Another quick update

For those of you that follow my Facebook account, you may have noticed that I occasionally talk about an RPG that I have started with my friends. This game is real, and I am hoping to post some information on it soon. I have received generally good reviews from the people who have played it, and am planning to make it widely available… Eventually.

For now, I am planning to open a side blog for the RPG, which I will open hopefully in the next few days. I am also planning to license the series, so if I do make it widely available, it isn’t stolen.

Also, along with Moronic Spasms, I have been recording a few videos that I plan to release on YouTube soon. It is a series of Let’s Plays where I play either a horror game and die a bunch, or a personal favorite at the hardest difficulty… And die a lot. Hopefully, with the little editing I do in my videos, I’ll have them released near the middle of next month.

If you want to know more about this RPG, or you want to tell me a good horror or ragegame, shoot me a message or leave a comment below. There were will be more updates on Tuesday, if everything goes as planned.

Stay frosty, in this -35 Alaskan weather,
Marcosias Isif

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Some updates… And something special.

I figure I should give you all an excuse for not posting a review this Friday. But to be honest, I just forgot. So, here are a few updates on what I’m doing for the blog.

•First off, a review is coming, I just want to see if I can get farther in some games for a more informed review.

•The ToAru blog that I had worked on in the past is no longer active. If you did follow it, please disregard it.

•The VN is currently on hiatus until I can get a better way to work with a group.

•Anime Review Sunday may be moved to Friday, Tuesday, or another day that I have less to do. Based on my schedule with class and work, it may be hard to keep the Game Reviews on Friday as well.

•Finally, a huge shoutout to the people who have helped me through the tough times these past few months, whether they know it or not:

Epsilon Epoch, and my other close friends
Thomas “Markiplier” Fischbach
Joy Stagdon
My family
Professor Simons
…and of course, my faithful watchers, tweeters, and followers, fans and skeptics alike.

Thanks to you all, and I hope to talk to you soon. I’ll probably post Tuesday between classes, so look forward to that.

Lots of Love,
Marcosias Isif.

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Game Review: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

So, it’s a couple hours late, but at least it’s fairly consistent.  Here is this week’s Game Review.  This game is a fairly new one, released near the end of last year.  So, without further ado, here’s this week’s review on Borderlands the Pre-Sequel!

Game Review: Borderlands 1 1/2: The Pre-Sequel

ESRB: Mature

Price (360): $59.99 (New)*; $54.99 (Used)*

Genre: Open World First-Person Shooter Action Adventure

I will begin this review by saying I have had mixed views on the past Borderlands games.  In addition to this review, I will also be displaying some form of review on the previous two games (not the Tales From series) – however, the overall review will be based mainly on this game.

Let’s start by delving a bit into the past: I have played both previous games to the end.  The first Borderlands didn’t really intrigue me, excluding the high-octane bullet madness and the bloody, bloody headshots.  All in all, the first game left me wanting more – and not in a good way.

The second game filled up that want, however.  Borderlands 2 took me on a bigger Pandora adventure, and I even ended up playing the game six different times (sometimes with friends) just to try out the different characters.  And it was in this game that I found my favorite psychopathic shooter of the series: Gaige, the Mechromancer.  Armed with a wrench, a robotic arm, and her own murderbot Deathtrap, Gaige is hands-down my favorite character to rip apart enemies and erupt the terrain.

That said, when I heard about the Pre-Sequel getting released, I pre-ordered that bitch on Day One, and went to a midnight release for the first time.  I even hyped myself while I was waiting with the PSV version of Borderlands 2.

Unlike the past two games, The Pre-Sequel takes place off of the planet of Pandora, and instead takes to space with Pandora’s moon, Elpis.  It reintroduces NPCs from the past games as the protagonists this time around: Nisha, the sadistic lawbringer; Athena, the badass Gladiator; Wilhelm, the bulky cyborg; and Claptrap, the annoying bundle of energy and parts.  So far, the only DLC character to be released is Handsome Jack’s doppelganger from 2, and I feel sad looking at him – especially when I compare him to the Psycho and Mechromancer DLCs from the last game.

The gameplay handles much like a FPS player would expect: shoot enemies, drive vehicles, get money and upgrades, and unleash basically hell.  Two new mechanics, which were promoted very heavily pre-release, are the O2 Pack and the Laser weapons.  As previous games took place on a habitable planet, Elpis requires new gear for Vault Hunters: oxygen packs (which can double as gravity increase-rs for the famed Butt Slam), and powerful laser weapons, which emit a stream of condensed energy to melt and murder enemies.  Another new addition is the Cryo element, which allows you to freeze enemies in place, doing continuous damage while stuck.

