Jan 23, 2017

Star Wars Episode VIII officially titled The Last Jedi

Star Wars Episode VIII has officially been titled The Last Jedi. Episode VIII will follow in the footsteps of both The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and release on December 15th 2017. There is very little known about the plot of The Last Jedi, but all of the cast from The Force Awakens is set to reprise their roles. Carrie Fisher had completed all of her obligations for The Last Jedi before her unfortunate passing, so expect to see General Leia make one final screen appearance. The Last Jedi will be directed by Rian Johnson. His directing credits include the absolutely fantastic sci-fi flick Looper and the high-school murder mystery Brick.

While a trailer hasn’t been shown yet, expect something in the form of a teaser during the Super Bowl. I expect a full blown trailer will arrive in time for the summer blockbuster season, and it will probably be attached to Disney/Marvel’s other science fiction juggernaut Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

As for the title itself, Rian Johnson has said in interviews that he wants to focus on “What’s going on with Luke Skywalker?”, and if the title is any indication, don’t be surprised if our bearded hero ends up walking around as a Force Ghost. One thing to be cautious of is the syntax of the title, as Jedi is both singular and plural in its use. Could Rey falter from the light side and follow the temptations of the dark side of the force, in addition to Luke’s all but assured death? If you follow the similarities between the previous two trilogies there will be some things certain to happen as well. C-3P0 will probably get dismantled at some point, just as he was in Attack of the Clones and Empire Strikes Back. Someone is gonna lose their hand for sure. I think we are all in agreement though, with The Last Jedi paired with the dark red Star Wars logo, we should expect a darker film along the lines of Empire Strikes Back.

The Last Jedi is only 11 months away.

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

What's New This Week: Video Games

January 23 - January 29

January is winding down, and the limited amount of releases this week shows. This week is led by the highly anticipated Resident Evil 7, which looks to return the game back to its more horror based roots since the series became more action focused in Resident Evil 4. The demo has proven to be quite creepy. The millionth version of Kingdom Hearts 2 comes out on PS4 as well, which is sad because it isn’t Kingdom Hearts 3.

January 24

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Win, PS4, XBO
Tales of Berseria
Win, PS4
Yakuza 0

January 25

Win, Mac, Lin

January 26

The Wardrobe
Win, Mac, Lin
Twin Star Exorcist

Jan 20, 2017

Blizzard announces Year of the Rooster Event for Overwatch

As 2017 starts up around the world, Blizzard is hard at work for everyone's favorite online shooter, Overwatch. Following in the footsteps of the three previous events, The Summer Games, Dr. Junkenstein's Revenge, and Winter Wonderland, the fourth event for Overwatch will be Year of the Rooster, celebrating Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year occurs on the 28th of January this year. Two posts were made showing off some of the new skins players can expect, one from the official Overwatch account for the Americas, and one from the official Overwatch account for Korea.
In addition to this, eagle eyed gamers found an image showing skins based on Journey to the East for Zenyatta, Winston, Reinheart and Roadhog. Based on the images released it looks to be that the in game event will run for at least a week, although it is possible it might run longer. In Asian countries, Overwatch is a free-to-play game that follows different rules for events based on the popularity of PC Bangs.

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Jan 17, 2017

Star War: Force Arena - First Impressions

While console players have been longing for another experience in a galaxy far, far away, mobile users are drowning in a glut of Star Wars games. While not every mobile game can be a winner, Star Wars: Force Arena shows serious promise.

Force Arena is the latest release from mobile veteran netmarble. Created in partnership with Lucasfilm and Disney it offers an incredibly satisfying mix of a lane based brawler like League of Legends with the deck building strategies of card games like Hearthstone. The gameplay is divided into two factions: the Rebellion and the Empire (shocking, right?). For now, Force Arena features player characters from Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One and the original trilogy.
The main menu screen of Force Arena.
As with most MOBAs, each map is divided into lanes, with each side of the lane ending in a turret protecting a shield generator. In 1v1 there are two lanes, and in the 2v2 mode there are three. As a mobile game the developers wisely implemented a 3 minute limit on matches, with the victor being declared based on who has eliminated the most turrets at the end of the match, or who has destroyed the shield generator. Every once in awhile you will have a tie on turrets, at which point the game enters sudden death for a minute and who ever destroys a turret first wins.

The best part about Force Arena is that it doesn’t have computer generated units mindlessly thrown into each lane a la Heroes of the Storm. Instead each leader can build a small 7 card deck to supplement their specific abilities. These cards can spawn units, use grenades or call in an X-Wing air strike, and how you build this deck is where Force Arena shines.

Even though the game has only been out less than a week, I have already seen various deck strategies played out in game, comprising low cost Stormtrooper rush decks, or equipment based decks that give your leader character more options like stun grenades or damage over time abilities. Building your small 7 card deck may seem like a simple task, but there is a lot of variety possible in the game based on how this tiny deck is built. Do I switch my regular troops out for snipers, who have longer range, but chance a swift defeat? Should I stack vehicles that do well against turrets, but fall to units easily?
Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker face off on Hoth.
Playing cards requires energy, and energy refills at 1 energy a second for the first two minutes of the match, and then doubles for the last minute. You can only have three cards in your hand at a time too, so you might want to sit on that X-Wing until you need to take out a large swath of encroaching forces. Because energy is capped at 10, it isn’t really beneficial to sit on cards for too long, and after using the cards they instantly get shuffled back into your deck. If your tank push fails, you will get another chance to play that card again soon.

