Review: Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom

Adventure Time TSOTNK PS3Platform: PS3/PC

Developer: WayForward Technologies

Publisher: Little Orbit

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Official Site

 

Score: A- (90%)

In the Nameless Kingdom, there’s a huge shop early on that “sells” nothing but the clay vases Finn been smashing to bits in that first dungeon you went through that opens the game. Finn can’t actually BUY a vase at all as far as I can tell. He can only lift one up to carry around and eventually try to leave with it. Or he can smash as many as he can with a weapon or just throw that lifted vase to the ground, breaking it. The only thing that happens when he does any of those things is an alarm goes off and a timer starts ticking down. Fifteen seconds later, a guard from the castle grabs Finn and then he’s outside the shop. When you go back inside, the clerk/owner scolds you a little and that’s that. Well, that is until later in the game when you discover a way to really get that guy’s attention by busting every jar at once. Such is the weird world of Adventure Time.

ATTSOTNK5

But that one event and its oddball randomness yet familiar to the show sameness is neither here nor there. The third time’s the charm (and how!) for WayForward Technologies with Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom being the best of the three games they’ve made to date with Finn and company. This latest title is clearly influenced by Nintendo’s older games in The Legend of Zelda franchise to the point that it feels like a really spectacular mod that happens to be Adventure Time related. It’s also a surprisingly tough game, or not so surprisingly tough if you’re well versed in how this style of game should be played. There’s no hand-holding here, you learn what needs to be done by observing the environment and enemies while paying attention to (and using) what’s in your inventory. You’ll very likely get stuck in spots, but the game has enough hidden stuff and offbeat side quests that make up for the vagueness it often bashes you on the head with…

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Dragon Age Inquisition Updates Keep You Twitching and Choosing…

So, the final (but not quite final I’d bet) push is here as Electronic Arts and BioWare even more heavily promote Dragon Age Inquisition, the upcoming BioWare-developed epic RPG set for release November 18. While the game is coming to PS3 and Xbox 360, it’s the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions that are getting the most attention from many fans and pretty much every critic set to review it. Those versions should clearly show the developer making the game they wanted to make from the beginning of this popular franchise, although one can only imagine how future games will look once older hardware becomes less common.

There is also an intriguing and optional social feature currently in beta called Dragon Age Keep that looks to immerse fans even more completely into the world of Dragon Age as they learn every bit of lore from previous games and even share their progress in the new adventure as they play. Check it out:

if you’re Twitching for more Dragon Age, fear not. EA and BioWare have you covered this coming Thursday with a live stream of the game’s multiplayer component starting at 10:00AM PST (that’s 1:00PM EST) on the developer’s Twitch channel. This content will include the following:

  • Three Multiplayer Maps: The team will be showing three destinations: Elven Ruins, Orlesian Chateau and Tevinter Ruins.

 

  • Three Multiplayer Characters: The team will be showing character progression on the three unlocked starter characters: Legionnaire, Keeper and Archer.

 

  • Tips & Tricks: The team will be walking viewers through core tips and tricks on how to be successful in Dragon Age multiplayer. They will also touch on Ability Trees, Chests, and Crafting.

 

  • Live Q&A: Producer Scylla Costa and Associate Producer Billy Buskell will be taking questions from viewers live during the stream.

 

Who:                     Dragon Age multiplayer Producers Scylla Costa and Billy Buskell

What:                   Dragon Age multiplayer gameplay feature 3 maps, 3 multiplayer characters, and Q&A.

When:                  Thursday, November 6th at 10:00AM PST / 1:00PM EST

Where:                http://www.twitch.tv/bioware

 

That should tide you over until the game is finally launched on November 18, 2014 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows.

Grand Theft Auto V Limited Edition Soundtrack Box Sets Coming in December

GTV V LE Soundtrack Vinyl GTV V LE Soundtrack CD

You want proof that CD’s and vinyl LPs aren’t “dead”, folks? Well, come December 9, a mere 5000 each of these Grand Theft Auto V Limited Edition Soundtrack Box Sets will go on sale at selected music online and physical retailers worldwide and I’m betting they sell out completely AND become hot collectibles before the year is out. Hell, if I’d not sold off my record collection and player a while back, I’d be drooling all over that vinyl set more than I am already.

