Massively multiplayer online RPG publisher NCSoft is moving into the battle arena genre with its latest project, Master X Master. Developed by NCSoft’s lead studio in Seoul, South Korea, the new game takes the popular MOBA gameplay from titles like League of Legends and Dota 2 and combines it with dungeon crawler mechanics borrowed from games like Diablo 3.

Master X Master has gone through a series of betas in Korea, but NCSoft revealed at an event earlier this month that the game will be coming to North America and Europe in the second half of 2016.

NCSoft calls Master X Master an “action MOBA,” because it features full control over a character’s movement, including dodging and jumping, unlike traditional point-and-click-based MOBAs. It also introduces a unique tag-team system to the genre, where players pick two masters to control for each match and can swap between them on the fly.

NCSoft says that this Dual Master system provides unique strategies, such as initiating a fight with a melee tank character and then swapping to an assassin to burst damage. However, players have to wait 10 seconds between swapping, forcing them to choose the right time between changes.

The Dual Master system also stands in place of item systems in traditional MOBAs. There will be no in-match item shop that players need to return to or purchase items from throughout each match.

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In addition to the player-versus-player match-ups, Master X Master will include a more fleshed out single-player and cooperative player-versus-environment mode. In most MOBAs, single-player is relegated to skirmish matches against AI-controlled opponents; in Master X Master, players will be able to team up in special PvE maps that play out sort of like dungeons in traditional action RPGs.

The PvE mode will include its own loot drops and gear progression to help characters get more powerful. In order to keep things balanced, this gear will not carry over to PvP. Each PvE map will end in a challenging boss fight, and new dungeons and boss encounters will be introduced throughout the game’s lifespan.

At its current stage, Master X Master features 30 playable characters. Some of these characters are unique to the game, but many have been pulled from other popular NCSoft titles. That list includes Rytlock from Guild Wars 2, Mondo Zax from Wildstar and Jinsoyun from Blade and Soul, as well as characters from Aion and Lineage 2. More characters will be added to the lineup before and after launch.

Though it seems set up strongly for a free-to-play formula, NCSoft is not yet commenting on the business model for Master X Master. The game will launch in North America and Europe later this year.

d Master X Master, NCSoft’s MOBA/dungeon crawler hybrid, is headed west from Polygon.com

 

Get a better idea of the game. Check out the video.

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Today smartphones come in larger sizes and you can go out and buy a tablet which will have larger size screens but at times there are trade-offs depending on which tablet you buy.  There are also the large following of people who have discovered the Android Emulator. I feel as if I have to back up a little bit to explain what this is and it starts with the word emulator. In this context an emulator is hardware or software that enables one computer system (the host) to behave like another computer system (the guest). Emulators are typically used for running software and games from another system. To make it more clear I can play Playstation games on my computer by installing an emulator. Next step in this definition is an AVD (Android Virtual Device) which by definition is an emulator configuration that lets you model an actual device by defining hardware and software options to be emulated by the Android Emulator. So AVD is a set of settings (basically). In the Android world we have many different Android phones that run several different versions of Android as well as several different graphical overlays (all those icons that you tap on); and, different hardware. So it is possible to create an emulator that can behave just like the phone you bought, whichever phone you have.

I hope that was clear for you and I will be discussing mostly about an Android emulator called Bluestacks who have come a long way since its start in 2011, which was known for being one of the first ways to run Android apps on your Windows computer.  Bluestacks is on version 2 now, the latest version of its platform with one big upgrade: the ability to run more than one Android app at the same time. This sounds really cool to me and I will have to put it more through its paces but I can see it adds a tab interface for jumping between several Android apps. It looks a lot like a web browser and Bluestacks 2 can also play mobile ads in separate tabs on click, which is a better idea to keep the ads from interrupting your game. Bluestacks company-wise says it’s reached more than 109 million downloads, with users running more than 1.1 billion Android apps every month. Bluestacks now has the 7th largest Android user base in the world, which is more than Xiaomi and Sony. (According to data from the research firm Gartner.)

