Wednesday, May 30, 2012

We are not going away, but becoming the more unified J1 Studios that were supposed to be. In the next coming weeks this blog will be moving over to the new home for all J1 Studios sections. There's good news and there's bad news. The bad news is that we won't have our specific section names. The good news is that what we post will stay the same quality if not better, and we will be able to post more often than specific times a week, so that way you can come back at any time and find more and more news and reviews. We will also truly be under one roof. If you are looking for a specific subject when you get there, you can use our new search bar, or our Categories section on the right. Thank you for your cooperation. Come see us at

Friday, May 18, 2012

God of War: Ascension Multiplayer???

 As a fan of God of War, I was surprised when I learned that Kratos’ adventures didn’t end with the third. Now I’m ecstatic to see something never done before for the series—multiplayer. What does this mean for GoW fans? It could mean that you may finally stick it to that friend who says they’re better than you. But this could also open up the series to new gamers who will play this and consider taking a step back to the previous releases just to get up to speed. However, Santa Monica Studios is going up against other multiplayers especially recent titles such as Call of Duty and the upcoming Halo 4. On the other hand, this is happening for a series that hardly anyone thought to go multiplayer. Plus, this move keeps God of War fresh and with so many games offering online play, how could Santa Monica resist?  
Even though it is still in the early stages, the proposed multiplayer scene which features four Spartan warriors taking on a giant Cyclops is impressive. I hope this number gets raised. Sony Santa Monica is really upping the gore factor for this edition (look out Mortal Kombat).  And the amount of detail in this little snipet shows that they are planning to use the full capabilities of the PS3. This just a sneak peak! Imagine what the finished product will look like.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (Grimlock gameplay)

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Two years ago, High Moon Studios delivered Transformers fans the game they waited for after
three less than stellar movie adaptions with Transformer: War for Cybertron. As impressive
as War for Cybertron was, I wondered what High Moon would do for a sequel. Imagine my
surprise when Fall of Cybertron was announced. So far, we’ve already seen Optimus and the
other Autobots in action. Now we get to see Grimlock stomp around, crushing Decepticons in his

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Abobo's Big Adventure Review

Abobo's Big Adventure

    Why aren't you playing Abobo's Big Adventure? Seriously, after you finish this article, go to and play this game until your keyboard breaks. Then hook up your NES controller, and break that too.
    Abobo's Big Adventure is one of the best old school fan service games ever. There are more  cameos from beloved (and obscure) characters than you can probably pick out, creative gameplay, and nostalgic 8-bit graphics that hug the line between “just as I remember them” and “jaw hits floor”. Oh, and there's blood. Lots of blood. Apparently, Abobo has quite the mean streak besides just punching Billy and Jimmy into a crumpled heap.

For the duration of this game you punch, kick, and annihilate just about every character you ever encountered during the 80's and early 90's. Characters from Super Mario Bros., The Legend or Zelda, Balloon Fight, Punch Out, Contra, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more await having their faces rearranged by your angry fist. And the controls couldn't be easier: A, B, D pad, Start, and Select. Each level has its own button mapping (as each level is a parody of a different game), but the attack button will always be the attack button, so you don't have to relearn everything in between levels. Added to the game was a Rage meter that builds up as you lay the smack down on someone, and decreases as you take damage. Fill the meter up all the way, and you get a Rage attack, which upon unleashing kills just about everything on the screen.

    The game is free to play or download, which only proves that it was really a labor of love. You should also cough up a few bucks for the additional content if you wish to support ABA. If you were looking really hard to find fault with this game (and you would have to look pretty hard) I guess you could say that it holds your hand a little too much as far as difficulty is concerned. One whole level is literally impossible to fail, and most of the rest have more opportunities to regain health than I remember from my childhood. This is not really a flaw, not is it even throughout the whole game. The Megaman and Contra levels are just as hard, if not harder, than their original counterparts.
    If you are 25 or older, and owned a Nintendo, then this game will definitely resonate with you. If you just want to play a fun 8-bit adventure, full of violence and humor, then this game is for you. If you don't like fun, and spend your days polishing your New Kids on the Block or Justin Bieber shrines, then get the game, and then seek professional help.

