Tag Archives: Gaming

Fate/Grand Order – Gold, Leveling and Progression Guide

9 Aug , 2015,
Crimson
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“Fate/Grand Order is easy”, said no weeaboo over.

While the interface itself is fairly straightforward, the shitty RNG that plagues the Grand Summon system often results in erratic rolls, and has the tendency to screw you over with a whole bunch of Craft Essences rather than fresh Servants.

This can often mean that if you’re not a pay-to-win, Saint-Quartz spamming player, you’re going to either be behind on the curve because your Servants aren’t cutting it level wise, or you’re often out of AP, which you need to maximize your story progression.

Thankfully, there are daily Event Quests in game that are designed to help you speed things along, and they aren’t that hard to master.

The trick to it, we realized, is the Sunday Event Quest – the Master Training scenario. We got an early start before last week’s Unlimited Maintenance Works thanks to that, and it’s really helped us come out ahead in the grind.

You can access Dailies through the Chaldean Gate option in Stage Select, and you can start blowing through them as early as Level 10. Just make sure you’ve got Shielder and your Starter up to at least Level 10 using XP-up drops, and you should be all set.

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You should have plenty of Exp-Up drops early game, so DO put all your eggs in one or two baskets.

Like all other Dailies, the Master Training scenario has three difficulties and cost either 10, 20, or 40 AP.

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Everyone loves a good Event Quest. :3

1. Master Training (AP 10)

Mooks are werewolves with an average Level of 6 and 3,800 hp, with either Saber, Lancer or Assassin Classes.

Boss is a werewolf Assassin with a Servant level of 15 and 13,765 hp. Abilities include a Critical rate buff and a multi-hit finisher.

Rewards 1,650 xp upon completion.

I-it's not like fighting werewolves is difficult or anything. :o

I-it’s not like werewolves are hard at lower levels or anything. Well, maybe if you have no friends…

2. Master Training (AP 20)

Mooks are ghosts with the Assassin class, an average Level of 10 and 6,000 hp.

Leader is a Level 25 ghost with 27,074 hp that can paralyze your party and inflict debuffs.

Rewards 8,310 xp upon completion.

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Once you’ve gotten the hang of farming Master levels, it’s easy to get into the spirit of things. 😡

3. Master Training (AP 40)

Mooks are primarily lamia between the Level 12 to 18 range with the Caster class and average 8,000 hp. Every now and then, you might also encounter shadow Servants with the abilities of Medusa (Rider), Euryale (Archer) or Stheno (Assassin).

Boss is a Level 40 demon with the Caster class, 58,503 hp, buff skills and really big damage potential.

Rewards 34,140 xp upon completion.

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Can’t say I enjoy snaking around with these guys. =_=;;

This is the toughest guy you've gotta kill. :o

This is the toughest guy you’ve gotta kill. 😮

Since gaining Master levels improves your abilities and also replenishes your AP, you can speedily farm levels as long as you’re able to hit all the right leveling break points. With enough level ups, you can also increase your party size, and attempt the same scenario at a higher difficulty.

The risks are definitely worth the reward, and it’s not uncommon to gain 20 Master levels on a good day before you hit a point where you can’t level up on the quick and need to wait for your AP to recharge anymore.

Does Master Level matter?

A higher Master level means better Master skills, a bigger party of Servants, and more AP to expend for Event Quests and Story Mode.

Being a Master means more than just wearing a swanky jacket.

Being a Master means more than just wearing a swanky jacket.

Right now, my Master rank is 45, with Level 6 in all Master skills. My AP is 70, and my party cost is 69. That means I can run a full party of 5 4-star Servants, or a full party of 3-star Servants with some sick Craft Essences, and that makes clearing stages a breeze.

Daily Quests for Fun and Profit

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Daily Event Quests are the path to victory. There’s even a handy list in game that reminds you which days are the best days to play!

If you’re just starting out, your best bet is to focus on doing a whole bunch of daily Event Quests rather than jumping ahead with the story.

Some recommended Event Quests to start with are:

Monday, Wednesday & Saturday:

Treasure Vault (QP). Mooks and bosses are primarily Caster types. You’ll need lots of QP to level up your Servants later, so start farming this Event Quest early and often.

