Sunnyvale, Calif. – October, 2015 – Game developer Swan Interactive, in collaboration with Kick9 - a global game publisher of mobile content - announced today that its internationally acclaimed mobile ARPG (Action Role Playing Game) Avalon Legends is now available for download across mobile platforms in the West. Originally published in China with over 5 million downloads across the globe, Avalon Legends brought all new innovations to the genre, and today’s launch brings it to North American players for the first time.
December, 1947, Los Angeles. Rain had been trying to scrub the city clean for a week, but sometimes I think Noah’s flood wouldn’t be enough to do this town justice. I was sitting in my darkened office, taking the last drag off a heater down to its filter, too broke to buy a new pack or pay the bill to turn on the lights, but that didn't matter. Not for a private detective sitting across the desk from lovely Lola LaSalle, a dame with all the right curves, and all the wrong reasons for coming to a guy like me. A sweet country girl, Lola, or she had been before the dreams of rising stardom she followed west from Iowa fell under the weight of Hollywood’s millstone. I could see the story in her watery blue eyes, grim as the downpour outside in that baby-doll face, as she told me all about her roommate that had gone missing last night. I’d heard her story a hundred times before… after all, her story, and others like it, are the only reason a gumshoe like me can make it in L.A. Noire…
Playing shooters can be a mixed blessing, sometimes. Both first and third person based shooters share certain elements, and the overall structure from one game to the next is usually fairly similar. Some people call that repetitive and boring. For myself, I’m usually more concerned with the level design, game balance and playability than I am with structural similarities. Two games can be similar but feel and play completely differently with a little work on the part of the developer. One way in particular to make a shooter feel different is to add a tactical element to the game play, so that rather than just dealing with your own character, you can also direct and position allied forces in order to create crossfires, ambushes and in general just even the odds a bit. SOCOM 4 is an example of one such tactical shooter, and is the game I’m taking a look at today.
So, couple years back, Valve put out this strange little orange box which contained a couple minor little titles. Y’know, no-name stuff like Team Fortress 2, three flavors of Half-Life 2, and a little flea-speck that absolutely NOBODY noticed… called Portal. That particular utterly obscure title that I’m sure nobody other than me has ever heard of was based around a simple concept. You’ve got a gun. It does exactly one thing: make holes. Not bullet holes, like most guns. No, this little thing punches right through the fabric of reality and pokes through to another hole nearby. If you were extremely lucky, you might even have found the upgrade that let it make two different colored holes that always connected to each other! But hey, what good is a hole through reality to a gamer like you, I mean, it’s not like you could somehow use them to solve tests or anything, right…? Well, four million sales of Portal later, Valve’s released the highly anticipated sequel to that completely inconsequential little game, named… Portal 2.
Once upon a time, there was a young boy playing in his room, keeping the loneliness at bay; trying to hold back the gloom…
Where upon four mischievous rats, with their eyes that bulged and their claws that scratched, stole his toys with a speed, though he tried, the he could not hope to match.
Running and scurrying about, they lead the boy out; a merry chase so full of haste…deep into the forests of yore and doubt.
There within a tree, now a stump, he finds a crown…he puts it on, then looks around…
Seeing now that on this day, somehow, some way, he is king of this merry land…filled only at the moment with his advisors, jokers, and knaves.
"This should not stand, this should not be," cried as one; his advisors three. "We need carpenters, soldiers, farmers, and people! Not these lumps of lard and carefree sheeple!"
"And when we get them, and amass our army," said the old one, malicious and smarmy, "The world shall be min…err…OURS…and it'll be a helluva party!"
The Little King thought this over; head bowed and back bow over. It sounded good, it really did. Perhaps with a Princess or two…or even Seven instead.
For this, he did as he must, for all were giving of the deepest of trust; however his brow often furrowed, his mind started clouding with a worrying rust.
Because the signs and portents found in travels and news, with a sea that sighed and an earth shaking booms, told him that unless he could find a way to decipher these clues, the world as he knew it was totally doomed.
Hey, at least it's a dry heat, right?
Well, some people would say that's where I belong anyway, but this time around you're invited to join Batman as he returns his favorite mass-murdering psychopath to his ha-ha-hacienda yet again. And hey, even I'm not crazy enough to turn down the Joker's invitation to join the party! Besides, never know if you might find out you have a natural immunity to Poison Ivy, right? Only way to find out is by getting yourself committed to Arkham Asylum.
Armageddon, the final battle between Heaven, Hell, and Earth in which the fate of creation shall be decided, has come. Streaking to the ground in balls of living fire, the armies of Heaven and Hell lay waste to the Earth and its people, who are not yet strong enough to withstand such an onslaught. Enter into this conflict the awesome visage of War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, there to bring order to the conflict; only to find out that the Earth was not ready, his fellow Horsemen not present, and the final seventh seal was not broken. Recalled by the Charred Council and accused of starting the final conflict prematurely, War is stripped of most of his power, and given the chance to clear his name after being sent back to Earth. There he finds nearly a century has passed and the humans all dead leaving the demonic hordes to run rampant over the ruins of a shattered world. It's going to be a Helluva trip; time to saddle up, lock and load, and show everyone the why for and the whatnot, because they just pissed off the wrong mother fucker.
Dark times have come to the nation of Fereldan. Having recently freed itself from a century of occupation by a neighboring country, now a new, ancient threat has begun to move in the southern reaches of her lands. The darkspawn, a twisted mockery of life created when the mages of old attempted to breach the Maker's city, are rising. So evil that just being splattered by their blood can be enough to corrupt you and turn you into one of them when it doesn't just kill you, they are legion – and man alone is not enough to fight them. Enter the Gray Wardens, an order of heroes who appeared when all hope seemed lost during the first invasion by the darkspawn so long ago. Men and women of all race and creed, immune to the taint, and gifted with unheard of strength and power and... Oh, sod it, we've heard this story before, let's just get on with the review.
Y'know, I've been noticing something strange lately out where I live… Just something weird, and I'm pretty sure if I could get a good look at it, it wouldn't look good. Hell, I think it's even fair to say that I've been seeing things, and not just in my head. Thought for sure there was something invisible in my bed last night, at least until my cat scrambled out from under the covers she'd been curled up under. I tell you, I just don't know who I should call… Anybody have any ideas?