Apologizing For The Delay

It’s been a busy few weeks for me. Over the last two weeks I’ve been preoccupied by work, driving school and I’ve also had some private stuff to take care of. Please don’t go thinking that I have forgotten about this blog again. I am making a strong effort this time to post original and thoughtful content and I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that a new post will be coming up next week. In this new post I will be talking about something any collector will have to deal with at one point or another and that is counterfiet merchandise. It doesn’t matter what you collect, my post next week will be valid towards everyone. I will be listing off some tips and tricks when it comes to making sure that you’re getting what you paid for. Again this post will be published next week so please look out for it. 

Who Won E3 2017?: The Subjective Nature of Video Game Reporting

Following E3 every year the first thing most seem to discern is which game developer rained supreme and which managed to “win” E3. Excuse me, but when did it become a competition? In all industries there inherently exists some form of competition between different companies producing the same product or service, but when and why did a showcase of upcoming products become a competition to be won? 

Seems like every year gamers across the world wait for E3 to come along so that they can turn their fandom into an all out war, pitting developers against each other, Nintendo vs. Sony vs. Microsoft. In recent years E3 has turned into a stash of munitions that Fanboys use against each other in their ongoing efforts to Prove that their fandom supercedes another’s. But why? Why is it that people have begun to use E3 announcements in this way? 

For me E3 was an exciting time of year, a moment in which to see what new and exciting software and hardware was to hit the market in the near future. Now though everyone focuses on the competition of it all. Instead of looking at the latest announcements and longing for the opportunity to test out all the amazing new things for yourself, people are more fascinated in tallying up points on an imaginary scoreboard to divine the winner of it all. 

I just can’t understand the significance as to why such a process would even be necessary. Personally I think that many studios showed off exciting new games like more news on Super Mario Oddesy, and unexpected reveals such as Beyond Good and Evil 2. I am excited for this all, but more and more people these days take an amazing announcement and turn it into just another point for the team they support. It’s fine to love and support whatever you like, but I find fault in how game or hardware is reduced to a point when in reality it is so much more complex than that. Who knows on first impression alone if they will actually like something or not? And in creating the yearly E3 competition we are all forced to make snap judgements that can lead to disappointment and mistrust later on. People buy into the hype of the competition and when the time comes to experience that new game or hardware first hand, many drop their rose-colored glasses and finally see it all for what it truly is. All glamour, no substance. It’s completely expected if one wishes to voice their opinions from the get go, but when a product has not yet been released, not yet experienced, how can there be such a definite clear-cut winner? 

At the end this is just me bitching about competition and wishing that people could just like and be excited for something, without the need to quantify it and pit one team against another. You know what though, video game developer have always invited competition to be had between each other. So if you have to pick a clear-cut winner in your own mind, please at least be able to see that E3 every year is a great time where you’ll be able to get news on what is coming out later that year ( or several years in the future).

Work in Progress…

So… to say that I have been neglecting my website would be a massive understatement. It’s as if I killed it off, left it for dead in a ditch but somehow it clung to life waiting for my return. I’m working on a way to bring some TLC to my website for this summer and hopefully it gets the attention it deserves. I will put to use my knowledge and skill set to bring forth a new and simple blog space for everything in Geekdom, with an emphasis on collecting and simply written reviews for those that are put off by technobabble and unfamiliar terminology. Hopefully 2017 can be the year I reach out and help in the community, and this blog can function as another branch of my online presence. Let’s wait and see how this works out!

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Nintendo new 3DS XL Majora’s Mask Edition ***Rating 4.5/5***

Dragon Dude Collecting

What can be said that hasn’t been said already? While the new 3DS XL is only a minor upgrade to the last version, I can honestly say I am very happy with the system and having purchased it! The presentation of the system is beautiful with the striking artwork on the cover of the system, featuring various masks alongside the titular Majora’s Mask. I cannot condone spending hundreds of dollars above retail value to obtain one of these, but you can still purchase the standard Red or Black versions in Canada for 229.99$.

