Thursday, 20 February 2014

Top 5 Anticipated Games of 2014

I was thinking of making a top 10 list but realized I am not really anticipating that many games this year. So here are the top 5 I am anticipating in 2014, plain and simple. Let's get to it!


Set in an alternate 1960's, The New Order seems like pure Nazi-sploitation from the get-go and definitely has my attention. The game play also seems like ridiculously old school fun! Definitely excited for this game, not to mention pre-ordering it grants you beta access for Doom 4! I am intrigued by how you can interact with cover in this game and it seems like it's gonna be a fun FPS that doesn't take itself too seriously. It's pure exploitation and knows it.


Definitely excited about this. Borderlands 2 is pretty much my favourite game of all time at the moment and having it on a handheld is going to be pretty awesome and was my reason for getting the PS Vita to begin with. And of course, being able to play it locally with anyone without the need for a PC LAN is also a good thing.


With Aliens: Colonial Marines being such a flop for SEGA, let's hope they can set things straight with Isolation, which seems to harken more back to the first movie's space terror. So far it seems to be set as a straight up survival horror game, which arguably suits a game based on the first movie. Definitely excited to play this if it comes out on PC as well, so far it's stated to come out on XBox One and PS4.


Being a huge cyberpunk fan, this game caught my interest easily and I have already pre-ordered it. It basically puts you in the role of a hacker and gives you a lot of power to hack things and use that to your advantage rather than just shooting everything. It has me intrigued and I can't wait to play it.


Already been hyped for this game since I saw the trailers and I've thoroughly played the beta of Titanfall and what can I say, I fucking love it! It's the most fresh and unique shooter I've played in a long time. Sure, it's going to be multiplayer only but that doesn't really bother me that much. The sheer fun I've had so far has me sold on this game and I am definitely getting it on launch.

So that's it for my top 5 anticipated games, some of them coming out already next month. Stay tuned for more reviews and gaming perspectives from yours truly, Alyxx. <3

Friday, 14 February 2014

Titanfall Beta Impressions


Hello, guys!

This isn't really a review or anything so don't take it as such. This is just a quick little overview of the Titanfall Beta version I've played so far and my impressions of it. I will be writing a full game review later after the full version is out.

In short, Titanfall is just as awesome as I was expecting it to be. I had already been hyped by all the trailers of the game and it did not disappoint. The gameplay feels really fast paced and kind of like a mix between several game genres. As a pilot you're really agile and have a LOT of freedom of movement. The parkour elements really help give the game its own unique feel and makes you feel empowered in a way that games like Battlefield and Call of Duty never did. It's as if you had the parkour elements from Mirror's Edge but weren't restricted to using them exclusively. It's up to you as a player to judge when it is necessary to flee and when to face your enemies. It honestly reminds me a lot of Unreal Tournament or Tribes and other oldschool shooters in how much freedom you have in the game and you never feel like you are locked to the map layout like other shooters since you can climb buildings and run on walls as much as you can run inside buildings and hide if you want to.  Of course, it takes a bit of getting used to and I often fell into the trap of playing it more like Call of Duty, so I definitely need to play this game more to get into the groove of it.

Playing the Titans also feels extremely easy and smooth and it still feels like a FPS when you get into a Titan and feels like strapping on a heavier second skin. It never feels too clunky and responds very quickly to your movements which I appreciate. Once you get your own Titan, nobody else can take it or destroy it as it has a protective shield and it definitely feels like Christmas when you call one in. Its main weapon depends on which type of Titan you choose on the loadout screen, though they all share the same basic abilites and secondary weapon which is a multiple rocket launcher. You can dash in any direction and you have a shield that basically gathers any bullets or missiles fired at you from enemy Titans, and once you release the shield, you send the ammunition back at them, which feels like a more badass way of giving the finger to them.

