Happy Birthday to Kirito From “Sword Art Online!”

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Crunchyroll – Happy Birthday to Kirito From “Sword Art Online!” if(typeof console===’undefined’){(function(){var noOp=function(){return;};console={log:noOp,info:noOp,warn:noOp,error:noOp,assert:noOp,dir:noOp,clear:noOp,profile:noOp,profileEnd:noOp};})();} var CACHED_TRANSLATIONS = {}; (function() { var fbq = window._fbq || (window._fbq = []); if (!_fbq.loaded) { var fbds = document.createElement(‘script’); fbds.async = true; fbds.src = ‘//connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbds.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(fbds, s); _fbq.loaded = true; } _fbq.push([‘addPixelId’, ‘562999263818994’]); })(); window._fbq = window._fbq || []; window._fbq.push([‘track’, ‘PixelInitialized’, {}]); Shows Manga News Forums Store Premium Free Log In Happy Birthday to Kirito From “Sword Art Online!” The Black Swordsman turns 6! Scott Green October 07, 2014 11:15pm CDT (one day ago) Tweet

Kirigaya “Kirito” Kazuto has the unusual characteristic of possessing a full date of birthday…  October 7, 2008. So, happy sixth birthday to Sword Art Online’s f

an-favorite leading man!

 

Join the surprisingly subdued celebration!

 

Own Far Cry 4 today on PC, Xbox, and PS.

 

——
Scott Green is editor and reporter for anime and manga at geek entertainment site Ain’t It Cool News. Follow him on Twitter at @aicnanime.

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Twitter expands European advertising network

Twitter has expanded its advertising network to 12 mostly central and eastern European markets, the company said Tuesday.

With the addition of the new markets, Twitter Ads is now available in 35 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa through direct sales support teams and reseller partnerships, the company said in a blog post.

The new countries include Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ukraine, Slovenia, Switzerland and Portugal. Twitter decided to expand after experiencing “tremendous growth” in the region over the past year, it said.

The social network has been building a strong advertising business, which was reflected when it more than doubled its sales in this year’s second quarter. However, while sales were up the company still didn’t manage to turn a profit and reported a net loss of US$145 million.

Most of Twitter’s sales stem from ads that look like tweets placed in user’s streams.

The company has been expanding its promoted tweets options in the past year. In late June, for instance, it rolled out a way for companies to pitch their mobile apps in promoted tweets with a feature that automatically adds Google Play and App Store links to the sponsored tweets. This allows users to directly download an app from Twitter.

Earlier this month, Twitter launched a beta test with promoted videos, allowing its customers to show videos in promoted tweets. They can be viewed with one tap and the ads can be shown on a cost per view basis.

Loek Essers focuses on online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues.
More by Loek Essers

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Own Far Cry 4 today on PC, Xbox, and PS.

    Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms Review

    With a name like Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms, this dungeon crawler might prompt you to file it as yet another action role-playing jaunt, embellished with a series of colon-spliced fantasy buzz words. But you’d only be half right. What might not translate in its ambiguous title is a wholly unique hook: twin dimensions in which its hack-and-slash fare unfolds through a revolving door of swappable puppet heroes. Though Heretic Kingdoms’ numerous quirks, undercooked features, and surprise cliffhanger reveal the project to be an episodic work-in-progress, rather than a standalone, self-contained game, it boasts enough intrigue to convince you to overlook its obvious faults.

    Heretic Kingdoms summons for you the Devourer, a soul-consuming demon confined to the nether realm whose ability to possess the bodies of the long-dead and the freshly deceased grants it a foothold in the physical realm. As your first agent in the mortal world, you choose to resurrect a soul from the traditional trinity: the legendary archer, the famed warrior, or the deposed princess-mage. Your curmudgeonly demon is portrayed as the self-assured protagonist, barking over-delivered Old English lines at its subordinates, but as soon as you wake the dead, Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms sports a truly ensemble cast.

