Live Magazine - Video Games, Cosplay and Pop Culture

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LIve Magazine takes a look at "video game wars" ... why do we argue about games and systems? Let's have a look

LIVE

APRIL/MAY 2016 ISSUE

video game

wars peace


Welcome

Peace and Love …

as Ringo would say.

The Beatles drummer often tells

fans “peace and love” and while

that’s a lovely sentiment, this world

is anything but. After all it was John

Lennon who wrote War Is Over” and

was assassinated by a fan in 1980.

Published by

This month’s Live Magazine talks

about those silly wars. Mine is

better then yours. Xbox is better

then Playstation! Nintendo is better

then everything … these arguments

just waste time. It’s about gaming.

It’s about us all who just love the

enjoyment and fun that playing a

video game brings. Whether it’s on

your own or with friends, gaming

should be about fun. Life’s too short

to argue and fight. Who cares what

you play on. If it’s a 3 year old PC, a

SNES or Xbox One or PS4, it really

doesn’t matter. The thing that matters

is you’re part of the brotherhood and

sisterhood of gaming. That special


INSIDE

8

Feature:

Video Game

Wars

26

Game Reviews

68

Geek Out

144

Cosplay

THE LIVE TEAM

group of people that love nothing

more then sitting down with your

controller of choice and firing up a

game to lose yourself in.

We’ve also got our cosplay section

dedicated to those special artists

who love making and dressing up

in cosplay. Plus retro, comics, board

games and all that cool stuff we’re

into. Please enjoy.

One more thing. Live will be going

bi-monthly from this month. Why?

Because we want it to be even better.

We want to have more time to create

a brilliant magazine that you love. We

want it to be one of the best game

and pop culture digital magazines

you can read. Our catalogue will

still be monthly, but look out for our

next Live in June - it’s going to be

amazing!

Peace and Love…

The Live Crew

Publisher: Rob Jenkins

(GTHQ)

Art Director: Giselle Capozza

(GTHQ)

Game Review & Preview Editors:

Nick Getley & Kylie Tuttle

(Sticky Trigger)

Retro Editor: Paul Monopoli

Comics: Scott Sowter

Cosplay Editor: Anny Sims

Sticky Trigger Writers:

Kylie Tuttle

Nick Getley

Alex Holmes

Aaron Milligan

Ben Rachow

Bridget Sweeney

Sean Fox

Sasha Karen

Jason English

Johnny Scene


APRIL

GAME

RELEASES!

DATE

01/04/2016

05/04/2016

05/04/2016

08/04/2016

09/04/2016

12/04/2016

12/04/2016

20/04/2016

23/04/2016

TITLE

Terraria

Assassins Creed Chronicles

Quantum Break

Dirt Rally

Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3 with Red Knight Pop Vinyl

Ratchet and Clank

Star Fox Zero

FORMATS

Wii U

PSV

XB1

PS4, XB1

3DS

PC, PS4, XB1

PC, PS4, XB1

PS4

Wii U

Dates are correct at time of publishing. Ask staff for details.


MAY

GAME

RELEASES!

DATE

03/05/2016

03/05/2016

10/05/2016

13/05/2016

13/05/2016

17/05/2016

20/05/2016

21/05/2016

21/05/2016

21/05/2016

24/05/2016

24/05/2016

26/05/2016

TITLE

Battleborn

Battleborn Gametraders Badges Bundle

Uncharted 4 A Thiefs End

Doom with Preorder Offer

Doom Stress Ball Bundle with Preorder Offer

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered

Homefront The Revolution

Fire Emblem Fates Birthright

Fire Emblem Fates Conquest

Fire Emblem Fates Special Edition

Overwatch Origins Edition

Total War Warhammer

Mirrors Edge Catalyst

FORMATS

PC, PS4, XB1

PC, PS4, XB1

PS4

PC, PS4, XB1

PC, PS4, XB1

PS4

PC, PS4, XB1

3DS

3DS

3DS

PC, PS4, XB1

PC

PS4, XB1


PRE-ORDER

GET IT AT GAM

CTC

Available on 3DS.