Monday & Thursday:

Gathering Sparks (Three Knights). Exp-Up drops for the Three Knight Classes Saber, Archer and Lancer. Focus on this if your preferred Servant is a Saber, Archer or Lancer.

Tuesday & Friday:

Gathering Sparks (Four Horsemen). Exp-Up drops for the Four Horsemen Classes Assassin, Berserker, Caster and Rider. Focus on this if your preferred Servant is an Assassin, Berserker, Caster or Rider.

Saturday:

If you’re in a fairly comfortable position, or have a sizable enough pool of Servants to choose from, you can also do Congregation at Dawn (woohoo, MTG reference!), which has Exp-Up drops for all seven Classes.

Developing a Routine:

Because my starter unit was Ushiwakamaru (Rider), I went with Sunday (Master Training) > Monday (QP) > Tuesday (Four Horsemen Exp-Up) > Wednesday (QP) > Thursday (Three Knights Exp-Up) > Friday (Four Horsemen Exp-Up) > Saturday (QP) > Sunday (Master Training).

This netted me a good amount of QP and Master levels early game and helped to offset some really bad 40 Saint Quartz pulls.

My personal routine now is Monday (Three Knights Exp-Up) > Tuesday (Four Horsemen Exp-Up) > Wednesday (QP) > Thursday (Three Knights Exp-Up) > Friday (Four Horsemen Exp-Up) > Saturday (QP) > Sunday (Master Training).

Once you’ve found a routine you’re comfortable with, the game will turn from an annoyance into a breeze.

Heroes of the Storm Enters Open Beta, World Championship Announced

21 May , 2015,
Crimson
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If you’ve been following our recent adventures in the Nexus and have been itching to play, then you’ll be happy to know that Heroes of the Storm has officially gone into Open Beta!

What this means is that you’ll be able to log into Battle.net, download the game here, and instantly brawl to your hearts content with your favorite Blizzard heroes from Diablo, StarCraft, World of Warcraft and more!

We’ve had a great time with the game in the past half a year or so since we got into the Technical Alpha, and we’ve seen the game evolve with the feedback of testers and the community. It’s a great game that encourages teamwork through structured, map-based objectives, boasts a fun skill tree system reminiscent of Blizzard’s other franchises, and plenty of familiar faces for Blizzard fans.

We also appreciate how toxicity and baiting has been kept to a minimum thanks to systems Blizzard has put in place (though I’d still encourage players to get on the U.S. servers), and this makes the game incredibly friendly to new players who are totally unfamiliar with the team brawler genre.

For a more in-depth look at the game, check out the promo vid below:

Heroes of the Storm is also set to become a strong competitor in e-sports, with the Heroes of the Storm Southeast Asia (SEA) Championship organized by our friends at Asiasoft (more information can be found here).

Qualifiers will be held in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines, with the Regional Finals to be held on 8 August in Thailand. This tournament will see the winning team square off against others from around the globe at BlizzCon 2015 for a shot at the World Championship title.

Who's gonna make it to BlizzCon? We're also anxious to find out!

Who’s gonna make it to BlizzCon? We’re also anxious to find out!

This pretty much means that there’s gonna be a lot to look forward to with Heroes in the months to come so be sure to keep tabs on the Heroes of the Storm SEA Facebook Page for more updates!

Heroes of the Storm Open Beta announced

22 Apr , 2015,
Crimson
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If you’ve followed our work, then you know that we’re huge Blizzard fans. That’s why we’re super excited that Heroes of the Storm is finally going into OBT, and that’s news we wanna share.

Recently, Blizzard announced that the OBT is set for 20.05.15, with the official launch on June 3. We’ve also caught wind that AsiaSoft, the official HotS publisher for South East Asia has plenty of exciting activities planned to usher in this kick-ass team brawler.

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So in this throwback to Uldum, you’ve got to capture temples that shoot lasers at the enemy base.

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One thing we’ve enjoyed about the maps is how flavorful they are. Collecting skulls in the Haunted Mines gives you a pretty kickass NPC helper, for example.

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The meaner and uglier they look, the more fun they are to play. Azmodan’s a great pusher, for example.

