Earth’s Dawn

Released on PS4 November 1, 2016 & Xbox One Digital (In select Regions) 

Coming to Steam December 7, 2016

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“Developed by Oneoreight and previously released in Japan under the name Earth Wars, Earth’s Dawn mixes fast-paced, side-scrolling 2D action game mechanics, unique dark-edge anime visuals, and deep RPG-like systems. For fans of the action genre, Earth’s Dawn offers instantly accessible combat mechanics with further intricacy built into directional attacks, evades and combos. Upon this foundation Earth’s Dawn creates additional layers of complexity with an unrivaled skill-tree and crafting system for weapons, armour and accessories.” ~Press Release

Official Trailer:

Gameplay

The combat system is a mix between button smashing & learning combos. (You unlock various attack combos as the game progresses.) As a player this game can be a very rewarding experience or a draining one, it just depends on your personality. It was a lot of fun lowering enemy’s life then doing a special finishing move. You also have a charge bar which upon being full unleashes an other worldly attack doing massive amounts of damage! The feedback in the controller can be quite nice when being attacked and I really enjoyed mowing down enemies.

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A large portion of your experience in Earth’s Dawn will be grinding for items & skills. With loads of missions to choose from you would think the game would feel diverse unfortunately with repeating backgrounds even if the goal is different you still feel like you are doing the same thing. (Which to be fair is a classic trait of JRPG’s.) You will be using these items to craft an array of Body Armor & Weapons, you can later enhance your weapons. You can also dismantle your weapons & materials.

Then of course you have the campaign. One of the more unique aspects of Earth’s Dawn is the timer between portions of the campaign. As you do side quest you lower the timer & eventually trigger the next bout to move the campaign forward. I really liked this aspect as it gives you a sense of urgency to have better gear as the timer gets closer to the larger battle.

Graphics

Earth’s Dawn has a very artistic look to it. During cut scenes of dialogue you get these beautiful anime style set pieces. During game play you have a body with a big head and battle an array of gruesome looking monsters. The Big Boss designs are massive and epic with a lot of detail. The art style of this game alone makes it worth a playthrough for any JRPG fan.

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Sound

This is a Japanese import with English subs so all of the spoken dialogue is in Japanese. The voice acting sounds great. (I barley know conversational Japanese, FYI.) The musical score is very much my taste a blend of rock and electronica. From the sounds of bullets & swords to monsters the game covers it all very well.

Story

I don’t really want to offer spoilers. I will just say if you enjoy this style of gameplay & you enjoy Alien Invasions then you should finish this game satisfied.

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Multiplayer

No multiplayer but there is a leaderboard.

In Summation

Earth’s Dawn is a nice throwback to JRPG’s & Sidescrollers. I grew up with both of these genres so for me I felt right at home but this game is very niche given its repetitive nature. I do feel the story & music carry the game well enough. I’m going to give Earth’s Dawn a 7.5/10. I would have liked to see a greater variety of attacks & maps. Also, while I personally enjoyed the timer between bouts of the campaign it should have been optional for those looking to speed run through the story. If the trailer peaks your interest and gameplay experience I described is up your ally then definitely pick it up because you won’t be disappointed with the MSRP of $29.99. If the JRPG grind isn’t your thing but you still like the art-style & music it’s still not a bad price point. That aside I don’t really see Earth’s Dawn being an entry game for people in regards to JRPG’s & Sidescroller Action Adventures. Start with Super Metroid & Final Fantasy IV on SNES, then slide into Earth’s Dawn.

For more gaming content by @HiddenTara check me out on Twitch:

https://www.twitch.tv/magicaltabletopgirls

As always you can save 3% off this game and more with my Play-Asia Partner Code: Magical (http://www.play-asia.com/earths-dawn/13/70adn7)

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Planet Coaster

Officially Released on Steam November 17, 2016

“At the heart of the game are the park guests. Everything you do, whether it’s management or creativity-based, now has an impact on each individual crowd member. Each of them have their own simulated preferences and needs to ultimately affect gameplay, and new, advanced crowd simulation and path-finding algorithms help with the logistics of guest flow around your park.

Authenticity is key – a huge amount of research and development went into all aspects of the game, something especially noticeable in coasters. For example, the system which automatically designs the correct support structures for wooden and hybrid coaster had to be built with a new rendering pipeline, with so many pieces being on screen at once.

In fact the attention to detail and development effort that goes into each ride, coaster, guest and scenery piece from a technical, visual and audio point of view is an order of magnitude more than any previous coaster park game we’ve worked on.

