Esperino http://www.esperino.com Tue, 02 Sep 2014 05:00:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers Review http://www.esperino.com/magic-2015-duels-of-the-planeswalkers-review http://www.esperino.com/magic-2015-duels-of-the-planeswalkers-review#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 05:00:23 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=21953 Magic: The Gathering returns for another year with the release of Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers. The previous iterations have built upon the past title, improving and adding new features to justify the annual release schedule, much like the trading card game with its constantly evolving meta game and diverse card line-up.

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Developer: Stainless Games
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox 360 (Reviewed), iOS, Android
Players: Single, Multi-Player
Genre: Collectible Card Game
Release: July 9th 2014 (iPad), July 16th 2014 (Xbox 360, Android, Steam)

Unfortunately Magic 2015 is a backwards step, devoid of enhancements, substituted with micro-transactions and removal of standard features and previously available play modes. There’s little to be excited about this time round, a shame given the offerings of years gone by.

Magic 2015 essentially follows the same formula as its namesake, revolving around the much-loved, long running TCG. You play as a Planeswalker, a sorcerer with the ability to summon mythical creatures and beasts to do your bidding by ‘tapping’ mana from the various land types. Spells, land and creatures are represented by one of five coloured elements (sometimes a combination of elements), each adopting their own unique play style. The combination of potential deck building is endless and it’s up to you to create a desk worthy of overcoming your opponent.

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The creative freedom the Magic: The Gathering allows is part of its appeal, however TCG is big business and with each new year’s comes the introduction of new cards, effectively shaping the metagame and current state of play. The best cards always attract a premium price and Magic 2015 appears to have employed the same formula to the dismay of its fans.

Stainless Games produced magic (pun intended) with Magic 2014, answering the call of its player base with fully customisable deck building and the inclusion of new cards, art and battle modes to make it the best in the Duels of the Planeswalker series thus far. If the same formula were used with Magic 2015, I could say hands down it is the definitive Magic experience available outside of actually purchasing the cards themselves, but that isn’t the case this time around.

Content has been stripped back and questionable design decisions will leave fans wondering if what they purchased is the full experience, or a half-completed concoction.

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The core gameplay mechanics remains largely untouched for the most part, and the deck building mode finally makes its appearance in-game. This alone opens up a potential world of different builds however the initial card pool is limited at best.

Campaign mode is further restricted with preset decks to work with, leaving you with little options or choice until you surmount enough usable cards to construct something else a little more powerful, and this is going to take some time to do.

Completing missions unlocks a handful of cards each time rather than a booster pack, and the selection of cards are further restricted to the plane you’re currently traversing in. Explore mode opens out random battles if you need to acquire more cards, but is grind heavy and not for everyone.

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This is where the lines blur between a complete gaming experience and one laden with micro-transactions. Although you can amass a library of cards by slogging it out, the cards rewarded are subpar in some situations. If you want the easier route, you’ll have to spend some real world cash to unlock cards quicker, not to mention particular powerful cards are only available by spending even more money on your copy of Magic 2015.

One the few shining positives is the decently fleshed-out tutorial system that does a solid job on introducing the inner workings of Magic to any newbie player who’s never tapped a land in their life, but the praise pretty much starts and ends there.

Although the art work is gorgeous and pleasing to the eye, the user interface overshadows the experience with frustratingly slow loading times and unintuitive navigation. This can be attributed to Magic 2015 seemingly being designed for mobile and tablet devices over console, leaving home consoles gamers having to make do with what’s available.

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Previous game modes have magically disappeared as well, such as sealed decks, Puzzle mode and Planechase among many others. There doesn’t appear to be any justification for these removals, as it seems not much was added in its place. I can only assume the exclusion is an attempt by Wizards of the Coast to protect their physical card game property. If everything were available in a simulated gaming experience, why would you buy the cards in the first place?

Stainless Games have journeyed backwards with Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers. You’re much better off spending your cash on the actual cards, or sampling Magic 2014 which was generally a better overall experience. Perhaps the complaints of this iteration will be rectified in the next instalment for Magic 2016, at least one can only hope.

5.0

5.0 – Average. While it does nothing exceptionally bad, it does nothing exceptionally good either. It may be fun for a while but it will struggle to maintain any interest.

