Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Valkyria Chronicals HD Remaster

I'm not crazy about all the HD remakes and "definitive Editions" of games that have been coming out this generation, in my opinion the "Definitive Editions" are what the game should've been at release, but that's a rant that many have already brought to light by many others.
So with that, I did buy the Valkyria Chronicals HD Remaster....yeah I know I'm a hypocrite, but the game was sooo great back in 2009 and for $29.99 with all 3 DLC packs AND TROPHIES how could I not get it?!
I've been so busy kicking ass with Nelly Olsen oops Karin Kanzuki

and saving Gallia and keeping up with Macross Delta that I've had little to no time to write about any of it. 
So here I am at work on Fathers Day I'll try and do some catch up.
OK so back to the Valkyria Chronicals HD Remaster, 
  • Great Story
  • Beautiful graphics
  • Enjoyable Strategy gameplay  
  • $29.99
My review of the Original Valkyria Chronicals on the PS3: Valkyria Chronicals Review

And here's some cut scenes from the game thanks to the PS4 share functionality.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Trial and Tribulations with Nelly Olsen aka Karin Kanzuki

When I first got SFV I went straight to my main Chun Li, but I've always been curious about Nelly Olsen oops, Karin Kanzuki, so I started focusing on her and I'll admit her CA finish is such a guilty pleasure. So I stuck with her and have totally abandoned my main since SFII. I've enjoyed sparring with her against my friends in Battle Lounge but when I take her out on the town (ranked) I've been viciously accosted and last night I got so frustrated I switched back to Chun Li only to discover the rust had already set in! And honestly I find Nelly Karin so much more enjoyable to use...

Monday, May 9, 2016

Movie Review: Captain America Civil War

I saw Captain America Civil War Saturday night and it was Amazing! Ya know what else was amazing? Spiderman! I'll get back to everyone's favorite web slinger but first allow me to congratulate Cap, he has done something no other Super hero has been able to accomplish, have 3 films that have each been better than the previous! Think about it, Christopher Reeves Superman, Tobey Macguire's Spider-Man, The first 3 X-Men movies, Even Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy! None of them were able to do what Chris Evens Captain America has done.
I remember writing the review for Captain America: The First Avenger and saying how surprised I was at how much I enjoyed it, now 5 years later I'm writing to say, I expected a great Captain America movie and I got perhaps the greatest movie in the MCU to date...no pressure Star Lord.
Is it necessary to have seen the previous CA and Avengers films to understand/ appreciate Civil War? Not entirely...the Russo Bros cleverly use the Sokovia Accords conference with General Ross to recap previous events but also set the stage for the events in Civil War.
In order to fully appreciate all aspects of Civil War I recommend seeing the first two Captain America movies as well as both of The Avengers movies and the three Iron man movies and maybe a bit of the TV series Agent Carter.
There were two notable Avengers absent from the action, Thor and Hulk, I'm fairly certain we will find out why Thor was not around in Thor: Ragnarok. As far as Dr Banner is concerned maybe he'll make an appearance in Ragnarok also.
In their absence we are treated with the introduction of Black Panther played by Chadwick  Boseman, I thought he did a great job with the role and the costume looked badass. But what enhanced ability does Black Panther have? Super Speed and Agility and a full Vibranium suit?
And the second new recruit to the MCU is Spider-Man! And I have to agree with so many early screening comments he was Amazing, during the Airport showdown Spidey brought the comic relief and also proved he had what it takes to play with the big boys coughAntmancough! Tom Holland was terrific as Peter Parker and nailed it in the scene where he meets Tony Stark. Speaking of that scene, I have a question....Marissa Tomey, for reasons I cannot comprehend I still haven't seen Dead Pool but does this mean Peter Parkers Aunt May is also Dead Pools girl?
The one thing that the MCU has had trouble with has been the Villians, yeah Ultron was no where near as badass as Marvels animated films and series like Avengers Assemble so how did the villian in Civil War fare? Well there's actually two, Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) and Crossbones (Frank Grillo), Crossbones is basically reduced to a plot device, the true villian is Baron Zemo, even if his motive was simply revenge his methods were diabolical! I'm putting Zemo up there with Loki as one of my favorite bad guys in the MCU so far.
I also want to mention that Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/ Scarlet Witch) and Paul Bettany (Vision) seemed much more comfortable in this movie versus Avengers: AoU. Unfortunately Civil War reconfirms my opinion that AoU was made as a bridge between phase 2 and phase 3.
Captain America: Civil War is an awesome movie, I loved it from start to finish and phase 3 of the MCU has hit the ground running! 2017 is going to be insane with Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spider-Man Homecoming, Thor Ragnarok, and Black Panther!
So do your Civil Duty and go see Captain America Civil War!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Game Review: Street Fighter V