Piece-by-piece construction gives you the opportunity to build anything and everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Change your parks by theming your areas, create buildings in every style, or add (animated) scenery and customized audio to entertain your guests and up your park and scenery ratings. The unprecedented control and customization means that you can truly get super creative or be more focused on sophisticated finance and management; whatever suits you as an individual player.” ~ Highlight From Official Launch Statement

Official Trailer:

Gameplay

Planet Coaster delivers a very immersive Theme Park management experience.  (Best summed up by the Dev Team here: https://www.planetcoaster.com/en/news/dev-diary-6-management-matters ) Like all Tycoon-Genre games you are the “big cheese” and the success or failure of the park is in your hands. The game is very easy to pick up and I would recommend it for all ages. No tutorial is required, however, there are video tutorials available here:

(https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWGb27faVkpOra_jvHAg_6BXt9otpKHtl)

Planet Coaster “managed” to deliver on all of my expectations in regards to Park Management making it the most in-depth while still enjoyable experience thus far in this genre. From hiring & training your staff. To handling bank loans & research. Planet Coaster covers many of the various aspects of running a successful business. (If only real life management was as relaxing and enjoyable as this. For full disclosure, I have a degree in Business Administration as well as spent over a decade in business management.)

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For me the main focus of the game is “Career Mode.” With four different campaigns that get increasingly difficult as you make your way through the game, you as the player are provided with various goals & task to achieve in order to clear the map. While doing so you can research various rides, stalls, etc. I enjoyed the variety of career task & types of environments the designers placed you in. I would love to see more career mode stories & task to achieve in the future.

Planet Coaster also offers a challenge mode. In this game type you start out in 1 of 5 environments with various caveats that put you in a position to come back from or expand on, similar to career mode. And like most Tycoon-Genre games Planet Coaster has a Sandbox mode. Sandbox mode offers you the same environments as Challenge mode without limitations or circumstance, just unlimited cash & build away.

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As far as ride custom-creation goes I’m afraid you will have to find another review for that. My primary interest in Tycoon games are the missions, challenges, & management systems so me just saying the coaster creation is great doesn’t carry much weight as I think all of them have been great.

Graphics

Planet Coaster is a stylized sim game so it will age extremely well. I run the game on the lowest possible settings and it still looks great. Odds are if I had a GTX 960 this game would run perfectly & on Ultra. Because of how many objects are on the screen & the level of details my card just can’t get run it any higher but it was still playable. The game has great lighting & water effects. The day & night cycle are the best I have seen in the simulation genre. Over all I was extremely impressed visually & I will certainly be revisiting this game again & again once I upgrade my hardware.

(To be fair I have a very low end PC so I might have a slightly skewed opinion…)

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One of the features I was impressed by was the camera options. You can basically put the camera anywhere. Moreover you can explore the parks through the eyes of all the guest or over their shoulder. This would make for a very thrilling VR experience, especially riding the rides.

Sound

Like many games of this variety the world music is meant to lull you into a state of creation. The rides however have fitting & often very dynamic music. Given we are talking about theme parks the music often adjust given the type of themes you are representing. (Pirate for example.) I like the in game music just fine, but I also watched a lot of YouTube videos or the news while playing. There is no one talking to you in this game so it’s very easy to play while listing to your favorite podcast.

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Multiplayer

You can save & share your Theme Park with friends or the general public. Making for a fun & unique multiplayer experience, as you can literally visit your friends Theme Park & ride their rides.

In Summation

I loved reviewing Planet Coaster! Much like my enjoyment of Rollercoaster Tycoon or Sim Theme Park this takes me back to this genre in all the ways I was hoping for. While this expression no longer applies to PC games, Planet Coaster goes on my metaphorical shelf right next to them. If you enjoy Theme Parks, Sim Games, or any Tycoon games then I would certainly give this a try! I’m going to give Planet Coaster a 10/10. I hope this game finds great success and we continue to see more from this fantastic studio!

For more gaming content by @HiddenTara check me out on Twitch:

https://www.twitch.tv/magicaltabletopgirls

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Attack on Titan ~ PS4+ Review

Attack on Titan Review By: @HiddenTara

Attack on Titan launches today for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, having gotten my hands on an early review copy on PS4 I got to tell you this is a very fun game! I live streamed my play-though on Twitch if you would like to see the action for yourself. The game follows the first season of the anime, which I have yet to see. However, during my live stream my followers confirmed it had done a good job covering the plot points. One follower even sent me this YouTube video showing just how accurate the game was at recreating a scene from the anime that I had just played. (Link contains plot spoilers.)

