Naomi N. Lugo

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About Naomi N. Lugo

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 06/10/1992

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    Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare

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    Minneapolis

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  1. Feature: Review: Slime Rancher

    Let me get one thing perfectly clear, Slime Rancher is absolutely adorable. The premise behind the game keeps things simple. You play as Beatrix LeBeau, a young Earthling who traveled a thousand light years to reach the Far, Far Range. Your mission: Ranch some slimes. Daily life consists of cultivating and caring for these critters as well as exploring the alien landscape. Some standard procedures apply here; you'll have to work your way from the bottom to make a profit. Generally, you feed the slimes various resources found in the world then harvest and sell the plorts they produce as the result. Yes, slime poo equals money. Any cash, aka newbucks, you make goes back into the farm and your equipment as you expand, upgrade, and unlock new areas. When not keeping up with daily duties at the slime ranch, players can venture out into the world to discover new slimes and the various foods that keep them fed. Beatrix has something called a vacpack with her at all times, a very handy tool that can suck up pretty much anything. Players use this to collect slimes and resources as well as for self defense. I first played Slime Rancher when it came out on Early Access to PC in 2016. I played... and I didn't stop until I had unlocked everything possible and made so many newbucks. In short, I utterly consumed the game and wanted more. Since then Monomi Park has been adding content up to its full release on August 1. A majority of these updates include new areas of the map like the Ancient Ruins, Indigo Quarry and Glass Desert. With the new areas came new slimes, resources, story elements and other features. December last year the game saw a major gameplay mechanic addition with Slime Science, which allows players to craft various slime-related gadgets in their ranch's lab. This game feeds my brain in the same way that cat memes do. It's pretty much impossible to have any negative emotions while playing. The world has bright and colorful elements and the slimes make ridiculous noises. An achievement called "Boop!" is unlocked if you let the kitty slime "headbutt you right on the nose." Dawww. And good news for the cynics out there who might be allergic to this particular brand of game: Slime Rancher does cutesy right. It's not only adorable, it's also charming. Sure, pink blobs sprout kitty ears, but the whole game is centered around harvesting poo. Text throughout the game understands this tone. Take, for example, another achievement titled "You... Monster!" where you "send an adorable chick to a fiery end, the same place you're now destined to go." The world allows you set your own pace and project yourself into it. The "story" comes from what you seek out. If you wanted, you could just play the core farming and exploration loop. No cut scenes or voice acting interrupts you. The only time you'll see the protagonist is in the opening menu and when in the ranch house. To get the story, players will have to read Starmail, the Ranch Exchange, and notes that are found throughout the world. The main motivation in gameplay lies in unlocking new areas and features. The thrill of opening up new zones and abilities keeps the game going, however that comes with a caveat. Once you unlock a sizable piece of the content, the game kind of loses its luster. With everything unlocked and maxed out, making money remains the only thing left to do. Luckily, the lifespan of the game extends with the added content. Hopefully Monomi Park will keep updating and add new areas and slimes. Conclusion: Slime Rancher speaks to my soul. Sure, it might be in a gurgling slime language, but I'll take it. I can indulge my need to surround myself with cute things in this little segment of adorable escapism. While the game might not keep me entertained forever, it does a really good job as a mood enhancer in the meantime. A word to the wise, tearing away from the game will be tough. Plorts always need harvesting, so make sure to clear your schedule and allot a decent amount of time to get immersed in Slime Rancher. Slime Rancher was reviewed on Xbox One and is also available on PC. It is available for free download from now until Aug. 31 as a part of Xbox Games With Gold. View full article
  2. Review: Slime Rancher

    Let me get one thing perfectly clear, Slime Rancher is absolutely adorable. The premise behind the game keeps things simple. You play as Beatrix LeBeau, a young Earthling who traveled a thousand light years to reach the Far, Far Range. Your mission: Ranch some slimes. Daily life consists of cultivating and caring for these critters as well as exploring the alien landscape. Some standard procedures apply here; you'll have to work your way from the bottom to make a profit. Generally, you feed the slimes various resources found in the world then harvest and sell the plorts they produce as the result. Yes, slime poo equals money. Any cash, aka newbucks, you make goes back into the farm and your equipment as you expand, upgrade, and unlock new areas. When not keeping up with daily duties at the slime ranch, players can venture out into the world to discover new slimes and the various foods that keep them fed. Beatrix has something called a vacpack with her at all times, a very handy tool that can suck up pretty much anything. Players use this to collect slimes and resources as well as for self defense. I first played Slime Rancher when it came out on Early Access to PC in 2016. I played... and I didn't stop until I had unlocked everything possible and made so many newbucks. In short, I utterly consumed the game and wanted more. Since then Monomi Park has been adding content up to its full release on August 1. A majority of these updates include new areas of the map like the Ancient Ruins, Indigo Quarry and Glass Desert. With the new areas came new slimes, resources, story elements and other features. December last year the game saw a major gameplay mechanic addition with Slime Science, which allows players to craft various slime-related gadgets in their ranch's lab. This game feeds my brain in the same way that cat memes do. It's pretty much impossible to have any negative emotions while playing. The world has bright and colorful elements and the slimes make ridiculous noises. An achievement called "Boop!" is unlocked if you let the kitty slime "headbutt you right on the nose." Dawww. And good news for the cynics out there who might be allergic to this particular brand of game: Slime Rancher does cutesy right. It's not only adorable, it's also charming. Sure, pink blobs sprout