I didn't get a chance to participate in the Beta for Street Fighter V, but I think that may have been more of a benefit as the "final" product seems quite different than what some reported during the beta.
Street Fighter launched February 16, I didn't get it till April, the reason I held out was because of all the negative feedback I was reading regarding the complete absence of single player content as well as the connectivity issues.
So I've been on vacation for 2 weeks and put in some serious time with the game since I got it and yes the single player content offerings are abysmal but Street Fighter is at it's core a competitive 2 player game. And I'm willing to give SFV the benefit of the doubt with this new approach of incremental updates. Alex was the first DLC character made available from March 30th, Guile Just became available on April 29th along with his  stage....I say his stage because that was one thing myself and many others asked for in SFIV, character specific stages! And It certainly looks as though Capcom listened! Guiles Stage looks fantastic! I spent FM for it as well as Guile's Alt (no longer his primary outfit). This brings me to my next point FM (fight money) and the yet to be implemented Zenny ( in game currency purchased via real money). I am disgusted by the games that "offer" purchase-able upgrades in games, mostly mobile games otherwise know as PTW. It is the most blatant display of greed and disrespect for gamers and is detrimental to the gaming industry in my opinion, but I will give Capcom a pass on this as you the player have the choice to grind out the FM thru ranked matches, Survival, Trials and Story Mode. I had 330k FM when Guile became available, his stage cost 70K FM. Now winning ranked matches only nets you 50 FM a match so the game really needs the Daily challenges implemented soon! I am willing to use my FM on stages, and characters as they become available as long as I can earn adequate FM thru ranked matches as well as single player content. I fully intend to get Guile and Ibuki!

As far as the how the game plays, I'm pleased, I'm still trying to unlearn what I learned from SFIV, the basics feel close to SFII, what I mean is once everyone learns their characters inside out it will take more than a new game mechanic like Parry's/Focus/ V-skill to abuse to win you'll actually need to beat the other player....what's the tag line for Survivor? Outwit, Outplay, Outlast? You can't just throw out hard kick or a wakeup Shoryuken because the damage output is HIGH on punishes!
The V-skill system adds another layer to the game play, it's like if/when Akuma becomes avail, his V-trigger would transform him into Oni....gameplay wise. Although he might change visually also like Necalli, that would be cool.
Getting back to gameplay, it's Street Fighter the gameplay is tight and every current character feels balanced enough at this point to be competitive, some a little better than others....ahem Chun Li.
I have main'd Chun Li since 1992 SFII World Warriors so of course I'm extremely pleased with her in SFV but on the flip side of the coin I actually preferred the challenge of winning against Vanilla Sagat in SFIV.....now I understand the frustration of losing with such a powerful character.
Chun will always be my main but I'm currently focusing on Karin and Guile as potential secondary's. In fact this time around I intend to give each character some quality time (aprox 1 month) LP be damned so to get a broader feel for all the cast, which hopefully will assist me in the long run in matches....."to defeat your enemy you must understand your enemy".
Here are some matches I've had that I really enjoyed,

There were many people saying the game looks like SFIV 2.0 graphically it's more than that, I do have issues with Ken's face and Alex also....they did do a great job however with Guile, Karin, Vega, Bison, Rashid, Chun Li (I preferred original ver.), Necalli, Laura Matsuda, and R. Mika. I miss SFA Birdie but I'll deal with the change for changes sake with him and Nashenstien.
I'm sad we didn't get such an amazing intro song as SFIV's Indestructible but we'll have to do without I suppose....just kidding. The sound track is ok the tracks just don't seem to have the same impact as SFII did, although I'm digging Guile remixed theme!

I got PS+ specifically for this game, and I think it's way too soon to say whether Street Fighter V will go the way of SFIII or SFII & IV.....there seems to be a pattern.
All I can say is I'm enjoying the game, it has a solid foundation and I'm excited to see how the game evolves through 2016 and beyond!