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Story

“An epic action game based on the world-renowned manga and anime series by the same name, Attack on Titan brings the most shocking, courageous and exhilarating moments of the show’s first season to life. In a land where three gigantic walls have been built around humanity’s only known settlements for protection from the towering, eerily human-like Titans, three heroes Eren, Mikasa and Armin witness the brutal end of 100 years of peace. Humanity is once again threatened after a massive Titan destroys one of the outer walls, and the three find themselves desperate to fight off and discover the mystery behind the invading creatures. ” ~ Press Release

In my own more colorful words: Attack on Titan places you in a fantasy setting where humanity has been under attack by giant human eating Titans. The naked (*rolls eyes*) Titans resemble the Easter Island Heads & ancient tribal like people. Most of them are mindlessly searching for food. (People to eat.) With a few more dangerous Titans known as “abnormals.” The cast of playable characters each have their own motivations for wanting to combat the Titans and protect their countrymen/families that live behind giant walls; as you assume their role and play their story arc.AttackOnTitan_TitanArt08

I will say that as someone who hadn’t seen the show I found the campaign to be well paced and left me wanting more. When the game ended I eagerly said, “what’s next?” Of course we won’t know until Season 2 airs which is TBA. The campaign took me around 15 hours to complete. I did not play it on easy, nor did I do many side quest. It could take me over 10 more hours to finish all of the single player content. So, just know you will be getting at least 20 hours of story content and dozens more from multiplayer and trying to S Ranking every mission & side-quest.
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Gameplay

You play through the game as the main cast of characters that all share a customizable inventory. Each character does have their own unique skill tree that leans toward a different play style. This can range from an aggressive attacker to battlefield commander. The camera chases you in a third person point of view. You have your 3 main pieces of equipment that you will upgrade as you collect crafting items to improve them. This will allow you to move faster & fight longer, and hit harder. You also have your field items which will heal you, cause distractions, and repair 2 of your main equipment pieces.

In this world you are sent on various missions all which revolve around slaying Titans. The controls make full use of the controller & keep you very engaged. It has a skill curve easy enough that most can pick it up but once you master it you become god like. If I had to compare the movement to anything I have played before I would compare it to Spiderman’s black suit in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. (An underrated but very good Spiderman game.) But, without the hand to hand combat obviously.

Overall the combat is the core of the gameplay here and I give it very high marks. While some may find it to be repetitive I found mastering controllers turned slaying the Titans into a dance; bouncing from slitting the back of one neck to the next. Which gave it a very web slinging feel.
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Graphics

The art direction is a stylized rendering of anime. These kinds of games have come a long way from the early 3D anime games on PlayStation One. A much welcome boost from the X-Box 360. Aside from minor pixelization around the frames this art style is reaching its maximum potential. Very impressive. The one thing that still has room for improvement is collision detection or rather what the camera lets you see as your character is bouncing around the Titans. This seems to be a running trend for most of the games I have played coming out of Japan the past few years. This could be because of how complicated games have become from a development standpoint or that the Japanese market is more forgiving than the western market so they don’t spend as much time perfecting gameplay. It’s something to be aware of but certainly not a deal breaker. (Many moons have passed since Superman 64.)

Sound

The most notable thing is the game is in Japanese with English subtitles; which I very much enjoyed! On a side note: I would love to see all games have multi-language subtitles as an industry standard practice. This would help bring games to players around the world & offer a more immersive experience for the hearing impaired. The music was good though no one track stuck in my head. The equalization of combat, music, & voice was well done. No one had complaints when I would live stream & talk over gameplay. Overall very solid sound production.AttackOnTitan_ChristaLenz

Multiplayer

I received Attack on Titan as an advance review copy therefore I spent little time online, nor could I play the game with friends, so I don’t feel I can give you a more educated opinion of online gameplay at this time. I know that it exist and that you can run many of the missions with your friends. Personally I don’t care much about the online gameplay so my rating will not be impacted by this feature positively or negatively. (My apologies.)

I loved playing Attack on Titan! I had a wonderful experience that I haven’t had with an anime based game since Afro Samurai on X-box 360. If you love anime style games and fast paced combat you will probably enjoy this game. I’m going to rate Attack on Titan an A or 9/10 will play again!

Thank you for reading my review please feel free to share with your friends. You can send me your questions on Twitter @HiddenTara or see me on Twitch @ https://www.twitch.tv/magicaltabletopgirls/profile

While this was not a sponsored review I am partnered with Play-Asia.com you can save 3% off this game or others with my partner code: MAGICAL

Idolmaster Platinum Stars Fan Translation Part 2 Miki Hoshi

Idolmaster Platinum Stars is the latest in Idol games for the PS4. (Trailer)

Like all PS4 games it is region free but not offered in English so I’m translating it!

