Oculin, known in the realm of the living as Benjamin Toy Yoder, is a college student majoring in journalism and professional writing. He likes to pretend to be a vidjya game journalist and, at the very least, has successfully tricked a few people into believing him, landing him gigs at VGChartz, Classic Game Room Empire and TheSpeedGamers.
Digging for gems in unknown or poorly received titles is what Oculin games for. He places a large emphasis on entertainment, rather than just polish. He also has an unhealthy interest in rather strange and creepy Japanese games, like Dream C Club.
Animu, visual novels and mango are also hobbies of Oculin, although he is incredibly picky and very rarely takes recommendations.
In short, Oculin is a weeaboo in denial.
Oculin wrote his first review in 2008 and has been writing video game related content ever since, including reviews, news stories, editorials and more. He started working at Default Prime and TheSpeedGamers (volunteer) as a news blogger and video game reviewer in 2009. He was promoted to editor-in-chief of TheSpeedGamers (volunteer) in 2010, which he finally left in early 2012. Throughout 2011, he worked as a contributor for both Classic Game Room Empire (volunteer) and VGChartz' gamrFeed.
I don't have much to say about Dishonored.(What a attention grabbing first sentence!) Part of that is due to playing it almost three months after release, and partly because, despite being a new I.P., there's not much really going on with the title. Dishonored is your typical stealth action adventure game, and it forces that significantly early on, which can be an issue if that's not an enjoyable play style for you. However, thanks to having a variety of powers that are geared towards different styles of play, your character's stats and abilities start opening up after the first few hours.
Outside of character progression, quality voice acting and a striking visual style, the game is fairly bland. Most of what the title offers we’ve seen plenty of times before in this generation from releases like Assassin's Creed, Mirror's Edge and BioShock. Is that bad? Not at all. The title is well polished and does a great job integrating aspects from various titles into a single game. But instead of blending these elements to make something that feels new or different, it feels like it's just stitched together with each piece acting on its own. The fact that it's a new I.P. is almost just a novelty, acting as a new shell for these old experiences.
However, it's easy to find enjoyment in Dishonored, and fans of first person stealth games are bound to love it, if not already so. But as a new property, it does little to impress.
I'm just kind of posting this here cause I can. I'm aware Destructoid did their own review already, but yeah. VIDEOGAEMZ>
To give some perspective before I even start talking, I'm a horrendously casual fighting game fan. My idea of strategy is learning a few short combos, guarding occasionally, and then panicking and slapping my hands all over the controller as I get beaten down. So if you're looking for a hardcore fighting game fan's opinion on Dead or Alive 5, I won't be fulfilling that here
What I can tell you is how user friendly Dead or Alive 5 is for the more casual player, and that's where the title really stands out. Despite my controller drumming during gameplay, moves seem to smoothly flow into each other, even if you don't entirely know what you're doing. Many of the attacks, while they may not be full fledged combos, will chain from one to another, eliminating some of the start/stop gameplay lower skilled players might experience with more complex fighters. One thing that I can point out for those more familiar with the genre is that the PlayStation 3 version would occasionally stutter, which is a big no no in the fighting genre. I can't speak for the Xbox 360 version, but this rarely interrupted my highly strategic flailing.
The series multi-tiered levels make a return, letting players knock each other into other rings within a single stage for bonus damage. Despite being an old franchise feature, it remains impressive in Dead or Alive 5 and still adds strategic depth in terms of character placement.
Speaking of franchise staples, the nonsensical story campaign is here as well. It's a bit tough to follow, but is saved by the wide variety of personalities in Dead or Alive 5. This makes the plot flexible, with major story characters like Kasumi, Hayate, and Ayane of the Ninja Clan delivering the more serious aspects, and more light-hearted characters like Hitomi, Tina and the always lovable womanizer, Zack, adding a lot of humor and overall weirdness.
Dead or Alive 5 is just a fun game to sit down and play a few rounds with. The lack of a high skill bar ensures that most players will get some level of value out of the title. For those who do want to take the game further, there's clearly at least a healthy level of depth here, as well as the ability to compete online, either head-to-head or through leader boards. While I only spent a very limited time online, the few matches I did play were running smoothly with no noticeable lag. Although, beware the need for an online pass for rentals and used purchases.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword! Sure it may not be terribly old but these days, but it's definitely a backlog item if your copy is still sitting around after the holiday rush. The title is one of the few releases to actually make full use of the Wii's Motion + controller. While there's definitely some good content here, the game's pacing and length is a bit questionable.
Carrier is a 2000s Dreamcast survival horror title developed and published by Jaleco. The survival horror title was one of the first 3D titles in the genre .There was a planned PS2 sequel that was later canceled.
I apologize for some of the darker scenes. I tried to brighten it, but it didn't do much.
I was told embedding videos doesn't work for some reason, but I thought I'd post a video I recently made talking about Kirby Air Ride, a 2003 GameCube exclusive from Hal-Laboratory. The racer found itself a nice little gap between titles like F-Zero GX and Mario Kart Double Dash, but never got the attention that the aforementioned enjoyed.
Just bringing up the visual novel genre will generally put a single image in most minds: a male main character with three to five other characters who all want his sexy bod'. Dengeki Styker ups the challenge by increasing that number to ten. However, those ten aren't questionably aged girls who want his undying love, and they don't want to love his body tenderly. They want to dissect his body in a lab. That's because he is not just a faceless high school protagonist, he is a super hero.
Dengeki Styker takes place through the eyes of Yuuki Yamato, a child who gains super powers after giving up all of his memories. Years pass by in peace where his powers are unneeded, but suddenly a group super powered cyborgs from a strange country infiltrate Japan. Yuuki Yamoto, now a high school student, moves out under his Stryker Zero alias to protect his homeland.
The trial alone for Dengeki Stryker stands out from other visual novels, setting the groundwork for an experience that focuses on action sequences, as well as character personalities and interactions. Other elements are here as a reminder that you're still in visual novel territory, including school life and chicks that will roll around your feet, presumably until you pick one of them up and drag them through their character route. Of course, it wouldn't be an 18+ visual novel without some sexy time for each of the ladies in the full version.
While the virtual love interests play their roles, the real stars here are all the over-the-top super hero characters, including Yamato and the villains who are after him. The game takes place in modern day Japan, so the super heroes and villains are essentially from another world, making for some entertaining dialog between characters as misunderstandings and off-the-wall conversations pile up. The villains in specific are just a giant bucket of stereotypes. Their extreme differences in personality and motivations mix together to create a train wreck of a team. But that train wreck proves to be one of Dengeki Stryker's strongest points.
As entertaining as the banter between characters is in a visual novel form, the action sequences in the trial do not fare so well. They feel sluggish and create dead air filled with monotonous combat descriptions between the rest of the title's humorous and well-crafted dialog. These scenes are spiced up through smart uses of sound, animation, and CG images, but overall probably would have benefited from being portrayed through a different medium.
The trial shows a lot of promise for the full title and it's impressive that the developer, Overdrive, has made a release that shows they can do more than just your typical visual novel, while still remaining true to their roots. You can download the trial from MangaGamer's website, and the full game will be available for purchase on June 22.