Sep 18, 2017

Sep 16, 2017

Not Enough Resources: Episode 16 - Metroid: Samus Returns, Super Mario Odyssey, eSports and gaming in Africa

It’s that time again. Prep your build orders, hold on to your hype and get ready for the latest episode of the Rogues Portal Gaming Podcast: Not Enough Resources!

 

Now Playing
Dylan is trying to narrow down his class in Dungeon Runners, but is glad the Hearthstone Meta is starting to even itself out after the latest expansion. Meanwhile, Ryan is excited to be playing a new Metroid game, Samus Returns, even if there are some odd design choices. Expect his full review mid-next week.


News
Nintendo reveals that Mario is not as Italian as we all thought in the latest Super Mario Odyssey Trailer, showing that the supposed Italian Plumber definitely man-scapes. All joking aside, it is great that Nintendo is focusing on the whimsy fun that only gaming can bring. Other Switch goodies include the fact that both Doom and Wolfenstein II are coming to Nintendo’s platform. This is good news for anyone looking for a strong presence of AAA third party games on the Switch.


Competitive Corner
The big discussion this week has to do with Africa. Both Waypoint and Kotaku posted some great looks at how the infrastructure of the continent is holding back gaming from the masses throughout Africa.


Dylan is excited to see some fresh faces in League of Legends now that the NALCS has finished up their Summer Split.

Follow us on Twitter @NERPodcast! You can subscribe to Not Enough Resources on iTunes or Google Play.

Sep 12, 2017

J.J. Abrams to Write and Direct Star Wars Episode IX

J.J. Abrams has finalized a deal to write and direct the as of yet untitled Star Wars Episode IX. It will supposedly be the final film in the third Skywalker trilogy. The new release date for Episode IX is December 20th, 2019. It will follow this year’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is due out December 15th. (See the trailer for Episode VIII below.)


I think this is a great move by Lucasfilm and Disney, as it will help ensure a consistent visual style between episodes VII and IX. While Episode VIII was written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper), Abrams is an executive producer on The Last Jedi. Abrams also wrote Episode VII, so if anyone knows where the adventures of Finn, Poe and Rey should go, it is him.

To his credit, Abrams already has two really good franchise films under his belt. The Force Awakens opened to rave reviews and was incredibly successful, holding the records for highest grossing domestic film and highest domestic opening weekend at the time.

While the 2009 Star Trek is a Star Trek movie, it has the pacing, whit and action of the Star Wars universe, just with a different coat of paint. Both ’09 Trek and the less favorable Into Darkness practically served as J.J. Abrams’ audition tape for Episode VII. Episode VII was also long anticipated, thanks to an interview on the set of Empire Strikes Back in which George Lucas stated he wanted to do three trilogies.

From StarWars.com:

While Empire was originally part of a 12-film plan, by the time it was released, the number had clearly been reduced to nine. “The prequel stories exist — where Darth Vader came from, the whole story about Darth and Ben Kenobi — and it all takes place before Luke was born,” Lucas explained at the time. “The other one — what happens to Luke afterward — is much more ethereal. I have a tiny notebook full of notes on that. If I’m really ambitious, I could proceed to figure out what would have happened to Luke.”

While Lucas won’t be the man behind the camera for Episode IX, we will finally get to see an ending to the third trilogy in the Star Wars saga. J.J. Abrams, we’re counting on you.

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Sep 2, 2017

Not Enough Resources: Episode 15 - League of Legends, Phantom Trigger, cartridge re-releases?, Pokémon GO, Overwatch League and the NALCS

It's that time again. Load up your games, hold on to your hype and listen to the latest episode of the Rogues Portal Gaming Podcast: Not Enough Resources!

 

Now Playing
Dylan is finally happy with the state of League of Legends, and he thinks it finally feels like a complete experience. Ryan is playing Phantom Trigger for review, and loves the neon hack-n-slash, despite a few issues.

News
Street Fighter II is getting a re-release as a working SNES Cartridge, despite the fact that hardware hasn't been made in decades. Is this a coming sign of nostalgia based re-releases for old hardware?

Pokémon GO is bringing the three Legendary Dog's from Gold and Silver to players, with a slew of new rules. Raikou, Entei, and Suicune should start appearing in raids throughout the world from August 31st to September 30th.

Competitive Corner
The League of Legends NALCS finals are this weekend. Dylan favors Immortals taking it all, so be sure to watch to see if he picked the right team. Meanwhile, more controversy out of the Overwatch League, which is forcing eSports organizations to drop their names in favor of new names the fit the League's branding standards. Is this a good or bad thing?

Remember to tune in all weekend to support Hurricane Harvey Relief with Harvey Relief Done Quick, where games break games to raise money for the Houston Food Bank.

Follow us on Twitter @NERPodcast! You can subscribe to Not Enough Resources on iTunes or Google Play.

Sep 1, 2017

Indie Game Review: Phantom Trigger

Indie games fall into two categories: high-art or classic inspired. High-art games like That Dragon Cancer and Her Story aim to tell complex and emotional stories that aren’t usually present in AAA games, where classic inspired indies like Shovel Knight and Stardew Valley aim to recreate gaming magic from the past. Phantom Trigger sits somewhere in between both of these categories, with addictive hack and slash gameplay and a story of embracing imagination at death’s door.
After the main character suffers an unknown injury, he lands in the hospital seeking experimental treatment. These segments interject the gameplay in weird points, moving the story along with a frantic pace that reminds me of the ups and downs of a hard medical diagnosis. The main draw, though, is the tough-as-nails, neon-colored, beat-em-up sections of the game.

This is where Phantom Trigger really shines. The combat is quick and has a very distinct flow to it. You have four moves to string together: a dash, a sword attack, a slow fist attack and a whip attack. The whip is where things really start to get interesting, as it allows you to interact with the environment by knocking objects into enemies for damage, or pulling enemies towards you. This gives you lots of ways to approach fights, and will certainly test you as well.
Even on the Normal difficulty setting, Phantom Trigger is difficult. It sends you to a game over screen more often than not. I found much more success after I switched to a controller versus the PC controls. It is honestly the best way to play the game.

The one thing that sucks is that combos are locked behind a leveling system for each individual weapon. There is no clear way to tell how to gain experience for a certain weapon. Is it based on how often you use that weapon? Does that weapon type have to gain the killing blow to gain a level? Even with hours of gameplay, I have no clear answer to that question.

The only major complaint, aside from the odd PC control scheme, is the camera work, specifically during boss battles. Phantom Trigger uses layered pixel art to create the illusion of depth, and while 8 out of 10 times it isn’t a problem, there are times where the top layer will obscure your vision, leading to an unnecessary death.

During boss battles, this problem exacerbates itself, as the camera pulls out to show the giant enemies you are fighting in all of their glory, only to sometimes block your vision of your character. I also kept instinctively flicking my second stick as habit from Diablo III on consoles, only to have to remember that my dash was controlled with the A button and my left stick instead.

Ultimately, Phantom Trigger is difficult, but deeply rewarding once you lock into the pace of the combat system. The game starts with a screen saying that the best way to play Phantom Trigger is with headphones, and I would absolutely have to agree with that. The beat and sounds made after each swing create a rhythm to the combat that makes everything flow naturally, even if you end up dying half way through your combos.

This review originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.