Graphically the game looks really beautiful but, of course, being a Beta I found the game wasn't really optimized as I experienced a lot of lag if I used anything but the medium to low settings, and this might also be because it's a next gen game. It really does make me want to upgrade my hardware to be honest as I want to experience this game with everything maxed out. During training there wasn't much lag but don't let that deceive you as the matches themselves can be pretty intensive on your graphics hardware. On low settings it doesn't look as beautiful, it does look a bit grey and washed out in parts, but overall the gameplay made up for it.

Music isn't all that memorable, I turned it off in favour of a little Skrillex. The sounds though are really good, especially the gun sounds and all the little details in the voice acting and such.

You start out with about 2 default pilot classes, but unlock a third as you level up and eventually you can create your own custom classes (3 of them) all with different loadouts. There isn't much in the way of character appearance customization, other than choosing gender, though that's fine by me. Your general appearance is mostly decided by the game according to the loadout you are using. Pick a tactical weapon and you look more like an assassin. Pick a sniper rifle and you look like a sniper. It works very much like the Call of Duty games in that regard. 

The loadouts consist of a primary weapon that you use against other regular enemies. These range from an auto-targeting Smart Pistol to a Longbow Sniper Rifle and all of them offer unique advantages and feel really satisfying to use. I absolutely love the weapon designs and how they feel and that is always one of the most important things to me when playing a shooter. You also have a secondary weapon specifically designed to take out enemy Titans and my most used weapon for that purpose is the Sidewinder which is basically a full auto rocket launcher. It kinda reminds me of the Devastator from Duke Nukem which is never a bad thing. In addition to these weapons you can pick a third sidearm, usually a pistol. These are handy in a pinch if you accidentally burn all your ammo, but otherwise I never use them and instead try to pick up weapons from dead enemies. I will give them props for letting you use a full auto pistol right off the bat though. All of the weapons, excluding the sidearms, have weapon attachments like in Call of Duty and you unlock more of them as you level up. I definitely look forward to unlocking all of them and trying out different attachment combos as that is always a fun thing I do in Call of Duty. 

In addition to choosing what weapons you wanna use, you can also choose a tactical ability. These are basically little powers that have a cooldown and can come in handy during a heated match. The first one you get and will be using a lot is a cloaking device and while it makes you pretty much invisible to Titans, you can still be spotted by other pilots easily since you're not entirely invisible, just hard to see. You can also choose an ordnance, basically grenades or other throwable objects, like cats, midgets and Tom Cruise. You also have Tier Kits. These are basically perks and on higher levels I assume you get access to more of them. They affect your gameplay style in certain ways by enhancing certain aspects like giving you better parkour abilites or constantly displaying enemies on the minimap instead of only occasionally. What kits you use will be entirely up to you.

The titan loadouts, as far as I have played, are not customizable, though from what I can tell you get access to different Titans as you play. They all have different weapons but all share the same common traits.

In the beta I only had access to some multiplayer modes and not really the main game so I'll only be talking about those:

Attrition is basically a team deathmatch game where the goal is to kill everyone on the enemy team and get the highest score before the timer runs out, and feels the closest to a traditional multiplayer FPS. As you play you gain experience points that you use to level up, earning them from kills where headshots and other specialized damage earns you extra points, as well as completing certain challenges during gameplay. During the match a timer cools down to when you can call in your Titan and that's where the real fun begins. Going up against other Titans feels like a true match of skill and is a lot of fun. And once your Titan dies, you can just eject from it and jump on the enemy Titan and shoot into its head as an act of revenge. The gameplay here feels beautifully balanced and a LOT of fun. Once the timer runs out you get to play a bit of an epilogue where the winning team chases the losing team as they wait for an escape vehicle to pick them up. There are of course no respawns at this point and it's a nice way for the teams to earn extra points and test their survival skills and does feel really intense. I absolutely LOVE how this adds a unique flair to the game mode.

Hardpoint is basically domination where the point is to capture and hold all 3 hardpoints on a map and keep the enemy from taking over them. If you've played this mode in Call of Duty you'll feel right at home here and here the Titans aren't THAT useful but can act as giant guardians.