kitty ears, but the whole game is centered around harvesting poo. Text throughout the game understands this tone. Take, for example, another achievement titled "You... Monster!" where you "send an adorable chick to a fiery end, the same place you're now destined to go." The world allows you set your own pace and project yourself into it. The "story" comes from what you seek out. If you wanted, you could just play the core farming and exploration loop. No cut scenes or voice acting interrupts you. The only time you'll see the protagonist is in the opening menu and when in the ranch house. To get the story, players will have to read Starmail, the Ranch Exchange, and notes that are found throughout the world. The main motivation in gameplay lies in unlocking new areas and features. The thrill of opening up new zones and abilities keeps the game going, however that comes with a caveat. Once you unlock a sizable piece of the content, the game kind of loses its luster. With everything unlocked and maxed out, making money remains the only thing left to do. Luckily, the lifespan of the game extends with the added content. Hopefully Monomi Park will keep updating and add new areas and slimes. Conclusion: Slime Rancher speaks to my soul. Sure, it might be in a gurgling slime language, but I'll take it. I can indulge my need to surround myself with cute things in this little segment of adorable escapism. While the game might not keep me entertained forever, it does a really good job as a mood enhancer in the meantime. A word to the wise, tearing away from the game will be tough. Plorts always need harvesting, so make sure to clear your schedule and allot a decent amount of time to get immersed in Slime Rancher. Slime Rancher was reviewed on Xbox One and is also available on PC. It is available for free download from now until Aug. 31 as a part of Xbox Games With Gold.
  3. Immediately, Strange Brigade establishes the kind of game it wants to be. There’s a delightful narrator guiding your way and describing the various baddies you’re about to face. Those enemies materialize in the form of a deluge of classic movie/Skull Island monsters. Our heroes fight threats to civilization itself in a 1930’s “safari into danger.” It’s marvelously over the top and an homage to the films of yesteryear and adventure itself. At E3 2017 I got the chance to demo Strange Brigade in its early form. While playing, I spoke with the the developers about the film influences behind it as well as the tone they were going for. Movie series like Indiana Jones and The Mummy were cited, as well as the bold stylings of Saturday Matinee. Strange Brigade is not meant to be taken too seriously, and the devs stressed the mix of action, comedy and spookiness to create the ongoing atmosphere of an "upbeat action adventure." The map I played had a mixture of ruins with tombs and a whole lot of mummies and other undead. Puzzle elements were present with secret areas with extra loot to be found. Gameplay will be enjoyable for those well versed in taking on many enemies and finding creative ways to destroy waves of ‘em. I played solo, but could see the appeal of co-op. Strange Brigade may prove to be a game without any extraordinarily unique features, but the attention to aesthetic detail will keep it fun. It’s thoroughly charming, and the focus on co-op for up to four players will extend its playability. We don’t have a release date yet for Strange Brigade, but it will be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. View full article
  4. Immediately, Strange Brigade establishes the kind of game it wants to be. There’s a delightful narrator guiding your way and describing the various baddies you’re about to face. Those enemies materialize in the form of a deluge of classic movie/Skull Island monsters. Our heroes fight threats to civilization itself in a 1930’s “safari into danger.” It’s marvelously over the top and an homage to the films of yesteryear and adventure itself. At E3 2017 I got the chance to demo Strange Brigade in its early form. While playing, I spoke with the the developers about the film influences behind it as well as the tone they were going for. Movie series like Indiana Jones and The Mummy were cited, as well as the bold stylings of Saturday Matinee. Strange Brigade is not meant to be taken too seriously, and the devs stressed the mix of action, comedy and spookiness to create the ongoing atmosphere of an "upbeat action adventure." The map I played had a mixture of ruins with tombs and a whole lot of mummies and other undead. Puzzle elements were present with secret areas with extra loot to be found. Gameplay will be enjoyable for those well versed in taking on many enemies and finding creative ways to destroy waves of ‘em. I played solo, but could see the appeal of co-op. Strange Brigade may prove to be a game without any extraordinarily unique features, but the attention to aesthetic detail will keep it fun. It’s thoroughly charming, and the focus on co-op for up to four players will extend its playability. We don’t have a release date yet for Strange Brigade, but it will be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
  5. At E3 2017, independent UK studio Rebellion highlighted their upcoming Rogue Trooper Redux which releases Oct. 17. Rogue Trooper initially released in 2006 to PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Gameplay is in third-person shooter format and follows the titular hero Rogue as he navigates the world Nu-Earth, the last survivor of his unit of genetic infantrymen. Though his fellow GI’s lose their form as blue troopers, their engineering allows them to live on in Rogue’s gear through implanted biochips. The redux is a remaster and upgrades the 2006 graphics to HD, remodels assets, updates lighting, enhancing geometry along with other visual aspects. New features have been added as well that include additional difficulty settings, a revamped cover system, and modernized controls. I got the chance to experience the reboot first hand during a demo at E3. The demo took place during the first part of the game as each of Rogue’s squad members are getting attacked and “die.” After failing to save them, Rogue implants each into various pieces of his equipment. Each implant not only gave Rogue's arsenal multiple personalities but also new abilities. This was an interesting mechanic and it presented a dimension to gameplay. From the Rogue Trooper Redux website, “Gunnar turns your rifle into a sentry gun and boosts your accuracy under fire. Helm offers tactical advice and distracts enemies. Bagman can manufacture custom ammo, salvage parts, upgrade weapons and even lay minefields.” Gameplay is straightforward third-person fare with an extraterrestrial backdrop. There are plenty of explosions and over the top events with gameplay mechanics switching up to keep things interesting. What was most compelling to play around with was the aforementioned abilities implanted in the gear. Staying true to the source material was a priority for the team in 2006 and that remains true today. "We tried our best to take the inspiration of the comic and do it justice, and I think we really did achieve that," said Rich May, one of the original game's programmers. The reboot will be a chance for players who missed the game the first time around to jump into the Rogue Trooper universe. "It's really cool to see it out there again," said May, who went on to comment about how social media has allowed them to connect to a wide array of fans of the game as well as the comics. May also hopes for the game to reach a new audience. "It's one of my favorite things I've ever worked on," he said. Rogue Trooper Redux will release to Nintendo Switch (date TBD), PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC for $24.99. View full article
