Tag Archives: Omega Force

Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom review

If you’ve watched the Attack on Titan anime, then you will most certainly have a few unanswered questions – what was the female Titan’s motive? Who are the Armoured and Colossal Titans? Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom won’t answer these questions but instead allows you to reenact key moments from the anime, finishing at around volume eight of the Manga.

It’s great to see that the game has stuck with the Japanese audio and English subtitles rather than dubbing in English, although at times this can become troublesome. In the heat of battle I had no idea what my teammates were shouting at me – it sounded awesome though.

Entering combat will lock onto a Titan; the right stick selects a body part while X will fire in an anchor. Left stick allows you to move in any three-dimensional direction so you can position yourself so that you have a clear run at striking your target – preferably in the neck – that’s the Titan’s weak spot. Once into position, releasing the Left stick will make your character thrust forward to attack with a well timed strike. Movement is wonderfully simple and once the omni-movement clicks, you’ll soon be manoeuvring around Titans with the greatest of ease – Spider-Man eat your heart out.

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Without spoiling the story for those new to AoT, you also get to play as a Titan – the simple combat is satisfyingly brutal. Powerful attacks are wild but when you are as big as a Titan you needn’t worry about finesse. It’s great and has an immense wow factor for those who are familiar with the fiction.

Whether Titan or man, your greatest enemy is the camera. Crashing into the environment or preventing you from lining up a strike, the camera infuriates beyond belief. It can make the combat feel clumsy and that there’s more luck involved with hitting your target rather than precision. In fact, there’s a great deal of precision; targeting and chopping at Titans’ ankles and limbs before finishing them off with a slice to the naves off their necks rewards you with precious materials that can be used to upgrade your equipment, so it pays not to be too hasty in dispatching each Titan, and indeed well-planned and executed attacks facilitates this.

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Levels are setup just like a Dynasty Warriors game. You can refill supplies at key points on the map, assisting other soldiers and have them join your team or help in the overall campaign by taking down dozens of Titans before facing a final, tougher enemy. This wrapped up in an AoT skin works extremely well but it can get repetitive. There is only so much Titan slaying you can do.

There’s also minimal danger to your character, meaning you can fly through the air and feel like the ultimate badass while felling Titan after Titan. However, fans will love the experience and newcomers might become so engrossed in the story, thanks to excellent pacing with attractive cutscenes throughout the campaign, that this might not be such an issue, but ultimately the combat never strays too far from target a limb and cut it off. At times Titans will also glitch into and over buildings, which makes them harder to lock onto and it looks kind of stupid.

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All the main characters from the series are present, most of whom you can interact with between missions at camp. Each playable character has different strengths, weaknesses and skills and is available at set points during the campaign. Once unlocked, they can also be selected in the game’s multiplayer Expedition mode, which places you on patrol duty, scouting the area and keeping the remaining walls safe from Titan attacks

Naturally there’s character progression. Levelling a character allows new skills to be learned and unlocks new equipment that can in turn be developed to make it stronger, faster and more efficient – playing through the Expedition mode is essential if you want to increase each character’s skill set.

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Omega Force and Attack on Titan is a great mix. Bringing their Dynasty Warriors flair to the world dreamt up by Hajime Isayama, it’s the perfect combination. The game looks incredible, like it’s been lifted right out of the anime. The soundtrack is stunning with music to suit each situation – fitting both the style of the series while bringing that signature beat that Omega Force are renown for. The gore is spot on. The combat feels right and the movement of the Vertical Manoeuvring Equipment is splendid; Omega Force really has nailed the tone of the series.

Thanks to Xbox and KOEI TECMO for supporting TiX

Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires review

The Dynasty Warriors series revels in its adrenaline fuelled, hack ‘n slash, arcade action. Large battlefields act as your playground to brutally and spectacularly stab, slice, smack and subdue hundreds of on-screen enemies. It’s a very pleasant and satisfying experience. You wield unparalleled power and can decimate troves of enemies with a single swing. Add to that the over the top special moves and magical techniques and the whole thing turns into a wonderful spectacle based on the unification of China in the second century BC.

The Dynasty Warriors Empires spin-offs take this same hack ‘n slash experience but adds a layer of big-picture strategy to it, incorporating more mechanics, thought, and customisation, to expand the concept beyond mindless combat. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, many prefer the more simplistic experience, but if you’re itching for a more personalised and immersive genocide simulator, the Empires versions are certainly worth a try.