Review copy provided by:741gx.gifPlay Asia Ad 3

You can sign up for a free Japanese PSN if you wish to access any DLC. Note: The PSN store will be disabled if you try to access it on an English PSN account.

This is a fan translation using Google Translator & my imagination to restructure the sentence to convey proper context. It’s not perfect but its better than nothing. I created a DropBox with every image should anyone want to update my translation. Please no dank meme’s inserted into my translation! #HarambeLives:)

Follow @HiddenTara for updates or DM if you wish to assist in the translation! ~Tara

アイドルマスター プラチナスターズ_20160728152600.jpg*Idol Select Screen*

アイドルマスター プラチナスターズ_20160728152611.jpgAre you sure you want to produce Miki Hoshii? (Yes – No)

President – “Miki Hoshi I see. Did she say yes? She is a very sleep girl. Perhaps you have hidden a talent.”

President – “Please tell her to come to the training camp to be formally produced next week. Good luck my Pearl River.”

Producer – “Okay. When she comes to the training camp, I’ll finally get to start producing…”

President – “Hahahaha… Glad you are excited! Truly the producer I’ve expected!”

Kotori – “President leaving so soon….?”

President – “Today is the first day of camp, let me take off, I wish you the best of luck!”

Kotori – “Producer-san, here to please in preparation for activities for the next week, but please take it easy.”

Producer – “Oh yes. Thank you!”

Producer – *Thinking* (Next week I will become a real producer to my very own Idol!)

*Ping-pong pin pawn, Miki arrival.*

Miki – “Are you one of the people in charge?”

Producer – *Thinking* (Oh, that’s Miki Hoshii.) “Welcome to the training camp!”

Miki – “Are there people for luggage, I need this carried up to my room?”

Producer – “That umm … I’m not that kind of staff at the training camp, I’m a rookie producer we spoke on the phone.”

Miki – “Producer aha, I was half right. I didn’t mean to upstage you.”

Miki – “But good you do work here so you can carry Miki’s luggage.

Producer – “What kind of child are you? Troubled … or spoiled?

Miki – “I’m just thinking of Miki, you don’t need to be mean.”

Producer – “Ooooook Miki…” 😐

Producer – “Let’s talk about the producer policy. Miki is in this camp & you do want to grow, yes?”

Miki – “You know it, I slept well every day, of course I want to grow.”

Producer – “Ahhh, I wonder if what I’m hearing was good. In order to grow, you need to put in effort!”

Miki – “A sleeping child grows! You need to make the effort to go to bed every day.”

Producer – “A good night’s sleep is important…. What do you do other than get your beauty sleep?”

Miki – “Do you not sleep? It’s just as good as a positive attitude in Nagoya.”

Producer – “I’m not accustomed to over sleeping …. (Well she is a Top Idol.)

Miki – “Yeah, Yeah! This training camp but more quite than usual, could it be more slow?”

Producer – “Well, Miki what do you do enjoy doing for fun?”

Miki – “Fun? Like if I could do anything?”

Producer – “Yeah for example ….”

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(Square – Climb a mountain.) (Triangle – Play in the river.)

(Circle – Trench through a swamp.)

Producer – “I love to play in the river up in the mountains where the clean water is flowing.”

Miki – “Play in the river? Oh it’s fun to get your feet wet; when I’m not tried.”

Miki – “Or going swimming with the fish or watching the leaves floating down the stream. It makes me soooo happy.”

Producer – “Yes, it’s great to spend more and more time outside. I think that is better to work actively.”

Producer – “Okay, so the goal of this training camp will be decided in here. The goal of Miki that is life-changing.”

Producer – “By changing the loose way of life to someday become a surely respectable Idol.”

Miki – “Hmmm, but, I think there is also a path to become respectable without changing my way of life?”

Producer – “No no. Only working hard is the path to the success that is waiting.”

Miki – “But, everyone is working hard, even *Tteyuu* <- (No clue what this means) it’s hard working alone, but is it hard to change?”

Producer – “Do not know that meaning rest anymore … … Anyway, let’s schedule steady, little by little! Good?”

Miki – “Yeah, it is decided. So today’s schedule … …? Oh also let me take a nap before we begin this is overwhelming.”

Producer – “A little . . . . !”

Producer – *Sigh* *Thinking* (Little by little producing is fulling me with anxiety! But I will grow the Miki into respectable idol …!)

Kotori – “Oh, producer-san I came here as soon as I could, there is good news!”

Kotori – “I was waiting but now we can begin her training!”

Producer – “Oh, it is true we are ready to go…!”

Kotori – “These are the songs for use in Live Shows, I have been entrusted from the president to deliver these to you. Please choose only one song, a favorite song!”