  6. At E3 2017, independent UK studio Rebellion highlighted their upcoming Rogue Trooper Redux which releases Oct. 17. Rogue Trooper initially released in 2006 to PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Gameplay is in third-person shooter format and follows the titular hero Rogue as he navigates the world Nu-Earth, the last survivor of his unit of genetic infantrymen. Though his fellow GI’s lose their form as blue troopers, their engineering allows them to live on in Rogue’s gear through implanted biochips. The redux is a remaster and upgrades the 2006 graphics to HD, remodels assets, updates lighting, enhancing geometry along with other visual aspects. New features have been added as well that include additional difficulty settings, a revamped cover system, and modernized controls. I got the chance to experience the reboot first hand during a demo at E3. The demo took place during the first part of the game as each of Rogue’s squad members are getting attacked and “die.” After failing to save them, Rogue implants each into various pieces of his equipment. Each implant not only gave Rogue's arsenal multiple personalities but also new abilities. This was an interesting mechanic and it presented a dimension to gameplay. From the Rogue Trooper Redux website, “Gunnar turns your rifle into a sentry gun and boosts your accuracy under fire. Helm offers tactical advice and distracts enemies. Bagman can manufacture custom ammo, salvage parts, upgrade weapons and even lay minefields.” Gameplay is straightforward third-person fare with an extraterrestrial backdrop. There are plenty of explosions and over the top events with gameplay mechanics switching up to keep things interesting. What was most compelling to play around with was the aforementioned abilities implanted in the gear. Staying true to the source material was a priority for the team in 2006 and that remains true today. "We tried our best to take the inspiration of the comic and do it justice, and I think we really did achieve that," said Rich May, one of the original game's programmers. The reboot will be a chance for players who missed the game the first time around to jump into the Rogue Trooper universe. "It's really cool to see it out there again," said May, who went on to comment about how social media has allowed them to connect to a wide array of fans of the game as well as the comics. May also hopes for the game to reach a new audience. "It's one of my favorite things I've ever worked on," he said. Rogue Trooper Redux will release to Nintendo Switch (date TBD), PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC for $24.99.
  7. E3 is the land of the giants. Every year the titans of the industry gather in the same space to showcase their upcoming big budget releases. While the spotlight might be on the giants, indie games have also built their own community around the event. Areas like IndieCade or the Devolver Indie Picnic give the press and the public a chance to look at the latest games. Minneapolis developers Space Mace seized their opportunity to showcase their upcoming game Joggernauts as a part of MIX LA. We spoke with Zach Johnson, Tommy Sunders and Robert Frost about what it was like being an indie game at E3, the indie presence, the crowds and what’s next for Joggernauts. Can you describe Joggernauts? Zach Johnson: We say Joggernauts is a cooperative switching game about trying not to kill your friends. It kind of plays like a platformer, but you have to change places with each other as you're a team running through these alien worlds. There are color-coded puzzles, and you and your friends need to work out who needs to be in front for each color as you're running through these levels together. So it's a multiplayer auto runner and it's completely cooperative. We've taken out all of the competitive elements so you're always on the same team fighting against the game together. What are all of your roles in developing the game? Rob Frost: I do music, sound design and manage the community building. Tommy Sunders: I do all the art and graphic stuff and then Zach and I work on the design of the game together. Johnson: I do programming, and like Tommy said, we do game design together. Is this your first game as a team? Johnson: For the three of us together, this is our first (game). Our studio is called Space Mace and it’s the first for our studio, but we've all worked on games before this separately. In what stage of development is Joggernauts? ` Johnson: We're doing limited private early access through Itch.io and our target date for release is Spring 2018. We're in a phase where we need to do more content production like the gameplay, aesthetics, music and other stuff. All the direction for that is really high polish, but we need a bigger game. What was the process like getting to E3? Johnson: We applied to MIX LA and got invited to show our game. That was an awesome opportunity. It's a really neat thing that they have going there because they invite a wide range of games, like stuff that's very high profile and stuff that's up and coming and then there are tons of journalists there so you feel like you really get to meet people. Then we got some badges to come out on the expo floor and check out some stuff, so it's been fun. What was the event like? Sunders: It wasn't the craziest demo we've ever done. It's like a big party game and sort of draws its own crowd. It's four people playing, they start yelling, and then more people come around because there are people yelling and everyone starts to gather because people are gathering and trying to figure out what's going on. Johnson: I think we got lucky because the indie dev to the right of us didn't show up and we had a double wide booth - which we really needed because we had a huge crowd. What type of feedback did you get at MIX LA? Johnson: We got a lot of people who loved it and wanted to buy it and wanted to know what systems it was going to come out on so they would know if they could have it or not. Some of the other devs had some really cool ideas for small tweaks