Of course, we’ve been playing this game in between building costumes and running cons, and the most awesome thing about OBT is that there will be no further wipes. Any current progress or hero unlocks in the CBT will carry over to the OBT and post launch, which means no more grinding from 1 to 40 again or unlocking heroes and talents, folks.

We’ve had a ton of fun in the Alpha and CBT, and if you’d like to try your hand at a team brawler that’s fairly easy to get into and revisit some old friends from Blizzard’s kickass titles (there’s even The Lost Vikings, come on!), then Heroes of the Storm’s for you.

If you’d like to get an early start on Heroes before it goes into OBT, be sure to click on over to AsiaSoft’s Heroes portal to grab yourselves some Beta keys (note that this redemption is open to users in Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore only, with limited keys available daily).

We’ll see you folks in the Nexus!

Game Review: Hakuoki (Mobile)

20 Dec , 2014,
Arvin
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Something that caught our eyes at Anime Festival Asia (AFA) Singapore 2014 was the English port of hit Otome game Hakuoki for mobile by digital company Gloczus.

The Gloczus, Inc. booth at AFA 2014.

The Gloczus, Inc. booth at AFA 2014.

Here’s our initial impressions:

Content:

Thankfully they left the Japanese voices in the game with English subs, and this would no doubt please many fans. Whilst trying out the demo at AFA, it was impressive that they managed to keep the translation highly accurate whilst maintaining the slight subtleties in Keigo (Formal Japanese Speech).

Some words such as Ronin were left as it is and it shows the quality of the translation.

One thing we've always looked out for is grammar and syntax, and we're glad they delivered on both counts.

One thing we’ve always looked out for is grammar and syntax in a port, and we’re glad they delivered on both counts.

Performance:

Finally fans of the popular Hakuouki have an opportunity to enjoy the game in a convenient format.

The mobile format did not have any loss in performance despite being a port from the original game and we could feel the the effort from the guys in Gloczus that they managed to make the format accessible for all mobile devices without any of the lag found in other mobile games.

We could not feel any corners that were cut whilst playing the game. The large total file size of 1-2GB might keep away some fans but it is not overly ridiculously in this time and age.

It looks really good even on the small screen.

It looks really good even on the small screen.

Payment:

The game uses a microtransaction model which costs about ¥400 per chapter, or ¥2800 for all 10 chapters + 1 additional chapter.

It starts off with a free prologue for you to try out the game, which is a nice demo if you’re wondering about the translation and game quality. It’s pretty affordable considering the quality of the release and this model has been found in other mobile ports of games. However these prices are not finalized and it could be even cheaper because of market segmentation.

Release:

The release date is scheduled for December, and the game will be available in many regions including South East Asia and Europe. However due to complications with licensing, it would be unavailable to fans from the United States. The company is also planning to release the game in Traditional Chinese in Hongkong and Taiwan, with additional plans in China.

Future plans:

Depending on the performance of Hakuoki, they would like to translate the sequels of Hakuoki and other Otome games. It seems like they also would like to bring some other Visual Novels such as a PC version of Neptunia for the male audiences to enjoy.

(Images by Levin Tan)

Game Review: Million Arthur

4 Apr , 2014,
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Million Arthur, an immensely popular mobile card collecting game in Japan, has finally hit the app stores of out mobile phones here in South-East Asia. Whether you’re a fan of anime, card games or just like a well fleshed out story in general, there’s something in Million Arthur for you.

Fantastic art is what makes Million Arthur special among the slew of mobile games in the market. Names like VOFAN, BUNBUN, Nitroplus are among those who contributed card illustrations to the game, and they did an amazing job. No one would fault you if you sat in the gallery just admiring your cards in their full glory. It wouldn’t be a surprise if your goal in this game is to collect them all.

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And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Adding to that is a fully animated opening, complete with music, dark foreshadowing and battle scenes, like your traditional anime opening. This is an unexpected treat, a nice deviation from the norm of jumping straight into the addictive gameplay.

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Merlin, what are you doing in the evil mastermind’s light?