So here are the differences between the 3DS XL and the new 3DS XL: 2 extra shoulder buttons, c stick in place of the circle pad pro accessory, stabilized eye-tracking 3D, NFC support for Amiibo figures, switch from SD to microSD, and a better processor. Otherwise the only thing worth mentioning are the minor cosmetic differences, such…

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Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition (for PS Vita) *** 2.5/5***

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First I would like to say that I did play the original version of this game for the xbox 360, and after purchasing the updated version for the Playstation Vita I have to say I am very disappointed. The gameplay itself is perfectly acceptable and the destructible locations and item drops are awesome as was expected. The disappointment was due to the fact that this is an absolutely terrible port of the game and it just does not translate well to a portable system.

The reason I believe that the port of this game to the Vita is a terrible port is because of the drop in graphic quality throughout the game. During the fights the characters lose definition and many textures as well. For example we have the Green Arrow in his standard costume. In the cut scenes his costume has a quilted pattern on it, but during the fight and in the final taunt it is shown as having a smooth texture. It might be a minor issue to most, but for me the constant downgrading in graphics takes away from my enjoyment of the game as a whole.

Now if only the game graphics were my only issue with the game, it would be slightly disappointing, but not terrible. The other visual issue I noticed while playing the game is the fact that even the cinematic cut scenes look odd. It is as if they have been poorly compressed and at moments it looks foggy, discoloured, and even slightly pixelated. To make it even worse I noticed yet another problem, this time with the sound.

I noticed that depending on what scene you are in and how loud the characters are, along with the volume of your system itself, the speakers crackle when the sound gets too loud. At first I thought it was an issue with the speakers on my PSVita, but I tried the game on 2 other systems, and I tried playing other games as well and I did not hear any of the crackling on any of the other games or systems.

I give this port of Injustice: Gods Among Us for the PS Vita a 2.5/5, with the score being as high because at the end of the day, the gameplay is still there. Because all the issues I found in the game are sensory issues that you just can’t block out, it weighs heavily on my enjoyment of the game. As always though this is just my opinion and hopefully this post aided you in deciding on whether or not you would like to purchase this game!

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Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Oculus

A few days ago I went to see the movie Oculus staring Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites. The story follows a recently released patient from a mental hospital on his 21st birthday. Throughout the course of the movie we are left to figure out if the course of events isa figment of his shared delusion with his sister, or if the haunting is real. As Brenton’s character attempts to look at everything rationally, after 11 years in the institution, his sister, played by Karen Gillan, is steadfast in her belief that the source of their troubles, an antique mirror, is actually haunted. Oculus is more of a psychological thriller than a standard horror movie as it does not rely on high body count or tons of gore, instead opting to go for several quick scares. At the end you are left wondering if the events that took place during the duration of the movie actually occurred as depicted or if it was something else altogether. If you are prepared to think it out following the end of the movie, I highly suggest you watch it and it will definitely be gratifying. If all you want is a bloody horror movie, then definitely don’t watch it.

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Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Bravely Default ***4.5/5***

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Bravely Default, the latest RPG from Square Enix is shaping up to be an RPG worthy of it’s own franchise. It has the same beautiful artistic style that is reminiscent of classic Final Fantasy games, existing somewhere between the art style of Yoshitako Amano, and the chibi style of Final Fantasy Theatrhythm. This has to be by far the most visually appealing game for the 3DS. So for looks alone it is an absolutely beautiful game.

The gameplay is perfectly easy to pick up and learn without much difficulty, with several key choices being available. You can choose to Brave where you will be given extra attacks, but then afterwards you are unable to attack for several turns, unless you have used Default first. When you choose Default it is a defence move that also gives you one extra attack counter, so that you are able to attack twice the next turn. There is a limit though as to how many times you can Default, and that is up to 3 counters, allowing you to attack 4 times in a row. I suggest to people that are looking to level up quickly that they just choose to Brave 4 times while facing basic enemies, to quickly defeat them without the need for strategy or possibly to require the use of precious potions or other items.