TBC 2016.


NOW!

COMING

IN 2016!

ETRADERS!


FEATURE

VIDEO GAME

wars?

“who wins an

argument about

which video game

system is the

best?

...nobody.”

BY RETRO EDITOR PAUL MONOPOLI


People have been arguing over

which piece of hardware is the

best since the dawn of technology.

From the 80s, where the

schoolyard battleground featured

8-bit computers and consoles, to

the modern iOS vs Android wars.

This month I thought it would be

interesting to focus on some of

those heated discussions, what

they were about and whether is

was worth having them.

Video games have changed a lot

in the past 30+ years, but the reasons

for arguing over which is the

better machine have pretty much

remained the same. It doesn’t

matter if you’re pitting your Commodore

64 against your friends

Amstrad CPC, or arguing about

how superior your Super Nintendo

is to your friend’s Sega Megadrive.

Though the systems have

changed, the arguments can always

be broken down into several

key components.

Graphics are extremely important

to a video game system. Like television

and movies, video games

are a visual form of entertainment.

Unlike television and movies, video

games vary in the way they

deliver these pictures. The colour

palette on a Commodore 64 features

dull, pastel colours that look

rather washed out. On the other

hand, the Amstrad CPC features

a bright colour palette, with many

variations on primary colours. On

the flip side, the Amstrad CPC

does not feature hardware scrolling,

and as such many games will

jerk or flicker if the game code is

not optimised. On the other hand,

the Commodore 64 does feature

hardware scrolling, so it requires

less effort for a coder to create a

game that moves nicely.

The processor in the Sega Megadrive

is more than double the

speed of that found in the Super

Nintendo Entertainment System.

As a result of this, many early

Super Nintendo titles were prone

to slowdown when too much was

happening on the screen. Super

R-Type is one prime example of

this. While the Super Nintendo

faced criticism over its processor,

it featured double the RAM

used in the Megadrive, 64k of audio

RAM compared to 8k on the

Megadrive, and a graphical chip

that could handle larger sprites,

higher resolutions and a greater

colour palette.

The games released for a system

are what end up making or

breaking it. Why bother having

the greatest system in the world if

there are no decent games for it?

Each system had its ‘killer app’,

with Nintendo sticking to the tried

and true formula of the Mario series

and Sega entering the race

with Sonic the Hedgehog. During

the 16-bit era these exclusives

further helped to divide fans. Did

you want the speed of the all new

Sonic the Hedgehog or the familiar

platforming fun that Super

Mario World provided?

Different systems featured different

ports of the same game.

These ports would vary depending

on the strength of the system,

the skill of the developer and the

timeframe given. Many video

games suffered due to the small

amount of time coders were allowed

to work on it, with many

programmers often looking back

on some of their titles with disappointment.

Double Dragon on the

Commodore 64 is a barely playable

mess, but the Amstrad CPC

version coded by Richard Aplin

is a joy to play, and it feels like a

decent port of the arcade classic.

On the flip side, The Last Ninja 2

on the Amstrad CPC plays like a

slug and is in black and white. On

the Commodore 64 the game is

in full colour, and is a worthy sequel

to the original.

A controller can make or break

your gaming experience. I will admit

that I cannot stand the Nintendo

64 controller. That analogue

thumbstick is horrible to use,

and it wears down very quickly.

The Gamecube analogue stick

improved on this and is a joy to

use. I have never been a fan of

any Playstation controller due to

the problem I have with the directional

pad. I don’t like having

a D-pad that looks like 4 buttons.

I have a similar problem with the

Bandai Wonderswan, which features

only buttons and no true D-

pad. With this said, I know plenty

of people who love the Nintendo

64 and Playstation controllers.

In the end who wins an argument

about which video game system

is the best? In most cases the

answer is nobody. Everybody

have their favourite games, their

preferred brand and their idea of

what makes a successful video

game system. Changing another

person’s opinion is not an easy

thing do, and why should someone

even try to? Variety is the

spice of life, and there’s nothing

wrong with a Nintendo fan enjoying

titles released on rival system,

just as it’s OK for a Sega fan to

enjoy Mario games.