The story is quite straightforward. You are Arthur, the knight chosen by Excalibur, rightful ruler of Britain. However, you’re not the only one. There are many other Excaliburs, and many other Arthurs; about a million. Your job is to defend Britain from outside invaders, while fighting other Arthurs to be the strongest Arthur of them all!

But you can’t do it alone. This is where the cards come in. Cards represent knights, loyal to King Arthur (that’s you), each with its own lore and special abilities. You form a deck using these cards, and they become your personal army. Cards have synergy bonuses with each other; having cards from the same faction in your deck will grant helpful bonuses, like increased health or attack.

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C-C-Combo Maker!

Once a deck has been formed (manually or by using the Recommended Deck option), you are ready to take it into battle. The battle system is completely automated. All you have to do is to sit back and watch the battle unfold. When your super meter is full, your chosen Arthur performs a special attack unique to his class, also beautifully animated.

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Warrior Arthur is fully pumped and ready to go!

There is an option for you to combine certain cards together to create all new cards. It’s similar to the function in Shin Megami Tensei IV, where you can combine units you don’t need to create powerful units. It’s an interesting mechanic, so your collection doesn’t flood with cards you don’t want. You can also sacrifice cards to power up your existing cards.

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Girl with Lion + Allen Walker look-alike = ROBOT ALIEN DESTROYER.

The other part of Million Arthur is ‘exploration’. When exploring, you gain gold and experience points, along with the chance of receiving a Knight Card. However, you may also happen across enemy Faeries along your journey, which you can choose to fight or just ignore it for the time being. Defeating these Faeries will net you cards, gold and experience.

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Arthur’s most dreaded enemy: the schoolgirl!

Both of these actions require points; battles need Battle Cost (BC) and exploration costs Action Points (AP). When you level up by gaining enough experience points, you are given 3 points to allocate as you see fit to either BP or AP, raising your maximum point total. The other way of increasing your maximum points is by adding friends. Each friend you add also gives you 3 points, similar to a level up.

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Friendship is magic, magic is power, power means more points!

You will inevitably come across an opponent you cannot defeat alone. Your friends can join in the battle, each contributing his or her amount of damage. When the foe is defeated, each participant is rewarded for joining in.

But there are more enemies than these random encounters. In the story mode, you get to fight predetermined bosses, all while experiencing the fully voiced dialogue between characters, in Japanese of course. The characters are well developed, with very interesting personalities.

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Someone’s in a Lot of trouble.

However, no matter the outcome of your story battle, the end result would never change. Most of your battles leave Arthur winded and tired, even if you one-shot the enemy, or even if Arthur wasn’t even in the battle. It would have been nice if how you ended the battle affected the following conversation.

There are still features that are to come to the South-East Asia version of the game, like guilds and potentially guild battles, and that may increase the longevity of the game, but even in its current state, it’s still worth your time.

PSO2 goes English, and we love it!

3 Apr , 2014,
Crimson
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Asiasoft announced that they were publishing Phantasy Star Online 2 in English (PSO2) about a week ago, and just this afternoon, I got several hours hands on with the game during a closed door media preview.

Having already tried the Japanese service, I had some high hopes. This was a Sega title, after all.

For the uninitiated, PSO2 is an MMOARPG (the ‘A’ here stands for action, in case you were wondering) with console style graphics and aesthetics where you play an ARK recruit in a sci-fi setting.

With the customization options, you can pretty much adjust anything. Well, almost anything. :x

With the customization options, you can pretty much adjust anything. Well, almost anything.

ARK recruits are essentially the equivalent of space cadets, and once you’ve customized your character (and the level of customization is quite comprehensive) and picked one of several races and classes (with localized archetypal names of warrior, ranger, and wizard), you’re thrust into a fairly deep and involved story line with all the hallmarks of a classic JRPG.

The good thing of course is that the game can be played solo or with friends, and features instanced dungeon maps linked to a central hub. Friends, naturally, make things go a whole lot smoother.

Beat on alien life-forms, steal their treasure, have fun with friends.

Beat on alien life-forms, steal their treasure, have fun with friends.

I was a little sad that I didn’t get to roll a Deuman or Braver at the outset, but I’m sure that the good folks at Asiasoft will be making them available sometime in the near future. *hinthint*

Now, on to the localization.