With all of these new additions, and the popular interest in these new characters, I was very excited to play the game, as I assume most fans were.  However, what I was introduced to wasn’t what I expected.

To put it bluntly, it seemed like the game had fallen back on its roots.  Peons and monsters still swarmed you with the feeling and power of a gnat swarm, jokes seem overused or just plain weak, and bosses were either extremely preparable, or annoyingly strong.  I’ll be honest: it was hard for me to play through more than a few hours of this game – this may be due to the fact that Borderlands 2 set such a high bar, but with all of the hype for this game… I just feel like it should’ve been more.  With the exception of the Cryo element (which I probably have too much fun with), I can’t help but feel this game is lacking something that even the first game had.

This may be an unfair review to those of you who have played through the whole game, but as always, it is my opinion.  You don’t have to agree, nor am I saying it is correct.

With that disclaimer, let’s move on to the Final Scoring:

My scoring for Borderlands:The Pre-Sequel (ESRB M, 360) is as follows:

Story: 3.5/5

Comparative to the other two Borderlands, it seems like a lot of the plot was just borrowed from the other games (which kinda makes sense, but still feels lazy).  Besides that, it seems like a lot of unanswered plot points are still going unanswered.  Or maybe I’m missing something.

Art / Acting: 3.5/5

While the story is lackluster, I still do love the 3D-comic art style.  It gives off the feeling that you are the main character of the story (or, in this case, a major one).  The acting was given a lot more work than past games, as the character you play actually reacts to certain events (such as Nisha flirting sadistically with Jack).  Even so, there are scenes that could be better rehearsed, and every now and then the graphics get lower in quality – its like looking at a clay figure that’s partially melted.

Character: 5/5

To be honest, although I thought the game was mediocre, it does do one thing well – fleshing out the characters from past games as main characters in this one.  All of the characters have backgrounds that can be discovered by finding their audiologs and just by listening to their in-game dialogue (which can be anything from a scream to a monologue.

Playability: 3/5

Had this been the first Borderlands game that I had played, or if the game had just been better, the score would be up one point.  But that is not the case – the few hours of the game that I played were indeed interesting, but not in the way that makes me want to play it again… assuming I ever finish it.

Overall Rating: 70.5/100

C-

Not quite passing, but it is.  I have more resentment for this game than I thought I could for this series, but then, Borderlands is the definition of a hit-or-miss series.  As I said before, it seems that the game got lazy at some point – missions are too repetitive, and enemies are either too weak or too fucking strong.  The good thing about RPG shooters is that when a boss appears, there can be a strategy to take him out – that goes out the window when he constantly hunts you, butt-slams you, and electrocutes you.  However, I can’t say with all honesty that I hated the game – I do enjoy the jokes, and the references to the other games are too good to overlook.

Before it was released, I may have recommended this game hands down.  However, playing it and seeing first hand the mediocrity of the game makes me sad to say that this game is only for hardcore followers of the series, or maybe even someone looking for an interesting shooter who wants to jump into a story within a story.

If you do want to purchase it, I can only say this: either wait for the price to drop, or get it on the Plus/Gold bonuses.  If you really want to get engaged in the series, I recommend the Borderlands 2; it has a fairly big world, nice combat, a good spread of characters, and it has a seperate story from the first game (with bits and pieces here and there).

*Based on GameStop Online prices on January 17th, 2015.

Quick Update! +Game Review: Gravity Rush

Hey, everyone!  I’ll bet you thought I was dead!

Well, almost.  But what happened is in the past, and now let’s delve into the future!  Over the few months I’ve missed here, I’ve been watching some Crunchyroll, and I also got some new consoles.  So, hopefully, after Friday’s work and/or classes, I’ll be able to do some hardcore reviews.  We have both an Xbox One and a PS4 now, so games from most consoles may be subject to reviews.  Games I have been playing and may review soon include: FFX-2 HD; Kingdom Heats II.5 Remix; Shadows of Mordor; Project Diva; and even some “demos” that have recieved a lot of hype.

As for anime, expect some of the genres that you would expect of me.  Anime I may end up reviewing include: Celestial Method; Your Lie In April; Plastic Nee-san; Highschool DxD; Girlfriend Beta; and Denki-Gai.

On a secondary note, I also recorded some videos of me playing horror games (if you’ve met me, I pussy out easily), fittingly titled “Let’s Die!”, so stay tuned for those to hit YouTube!

And now, onto the thing you’re actually here for:

Game Official Art

Game Official Art

Game Review: Gravity Rush

Platform: PS Vita

ESRB: Teen

Price: $13.49 (Digital)

Genre: Open World Action-Adventure RPG

I’ll be completely honest: the only reason I didn’t get a Vita right off the bat was because this was the only game I wanted.  At the time, this game intrigued me with the unique combat system, plus the graphic were just beautiful.  But I repressed my urge for the game, and instead went for the 3DS, where Pokemon awaited another journey.