    Consume the essence of the living as the ghostly Devourer.

    Your chosen hero and the demon bicker, jab, and actively mock one another as the dynamic between them shifts from subservience to reluctant partnership. They spit caustic dialog that lacks nuance but serves to build character as you’re guided through Heretic Kingdoms’ unique mechanics. You learn to instantly phase back and forth between the two while you undertake your living hero’s opening quest line: to wrap up questions lingering from their former life, before they wound up in a tomb and in the ethereal service of the Devourer.

    That relationship, and the hero-demon dialog that propels it, is the peak of the interaction between characters. But you’re never forced to rely solely on them for your connection to the Heretic Kingdoms. Before long, you slay and consume the souls of assorted creatures: the zombie behemoth, the lupine berserker, and the crocodilian shaman. Uncovering new skills and talents are a large part of the genre’s draw, so watching this stable of playable heroes from diverse species and creeds grow into a fighting force is a special treat. These fully customizable supporting characters can be rotated in to fill out the remainder of your four-slot party and are every bit as upgradeable as the top-billed duo, down to their own unique armor, weapons, and skill trees.

    Your chosen hero and the demon bicker, jab, and actively mock one another as the dynamic between them shifts from subservience to reluctant partnership.

    Weapon of choice is one of Heretic Kingdoms’ strongest virtues: a refreshing change of pace from the traditional lone wolf mentality when it comes to hacking through its fantasy environments. And the Heretic Kingdoms, though represented through the expected archetypes–the forest zone, the desert area, the caverns and crypts–are beautiful, tangible places, bearing the weight of history and scars that are reflected in fine detail. A few levels stand out as especially unique, strange, and otherworldly. But for the most part, they each house their sights and vistas to be gazed down upon from an isometric perch.

    With the addition of the shadow realm, each area is also represented in a darker, slightly altered mirror of itself, shrouded in neon nether energy. A collapsed bridge or blocked passage in the mortal realm may not be present in the shadow world, forcing you to shift back and forth between the Devourer and its living puppets in order to progress through each long area and underground dungeon. Traversal itself plays out like a puzzle in this regard, reinforcing the welcome notion of cooperation between these realities, despite the simplicity of the mechanic.

    Heretic Kingdoms, at least initially, promotes exploration through treasure caches, crafting materials, and loot-bearing breakables that cover the paths of the physical plane, while optional tasks from eager non-player characters can be found off the beaten path. Yet these side quests begin to taper off toward the adventure’s midpoint, which is a shame, since the Heretic Kingdoms are as convincing a world as you’re likely to find.

    The Heretic Kingdoms are detailed places full of history and scars.

    The centuries of conflict, politics, factions, and secret orders that shape the geopolitical climate are referenced constantly. Throughout the adventure, it’s actually quite easy to lose track of the finer points and even some larger, overarching notions. If you’re not diving into the flavor text wrested from historical books and tomes, or listening for names and places in the quick conversational dialog, you’re likely to fall behind. And though scripted conversations are at times campy and inconsistently delivered–too quietly to fight the persistent soundtrack–Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms is populated, albeit sparsely, with well-conceived characters and a dedication to fleshing out a believable universe.

    Unfortunately, the focus ultimately shifts, and that air of discovery and non-violent interaction with the world gives way to the inflexible destruction of anything between you and your quest marker. It’s a symptom of an unfinished product that falls back on dense periods of combat for lack of something else to do. And Heretic Kingdoms’ combat is its most divisive element. Though well-designed in form, with the aforementioned clever twists, it can’t functionally support the grand scheme.

    Its standard click-to-move, click-to-attack system is finicky and floaty, rendering precision targeting and maneuvering difficult in thick groups or tight spaces. At its best, it takes some getting used to; at its worst, it’s jagged, seemingly delayed, and not smooth enough to deliver on the seamless swapping of characters necessary for ability combinations. I regularly found myself trying to control targets with a quick succession of spells, only to be hampered by a delay or an unregistered click, and walking toward the enemy with a fragile mage.