In addition to the standard deck fair, each leader has special abilities to bring to the battlefield too. For example, the Sith Inquisitor from Rebels has a pretty devastating melee area of effect attack, and Princess General Leia can summon additional rebel soldiers. In the 2v2 mode there is no doubling up on leaders, and each match is always Rebellion versus Empire, so don’t expect four Darth Vaders on the field at once. All in all there are 10 leaders on each side, and 30 additional cards for your deck, including a unique ally card that can only be paired with a specific leader, like Doctor Aphra from Kieron Gillen’s Darth Vader comic series.
How you build your deck is a key to your success.
Of course, as a free to play game Force Arena has monetization built into parts of it’s DNA. While each win will net you a standard booster, you can use cash (turned into crystals) to purchase additional boosters beyond what is awarded. Sadly, you can’t use crystals to purchase that exact card you need to make your deck perfect. Each card can be leveled up after you gather multiples of the same card, so that makes the blind packs a little less forgiving when you pull the same cards over and over. Leaders seem to be rare though, so leveling them up will take some time.

Final Thoughts

Currently I am only level 7 and only have 8 leaders unlocked, but I am curious to see how this game and its strategies evolve over time. It’s quick to play nature means it will be on my phone for quite some time, especially once more cards and leaders come out. There are no leaders or cards from the prequels, Clone Wars or Episode VII yet, so there is more content to be added for sure. Like other MOBAs, the end goal of destroying a main base is still there, but it is the unique deck based approach to gameplay that makes Force Arena so special.

You can download Star Wars: Force Arena from iTunes and the Google Play store now.

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Jan 16, 2017

What's New This Week: Video Games

January 16 - January 22

This week finally sees the release of the highly anticipated Gravity Rush 2, a sequel to one to the best Puzzle-Platformers I have ever played. Gravity Rush 2 looks to continue that streak of greatness. There is truly nothing else like it and if you have a Playstation 4 I highly recommend checking it out. The first entry in the series is even available on the Vita!

The other notable releases this week are the third entry in the Valkyria series, Valkyria Revolution, and the 3DS port of the PlayStation 2 game Dragon Quest VIII. If you are wondering why there is a port of a nearly 10 year old game coming out this week, it is because Dragon Quest has a following in Japan similar to the Final Fantasy following here in the west.

January 17th

Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea
Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star
PS4/ PSVita

January 19th

Birthday the Beginning
Valkyria Revolution
PS4, PSVita, XBO

January 20th

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
Gravity Rush 2
Urban Empire

January 22nd

Don Bradman Cricket 17
This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Jan 14, 2017

Awesome Games Done Quick 2017: Saturday Schedule

The last day of Awesome Games Done Quick is always a treat. The donation count is nearing $1 million dollars for the Prevent Cancer Foundation and there is still time to donate! Today, dwangoAC is bringing TASBot, a reprogrammed Rob the Robot, to bring down the house for some computer assisted speedruns. The final 4 runs are always a treat to watch, and this year is no exception. The tooth and nails adventure game Dark Souls 3 leads into the underrated Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, followed by the Super Metroid race and ending with Undertale. You can watch Awesome Games Done Quick here on twitch, and they post all speedruns within a couple days of their completion.

Here's the game schedule for Saturday, January 14th. All times are in EST and I bolded some of my personal favorites. Don't forget to check back here with me for your daily AGDQ updates! As always, Save the Animals.

Start Time (EST)
Goal Time (H:MM:SS)
Run Qualification
1:13 AM
Super Mario 3D Land
2:28 AM
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
4:48 AM
Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword
6:28 AM
Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure
7:01 AM
Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure
Le Hulk
7:26 AM
Tiny Toon Adventures
7:52 AM
Tom and Jerry
8:17 AM
Darkwing Duck
8:42 AM
SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom
10:02 AM
Super Mario Galaxy 2
1:27 PM
Tech Crew

3:22 PM
TASBot vs NES Classic
by micro500, MediaMagnet, Spikestuff, link_7777, and dwangoAC
3:40 PM
TASBot plays Super Mario Bros. 3
by total and Ilari
3:47 PM
TASBot dominates Mega Man 1
by total
3:52 PM
TASBot plays A Link to the Past
by Tompa, Masterjun, and Arkun
4:07 PM
TASBot plays the Community Choice
by Masterjun, micro500, Ilari, p4plus2, and dwangoAC
4:23 PM
Dark Souls 3
5:35 PM
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
9:45 PM
Super Metroid
Zoast, Ivan, Behemoth87, WildAnaconda69
11:45 PM
True Pacifist Ending
1:00 AM
Everyone still awake!

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.