Jun 26, 2017

SNES Classic is Real! Coming September 29th

Following the success of the NES Classic released last year, Nintendo announced they will be releasing the often rumored SNES Classic this fall. While the NES Classic launched with 30 games, the updated version of the Super Nintendo will have 21 games, including the previously unreleased Star Fox 2. Here is the full list of games:
  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-ZERO
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • Secret of Mana
  • Star Fox
  • Star Fox 2
  • Street Fighter® II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out!!
  • Yoshi’s Island
Nearly all of these games are considered classics by gamers and most of them have all aged extremely well. Since a large amount of these games are two player, the console will come with 2 controllers instead of 1. The only glaring omission from the list is the J-RPG juggernaut Chrono Trigger. The amount of RPG’s on the system is pretty high, with the cult classic Earthbound leading the pack with Final Fantasy III and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars also included, not to mention the real-time combat multiplayer ready J-RPG Secret of Mana. It is important to remember that this list of games wasn’t made with solely the hardcore gamers in mind, as the NES Classic was designed to capitalize on the nostalgia of nearly anyone who grew up in the 80s.

The SNES Classic will release on September 29th for $79.99. Expect them to sell out almost immediately. The NES Classic was discontinued by Nintendo after the NES Classic had only been out for 6 months, so the SNES Classic will be in high demand.

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Jun 24, 2017

Not Enough Resources: Episode 10 - Wolfenstein: The New Order, Assassin's Creed III, Beyond Good and Evil 2 Tech Demo, Hearthstone, Overwatch

Dylan and Ryan are back with a short episode covering the past week of gaming.

But E3 is over, so it has been a slow week for gaming news.

Riding the sequel train from E3, Ryan dives into Wolfenstein: The New Order to prep for Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, while Dylan gushes about Assassin's Creed III in anticipation of Assassin's Creed: Origins.

For News, Ryan breaks down his hopes for Beyond Good and Evil 2, and goes into what a seemingly innocent tech demo means for the future of gaming.

In Competitive Corner, Dylan breaks down the benefits of having a Legendary catch up mechanic coming to Hearthstone. Not to be outdone by themselves though, Blizzard recently announced changes coming to Overwatch, including a revamped highlight mode and changes to the loot boxes. Finally Dylan gives a shout out to an old friend of his, Shynon, who just signed with Team SoloMid.

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

Jun 23, 2017

Must Watch: Beyond Good and Evil 2 Tech Demo

Last week Ubisoft blew everyone's minds by simultaneously confirming and showing off a cinematic trailer of Beyond Good and Evil 2. The game has been stranded in development hell since Beyond Good and Evil released in 2003, and it seems like we will finally be getting a proper sequel to the cult classic.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 will be a prequel to the original game, but the sense of scale and adventure are all intact. The original game started off with the main character on a small island, quickly spiraling out of control to a planet wide adventure. The scope and scale of Beyond Good and Evil 2 looks to be bigger and better. While the cinematic trailer doesn't really show much as far as what gameplay will be like, there was a behind doors demo shown at E3. Ubisoft has uploaded the entire behind doors demo to YouTube though, so we are able to see exactly what the scale and scope of Beyond Good and Evil 2 will be.

Being able to see where the game has started only gives us an idea of where it could possibly go, and I personally cannot wait. It looks incredibly exciting and nails the scope of a galactic adventure like Star Wars. Beyond Good and Evil 2 will be released eventually, and this taste of their tech shows that it is worth the wait. You can sign up for updates and some nebulous promise of participation in development at bgegame.com.

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Jun 19, 2017

Retro Reviews – Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II was originally released for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in 2010. It is a direct sequel to The Force Unleashed. In May it was included in the Games with Gold program, gifting a free version of the game for Xbox 360 and Xbox One to anyone with an active Xbox Live Gold account.

As soon as you start up the game, you realize just how hindered by the previous generation of consoles The Force Unleashed was. The original game started out as a very late Xbox and Playstation 2 title, and the way everything is designed and laid out in The Force Unleashed II makes this very noticeable. I attribute this shock in part to playing the two games back-to-back. In  The Force Unleashed II, health and force bars are smaller and less intrusive on screen, the complex power up system that required a load screen after every level up is gone, and Sam Witwer continues to chew all of the digital scenery.

The game focuses on the maybe-possible clone of Starkiller, Darth Vader's secret apprentice. The ending of the first game is a bit nebulous about whether or not Starkiller died, so who knows if you assume the role of Starkiller or a clone of him. General Rahm Kota, the Jedi Starkiller aligns with in The Force Unleashed, constantly reminds the player that Jedi cannot be cloned, therefore Starkiller isn't a clone. Unfortunately, the series was given a pre-mature end when Disney bought the rights to Star Wars, so we will never know.