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Super Smash Bros. 3DS XL Console Back In-stock 9am AEST Tomorrow http://www.esperino.com/super-smash-bros-3ds-xl-console-back-in-stock-9am-aest-tomorrow http://www.esperino.com/super-smash-bros-3ds-xl-console-back-in-stock-9am-aest-tomorrow#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:52:47 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=21950 EB Games Australia will have the remaining stock of Super Smash Bros. 3DS XL consoles back in-stock from Wednesday morning at 9am.

This will only be available online and is the last chance you’ll have to secure this limited run console locally, at least at a decent RRP price.

With the announcement of the new 3DS and new 3DS XL, this is somewhat slightly less desirable however the new 3DS won’t be out here in Australia until 2015.

Super Smash Bros. 3DS Console Goes on Sale at EB Games and Sells Out...Sorta

You may want to update your 3DS system in the meantime, or at least add this very cool colour scheme 3DS to your video game collection.

Be sure to have your clicking finger all warmed up and ready to go as it’s game on from 9am. DON’T MISS OUT!

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Samurai Warriors 4 10th Anniversary Anime Edition Exclusive to PS4 http://www.esperino.com/samurai-warriors-4-10th-anniversary-anime-edition-exclusive-to-ps4 http://www.esperino.com/samurai-warriors-4-10th-anniversary-anime-edition-exclusive-to-ps4#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 22:05:43 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=21945 To celebrate a decade of Samurai Warriors, Koei Tecmo have put together the Samurai Warriors 4 10th Anniversary Anime Edition coming exclusively to the PlayStation 4.

Samurai Warriors 4 10th Anniversary Anime Edition

Conceived to honour dedicated players of the series, This treasure trove of Samurai Warriors goodies includes:

  • “Special Anime Pack” 10th anniversary Collectors Edition packaging
  • SAMURAI WARRIORS: Legend of the Sanada anime (Blu-ray Disc)
  • SAMURAI WARRIORS 4 game (PlayStation 4)
  • SAMURAI WARRIORS 4 Official Soundtrack (CD)
  • Special Costume Pack 4: Garcia, Ina, Nene and Oichi (DLC)
  • Old Costume Pack 1: Yukimura, Mitsuhide, Nobunaga, Noh, Oichi, and Ranmaru (DLC)
  • Edit Parts Pack 1 which allows facial and Western themed armor customization (DLC)

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In addition, a range of pre-order incentives will also be on offer including the following items below:

  • Scenario Pack 1: New stages “Sinister Beauties” and “Men of Charm and Courage”, new items “Gold Lacquered Box” and “Lion Censer”.
  • Special Costumes for: Mitsunari Ishida and Toyohisa Shimazu.
  • Weapon Pack 1: New weapons for over 25 characters.
  • Old Costume Pack 2: Costumes inspired by the original SAMURAI WARRIORS for Keiji Maeda, Kenshin Uesugi, Kunoichi and Shingen Takeda.

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Samurai Warriors 4 10th Anniversary Anime Edition is only available on PlayStation 4, however the game will also be available on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. In Australia, you can place a pre-order with EB Games and JB Hi-Fi, listed at $119.95 AUD and $119 AUD respectively.

Neither retailer specifies what pre-order bonuses they will be offering, however GameStop over in North America are offering the incentives, but only with the regular version of Samurai Warriors 4. The 10th Anniversary Anime Edition is available throughout most regions including North America, Europe and Australasia.

Check with your local retailer for availability. Samurai Warriors 4 is scheduled for release on October 23rd, 2014 in Australia.

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No New Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL Until 2015 in Australia http://www.esperino.com/no-new-nintendo-3ds3ds-xl-until-2015-in-australia http://www.esperino.com/no-new-nintendo-3ds3ds-xl-until-2015-in-australia#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 21:29:01 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=21942 By now you’ve probably heard the excitement surrounding the announcement of the new 3DS and 3DS XL.

You haven’t? Well, here’s a quick refresher. Nintendo Japan made the announcement late Friday, revealing what they have dubbed as the new 3DS.

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The biggest changes include:

  • Micro SD slot
  • Addition of a ZR/ZL shoulder button
  • A second, smaller analog stick located on the right side which is more of a nub than a stick
  • Coloured buttons!
  • Improved 3D capabilities better suited for viewing at different angles
  • Improved processor for faster downloading
  • Interchangeable front and back faceplates
  • In-built NFC (Near Field Communication) reader designed to work with upcoming Amiibo figure line
  • Larger LCD screen

You can check out the official video from the Nintendo Direct reveal below:

Read more about it via Nintendo Japan official website, and check out the table for comparison against the existing 3DS and New 3DS.

