Mod Aria’s Most Anticipated August Game Releases!

Mod Aria’s back! It’s that time of the month; where I divulge into some great new upcoming titles for all gamers to check out! We’re still pretty deep into the dry season of gaming, but that certainly does not mean you have to wait for fall to play some awesome new video games!

Let’s see what’s in store:

Game Number 1: Agents of Mayhem 

Agents of Mayhem is a new action adventure game created by the developers and publishers of the Saints Row series. The game is set in a futuristic Korea and is considered a spin-off to the original Saints Row games. Like the Saints Row games, Agents of Mayhem will be an open world experience with a ton of quirk to it.

There are twelve playable unique characters that the player can select to take on the various missions in the game. All have power sets and abilities individual to them, so it’ll be fun to make your own perfect team. However, the characters must be unlocked via completing specific missions. But there is also a campaign for the player to follow, as well as missions for the player to learn more about each playable character. This sounds like Deep Silver’s attempt to make something similar to Overwatch, but possibly a bit more funny.

Honestly, we love the Saints Row games here at NWG, so we have a lot of faith in a spin-off game developed and published by the same team. The game is bound to be quite hilarious as well as interesting. Since the logo for M.A.Y.H.E.M also resembles the Saints Row symbol, I’m certain there are bound to be tons of references to the franchise within Agents of Mayhem. Any Saints Row fan should definitely give this game a chance.

Agents of Mayhem drops for Xbox One, PS4 and PC on August 15th in North America

Game Number 2: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle 

The next large Nintendo title after Splatoon 2, and a game that literally no one could have predicted. Nintendo teams up with unlikely partner Ubisoft to create a fusion of Mario and the popular Rabbids from the Rayman series. What exactly is this game?

Mario Rabbids (as I call it) is a turn based RPG, and is the closest thing we’ve gotten to a traditional Mario RPG in quite some time. The game is also tactical, so using the environment in combat is essential. Mario is also not the only character from his franchise to appear; Yoshi, Peach and Luigi team up with some Rabbids to fix the mess that resulted in the merging of their dimensions. This is certainly not a paragraph I ever thought I would be writing, but after last year, nothing really surprises me anymore.

A fun feature in this game is that it’s got local co-op, which means its a good game for the kids to finish out the summer playing before being carted back to school. If you’re not that young, you might just enjoy the wackiness of Mario meeting the Rabbids. Or maybe you’re waiting for Super Mario Odyssey to come out and you need your Mario fix. Regardless, I definitely think this game is worth a shot. Despite the wary feedback, I usually have faith in Nintendo to produce something great. I’ll give Mario Rabbids the benefit of the doubt for now.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle releases world wide for Nintendo Switch on August 29th.

Game Number 3: Sonic Mania

This is one of the most anticipated games of this year, and for a good reason. Sega has teamed up with indie devs Headcannon and PagodaWest games to celebrate Sonic’s 25th birthday by releasing Sonic Mania, both a remake and a remaster at the same time.

Sonic Mania is a remastered version of the Genesis Sonic titles; these titles are heralded as the best installments that the Sonic franchise ever had. Not only have all the old Sonic games been remastered for current generation consoles, but new stages have been developed for the game as well. It’s quite clear that these games have been giving a lot of care and attention, as the developers were brought onto the project due to their work on fan-made Sonic mods.

The gameplay of the Sonic Genesis titles has been preserved, so there shouldn’t be anything too surprising about the game. There have been some new enemy additions alongside the new levels, and some of the new levels are actually redone levels from previous Sonic games to fit the atmosphere. Many, I’m sure, think that Sonic Mania will be the full revival of the 2D Sonic games, and I cannot say I disagree. In comparison to the mediocrity of the 3D Sonic titles, this is the first Sonic game that I have seen the community actually excited for in so long.

This game along with Sonic Forces, the next 3D Sonic, were both teased last year; I’m uncertain of which one will end up getting a thumbs up from both critics and gamers. While 2D Sonic games are highly praised, will Sonic Mania be able to recapture the magic like so many other companies have tried and failed to do? Will Sonic Forces be yet another disappointment added to the pile of 3D Sonics? Who can say? But I’m very interested to find out what happens.

Sonic Mania releases for Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC on August 15th in North America.

And this list is complete! That’s all for August. Did I get the game you were hyped for, or did I miss it? Let us know which games you’re looking forward to. And please continue to support NWG. Have a great day!

Advertisements

Top 5 Best: Multiplatform Games with Mod Loser!

Hey there, Nasties! It’s Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me. And today, we’re getting into multiplatform games! Third party titles can make or break a system just as much as not having good first party ones can, so let’s all get to the meat of the top 5 Multiplatform Third Party games!