The only negative things I can say are as follows: The bosses are hard! Even in the very first side quest I found myself unable to defeat the final bosses several times in a row! I eventually had to give up and just continue on with the story. The other bothersome but not so terrible quality of the game was the fact that in the end it used very standard RPG storytelling tropes. For example you have one character’s town completely obliterated at the start of the game, similar to the events in Golden Sun as an example. Another example is that another character is a vestal to some sort of religious order, much like a character from Tales of Symphonia. These are only a few reasons why I found it lacked a truly original story, in the end though I still enjoyed it.

Overall Bravely Default has way too many positive qualities that outweigh the few negative qualities that also exist in it. I enjoyed the game very much and I do intend on 100% completing the game in the future. This is why I gave it a rating of 4.5/5, because it is a game for the 3DS that every 3DS owner should have in their game libraries!

To view my unboxing of the Collector’s Edition please follow the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fhg5y00Kbc8

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: South Park The Stick of Truth ***3.5/5***

First I’d like to acknowledge the fact that I have not updated my site in some time, just have been very busy in life and was unable to commit time to both my YouTube channel and website. Now let’s get to this review.

I just finished playing the game and I have to say it was definitely addictive. I found myself wanting to continue to see what would happen next in the story. It was like an interactive episode of South Park, but at moments the gameplay took me so far away from the story that I just wanted to turn it off. The tutorials in the game were absolutely painful to complete for the PS3 version, as it seemed at moments that the game delayed in registering your controller input. Input delays really affected my level of enjoyment of the game.

Some of the side quests are absolutely hilarious while others are nothing more than a scavenger hunt for hidden items. But I completed the game with nearly none of the side quests completed so they are not all necessary to complete the story.

Another complaint would be that the general layout of each quest was as follows: receive a quest, do another quest within that quest, then within the other quest you do another one. So in the end you found yourself being given several quests to do for just one main quest. The most painful one was the quest where you had to recruit the goth kids, and the most enjoyable in my opinion is a tie between the recruit girls quest, and the Canada quest, but this all counts as one as you had to go to Canada to complete the girl’s quest.

The game was lewd and graphic as South Park usually is, but I found it to be a lot more over the top and gimmicky. The South Park movie had an excellent amount of lewd content, but it seems like this time around they just wanted to include absolutely all the grossest things they have ever done, including the trials of Lemmiwinks, multiple abortions, zombies, alien probing, unnecessary violence, and a slew of other stuff. I get that this is what South Park is about, but it was way too much for a relatively short game.

In total I spent about 15 hours completing the story and now I only have another 5 side quests to complete, as well as finding another 8 Chinpokomon, and buying up the rest of the items in the shops.

I felt that the game was a little light on content, but what was there was enjoyable and only occasionally did I find it stressful and annoying. My rating for the game is 3.5/5 because while it was enjoyable and funny, the controls weren’t as good as I expect them to be, the content was a little light (but I think there might be DLC for this game later on), and at moments the main quests would drag on too long. I hope that this review was of any help to those that are still deciding on buying the game.

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Review- Tech- Limited Edition Pokemon X&Y Nintendo 3DS XL ***Rating 4.5/5***

Since I already reviewed the 3DS XL already when I purchased the Mario Kart 7 Bundle, you can see my review of it at the following link: https://dragondudecollecting.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/review-tech-nintendo-3ds-xl-mario-kart-7-bundle-rating-45/

So this review will be covering the physical appearance of the console itself as this is the only difference from the other models. The unit is Red with silver and black outlines of the new legendary Pokemon Xerneas, and Yveltal. On the back on the bottom right corner there are three silver silhouettes of the Gen VI starter Pokemon Chespin, Fennekin and Froakie. This version of the console unlike the previous models has a more glossy finish, but it is not so glossy that it is reflective. The finish is comparable to that of the DSi XL.