    One of the only times you could identify with a giant wasp over the human hero.

    When Heretic Kingdoms works, it’s rewarding. The strengths of its combat lie in the variety of consumable party members and the ability to outfit your squad with characters that meet your needs. Each character’s basic attack and four-slot action bar can be augmented from a deep skill tree, allowing you to create extensive combinations by swapping between characters on the fly.

    You might have your mage open with a lobbed fireball, then slow the approaching beasts with a magical blast of sand so you can swap to your archer and pin them with poisonous arrows. When finally cornered, you might shift to your zombie bruiser, leveling the area with shockwave ground attacks and stunning nearby monsters in order to buy time to switch back to your mage and repeat for desired results. This dance of skills and talents creates opportunities for moments of brilliance when you’ve memorized your party and its many abilities, potentially hammering keys in quick succession to cause all sorts of impressive destruction.

    Of course, the Devourer has its own obstacles in the ghostly phantoms, apparitions, and demons that roam the shadow plane. Both realms work in tandem, and aside from a few monsters that have a presence in both, you can pick and choose the lesser of two dangers. But the Devourer is the driving force of your adventure, and if it dies, your journey ends. Knowing when to sacrifice a puppet character in the physical realm to get away from dangers in the shadow realm is a hard-earned lesson.

    Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms is populated, albeit sparsely, with well-conceived characters and a dedication to fleshing out a believable universe.

    In keeping with the themes of the afterlife, death itself is merely a temporary setback for those puppets. You’ll collect soul essences from each enemy killed to resurrect your own dead characters or to quickly heal any member of your party. With enough souls in your pouch, it’s possible to stand toe-to-toe for a short time in even the most dangerous encounters. The system rewards smart, strategic play, while allowing you to pick and choose how you want to engage. With so much to manage, control, and keep an eye on, the potential of Heretic Kingdoms’ combat is obvious–but it won’t be reached until a future update soothes its twitchy unpredictability.

    And in that regard, updates are coming to Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms with both fixes and content. Heretic Kingdoms isn’t complete at this time. In its current state, it runs approximately 8-12 hours before it abruptly ends, promising the next “book” in the journey will be delivered at a later date. While episodic games are nothing new, the fact that some quests and dungeons are included but can’t be completed yet, along with features that feel incomplete, means Shadows feels less like an episodic game and more like an incomplete one.

    The crafting component of Heretic Kingdoms exemplifies this difference. Though at first it seems robust and extensive, it played almost no role in my adventure. Nearly every recipe for an item in my level range required ingredients I hadn’t encountered yet, despite the burgeoning stash of materials quickly filling an extensive inventory. I regularly scanned the unorganized list of recipes for potential improvements, but the only craftable items were inferior to my current gear by several levels. It’s a wasted feature in its current form. And though I have no doubt future attention will be paid to fleshing it out, right now it seems more like an ambitious feature that never quite arrived where it was supposed to.

    Zaar the Berserker’s swift axes play a vital role in reclaiming the homeland of his people.

    Despite the admitted incompleteness of Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms, some elements of the game also lack finish. Cutscenes are grainy, and minor graphical artifacts pop in and out of menu screens and character windows. Bugs of varying severity hide just under the surface–e.g., removing characters from your party and reselecting them causes some of their skills to become unmapped from their action bar. The rough edges are not enough, however, to overshadow the game’s smart, refreshing design. Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms has many unique qualities that both elevate and iterate on the traditional mechanics of the genre. With time and enough developer support, the game could even become an unheralded standout in a space dominated by a few big names.

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    Tetris Ultimate Review

    On the year of its 30th anniversary, it’s hard to think of new things to say about Tetris. Few games even come close to being as universally recognized and understood as the Russian puzzle game that has caused countless people to dream about stacking blocks into perfect lines.

