February 11, 2016

Broken Bootlegs- Windows 98 Famicom

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Erika

Windows 98 Famicom 01

Broken Bootlegs is a weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition is something a little bit more obscure than other bootlegs out there: an emulation of Windows 98 for the Famicom.

It's a MS-DOS  prompt-that doesn't work!

It’s a MS-DOS prompt-that doesn’t work!

At first glance, one might wonder how a developer might be able to replicate a 32-bit operating system onto an 8-bit system, and the sad thing is that it’s not possible to do that and have anything work. “Booting up” the cartridge will show an AwardBios startup screen from which the BIOS setup screen can be launched from if the A or B buttons are pressed quickly enough. That screen will only stay for a few seconds before automatically rebooting. Eventually, a login screen pops up  to which one can “log in” with the pre-entered, non-alterable credentials. After being brought to the desktop, one can use the d-pad to navigate the mouse though the various items on the desktop and start menu. Upon further investigation, into these programs, one will notice that even though it’ll bring up what appears to be the programs and images, nothing can be done with them at all except to exit out of things to return to the desktop. Worse still, there’s no audio that accompanies this cartridge at all, making the volume slider on the taskbar utterly useless.

Whether or not that these design choices were intentionally made to get a shoddy emulation of Windows 98 made for the Famicom, it’s still interesting to see this out there in the wild. Surprisingly, there also emulations of Windows 2000 and Windows XP out in the wild and are possibly based off of each other. If it included something like Famicom BASIC within the programming, then it might be something interesting to acquire. Sadly though, it’s not included nor is there any known keyboard support for this. Unless you’re a hardcore bootleg collector for Famicom games, I would not recommend acquiring this “game” to play.

Have a suggestion on what should be covered for future Broken Bootlegs entries? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!


February 11th Nintendo Download

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Jason Nason

Nintendo Wii U eShop

Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty – Explore ancient ruins, dodge carnivorous beasts and avoid trigger-happy hunting parties as Abe, the original Oddworld hero in this lovingly recrafted take on the classic Abe’s Oddysee. Once a happy floor waxer in Oddworld’s biggest meat processing plant, Abe stumbles across his boss’s secret plan to turn the factory’s slave labour force into the latest in the RuptureFarms Tasty Treats line of novelty meat snacks. Abe now has to save his own skin from the grinders even if simply escaping the flesh farm is only the start of his Oddysee. Many dangers await Abe on his journey to discover his people’s heritage. Built from the ground up, enjoy breathtaking visuals, enhanced audio and improved, deeper gameplay as New ‘n’ Tasty reignites the original Oddworld game.

Also New this Week

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Fallout 4 DLC Confirmed For Near Future

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Broken Joysticks

Fallout 4 DLC

Today Bethesda took to twitter to let us know Fallout 4 DLC is in the pipelines. While this is not a major surprise to anyone, it is still interesting to hear about it now after a relatively long period of time since release. Fallout 4 has been out for three months now and is still waiting for it’s first major piece of DLC to be officially announced. By comparison, Fallout 3’s Operation Anchorage was released only about two months after the game’s release. It is unknown whether the longer wait this time around has to do with more ambitious plans for the DLC , or other factors.

In a second tweet Bethesda also talked about an overhaul to survival mode.  No specifics were given other than that it would involve “food, sleep, diseases, danger and more”. As of time of writing, it is not known exactly how much worse this overhaul will be than the myriad of mods that add the same features.


Final Fantasy Explorers | Review

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Jason Nason

Any game is invariably going to be compared to its predecessors, or in lack thereof at least to other games in same genre. The same way that a sports title will never be judged purely on it’s own without comparison to previous iterations of the series, it’s hard not to compare Final Fantasy Explorers to other Final Fantasy titles. Or Monster Hunter.

I got a late start into the world of Monster Hunter, diving into Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for the Nintendo 3DS a full three years after its release. Coming into Final Fantasy Explorers I had no idea how similar the two games were, and also how dissimilar they are.