As soon as I started playing Gravity Rush, however, I realized my mistake.

Gravity Rush takes place in a fictional city / country / world / continent called Hekseville, which is being swallowed in parts by these strange rifts called Gravity Storms.  You play as a girl who has lost her name, waking up next to a cat you lovingly nickname Dusty.  as you play through the story, you gain the name Kat, and start to help the people of Hekseville by doing little chores, killing enemies (known as Nevi), and destroying the Gravity Storms, thereby returning parts of the city to normal.

By far, the most interesting mechanic that I have found in the game is the main focus of the game: the gravity shift.  There is a plethora of collectibles, enemies, and missions that require going under the city and not falling into the giant void below to gain – the fact that you can control which direction your gravity makes you fall can make these tasks much easier than if you were just flying.  You can also float in space and do a high-speed Gravity Kick, dealing extended damage to father enemies.  There are even three (maybe more) special moves that can help with those bigger Nevi, or the ones that like to spawn more.

The story is separated into different chapters, where in-between missions, you can wander the city, talk to some people about the next mission, and (if you pay a few extra bucks), go do some DLC missions for more stuff, including costumes.  Other than that, I have to also mention that the game has its own language that you may hear bits and pieces of during the cutscenes.  This language, as I have heard, is a “Japanese-French fusion that’s essentially just gibberish”, but still finds a way to be interesting and colorful.  Along with that, the soundtrack for the world is just beautiful – it is one of the few games that I can say, “This soundtrack has no bad moments, and fits the game perfectly!!!”

There is not much I can criticize about this game; the only thing I really dislike is the Gravity Slide mechanic, where you basically turn while sliding with the Vita itself.  There are no penalties for falling off of the world, and if you go farther that you are supposed to, the rift will teleport you back to the last populated area.  Not only that, but fall damage doesn’t exist, and there are no real penalties for accidentally tossing the people who get caught in your gravity field.

As always, this review is my opinion – I don’t mean to offend anyone with it, as it is what I believe, notice and/or have done in-game.  If you disagree with me, have comments, questions, or just want to bitch at me, my e-mail is on the About page.  Now then, to the Final Scoring.

My scoring for Gravity Rush (ESRB T, PSV) is as follows:

Story: 4/ 5

As much as I want to give this game a 5, I need to finish the game before I can honestly say the story is flawless.  However, playing through this huge world with these tiny secrets and multiple entryways keeps me (and maybe you) entertained for hours.

Art/ Acting: 3.5/ 5

Again, love the game, and its art, but I feel like they didn’t put enough effort into the acting portion.  There are many scenes that are partially-voiced, but they have no reason to do so.  Like I said, the game’s language is intriguing and colorful, but it would be fun to hear more of it.  The art, on the other hand, although a little old, is still swimmingly beautiful, cel-shaded in a form that reminds me of Musashi’s 3D-Manga style.

Character: 3/ 5

There seems to be something left to be desired with the characters, as many of them start to get fleshed out, then just drop out of the major story.  This may pick up later, but I’ve played through half of the game, and there are still character questions left unanswered: Gade is a creator who can’t do shit, Raven seems to be a bipolar rival (like Gary MF Oak), and we still haven’t seen anything about Kat’s background, or how she arrived “in this strange city”.  Worst of all, more and more questions keep popping up without being fully answered.

Playability: 5/ 5

I have never found a game that I can play for more than a couple of hours at a time (except for Ratchet & Clank UYA), and this game is no exception.  However, I still end up playing it first thing in the morning, during my work breaks, and right before bed.  Every free moment has been taken buy this game recently… and I love it so much.  It is probably the first game I have played day-by-day since N3 first came out.

Overall Rating: 93/ 100

A

There is very little I disliked about the game: the enemies are for the most part unique per level, and it appears that the game’s difficulty matches the way you play.  Not only that, but the unique control scheme easily becomes second nature after fooling with the world for a little bit.  I also like the upgrade mechanic, which you can also use to fix parts of the city that you regained.  Talk of a Gravity Rush 2 has me very excited for a sequel to this amazingly beautiful game.

I cannot recommend a game more than this one right now, and I am.  GO TO PSN AND BUY THIS GAME NAOW!

"Please buy my game!  You won't regret it!"

“Please buy my game! You won’t regret it!”

Anyway, that was all I have to say.  Expect more updates soon, hopefully less scattered.

Until then,

Marcosias Isif.