    So as hard as it is simply to write something original about the classic, it must be harder to invent new and exciting ways in which to actually play it. As a result, just about every gaming platform under the sun (and even many non-gaming platforms–hello, graphing calculators) tends to end up with at least one or two new editions of the same old formula, maybe experimenting with a new mode or two but mostly sticking to what’s tried and true. Ubisoft’s crack at celebrating the series’ history falls into this exact trap, and Tetris Ultimate is mostly a game you can look at and say, “Yep, that’s Tetris.”

    Tetris. It’s Tetris.

    The basics are unchanged. You are given a vertical playing field in which you drop tetrominos–various shapes composed of four squares each. As a randomized parade of pieces falls from the top of the screen one at a time, you can move each one left or right as well as rotate it clockwise or counterclockwise. The goal is to create a straight, unbroken horizontal line of blocks, which removes the line from the playing field and scores you points (more points if you can eliminate several lines at once). The more lines you clear, the faster the game becomes.

    Over three decades, this formula has remained largely unchanged, and rarely have the rules been so much as tweaked. But while there are no options to customize the look or sound of the game, Tetris Ultimate sports an admirable list of settings that let you tailor the feel of the game to your liking. For instance, you can turn off the hold queue (which allows you to save a piece for later use), change the behavior of the random generator, or turn off the more advanced wall kick and t-spin maneuvers. You can also tweak how long you can rotate a piece at the bottom of its drop–the controversial “easy” or infinite spin is not a default. You can’t get super specific with these values, but the options are nice to have regardless.

    Four-player cooperative modes can seem overwhelming, but they’re a nice twist on classic Tetris.

    While the potential variety of Tetris may seem limited, previous iterations of the series have nonetheless seen some rather inventive new modes using tetrominos. By comparison, Tetris Ultimate’s mode selection is bare-bones. In addition to your standard marathon and endless modes there’s Sprint (a race to see how quickly you can clear 40 lines), Ultra (a high-score challenge where you only have three minutes to play), and a couple of multiplayer-only battle modes–one with power-ups and one without. All modes can be played with humans or bots, with team versus team and co-op variations of each.

    Co-op and team modes are the most interesting twists on the Tetris formula, as they widen the playing area (and thus lengthen the width you need to cover to get a line) and divide the screen up so that each player has his or her own designated section to drop pieces into, with a couple of columns of shared space in between that both players can use. Communication becomes important not only because scoring is impossible alone but also because all players on a team share both the pool of upcoming pieces as well as the single held piece, so if you’re saving that straight block for a specific purpose, make sure your partners don’t use it themselves.

    While there are no options to customize the look or sound of the game, Tetris Ultimate sports an admirable list of settings that let you tailor the feel of the game to your liking.

    When playing online, there doesn’t seem to be a great system for matchmaking similarly skilled players. The only “rank” you ever achieve is designated by how far you are able to get in either the marathon or endless mode. But playing vanilla Tetris without interference is quite a different beast from a battle mode match against another player, and this doesn’t appear to be a consideration when matching players together. Furthermore, many matches are hit with unfortunate lags and/or bugs, and if the game’s host disconnects for any reason, the other players are out of luck even if they’re 14 levels deep in a marathon game.

    If you don’t want to put up with the occasional lag that comes from playing against strangers, you can pretend to play against your friends by challenging their “Tetris Self,” a bot that tries to play at about the same skill level as its player. It’s an interesting idea, but it doesn’t feel any more special than playing against an AI with a custom name–which is all this is.

    When playing alone or in offline multiplayer mode, Tetris Ultimate nails most of the basics. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go far beyond them. The four-player versus and co-op modes are a lot of fun, and the classic high-score chase is as solid as ever, but there are no visual or music options, and the selection of modes feels lacking. To be fair, at $10, Tetris Ultimate is one of the cheaper Tetris games to hit consoles in recent years, and what you get for that price is perfectly competent. The game’s main menu features a prominent store icon that promises more modes coming soon, so those looking for more variety may get what they’re looking for via DLC.