I think the band War said it best

when they asked “Why can’t we

be friends?”


FEATURE

7

things we argue

about when it

comes to video

game systems...

but shouldn’t

2. Good controllers adds to

the gaming experience.

1. 3rd party support means lots of game choice.


3. Multimedia - maybe you

want an all in one system,

maybe you don’t.

Console discussions

about which

is better are generally

pointless.

They seem to

fit into the same

camp as other “religious” discussions

such as PC or Mac, Nikon

and Canon and iOs vs Android. At

the end of it all, it really is a personal

choice. And, as part of the

gaming brotherhood and sisterhood

we really should just make

our own decisions and not feel

the need to argue and defend our

choices. After all, we’re all gamers

aren’t we and we share something

that the rest of the human

race doesn’t - a love of imagined

worlds, of challenges that test our

reflexes and dexterity and our enjoyment

of a good story we can

be part of.

But for your choice we’ve listed 7

things to consider when buying a

game system that suits you. Yes

there are probably many others,

such as a larger user base is an

attraction for developers, after all

more owners means a larger market

to sell to. But that’s not always

the case. Look at the Wii, it was a

great system and sold over 100

million consoles but didn’t get a

massive amount of 3rd party support.

So what are our 7 categories?

Let’s take a look:

Good 3rd party support. Look

at the PS2 and PS3. The system

was readily accepted by gamers,

got a ton of great 3rd party games

and sold millions. The PS2 sold

over 157 million and is, according

to our friends at VG Chartz the

best selling console of all time.

The PS3 comes in at 6th and the

original Playstation sits at 4th.

Why? Sony made a strong system

that had great hardware and

great software.

Great Titles like Ico, Silent Hill,

Gran Truism and Finally Fantasy

were brilliant on the PS2 and ensured

happy fans and big sales

for 3rd party developers. Big

sales means more budget for new

games and success on a platform

usually resulted in follow up titles.

Controller. The Xbox 360 had

a brilliant controller, as did the

Playstation, which is why the

360 sits in VG Chartz top ten at

number 7. It sold over 85 million

units and even with the red ring

of death negative, gamers loved

it and made it a classic must have

system. The original Xbox’s controller

wasn’t so popular so Microsoft

ensured the 360 had a brilliant

design and we loved it. Many

consider it to be one of the most

ergonomic controllers ever with

its’ improved button layout and

usability.

Multimedia - The PS2 played

DVDs too. So when dads bought

it (and mums) they could justify

the cost by explaining to their

other half that “It’s a DVD player

too!” Brilliant. Today we take

it for granted that our consoles

will play Blu-rays but that wasn’t

always the case… remember

the Xbox 360 and the HD DVD

player? Sold for around $200

U.S, Bill Gates announced during

the 2006 CES talk that the

external HD DVD player would

be released but alas Blu-ray one


4. User OS - clunky systems are frustrating.

5. Playing with friends = great

competitive fun.

6. Exclusives! Finding out that game

is on another system.

6. Personal Choice - at the end of the

day choose what you really want.


the format war of the 2000s and

HD died… Today a good system

must come with a Blu-ray player

built in, internet support and online

gaming. Plus a host of other

options that ensure it can be

your all-in-one game and entertainment

system. I know there’s

some people that will argue that

all we need is a pure gaming

system and while I agree, there

are times you really want it all in

one simple box so that you don’t

need multiple systems hooked

up to the main TV. What I’d suggest

is having a seperate game

room and TV with all your retro

and current systems separate so

your other half doesn’t yell at you

about the bloody mess!

User OS - when we interact with

our console is it more painful

then haemorrhoids or is the experience

smooth and seamless?

Clunky interfaces can put people

off big time. A poll on Gamespot

has readers voting on the current

gen systems and so far the

Xbox One has the numbers but

other sites have people loving

the PS4… again it’s a personal

choice. A good OS let’s you navigate

through settings and loading

up games easily. Unfortunately

some past systems were a bit

clunky and ugly. The old days of

the Amiga 500 were simple. Slot

in your floppy and the game booted.