One of the biggest challenges I’d expected this release to face was the dialogue and the VOs. The original Japanese cast included some top name seiyuu, and matching up would be a tall order. It was a pleasant surprise when I discovered that rather than dubbing the NPCs over, the company had chosen to streamline the written dialogue instead, without compromising any of the nuances from the original.

And that, of course, was a win in my books.

Needless to say, PSO2 is a game best experienced, and with the Beta test coming up 10th to 13th April, we’re giving away some Beta keys to a few lucky readers who live in  Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, or the Philippines.

These keys will also give you early access when the game goes live sometime in the next two months, so be sure to check out our Facebook raffle  for more details!

You can also keep tabs on the latest developments PSO2 in English developments through their official Facebook page.

Strife: Angelus’s Minerva Cosplay

22 Mar , 2014,
Crimson
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We’ve been working on new costumes non-stop this year, and two of our most fun and challenging ones are from American developer S2 Games latest 2nd-gen MOBA title, Strife.

The game recently entered Closed Beta, and boasts an array of impressive character designs reflective of it’s meta world – five different planes with varying thematics ranging from the medieval to the technologically advanced.

We were invited to help S2 Games bring some of these characters to life when we won the cosplay competition at Campus Game Fest last year, and these costumes will be making an appearance at PAX East in Boston this April where we’ll be guest-judging the cosplay competition and also participating in a variety of promotional events and activities.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ve done for one of the game’s iconic characters – a psychic assassin from the plane of Vorbis named Minerva.

Minerva design by S2 Games.

Minerva design by S2 Games.

The design for the character meant that we had to get creative with not just body paint, but also a different variety of materials and fabrics. We’d also have to utilize LEDs to get the effects with her weapon prop just right.

Because we’re most experienced with foam, we decided to tackle the armor pieces and Minerva’s tail first.

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The tail was segmented out of individually cut foam triangles.

We planned for the tail to be reticulated, so it can move freely and naturally while Angelus moved. The effect was accomplished by having each individual segment slide into each other, and securing with velcro.

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Bracers, Pauldrons, and other assorted portions of the armor. We’ve also painted the tail segments too!

Minerva doesn’t don as much armor as we are normally accustomed to, but that’s also a good thing. It means we can create a more mobile and flexible costume, so Angelus can push her poses.

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A closer look at the headdress.

Like Kerrigan’s wig, Minerva’s hair is a mass of organic tentacles. We decided that we’d build a headdress out of foam tubes layered over one another, joined to a knit mesh that’s normally used for sewing wig wefts.

As for Minerva’s body suit and jacket, they were built as separate pieces. The jacket was crafted from pleather, with additional panels to create the cape-like structure behind her.

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We thought the inspiration for Minerva was a little bit like a manta ray…

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With additional colored panels added.

Then there was Minerva’s polearm. It was made to be detachable so we could ship it over to PAX in a supply case, and LEDs were inserted to give it a cyan glow.

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The base was also crafted from foam to keep it lightweight. XD

Then there’s also the body paint, which we think is probably the hardest part. ^^;;

Getting a finish that doesn’t run in a convention (which requires a lot of dabbing and powdering down) is hard work. The make-up alone takes about an hour! 😮

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Using an airbrush to apply body paint is tricky, but it creates a more even tone compared to hand brushing.

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Here’s a close-up. Getting the right shade also requires blending of multiple different pigments. 😮

And here’s the completed ensemble from our studio preview.

Angelus cosplaying as Minerva in our studio preview.

Angelus’s Minerva cosplay.

Don’t forget to leave a comment so we know what you think of Angelus’s costume.

We’ll also be blogging about our work on Crimson’s MidKnight cosplay, an armored warrior who made his debut in the Strife comic book next week!

More production images of this costume and our other cosplays can be found at: www.facebook.com/neotokyoproject

To register for the S2 Games Open Cosplay Contest, click on the link here

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

13 Mar , 2013,
Conjurer CJ
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We’ve got the hots for HotS in the office. Our resident RTS guru/creative director Conjurer tells you why.

Fans around the world cheered as servers for the highly-anticipated StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm went online Monday (yes, we got it a day early!), and with good reason.

