Vampin' Gamer Statesboro

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When everything started, I met my friend Lee.

When everything started, I met my friend Lee.

(via r3dvader)

// Review: Excellent beta release for hybrid ‘Destiny’//

Probably one of the biggest titles to be released this year, “Destiny” had gamers glued to their consoles during its beta release. Developer Bungie and publisher Activision are no strangers to huge, successful video games and “Destiny” looks to be just that. The beta will officially be released on September 9 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

“Destiny” is a game set seven hundred years into the future of a post-apocalyptic world. After a period of peace, exploration and technological advancement known as the Golden Age, mankind was almost totally wiped out by an evil force. The player assumes the role of one of the last defenders of the human race: a Guardian of the City.

Guardians are divided into three different races: Humans, Awoken and Exo. Players also have to choose a class to go alongside their race. The Titan class favors heavy weapons and strong melee attacks. Hunters are a reconnaissance-based class meant to be similar to bounty hunters. The final class, Warlocks, is a wizard-based class similar to Jedi which possesses special powers combined with weapons. Each player is accompanied by a robot A.I., voiced by Peter Dinklage, called a Ghost.

“Destiny,” like many games now, is a hybrid of several genres and can’t be limited to just one. The game has first-person shooter affinities as well as RPG (roleplaying game) and MMO (massively multiplayer online) elements. Players will find themselves in a world with other online players with whom they can team up at the click of a button. Players can, of course, form teams with their friends or even do things solo. They can also engage in PVP (player versus player) and battle it out with one another.

Unlike other betas, “Destiny” is polished and full of deep story and stunning cinematics. The beta includes six single-player maps and each one can be tackled by 1 – 3 players. Missions vary from minutes to up to an hour of playtime. There are also three PVP maps where gamers can battle in six versus six players. However, players will be limited to a level cap of 8 in the beta.

Since it’s still in beta, it’s difficult to give a rating to “Destiny.” However, even in its current development, “Destiny” stands above and beyond many final-version games on the market today.

Read it on Connect Statesboro

// Review: Old game, new tricks: ‘Super Mario Bros. U’//

Reminiscent of “Super Mario World” on the SNES, Nintendo has released the “New Super Mario Bros. U” on the WiiU console. Challenging levels, lots of secrets and all-new controls have turned the old-school 2D video game experience into an entertaining experience on a next-gen level.

If not for my girlfriend wanting to play “New Super Mario Bros. U,” I would have missed out on an enjoyable video game. Although it’s a 2D side scrolling game, “New Super Mario Bros. U” introduces a huge map that splits the world up into zones rather than a linear set of levels.


As always, Bowser and his family of Koopalings kidnap Princess Peach, leaving Mario, Luigi and two Toads to rescue her. The objective of each stage is to reach the goal flag at the end of each level while avoiding enemies and hazards and collecting coins and items.

The level of difficulty gradually increases the closer you get to the final boss level. Up to five players can participate simultaneously: four as players with the Wii remotes and the fifth with the Wii GamePad, which allows the player to interact with the environment to help or hinder the other players.


The graphics, music and sound are spot-on and totally fitting, as with all Mario games. Power-up items return and some new ones are introduced, such as the flying squirrel suit. To add to the entertainment and replay value, Nintendo has added tons of secrets and game modes for players to enjoy. I really couldn’t find any negatives with the game and that’s probably because of the many years Nintendo has spent crafting the “Super Mario Bros.” world.

Although “New Super Mario Bros. U” doesn’t take many risks with new concepts and design, this 2D game can compete with any new title released today. With exceptional level designs and a superb difficulty curve, “New Super Mario Bros. U” is a must-play for all gamers. The classic Mario elements make for a superior gaming experience amongst a vacant video gaming quarter before the holiday rush.

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// Review: Unfinished indie game, Unturned, taking Steam by storm//

An indie game created by a 16-year-old game developer named Nelson Sexton — but more widely known by his alias, Greg Stevens — is taking the Steam market by storm. Nelson’s game “Unturned” is among the most popular new games found on Steam, and it’s still in development.

“Unturned” has been pre-released to the public while it’s still being developed, yet it has found great success because the PC gaming community has supported it. The game is a survival game that takes place during an unknown apocalyptic event, where most of humanity has been wiped out and zombies have taken their place. Players take control of the lone survivors as they gather supplies and live off the land while defending themselves against other bandit players, zombies and radiation poisoning.

