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.

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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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Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom Saves My Sanity This Week…

Okay, between the kitchen ceiling and walls here STILL not being repaired (oh, it’s a comedy of errors on the whys and hows of that nonsense – worth a post in of itself, but I’ll do that tomorrow or Thursday) and me pulling what’s left of my hair out at other things, I’m glad to have one nice diversion today: Little Orbit’s Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom. WayForward Technologies has cooked up a very inspired top-down adventure with gameplay and aesthetics that are going to be VERY familiar to fans of a certain marquee mascot character. Okay, the game is a shameless homage to the sprite-based Legend of Zelda games, but I’d say that Link HAS to be jealous. Why? Well, he’s only in a big deal fighting game and a nice non-canon beat-’em-up this year on two platforms while Finn is in a game that’s actually a solid Zelda adventure with Adventure Time humor packed into it.

Okay, let me get back to it. Tomorrow, another wall gets partially knocked in and I hope to heck there’s not anything leaky behind it, grrrr… Oh yeah, a bunch of AAA titles arrived today, but I’m not playing any of them (yet).

GTA V Online Screens: One More Reason To Hop In For The Long Haul…

The hit parade keeps on coming as Rockstar Games drops these new Grand Theft Auto Online screenshots. I’ll keep it short because these images are so nice. Take a look and see for yourselves:

RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_001 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_001 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_002 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_003 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_005 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_006 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_007 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_008 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_009 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_010 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_011 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_012 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_013 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_015 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_016 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_017 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_010 RSG_GTA Online_NG_Screenshot_014

 In addition, Rockstar has also released a list of the many changes the console and PC versions of GTA V and GTA Online will feature over the last gen versions. Get ready for all this coming your way soon (well, as soon as you click away and head below the jump):

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Far Cry 4 Also Gets The Soundtrack Treatment…

Far Cry 4 OSTCliff Martinez, formerly a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and composer of some fine film scores (“Traffic,” “Drive, ” “Spring Breakers”) is also the main man behind the tunes to Ubisoft’s upcoming FPS, Far Cry 4. Working with Ubisoft Montreal’s Music Designer for the game, Jerome Angelot, Music Supervisor Simon Landry and Audio Director Tony Gronick, Martinez has created an original score meant to flow flawlessly with the game’s action and cinematic sequences. While the game’s soundtrack won’t be getting the big deluxe box treatment Rockstar is giving Grand Theft Auto V, it’s a more than solid enough set of tunes to add to your own music library (especially if you’re a soundtrack collector).

Of his collaboration on the soundtrack with Ubisoft, Martinez says:

“It was an honor to be asked to write the music for the Far Cry 4 game as my first full-length video game soundtrack,” said Cliff Martinez. “It was exciting for me to be asked to take my usual minimalistic cinematic approach to the immersive game world. Any game where you can ride on a rampaging elephant is a project you can’t turn down!”

Well, I’m listening to the music as I type this post and really feel as if I’m in some very dangerous foreign land about to go on some rather wild adventure. Granted, I’m typing this post in a public place, so the worst that can happen is some old guy bumbles by and drops a hot cup of coffee on my shoe. But hey, I’ll settle for that tiny bit of excitement over dodging digital bullets and rampaging elephants any day of the week. Anyway, the Far Cry 4 Original Game Soundtrack digital edition will release worldwide on November 4, the limited 2-CD edition will release on December 2 in North America and on December 9 in Europe, and the limited 3-LP edition will release in January 2015. Far Cry 4 will be available November 18 worldwide for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.

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.

GTA V Gallery Update: Overwhelming Majority Rules, Coming Soon…

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While PS4 and Xbox One owners are finally getting Grand Theft Auto V on November 18, PC owners need to be patient for a little while longer (as in holding out until January 27, 2015). All of that time will be well spent making sure it runs as best as possible on a wider range of systems, but next-gen owners are getting the same features as shown in this video ( which is kind of NSFW, if you don’t like gunfights, a bit of the old ultra-violence and such blasting from your work computer or tablet). This isn’t some simple HD upgrade at all. Every texture in the game has been replaced, the overall resolution has been increased (more than doubling the draw distance), and as you’ll see in the PS3 to PS4 comparison video below, the differences are quite stunning:

Click away for more visual treats! Continue reading

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

How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition is Perfect for Today’s Dreary Day

Miserable weather or not, learning all you need about dispatching zombies and staying alive on a desert island are always handy skills. 505 Games dropped EKO Games’ How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition for the PS4 onto PSN and Xbox Live yesterday and it’s a must buy if you’re a fan of the original game or are entirely new to the experience. This visually gussied up version gives you the original game plus all six DLC packs for a decent price. While best with friends, the game offers up a hefty solo challenge with decent AI. Just make sure you watch where you aim, chop or punch. “Friendly” fire can’t be toggled off as far as I know and you don’t want to accidentally knock off your AI companion. Anyway, this one’s quite cool and funny for a fairly violent game – go check it out, I say.

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.

Assassin’s Creed Unity Phantom Blade: Wear it With Hide!

Assassin's Creed Unity Phantom Blade
 
Leave it to McFarlane Toys to bust out another cool collectible for you Assassin’s Creed fans out there. Well, you can’t wear this Assassin’s Creed Unity Phantom Blade (available now!) with pride in many if not ANY urban areas outside of part of a Halloween outfit. You’ll probably have to do some face-down explaining to the local authorities if you do walk around sporting this all stealthy-like. Not only does this think look like part of some past century assassin’s getup, that crossbow and retractable blade actually work (although they’re very non-lethal). As I live in New York City, I’d be socking this one on a shelf somewhere and not wearing it strapped to a wrist for a subway ride downtown at all. Some poor commuter would think I was a poor Travis Bickle wannabe and ring up some overzealous MTA cop and the next thing you know, I’m all over the local news for all the wrong reasons.


 
Still, for $59.99, you’re certainly getting something that’s going to be a conversation piece whether or not you decide to wear it while out and about. In addition, the Phantom Blade also includes a bonus code to download the French Cavalry Pistol in Ubisoft’s upcoming Assassin’s Creed Unity for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, set for a November 11, 2014 launch. If you’re grinning like a Cheshire Cat right about now, you’re probably already buying TWO of these online or planning that trip to your local toy retailer to snap one or more of these up. Ubisoft and McFarlane Toys like that about you quite a lot, you know…

-Greg Wilcox