The Other Sights At PAX Aus 2017

Before you ask, yes, we did manage (somehow) to venture outside of the Classic Gaming area and hit the main expo hall (and more) at PAX Aus 2017!

Here is what we saw…

 

PAX Aus 2017 Cosplay

One of the main highlights at every PAX Aus is the cosplay. Even if you weren’t there this past weekend, you will definitely appreciate the awesome cosplay highlights package we have for you here – and to think, this was only the tip of the great cosplay iceberg!

Overwatch cosplay was well represented!

A bunch of Links. Now, to find Zelda!

Weird and Retro’s Kelly-Maree as Lollipop Chainsaw’s Juliet Starling

Press Play On Tape’s Phoebe as ‘The Puppet’ – FNaF2

Dragonair!

Of course we were bound to find a super couple

Skyrim by the awesome Combustible Props and Zel T

Zel T is gonna get ya!

A close cut!

2B (Nier Automata)

Even Pyramid Head makes friends with Nintendo characters

Nintendo Man?

Blathers and Celeste flew to PAX Aus too!

Sewn Chaos Orianna – Legendary indeed!

Cross-Cosplay = Roadhog (Overwatch) and Deadpool!

photos by: Alan Ly and ms. ausretrogamer

 

NBA 2K18 Review – Stop Dribbling

NBA 2K18 is a decent basketball game for next-gen consoles – it has high quality graphics and fun game modes to play, but some gameplay elements need patching quick-smart.

One of the things that stand out about the game in the new version of what was previously known as MyPark. It is now known as “The Playground” and is where your MyCareer player stays in between NBA games. I like the new concept, you can choose to go to the Gatorade gym and do drills to increase your player’s attributes, you can also go to your NBA team’s practice court to do basketball related drills. You can also visit many different stores along the street such as the NBA Store, Foot Locker and a barber shop just to name a few. Don’t worry, there’s still the much-loved MyPark as well.

Other new things about MyCareer is the way you unlock badges. You can now see your progress to unlocking them and they can be earned in Park games, NBA games and practice drills. If you successfully complete an action relating to a badge, you will get a certain number of points towards that badge. To get the bronze badge takes less points than higher ranked badges. Also, the experience of being an NBA player is more realistic, for example, you will only obtain endorsements from shoe companies if you wear their shoes on game night.

The MyTeam game mode has similar concepts to last year’s game. The collector’s rewards have been replaced by goals and the online league system has been swapped out for “Super Max”, which is the same thing, but ranks you before entering a league – so good players don’t end up starting from the lesser league. There are also rounds in “Super Max” where at the end of each round, there are prizes to be won depending on where you are. The domination has another 99 stars to earn with 33 teams for All-Time Domination.

Another big change in MyTeam are the addition of salary caps so people who bought virtual currency don’t smash free to play players with a much better team. I think this idea isn’t great because once you get to a certain point, you can’t improve your team anymore.

The one thing I don’t like about the game is the gameplay. It is more realistic at certain times (for example, you can’t throw a perfect full court pass and have no one to intercept it) and the players move a little more freely. There have been problems of people not being able to dunk during certain times, I also experienced this issue. I created a 6’3″ point guard who could dunk in MyCourt and in the pre-game shoot around every NBA game, but in game I couldn’t dunk. On a number of occasions I’d be carrying the ball up on a fast break with no one around me and I still wouldn’t be able to dunk – I hope that once I upgrade my vertical and dunks it’ll work. Another issue which sounds small but is extremely frustrating in-game is the free-throw consistency. It is way too low in all game modes, even if Damian Lillard or Steph Curry is taking them. In a similar way, the lay-up animations are inconsistent, a lay-up that seems open can be considered contested by the computer causing you to miss it. One that is really annoying is the shot contest and shot block.

When an opponent is taking a shot you have a choice whether to press triangle (block button) or just stand in their way and contest their shot. This issue is quite noticeable when an opponent does a lay-up and you press triangle to block – you instantly get fouled. Equally frustrating is if you don’t go for the block, the shot goes in because there’s limited automatic shot contest. This is really annoying whenever your opponent attempts a lay-up, you will either send them to the line or they get the basket.