Last Titan Standing is a mode where everyone spawns as a Titan and the objective is to eliminate all Titans on the enemy team. While you do survive as a pilot if your Titan dies, if you die as a pilot there is no respawn so being careful and responsive is essential to surviving in this game mode. It definitely feels a lot like Last Man Standing from Call of Duty but with the Titanfall twist.

So yeah, those are my impressions of Titanfall so far, at least the Beta. I honestly feel excited to play the full version now and will definitely pre-order it as soon as I can afford it. I can't wait to see it getting more optimized for lower end computers like mine and what DLC they have to offer and most of all, what the main campaign is like and how it will integrate this gameplay with a story and how the multiplayer and single player elements will merge. From what I've seen so far, Titanfall is a fresh and unique take on the FPS genre, nothing like anything I've played before even if it borrows elements from Call of Duty a lot. It definitely feels like more than just another CoD clone and for that reason I can't recommend it enough.

- Alyxx

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Top 10 Sega Mega Drive Games (At the moment)

I am pretty much a fresh Sega fangirl and I have already gotten a nice Mega Drive library since a lot of games are very easy to come by, very affordable and easy to find complete in box. So here's a list of my top 10 Mega Drive games as of now. Keep in mind I might do an update on this list later when my library has grown, but these are my top 10 MD games at the moment.


There aren't many first person shooters on the Mega Drive, and so far this is the only one I have really played to any great length. Zero Tolerance is kind of a mix between Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, with a few unique twists. For instance, you can jump and crouch which is mostly useless but adds a bit of movement to the game, you also have some really cool guns although since your inventory space is limited you can't carry every single thing in the game and have to sometimes waste ammo to get a new weapon which adds a lot of thought and strategy to the game. The weapons themselves also have unique features, such as laser targeting. For the time this was a really ambitious game for a 16bit system and has some really impressive graphics. The game is divided into several episodes, kinda like Doom or Wolf3D but you keep your inventory items between episodes, which is pretty cool. The only bad thing I can say about it though is that the framerate is a bit low and the game therefore feels a bit slow as a result. I also thought the music was really bad and forgetable and I usually turn it off when playing the game. I also really wish the game had saves instead of having to use a password but other than that, this is a solid effort for the Mega Drive and a really impressive one at that. One thing I also wanna mention is that instead of the game having lives, you have several characters to play as, each with their own unique character strengths and backstories, giving the game kind of a roguelike feel as each life is a character and once they are all dead, the game is over.

Of course a console isn't worth getting unless you have some real party games. Mega Bomberman is a perfect party game as up to 4 players can play simultaneously on the same screen by using a multitap adapter, offering some true classic Bomberman action. Bomberman is one of those classics that never get old and this is no exception. I also love that you have cute furry kangaroo-like animals to ride on that offer some extra abilities and protection. The basic goal of Bomberman, if you don't know already, is to kill all the enemies on the board using bombs, getting powerups that alter your gameplay in various ways along the way.

I've heard a lot of people call this a bad game but... I have no idea how anyone could come to that judgement. Sure it is based on one of the most controversial pop stars of all time but as a game I think it's kinda awesome. I don't care what anyone says, Michael Jackson still is one of the coolest entertainers to have ever lived and turning his dance style and his overall coolness into a game is just an amazing concept in my opinion. In this game your primary goal is to rescue children kidnapped by the evil Joe Pesci from the movie, even though all of them are identical girls.
At your disposal you have Michael's magical dust that he throws at enemies to send them offscreen or you can challenge everyone to a dance-off, which of course the king of pop easily wins. Add a ton of classic Michael Jackson hits rendered gloriously in 16bit Mega Drive music form and you have one of the quirkiest and coolest games on the system in my opinion. Oh and he turns into a freakin' robot.