that we hadn't heard before. I mean we've been showing publicly for like three years and we actually got some new feedback that we've never heard that was really original thinking. It’s always fun to be amongst game developers who are thinking at that high level and can give you good feedback. Did you get to explore at all and see the other games? Johnson: I got to play Runner 3 and Joggernauts was actually inspired by me and my best friend drunkenly playing Bit.Trip Runner 1. We were like, "Okay, this is fun, but we have to keep passing the controller back and forth because it's a single player game." So how could you do a game like this, but multiplayer? And that's where the taking turns switching to the front of the group mechanic came from. Runner 3 was there, and I think it was their first public showing. So I got to play that which was awesome and meet one of the devs on that. I got to play Nidhogg 2 with one the creators. We tried to take turns roaming and making sure to eat and drink water and playing games with people and trying to grab journalists and pull them in to talk to us. What is it like coming from Minneapolis to E3? Johnson: We've been to IndieCade and GDC. We've been traveling a lot with the game. Sunders: We've actually even been to Berlin. Johnson: When everyone comes together from around the world to one place, the networking opportunities and access to resources and press is tremendous and we feel a little bit isolated from the press in particular in the Midwest. Sunders: The majority of the games industry's on the West Coast, and we're in flyover country. What do you think of the indie presence at E3? Frost: [IndieCade,] that's where we felt most at home. Sunders: We've been hanging out there because we know a number of the devs on those teams. There's the massive lines, or we could go stand and hang out with our friends. It's awesome that they have something like IndieCade in there, but at the end of the day, E3's not about indie games. Do you think that presence is building? Sunders: I've heard nothing but great things about indie games at PAX. People are there to see everything else that's not Sony and Xbox and Nintendo. We have yet to go to a PAX, but everybody's like, "No, no, [E3] is for the giant corporations, PAX is everybody else." Johnson: I like that there's an IndieCade booth and I like that some of the bigger booths have indie games. Devolver's got a presence here, the MIX was here. So there are these kinds of places to go and see indie games and play them and meet people doing indie stuff. I'd love to see more of that obviously as and Indie, those games are my jam. Why is an indie presence so important at a huge event like E3? Frost: A lot of the time indies have ideas that the big guys don't really take a chance on. I think a lot of times indies test the bar. More of that would be really nice to see an event like this. What do you think about E3 being open to the public? Frost: We've never seen it before to really judge it, but it is packed. Johnson: So many people. Frost: It's just uncomfortable really. Sunders: It seems like the industry people know better and they're just avoiding the floor as much as possible. Johnson: It’s nice to bump into fans and see people excited. I think the most interesting thing about it being open is that you see a lot of streamers and non-credentialed journalists who are actually doing really cool work and have like pro equipment. Like you see their regular badge like they're just here for fun but then they've got pro video stuff and they're doing like live streaming off of the show floor. That's kind of neat. You're getting voices that maybe hadn't gotten out there before. Would you come back to E3? Johnson: I would show a game here just because it's packed so you're going to get a lot of exposure. but it would be exhausting. I would like to set our schedules so we all would have some good breaks. Seeing a crowd this size, I really feel for the people at the IndieCade booth who are a small team of one or two who have three days of standing on the E3 show floor just seems so exhausting. I mean it's clearly a powerful opportunity. Everybody's here. It's like a central meeting time for the industry. What is next for Joggernauts? Johnson: We're actively doing a lot of business stuff right now and trying to sort out stuff on the publishing side. We really want to get out Spring 2018 and we could go faster if we could all be full time. We've been a part time like the indie story for like two and a half years. If we could go full time we could focus on the content production stuff and wrap the game up. We're talking to all the major consoles and did make a deal on one of them that we're not ready to announce yet. Things have been going well so we just kind of like want to go faster and get the game out. We're looking to PAX West as the next big opportunity to show the game. We're hoping that by PAX, ideally, we're going to be showing a much more visually polished build with a lot more going on and some new levels. I really want to introduce a new special PAX character, a new Joggernaut. Joggernauts is set to release in Spring of 2018. Keep track of it and Space Mace on Twitter or Itch.io. View full article
  8. E3 is the land of the giants. Every year the titans of the industry gather in the same space to showcase their upcoming big budget releases. While the spotlight might be on the giants, indie games have also built their own community around the event. Areas like IndieCade or the Devolver Indie Picnic give the press and the public a chance to look at the latest games. Minneapolis developers Space Mace seized their opportunity to showcase their upcoming game Joggernauts as a part of MIX LA. We spoke with Zach Johnson, Tommy Sunders and Robert Frost about what it was like being an indie game at E3, the indie presence, the crowds and what’s next for Joggernauts. Can you describe Joggernauts? Zach Johnson: We say Joggernauts is a cooperative switching game about trying not to kill your friends. It kind of plays like a platformer, but you have to change places with each other as you're a team running through these alien worlds. There are color-coded puzzles, and you and your friends need to work out who needs to be in front for each color as you're running through these levels together. So it's a multiplayer auto runner and it's completely cooperative. We've taken out all of the competitive elements so you're always on the same team fighting against the game together. What are all of your roles in developing the game? Rob Frost: I do music, sound design and manage the community building. Tommy Sunders: I do all the art and graphic stuff and then Zach and I work on the design of the game together. Johnson: I do programming, and like Tommy said, we do game design together. Is this your first game as a team? Johnson: For the three of us together, this is our first (game). Our studio is called Space Mace