roots, get acquainted with your motherland, explore and just… have fun.

It’s also going to be a bit more controlled fun, since a Karma system is in place that penalizes players who go on GTA-like rampages. So while you can defend yourself from hostile wildlife and hunt for needed skins and pelts to fashion needed equipment, you should probably refrain from slaughtering innocent villagers or exploding elephants with C4. But the schtick is that the land, given its situation and huge gallery of dangers and features, anything can happen (and probably will) as you roam the countryside.

But really, the first thing I can say about this game is that it looks goddamn beautiful- something I am saying a lot with Next-Gen games recently. Hi-res visuals, lots of action, an intriguing story that begs you to step in and make your mark in… this is why I am hyped to get into Far Cry 4. The only problem is, how to divide my time between this looker of a shooter and Dragon Age: Inquisition…

Dragon Age: Inquisition ‘The Breach’ Trailer

Posted in Dragon Age Inquisition, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Open World Games, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, RPGs, Xbox One on November 14th, 2014 by thelonegamer

One more cinematic trailer to whet our appetites for the RPG bliss next week.

Bioware’s mammoth RPG, Dragon Age: Inquisition is about four days away, and really- it’s all just a matter of time and waiting. So far we’re getting what appears to be a constant stream of trailers- some have been character-based spots, but this one in particular is pretty cool; a cinematic trailer that just screams EPIC! Loving the quality of the visuals, from sweeping vistas of the war-torn, varied lands of Thedas, culminating in a pitched battle between the Inquisition and Demons of the Fade. Awesome!

Conceivably, one can already be playing the game now, with an Xbox One and an EA Access subscription. This will give the player 6 hours of trial gameplay, which can then be passed into the final game once you purchase it. Very tempting, I guess. I am intending to try the PC and Xbox One versions, and have decided to just delay getting a PS4 until next month (when Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN arrives).

For now, all I can do is wait and just subsist on the many early access vids appearing online. But when this game arrives… MAN, this is going to be… glorious.

Musing About Dragon Age: Inquisition

Posted in Action Adventure, Dragon Age Inquisition, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Open World Games, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, RPGs, Xbox One, Xbox360 on October 20th, 2014 by thelonegamer

What kind of Hero will you be in Thedas?

The upcoming and much-awaited, much-hyped Bioware RPG sequel, Dragon Age: Inquisition is one of my most-awaited games in recent memory. I played a TON of the first game in the series- Dragon Age: Origins- always as a human noble though, several playthroughs to see the various endings. As for the sophomore outing, I sadly kinda skipped most of Dragon Age 2- I played several hours, getting my female Hawk into Kirkwall but from there I kinda drifted away from the game and never really got into it.

Since then, I understand there have been a lot of media released since- novels, side stories and such- but I never really got into them. But I am VERY stoked for Inquisition. It just feels and looks so Epic… YOU as the leader of your own Crusade. It looks to fulfill all your fantasy power fantasies and more, providing you with your own army, fortress, allies, spies and such- how could it all go wrong?

Well, to be fair I do have quite a few reservations. All this time I have been playing Modded Skyrim, and I have to say, it may be a bit jarring for me to come to a party-based game played entirely from third person. I am finding the pyrotechnic-heavy combat of DAI so far seen in videos a bit too flashy and hard to follow. But perhaps this is all in how you play the game and use the skills that will be laid out for you.

That said, thinking about the promising, epic plot- what is behind this grave threat to all of Thedas, the banter and interaction between you and your companions and members of the Inquisition, and what kind of Leader your Inquisitor may become in the course of the game- it all fills me with thoughts of awesome. I can’t freakin’ wait.

Now all I am thinking is deciding what platform to play it on. I do think my current gaming PC can handle DAI, but I’m also considering getting a PS4 for it- to dispense with any hardware hiccups and limitations. OR I could just play on my already-there XBox One. Decisions, decision! Well, I’ve got about a month left of time to decide that.

November 18 can’t come soon enough! DAAAAMN. Are you guys prepared for the Inquisition? I certainly am.

Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN US Release Date!

Posted in Anime, Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Guilty Gear Xrd Sign, PS3, PS4 on October 17th, 2014 by thelonegamer

Now this is one gorgeous brawler.

FINALLY after what seemed to be an eternity, the official Playstation Blog has revealed the release date for the US version of Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN. The game will be out on PS3 and PS4 on December 16- just two weeks after the Japanese release.

On offer will be one amazing-looking game, that will be 1080p on PS4 at 60FPS (720p on PS3), with wonderfully-detailed and animated 3D characters made to look like 2D sprites- reaLly, this game is literally an anime in 3D in every sense, and it is awesome. 16 characters are playable at last count, which include a host of returning favorites and several newcomers.
The all-new fighters include the mysterious Bedman- a strange young man (yes MALE) who fights while asleep in a menacing ambulatory BED- the seemingly emotionless but super-cute Ramlethal Valentine- the game’s apparent boss and world-threatening super-villainess who come with two HUGE swords for dealing with lowly mortals.

Making their debut on the consoles are Sin and Elphelt. Sin is the son of series protagonist Ky Kiske and his wife Dizzy- a young man (he grew to his current state at an accelerated rate) who fights with his dad’s trademark lightning and what appears to be a flagpole(?). Meanwhile, Elphelt (who really reminds me of Alisa froM Tekken) is an artificial girl- yet another Valentine and purportedly Ramlethal’s sibling- who is dressed in wedding-like attire and wields a variety of firearms- talk about shotgun wedding!