The game’s visuals are similar to the hit game “Minecraft,” but the gameplay has a lot more to it. Although the visuals and sounds may be quite simple, the gameplay has a deep crafting and weapons system. There are tons of items scattered throughout the world’s map for players to scavenge. Players will have to monitor their health, hunger, thirst, radiation levels and stamina. “Unturned” supports both single and multiplayer options.

Since the game is still in development and released as an early access version, “Unturned” is very rough. Multiplayer isn’t supported by Steam’s servers currently and players have to either port forward or use third-party options to connect to one another. Also, like “Minecraft,” players are thrown into the game without any directions on how to craft items, which may frustrate some newcomers.

Although the game is early access, reaching the Number 3 spot on Steam in just three days is a testament. Very few games accomplish this feat and it shows how fun and entertaining “Unturned” can be, even in an unfinished version. Hopefully the final version of this game can come out this year. Until then, gamers can check out a free-to-play early access version on Steam.

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// Review: ‘Guacamelee!’ delivers old-school experience//

Popular during the 80s and 90s, side-scrolling action games seem to be making a comeback. DrinkBox Studios has developed an action platform video game to add to this comeback called “Guacamelee!” Drawing inspiration from traditional Mexican culture and folklore, “Guacamelee!” is an open-world action game that delivers an experience similar to the old-school “Metroid” video games.

Exploring a nonlinear map, players take on the role of Juan Aguacate in a small village in Mexico. After a harrowing battle with the evil Carlos Calaca, Juan is given a mysterious mask from a luchador named Tostado. The mask transforms Juan into a great luchador with significant powers and the ability to save his love, El Presidente’s daughter.

“Guacamelee!” has stylized graphics that work well with the characters and locations. Also, the Mexican-themed soundtrack works very well with the game. The open-ended nonlinear map makes for a great experience and is one of the better features of the game. Players will find an assortment of basic punches and kicks that are complimented with tons of unlockable skills. The game has RPG-like elements to unlock new skills, more health and stamina, which are bought with coins collected. Also, later in the game, players unlock a living/dead split skill that allows Juan to move between the living and dead world. It adds an interesting dynamic that is required to solve the many puzzles throughout the game.

There aren’t many negatives to be found in this game, but my biggest complaint is how short it is. The game can easily be completed in one five- or six-hour sitting. Because the game is so good, this amount of time seemed entirely too short for me. Also, some of the puzzles may seem a bit confusing and take some time to figure out.

With great character designs and a non-linear world that encourages exploration, “Guacamelee!” proves that the side-scrolling game genre is very much alive. An imaginative, amusing storyline will keep gamers engaged and laughing throughout the playthrough. And because this game won’t hurt the wallet (free for Xbox One users with a Gold account), “Guacamelee!” is an amazing title to add to your action platform game collection.

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// Review: Nintendo does it again with ‘Mario Kart 8’//

Nintendo has done it again with the entertaining kart-racing game “Mario Kart 8.” The eighth main installment in the series and 11th overall in the franchise, “Mario Kart 8” sold 1.2 million copies within the first four days of release and 2 million copies in the first month, according to Nintendo.

Like the previous installments, “Mario Kart 8” continues with the same enjoyable gameplay that allows players to choose characters from the Mario universe to compete in go-kart racing. While racing, players can attempt to hinder their opponents or improve their performance using items found inside boxes that are thrown across the race course. In addition to go-karts, there are motorbikes with which to compete in a 12-player competition. Some updated features found in “Mario Kart 8” include antigravity racing, new characters and new items inside the boxes. The game also supports online multiplayer mode with friends or strangers, both regionally and worldwide.

With 16 new additions to the tracks, “Mario Kart 8” is cool and exhilarating to play. The new art style suits the game very well and has very good visuals for next-generation consoles, even outside of the Wii U. There are tons of unlockables, including characters, vehicle customizations and more. Also new to the game is Mario Kart TV, which allows the player to record, edit and save highlights to share online or upload to YouTube.

The biggest letdown with “Mario Kart 8” is Nintendo’s failure to bring back the highly popular battle track mode in which players could battle in an item fight instead of racing. Hopefully, Nintendo will decide to bring it back in a future DLC update. Outside of this, the game seems to be a strong hallmark of excellence.

With stunning visuals and excellent track design, Nintendo has another massive hit that will keep gamers entertained for hours with “Mario Kart 8.” Adding new features to an already solid video game, the newest title in the “Mario Kart” series is a great, family friendly game that will deliver many hours of amusement.

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