and it’s the first for our studio, but we've all worked on games before this separately. In what stage of development is Joggernauts? ` Johnson: We're doing limited private early access through Itch.io and our target date for release is Spring 2018. We're in a phase where we need to do more content production like the gameplay, aesthetics, music and other stuff. All the direction for that is really high polish, but we need a bigger game. What was the process like getting to E3? Johnson: We applied to MIX LA and got invited to show our game. That was an awesome opportunity. It's a really neat thing that they have going there because they invite a wide range of games, like stuff that's very high profile and stuff that's up and coming and then there are tons of journalists there so you feel like you really get to meet people. Then we got some badges to come out on the expo floor and check out some stuff, so it's been fun. What was the event like? Sunders: It wasn't the craziest demo we've ever done. It's like a big party game and sort of draws its own crowd. It's four people playing, they start yelling, and then more people come around because there are people yelling and everyone starts to gather because people are gathering and trying to figure out what's going on. Johnson: I think we got lucky because the indie dev to the right of us didn't show up and we had a double wide booth - which we really needed because we had a huge crowd. What type of feedback did you get at MIX LA? Johnson: We got a lot of people who loved it and wanted to buy it and wanted to know what systems it was going to come out on so they would know if they could have it or not. Some of the other devs had some really cool ideas for small tweaks that we hadn't heard before. I mean we've been showing publicly for like three years and we actually got some new feedback that we've never heard that was really original thinking. It’s always fun to be amongst game developers who are thinking at that high level and can give you good feedback. Did you get to explore at all and see the other games? Johnson: I got to play Runner 3 and Joggernauts was actually inspired by me and my best friend drunkenly playing Bit.Trip Runner 1. We were like, "Okay, this is fun, but we have to keep passing the controller back and forth because it's a single player game." So how could you do a game like this, but multiplayer? And that's where the taking turns switching to the front of the group mechanic came from. Runner 3 was there, and I think it was their first public showing. So I got to play that which was awesome and meet one of the devs on that. I got to play Nidhogg 2 with one the creators. We tried to take turns roaming and making sure to eat and drink water and playing games with people and trying to grab journalists and pull them in to talk to us. What is it like coming from Minneapolis to E3? Johnson: We've been to IndieCade and GDC. We've been traveling a lot with the game. Sunders: We've actually even been to Berlin. Johnson: When everyone comes together from around the world to one place, the networking opportunities and access to resources and press is tremendous and we feel a little bit isolated from the press in particular in the Midwest. Sunders: The majority of the games industry's on the West Coast, and we're in flyover country. What do you think of the indie presence at E3? Frost: [IndieCade,] that's where we felt most at home. Sunders: We've been hanging out there because we know a number of the devs on those teams. There's the massive lines, or we could go stand and hang out with our friends. It's awesome that they have something like IndieCade in there, but at the end of the day, E3's not about indie games. Do you think that presence is building? Sunders: I've heard nothing but great things about indie games at PAX. People are there to see everything else that's not Sony and Xbox and Nintendo. We have yet to go to a PAX, but everybody's like, "No, no, [E3] is for the giant corporations, PAX is everybody else." Johnson: I like that there's an IndieCade booth and I like that some of the bigger booths have indie games. Devolver's got a presence here, the MIX was here. So there are these kinds of places to go and see indie games and play them and meet people doing indie stuff. I'd love to see more of that obviously as and Indie, those games are my jam. Why is an indie presence so important at a huge event like E3? Frost: A lot of the time indies have ideas that the big guys don't really take a chance on. I think a lot of times indies test the bar. More of that would be really nice to see an event like this. What do you think about E3 being open to the public? Frost: We've never seen it before to really judge it, but it is packed. Johnson: So many people. Frost: It's just uncomfortable really. Sunders: It seems like the industry people know better and they're just avoiding the floor as much as possible. Johnson: It’s nice to bump into fans and see people excited. I think the most interesting thing about it being open is that you see a lot of streamers and non-credentialed journalists who are actually doing really cool work and have like pro equipment. Like you see their regular badge like they're just here for fun but then they've got pro video stuff and they're doing like live streaming off of the show floor. That's kind of neat. You're getting voices that maybe hadn't gotten out there before. Would you come back to E3? Johnson: I would show a game here just because it's packed so you're going to get a lot of exposure. but it would be exhausting. I would like to set our schedules so we all would have some good breaks. Seeing a crowd this size, I really feel for the people at the IndieCade booth who are a small team of one or two who have three days of standing on the E3 show floor just seems so exhausting. I mean it's clearly a powerful opportunity. Everybody's here. It's like a central meeting time for the industry. What is next for Joggernauts? Johnson: We're actively doing a lot of business stuff right now and trying to sort out stuff on the publishing side. We really want to get out Spring 2018 and we could go faster if we could all be full time. We've been a part time like the indie story for like two and a half years. If we could go full time we could focus on the content production stuff and wrap the game up. We're talking to all the major consoles and did make a deal on one of them that we're not ready to announce yet. Things have been going well so we just kind of like want to go faster and get the game out. We're looking to PAX West as the next big opportunity to show the game. We're hoping that by PAX, ideally, we're going to be showing a much more visually polished build with a lot more going on and some new levels. I really want to introduce a new special PAX character, a new Joggernaut. Joggernauts is set to release in Spring of 2018. Keep track of it and Space Mace on Twitter or Itch.io.