The home versions of Xrd will include an extended Story/Arcade mode that will elaborate more on the plot that was left hanging in the arcade version, which we assume will include cutscenes and better endings. The expected home modes should also be included. As for any more extra characters, that remains to be seen.

This is one of my most-wanted games right now, and I am fully intending to get a PS4 just for it (if not for Dragon Age Inquisition). December is going to be awesome.

TGS 2014: Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN Epicness!

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime, Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, Guilty Gear Xrd Sign, PS3, PS4 on September 18th, 2014 by thelonegamer

It’s all about EPIC trailer goodness!!!

ArcSystemWorks’ anime-styled beat ‘em up Guilty Gear Xrd Sign is coming this holiday season, and I am really wanting this game so bad. It’s GORGEOUS as heck- literally an awesome anime action extravaganza you play, and it is looking freakin’ amazing. Aside from the expanded story mode, the game will come with at least two console-exclusive characters- Sin Kiske (son of protagonist Ky) and the recently-introduced Elphelt. For their TGS showing, Arc showed off a new ‘Epic’ trailer which shows off scenes from the Story Mode (which is really my prime mode to play) and 10 minutes of raw gameplay showing off the console newcomers.

The game is set for release on PS3 and PS4 in early December in Japan- hoping it comes earlier for us Gaijin! We’ll see. My body is ready… say the word, GGXrd, and I’ll buy a PS4. Haha!

The Devs show off Sin and Elphelt gameplay.

Dragon Age: Inquisition ‘The Enemy of Thedas’ Trailer

Posted in Dragon Age Inquisition, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Open World Games, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, RPGs, Xbox360 on August 14th, 2014 by thelonegamer

DAI’s Big Bads revealed?

It’s really a bummer that the MEGA-RPG Dragon Age: Inquisition was delayed, but at least its still headed for our platforms of choice THIS year. And we get a new trailer for this awesome RPG, care of the recent Gamescom. This latest spot shows off the enemies your Inquisitor and his allies will face off for the fate of all Thedas.
It’s still quite a mystery- we get evil, ominous voices, something called ‘The Elder One’, the gladiator-like Venatori, various dragons and demons and such which will surely test your heroes to their limits.

But probably the best parts of the trailer involve some familiar faces from the past- Morrigan, THE Warden from Dragon Age Origins and Hawke from Dragon Age 2… I think part of the delay is putting these iconic heroes of DA’s past back in with more meaningful participation than just silly cameos. Heheh.

This is IMO the best trailer for the game yet (Villain Spots usually are) and I am PUMPED.

I’m still neck-deep into Skyrim thanks to my LPs, but darn, I am totally on my toes waiting for this epic. See you in November, Inquisitors!

Soul Calibur Lost Swords: The Lone Gamer’s Review

Posted in DLC, Extra Costumes, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Soul Calibur on July 8th, 2014 by thelonegamer

This F2P Time and Money Sink should have stayed lost.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Sigh. I guess it was inevitable, given the apparent failure of Soul Calibur V to meet the expectations of the Namco-Bandai masters. On one hand, that could have been the end of the Tale Eternally Retold right there… and perhaps this would have been better. But nope, NB resurrected their beloved franchise as a zombified version of itself with Soul Calibur: Lost Swords.

Soul Calibur: Lost Swords is a way to get your money. That’s all there is to it.

On Twitter, the Project Soul Twitter continually tries to sell the game with cheesecake poses of the female characters in lingerie or swimsuits, doubtless trying to draw in hot-blooded gamers like Dead or Alive does. In fairness to DOA, at least they sell DLC stuff that builds on an already solid game. Lost Swords is not even that much. The cheesecake does not exist in the game aside from the fan service outfits. The game itself is so bare bones and joyless, it is ridiculous.

Lost Swords has one mode- a single player ‘Quest’ divided into chapters with some useless text blocks of ‘story’ that makes utterly no sense or context- it’s also totally generic to any character, which means it really doesn’t matter. All there is to the game is one-round fights with three or four enemies per chapter. Defeat them to move forward. There are some missions that may unlock a playable character, or get you some gold or items.

Oh, and you start off with just one playable character- Sophitia, the longtime veteran Soul Calibur fighter killed off in SCV. For some reason (perhaps fan rejection of SCV’s killing of their beloved fave) they brought her back for this non-canon Free-to-play garbage- heck, I’ll say it… they brought her back to sell the damn game, of course.

You unlock other fighters in missions that come randomly. You get to play missions by using AP points, which you get periodically. Finishing rounds or chapters nets you chests of stuff (random loot, mostly junk to sell or use for crafting). Losing a round means you have to start over, unless you use a ‘Continue Ticket’. Continue Tickets and AP Potions (which let you play missions) are sold, by the way, for real money. Free to download, but yeah, you are encouraged strongly to pay.

On the one hand, you can play without paying anything. But really, why do that? If you want to play a single player Soul Calibur, why put up with a cut-down roster, no modes, no Character Creation, No NOTHING except load times, load times and load times?

Bottom-line, this Free-to-play time and cash sink is really a disgrace. If you ever loved Soul Calibur and wish to play it, go get a copy of Soul Calibur IV or Soul Calibur V and play to your heart’s content- everything is there to be played, with many modes, varying difficulty, at no charge after you buy the game.
There’s really NO REASON to play this Lost Swords atrocity- no new stuff to be seen, no new characters, no multiplayer, no innovations, no story worth experiencing, NOTHING. Not unless you want to make the soulless gods of Namco Bandai happy that you are throwing money at them.

To play this is to reward laziness and greed. Please don’t.

For shame, Project Soul. First that Tekken Regurgitation crap, and now this. Crap.