Simple… Same with Nintendo

cartridges. You pushed it into the

slot and away you went chasing

monsters or jumping platforms.

What are your friends using? In

the past this has been a big reason

people may choose one over

the other. After all, playing co-op

with friends or battling them online

is a blast. But with recent

announcements by Microsoft on

cross play and Sony saying they

will support this, it means no matter

what system you get from at

least these two giants, you can

play your friends online … in the

future.

Exclusives. Yes this is a biggie

if you are a fan of certain games.

Like Rise of the Tomb Raider set

to be exclusive on the Xbox One.

Unchartered 4 on PS4 and Little

Big Planet 3. Halo on Xbox is a

big draw… the simple answer is

buy both systems if you can afford

it. Easy fixed! Same with retro titles

that are classics. Talk to our

retro editor Paul, and you’ll find a

host of gold in those old systems.

Some of the gaming on platforms

like the Amstrad computer, the

SNES, N64 and Sega were absolute

classics. There’s a certain

nostalgic joy to be had when

it’s just you and an old favourite

game on a cold, wet Saturday afternoon.

No pressure, nowhere to

be, just you, the game and some

snacks… heaven!

Personal choice. What’s that

you say? Personal choice???

Yep, sometimes you just go with

what you really want. Like we said

at the outset of this article - it’s not

a religious debate, you’re allowed

to make a choice based on what

you really want. Gaming is fun,

should be enjoyed and should

never be the cause of disagreements

that end up in anger. Just

go have fun and play games.


OPINION

RETRO EDITOR, PAUL MONOPOLI,

TELLS US WHY HE THINKS THE PS4

IS OUTSELLING XB1.

38.8

MILLION

SOURCE VGCHARTZ

The original Playstation was unleashed

on the world at a time

when Nintendo were dominating

the market. Regardless of who

you supported at the time, history

shows that Sega lost the 16-bit

war, though they were still clamouring

for marketshare. After the

failure of the Sega CD and 32X I

don’t think many people held high

hopes for the Saturn, especially

with its troubled development history.

From what I can see there were

a few reasons why Nintendo fell

from grace around this time. The

Virtual Boy had slightly tarnished

their reputation and there was

also an element of supporting

the underdog. The media were

closely following the story of the

Nintendo Playstation and their

alleged poor treatment of Sony.

I believe that many gamers felt

sympathy for Sony and that Nintendo

were getting too big for

their boots. There was also the

prospect of this exciting new

hardware that was developed.

Both Sony and Nintendo were

promising big things with their

new consoles, but there were 2

things that caused problems for


Nintendo. First was the decision

to stick to cartridges while Sony

were using CDs, which contained

more storage space and were

cheaper than using ROMs, which

caused many fans and reporters

to dismiss the Ultra 64 before it

was even released on the market.

The second was the simple

fact that in 1995 the Ultra 64 was

a year or two away, when the

Playstation was here and now.

If we fast forward to the Playstation

2, I can remember a big

selling point was DVD playback.

DVDs were really starting to

take off when the console was

released, but DVD players were

still quite expensive. Though

technically the XBOX and Gamecube

were superior consoles, the

strength of the original Playstation,

the DVD playback, and the

strong advertising all played a

part in the success of this “mark

2” console. Many commentators

have claimed that though the

Dreamcast was the first console

released in that generation, many

people were happy to wait for the

PS2.

The Playstation 2 was a more

important console that the first.

Gamers are a fickle bunch, and

while the first wave of success

gave Sony a lot of new fans, the

success of the second console

cemented them. The Playstation

3 and 4 were natural successors

to both the success of the original

consoles and the fanbase that

followed it. With that said, if the

PS3 and PS4 were genuinely bad

consoles then the gaming public

would have definitely let them

know!