  9. I'm back in Final Fantasy XV for the fourth time. The first two forays into its world were playthroughs of the main story with the third being the bitterly disappointing Episode Gladio. This time I've returned for Episode Prompto, which presents an opportunity for Square Enix to redeem Final Fantasy XV's downloadable expansions. Episode Prompto released June 27 as the latest installment in the FFXV extended universe. As the name implies, it is all about the lighthearted goofball of the group, Prompto Argentum. Before going any further I should note that there will be no spoilers for the DLC here, but there are MAJOR spoilers if you have not yet beaten the main game. You have been warned! The events of the DLC take place with Prompto in a bit of an emotional limbo. Noctis has seemingly tried to kill him, and left him behind. Of course the player, and eventually Noctis, know that this is actually the work of colossal baddy Ardyn Izunia. The player is reunited with a devastated and confused Prompto (in a new outfit, for some reason…) in the snowy terrain of Niflheim. The bulk of the story centers around a Magitek production plant, significant due to the major plot bomb that Prompto dropped in Chapter 13. He is a Magitek Trooper (MT), a genetically engineered warrior. Square kept with the trend of differentiating the character’s playstyles, a decision that I certainly appreciate. In Episode Gladio we got to play with the character's brute force, at one point even wielding freaking pillars as weapons. From the very start, Prompto's time to shine feels profoundly different from Episode Gladio. Instead of sheer power, the expansion plays as a third-person shooter with a surprising variety of weapons. While Episode Prompto's combat holds a peppering of frustrating moments and quirks, the overall experience manages to be good fun (simple descriptor intentional). Prompto storms into battle equipped with an infinite ammo pistol, melee weapon, and grenades. He can also scavenge a veritable arsenal of weapons found throughout the world. These include the Rapidus SMG, the Alea Bazooka, and a sniper called the Sagitta Rifle. Cool right? But instead of, oh, you know, reloading your guns - you will ditch these weapons when they run empty. A little annoying, but there are strangely plenty of them around to pick up, an almost a ridiculous amount. These minor annoyances don't really detract from the combat itself, they're more just odd design choices. Square Enix divided Prompto's gameplay between the shooter sequences in the facility and an "open world." I was initially super excited to learn about the inclusion of said open world, but upon closer inspection it was underwhelming. We were treated to snowmobile sequences - something that certainly seems thrilling on paper - but they were rough and seemed like they needed more time in development. Side quests appear within the DLC, too, which seem like another awesome opportunity. Unfortunately the lackluster execution of these quests from a technical perspective leave them severely lacking. Most were glitchy with AI problems galore. Umm hi, why aren't the MTs moving? Enjoyable combat aside, Episode Prompto's greatest strength can be found in its storytelling. Square took opportunities to use gameplay mechanics to unveil the story, something sorely missing in Gladio. As an example, one section has the player running as an MT in simple, but effective gameplay. Though this episode wasn’t radically longer than it’s predecessor, its pacing and tone were more appropriate and compelling. Prompto’s big revelation was kind of thrown into the main game and glossed over. Granted, I didn’t expect the guys to toss him aside, but I wanted more of an explanation. With this DLC, Square created a great opportunity to expand on his story organically versus what we saw with Gladio. These DLC releases habe many purposes for Square, but the main one is storytelling. There were many storytelling devices, flashbacks, audio logs etc., used to pack in as much exposition as possible. They exist to expand on the backstories for Noctis' support system. We saw plenty of Noctis in the core game, which makes sense, but so much of what made FFXV a great experience was getting to see the bond between the four characters. Though at times their in-game interactions were dry and unconvincing, the expanded universe was the chance to build these relationships further in a way that players could finally become fully invested. That’s what made Episode Gladio so disappointing. Instead of getting the chance to understand Gladio more we got a rinse and repeat stereotype with some generic metal music in the background. Episode Gladio devolved his character rather than the other way around. OK, enough rant, it's time for Aranea. Aranea and Prompto stumble upon each other in the facility during an intense moment. The gray-haired warrior helps Prompto out through combat assistance and some tough love, but she never lets him forget that he needs to pull his own weight. Essentially, the two form the team that the world never thought it needed. While players don't get to play as Aranea, she makes appearances and becomes a handy ally in combos and boss battles. Her powerful special attacks were pretty much a godsend for me and supplied an added a unique dynamic to combat. She also helps Prompto navigate through his funk, with full on Aranea attitude of course. As skeptical as I was, their chemistry strangely worked. I would love to see more Prompto-nea in the future (hint hint Square). Since release, a fan base has steadily grown around Aranea in the Final Fantasy XV community, so giving her more screen time in this expansion was a smart move on Square's part. And while I'll still argue that she needs her own DLC, including her in Episode Prompto was at least progress. There were so many characters underutilized in both the core game and the Kingsglaive film - using them here shows that Square is