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*Pick a song*

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(Are you sure this is the music you want?) Yes / No

Idolmaster Platinum Stars Fan Translation Part 1 Introduction

Idolmaster Platinum Stars is the latest in Idol games for the PS4. (Trailer)

Like all PS4 games it is region free but not offered in English so I’m translating it!

Review copy provided by:

741gx.gif
Play Asia Ad 3You can sign up for a free Japanese PSN if you wish to access any DLC. Note: The PSN store will be disabled if you try to access it on an English PSN account.

This is a fan translation using Google Translator & my imagination to restructure the sentence to convey proper context. It’s not perfect but its better than nothing. I created a DropBox with every image should anyone want to update my translation. Please no dank meme’s inserted into my translation! #HarambeLives 🙂

Follow @HiddenTara for updates or DM if you wish to assist in the translation! ~Tara

Idol

Longing for girls of eternal standing on the apex.

13 girls in a handful of many.

Such a world has set foot one more person.

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 Note: YOU the player are the “Producer.” (Your name may be up to 6 characters.)

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Producer – *Thinking out loud* (According to the map, certainly on this side… … Oh, *Frustration*…)

Producer – *Thinking out loud* (I received contact to come and meet here for my first day on the new job but I think I’m lost!)

President – *A voice appears out of nowhere* “O, I found the Pearl River just fine I have been waiting for you! By the way that map is useless!”

Producer – “Yes it is. And you startled me.”

President – “Okay. Let me try this again, Hello. …Welcome!”

President – “I’m Junji Takagi Akira the President of the 765 Professional Idol training camp.”

President – “In the future I would like you to produce the idols belonging to the 765 pro.”

President – “She who had unlimited of shine, will be your power, I want you to led the next top idol. I hope you are up to the challenge!”

Producer – “Thank you for your expectations, I will certainly do my best.”

President – *Thinking out loud* (length of existence) “A good answer” (still there was no deviation in my eyes from the Pearl River.) “I want you too fully to take an active part in 765’s professional savior!”

Producer – “What!?! A savior when?”

President – “Whether or not, in fact Idols out is, a few months since before the debut, but she has been promoting voluntary activities……”

President – “Very much it is not necessary to the package.”

Producer – *Confused* “em Huh. :|”

President – “So, I hired Kotori to the training camp in order to help refine the shine of our idols.”

President – “The girls during this training camp, are to report their producer.”

President – “That producer will be you!”

Producer – “Along with the girls, I would like to continue to grow!”

Kotori – “Hello there.”

Producer – “Oh, Good morning Kotori……?”

Kotori – “Nice to meet you, producer-san! I’m 765’s professional clerk Kotori.”

Kotori – “I work with the producers. So I will be supporting you.”

Producer – “Thank you very much!”

President – “We will give you the tour when the greetings are finished … But the jobs starts immediately!”

Producer – “Oh already?”

President – “Without the Toraji Zun enter the tiger’s den to get used than learn. Idol nor producer, first it’s debut, you!” (*The western way of saying I’m going to throw you into the deep end of the pool so you can learn how to swim.)

Producer – “I’m not sure I understand. But this is the way it is so I shall try my best anyways.”

President – “That’s right! Its fine you learn from experience. There are plenty hours in the day so you need not worry about it. Do you need me to repeat it?”

President – “So, you are the Pearl River, and now to choose one Idol that will be your first to produce!”

アイドルマスター プラチナスターズ_20160728145428.jpg*Idol Select Screen*

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X & Product Review

E3 has come and gone so now we wait! What games are you waiting for?

Part 2 of my E3 Post Coverage: Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X Coming this fall: PS4/PS Vita

By: Tara Sophia aka @HiddenTaraHatsune-Miku-Project-Diva-X-playstation

Everyone’s favorite vocaloid Hatsune Miku is making her way to the PS4 very soon! I had the wonderful opportunity to play Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X at this years E3. I have really enjoyed playing music games off and on since Space Channel 5 for Sega Dreamcast. For well over a year now I have been playing Love Live School Idol Festival on my phone. This has left me itching for a new rhythm game and Project DIVA X seems like it will provide just that.