    It turns out that Tetris is a lot harder to play if you can’t see your pieces.

    Part solid execution and part missed opportunity, Tetris Ultimate is hard to judge. If all you want is a good version of classic Tetris for your new console, this one will suit your needs well. The low price is nice and the gameplay options provided are a nice touch, but it doesn’t do enough to earn the “ultimate” moniker.

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    GOG.com Winter Sale Finale Discounts Divinity: Original Sin, 24 Bundles

    Digital games retailer GOG.com is sending off its Winter sale with a 48 hour finale that brings back two weeks worth of daily bundles.

    The Big Winter Sale Finale, which started this morning, has Divinity: Original Sin for a 33 percent discount, bringing it down to $32, as well as 24 bundles like:GOG.com turned six years old in September this year. For more on how the site evolved from a niche online platform for classic games and plans for the near future, check out our interview with managing director Guillaume Rambourg.

    For more great discounts, check out GameSpot’s regular gaming deals roundups. Filed under:PC Divinity: Original Sin Written By

    emanuelmaiberg Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos. Want the latest news about Divinity: Original Sin? (function(a,b,c,d,e,f){a[d]||(a[d]= function(){(a[d].q=a[d].q||[]).push([arguments,+new Date])}); e=b.createElement(c);f=b.getElementsByTagName(c)[0]; e.src=’https://s.yimg.com/uq/syndication/yad.js';e.async=true; f.parentNode.insertBefore(e,f)}(window,document,’script’,’yad’)); yad(‘dd8948fa-75df-30d8-a1b9-8ade0e28daac’); (function() { var pageType = document.getElementsByName(‘pageType’); if(!pageType.length){ return; } pageType = pageType[0].getAttribute(‘data-type’); if(pageType == ‘article’ || pageType == ‘review’ || pageType == ‘video’){ (function(a,b,c,d,e,f){a[d]||(a[d]= function(){(a[d].q=a[d].q||[]).push([arguments,+new Date])}); e=b.createElement(c);f=b.getElementsByTagName(c)[0]; e.src=’https://s.yimg.com/uq/syndication/yad.js';e.async=true; f.parentNode.insertBefore(e,f)}(window,document,’script’,’yad’)); yad(‘045e47d1-1e51-3375-b487-13f8602f933b’); } }());

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    TV sales in U.S. shrink nearly 10 percent

    The U.S. television market saw a 9 percent loss in unit sales last year due to low demand, according to a report from IHS.

    The report attributed the low demand to a market where consumers have little interest in buying new TVs after upgrading to high-definition, flat screen models less than 10 years ago.

    U.S. TV shipments in 2013 declined to 34 million units, compared to 37.5 million in 2012.

    Last year, the U.S. television market consisted entirely of liquid-crystal display (LCD) and plasma display panel (PDP) sets, with old analog tube-type TVs long gone and the last rear-projection TVs having exited the market completely in 2012.

    Both the LCD and PDP segments lost volume in 2013 from a year earlier. LCD TV shipments slid to 31.9 million units, down 6%, and PDP TV shipments plunged 42% to 2.1 million.

    The largest plasma makers, such as Panasonic, have said they will discontinue producing large-screen plasma TV models due to cost.

    “The TV market in the United States has reached a point of saturation following a period of huge growth in years past, especially as the flat-panel-TV craze set in,” said IHS TV analyst Veronica Gonzalez-Thayer. “As a result of the market’s maturity, and also because of lingering uncertainties in the economy, American consumers have been less eager to rush out and buy new replacement TV sets.”