Number 5: Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion

A fantastic RPG for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC gamers, as well as my favorite elder scrolls game of all time. I adored that Oblivion had a heavy emphasis on an extreme amount of quests that actually felt pretty varied with their goals, as well as a lengthy and interesting main plot line.

What always drew me into Oblivion for replay value were quests with multiple endings given the choices you made, a Fame-and-Infamy meter that decided how the people around you viewed your character, and enchantment and spell creation. Making my own spells always felt too good! Most loyal Nasties know that I hate Skyrim, so I think its about time I give Oblivion the love that it deserves.

Number 4: Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight has come to Nintendo Switch, Wii U, Xbox One, Ps4, PC, and Nintendo 3DS, and I absolutely adore the game. I may not have been very good at the first Shovel Knight, but Specter of Torment drew me in moreso than any indie game yet. A perfect mixture of what felt like Castlevania meets Mega Man. The combat was fluid and challenging, while the platforming was fun and fair.

Shovel Knight, Specter Knight, and Plague Knight may be indie games, but what I adore about them is that they have such broad appeal with tight gameplay that it was important to put them on every console possible. I firmly believe that anyone looking for some nostalgic gameplay or just a good action platformer should pick up this game immediately.

Number 3: Mass Effect 2

A game released on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC. Do I honestly need to sing the praises of Mass Effect 2 to anyone? This was, in my opinion, the best Sci-Fi RPG I have ever played in my life, and I thoroughly enjoyed Knights of the Old Republic. Mass Effect two had great controls, had a power system that added flavor to third person shooting, a character creator that was stellar for the era, and fantastic characters.

Mass Effect 2 kept me coming back over and over each time purely because of how much I loved the romance, the characters,and the multiple ways I could end the game. This game wasn’t perfect by any means, which I understand. But to this day, if anybody asks for a Sci-Fi game recommendation, Mass Effect 2 will be the first game I suggest.

Number 2: Dark Souls 3

Released on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. I adore Dark Souls; this isn’t anything new to our fans! I could sing the praises of this game for far too long, but suffice to say it’s a fantastic entry into the souls franchise, and from what I can tell, it has been a great starting point for many people. The story is fantastic and the gameplay tighter than ever, with weapon skills and the FP bar. I also found the DLC to be incredibly enjoyable; however, with the Fire Fades edition, you can now purchase the game together with the DLC. If you want to try a Dark Souls game, now is the time.

Number 1: Dragon Age Inquisition

Released on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. This is, without a doubt, my favorite Western RPG of all time. I could not accurately describe how much I adore Dragon Age Inquisition. With great Queer representation, so many amazing and depthy party members, massive worlds and areas to explore with great quests both side quests and main story, I don’t think I’ll love another western RPG as much as I have loved Dragon Age.

Unfortunately for myself, despite having the DLC, I have yet to play through it all which is a shame. Even so, just the core game was so long and enjoyable and intense; I would recommend this game to just about anybody who likes fantasy RPG’s. From killing dragons to slaying demons, get ready to lead the Inquisition.

Well Nasties, did you enjoy my list? How about you; what are your favorite multiplatform games that have been release? Tell us in the comments below your thoughts. 

This has been Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me, signing off!

Nasty Discussion: Life is Strange: Before the Storm Impressions with Mod Zan!

Hi guys, gals and non-binary pals! It’s Mod Zan, here with an article for your reading pleasure. This time around, I’m going to be talking about my opinion on the announcement of Life is Strange: Before the Storm.  I have many, many reasons and even more mixed feelings on this announcement that I’m looking forward to addressing in the paragraphs below!

If you watched our E3 mashup and read my review of Life is Strange, then you’ll know not only that I played Life is Strange with gusto, but also that I did not mention Before the Storm as my most anticipated game. One of the main reasons for this is because I know that what I and many fans of Life is Strange wanted from the studio was a sequel to try and mend our shattered hearts after the unending suffering that we endured in the final two episodes of the game. I still feel this way even after seeing the announcement trailer because I feel that we deserve a lot more closure than either of the endings to the original game gave us as players.

On that note, Chloe is clearly a fan favorite. I’m no exception to this, but I wonder how the game is going to handle the absence of the Rewind effect, which was integral to the first game when we were playing through as Max. I enjoy the idea of making irreversible decisions, as I do with most role-playing games, and I feel that this might be a good addition to Before the Storm. However, I wonder how the game is going to make sure that this doesn’t leave a gaping hole in gameplay for the players. My hope is that with such a heavy focus on irreversible decisions, the game will have multiple endings that encourage you to replay them.

That being said, I am unsure as to whether or not multiple endings will be possible because the prequel and the somewhat linear nature of the second game limits how many options there are for the story to end. I almost wonder if the game would have been better suited as DLC for Life is Strange, but it is likely too early to make a full judgement. I do predict that the focus will heavily be on Chloe and Rachel’s relationship with one another, with Rachel Amber being the main influencer of the events in Chloe’s life.