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The next installment in the Project Diva series will feature an expansive soundtrack & a new story campaign. Playing through the campaign will unlock new songs as you go. Project DIVA X also has lots of fun outfits and character designs for Miku. The controls were easy to pick up & will provide quite the challenge to master on the harder difficulties. I suspect I will get dozens if not hundreds of hours of gameplay when this it drops. The graphics are very impressive as is the audio quality. If you love J-Pop music & vocaloids then this game was made for you! To read more: http://www.play-asia.com/hatsune-miku-project-diva-x/13/70a06fkei_pjdx_art

Speaking of Hatsune Miku as promised I wanted to pass on my feedback of the Ultra Pro license products:84526The playmat: The thickness is satisfactory, though not as good as the Wizard’s Game Day Champion mats. The colors pop very well and the surface has a great texture. The mat fits in standard mat tubes and should hold up for a very long time if you treat it well. Overall I really love this mat and would recommend it for any Miku fan.

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The deck protectors: I typically only buy all black Ultra Pro deck protectors as the stylized ones tend to take a beating quickly. While very pretty these are no different. The colors are vibrant. They shuffle really well however the edges show wear after about 15-20 matches. I recommend using these for FNM Drafts as they would give you a chance to show off your Miku love. As far as sanctioned DCI tournament play goes I wouldn’t recommend them. You may get a judge called on you for marked protectors if they appear visibly worn. Even though you may just be asked to replace a worn protector it’s honestly not worth the risk. Overall they look very cute; fun for drafts and kitchen table play but not made for the long haul.5

The deck box: I love it! The box is beautiful & the material is just right. It fits a 60 card double sleeved Magic the Gathering deck & a 15 card side board & 6 Tokens. The deck box even fits inside the new MTG Gift Box. Overall 10/10 I bought two & will buy more in the future.

If there are any other fun & / or cute card game accessories you would like me to review shoot me a Direct Message on Twitter and I will see what I can do. I’m also very excited to announce I will be reviewing Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X courtesy of Play-Asia.com when the English version is released.

Star Trek Online – Coming to the PS4 & Xbox One

E3 has come and gone so now we wait! What games are you waiting for? Here are a few of mine:

Part 1 of my E3 Post Coverage:

Star Trek Online – Coming to the PS4 & Xbox One

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(I’m Charlie & these are my Angels.)

I had a chance to sit down with Steve Ricossa, Executive Producer of Star Trek Online to play some STO on the PS4. I have to say in my experience STO is hands down the best Massive Multiplayer Online Game I have ever played, beating out Final Fantasy XI, Ever Quest, Star Wars Galaxies & the many others that I have enjoyed over the past 17 years. This game has a lot to offer for Star Trek fans & gamers a like. With hundreds of hours of gameplay, annual events, fleets (guilds), PVE, PVP, three unique job classes, you can join Star Fleet, The Klingon Empire, or The New Romulan Star Empire, and experience a massive story full of new Star Trek lore featuring many memorable Star Trek characters as well as the original actors from across all the generations! I left the community shortly after the crafting system update. I achieved Fleet Admiral with every available end-game fraction completed.

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(Guns lots of guns.)

Star Trek Online coming to PS4 has me VERY excited! Not only has a great deal of new story content been added since I left but a new expansion is soon to launch; New Dawn.

The console port has had a graphical facelift, which wouldn’t be the first for this 2010 MMO. Now delivering zero pixilation in very beautiful detail, sporting a new shadow/lighting system that takes advantage of the power of the PS4. In short the game looks better than ever!

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Of course with the transition from PC to console it raises the question: How are the controls?

Following many PC style games that have made their way to consoles Star Trek Online has implemented a wheel system to rotate through all of your abilities quickly. They have also developed a ‘Macro’ ish’ timer system for many of your abilities. Say you want your Torpedoes to just fire every time they can you can set it up that way. Or use your Science or Engineering abilities etc. While it may take some time to master I suspect we will see amazing creativity in how players use this system. Of course you can always master the wheel & take full control of your ship. Moving around in space has never been easier!

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Ground combat has also seen a great improvement from my time with STO. We will be getting more of the shooter experience without the clunkiness the game has been notorious for in the past. I was very impressed with the PlayStation controls for ground, they really got it right. I hope that Ground PVE will flourish when the game goes live. I suspect with these new controls it should make The Borg missions way more fun!

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When STO launches each console will have its own dictated community. It will follow the same Free-to-play model as the PC version. At launch you will not be able to do a character transfer from the PC to console. I asked Steve about this which he responded: ‘we want to give players time to populate the game without being overwhelmed by end game players but they may (no guarantees) be something they consider down the road.’ (I don’t have an exact quote, my apologizes.) They will offer all of the same content as PC with the same updates, same events, etc. Personally, I think this is a very smart move. It will give players like myself a chance to relive many great moments while experiencing the new graphics & controls. As far as being a F2P game you can quote me on this: No one makes a better Free to play product! This game is so well made you will want to spend money just to support it, it’s that good!