These two limited editions are coming to retail from Rockstar Games and Mass Appeal in celebration of the soon-to be released PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Grand Theft Auto V (set to land at a game shop and download site near you November 18). PC gamers need to wait until January 27, 2015 for their version of the game, but I guess a few of them will want this set as well to keep them grooving during the delay… Continue reading

Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom Goes for the Gold!

Adventure Time TSotNKDeveloper WayForward Technologies is finally all done with Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom, sending the game off on its merry way to be cleaned and pressed and ready for its November 18 launch on the PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Nintendo 3DS.

How will it stack up to previous Adventure Time games? Ooo, I bet Finn or Jake know… but aren’t telling a single THING because they want you all to be kept in sus-pense until the game drops into retail and onto a digital delivery site near you. Personally, I’m a fan of both the developer and the show, so I’ll play this any way ’til Sunday just for laughs. WayForward rarely disappoints with its games, so I’m going in with half a smile on my face just to give the experience some extra, um… sus-pense!. Say, you look like you’re starving – have some screenshots:

BananaHurl FinnBananaFireAntsShelby Hack IceKing&Finn SlumberPrincess SPWolf

Um… okay. You didn’t HAVE to eat them all at once, greedy! Well, back in a bit with some impressions, then.

Bayonetta 2: A Few Firsts for Nintendo to Celebrate…


 
I got a nice and hearty laugh yesterday thanks to the following email header: “A sexy, all-new action game available now” and that’s because it was an email from Nintendo. I don’t think any of their in-house advertising has previously used the word “sexy” (feel free to correct me here), so that’s what made me laugh so much. From now on, I want Nintendo to find any way to squeeze the word into EVERY game they produce. Let’s see Bayonetta outfits in that next Metroid game (whenever it gets made), the character herself pop up in the new Smash Bros. game, an Amiibo figurine just because she needs one and what the double heck, why not get Princess Peach out of that pink getup and Zelda out of her usual fantasy schmatta and into something more… sassy! er, SEXY!

Oh, the possibilities are endless, folks… Continue reading

Is The Evil Within Any Good? I’ll Find Out (Eventually)..


 
Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks’ horror game The Evil Within is out today, and I know publisher Bethesda Softworks is anticipating good numbers for this psychological/survival horror/action game hybrid. While PC and “next-gen” versions are going to get the critical love or hate, I’m more interested in the older console versions because they’ll be ignored for the most part by critics despite MORE people owning hardware those versions can be played on outside the PC game space where no game is guaranteed to move as well thanks to assorted factors outside the control of the publisher. Mikami’s name will move copies to fans of Capcom’s storied (but bumpy since he left) Resident Evil franchise, but those new to the man’s work will probably play the waiting game until they have enough pals playing to convince them to drop some cash on this new IP.

Sure, I’m betting the PS3 or 360 versions don’t look as good, may have issues with frame rate and/or screen tearing compared to the spiffier new consoles and so forth and so on. But I don’t care about that at all in any game if I like the story, characters and gameplay. We’re at the stage where games are picked apart for too many things that at the end of the day, don’t really detract from the overall experience at all. There are too many amateur internet critics that think because they’ve read other (and better) reviews and have picked up a few buzzwords, they can toss them back at EVERY game like they know what they’re talking about. Sadly, most of the time they’re wrong or just being picky to justify not liking something most others would overlook. As for me, well, I have to hold out for a bit thanks to my disposable income being less disposable of late, but it’s a ride I do want to take at some point…

South Park Pinball Launch Trailer: Zen Rolls Out a Double Shot of Silver Ball Fun

south park pinball 

Well, well, well… the eternally entertaining Zen Pinball 2 gets yet another great table (no surprise there), but this one is TWO tables in one. South Park Pinball drops onto PSN, Xbox Live and PC via Steam tomorrow, so you’ll get South Park: Super-Sweet Pinball and South Park: Butters’ Very Own Pinball Game to play around with and wave in the faces of your jealous non-Zen Pinball 2 non-gaming friends. Oh yeah, and the set is also those annoying tablets and other mobile devices that get stolen right out of your hands on public transportation in major cities, too!