The latest expansion for Blizzard‘s  iconic sci-fi RTS franchise is an impressive continuation of its legacy, penning yet another chapter in the epic tale of Sarah Kerrigan, the self-styled Queen of Blades, and her quest for revenge.

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Old friends and enemies reunite in HotS.

Yes, the story picks up where Wings of Liberty left up, but unlike most games of the moment, which simply rehash old content with visual upgrades and cosmetic DLCs, Blizzard delivers more than just eye candy in Heart of the Swarm. Fresh objectives, kickass storytelling, and brand new twists to the Campaign are just some of the things that make playing it fun.

While Wings of Liberty changed the user interface and menus, Heart of the Swarm cranks it up a notch. Just like before, you get to interact with various characters, modify your troops, and choose your destination.

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hots03hots04Nothing like doing it Zerg-style.

Kerrigan’s the star this time ’round, and playing with her’s a joy. She’s the linchpin of your army, and completing bonus mission objectives helps you gain levels and a variety of hero skills usable in Campaign missions. Her skill set is fully customizable, and you can change it every mission to suit your play style.

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Screenshot2013-03-12 11_32_17Screenshot2013-03-13 02_06_40Blow ’em up with your mind, or swarm them with minions? It’s all up to you!

Unlike Wings of Liberty, you can now test both strains of Zerg units in Evolution Missions before choosing one of the two.

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Our little zergling’s growing up!

On top of  evolution strains, combat unit also have interchangeable Mutations which, just like Kerrigan’s skills, can be changed before or after missions.

Everyone loves a good mutation.

Everyone loves a good mutation.

Heart of the Swarm cleverly blurs the line between RTS and RPG with spectacular mission design.

Other than typical build-and-overwhelm, escort or infiltration missions, you can now get up close and personal with the enemy’s elites in some really challenging boss fights.

Each of these fights require careful tactics,  troop placement and movements, and that’s where Kerrigan’s interchangeable skill sets and mutations come into play. There are numerous side quests too, which means the game’s never boring. 

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Screenshot2013-03-13 01_50_40Screenshot2013-03-13 02_04_00Gotta love boss battles, especially this one. Doesn’t it remind you of Belial from D3?

Multiplayer gameplay isn’t as significant for casual players, apart from the addition of new units for each playable race. Though this may not sound like much, each addition opens the door to a multitude of tactics when combined with the existing units (we really love the Viper’s ability to Abduct people, for one).

There are some significant unit tweaks too, which will spell a revamp of strategies for competitive play.

In a nutshell, Heart of the Swarm is a stellar expansion. It’s an incredibly polished offering that will keep StarCraft fans occupied for hours (and ladder players likely glued for years).

If the second part of the SC2 trilogy is already this good, then we can’t wait for the finale.

Score: 9/10


Bring Kerrigan home! We know you wanna!

Bring Kerrigan home! We know you wanna!

We’ve got a copy of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm signed by Blizzard game producer Kaeo Milker and some Heart of the Swarm posters up for grabs.

‘Like’ our Facebook page and check out this post for more details!

RO2: Legend of the Second

12 Dec , 2012,
Crimson
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My love affair with Rune-Midgard started more than a decade ago, when I first spotted Lee Myung-jin’s Ragnarok manhwa on the shelves of a corner bookstore. There were scant few high fantasy titles back then, and the instant I turned the pages, I was hooked.

Little wonder then, that when Gravity announced Ragnarok Online (RO) in 2003, I scrambled to roll a character on the International (iRO) server and later the free-to-play Anime Connection (ACRO) server.

The game remained one of my little indulgences, and on those cold, dreary nights when the World of Warcraft servers were under maintenance, I’d steal away from Azeroth to Rune-Midgard, to relive my adventures as Gale Vandal, a High Wizard with a penchant for lightning magic.

When I first got wind that Asiasoft‘s next big thing at Licence2Play was gonna be “Ragnarok Online 2: Legend of the Second“, I was elated. I’d been following the game’s progress since it’s Korean Beta in March, and there were many good things to be said about the gameplay, the look, feel and mechanics.

Of course, nothing beats getting a go at the real thing, and here’s our take!

And we’re off to an RO2 adventure~!