New graphics, new controls, new story content… Welcome back Admirals, and hello new Captains may we boldly go where no one has gone before! Star Trek Online for console “summer” 2016.

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*Note I will be in the Beta so follow me on Twitter or bookmark this blog for updates! I will be live streaming at launch & I will probably be putting together a Fleet with Twitter/ Twitch followers. ❤

5 Steps: How Not To Be A Token

Token - Female Gemma 4

Written By: Tara Sophia aka @HiddenTara

1. Know that everyone is in the minority somewhere under certain circumstances at some point in their life.

2. Know that even though we are all different fundamentally we are all human. We all need water, food, shelter, & a good night’s sleep. Everybody poops. And we all know what it’s like to enter a new environment it’s for this reason most of us carry a degree of empathy towards others in similar situations.

3. Know that it’s ok to be nervous when meeting new people. Especially, when many of those people may not have as much in common with you as your immediate peer group. Making friends doesn’t come natural to everyone & it takes time, that’s ok! Just showing up to a new place is half the battle, achieve that and you are on your way to victory!

(Demonstrated beautifully in this Japanese Poke’mon Commercial!)

4. Know that most people you interact with don’t care what you are. You are not the center of the universe. Every day billions of people are out living their lives obviously to the fact you exist. They don’t care what your skin color is, they don’t care what your gender is, they don’t care who you fall asleep next to, or what genitals are in your pants. All these petty identity political things the media, or activist bloggers, want us to care about are just designed to segregate people & destabilize social cohesion, don’t let them win.

Eva Congratz

5. Know that you are only a token if you see yourself as one or you allow others to treat you that way. Avoid truisms, stating a fact so obvious it doesn’t need to be said. People who respect you will never care about such superficial things as your race or gender. Strive to be more than some arbitrary or biological determined identity. “A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, nothing else.” John Galsworthy

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Applied learning:

Now that you have read my crash course, in something I hope your parents already taught you, let’s see how it applies to Magic the Gathering. Since the games very inspection magic has been a family friendly game designed to bring together fans of the fantasy genre. Anyone of any background can pick up a deck & learn how to play. The only barrier to entry is money; it is a hobby after all. This is known as equality of opportunity. There are no gatekeepers to learning magic. No overlords, no Don, no King, just $15 is standing in your way of learning the greatest card game ever made. (Or FREE if you download Magic Duels.) So what are waiting for? If your answer is for more people that look just like you, then you can remedy it by teaching your friends how to play magic; after all that’s how the community has grown for over 20 years! Don’t wait for others to do tomorrow what you can do to day! Magic is not a game for one gender or the other, etc. Magic is for everyone so it’s best to leave your baggage at the door & just have fun, it is a game after all! 🙂

WHAT-WE-LEARNED—GRAND-PRIX-CHARLOTTE-FEB.-25

(Do you play Magic The Gathering? Then you’re a Magic Player, that’s all that matters here!)

Who Is Eternal Masters For?

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Written By: Tara Sophia aka @HiddenTara

Today kicked off the spoiler season & magic players everywhere are polishing their deck boxes. (http://mythicspoiler.com/newspoilers.html) With reprints of classics like Force of Will & Sylvan Library to modern era staples like Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Eternal Masters is a good looking set thus far.

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Unfortunately, not everything is a Birds of Paradise’s rainbow tail; Eternal Masters is a ‘very limited print run,’ with a $9.99 suggested MSRP. Adding insult to injury Magic Online will not be set redeemable. (A program in which if you assemble the complete set you can then exchange your digital version of the cards for a physical copy.) What does all this mean to the average player? It means the odds you will be able to find Eternal Masters anywhere for retail price is extremely unlikely. Online dealers are already pre-selling the 24 pack boxes at $300+. To put this into perspective: A box of the latest set Shadows of Innistrad has 36 packs & can be purchased for $95.

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The trickle-down effect this could have at your local game shop: The full set hasn’t even been spoiled & it is already in the stores intimidate financial interest to not sell you this product at MSRP. Certainly not when a store can order the maximum amount of boxes they qualify for, then instantly resell them to a large online dealer for a profit or just flip them on TCG themselves. Pay attention to this graph Eternal Masters may end up selling for 2x MSRP by the end of spoiler season!

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Once the boxes are inevitably in the hands of only a few vendors (& hoarders with a massive amount of disposable income,) what happens next? Buyouts! Which has been plaguing even the worst cards on the Reserved List ever since the announcement of Eternal Masters. I fully expect cards that regular players try to sell for a fair market price will be scooped up in mass by these same online vendors & hoarders.