20.3

MILLION

SOURCE VGCHARTZ

Microsoft have always been unable

to gain the same marketshare

as Sony, though this may have

to do with the fact that today’s

videogame market is dominated

by Japanese developers. Sony

are a Japanese company, plus

they have been developing video

games since the era of the Super

Nintendo. It is natural to assume

that they have a relationship with

other Japanese developers. Microsoft,

being an American company

that specialised in operating

systems don’t have the same

background, and this may be a

detriment to their success. That,

however, is pure speculation on

my part.

WRITTEN BY

PAUL MONOPOLI

RETRO EDITOR


console

ov

saleS

Just how well did consoles sell?

Take a look at the chart from VG

Chartz - you can see the PS2 is

the all time biggest selling console

at 157plus million followed

by Nintendo DS and Game Boy.

If you’re a PC gamer you be interested

to know that Intel estimates

there are 711 million PC gamers

world wide at the time of their

press release in 2014.

lion. You can check out the whole

list in our attached graphics on

the next page and head over to

the good folks at VG Chartz here:

www.vgchartz.com/gamedb

The biggest selling games also tell

an interesting story. For example

Minecraft is listed as the biggest

selling game on PC at 23 million

followed by World of Warcraft at

14 million. On the console side

Wii Sports comes in at over 82

million followed by Super Mario

Bros on NES at 40 million and

Mario Kart Wii at around 35 mil-


er the years


console sales

stats from www.vgchartz.com


opinion

The Rise and Change of

Console Gaming

For years I have been surrounded

by video games, long before my

Cosplay days. I love PC gaming,

but I have always been a console

girl at heart.

My first experience at playing

video games was a family friend’s

Sega Mega Drive and I got to

play Sonic the Hedgehog. I was

then introduced to the awesome

split screen co-op. My sister and

I could play Sonic and Tails – AT

THE SAME TIME! We were both

crazy young then so this was

some type of amazing magic to

us.

It wasn’t long after that that the

Playstation 1 was released. Another

family friend had been lucky

enough to own one, and he introduced

my sister and I to Tomb

Raider. The graphics looked

amazing to us, and being able to

rotate a camera around a character

was a new novelty. It was

clear that technology was moving

forwards in leaps and bounds

and all I can say is that I’m glad to

have jumped on this ride.

I had many friends that were gamers

and we all loved all consoles.

My heart will always lay with Sega

and Playstation, but I’ve played

(and love – and even own some!)

Nintendos (who doesn’t love Donkey

Kong??), Xbox and the later

created Nintendo Wii. Like every

friend does, we would banter with

who owned the superior console,

but in reality we all loved playing

all of the consoles at each others

homes.

Looking back now and at how far

console gaming has come still

fascinates me. The split screen is

still something I love, but looking

back at the graphics of years ago

compared to now, it was not only

a skill of game playing, it was a

skill of sight and reaction. On a

relatively small TV, those 2 – 4

split screens suddenly become

miniscule in size. Co-op on one

screen was another test of skill

especially when your characters

could in fact injure each other! It

taught awareness and teamwork

like nothing else!

The old side scrolling format

of those older games also, for

me, holds its difficulty even now

against much more modern

games. Anyone who has played

Battletoads and done the level

with the little hovering vehicles

where you have to dart past all

sorts of obstacles on a rapidly

increasing scroll speed will know

exactly what I mean here. Try that

co-op where you BOTH have to

stay in the screen and line yourselves

up to perfect precision.

Re-starts were a common occurrence.

Gaming these days is so vastly

different. The ability to rotate the

camera and have different viewing

options in some ways makes

the playability a little more forgiving,

and caters to those whose

reaction times or sight may have

declined over the years.

Games now tend to not have

a ‘three strikes and you’re out’

policy that was so apparent in

the older console gaming. The

old consoles forced us to play

carefully and tactfully for fear of

losing that last precious life and

having to start the entire game

over again. The amount of times

my sister and I or us and some

friends would play the likes of

Streets of Rage, get to the last

boss battle on the last level, only

to lose that last life and be right

back to square one. It was frustrating

but it was a challenge

and it inspired us to keep trying.