listening to its fans. Conclusion During the entirety of my playthrough of Episode Prompto, I had Episode Gladio on my mind. I'm sure that might have been obvious in reading this review, but it makes me wonder, did I enjoy Prompto's story because it was better than Gladio's? My standards going in were pretty low, actually, something to the effect of "this better be longer than Gladio." Overall, yes, this installment was way better in pretty much every respect, but of course, it could be better. It's my hope that going forward Square will only try to improve upon the experience and create a more complete story rather than rushing out content for content's sake, which unfortunately seems to be the trend for the extended universe. Episode Prompto was a step in the right direction. Fans of Final Fantasy XV looking for additional canonical story for Prompto should absolutely play this episode. Though it had some bugs and camera issues, combat stands out as enjoyable and a refreshing change of pace within the Final Fantasy universe. It shows how these expansions can be done right, and it sets my hopes high for the upcoming Episode Ignis. Final Fantasy XV - Episode Prompto was reviewed on Xbox One and is now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One View full article
  10. Review: Final Fantasy XV - Episode Prompto

    I'm back in Final Fantasy XV for the fourth time. The first two forays into its world were playthroughs of the main story with the third being the bitterly disappointing Episode Gladio. This time I've returned for Episode Prompto, which presents an opportunity for Square Enix to redeem Final Fantasy XV's downloadable expansions. Episode Prompto released June 27 as the latest installment in the FFXV extended universe. As the name implies, it is all about the lighthearted goofball of the group, Prompto Argentum. Before going any further I should note that there will be no spoilers for the DLC here, but there are MAJOR spoilers if you have not yet beaten the main game. You have been warned! The events of the DLC take place with Prompto in a bit of an emotional limbo. Noctis has seemingly tried to kill him, and left him behind. Of course the player, and eventually Noctis, know that this is actually the work of colossal baddy Ardyn Izunia. The player is reunited with a devastated and confused Prompto (in a new outfit, for some reason…) in the snowy terrain of Niflheim. The bulk of the story centers around a Magitek production plant, significant due to the major plot bomb that Prompto dropped in Chapter 13. He is a Magitek Trooper (MT), a genetically engineered warrior. Square kept with the trend of differentiating the character’s playstyles, a decision that I certainly appreciate. In Episode Gladio we got to play with the character's brute force, at one point even wielding freaking pillars as weapons. From the very start, Prompto's time to shine feels profoundly different from Episode Gladio. Instead of sheer power, the expansion plays as a third-person shooter with a surprising variety of weapons. While Episode Prompto's combat holds a peppering of frustrating moments and quirks, the overall experience manages to be good fun (simple descriptor intentional). Prompto storms into battle equipped with an infinite ammo pistol, melee weapon, and grenades. He can also scavenge a veritable arsenal of weapons found throughout the world. These include the Rapidus SMG, the Alea Bazooka, and a sniper called the Sagitta Rifle. Cool right? But instead of, oh, you know, reloading your guns - you will ditch these weapons when they run empty. A little annoying, but there are strangely plenty of them around to pick up, an almost a ridiculous amount. These minor annoyances don't really detract from the combat itself, they're more just odd design choices. Square Enix divided Prompto's gameplay between the shooter sequences in the facility and an "open world." I was initially super excited to learn about the inclusion of said open world, but upon closer inspection it was underwhelming. We were treated to snowmobile sequences - something that certainly seems thrilling on paper - but they were rough and seemed like they needed more time in development. Side quests appear within the DLC, too, which seem like another awesome opportunity. Unfortunately the lackluster execution of these quests from a technical perspective leave them severely lacking. Most were glitchy with AI problems galore. Umm hi, why aren't the MTs moving? Enjoyable combat aside, Episode Prompto's greatest strength can be found in its storytelling. Square took opportunities to use gameplay mechanics to unveil the story, something sorely missing in Gladio. As an example, one section has the player running as an MT in simple, but effective gameplay. Though this episode wasn’t radically longer than it’s predecessor, its pacing and tone were more appropriate and compelling. Prompto’s big revelation was kind of thrown into the main game and glossed over. Granted, I didn’t expect the guys to toss him aside, but I wanted more of an explanation. With this DLC, Square created a great opportunity to expand on his story organically versus what we saw with Gladio. These DLC releases habe many purposes for Square, but the main one is storytelling. There were many storytelling devices, flashbacks, audio logs etc., used to pack in as much exposition as possible. They exist to expand on the backstories for Noctis' support system. We saw plenty of Noctis in the core game, which makes sense, but so much of what made FFXV a great experience was getting to see the bond between the four characters. Though at times their in-game interactions were dry and unconvincing, the expanded universe was the chance to build these relationships further in a way that players could finally become fully invested. That’s what made Episode Gladio so disappointing. Instead of getting the chance to understand Gladio more we got a rinse and repeat stereotype with