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The console is currently scheduled to go on sale in Japan on October 11th, 2014, priced at a suggested retail prices of 16,000 yen for the New 3DS and 18,800 yen (prices not including consumption tax) for the New 3DS XL.

If you’re wondering when you can get your hands on one, you won’t be able to during this year at the very least. According to the official press release, there are currently no plans to launch the console in North America or Europe (including PAL region) before the end of the year, and even the latest press release received this morning does not make mention of the new 3DS or any planned release date with Australia or New Zealand.

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For the time being, it looks like we’ll have to make do with our current 3DS and 3DS XL consoles, but at least it’ll give you ample time to save up for what is a major upgrade in the 3DS life-cycle.

What do you think about the New 3DS/3DS XL? Will you be upgrading?

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Close-Up of The Order: 1886 Premium and Collector’s Edition Statues http://www.esperino.com/close-up-of-the-order-1886-premium-and-collectors-edition-statues http://www.esperino.com/close-up-of-the-order-1886-premium-and-collectors-edition-statues#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 05:18:15 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=21939 PlayStation have shown up fresh images of the statues bundled together in The Order: 1886 Premium and Collector’s Edition.

Taking to Twitter, a handful of new images featuring close-ups of these impressive statues highlights the high-level of detail fans can expect should you manage to secure one of these for yourself.

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Unfortunately neither statue is available locally in Australia, so if you’re keen on nabbing yourself one of these impressive collectibles, you may want to try your luck at importing or possibly even Amazon.

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What do you think about the new collectible statues, and will you be pre-ordering either the Limited or Collector’s Edition without the a statue included?

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EB Games Australia Pokemon Omega Ruby Alpha Sapphire Pre-order Bonus; No Steelbook http://www.esperino.com/eb-games-australia-pokemon-omega-ruby-alpha-sapphire-pre-order-bonus-no-steelbook http://www.esperino.com/eb-games-australia-pokemon-omega-ruby-alpha-sapphire-pre-order-bonus-no-steelbook#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 04:55:14 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=21936 EB Games announced over the weekend pre-order bonuses for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.

If you pre-order the upcoming Pokemon titles for the Nintendo 3DS, you’ll also receive a Primal Legendary Pokemon figurine while stocks last.

Those that pre-order Pokemon Omega Ruby will receive a Primal Groudon figurine while those that order Alpha Sapphire will receive a Primal Kyogre figurine. If you want both, you’ll have to pre-order both games. These figurines are exclusive to EB Games in Australia so be sure to pre-order so you don’t miss out.

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Unfortunately the awesome steelbook announced for Europe doesn’t appear to be announced or available through a local retailer at this stage, but I’ll let you know should this change.

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire are due for launch on November 21st, 2014 retailing at $59.95 AUD. Pre-orders can be placed in-store or online via the link.

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Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Limited Edition Steelbook Announced for Europe http://www.esperino.com/pokemon-omega-ruby-and-pokemon-alpha-sapphire-limited-edition-steelbook-announced-for-europe http://www.esperino.com/pokemon-omega-ruby-and-pokemon-alpha-sapphire-limited-edition-steelbook-announced-for-europe#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:48:13 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=21931 Nintendo Europe have revealed the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Limited Edition Steelbook, hitting stores on November 28th, 2014.

The Pokémon Omega Ruby Limited Edition SteelBook and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Limited Edition SteelBook bundle includes a copy of the game, as well as a limited edition Primal Kyogre or Primal Groudon steelbook case (depending on the software you choose), bundled together in the one package.

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The metallic cases display Primal Groudon on the Pokémon Omega Ruby front cover, and Primal Kyogre on the Pokémon Alpha Sapphire front cover. Inside the steelbook, both the Legendary Pokemon are featured on the inside.

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As it stands, european customers can pre-order from GAME and the Official Nintendo UK Store, while stocks last.

Depending on where you pre-order, the following pre-order bonuses are also on offer:

  • Those who pre-order either Pokémon Omega Ruby or Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Limited Edition SteelBook offering via The Official Nintendo UK Store will also receive a Legendary Figurine.Those pre-ordering the Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Limited Edition SteelBook from the Official Nintendo UK Store will receive a miniature representation of Primal Kyogre, whilst those ordering pre-ordering the Pokémon Omega Ruby will receive a miniature representation of Primal Groudon. Both are ideal as collectibles for fans.

