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Author: Justin Purcell

Justin is a Computer Science major interested in game design and software engineering. He has been a life-long fan of games and technology, and has had jobs in the gaming and IT fields.
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Is Ouya The Future Of Gaming?

Ouya

In case there’s anyone who still hasn’t heard, sometime next year there will be a new entrant in the console war. This one isn’t made made by a major game company, won’t feature the latest and greatest technology, and will ship with a modest price tag of $99. This console is called Ouya (pronounced OOO-yah) and is being designed and developed by a an-star team of industry experts, including Julie Uhrman and Yves Béhar. Their goal for this project is stated on their kickstarter page; they plan to revolutionize the home console industry, shifting the focus from major developers and publishers to small developers, home gamers, and anyone who may want to tinker with their console. On top of that, each game developed for the Ouya must have aspect that is free-to-play, whether it be a demo or the full game.

The initial response to the announcement and the Kickstarter campaign was overwhelming, and many questions arose regarding the potential of the console. The campaign launched asking for $950 thousand, a number was was surpassed in less than eight hours, showing that many had faith in the console and supported the idea of ‘open gaming.’ Others were more skeptical, wondering why more information hadn’t been released when the campaign kicked off. There was no controller, only an image which displayed half of one possible design. There were no confirmed games, although the Kickstarter page made it seem like Minecraft was guaranteed to be on the console. Some feared the android-based console would only further fragment the android app market.

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Lollipop Chainsaw Review

Suda 51's Latest is Tragically Repetitive.

Lollipop Chainsaw

Goichi Suda (better known by his pseudonym, Suda 51), creator of No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned, and Killer 7 has teamed up with James Gunn, the writer of such eclectic fare as Super and Dawn of the Dead. From this collaboration comes Lollipop Chainsaw, a hack and slash action game about a zombie hunting teenager. The game follows Juliet Starling and her boyfriend Nick as they slay hordes of zombies in an attempt to save San Romero High School. Depending on the perspective, Juliet could be considered one of the luckiest people in the world, or very unlucky. She arrives at school on her 18th birthday to find it has been overtaken by zombies, who have surrounded Nick and are beginning to infect him. Fortunately, she happens to be a zombie hunter who carries a chainsaw with her at all times. Using her zombie hunting skills, as well as witchcraft, she manages to save Nick by removing his head before the zombie virus can spread to his brain.To stop the zombies from overtaking the school, Nick and Juliet must make their way through different areas around the school, killing any zombies standing in their way. Each level in the game takes place in one of these areas, and each level ends with a boss battle. The levels are designed to be very linear, and there are few opportunities to stray from the beaten path. When hidden areas are found, they will either contain lollipops, which can be eaten to restore Juliet’s health, or Zombie coins, the currency that can be spent to buy upgrades, attacks, and additional game content.

Lollipop Chainsaw

The controls are straightforward and easy to master. This makes combat simple, but after a while it may begin to feel bland and tedious. Dead zombies drop zombie coins, so killing as many as possible will be beneficial. The attacks and combos that can be purchased can prove to be useful, but much of combat will be spent button mashing, especially in tight corridors where the player loses control of the camera. When the camera gains a mind of its own,  it often  cycles through some of the worst angles possible. Planning encounters strategically can be rewarding, because killing three or more zombies with a single attack triggers the Sparkle Hunting event.

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May 30, 2012 Posted by Justin in PC, Reviews

Diablo III Review

Evil besieges Sanctuary once again.

Diablo III

After 12 years, Blizzard’s Diablo III brings us back to Tristram to defend against the forces of evil. With the choice of five classes, this game supports several styles of play while massacring hordes of enemies. The game feels similar the previous iteration, but with several features tweaked and upgraded.For those new to the series, Diablo III is a roguelike in which the player hacks and slashes their way through randomly generated fields and dungeons while collecting treasure and completing quests. As the hero gains experience, he becomes stronger, learns new skills, and gains the ability to wear stronger equipment. When a meteor falls from the sky and strikes New Tristram, the evils that have been dormant for twenty years are awakened. The hero to drawn to the village, and accepts tasks assigned by the townsfolk. Among these is the mission of finding Deckard Cain, who fell into the depths of the cathedral when the meteor made its impact.

Diablo III

The class system has been simplified, and stat points are now distributed automatically between Strength, Intelligence, Dexterity, and Vitality. The Barbarian is a strength-based class, Witch Doctors and Wizards use magic, while Demon Hunters and Monks use their dexterity to best their foes. Vitality is important to each class, as it determines the character’s life total. As the player reaches new levels, new skills and skill runes are unlocked. A player can switch between skills at any time, and choose which rune to use, if any, to provide a boost to the skill. This system allows the player to use every skill, instead of locking into one decision like in previous games.

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