some generic metal music in the background. Episode Gladio devolved his character rather than the other way around. OK, enough rant, it's time for Aranea. Aranea and Prompto stumble upon each other in the facility during an intense moment. The gray-haired warrior helps Prompto out through combat assistance and some tough love, but she never lets him forget that he needs to pull his own weight. Essentially, the two form the team that the world never thought it needed. While players don't get to play as Aranea, she makes appearances and becomes a handy ally in combos and boss battles. Her powerful special attacks were pretty much a godsend for me and supplied an added a unique dynamic to combat. She also helps Prompto navigate through his funk, with full on Aranea attitude of course. As skeptical as I was, their chemistry strangely worked. I would love to see more Prompto-nea in the future (hint hint Square). Since release, a fan base has steadily grown around Aranea in the Final Fantasy XV community, so giving her more screen time in this expansion was a smart move on Square's part. And while I'll still argue that she needs her own DLC, including her in Episode Prompto was at least progress. There were so many characters underutilized in both the core game and the Kingsglaive film - using them here shows that Square is listening to its fans. Conclusion During the entirety of my playthrough of Episode Prompto, I had Episode Gladio on my mind. I'm sure that might have been obvious in reading this review, but it makes me wonder, did I enjoy Prompto's story because it was better than Gladio's? My standards going in were pretty low, actually, something to the effect of "this better be longer than Gladio." Overall, yes, this installment was way better in pretty much every respect, but of course, it could be better. It's my hope that going forward Square will only try to improve upon the experience and create a more complete story rather than rushing out content for content's sake, which unfortunately seems to be the trend for the extended universe. Episode Prompto was a step in the right direction. Fans of Final Fantasy XV looking for additional canonical story for Prompto should absolutely play this episode. Though it had some bugs and camera issues, combat stands out as enjoyable and a refreshing change of pace within the Final Fantasy universe. It shows how these expansions can be done right, and it sets my hopes high for the upcoming Episode Ignis. Final Fantasy XV - Episode Prompto was reviewed on Xbox One and is now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
  11. Back in March this year it was announced that StarCraft would be getting a remaster. Today, we got an official release date and a price. The remaster will release August 14 and costs $14.99. It will also include the Brood War expansion. With the remaster, players will get to see the game in 4K Ultra High Definition. See the trailer below for side by side comparisons of the original and the remaster. The original StarCraft released in 1998 with its sequel, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, releasing in 2010. Are you excited for a StarCraft remaster? Will this be the return to the series for you? View full article
  12. Back in March this year it was announced that StarCraft would be getting a remaster. Today, we got an official release date and a price. The remaster will release August 14 and costs $14.99. It will also include the Brood War expansion. With the remaster, players will get to see the game in 4K Ultra High Definition. See the trailer below for side by side comparisons of the original and the remaster. The original StarCraft released in 1998 with its sequel, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, releasing in 2010. Are you excited for a StarCraft remaster? Will this be the return to the series for you?
  13. The Xbox Digital Sale gives its players the chance at their own summer sale. From June 30 to July 10, AAA and indie titles will be up to 70% off (or 80% for Xbox Live Gold members). In general, Gold members will save 10% more. There are over 300 games in the sale and span both the Xbox One and 360. Included are DLC as well as deluxe editions for games. Some of the deals for the Xbox One include: Mass Effect: Andromeda - 40/50% off For Honor - 30/40% off Rocket League - 30/40% off The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - 30/40% off Far Cry 4 - 50/60% off The Division - 50/60% off Fallout 4 - 35/45% off Final Fantasy XV - 30/40% off See all of the deals here. Anything on sale that catches your eye?
  14. The game that hailed itself as the "easiest PS4 Platinum Trophy" has been pulled from the PlayStation Network after only two days of being in the digital store. A platinum trophy, the epitome of a trophy addict's time and dedication, could be achieved in an hour, or a mere twenty minutes. The gameplay consisted solely of sliding puzzles of different 4K wallpapers. In the trailer above, the devs even note that they even had their brief doubts about a number of trophies in the game. "Oh no, no," a note in the trailer says, "did we over-do it on trophies?" PlayStation's removal of the game seems to be a response to concern over the quality of some games being released. View full article
  15. The game that hailed itself as the "easiest PS4 Platinum Trophy" has been pulled from the PlayStation Network after only two days of being in the digital store. A platinum trophy, the epitome of a trophy addict's time and dedication, could be achieved in an hour, or a mere twenty minutes. The gameplay consisted solely of sliding puzzles of different 4K wallpapers. In the trailer above, the devs even note that they even had their brief doubts about a number of trophies in the game. "Oh no, no," a note in the trailer says, "did we over-do it on trophies?" PlayStation's removal of the game seems to be a response to concern over the quality of some games being released.