Final Fantasy Explorers feels very much like a simplified version of what Monster Hunter is. Explorers is mostly a game where you go out into the world, defeating monsters, collecting items, and ultimately crafting better items and armor. And while Monster Hunter is extremely in depth, detailed and intricate, Explorers is much lighter and shallower of a gameplay experience.

That’s not to say that this game isn’t fun. Far from it. In fact Final Fantasy Explorers is refreshing with how much lighter it is.

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Final Fantasy IX Launches on Mobile Devices

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Jason Nason

FINAL FANTASY IX, a fan-favorite in the franchise, has been released for compatible Apple and Android devices starting today. The game is now available on the App Store and Google Play.

First released in 2000, FINAL FANTASY IX tells the story of the bandit Zidane Tribal who plans to kidnap the princess of Alexandria, Garnet Til Alexandros the 17th, with the troupe of thieves known as Tantalus. An unlikely series of events set Zidane, Garnet, the shy yet powerful black mage Vivi Ornitier, the loyal knight Adelbert Steiner, and other memorable characters on an epic journey as they learn about themselves, the secrets of the Crystal, and a malevolent force that threatens to destroy their world.

New features to the game include High-definition movies and character models, a new cloud save feature allows players to back up save data to play across other compatible devices, and an auto-save function. There are also seven all-new optional booster features, including high speed mode and no encounter mode, which will allow players to automatically master equipped weapons and gear, as well as maximize character levels, magic stone counts and gil.

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Dropping in for a review: Gravity Rush Remastered

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Erika

Gravity Rush Remastered

Flying onto the Playstation 4, Gravity Rush Remastered brings a fresh look to the gravity defying 2012 PS Vita game. The game starts off with an opening cinematic of a tree of which after the player taps the apple a number of times, it falls down into an open space eventually falling and rolling down, starting the opening credits followed by tutorial episode. After gaining control of the female protagonist she realizes that has no memories and finds herself next to a mysterious cat. After exploring her way about, a man drops down grabbing her for help save his son from the storm, saying that she has powers and that she can help him. In trying to save him, the game shows how shift gravity in order to rescue him. From there, the mysterious girl runs away as the father and son blame her for their house being destroyed. Shortly after, the girl finds a crow similar to her cat and decides to chase after it. The tutorial finishes up with the mysterious girl saving an officer, and smoothly progresses into how the game’s combat mechanics works by fighting the game’s enemies known as Nevi.

While learning how to fight, the player is introduced to being able to perform a basic kick attack, evade enemy attacks, and perfor air kicks while floating and flying around. Known as Gravity Kick, it will come handy while trying to defeat some of the airborne Nevi. As the story progresses,  the player is introduced to purple gems, which can be collected to upgrade your character’s abilities. The upgrade system works similar to some RPG mechanics of collecting a certain number of gems to level up any number of things about the character, including such things as affecting Gravity Gauge drain/recovery, strength of attacks, or special abilities. Gravity Rush Remastered does a very good job of handling the way it shows the player on how game mechanics work without being either slapped on or just plainly in the way of gameplay.

The story presentation is different from what I’ve experienced with other action/adventure games and instead of  in-game dialogue cut-scenes, the game is presented with manga-style storyboards to progress the game. In addition to that, the cell-shading that was used for the game gives off a very strong anime-feel to the game. Reinforcing that feel is the musical score, which can be quite atmospheric while wandering around, or can aid in the urgency in a situation such as an enemy battle.

The controls take a little bit of getting used to, but they’re easy to use once the player gets the hang of things. One large thing I noticed while playing is that the game is very forgiving with mistakes. Falling off of the map into the void or perishing from an enemies will spawn you at the nearest safe spot without any penalty. After coming across the same officer that I saved earlier, he gives her the name Kat since there’s a cat tagging along with her. Looking back on the story thus far, the protagonist, Kat, is someone without memory trying to figure out what the heck is going on and who she is. It’s really sad to see that someone has to deal with that while dealing with Nevi and others that cause trouble throughout the game. Gravity isn’t hard, nor too easy to play, but it’s quite easy to pick up and get into while also good enough to play in bursts. With that said, it isn’t easy to put down, as it draws the player in to keep playing to see what happens next.