RO2 takes place some years after the incidents of the manhwa (if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I mean), with the defeat of the goddess Freyja by Chaos, the mortal incarnation of the god Baldr. Predictably, the peace does not last, and you, as a novice adventurer, are sucked into a conspiracy of epic proportions involving Freyjan cultists, kooky monsters, and BBEGs that have only been hinted at in the opening vid.

Character creation was a breeze.

It was pretty much no frills, and unlike most other free-to-play Korean MMOs out there *coughcoughdragonnestcoughcough* with gender-locked classes, RO2 pretty much gives you free reign in your approach.

Putting together my latest online incarnation was as easy as hitting the gender, which defines your base model, selecting a class (called a job in RO), and a profession (part of the new Dual Life system, which I’ll talk about later). This was followed by some cosmetic tweaks like hair and facial styles, colors and the voice pack, and I was good to go.

RO2’s biggest draw has got to be it’s nostalgia value. It preserves much of the cutesy art direction of it’s predecessor, and the minute you zone into the starter quest hub, you’ll see some familiar faces.

I didn’t know Porings were Plants. But okay… :3

I was secretly rubbing my hands in delight when I spotted my first poring, and laughing in glee as I laid waste to said poring with bolts of fire and ice and zap-happy lightning.

Those porings come in several varieties now, but just like in the original, they explode with a gooey and satisfying ‘pop’. Frips, Lunatics and Fabres also make an appearance early on, together with their higher tiered counterparts. What’s more, most monsters you meet can be scavenged for ‘parts’, which go a long way towards leveling up your Profession.

RO2’s Profession system lets you craft a variety of helpful goods and items with these ‘parts’, and whether you’re an alchemist, artisan, blacksmith or chef, you’ll discover that you’ve got a great many recipes for items that will help you along in your journey.

Later on, you’ll also discover that your profession lets you tap on a powerful ‘guardian’ buff and use several unique abilities by completing a quest and hitting ‘V’ button when your gauge is full.

Just explorin’. My Peco Peco’s red, and red makes me go three times faster~! :3

RO2’s gameplay borrows heavily from other MMOs in the market, and bears a striking similarity to World of Warcraft, which wasn’t a bad thing for a hardcore WOW player like me. It actually made the game feel incredibly familiar (kinda like a cuter, anime-style version of WOW), and that made leveling and getting through the zones a whole lot easier.

Some things that are immediately apparent are the tab targeting system, the UI (which comes in three variations, if you didn’t know), and a queue system for dungeons and instances that teleports you instantly to the dungeon when your party’s full up, the loot system, and a taxi service (like flight paths) that take you from zone to zone.

Also, with questing and story development the focus now, leveling’s become a whole lot easier. Completing quests actually racked up more xp than grinding, which was an RO staple back in the day, and hitting Level 10 in under an hour was pretty doable, if you did it WOW style and utilized the quest tracker feature.

Mobs on the pull up map display are highlighted in red, while quest-givers and turn-ins are marked with ‘!’ and ‘?’ icons, and that’s incredibly convenient.

The quests are also less demanding now (no more killing 1,000 porings or gathering 2,000 soft furs), and that, coupled with an in-game Achievement system that rewards you with Titles that have tangible benefits, makes exploring the world, completing quests, and doing stuff fun. ‘course, there are also Daily Quests, found on Notice Boards around town, which will allow you to rack up that extra bit of gold and xp while you’re in a particular zone.

Daily quests! Just check the Bulletin Board!

Personally, I’m digging the instance system and boss encounters.

While it doesn’t exactly reward you with a whole lot of xp (dungeon grinding isn’t as cool as it is in WOW), dungeon designs are fairly decent, and bosses have their own mechanics and strats that you have to work around.

Not standing in the green stuff’s instrumental in taking out this Poring type boss in the Wolf Den!

Gone are the days of solo MVP hunting – it actually takes a dedicated party of tanks, heals and dps to live through the tough parts, and it’s not quite as simple as just putting up Ice Walls, Storm Gusts and spamming Lord of Vermillion anymore as a High Wizard, or just quaffing pots and hitting Grand Cross as a Paladin.