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Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires is Omega Force’s latest entry, however, the Warrior titles are frequently criticised for their repetitive nature and lack of evolution: does this one finally do enough to shake that reputation? Unfortunately it doesn’t.  Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires certainly makes some smart changes over its predecessor but the experience remains much the same.

The primary mode follows the adventure of your chosen character, or custom-built character, as you join a ruler, or rise up against one and attempt to bring China under the rule of a single kingdom. Both historical and fictional scenarios crop up and challenge you to strategically plan your invasions, raids and missions, purchase and train troops, build facilities and obtain goods and gold. Then, of course, are the battle themselves, which sees you take to the battlefield with your forces and generals and hack ‘n slash your way through countless soldiers and enemy generals and commanders, to control points on a map, defend the ones you have and conquer specific individuals.

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Indeed then it’s a game of two halves: the battlefield combat and the strategic ruling, each offering drastically different experiences that pair together surprisingly well. The combat is fast paced and immediate, while the strategic planning and crafting of your kingdom is much slower and drawn-out. The result makes for some interesting and compelling scenarios. For instance, you may have a high enough rank to organise your own raids of territories, weakening them ready for an invasion force, but your ruler may have other ideas and invade somewhere you hadn’t expected, throwing you into a difficult battle that could have been made significantly easier if you’d softened it up instead.

The strategy portion is also highly varied. Your rank determines what you have influence over and what option you can choose between battles. A low rank limits you to following orders from your ruler and their generals, and fighting in battles. Meanwhile, a high rank will allow you to influence your ruler’s strategy, keep you own forces and perform raids independently and also get more involved with the politics of your kingdom. You can also take control of kingdoms and become the ruler, giving you ultimate power. Furthermore, you can complete missions for generals to increase your friendship with them, help with diplomatic relations and even marry and have a child to further manipulate alliances. With all these options and decisions you can make within a campaign, you can create a highly personalised narrative for yourself and experience something very different every time you play.

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The combat is far more predictable, but undeniably a lot of fun, initially at least. It does still suffer from repetition, with battles, regardless of objective, all coming down to hacking up the troves of enemies and their key commanders, but Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires makes a few good changes to help alleviate this. Stratagems can now be earned and unleashed on the battlefield, these cards offer things like random lightning strikes against enemies, or wave after wave of incoming arrows. You can even change the weather with some stratagems, which can improve or limit the usefulness of others.

Additionally the fame system from the previous game has been replaced with a traditional levelling system, so your character improves linearly and doesn’t fluctuate like before. And defence battles now require you to protect your points on the map for 5 minutes rather than the previous 15, making them far less tedious. However, the biggest change to the combat side is the different default weapons and move-sets for the characters. There’s been a reshuffling that will give veterans new techniques to master for their favourite characters, a move that is likely to displease more than delight the fan-base.

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Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires hasn’t changed much from its previous iteration but the changes and new additions do improve the experience for the most part. Things like the new customisation options for your horse, banner and troops are great for personalising your experience, but unfortunately poor visuals with low detail, ugly textures and objects/enemies popping into existence, are off-putting and disappointing. However, the series has never been visually stunning and a smooth, fast frame rate despite the hive of on-screen activity is perhaps worth the visual banality. And It is still fun but if the strategy aspect doesn’t appeal to you then the fun is going to dry up fast. Otherwise it’s another good but predictable entry in a series that hasn’t evolved enough.

Thanks to Tecmo Koei for supplying TiX with a download code

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Bladestorm: Nightmare demo incoming

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Koei Tecmo, developers of such titles as Dead or Alive 5, have announced today the release of a sneak demo of their upcoming fighting strategy and sequel to Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War, Bladestorm: Nightmare.

This is in anticipation of the now tardy release date of March the 20th, pushed back a little from the original March 6th in Europe. Instead, Bladestorm: Nightmare will allow users to gain experience with an early March demo, enabling players that little extra time in mastering the flow of battle during a mission. The demo will include a battle tutorial, a variety of troops to lead, squad attack actions and different weapons to try out.

To sweeten this already fairly sweet deal, Koei have revealed that pre-orders placed through Game will receive a dragon mask and staff item set as bonus content.

Bladestorm: Nightmare is set and inspired by battles of the Hundred Years’ War era, between 1337 and 1453 for you history boffins, and is inspired by recorded real-life events of the time. It will include a special Nightmare mode also, where the English and French join forces, nightmare enough for some, I’m sure, but add to that the fact that they’ll have to fight an array of mythical monsters, it should make it enough of a challenge for anyone.

Bladestorm: Nightmare is currently scheduled for release on the 20th of March.

Here’s a little something to get you in the mood.