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  • Those who pre-order either Pokémon Omega Ruby or Pokémon Alpha Sapphire as a standalone game from GAME will receive one Legendary Figurine of either Primal Groudon (Pokémon Omega Ruby) or Primal Kyogre (Pokémon Alpha Sapphire).
  • Those who pre-order either Pokémon Omega Ruby or Pokémon Alpha Sapphire as a standalone game from ShopTo.net will receive a 2D Keyring of Torchic, one of the three starter Pokémon in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire.

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So far the steelbook limited edition has only been announced for Europe, but it’s still very early days for announcements. More updates to follow as I learn more.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Xbox One Collector’s Edition Now Contains Extra Content http://www.esperino.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-xbox-one-collectors-edition-now-contains-extra-content http://www.esperino.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-xbox-one-collectors-edition-now-contains-extra-content#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 03:45:48 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=21919 CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Collector’s Edition for Xbox One now comes with added content.

Previously revealed and available on multiple platforms, the Xbox One release has taken a leg up with the inclusion of newly announced extras.

One of the new features of The Witcher 3 is Gwent, a card game experience embedded within the game.

The game is about the clash of two armies locked in mortal struggle on a battlefield where the players are the leaders and the cards their forces.

With four different factions offering unique combat styles and endless paths to victory, Gwent is every adventurer’s first choice when it comes to one-on-one card-based dueling. Take risks and think on your feet, strategize and deliver cunning combos, use potent magic and mighty hero cards and be the last one standing on the field of honor!

You can play Gwent out of the game with physical cards now exclusively included in the Xbox One release. In addition, a unique cloth map has also been added to the package.

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The Xbox One Collector’s Edition now includes :

  • The standard edition of the game, containing: the official soundtrack, a beautiful and detailed map of the in-game world, unique stickers, and the developer-created “Witcher Universe – The Compendium”
  • A giant, 33x24x26 cm, 100% hand painted, Polystone figure of Geralt of Rivia battling a Griffin
  • An exclusive, collector grade Witcher medallion
  • A one of a kind SteelBook
  • A two-hundred page artbook, containing breathtaking art from the game
  • A cloth map of the game world
  • Two Gwent card decks
  • Huge outer and inner Collector’s Boxes you can store your Witcher merchandise in!

You’ll still be able to pick up the Collector’s Edition on other platforms and experience Gwent in game, but if you want the cards and cloth map, you may want to consider switching your pre-order over to the Xbox One version.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will release in Australia and New Zealand on the 24th February 2015 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

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Watch 35 minutes of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Gameplay http://www.esperino.com/watch-35-minutes-of-the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-gameplay http://www.esperino.com/watch-35-minutes-of-the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-gameplay#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 03:40:07 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=21917 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is coming in 2015, which seems like a fair way away. If you’re like many The Witcher fans and simply can’t wait, CD Projekt RED have released a 35 minute gameplay demo from the game to excite, and maybe cause a little drooling as well.

Geralt of Rivia has never looked so good, exploring a landscape some realistic and immersive, you may not see your friends and family for days!

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Experience realistic day and night cycles, observe weather changes that influence gameplay, and conquer the lush environment using arcane witcher lore.

Evolve unique witcher skills to tailor gameplay to your liking; hunt bloodthirsty monsters and develop your signature fighting strategies; use potent battle magic, and slay your way to victory in a truly limitless open world.

So now you know why The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was pushed back to 2015, don’t you feel glad they did?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is scheduled to launch in Australia & New Zealand on February 24th, 2015 and will be available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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Gauntlet Release Date Pushed Back, Spawn of Kerthull Pre-order Bonus Added http://www.esperino.com/gauntlet-release-date-pushed-back-spawn-of-kerthull-pre-order-bonus-added http://www.esperino.com/gauntlet-release-date-pushed-back-spawn-of-kerthull-pre-order-bonus-added#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 03:33:54 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=21915 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment of pushed back the release date of Gauntlet to September 24th, 2014 in Australia.

The later release date for the modernised reboot of the classic series will allow the developers extra time to fine-tune the game in order to deliver “gamers an even more robust multiplayer experience.”

Spawn of Kerthull

Gauntlet will still be coming to Steam for Windows PC in 2015. As a thank you (and possibly apology), fans that pre-order the game will now receive an in-game bonus, the Spawn of Kerthull item. This special Wizard’s Robe is made from dead imps, who are children of the greater demon, Kerthull. Gross.

Developer Arrowhead Game Studios have also revealed a new trailer today. Check it out below:

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