While easy to get into for new players, it’s just as easy (if not easier) for people that have played this on the Vita, as BluePoint Games did an excellent job porting over Project Siren’s work over to the PlayStation 4. The controls are mostly the same, including being able to use the PS4’s gyroscope movement to control Kat while in the air, making it a very smooth transition for previous players. In addition to that, the game’s visual quality got an overhaul and upgrade so it not plays at 60 frames per second (compared to the Vita’s 30fps), but looks better overall in hi-definition. One other feature that players may enjoy is the fact that all of the downloadable content that was available for the Vita version is included in the core game, giving additional story missions and costumes to collect. Even if you’re not a veteran player, Gravity Rush Remastered is really fun to get into and play for hours on end. For those that don’t own a PS4 but have a Vita, the original Gravity Rush is still a very fun game to buy and play in it’s own right. For people that do own a PS4, this game makes for a nice addition to the library for any one that enjoys playing action/adventure games. With how I loved playing through Gravity Rush Remastered, I can’t wait for the sequel to come out later this year.

Gravity Rush Remastered is now out on the PlayStation 4.


Megadimension Neptunia VII | Review

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

The Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise has kept my interest for the past seven years thanks to creative writing, absolutely adorable characters, clever tongue-in-cheek lines and an intriguing battle system. With the latest adventure, Megadimension Neptunia V.II (that’s Vee two not “version 2”) the folks at Compile Heart have done an excellent job retaining what has made the series so great, while adding twists to the established formula with some new breakout characters as the icing on the Nep Nep cake.

Main characters (known as CPUs) in Megadimension Neptunia V.II represent consoles from the seventh generation (think Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii), just as they have for the entire series. This time around, the inhabitants of GameIndustri are preparing for the a time of change where the established nations of LeanBox, Planeptune, Lowee and Lastation transfer their belief to new CPUs. Returning characters like Noir and the ever peppy Neptune now must contend with the prospect of their shares (representing their land’s belief in them) shifting to the next generation of CPUs.

Narratively, the game’s story starts out quite interesting, especially when compared to games like Hyperdimension: Rebirth 1, whose story can quite awhile to kick into gear. What really helps Megadimension Neptunia V.II to stand out amongst the three main games in the series (their superior remakes) and multiple spin-offs is the use of three discrete “episodes” that all occur at different points in the series canon.  The first, Zero Dimension Neptunia Z, transports Neptune and Nepgear into a doomed dimension from console generations past. If you thought that Compile Heart’s take on the 7th generation ere awesome just wait until you see their take on SEGA’s scrappy grey box from the late 90s!  The second episode, Hyperdimension Game Neptune G returns us to the events in the “current” canon, focusing on the lives of the CPUs as a mysterious power causes ripples to appear in the bonds between all of them. It’s an interesting take to have all of the CPUs: Neptune, Noire, Blanc and Vert explore their private lives. The whole thing almost feels like anime episodes that give us small vignettes into the motivations of the main cast.  I’ll leave the third episode as a complete surprise because it ties everything together. I feel quite refreshed that Compile Heart would take some risks in how it weaves the narrative and the multi-episodic approach is certainly welcome after the linear narrative of previous titles.


Gameplay in Megadimension: Neptunia VII shifts between two different styles – Visual novel style cut scenes with highly detailed 2D art and 3D dungeon exploration segments.

True to the presentation of other Hyperdimension titles, the 2D artwork fade as characters shift from pose to pose, if you’re looking for fluid 2D animation, the visual novel sections of Megadimension probably won’t do it for you. Thankfully compile heart’s characters are expressive as ever during the story scenes. Truly one of the great things about this series is how the writing makes self-referential material combined with jokes from the generations of games past without feeling like Neptunia is breaking the fourth wall too frequently.  The English dub is also pretty great featuring the talent of Melissa Fahn reprising her on-going role of Neptune, Christine Marie Cabnos as NepGear, and Kate Higgins as Iffy, among other long time series voice talent. Interaction between light-hearted characters like Neptune and stern characters like Iffy really make this game for me. The voice talent and the writers have spent a lot of time with these characters and as they’ve matured and grown  it becomes easier to appreciate the different dynamics that compose the bonds between our ensemble cast.