I am excited to finally see Rachel Amber in life, as a character that we can fall in love with the same way that we did with Max and Chloe. It will be good to be able to make our own judgments of her character instead of listening to others describe her posthumously. I’m also (as always) a huge fan of games with female protagonists, and since Chloe is already canonically LGBT+, I have high hopes for more women-loving-women content in this game.

On the topic of representation, I do hope that this game will do better with it. There was minimal LGBT+ representation and decent representation for white women; Life is Strange had a lot to be desired in racial representation and cultural appropriation. Ideally, the studio will have included more NPC’s that are POC, and added some major characters in positive roles that are a part of marginalized communities. Even though I was here for the villains in the original game being straight, white, highly privileged men, the rest of the cast also reflected that in ways that didn’t improve the game. We need more characters of color in the cast of all games, and Before the Storm is no exception.

Additionally, I hope that this game puts a little more power back into the hands of the main characters (and by extension, the players). One of the worst things about Life is Strange was the illusion of immeasurable power. Even though that may have been part of the point of the game, it isn’t easy to accept that there is nothing you can do to lessen the pain of an unnecessarily traumatic ending.

One of my main concerns for this game is that it will fall back into the patterns that I disliked in the original game. Granted, I’m not going to pretend that I expect this game to be rainbows and sunshine because we already know what happens to both Chloe and Rachel. However, I feel that there’s a healthy balance in games between sad and happy moments, and I’m hoping that the moments we get to see between Chloe and Rachel will make up for the inevitable tragedy that the end will bring.

Overall, I’m hesitantly excited about the announcement of this game. I hope that it will give some much-needed depth to Chloe and even more so to Rachel Amber, who deserved a lot more than what she got from the developers. I’m ready for the expansion of the universe, and hoping for a little more explanation of said universe as well as its inhabitants.

Though I am disappointed that it’s a prequel, I’m also intrigued as to how the knowledge of the future will affect my way of playing through the game. I think it has a lot of potential, but I don’t want to get my hopes up for fear that it will disappoint me the way that the first game did despite my love for it and its characters.

Thanks for reading this, and if you have expectations, predictions, hopes, or gripes with this game let me know in the comments below! See you next time!

Feminism in Gaming: Jade Empire with Mod Knight!

Hey there, everyone! Mod Knight back with Feminism in Gaming! This time , I’m gonna dive into a game from my youth (that now that I look back on, has it’s ups and downs when it comes to feminism). The game I’m talking about today is Jade Empire, a game by BioWare released in 2007 for the Xbox.

Jade empire follows the story of a martial artist who is tasked with restoring a powerful guardian spirit of the world, the water dragon, in order to protect the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Along the way, the player can fight, talk, and romance their way through a rich cast of unique characters and fun, world building quests! The world of Jade Empire is certainly a vast and nuanced one, especially for it’s time!

Now, with so many characters, there’s a plethora of ways that we can see plenty of interesting representation. One notable feature of the game is that the characters are almost entirely Asian, which is appropriate for the setting. It’s nice to see that level of representation when so often characters from Asian countries and cultures end up getting white-washed.

Also! Not only does the game give us the option of playing as a female character, there are a several  female allies in the game, and each is an extremely interesting and well thought-out character! As well, we are given two options for homosexual romance in the game. However, I do have my issues with this, especially in the male romance with Sky, the only male romanceable character in the game. When the player first courts Sky, he is shown to be somewhat resistant to the idea, understandably needing time to think. This wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t so different from the female version of this romance.

When the two same sex relationships reach their resolution in game, instead of showing the complete scene as they would in the heterosexual versions, the game simply fades to black on the two characters, leaving it up to the player to infer what occurred. Of course, the very idea of having same sex romances at this point was pretty wild in gaming. However, looking back on it, the game treats them strangely, and simply has a difficult time providing satisfying scenes. Luckily, we know that BioWare has improved somewhat since then.

Speaking of romantic relationships, another folly of the game comes in the form of Henpecked Hou, a character whose entire identity is one big joke about how awful marriage is. In fact, the entire reason he stays with the player as a follower is because he finds it preferable to going back home to his wife, and he constantly reminds the player of his “dear wife, who has turned my life into a miserable cesspool devoid of humor and excitement. Bless her soul”, as he puts it.

While Jade Empire certainly has issues, it’s a game that attempted to touch on several serious topics, but may have gone a bit heavy or perhaps too lightly with them. In the end, it was a starting point for a lot of LGBT representation in gaming, and I, for one, am pretty grateful for that! While the problems with it pain me, I still find it to be a very fun and enjoyable game even years later!