Are you a PC gamer interested in playing mobile games? Are you a mobile gamer with the need for a larger screen? Android emulators  may just be the thing for you. I will also add there is another big Android emulator that also works well. It is called Andyroid, which tends to be more for the overall Android user that may not need the functionality for gaming per say. You do have to try both out to see which one you like better or which works better for you because from my experience they do come at times with issues. Both companies though give you ways to ask questions in getting those issues worked out. Oh before I go I will add in that some game creators are adding in security software into their games that block these emulators due to some using them to hack those games with the intention of getting harder to acquire items and content. (Someone always has to mess things up for everyone right?)

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When I first got wind of the game I was just looking for ninja images on google and pictures of this game came up. Now I didn’t know at first. I thought they were just images such as you would see on Deviantart.com but then I realize that these images were of a game. I was curious and so I looked further into the game and found a trailer of sorts. This trailer was actually the prologue of the game.

 

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Seeing this prologue had my attention even more so I went and got it. After playing the game further Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z’s hero, seemed more of an Antihero…lol. The game is a hack-and-slash game with an unlikable star (Well depening on you of course. I’m sure some people will like him.) that has, well, its own sense of humor. There are numerous reviews of the game that talk it down stating for the most part that it is crass, stupid and not really funny. The characters in the game, their speech is rather naive. The game id full of profanity and sexual humor which can be appealing (actually these type of games do sell more), and games like South Park: The Stick of Truth and MadWorld delight in their lewdness with great success. Ninja Gaiden Z’s profanity and licentious imagery wants you to laugh. I was playing the game and caught a little laugh at this part here:

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Yaiba Kamikaze

Yaiba who is very rough around the edges is pursuing his revenge against Ninja Gaiden star Ryu Hayabusa. Miss Monday, whose primary character traits are her monumental breasts which the game makes sure you see, is Yaiba’s guide in the game. Alarico “Rico” del Gonzo is the eccentric leader of Forge Industries, the company that revived and rebuilt Yaiba. My memory fails me at time and there was something mentioned regarding Gonzo that I copied “After six years of holding our dicks in our hands, finally that Spanish knobhead Del Gonzo authorized some action,” and get this later makes mention of his “blood-boner.” I like the comic-book art style and the initial gore are enough to inspire a momentary blood-boner, but sadly, the lacking dialogue is not the game’s biggest problem.

The action itself at times is a problem and leads me to believe that maybe Comcept and Spark Unlimited released it too soon. You know, it’s seem unfinished such as a beta release of a game would be. As cyberninja Yaiba Kamikaze, you fight through cartoon zombies using your sword, your metal fist, your flail, and once in awhile weapons that killed enemies drop, like a rocket launcher or electrified nunchuks. The action is satisfying. It is a button mashing type of game where just about every button press you get blood splattering all over your screen. Pretty cool actually. I liked watching the executions.

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Mechannibal

The flail gives the combat a God of War feel, is useful for getting through large numbers of zombies at once. The flail doesn’t do a lot of damage but its appeal is its ability to allow you to make surrounding foes simultaneously vulnerable setting you up to make those gory executions that I like. You can make the executions one after another the push of a button when one execution pauses to move on to another. Watching the zombie heads fly into the air is and undead bodies being split in half at the torso are very cool and enjoyable. They make the game fun actually. As in any game they get sort of boring to watch but you can improve Yaiba as you go along in the game. Performing executions are also neccessary because doing them rewards you with red cubes that replenish your health.