 
The folks at Zen say that the South Park two-table pinball pack launches this week for $4.99/€4,99/£3.99 on PC and consoles, $2.99/€2,69/£1.99 for individual tables on Mac. On mobile platforms (the ones that keep getting stolen, man!), South Park pinball costs $3.99/€3,59/£2.49 for the standalone app and $1.99/€1,79/£1.49 for individual tables through the Zen Pinball app. Me, I’m sticking with the Vita version because I play mostly at home and no one is stealing my Vita from there unless they take me with it, grrrrr!

Dragon Age Inquisition Hands-On: All is As it Needs to Be (Which Means You’ll Be Very Busy Soon)…


 
A half hour may be a long time if you’re sitting through a really bad TV show, being tortured, have a terrible toothache or are waiting for some test results, but it’s clearly not a good deal of time to sit down with a build of Dragon Age Inquisition. For me ( a fan of the series and BioWare’s RPGs in general for quite some time), the game is one that doesn’t need a huge amount of hyperbolic posts from editor-types or even PR gurus because it’s a series that’s pretty much sold itself to a fan base who wanted to see a western-developers RPG do more with the genre (and it’s succeeded for the most part despite a few bumps along the road it’s traveled). My half hour at EA’s media event a few days back was spent ogling the beautiful visuals, running around with my party picking plants for crafting and looting assorted caches while getting the hang of the deeper combat system that now adds some very welcome tweaks to the mix of real-time and “turn-based” format.

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The Evil Within Looks to Scare You Sillier Than You’d Like to Be Scared, So Get With the Program!


 
Let’s see now: one part Resident Evil, one part Silent Hill, One part F.E.A.R. and a lot of what’s inside Shinji Mikami’s head certainly go a long way in his latest game, The Evil Within. Set for an October 14, 2014 release on PC, PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One, this survival horror game marks Mikami’s return to the genre that made him a master to legions of horror game fans. I’m holding out until I play this one, but from all those trailers and behind the scenes videos that have been popping up, this one looks as if it will deliver the goods to those who can take what it throws at them. Granted, if you’re one of those jaded types scared of nothing and think this game is “dull” when you haven’t touched a controller connected to a console or PC running it, then Bethesda Softworks and Tango Game Studios more than likely have no use for your commentary on some message board where you’re all anonymous and filled with bile for some reason or another.

I’d bet they’d LOVE more constructive and useful criticism from people who may run into something that keeps the game from being what it needs to be (but that doesn’t include being a direct Resident Evil clone, I’d bet), so maybe go PLAY this before you go online and whine expecting for someone to back you up when the developer and publisher would rather see you fall off a cliff onto something sharp. Or something like that. I’m betting Bethsoft and Mikami don’t care what anyone who hasn’t played this thinks because at the end of the day, those people are wasting their time rambling on about themselves and speaking for others when they should just shut up and maybe play some of those games they hate on for no reason. Just a thought…

New Rollers of the Realm Trailer: Some Puzzles With Your Pinball/RPG? Sure, Why Not?

 
Rollers of the Realm is getting better and better, isn’t it? Phantom Compass’ upcoming hybrid game set to be published by Atlus in November is certainly looking even more polished (like a gigantic shiny new pinball) in this new trailer and I’m betting PS4 and Vita owners will be more than pleased with the plot, puzzles and play in this game when they finally get their hands on it. I’m still going back to that super aged preview build I have for PC just to get a whiff of what to expect and it’s so clear that the game’s going to exceed expectations on a few key fronts. I’m not sure Atlus needs to run another trailer until the November release, but I won’t complain at all if they do. That’s just one more opportunity to reach out and get a few more sales from potential pinballers who might not have gotten the good word already.

Back with more if more is on the way, as usual…