There are games on our newer

consoles that have difficulty levels

to rival the console pioneers,

and some games are just outright

difficult (looking at you here Dark


Souls!), but on the whole, gaming

is much more forgiving and open

to a larger audience.

Console gaming has changed

with the times to cater to audiences

both new and old. The world

is so much faster paced now, and

our lives are filled with many other

things. Patience is something that

is either learned or lost. The need

for games to be a little more user

friendly, consume a little less time

whilst being engaging, be a little

less frustrating, and to be saveable

became necessity. Some may

disagree with me, but I believe

this is one of the reasons gaming

has changed the way it has.

There is no denying that the

graphical improvement of modern

console games is well worth

any negative things people might

think about the playability. From

a Cosplayer perspective, it is

a huge help to me – I can take

photos of different angles and

all sorts of crazy details that my

beloved pixelated side scroller

games would not allow.

That being said – and I’m sure

many will agree with me – I still

have a huge soft spot for the earlier

console games. I miss the difficulty

and the enjoyment of playing

on one screen with friends.

There was no need for internet

connections and servers. Whilst

those are great and allow people

to play with people anywhere

and everywhere, there are still

many of us that don’t have the

luxury of reliable internet, and we

don’t even live in the middle of

nowhere. I for one, can’t join the

online gaming world. All the cities

around me (which are big cities)

have access to great internet,

but for some insane reason, the

towns in between have been left

behind. We are not in dingo woop

woop but our internet is archaic.

I hope for this reason game developers

realise that there is still

a big audience for offline games.

That some of us still love the nostalgia

of split screen. It is true that

there are still current gen games

with this feature, but they are

becoming fewer and farther between.

There are times I have (and will

continue to do so) pull out my

old consoles and play those old

games. The thing that fascinates

me the most is that when I was little,

I thought to myself that I could

beat any level when I was older.

I’d be smarter, have better reflexes,

and have more savvy. How

wrong I was. These same levels

beat me to this day. They are my

Achilles Heel and it’s amazing.

These games have retained their

level of difficulty and that is no

easy feat.

Another thing that is becoming

a common occurrence is HD

remasters or remakes of older

games. Now I will be the first to

admit that I love it when these get

released. I know they often get

a bad rap because of the desire

for new IP, but it is great that we

can re-live some of our favourites

with new and improved graphics.

I personally would love to see a

HD Remaster of all of the Crash


“...i hope that some

developers and

publishers take a step

back and return to the

original

console

routes.

to release a complete

and polished game

that does not need any

patches or dlc.”

Bandicoot games. Plus about a

million other games!

I also believe that with the way

console gaming has changed, HD

remasters have become a fast

way to make money. Consoles

have removed the backwards

compatibility over time (much to

the annoyance of consumers),

forcing people to constantly upgrade

consoles so we can play

both new and old games.

The desire for games to be produced

quickly, the desire for new

IP, it all puts pressure on publishers

and developers. Short cuts

get taken, patches released, DLC,

Expansion Packs and Season

Passes added. Special Editions

get released and HD remakes

can be released in between new

IPs to keep consumers happy

and money rolling in. I have nothing

against any of this and I love

owning multiple consoles, however

it would be great for publishers,

developers and even consumers,

to remember why they began

gaming in the first place. Whilst

the need for money and demand

must always be met, I hope that

some developers and publishers

take a step back and return to the

original console roots. To release

a complete and polished game

that does not need any patches or

DLC. One that the care, time and

most importantly – passion – has

been meticulously profound in its

making. As a society, we sometimes

need to take a step back,

not rush to finish that level before

we need to go somewhere,

or rush to finish the game before

others or to avoid spoilers. Gaming

has changed over the years to

allow us to rush through things, to

avoid the road less travelled, and

to be little more than a temporary,

convenient respite. This is a good

thing, but it does us no harm to really

sit back and get fully invested

into a game – even better when

shared with your mates.

The days of buying a game on

release day are becoming rarer.

As consumers we know that over

time, another edition will likely be

released of a game that includes

all the DLC and expansion packs

and often for a discounted price.