    The sharp decline in sales marks a big change from robust earlier years. From 2009 to 2011, the U.S. TV market grew or remained at healthy levels, and each year saw shipments of more than 38 million units. In contrast, 2012 volume was less than 37 million, and shipments last year dipped below the 34 million mark for the first time in five years, IHS said.

    curved lg 77inch oled ces2014

    This 77-inch OLED from LG debuted at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

    While Plasma TVs are on their way out, the LCD TV segment was down for the second year in a row.

    The decline in U.S. TV shipments last year also translated to lower revenue, which was down 12 percent to $23.5 billion from $26.9 billion in 2012, IHS stated.

    The one bright spot in IHS’s report was an increase in the shipments of large, smart TVs, which have features such as Internet connectivity and full high-definition 1080p resolution. Overall, however, those increases did not offset a 3 percent decline in prices for the units, Gonzalez-Thayer said.

    Gonzalez-Thayer said the TV market will start to stabilize this year as the consumer purchase cycle readjusts after two years of continuous losses. Shipment growth will be flat to slightly positive in 2014, she predicted.

    And for the first time, active-matrix organic light-emitting-diode (AMOLED) TVs will be entering the U.S. market in perceptible volume.

    The IHS report shows about 8,000 AMOLED TVs are expected to ship in 2014.

    AMOLED TVs feature super-thin formfactors and significantly improved contrast ratios. Gonzalez-Thayer said those features could appeal to TV connoisseurs eager to become first adopters, even though the new TVs comes with steep pricing that puts them out of the reach of most consumers.

    Watch closely and you’ll see Samsung’s OLED UHD-TV bend out and then back in.

    This article is reprinted from Computerworld.

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    Nintendo of Japan is Ceasing Production of Original 3DS XL Models

    Crunchyroll – Nintendo of Japan is Ceasing Production of Original 3DS XL Models if(typeof console===’undefined’){(function(){var noOp=function(){return;};console={log:noOp,info:noOp,warn:noOp,error:noOp,assert:noOp,dir:noOp,clear:noOp,profile:noOp,profileEnd:noOp};})();} var CACHED_TRANSLATIONS = {}; (function() { var _fbq = window._fbq || (window._fbq = []); if (!_fbq.loaded) { var fbds = document.createElement(‘script’); fbds.async = true; fbds.src = ‘//connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbds.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(fbds, s); _fbq.loaded = true; } _fbq.push([‘addPixelId’, ‘562999263818994’]); })(); window._fbq = window._fbq || []; window._fbq.push([‘track’, ‘PixelInitialized’, {}]); Shows Manga News Forums Store Premium Free Log In Nintendo of Japan is Ceasing Production of Original 3DS XL Models Better get ‘em while the getting is good Brittany Vincent November 29, 2014 4:25pm CST (18 hours ago) Tweet

    Nintendo Japan has made the announcement via its official website that every model and color of the original 3DS XL (3DS LL in Japan) is “soon to be discontinued.” Weirdly enough, a range of colors of the original 3DS will continue to be produced.

     

    With the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS LL out in the wild in Japan as of October 11, it makes sense that production should slow, especially given the fact that the newer models will be required to use Amiibo figures in-game.

     

    It’s unclear whether Nintendo of America will be following suit, but if that does end up being the case, you’ll want to make sure you snap some up before they start getting rarer!

     

    [via Anime News Network]

     

    ——-Fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games, Brittany is a freelancer who thrives on surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake and check out her portfolio for more. Tags video games, nintendo 3ds, 3ds xl « Previous Post Artist Reimagines “Pokémon” Characters as “Substitute” Plush Dolls Next Post » FEATURE: Crunchyroll x Soompi “Liar Game” Team-Up! Other Top News VIDEO: “The Last: Naruto the Movie” Special Video Delivers a Love Letter to Naruto »

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    Secret Ponchos Review

    Fighting games rarely do so much with so little. Don’t let the isometric view and the twin stick controls deceive you: Secret Ponchos has fast-paced adversarial multiplayer combat with imaginatively conceived characters who have distinct strengths and weakness. Furthermore, its Wild West-themed combat reveals more tactical depth the more you play.