Graphics Comparison: Force Unleashed (2008) VS
Force Unleashed II (2010)
Nearly all of the cast from the first game returns, and the graphics improved so much that the characters actually look like the actors portraying them. This is especially true for the heroine plot device of the story, Juno Eclipse. While she is largely absent compared to the first outing, she at least looks like a person, as opposed to a series of mismatched polygons. Her character is still incredibly non-existent, even more so given her reduced role, which is frustrating. There aren't even any female Jedi to fight against like Shaak-ti or Maris Brood. UGH! The other returning main character, General Rahm Kota, is fine. Not great, not bad, just fine. You can see shades of Kanan Jarrus from Star Wars Rebels in the DNA of Rahm Kota, as the two have very similar arcs, armor designs, and teaching styles.

After escaping from Kamino, the cloning planet from Episode II, Starkiller travels across the galaxy in search of the rebellion and his love interest, Captain Juno Eclipse. He believes that finding her will answer the question of his true identity: is he Starkiller, or is he a clone. After tracking down Jedi Master Rahm Kota on Cato Neimoidia, Starkiller goes to Dagobah to meditate somewhere strong in the Force. After trying to divine the location of Juno, Starkiller tells the rebellion the location of Kamino, which of course happens to be where Juno is as well.

"Know why I am here, you do?" "Fan service mostly..."
All of this is just mindless background noise though. The Dagobah level is nothing but a series of power ups and cut scenes, designed to force Yoda into the story line. The escape, and later assault, on Kamino is cool because the graphics are stunning, even if the game is 7 years old. Having torrential rain pour down as you throw Stormtroppers and TIE fighters at each other is awesome. And battling on a starship while it is in the process of being boarded is pretty standard, but once vehicles like AT-AT's start boarding, it turns the corner into fun again.

One thing the developers do right is the introduction of enemies types spread evenly throughout the game. In the previous game, enemies were defined in the first few levels, and then just got repeated from that point on. The Force Unleashed II takes a different approach, spreading the enemy types out, while introducing new ones that only appear a couple times. Having these unique enemies show up sparingly breaks up the flow and challenges the player, and it does this without most of the combat becoming an automatic reflex.

Starkiller even has new powers. There is the added second lightsaber, but there is even more force trickery added as well. Mind control is the big new addition, and it is hilarious and effective. The suggestions Starkiller makes are random, but the results are always great. Sometimes a Stormtrooper will turn on its friends, proclaiming them to be rebels, or just jump out of a window.

The unique enemies also require unique solutions to defeat, such as using a force blast to destroy spider droids, or grabbing rockets out of mid-air with force grip. On the melee side of things, Starkiller has two different types of throws: one for massive damage, and one for setting up air combos. All of this, on top of having nearly every combo from the first game unlocked from the outset, lets you treat combat as a set of options, instead of a mindless battle against frustrating hit boxes.

That being said, there are two downfalls to the game. The first is the incredibly lengthy boss battles. Most of the boss battles utilize the gaming trope of having multiple phases, but they have so much health that each phase lasts way too long, and you find yourself groaning that there is yet another phase to the fight instead of it just ending. The second downfall is that it is incredibly short. The Wii version of the game did have a multiplayer component, but the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions were a strict single player affair. The story mode takes about 8 hours to complete, and sadly there is very little replay value beyond collecting holocrons that have very little effect on anything except visuals.

While The Force Unleashed had uneven pacing and frustrating jumping and damage mechanics, none of that is present in The Force Unleashed II. The graphics are way better, the controls are tighter, and the force powers are cooler. I am kind of sad that we will never get a conclusion to the Starkiller story line because it feels like the ultimate B-movie in a galaxy far, far away, but if this is going to be the end of the Starkiller story, it goes out on a high note. Now if only we could salvage the tech into an Ahsoka Tano game...

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Jun 14, 2017

Not Enough Resources: E3 Special – Star Wars Battlefront II, Anthem, Sea of Pirates VS Skull and Bones, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Spider-Man

For this very special bonus episode of Not Enough Resources we dive into the gaming greatness that is E3 2017!

Ryan is joined by first time guest Heather Fischer from RoguesPortal.com and returning guest Robert Coffil to break down all of the E3 press conferences and showings, from Star Wars Battlefront II, Anthem, Sea of Thieves, Skull and Bones, Spider-Man, Beyond Good and Evil 2, and everything else.

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

Jun 13, 2017