The camera is a frequent problem, you are forced at times to move around and fight off unseen enemies without a good view of your surroundings. Jumping around across different thresholds while in combat gets annoying at times. It was really annoying fighting a mechanical boss that acts like a dog. The thing is huge and ends up blocking view of Yaiba, especially when you dash around behind it hidding you from view. I found myself dashing under it through its legs only to get slammed on cause I kept getting stuck under it. Unsure why at times, either the legs are in the way or something else that I just could not see. Dashing in the correct direction took some figuring especially when the thing turns around on you looking for you so you have to dash out in the right direction. That freaking thing shows up more often in the game which was annoying. This also moves me into my next point.

electric infected zombie

The level of difficulty, there are numerous foes some fling fire, some that sizzle with electricity, and some that puke bile in your direction but Ninja Gaiden Z takes the old school approach to adding difficulty to a game by throwing increasing numbers of these enemies into the arena and introducing old foes into the mix. The enemies too while fighting come off of with random cheap shots all the time that seem impossible to avoid I saying, blocking and countering certain attacks is possible, but it does not always work due to how quickly and randomly this mess plays out onscreen.

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Ninja Gaiden Z’s has a chemistry thing going to it which can cause more frustration. The flames of a holy roaster and biological spew of a blister sister cause interactions. The chemistry is okay at times like when you use it to solve the game’s mild puzzles, but there is a part in the game where you use static electricity to help eliminate some foes (I guess….they seemed to die quicker once I figured that out.) from the lightning storms that ignite when fire and lightning meet are more hazardous than the threats they alleviate. I walked into one and found that out. My first though due to the game’s notification was to walk into them but then I thought oh he is a cyborg that may not be the best idea. Some website said “Death is a frustration and not a teaching tool” but it just matters on the player really. I will say this though, the game’s main method of healing (execution health drops) is unreliable. The prompts to execute enemies might appear do appear but are a bit hard to catch. Yaiba though moves so fast and this makes them hard to catch. I found myself spamming the execution button while fighting through the zombies so I can catch the opportunities to execute. While some reviews found this as part of the game’s flaws while I just see it as one of those things you see on all fast-pace games.

Ninja Gaiden Z almost impairs itself in a way. The executions are satisfying but each chained execution is visually distinct leaving no connection to the others. They are basically like watching a video clip than showing off those ninja skills of the player. Ninja Gaiden Z’s parkour sequences are diminished I would say compared to the actual Ninja Gaiden game. I remember playing Ninja Gaiden and jumping was also a skill you had to learn but instead in Ninja Gaiden Z they jumping requires timing and the hitting the right button. Some parts though remind me of Ninja Gaiden. The jumps requiring at times what to look for so you know the right button to hit while the camera angle messes you up at times causing more deaths.

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Keeping that “blood-boner” up maybe hard (lol) to do with the game’s annoyances but overall it is still fun to play. I wish the game had been out of the beta stage before they released it but, hey, what can you do? Do a review. I got a kick out of Yaiba and his vulgar attitude and the game’s sutle jokes. I read several reviews on the game and I concur somewhat with all of them but I also think having Ninja Gaiden in the name places a standard on it that it was not meant to accomplish. It’s like a phone having Windows name attached to it. Due to the old Windows Mobile and how it performed it had a bad taste to it so the now new Windows Phones that come out have to overcome that stigma even though Windows Phone now is a good phone O.S.. I do wish though Ninja Gaiden Z’s style had been applied to a better foundation or at least just put more work into it then bring it out. The original price tag of $60 I think was a bit high but then again probably necessary having the Ninja Gaiden name to it, not to mention Ryu makes an appearance in game. (Extra bills to pay to the original makers of Ninja Gaiden series)

Do you like the smell of gunpowder after a battle? Just what does victory taste like? For all of you Killzone: Shadow Fall players the smell and taste might not be what you expected. That is if you pickup the latest DLC.  Killzone: Shadow Fall’s new “Fun & Games Spotlight Pack” bring with it new “Fart, Planking & Comedy spotlight moves”, allowing you to taunt your opponents with a dose of flatulence.  Remember to keep you mouth closed during these battles.

The pack costs $1.99

Fun & Games Spotlight Pack

This seems to be the new thing now adding little things to add a little humor to enhance the games we play.  Now you can destroy an opponent and fart over their dead corp or even listen Snoop Dog as you play. (Will throw in some info on this at a later date. So keep check the site.)