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  • Iron Crypticle

    Iron Crypticle is one of the best Indie games of the year.  At the core, the game is a top-down twin-stick rogue-like dungeon crawler with some RPG elements.  It is up to 4 player local co-op, and you are a knight navigating rooms in the dungeon to recover the Princess along with the King’s treasures.  The rooms for each level are random on each playthrough and with three difficulty levels, it brings a challenge to even the most worthy knight.
    Each basic room consists of two waves of monsters, which you need to defeat to proceed.  The enemies drop food items, which increase your score, and the level of your knight, as well as weapons that you can use for a short duration.  The more levels you have, the more HP you’ll have, and the more upgrades you can get on your four stats (Damage, Attack Speed, Movement Speed, and Weapon Duration).  There are a few special rooms, but I will not spoil the fun and let you discover them on your own.
    There is an unlockable system, so as you play new types of weapons will drop, as well as one time use scrolls.  One of the biggest challenges I’ve found with games that use a unlocking system like this is an early weapon is one of the best, and the new ones never have any usefulness.  This leaves the player in a situation where the pool of items has become so large that they no longer get the good weapons.  The developers at Confused Pelican and Tikipod have done a great job with this.  All weapons are well balanced, there are weapons that attack at a long range, but do less damage, and close-range weapons that do a lot of damage.  The only weapon I did not like was the grenade, as it is the only weapon that does not hit enemies right in front of you, but does massive damage at range.
    Art is done in a retro style and looks really good, there is a variety of enemies with different attacks and movement patterns, and the music is well done.  There are boss fights at the end of each level of the dungeon and it is random which boss, and what version of the boss you get.  There is also a New Game+ mode after completing the story once and an Endless mode for many more hours of gameplay.  There is a Leaderboard to compete with your friends and others to try to get the highest scores.
    For such a simple concept, there is a lot to this game.  I can tell that the developers took inspiration from the arcade classic Smash TV when designing this game, and they pulled it together perfectly.  Iron Crypticle is a really fun game to play solo, and even more fun to play on the couch with your friends.  This is a gem in the sea of Indie games.

    Ghost Blade HD

      I have to admit something – I love bullet hell games, but I am not that good at them.  Something about the total chaos and imminent death appeals to me.  Even it it sends my frustration level through the roof.  East Asia Soft has recently released Ghost Blade HD by 2Dream and HUCAST, which is a perfect example of this wild ride.

      There is no explanation of what the story is.  Once you pick which ship you are using, you are tossed right into battle.    You will shoot your way through the stage against various enemies until you reach the boss.  Kick his metal butt, tally up your score and move one to the next level.  If you die too many times, not to worry, you are given several continues, so you will a few extra chances.

      The game features 3 difficulty modes, and the way they execute them is kind of interesting.  Game play is almost exactly the same in all modes.  What I mean by this is that there are the same enemies and the same fire rate in all difficulties.  The only thing that is different is which bullets actually kill you.  This can be a bit confusing if you are playing at a lower level – because it may take a few tries to figure out what is lethal.  Also as you go up in difficulty, the game will add a few extra stages.

       Besides the different difficulty levels, you are treated to a training mode, Score Attack mode, and multiplayer mode.  Score Attack allows you to play through the 1st stage to get as high of a score as you can.  The one difference is that you have unlimited lives – but you will have to try and do it with as few as possible to preserve your combo, and rack up the highest score.

      The graphics in the game are vibrant and really pop.  You will be treated to a myriad of different enemies as well as profound bosses.  Each boss will require you to alter you fighting style a bit, as charging them head on will only end with your ship in itty bitty pieces.

      Ghost Blade HD is now available on XB1 and PS4.  You can add it to your collection for $9.99.  This is a really good example of a bullet hell game, with lots of options.

    What Remains of Edith Finch

      Many think that the genre of Walking Simulators is something new to gaming, but it has actually been around for decades.  These no pressure games just let you explore without worry of death or dismemberment.  Many are set in beautiful locales, so they are a feast for the senses.  The newest entry into this category comes from Giant Sparrow and Annapurna Interactive under the name of What Remains of Edith Finch.

      What Remains of Edith Finch puts you in the shoes of, you guessed it, Edith Finch.  A young 17-year-old girl who just lost her mom.  Her mother left her the family home and a key to something in the house.  The house has been abandoned for 6 years, but there are many stories trapped within its walls.  So you travel to Orcas Island and begin to unravel your family history, and what has brought you to this place.

      The game begins with you on the ferry from the main land to your family home.  You learn a bit about the Finch Family history as you stroll toward the house.  As you progress, words will appear, hovering above the ground to help guide you along the correct path.  The sights are truly something to behold.  The house looms larger as you approach, and takes on a slightly whimsical feeling, instead of the ominous shadow it originally portrays.