Anyone growing up in the 90's remembers Earthworm Jim. The guy even had a cartoon made after him. And for a good reason, the Earthworm Jim game is one of the most solid platformers on the Mega Drive in my opinion. Not to mention it's filled with memorable characters such as Earthworm Jim himself, Peter Puppy, Princess Whatshername and Queen Slug-For-A-Butt (her original name is a LOT longer). While the game can be a bit difficult in parts it's all around a solid sidescrolling platformer shooter with lots of great humor and animation. The game was created by Doug TenNapel who later on made Earthworm Jim 2 as well as the criticially acclaimed claymation adventure game The Neverhood. Earthworm Jim remains one of the most fun games on the Mega Drive today in my opinon.


Originally released as Devil's Crush, Dragon's Fury is probably the most badass pinball game I've ever played. It features really awesome imagery filled with demons, dragons (of course) and other satanic stuff. The soundtrack is equally badass and one of my favourite on the Mega Drive. Very rocking and fitting to the occult imagery on display. Of course the gameplay is also really solid and to this day this remains one of my favourite pinball games. I highly recommend it to anyone who owns a Mega Drive.

In the US this game was known as Castlevania Bloodlines but it was censored to remove most of the blood from the game and was renamed The New Generation in Europe. Still, the game remains largely the same and is just as much fun to play. It's classic Castlevania action and in my opinion one of the best Castlevania games out there (I think Super Castlevania IV is a tad bit overrated).
The graphics are really beautiful for the Mega and features some impressive scaling techniques and reflections. I also really like the music, it has some really good classic tunes in there.
Featuring some tough bosses and solid gameplay, it is a classic in every sense of the word and deserves a playthrough at least once though the price on eBay can be a bit high for the game atm.

This game was brought to my attention by Pat The NES Punk and I am really glad he did as normally he only reviews NES games (hence the name). It's easily one of the most underrated and overlooked games on the Mega Drive, featuring a pretty badass female heroine with a pet dragon who battles a ton of enemies by firing lasers from her hands (how cool is THAT?!). The graphics are some of the best on the Mega arguably, the music is also really good and makes really good use of the Mega Drive's capability. It's also one of the few games on the Mega with a female hero as far as I know and for that it gets a big plus in my book.

The Lion King is easily one of my favourite Disney movies of all time and the game is also one of the best I've played on the Mega. It features pretty much all the scenes from the movie and you get to play as Simba from a young cub into a majestic adult. The graphics are amazing for the time and I really love the smooth animation on Simba. The same kind of smooth animation was also present in another Mega Drive Disney game, Aladdin though I like this game a bit more than Aladdin. The music is re-arranged versions of the movie's legendary score and it's really hard not to hum along to it when playing the game. My only criticism is that the game can get a bit difficult in certain stages though by being persistent and replaying them again and again, you get past them eventually. Easily worth a pickup if you're a fan of the movie as I am.

Gaiares (meaning literally Gaia Rescue, as in rescuing the Earth) is probably my favourite shmup of all time, let alone on the Mega Drive. While it was only released in Japan and the US, the US version is fully playable on a European system so importing it is no problem. The graphics are pretty awesome in my opinion and easily some of the best on the system, the music is also equally good with really good melodies and riffs that sticks in your mind for a good time after playing the game, especially the level 1 theme which I always hum along to when playing the game. The game has a pretty fair difficulty as well in comparison with a lot of other shmups from the time and seems to strike a really good balance as the game never feels unfair but rather relies on repetition to get good at it.
I pretty much learned about this game from Mark of Classic Game Room and I can see why he's such a fan of the game. It's an awesome shooter and like I said, one of my favourites of all time.


1. SONIC 3
Now for the number one spot, I knew it had to be a Sonic game. After all, Sonic was the mascot for the system and one of the big reasons I got myself a Mega Drive so I could play the Sonic games on the original console they were made for. Sonic 3 is actually the first Sonic game I played back in the day and I played it on PC of all things. In my opinion it is the best Sonic game and features really amazing graphics for the system, excellent music that easily outclasses anything I've played on the system and in general the game is just really good. I still haven't completed it though and should probably get to that at some point soon. But for now it remains my favourite Sonic game of all time, easily.

So that was my top 10 Mega Drive games. What are your favourites? Comment and share!
- Alyxx <3