It’s an interesting dynamic, but I

personally miss the days when

you bought a game, had the excitement

of reading that amazing

game manual (these are a rare

occurrence in games now for reasons

that are understandable)

and not have to worry about the

Internet or glitches or adding extra

content.

One thing that has remained is

the dreaded lack of memory for

our games to be saved. The shuffling

of games and thinking hard

about what you can delete have

stayed. It’s true that we have

much more hard drive space on

our consoles and external hard

drives, but games are bigger.

Most games now need to download

massive amounts of data on

to your console so your 500GB

or 1TB suddenly feels no larger

than the likes of those little 8MB

PSOne memory cards.

Hopefully the ability to just put

a game in a console and play it

will not die off entirely. I have faith

that there are still plenty of us out

there who would agree. All gaming

has its place, but is returning

to the basic morals of the console

pioneers something that we

should really strive to stray so far

from? ☺

And to the gamers who are children

starting out now – perhaps

find an opportunity to play these

old consoles. See, watch, feel

and learn what the console pioneers

asked of us gamers. Learn

the patience that was forced and

have moments where competition

or multiplayer don’t matter.

Don’t ever feel that you have to

get used to all the patches and

extra content that you may have

to pay for or download. There was

a time when you could just put a

game in a console and play…let’s

not let those times cease to exist…

WRITTEN BY

tiffany dean


VR

the future of gaming?


FEATURE

“your mind

makes it real...”

Morpheus (from the movie - the matrix)

VR is coming and it’s affordable

and it will change entertainment

forever… we think.

Live got a press release from our

friends at Sony and it talks about

the launch of the Playstation VR

(PS VR) that will be launched in

October this year. Oculus Rift is

also shipping this year, with initial

orders gone out but if you’re

wanting one you may need to

wait until July this year. Pricing

isn’t cheap but good tech never

is. The Oculus is priced at $920

Aus and for our U.S friends look

at finding $649.

The PS VR will be cheaper at

$549.95 and in both cases you’ll

need appropriate hardware. Sony

Playstation 4 for their system and

a powerful PC for Oculus… sorry

not for Mac at this stage. Sony

looks to have some quality titles

in development with 3rd party

software in the wings. The release

states:

Michael Ephraim, Managing Director

Sony Computer Entertainment

Australia and New Zealand

says: “Innovation is in our DNA at

PlayStation and PS VR is the single

biggest step change in technology

I’ve seen in over 20 years

at PlayStation. There’s a huge

amount of excitement around

VR in Australia and I am really

pleased that we are in a position

to share this news with our fans.”

Currently more than 230 developers

and publishers*2 are

working on PS VR software titles,

from smaller independent

teams to larger studios at the industry’s

top publishers such as

2K Games and Ubisoft®. Software

titles in development for

PS VR from these developers

and publishers as well as from

SCE Worldwide Studios (SCE

WWS) are now totalling to more

than 160 titles*3, and over 50 of

those titles including Eagle Flight

(Ubisoft), EVE: Valkyrie (CCP

Games), Headmaster (Frame Interactive),

Rez Infinite (Enhance

Games), Wayward Sky (Uber Entertainment),

RIGS: Mechanized

Combat League, Tumble VR,

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and

PlayStation®VR WORLDS (SCE

WWS) are expected to launch by

the end of this year. Additionally,

DICE and Lucasfilm are working

on an all-new Star Wars Battlefront

(Electronic Arts Inc.) gaming

experience only for PS VR.

Furthermore, THE PLAYROOM

VR*4 by SCE WWS will be available

as a free download from

PlayStation®Store to all PS VR

owners, simultaneously with the

launch of the system.

So… what’s it like? We sat down

and had an experience of the first

version of the Oculus and it was

quite amazing. Sitting down, the

operator put the headset on me

and said I’d be on a virtual roller

coaster. Hmmm, no big deal I

thought. Then the coaster started

moving on the tracks and it felt

weirdly real. I kept telling myself,

it’s just pixels moving around a

screen close to my eyes yet as I

turn, I see what I expect to see

- the ground getting further away

as we slowly move up along the

tracks. The scenery below scales

smaller and as I turn I see landscapes

in the distance that seem

kind of real. A touch pixelated,

but somehow the movement of

my head and the graphics moving

smoothly suspends my disbelief.