Although all these issues are frustrating, they are acceptable as the game hasn’t been out for long, I expect Visual Concepts / 2K Sports to fix these problems in the next large update.

Overall, NBA 2K18 is a promising new game with different and fun game modes and concepts within those modes. However, a few problems need to be fixed with the gameplay. If you are a basketball fan, then this game is still worth checking out.

image source: Playstation Store

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Dylan Cukalac
Teenage video gamer and ausretrogamer contributor. When Dylan isn’t dribbling on the virtual basketball court he is ripping it up for real on the football field.

Follow Dylan Cukalac on Twitter and Instagram

 

 

Death Squared Review – Nintendo Switch

Death Squared broke me.

Now, I don’t mean broke as in a “made me break stuff” kind of way. Rather that on multiple occasions Death Squared reduced me to a near-blubbering mess of a person struggling to comprehend just how I’d solve the puzzle facing me. Yet eventually I’d overcome it, but that fleeting euphoria would last as long as it took for the next level to appear. I’d even go as far to say that there were definitely times where it invoked memories of another isometric problem-solving game from my past, one that also featured two characters who drove me head over heels insane at the best of times…

Reminiscence aside, Death Squared is a 2017 3D isometric cooperative puzzle game from Sydney gamedev SMG Studios. It’s based around an incredibly simple concept: Move your AI ‘bots from point A to point B. That’s it! Sounds easy in concept, right? Once you start throwing lasers, moving platforms, and needing to coordinate moves into the mix, suddenly you’re heading towards ‘broken’ territory. As an added bonus Death Squared is as couch co-op friendly as it gets, meaning that it’s another delightful game to play with people you don’t want to have to like for much longer.

While Death Squared can be enjoyed with up to 3 other people, I opted to spend the bulk of my time slogging through the 80 level single player story mode. I started out simple enough – move from the starting point to the round circles that serve as the goal. As the levels progress, more and more elements are introduced that forced me to use the tricks I’d learnt in a completely different way. The progression feels natural, and I never found the difficulty being artificially ridiculous just for the sake of slowing my progress down. There are times where it does feel like a struggle to push through lots of levels in a single sitting, with my 20 minute bus ride each day feeling like an optimal playtime before I started feeling broken and needing to stop. Your mileage may vary here, but it’s something that is negated by the more people you have to play it with.

Trying to enlist some celebrity assistance

So what about the story you ask? It revolves around a slacker named Dave (Voiced by Rice Pirate Mick) and his virtual assistant IRIS (also voiced by Rice Pirate Mick!). Dave’s a level 1 supervising technician at a futuristic robotics company who has one job: to monitor the AI Test ‘Bots (you!) as they go through their paces. Mick’s delivery and timing on his lines is fantastic, and really sells the banter between the two. This all plays out in the background as you work through the story mode along with the odd company email load screen, and complements the mode well.

When I’m Sixty-fouuuur

It’d be harder if the controls were unwieldy, but beyond a couple of times where I did something dumb and found myself getting stuck on the geometry, the twin-stick control method works pretty well. Left stick moves the Red ‘bot, while the right stick moves the Blue ‘bot, and this setup even plays into the puzzles in later stages. This can make for some rather tricky times when playing solo, as my brain would often assume the left stick corresponded to ‘bot on the of the screen, only to have the other one suicide off a ledge. I even tried giving one of the Joycons to my 5 year old, but he proved to be more frustrating than trying to just do it myself. To him, watching the colourful square dive off the edge and explode was the absolute height of hilarity! The edge detection on the platforms can be a little touchy at times, as I’d find a bot tumbling to its doom despite swearing I had ample space to maneuver. These moments were rare though, which is reassuring for a game that involves some fairly precise movements at times.

Booooom

One thing I’ll say is that this is a game that feels more at home on the Switch than any other platform I’ve seen it on (which is to say, Death Squared is on pretty much everything!). Given the Switch ships with two Joycons by default and the “pick up and play” nature of the system, this makes Death Squared a really good first game to grab if you’ve just gotten the console and want some co-op games to play. Add a pro controller or two into the mix, and there’s a party right there!

