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Mana

Mana o' mana photo
Mana o' mana

Square working on new Final Fantasy Adventure


Mana o' mana
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
Final Fantasy Adventure (Mystic Quest in Europe,Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden in Japan) turned into the Mana series with Secret of Mana. Unfortunately, its entries have been relegated to Japan-exclusive cell phone ga...

League of Legends roundup: Azir, Kalista, Rek'Sai, Bard, and Ekko

Jun 09 // Chris Carter
Azir's whole gimmick is that he summons Sand Soldier units, which are statues of sorts. They're not really their own entities with health bars, however -- more like extensions of Azir, who is a mage first, marksman second. His soldiers cannot be targeted, which makes him fun (or a pain against) in the laning phase. He's also great at chasing as he can dash to his soldiers using his E. One of the best things about Azir is his innate ability to summon Sun Discs in place of destroyed towers, which creates a mini-tower for a limited period of time. He's very hard to get used to, but a worthy addition to League. I have a lot of fun using him in ARAM, but I believe he is a viable competitive Champion with the right composition. Kalista is a weird character, with a variety of different ranged attacks as a marksman. She can become "Oathsworn" with another ally, essentially boosting her stats and her damage while they are near each other or attack the same target. As you can probably tell, this requires a ton of communication, or at least, a lot of trust with one other player. While winding up her standard skillshot, you can cancel with a quick click to lunge in a direction -- think of it like a free dash. She can also send a ghost out to sentry, and her ultimate can "call" her Oathsworn player to her if they so choose to answer said call (with a range limit), which is also a knock-up. All in all I wouldn't say that she's a particularly interesting Champion, but going in with another friend and laning as Oathsworn buddies can be fun. She's also considered one of the most competitive Champions in recent months, though I won't be using her consistently. Rek'Sai is a bug who fulfills the fighter role, and does what many bugs do best -- she burrows. As one of her chief abilities, burrowing will modify all of her other powers. For instance, an ability that would buff her next three basic attacks is now a skillshot, and she can create tunnel exits to burrow back to, but burrowing does negate basic attacks, and thus, your damage output. Where Rek'Sai excels is mobility. She can quickly get from place to place, allowing her to assist in teamfights, small skirmishes, and when necessary, jungle situations. I enjoyed her as a whole more than Azir and Kalista, and it seems as if the community has taken to her as well. She was re-balanced shortly after her release, and a new nerf is on the way that may take her down a peg overall. Bard the support has an awesome aesthetic to him that fits League of Legends quite well. His Q is a standard skillshot that slows, but the sound and visual effects have a real pop to them. As a support ability, he can drop shrines that boost movement speed and heal -- this simple move is pretty deep, as Bard can place them strategically behind towers to reduce time away from laning or just put them on the ground below him to immediately heal. You'll also need to pay a bit more attention playing as Bard, as you'll be required to periodically grab unique chime icons on the map to buff your auto-attacks. His coolest ability though is the power to create a portal through terrain, which both enemies and allies can use. It looks cool, and it's an effective way of crashing in on enemy creep kills. Bard's ultimate puts everyone in a circle in a stasis, including all heroes and minions -- much like Zeratul's Void Prison ult in Heroes of the Storm, or many other similar MOBA abilities. All told, Bard is by far my favorite champion that I've played in months, and I highly recommend picking him up for fun. It's appropriate that Ekko, the boy who shattered time, has most of his abilities linked to movement speed. As an assassin, it's Ekko's job to pick out individual targets and burst them down rapidly. His passive allows him to build up stacks on a foe, slowing them after three stacks and dealing damage. Like most new heroes these days he has a token skillshot (that creates a slowing field), an area-of-effect slow dome, and a dash. His ultimate is where things get more interesting. Chronobreak is basically an "oh shit" button, making him invulnerable and transporting him back to his location four seconds ago. It allows him to get out of a sticky situation and continue picking off other Champions as well as deal some damage at the location. Ekko is a pure assassin, no frills -- and that's a good thing. While all Champions aren't created equal, I'm excited to see what Riot Games has in store for us in 2015 and beyond.
League impressions photo
Time to play catchup
It's been an eventful past six months for League of Legends. While I've been covering new Champions since 2013, I slipped a bit since Gnar late in 2014, as a few other major MMOs as well as fellow MOBA Heroes of the...