Abobo's Big Adventure: 5 out of 5

Friday, May 4, 2012

Capcom: A Love/Hate Affair

Capcom: A Love/Hate Affair

    Capcom, you have given me some of the greatest gaming moments in my life. Landing my first Spinning Pile Driver or Shoryuken ranks at the top of my list of greatest videogame memories ever. And in most respects, things have only gotten better. Street Fighter X Tekken has taken the series into territory that it's never gone before. King and Zangief in a real match? Dragon Punch versus Electric Wind God Fist? Everyone hoped it would eventually happen, and you delivered. With that said, Capcom, you have also made some decisions that really made it tough for your fans.
    Take for example, Street Fighter 4. That game pretty much put fighting games back on the map. All our old favorite characters, an all new engine, no R. Mika, and just enough innovation to keep it fresh. Everyone was happy to drop the $60 to play the future of fighting games. Then Super came out, and again, we were happy to drop $40 to get the new characters and gameplay tweaks. But then Arcade Edition was announced, and gradually things started to get weird. Why? Because tallying things up, I had already spent more than $100 on just one game. And that doesn't count the new arcade stick, controllers, avatars, costume packs, and so on that were also available for purchase. That's a lot of dough, yall. That also doesn't count the $100 spent on (Ultimate) Marvel vs Capcom 3, or the likely $100 I will spend for the necessary DLC characters in SFXT. Excluding perhaps Call of Duty, I can't think of a game out that I have had to pay for so many times just to be able to continue playing it, and certainty never for content that was already on the disc.

   And that just opens a whole new can of worms: did you really think someone wasn't just going to hack the disc and find the characters already there, ready to play? Did you not care? It's understandable: you put the “DLC” characters on the disc to avoid the weirdness found in fighting someone online that doesn't have them. In effect, everyone has all the characters, but only need the unlock code to get the full roster. I get it. But at the same time, that means you buy a disc, and then months after the game has been out you pay more so that you can actually use the content on the disc that you already paid for. That does not leave a good taste in anybody's mouth that bought SFXT, especially considering some of the gameplay issues your fans are having to deal with.
    Offline SFXT is a really fun experience. Its fast, smooth(ish), and the new gameplay tweaks from SSF4AE still have me finding new tricks every time I play the game. But man, this game has some bugs. Online is much laggier than any of the versions of SF4, the sound issue still drives me nuts, and something more punitive needs to happen to ragequitters. And that doesn't count the need for a better clock, fixing some of the freezing/flying/infinites that Desk has been so nice as to show you, and character re-balancing. Excuse my arrogance in telling you anything about game development, but I swear, it's almost like you released this game before it was really finished.
    Speaking of finished, the new Ashura's Wrath DLC is another prime example of how you at Capcom make us incredibly happy and incredibly angry at the same time. Here, I'll give you a chart to understand how someone can both cheer and boo you at the same time.

                                  Awesome                                                           Not Awesome                                
    •    Ashura's Wrath is a great game, with two      The ending we paid $60 for isn't the real ending?
    •    emotional endings.
    •    New DLC? For a great price? Awesome!       I can afford to pay for gas to drive to work or I can
    •                                                                            buy more Capcom DLC. Hmmmm...

    We love you Capcom. We love your crazy executives (get well Ono-sensei!). We love the stories you tell. We love your characters (Dante, Ryu, Leon). But most of all, we love your games. Your games have helped us relax, to have fun, and work toward a goal. For that we are thankful. Heck, I was weaned and socialized on Street Fighter 2. We don't complain because your products aren't good (because they're awesome), but because we expect better from a company that we have literally let into our lives. Your fans will happily support (almost) everything you do, but that doesn't mean we are a bunch of money pumps.

On disc DLC that I have to wait months to buy. You have got to be kidding.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

God of War: Ascension - Teaser Trailer

First off, let me say that I’m glad that Kratos will soon be back in action. There was no way
Santa Monica Studios could let his adventure end with the cliffhanger left by God of War 3.
Seeing this reveal trailer begs the question of how are they going to top part 3? As awesome as
GoW 3 was, I can’t imagine how Santa Monica Studios can better themselves. Releasing the
two PSP games helped keep the Spartan in the lime light and a graphic novel written by a New
York Times bestselling author gave us a behind the scene look at the first game. It seems Athena
may still be present in this sequel. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is. Sony will release more
information as it becomes available and I’ll be keeping track of it.