    Choosing a character in a well-made fighting game is like deciding what to eat at a restaurant you frequent. There’s safety in going with what you’re used to, but pleasant surprises await if you dare to try something new. Both feelings initially resonate in Secret Ponchos, though sticking to one fighter becomes an easy choice the moment you discover that each outlaw has a progression system. Superb skill yields substantial rewards, and Secret Ponchos sticks with traditional upgrades toward increased health, stamina, range, and other familiar stats.

    Eight-player free-for-alls are predictably chaotic.

    The diversity of this small cast of five outlaws follows the adage that “what one stat giveth, the other taketh away.” The Kid Red (a blunt nod to Billy the Kid) is a dual-wielder whose high-firing rate is tempered with low health. The opposite applies to the presumptive Civil War veteran known as The Deserter. Each hoodlum performs according to seven stats, and it’s refreshing to play something where each attribute feels immediately tangible in combat.

    My go-to outlaw is The Matador, the obligatory left-field character in a group of Western-themed outlaws. She’s not unlike the French fencer Charlotte, who equally stuck out in the predominantly Japanese-themed Samurai Shodown. This bullfighter is limited in ranged attacks, but her melee hits are especially lethal. It wasn’t conscious, but this choice does reflect my tendency to rely on melee kills in first-person shooters. I simply like the immediacy and gratification of an up-close, high-damage attack. And just like with a good fighting game, there’s a lot to glean from learning moves beyond the standard attack. In The Matador’s case, a lunging stab is both deadly and far-reaching, though it leaves you wide open if you miss. Using her cape to throw up blinding dust is a perfect overture before unleashing a series of uninterrupted sword attacks.

    If you suspect that this roster is intentionally modest, that’s because it is. If you look at the Outlaw submenu, you’ll notice question marks in place of two concealed desperados, saved as paid downloadable content for a future date. When the initial cast includes someone as unusual as a matador, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to get a Davy Crockett-inspired frontiersman or a Rough Rider like Teddy Roosevelt down the line. My money is on a Robert Rodriguez-influenced mariachi performer with an arsenal in his guitar case, but what I really want is a broken bottle-wielding barkeep who is sick and tired of his saloon getting trashed.

    Death scenes are slow, dramatic, and, of course, letterboxed.

    I simply want more fighters because I want to see how Switchblade Monkey’s artists interpret more Western archetypes, given how marvelous the current cast looks. Pointy and angular lines work for this fivesome and are eye-catching as both 2D art (e.g.. during the match introduction) and as 3D models during the match and main menu. If you told me that this game had been spun off from a cult graphic novel, I would have believed you, though the lack of an expository single-player mode is mildly disappointing.

    For all the hours that one can spend upgrading the ghostly Phantom Poncho or the quick-drawing Killer, the limited selection of four maps and deathmatch modes does the game no favors in holding your attention. That said, the eight-player Free For All isn’t your standard deathmatch, since the victor is determined on the best kill/death ratio, not overall kills. When you’re using a fighter who cannot heal (e.g., everyone but The Deserter), hiding becomes a viable option, especially if there’s a kill count lead you want to protect. Before you know it, you’ve become that one character in The Hunger Games (or, if you wish, Battle Royale) who manages to survive much of the story by staying out of trouble. Hiding is also tactically beneficial in one-on-one matches if you have a health lead. If the match counter reaches zero, the healthier opponent is declared the winner. If you’re the more injured opponent, running around anxiously to hunt down the potential victor can leave you careless and outside your comfort zone.

    The indifference of death and the unfairness of the Wild West bears out fittingly in Free For All. Managing your kill/death ratio is all the more challenging when you have seven hunters out for your head. At its cruelest, this mode lets you steal kills. When one outlaw manages to reduce another opponent’s health to a sliver, you can swoop in to finish off that weakened foe, at the risk of drawing the ire of the player who did all the work. As a minor consolation for these stolen kills, Secret Ponchos does factor the total damage you’ve dealt in a given match.