      Once you enter the house, the story really grabs a hold of you.  You learn about your family tree through vignettes about their life.  During each story you take control of that family member as they narrate their plot.  What sets this game apart from others is the way that each family member tells their story.  Each life is represented with a different view, so the art style and music is tailored to that specific person.  This helps to show the variety of personalities in the Finch family.

      The graphics are absolutely gorgeous.  Whether you are strolling through the woods, exploring the old house, or just looking at the family photos that are scattered around the house – the level of detail shown will draw you deep into the story.  You begin to feel for all the characters that you interact with – like they are part of your own family.

      The only real negative that I can find in the game is the length.  You are immersed into the lives of this family for too short of a time.  Even though you can play through the game in under 3 hours, the story is strong enough to hold up to multiple visits. 
      What Remains of Edith Finch is out now on XB1, Playstation, and Steam.  This experience elevates the walking simulator to true art, and should be in everyone’s collection.  

    Gamescom 2017 Coverage

    As one of the world’s largest gaming conventions, Gamecom draws hundreds of thousands of eager gamers to Cologne, Germany every year. Last year it boasted over 350,000 visitors from 38 counties over the course of the 5-day event. This year’s convention is shaping up to being even bigger with the Koelnmesse, the owner of the 3,000,000+ square-foot venue, recently releasing that over 70% of the planned space has already been booked. In addition, 89,000 square feet of new exhibition space has been booked exclusively by Electronic Arts (EA), freeing up a large amount of space for even more exhibitors this year.

    Some of the confirmed attendees include big names like Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Square Enix, and Ubisoft. Some smaller outfits like CCP Games, famous for their space combat MMO Eve Online, have also signed their name into this year’s exhibitor list. New and upcoming games are not the only things Gamescom represents; major hardware manufacturers like Micro Star International (MSI) and Corsair have in the past have major presences. Their typical show floor hardware showcases are common, but last year MSI showed it cared about its case modding community by carving out a wealth of space to host a live case modding competition and display amazing computer case artwork. Retailers were also well represented last year by having their own dedicated event hall for nothing but gaming merchandise sales.

    Electronic Arts is likely to bring a big act this year with Star Wars Battlefront II on the verge of release and their young Battlefield 1 game due to receive follow-on excitement for upcoming content. Microsoft is widely expected to also have a big presence this year with its Destiny franchise ready to spawn a second game, Destiny 2 which will finally be released on PC in addition to the Xbox One and PS4. Ubisoft will also stand to have a good presence with an upcoming addition to their Assassin’s Creed series after having taken the year off from releases in 2016. The new title, Assassins Creed: Origins is set in Ancient Egypt and will likely continue to showcase some of the new and existing features that keep the Assassin’s Creed series running.

    Learning from last year, I will be focusing more on scheduling coverage with particular developers. So far I have planned meetups with the Crowfall team of Actcraft and Travian Games, Frontier Developments, and Square Enix Europe. I am still awaiting back an answer from Electronic Arts and Ubisoft which I am eagerly awaiting a response on.

    Overall I am expecting another packed year as tickets for the weekend portion have already sold out. Just like last year, I will be avoiding the typical very long lines for gameplay testing lines and instead attempting to cover as much as possible over the four days of the public event. Obligatory frequent visits of the Twitch.tv booth are also planned. Finally, thanks to a new EU cell phone law, I will have a 100GB of contracted cell data to mobile stream with during the event, so be sure to check back here closer to the end of August to receive updates!

    Brawlhalla Summer Championship

    Mighty vikings, stealthy ninjas and fighting game fans from around the world are invited to join the epic battles sure to take place at the Brawlhalla Summer Championship Series, an online Brawlhalla tournament occurring July 29-30.   More than 1,300 circuit points and $10,000 USD in cash prizes are on the line in the last seasonal Brawlhalla championship event before the $100k World Championship taking place in Atlanta this November.   Players can register to participate via the Brawlhalla Circuit Schedule. https://smash.gg/brawlhalla-circuit/schedule       Brawlhalla $10k Summer Championship Series Takes Place July 29-30   Last Online Event Before $100k World Championship   ATLANTA, GA - June 26, 2017 - Blue Mammoth Games invites warriors from around the world to test their mettle in the Brawlhalla Summer Championship Series, an online Brawlhalla tournament taking place Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30, 2017 on the Brawlhalla Twitch channel.   More than 1,300 circuit points and $10,000 USD in cash prizes are on the line in the Brawlhalla Summer Championship, the last seasonal Brawlhalla championship before the ultimate Brawlhalla event, the $100k World Championship, taking place in Atlanta this November.   The Brawlhalla Summer Championship will be divided into four divisions, NA 1v1, EU 1v1, NA 2v2, and EU 2v2, with $2,500 in cash prizes for each division. The 1v1 competitions will take place on July 29 and the 2v2 competitions will take place on July 30. The daily schedule will be as follows:   12:00pm EDT - Start time (Europe) 2:00 pm EDT - Finals (Europe) 3:00pm EDT - Start time (North America) 5:00pm EDT - Finals (North America)   Players can register for the Brawlhalla Summer Championship via the Brawlhalla Circuit Schedule. For more information, please visit the Brawlhalla esports website or check out the full tournament rules.   Paul "FunkyP" Ngyuen, veteran of EVO, CEO and Dreamhack streaming, is producing the Brawlhalla Summer Championship stream. Blue Mammoth developers David "Foda" Kisich and Eric "TWK" Devlin will be commentating.   "The format hasn't changed, but for the last online championship of the season the stakes will be even higher as everyone battles for circuit points and a chance to qualify for the World Championship," says Kisich, Director of Esports, Blue Mammoth Games. "We can't wait to see who will come out on top and compete in November."      
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  • Posts