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When does this crazy train end? It ends with all of these cards being in the hands of the people who already own the original versions of the cards at which point they will slow drip them into the market & make sure the prices stay high forever. (The third print of Tarmogoyf is still the same price as Tarmogoyf pre-Modern Masters.) Why? Because this is how Supply + Demand + Greed works.greed___mtg_by_izzymedrano-d7cte3z.jpgThe end result being Wizards has not created a product for Magic players they created a product for the Magic retailers. If you do manage to find a sealed event, play in it, because many players will not be so fortunate. (I was unable to find a single Modern Masters event in my area.)

In my best QVC impression: For the low low price of $30-$50+ you too can maybe, possibly, if you’re lucky, draft 45 pieces of cardboard!!!! #Wizards2016iWKad22

Of course there are always exceptions. Some stores will weigh the cost benefit of holding sealed events versus flipping boxes for a fast profit. Ideally, stores would hold events, get people in the store & take advantage of the traffic to sell more product. But, for many the path of least resistance & easy money is too alluring.

In conclusion Eternal Masters, just like Modern Masters before it, is nothing more than a glorified marketing scheme to get you talking about Magic while the dealers continue to fix the secondary market. For those players who were excited for a fun summer set to draft &/or possibly pick up some powerful singles for your EDH deck just know you are better off investing in time machine technology.

Now eventually you might play games in your games store, right?’ Ian Malcolm ~ If he played MTG.

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Feel like filing a complaint to Wizards: https://company.wizards.com/contact-us

Hasbro Wizards of the Coast Parent Company: http://corporate.hasbro.com/en-us/contact

For years Wizards has been incapable of meeting consumer demand. Maybe, just maybe, if enough of us tell Wizards of the Coast we want a full print run they will recognize all the money they are losing out on from the end users, the Gamers, the people who open packs to play the game! *Fingers Crossed* #MakeMagicGreatAgain

*Update* Reprints do not lower the cost of powerful cards when they are limited print runs & mythic rare! Vendors and hoarders DO NOT ALLOW these cards to drop in price! They buy them out and store them! The way to drop the price of cards is regular print runs & regular rarity. The market has to have enough product that it can’t easily be manipulated! This has to stop! Magic should not be a game exclusively for the 1%!

I'm right

Editors Note: I am researching the “Chronicles” myth, that too many reprints will ruin magic.

Is PBS breaking the Law?

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Is PBS in direct violation of the Law?

Written By: Tara Sophia aka @HiddenTara

Over the past few years many in the gaming community have been entrenched with studying the ethical practices of online websites whom claim to be news organizations. As well as individuals claiming to be journalist but are nothing more than glorified bloggers. However, there has been an oversight when looking at games media as a whole and that is PBS. (Public Broadcasting Service)

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PBS is responsible for the YouTube Channel: PBS Game/Show upon investigation of this channel one can interpret it as radical leftist propaganda toeing the intersectional political ideology. (Of which [NPR] has had to deal with in the recent past; see: Ron Schiller)  While everyone has the right to Free Speech as private citizens, The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 ensures that the tax payer’s dollars ($445 million in 2014) given to support CBS/PBS are used as following:

“facilitate the full development of public telecommunications in which programs of high quality, diversity, creativity, excellence, and innovation, which are obtained from diverse sources, will be made available to public telecommunications entities, with strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature;”

It is within my right as a USA Tax Payer to say: Any YouTube channel that equates Anita Sarkeesian to Rosa Parks, unchallenged, or labels video games as inherently raciest, sexist, etc. has failed to meet this legal obligation. Under the law you can not present information of a conversational nature from one point of view. This channel does not offer any rebuttal to any of these easily disprovable claims nor provided any creditable evidence to even prove the propaganda the channel is trying to sell as ‘facts’ rather than personal observations. IE. Strictly biased media!

The questions I have are: What is the appropriate response to this channel? What are our rights as USA citizens in this matter? What other violations may have occurred on CBS/PBS programing in regards to it’s coverage of #GamerGate, Video Games, etc.? If PBS can’t appropriately cover Video Games, what else are they not objectively reporting? And if, due to some accounting manipulation, this show receives zero federal dollars, should it be allowed to benefit directly from using the PBS Brand, of which our taxes do fund!We as a Gaming Community, and those whom are US citizens, deserve the answers to these very important questions! I make zero claims to be a lawyer, or a journalist, the links covering this topic are in the description.Links:

http://www.cpb.org/aboutpb/act/

http://www.cpb.org/aboutcpb/financials/budget/

http://www.cpb.org/aboutpb/faq/cpbpbsnpr.html

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/PBS_Digital_Studios

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UrazpEFb9w

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/npr-executive-ron-schiller-bashes-tea-party-gop/story?id=13085305