Dungeon exploration sections allow players to put together teams of three characters to clear out pre-built dungeons filled with some returning enemies and several original baddies created specifically for the episodes of Megadimension Neptunia VII. The party of three is able to explore the dungeons with the “leader” being the only character on screen until you come in contact with an enemy. At that point the game shifts from a large dungeon map to a smaller battle arena. Typically during my play through I’d want to bring 2 damage dealers and at least one character that has support abilities to ensure that my party stood a chance, although this is probably sound advice for any dungeon exploration RPG.  Once you’ve got your basic item usage, magical abilities and statistical management abilities down the combo system used in combat becomes a worthwhile investment.  Each character has three different ability types – the multi-strike Rush abilities,  the hard hitting Power abilities and Standard attacks. Managing to use the correct combinations at the right time can mean the difference between a successful dungeon run and having to start your progress all over again.


Megadimension Neptunia VII deserves praise for its willingness to take risks with the established series formula when it comes to narrative. The gimmick of interweaving episodes allows us to see the same events from not only several different perspectives but different periods in Gameindustri’s history. Mechanically Megadimension does not really introduce anything that could be considered groundbreaking for the series – instead, it brings enhances from Victory and the Rebirth remakes to the PlayStation 4.  Experiencing the visual novel style story bits were probably the most enjoyable part of the whole experience. It can be frustrating to grind out dungeons for some of the best loot, and losing your progress after a 40-minute dungeon run can be discouraging, but for series veterans like myself this shouldn’t deter the Nep Nep faithful. If you’ve wanted more of the absolutely awesome Compile Heart light-hearted comedy with one of the best new characters introduced to the series in some time then Megadimension Neptunia VII is the game for you!


SEGA 3D Classics Collection to come with Decals

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Jason Nason

SEGA announced today that pre-orders and a limited number of launch copies of SEGA 3D Classics Collection will come with the SEGA Classics Decal Sheet bonus item. The sheet will be available in every physical launch edition of the collection, and features nine SEGA logos and console stickers. The decals are a silver hue to add a nice contrast to your 3DS, giving it a distinct retro sheen.

The collection features some of SEGA’s signature games, and the bonus item adds the right amount of vintage goodness to complete the throwback experience.

The SEGA 3D Classics Collection will be released for $29.99/CA $44.99 in the Americas on April 26th, 2016. The collection is available for the 3DS in stores and digitally on the Nintendo eShop.

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League of Legends kills off Dominion game type

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

League Of Legends Logo 2015

Riot has announced today in a blog post that its capture based game made for League of Legends will be shutting down. Since its inception Dominion has been an unpopular game mode, and it never pulled in the numbers that Riot had hoped. It will be retired on Feburary 22nd, after which it will not longer be available in custom games either. According to Riot Fewer than 0.5% of League of Legends players regularly take part in Dominion, so  it’s no real surprise that the mode is meeting its end.

The low number of players causes high queue times, and fouls up Riots matchmaking algorithm. Riot has concluded that secondary game modes work better in rotation, so Dominion may not be dead forever, but since its player numbers are so low I doubt we will see it back anytime soon.


The blog post explains “We haven’t been supporting Dominion, and we’ve trapped ourselves in a vicious cycle where the queue isn’t large enough to warrant major attention, but falls prey to bugs and periods of imbalance from the introduction of new champs and items.” So there you go, with the major in game updates to marksmen, the champion rebuilds, and the way that Riot continues to refresh their game every few months, its simply too much dev time to work on making sure that a champion is balanced for Dominion as well as Summoners Rift. The news is not all bad for Dominion players, as Riot have also announced that as a token gesture, anyone who has 100 ranked wins in Dominion before it’s shut down for good will receive a Summoner Icon never to be attainable again. So that’s quite nice, for those who spent days or weeks of their life in dominion.


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