    • I've only seen videos from scrubs playing the new Beta for Destiny 2.  Need to get some feedback from fellow vets and see what the consensus is.  So anyone have any thoughts or opinions on the new game? Worth buying? Avoiding? Buying on sale a year from now?
    • Finding Your Next Mission! Our corporate sponsors and other business relationships make us keenly aware of the high demand for veterans in the marketplace. Our mission for the ACT program is to capitalize on the leadership, principles, and mission accomplishment mentality that every veteran possesses and help them translate that into continued success in the civilian sector. Our taxpayers have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into training these elite men and women and at HCC we provide the additional training, coaching, and mentoring to ensure that investment produces a tremendous return for the veteran, the employer, and our economy. A few things our veterans receive: ·         Training and counseling from HR Professionals and our corporate partners ·         Network development and assessment for career advancement ·         Targeted job search/resume techniques and potential employer research strategies ·         Social media guidance ·         Assessments and Strengths evaluation ·         Connections with vast HCC network of businesses and employers ·         Interview/elevator speech prep     This is a free, five day, in-house training at HCC’s Veteran Business Center located in Farmers Branch, Texas Apply online at http://www.hccvet.org/act-program/     Respectfully, William J. Miller Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. ACT/Fellows Program Manager (214) 431-3834 william.miller@hccvet.org
    • When selecting your time slot, what time zone is it based on?
    • Hey Sam! If you want to start streaming for OSD - just find a date on the calendar (I will work on your privileges now) and then secure it with your stream link and information, on that day, let us know and we will get you all of the stuff you need to get started streaming in support of Operation Supply Drop, I will also be going over the rules for streaming on the channel *the usual stuff*.    Thanks for joining us! 
    • Hello to all! My name is Troy, (Sam_U_ElJackson). I am 47 years old and an Active Army / Army National Guard vet. I spent a total of 18 years in and got out because of PTSD. After struggling to hold down a fulltime job  I stepped into uncharted waters and started streaming. I started as a console streamer then I bought a gaming PC. Each day has been a blessing and an escape from my daily struggles in life. I figured, if I am streaming for fun, why not do it for a cause and meet others that share things I have in common. After a short search I found Operation Supply Drop, and Mil-Sim Gaming.  I am always looking for new friends, other gamers, and do not mind adding people to my discord or games to play with me! I mostly stream/play 7 Days To Die and Minecraft. Hope everyone has fun and feel free to reach out to me! Troy aka Sam_U_ElJackson  
    • Hello to all! Name is Mike, aka Wanderingjew101. I am 31 years old and an Army National Guard vet. Spent 8 years in and got out because of an injury with my ankle. I am now working at a local liquor store, am in school milking my GI Bill benefits to get my Bachelors in Business Leadership and Management (so I can open my own business here shortly after I get the degree). I stream in my off time and do it for the fun of streaming. I have done one charity stream for Help Hope Live, and hope to keep that kind of thing going from time to time, on a regular basis, on my own stream. I figured, if I am streaming for fun, why not do it for a cause. Found the Operation Supply Drop to hit my in the place where I use to have a heart, and figured I would take steps to raising money for the cause!  I am always looking for new friends, other gamers, and do not mind adding people to my discord or games to play with me! Hope everyone has fun and feel free to reach out to me! Michael aka Wanderingjew101
    • sounds good monkee, pm me the details on discord when you have time.
    • Hey with the new dates I am going to have to drop out of the Tournament.  My recruiting center has an even that weekend that will take me out all weekend.  Sorry
    • Hey welcome to the community,  I am actually originally from MN but stationed in CT.  Look forward to playing some games with you if we play the same stuff.
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