Some quick thoughts on League of Legends' Braum and Gnar

Aug 18 // Chris Carter
[embed]279768:55330:0[/embed] Braum is the latest mustachioed hero to hit League of Legends, and his design fits the game perfectly. Although his "dragonslayer" skin isn't really worth buying, his standard skin is one of the stronger models in League, and the fact that he uses his giant shield as a weapon is hilarious. Braum's moves are straightforward -- he has a slowing projectile, a shield dash (just like a few other support characters), a blocking ability, and a straight-line pop-up ultimate. On paper, all of these powers have been seen before, but in tandem, they all meld very well. A lot of people prefer to play as a carry for more glory by way of kills, but I think it's incredibly satisfying to set up teammates with kills instead. Braum has a lot of tools in his shed, including his passive stun, his Q slow, and his ultimate pop-up. One of my favorite new things in League is dashing towards a teammate with Braum's W, then putting up his E shield to block an incoming attack that would hit multiple players. Braum is a true support character, and definitely a fun addition to the game -- it helps to play him with friends though, rather than random people who may not gel with the support type. Having said that, I wouldn't expect a whole lot from Braum in terms of originality -- especially after seeing what Gnar brings to the table. I'd only recommend him to support junkies. [embed]279768:55329:0[/embed] Gnar is a unique champion, and one that I fell in love with after my first game with him. Billed as a yordle that was born a "millennia ago," Gnar was frozen in ice, and has a passive "Rage Gene" that allows him to transform into a giant beast. The catch: "rage" is the key word here, as he gains power by way of a separate bar to transform into said beast -- and he can't really control when the transformation takes place (although you'll see the bar approach 100/100 and you'll get a transformation imminent animation). As such, you'll have access to a Jekyll and Hyde character of sorts, one who is super fast but fragile, and the other who is slow but tanky. Gnar's standard form is quick, allowing constant speed boosts and even a "hop" move that lets him escape and pursue. His boomerang power is one of my favorite skillshots, as it allows him to "catch" the projectile to shorten the cooldown, or let it run to potentially hit more enemies. It's perfect for laning and harassing -- since it slows the first enemy it touches. The "Mega" version of Gnar has access to similar moves, but instead of a swift boomerang and an agile hop, he throws boulders and slams the ground. It's really fun to do well as the tiny version, then all of a sudden have access to Mega Gnar, run in, and wreck shop with all your new cooldowns. That's not to say that he's easy to play, as any player can run down the tiny Gnar (which you'll be playing as most of the time) and slice him to bits in seconds. You have to play conservatively and run in at the right times, sometimes with split-second decisions in tow, which makes Gnar a really fun champion to play, and a great unpredictable addition to League of Legends. He's also easy to pick up at first since his core form has two passive-like skills -- so you only really have to master his hop and boomerang initially.
LoL champion hands-on photo
The two newest champions
I've been covering every new League of Legends champion for over a year now, but ever since Braum dropped, I haven't had the chance to really get in and play as many ranked games as I would have liked due to a few other ...


LoL VelíKoz photo
LoL VelíKoz

Impressions: League of Legends: Vel Koz


The Eye of the Void vies for your Riot Points
Mar 14
// Chris Carter
Riot keeps introducing new League of Legends champions, and we keep trying them out. The newest addition to the Summoner's Rift is Vel'Koz -- The Eye of the Void. He's a bit out of place in many ways, with an aesthetic design that isn't normally utilized in in the game, and likewise, he's a bit unconventional in terms of gameplay.
LoL Yasuo photo
LoL Yasuo

Impressions: League of Legends: Yasuo


The Unforgiven vies for your Riot Points
Dec 16
// Chris Carter
Samurais -- am I right? In the world of gaming, the "ronin/wandering samurai" trope is one of the most overused character designs I can think of, especially in the early 2000s, with the host of samurai-centric games on the or...
League of Legends photo
League of Legends

Impressions: League of Legends: Jinx


The Loose Cannon vies for your Riot Points
Oct 16
// Chris Carter
With the League of Legends 2013 Championship out of the way, it's time to get back to the grindstone and start testing out some new characters. The first post-Finals addition is Jinx, the "Loose Cannon," and she's...interesti...
League of Legends photo
League of Legends

Impressions: League of Legends: Lucian


The Purifier vies for your Riot Points
Sep 10
// Chris Carter
The League of Legends train won't stop running anytime soon, as Riot Games is still keen on constantly updating the game with new champions. The gunslinging paladin Lucian is the latest champion on the block, poised to compet...
League of Legends photo
League of Legends

Impressions: League of Legends: Aatrox


The Darkin Blade vies for your Riot Points
Jun 17
// Chris Carter
I wasn't blown away with the previous addition to League of Legends, Lissandra, but as soon as I laid eyes on Aatrox, I knew I had to take him for a spin. With a giant pulsing blade, demonic looking wings and mysterious past, the sky was the limit for Aatrox. Yep, he plays just as cool as he looks.
League of Legends photo
League of Legends

Impressions: League of Legends: Lissandra


The ice witch vies for your Riot Points
May 07
// Chris Carter
League of Legends has just launched a new champion, which means many of you are considering digging out your wallets and forking over the cash or in-game IP to have the chance to try her out. This time, it's another caster ce...

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