It’s a nice touch, I think, and I actually had a good time in CBT reminding people not to stand in the fire (yes, WOW raid discipline actually helps a ton).

And since the game’s RO, Job change’s one of the fun parts. Hitting 25 in your first job allows you to switch to a second class, which gives you a host of new spells and abilities.

The only issue here is that as far as I know, there are no respecs (i.e. you don’t get skill point resets) and that means you’ve got to plan the talents you want to put points in pretty early on. (I found a Skill Calculator for RO2 online, and you can access it here!)

You get to do fun things like raining meteors on people, if you go Fire spec.

I’m definitely looking forward to the OBT, which begins on 27 Dec 2012 (that’s like in under 2 weeks time). In the mean, be sure to stay tuned to Asiasoft’s official RO2 website (http://ro2.playpark.net/) and Facebook page for the latest updates and details.

Thanks to the good folks at Asiasoft, we’re also running a raffle! We’ve got some poring keychains to give away, and all you need to do is to follow some simple instructions on our Facebook page here!

Let’s meet up in the Open Beta~! :3

Licence2Play 2012

3 Dec , 2012,
Crimson
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L2P – Official Banner Art – Replicated from L2P Facebook Page.

Come this weekend, gamers and cosplayers are in for a treat.

Licence2Play (L2P) returns in a big way from 7 to 9 December, and it’s set to break new ground with a slew of exhibitors and fresh content that will lend new meaning to the term gaming con.

For one, our fave gaming company Blizzard Entertainment‘s coming aboard in a big way this year, so expect titles like Mists of Pandaria, Diablo III, and Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm. There’s also a buncha fun activities happening at the Blizz booth, including a Pandaren cosplay contest with attractive cash prizes to be won (pre-register for this contest here or email to blizzardcontest@asiasoftsea.net)

Yes, loads of Blizz goodies to be had at L2P. Replicated from http://blizzard.playpark.net/

Additionally, local Blizz distro Asiasoft SEA will be launching something new and exciting (we’ve got a feeling it’s Cabal 2 and RO2, so Ragnarok Online fans, rejoice) at L2P too, so that’s pretty damned awesome. They’ve even got a countdown site here!

The game plan, or floor plan. We’ll probably be hanging ’round the Blizzard booth a lot! XD

Naturally, what’s a gaming con without gaming competitions? Visitors can expect plenty of competitive gaming action in the Starhub sponsored Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) Tournament, as well as other games such as DOTA2, World of Shooters, Streetfighter, and even TCG Cardfight! Vanguard.

Of course, we’re gonna be there for the cosplay. Licence2Play Cosgames, the competition that Crimson clinched the West Champion title in the year before is back, and we’re putting Crimson’s Tyrael and Angelus’s Syndra on stage this time.

We hear that there’s gonna be stiff competition this year, with lots of great gaming cosplayers in kickass costumes, so we hope you can visit the con on both Saturday and Sunday to support and vote for us! ^^;;

Crimson’s L2P competition costume. :3

Angelus’s Syndra cosplay from League of Legends. XD

If you’re a fan of celeb cosplayers Asahi Martha and Ginga Ion, L2P is also a great opportunity to meet with ’em.

Martha has been cosplaying since 2006 and has been featured inthe international photobook “Summer Time”. She also recently performed at the 2012 World Cosplay Summit Cure Cosplayers Collection and the Collection night at the Tokyo Game Show 2012.

Ginga Ion is a veteran cosplayer who is part of the all-girls cosplay performance group Venas Sisters, and has also performed at various big-name ACG events throughout Japan such as the “Be-Bit” and “Cure Cosplay Collection Night at Tokyo Game Show 2012.

Ginga Ion – Replicated from L2P official website.

Asahi Martha – Replicated from L2P official site.

We hear they’re guest judging the competition too, so we’re definitely gonna have our work cut out for us. ^^;;

The team’s definitely looking forward to L2P, and we hope you are too!

Here are the event details in a nutshell:

Licence2Play 2012

Date: 7 to 9 December 2012

Time: 11 am to 9 pm daily

Venue: Sands Expo & Convention Center Hall E

Ticketing: $5 at the door. Early bird tickets ($2) are available here.