Did I mention it’s also only $14.99 on the Nintendo eShop (and slightly higher on other platforms)? Given there’s a good 8-10 hours of play in the story mode, and many, many more hours in the Party or super-hard Vault, Death Squared is definitely worth checking out.

Death Squared was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch. Played story mode to completion, and ran through a handful of the Party mode levels. Review code provided with thanks to SMG Studios.

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blahjediAaron Clement
Tassie based retro gaming guy. Co-host of the Press Play On Tape Podcast. Father of 3 and married to the very tolerant Kellie Clement. Coffee powered!

Follow Aaron Clement on Twitter and Instagram

 

 

Let’s Get Physical with Wonder Boy The Dragon’s Trap

Hold onto your swords peeps, Limited Run Games will be releasing physical copies of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap on the PS4 this Friday (August 4) – North American time (midnight Friday in Australia) !

There will be 5,000 copies of the Standard Edition and 3,000 of the Collector’s Edition with limits (per customer) to ensure everyone has a fair chance of grabbing this wonderful game!

Standard Edition: 5,000 copies, with a limit of two per customer!

Collector’s Edition: 3,000 copies with a limit of one per customer!

source: Limited Run Games

 

Flappy Bird On A Dreamcast Memory Card

Programmer Dmitry Grinberg has cleverly hacked a Dreamcast VMU to run a Flappy Bird clone, wow! Watch the demo video below and/or read about how he did it.

Source: dimtrygr on YouTube via Technabob

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Co-founder, editor and writer at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

Classic SEGA Games on iOS and Android via SEGA Forever

Three decades after it all began, SEGA Networks announces a growing collection of classic video games for mobile

In celebration of a simpler time – an era that came before cool kale, hyper-connectedness, DIY artisanal beer-making, and social media mayhem – SEGA Networks Inc. is bringing a growing collection of classic video games from every console era to your mobile device for free. The collection, called SEGA Forever, is a re-awakening of archetypal gaming, an ode to the deep and diverse SEGA catalogue, and the beginning of a retro revolution that will transport players back through two decades of console gaming.

Each game in the SEGA Forever lineup is free-to-play, ad-supported, playable offline, and includes added features like cloud saves, controller support, and leaderboards. For players who prefer a pristinely ad-free mobile gaming experience – folks who want to play SEGA just like they remember playing in their basement, without interruptions from parents, siblings, or homework – SEGA have rolled back the price so each game can be purchased without ads for $1.99. As the SEGA Forever collection expands through months and years, it will include both official emulations and ported games that pan all SEGA console eras, each adapted specifically for mobile devices while remaining faithful to the original games.

“Above all else SEGA Forever is a celebration of nostalgia. It’s about allowing fans to reconnect with past experiences and share them with family and friends in an accessible and convenient way,” explains Mike Evans, CMO of SEGA’s Mobile Division in the West. “Join us on a journey of rediscovery as we roll out two decades of classic games free on mobile. Create your own ‘SEGA Forever folder’ and collect your favourite classics. Enjoy moments of nostalgia on the go, or sync a Bluetooth controller to enjoy a console-like experience in your living room. SEGA Forever democratises retro gaming, and seeks to change how the world plays, rediscovers, and shares in classic game experiences.”

The first batch of SEGA Forever games has been carefully curated, boasting both blockbusters and core fan favourites; The collection will officially kick off today with five Mega Drive / Genesis titles, all of which will be available to download for free on the Google Play Store for Android devices and on the App Store for iPhone and iPad, where they will be accompanied by iMessage sticker packs:

  • Sonic The Hedgehog, the 1991 household classic that has remained at the forefront of hearts and minds since inception
  • Phantasy Star II, the longtime fan-favourite RPG from 1989
  • Comix Zone and Kid Chameleon, two American titles developed by SEGA’s in-house studio STI
  • Altered Beast, the original Mega Drive / Genesis pack-in title, a beat-em-up set in Ancient Greece that represents a weird and wonderful segment of the SEGA catalogue that is ripe for rediscovery

 

Following today’s launch, the SEGA Forever collection will continue to grow with additional releases coming every two weeks. It took AGES to get here, so it’s now time to start playing!

image source: SEGA Forever