 God of War: Ascension - Teaser Trailer

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Asura’s Wrath Afterthought Review

Asura’s Wrath Afterthought Review

Platform(s): Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Developer(s): CyberConnect 2, Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Genre: Action
Rating: T

Looking for a good action game? Then take a look at Asura’s Wrath. You are Asura, one of the Eight Guardian Generals, godly warriors who fight to protect Heaven and Earth from a destructive force known as the Gohma. Returning from an epic battle, Asura is summoned to the Emperor’s throne where he discovers the Emperor has been slain.  He quickly finds himself being pursued by Imperial Guards after he blamed for the crime.  Asura rushes home to protect his family only to find his wife dead and daughter, Mithra, kidnapped.  His former ally, a god named Deus, reveals himself to be the Emperor’s assassin.  Enraged, Asura attacks Deus for his betrayal, but Deus gains the upper hand and tosses the beaten Asura off the platform and falls to the Earth.

Twelve millennia pass and Asura finally escapes the underworld to discover that his former comrades have used his daughter’s power to amplify their godly abilities.  Asura swears to rescue his child and nothing will stand in his way.

Right off the bat, you are thrown into an epic battle that takes place high above the Earth.  Taking control after the opening cut-scene, you unleash Asura’s powers upon the enemy horde attacking the Imperial Armada.  The target mechanic allows you to attack several enemies at once.  Place several cursors across the screen and Asura will launch a powerful attack that will damage all his foes.  The scene is something out of Star Wars with an armada of giant spaceships locked in an orbital dog fight with lasers blazing.  Asura’s Wrath is a straight forward beat ‘em up action game that is on tier with other hack-and-slash titles like Devil May Cry and God of War.  Your weapons are your fists and a lot of pent up rage.  Combat in the game is done mostly through contact-sensitive sequences.  Press the button at the right time for the best score.  You’ll spend most of your time building up Asura’s Boost Meter that will grant him extra strength when activated.  This is mostly used as a finishing move.

PRO: The action in Asura’s Wrath goes over the top especially in the boss battles.  I was impressed with the game’s opening cinematic, wasting no time throwing me to the wolves during a climactic battle much like Bayonetta’s opener.  And the larger-than-life Dragon Ball Z inspired boss battles are truly something.  The first boss battle is against the weakest of the Seven Deities, Asura’s former comrades.  Asura fights against this mountain sized titan until the god releases the power stolen from Mithra.  The boss grows to planet-sized proportions.  My immediate reaction, after making a Transformers-The Movie reference, was ‘I gotta fight that?!’  Imagine my surprise after witnessing a man-sized god defeat his planet-sized adversary by attacking his finger that covered an entire country. This scene truly sells the size this god has achieved.  CyberConnect 2, the same company behind the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series, left no attention to detail unchecked in the design of the characters and epic battle scales.

CON: However, the game’s strength is also its weakness.  Though Asura’s Wrath is chock full of action, it wasn’t varied enough to truly satisfy.  The enemy sets were minimal, maybe six to seven at one time on-screen, when compared to the aforementioned titles.  If Asura was supposed to be in an all-out battle, it would’ve been more pleasing to see him take hordes of foes or several enemy sets.  Granted that ending the scenario by activating the Boost Meter is an option and enemies continue to spawn if you don’t, I would’ve liked it to be a part of normal gameplay instead of putting spawning enemy sets on the back burner.  Ok, we all know cut-scenes tell the story otherwise, you’ll have no idea what’s going on.  Asura’s Wrath is no different except they use too many of them.  I like how each chapter is set up as if you watching an anime but most of these chapters are told through cut-scenes.  There’s a cut-scene followed by a bunch of fighting, another cut-scene, more fighting, rise and repeat until the epic boss battle.  I can deal with the storytelling but I would’ve preferred the scenes to be a bit shorter; some run for nearly three minutes, a couple times the scene was almost four minutes, before you get back to the action.

OVERALL: Despite all that, Asura’s Wrath is still an enjoyable game with intense action, out-of-this-world battles against the gods and a raging avenger that will even make Kratos cower in his sandals.
Asura’s Wrath gets 3 out of 5.
See you on the next level,
Brian M.