Now we all know it kinda sucks that it wasn’t released alongside the launch of Pokemon X and Y, and that the game will not be bundled with the console, but in all honesty who wants a digital copy of a Pokemon game? I’d much rather have my main series Pokemon games on cartridges or on another form of physical media.

In the end I rate it higher than my previous 3DS XL only because it’s freakin POKEMON! All of the limited edition Pokemon consoles over the years have been amazing, all the way from the Yellow Pokemon Game Boy Color and the Pikachu N64 up to this latest entry. I grew up with Pokemon and there will always be a special place in my heart and mind for it, even as the Pokemon get more and more ridiculous. I would have given it a rating of 5/5 if it included even a preinstalled digital version of the game, but because it did not include X or Y, or any other game for that matter, it only gets a 4.5/5 because it is still a beautiful console and it still comes with a nice 4GB SDHC memory card and a charger, unlike the 3DS XL in other regions.

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Review- Video Game- Project X Zone ***Rating 4/5***

It has now been a little over a month and a half since I first started playing Project X Zone. When I started out I was afraid that it would be a typical difficult strategy RPG, but I quickly discovered that assumption to be wrong. I have a terrible track record with RPG’s, not having completed even one RPG, but this time around I am on the verge of success! It was pretty easy to just pick up this game and go. There were no confusing attack stat menus, items were simple to use and categorized greatly, and there were also no complicated button combinations or specific attacks that were only effective against a specific enemy. Levelling up was simple to do in the game, and in some levels, even the later ones, I found my characters were levelling up multiple levels in single game stages. It was more of a basic turn-based RPG and did not really rely much on strategy, except in levels where specific characters needed to be protected or in situations where a specific location had to be reached within a set amount of time. Overall the memorable and loveable characters made it a fun game to play. Each Pair of characters had 5 basic attacks, with one special attack, and one multi-attack that targeted up to 5 close by enemies. Each attack had its own interesting animation, with the special and multi attacks having full anime characters instead of just the basic game sprites.

These are things I enjoyed but now comes the bad news. There were lots and lots of trademarks to a bad game. By this I mean that Namco/Bandai was relentless with the enemies. The Enemies in this game respawned a lot! It seemed that every time you killed a major villain (and they would explode, unlike when they escape and just phase out of the scene) by the next chapter in the game they would be brought back to life, cloned, multiple times over! Another trademark was that of ridiculusly high enemy HP. By the end of the game most of the characters levelled up to between 10,000 and 15,000 HP. This sounds crazy high, but then you had to deal with level bosses and mid range enemies that had HPs of between 54,000 HP and 111,000 HP! That was just crazy! To top it all off also, the final boss, the big baddy of Project X Zone, he had over 270,000 HP and he would land attacks that would kill my characters instantly! To make it even worse, AND THIS WILL ABSOLUTELY BE A SPOILER, during the last battle all the bosses you killed come back yet again, in multiple copies, and they beat the crud out of you! It was a big annoyance to reach the Final Boss Fight only to then get knocked out by a barrage of attacks from enemies you already killed multiple times, while trying to defend and attack against the final boss. I got a game over screen several times in this last level and it has forced me to restart the level multiple time, and waste several hours for no progression.

Overall Project X Zone was a pretty easy game to get into. The characters were all the best characters from old memorable series, the battle system wasn’t too complicated, and the earlier levels were very forgiving. My only real complaints in the end were the ridiculously high HP enemies, the fact that many of the characters I wanted to play with were not available until later in the game (a point I mentioned in the video clip), there were preselected characters you had to use each level and you could only choose who the supplementary character was, and the fact that enemies kept coming back to life level after level! So after having some time to really get to know the game I can honestly give this game a rating of 4/5 because it was a really enjoyable game and the only faults I had were standard tropes of most video games, after all bosses have to be difficult to beat.