    Graphic-novel-style body distortion makes this table impractical for The Deserter.

    Secret Ponchos’ elegance is in its cover system. Taking temporary refuge behind a horse trough or a train car to take a breath and collect yourself is a sensible tactic for any gunslinger. Hiding behind objects to avoid gunfire is not unusual in top-down shooters. How Secret Ponchos stands out is two-fold. Depending on your outlaw of choice, getting into a proper cover pose will speed up your healing, reloading, or stamina recovery process. This heightens the tension not only for you but also for your pursuers, who know full well that the tide of battle can be rebalanced if you manage to avoid gunfire long enough. Actual concealment is the other benefit of cover. Functioning like a short-term version of fog-of-war tactics seen in real-time strategy games, pressing against an object renders you invisible unless you’re within another character’s field of vision. It’s easy to appreciate this level of depth. Cover can turn a shootout into a cat-and-mouse hunt, especially if a team with a point lead chooses to hide while the clock runs down. On the flip side, bold hombres who do not believe in stealth can just stand in the middle of a given map’s open area with the benefit of a 360-degree view and wait for would-be challengers. If you want to be Peter Fonda and yell, “Come on out!” at the top of your lungs, Secret Ponchos gives you such moments.

    The first time I was gunned down by an opponent who had taken full advantage of the cover system was the moment I appreciated the thoughtfulness that has been poured into Secret Ponchos. You can always count on adversarial multiplayer enthusiasts to pick out the best-performing characters within days of a game’s release. So when an eight-player ranked match features at least one of each of the five outlaws, you know to expect a beautifully balanced competition. Since it encourages replay through one fighter over a long period, it’s not the small roster that limits Secret Ponchos’ appeal but rather its passable selection of maps and modes. Yet Secret Ponchos is well worth falling for, if only because playing as The Killer and using cover for a speedy reload is the closest a game has ever come to depicting the first Metal Gear Solid boss fight from Revolver Ocelot’s perspective.

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    “Death Note” Musical Shows Off Its L

    Crunchyroll – “Death Note” Musical Shows Off Its L if(typeof console===’undefined’){(function(){var noOp=function(){return;};console={log:noOp,info:noOp,warn:noOp,error:noOp,assert:noOp,dir:noOp,clear:noOp,profile:noOp,profileEnd:noOp};})();} var CACHED_TRANSLATIONS = {}; (function() { var _fbq = window._fbq || (window._fbq = []); if (!_fbq.loaded) { var fbds = document.createElement(‘script’); fbds.async = true; fbds.src = ‘//connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbds.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(fbds, s); _fbq.loaded = true; } _fbq.push([‘addPixelId’, ‘562999263818994’]); })(); window._fbq = window._fbq || []; window._fbq.push([‘track’, ‘PixelInitialized’, {}]); Shows Manga News Forums Store Premium Free Log In “Death Note” Musical Shows Off Its L 28-year-old Teppei Koike cast Scott Green September 15, 2014 6:39am CDT (2 days ago) Tweet

    Following the recent launch of its official Facebook page, the social media feeds for the upcoming Death Note stage musical have introduced 28-year-old actor/singer Teppei Koike as the production’s genius detective L. Koike made his musical debut last year in a production of Merrily We Roll.

    Kenji Urai and Hayato Kakizawa were previously introduced in the double cast role of Light Yagami. The adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s manga will be staged in Japan and South Korea. After opening at Tokyo Nissay in April 2015, it will be playing in Seoul over the summer wtih a different cast.

     

    American composer Frank Wildhorn will be writing the music, with Jack Murphy writing the lyrics and Ivan Menchell the script. Tamiya Kuriyama directs.

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