Saturday
Jan132018

QCF: Antlion Pro Gaming MM-28 Über-wide Mousepad

ou need a mousepad that's three feet wide. There's not much to mousepads these days that could possibly warrant a huge review, but by gum, I'll try. The Antlion Pro Gaming MM-28 Uber-wide Mousepad is a full 3 foot by 1-foot mousepad that is pretty much as great as it is excessive. As an optical mouse user, I never pondered the need for a mousepad in general and have not even used one for the better part of a decade.

So what makes this one the one to get? Why go from nothing to the whole thing? And seriously, three feet?

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Wednesday
Jan102018

QCF: A Hat in Time

012 gave us the year of the bow, then 2015 became the year of the sequel, and while it 2017 has been a significantly memorable year for video games as a whole, there’s no denying that it will also go down as the year that hosted the return of the 3D Platformer.

Granted, while there’s been a lot of praise for the throwback titles that have dropped so far, the craze has also seen its fair share of criticism, generating a lot of commentary on whether or not the genre even deserved such a renaissance in the first place.

Of all the games in the conversation though, one KickStarted-project stuck out as the dark horse of the topic; Gears for Breakfast’s A Hat in Time. While most games like Polykid Games’ Poi or Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee were heavily promoted as spiritual successors to the iconic gems that best defined the collection-driven gameplay, the folks behind A Hat in Time were more concerned with creating an adventure where the journey itself is as, if not more rewarding than the destination. The Humble-Bundle published title establishes early that it’s 3D Platforming gameplay relegates the collectibles or objectives into being more of an accessory than a direct extension.

As novel as these ambitions were on paper however, A Hat in Time fails to step with its best foot forward at the early going, and barely manages to stick its landing, taking far too long to pick up any sort of real momentum in what’s ultimately, a clumsy outing.

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Wednesday
Jan102018

QCF: Metroid: Samus Returns

ver since Nintendo issued a takedown of Milton Guasti’s AM2R, fans of the iconic exploration-driven sci-fi property have been chomping at the bit for a new entry, and in a surprising turn of events—the Big N responded by unveiling not one, but two upcoming Metroid titles on the docket for a future release.

 One of them, in particular, seemed to explain the company’s swift litigatory actions with AM2R, as they teased their own remake of the Gameboy classic, aptly titled Metroid: Samus Returns. While the announcement generated all the hype you’d expect, it also raised a lot of eyebrows, as it was also revealed that Nintendo would be handing off development over to Mercury Steam, the folks behind polarizing Lords of Shadow games in the Castlevania franchise; including that sloppy 3DS entry, Mirror of Fate. Not to mention the last time Nintendo handed the reigns of series over to another studio, we were all treated to the disaster that was Metroid: Other M, resulting in a disappointing sales performance that set the property back six years until the underwhelming release of Metroid Prime: Federation Force just last year.

Metroid: Samus Returns needed to be more than some knee-jerk reaction to the fans who clamored for it; it needed to be a quality game that was worthy of succeeding the likes of Metroid Fusion, and Super Metroid…

Thankfully, the remastered take on Samus’ second adventure is easily one of the best games to have ever bear the Metroid name.

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Wednesday
Jan102018

QCF: Yakuza Kiwami

t’s been speculated that Grand Theft Auto III would have never gone in the direction that it did had it not been for Shenmue on the Dreamcast, and personally, I always found that contrast a bit misleading. Grand theft Auto attempted to give as much player freedom as they could, while Shenmue was aimed more at the player agency, albeit through the scope of a law-abiding protagonist who still had to adhere to things like a curfew.

Fast forward six years later, and we’re treated to a new game from SEGA titled Yakuza, an adventure that pays homage to both Shenmue and Grand Theft Auto through its unique RPG mechanics that offer a balanced blend of agency and freedom, and was successful enough to launch a new franchise for SEGA into the next decade.

A franchise that’s gone so strong that SEGA decided to release a remaster of the classic that started it all, Yakuza Kiwami for the PS4. To gauge the success of a remaster is to determine how well it can deliver the experience to both fans of the original, and new players who’re coming in fresh—Yakuza Kiwami nails both out of the park (or this case, batting cages), as the trip back to Kazama Kiryu’s misadventures in this epic crime-drama feels just as fresh as it did before.

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Wednesday
Jan102018

QCF: Windjammers

hile Nintendo is a brand that will forever be synonymous with video games, there are a few other Japanese names that have attracted a dedicated following, particularly one best known for delivering intense arcade action—SNK and their platform, Neo Geo.

Most may only know them as the house that built King of Fighters these days, but the passionate affection that the brand can still command even after all these years is still palpable, especially for one particular title that has managed to obtain a cult-classic status with those in the competitive gaming scene.

Spinning a casual beach sport into high-powered contest, Flying Disc Game-Windjammers was a gem that managed to spawn its own culture of versus action. The eccentric Frisbee-tosser was not only novel, but addictive, and frenetic, allowing it to endure on in an environment that was dominated by the fighting game genre for years on end, only to slowly drift into obscurity as the day of the arcade slowly came to an end.

That is until now; Dot-Emu has managed to secure the rights to publishing a remastered version of it for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on PSN, and thankfully, the experience is just as incredible, if not more so than it was twenty years ago in that dingy pizza parlor that your family used to drag you to during the weekend.

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Wednesday
Jan102018

QCF: Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite

hange is ever constant in anything and everything we do, and that sentiment couldn’t be more apparent than the latest installment to Capcom’s Versus series, Marvel Versus Capcom Infinite.

While the previous entry was able to exercise a surprising amount of creative control within the aftermath of Disney’s startling acquisition of Marvel, the landscape is now far more different than it was six years ago, and the Comic Publisher’s ongoing licensing struggles have made their way into the development of the sequel.

To top that off, the recent resurgence of the fighting game craze in the mainstream from games like Killer Instinct Season 3, Injustice 2, and Pokken Tournament DX have raised the bar for on what the fans of the genre anticipate out of new releases, especially when it comes to the pedigree expected out of something like the Capcom Versus Series.

With the odds seemingly stacked against development, the direction of Infinite shifted, seemingly geared more towards accessibility, and a new narrative-heavy approach that emphasized all the zany fan-service that Capcom could squeeze out of the crossover.

The end result makes for a competent entry that manages to introduce a few compelling new concepts, but ultimately plays it way too safe with everything else, delivering an experience that leaves a lot more to be desired.

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Tuesday
Jan092018

Bullet Heaven, Episode 195 - RXN -Raixin-

e're finally wrapping up the Shmuppy Switchmas Holidays with perhaps the most anticipated shmup on Nintendo's console yet. RXN -Raixin- is the kind of shooter a lot of us have been waiting for... but how does it hold up?

Get RXN -Raixin- on the Nintendo eShop here: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/rxn-raijin-switch

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Tuesday
Jan092018

Bullet Heaven, Episode 194 - The Next Penelope

hmuppy Switchmas may have come and gone, but the Shmuppy Holidays STILL continue! In episode 74 of Bullet Heaven. we took a look at a shmup with racing elements called Shippu Mahou Daisakusen Kingdom Grandprix (疾風魔法大作戦 キングドムグランプリー), and we liked it quite a bit. But what about a racing game with shmup elements? Well, we might just have what you need with The Next Penelope. How does it stack up?

Get The Next Penelope - https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/the-next-penelope-switch

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