Then the coaster reaches the

top and we start to really pick up

speed. Boy, it really seems real,

somehow I’m imagining G-forces


as we scream down the track. I

close my eyes for a second to get

my bearings. This is really immersive.

I feel I’m there!

A minute or two later and the ride

ends and I think I almost fell off

the chair trying to move with the

coaster. In fact there is some funny

clips on Youtube where people

are really into their VR experience

and yes, some even fall off

their chair!

The games look amazing from an

immersion point of view. Suspension

of disbelief will be cranked

up a bunch of levels when you

put on the headset. You really will

feel you are there.

OCULUS RIFT

While games will be huge, think

of the other uses for VR, I should

be clearer - VR done right. Education

comes to mind.

“Hey kids put on your headsets,

we’re off to ancient Greece!” says

the teacher.

What about learning in new ways.

Being able to experience flying in

a more immersive way, or learning

surgery? Or maybe you just

want to really experience that

movie. 3D movies are still being

released but everyone I talk to

with a 3D TV seems to buy it, try

it, and hardly use it again. I hope

the VR won’t follow the same fate,

and if the initial software and user

feedback is anything to go by, it

won’t. This time it could just be a

huge leap in how we experience

our digital entertainment and in

fact, our digital lives…

TOUCH BY OCULUS


CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE:

https://www.playstation.com/en-au/explore/playstation-vr/tech-specs/

https://www.oculus.com/en-us/


ameS

REVIEWS & PREVIEWS

previewS:

HITMAN

reviewS:

the division

ETRIAN ODYSSEY 2 UNTOLD:

THE Fafnir KNIGHT

plants vs zombies:

garden warfare 2


HITM


HANDS ON Preview

AN

CTC


HANDS ON PREVIEW

HITMAN

It’s a bit of an obscure choice

when a publisher takes the dive

in making drastic changes to the

format of a game franchise that’s

done particularly well among its

fan-base. Even more so when

the franchise gets a reboot with

a new title, and then cut into

smaller pieces for prolonged

consumption by its fans.

The new Hitman title is exactly

that: a new game in the series

that aims to reboot the franchise

into an episodic format, with new

content to be released as it is developed.

In this review, we take

a look at the first episode (titled

Paris) and what it has to offer.

Hitman begins with the protagonist

arriving at a secret facility

deep within the snowy mountains

of a classified location. It is

here that we’re introduced to Diana

Burnwood, who reprises her

role as the iconic “handler” of the

series. The role of a handler is

to provide their assigned agents

with contracts, and critical intelligence

on their designated targets.

The game is set 20 years prior

to the events of Hitman: Absolution.

At this point in the story, our

nameless bald-headed protagonist

is merely an initiate of the International

Contract Agency (or

simply, The Agency) and is set

to undergo a series of rigorous

tests to determine if he is assassin

material.

After you’ve defied the expectations

of the Agency higher-ups,

you’re sent out into the wide

world to do some killing, and

the first contract is a glamorous

power couple who’ve stolen a

top-secret NOC list from MI6 to

sell on the black market to the

biggest names in global terrorism.

In Hitman: Paris (at least, that’s

what we’re calling it), the gameplay

is spread out over a grand

total of four missions related to

the story. The first three of which

are training scenarios held within

the aforementioned secret training

facility, and the final mission

is a real contract with two targets

that Agent 47 must eliminate.

This is excluding the player created

contracts.

In each mission, you have a

multitude of different methods

in which you can employ in order

to kill your designated target.

These will pop up as you progress

through the various stages

of the mission, and as you trigger

the various audible hints from

the conversations taking place

around you.

You will find a plethora of items

scattered around the level, including

hand tools such as

screwdrivers, combustible items

like propane canisters, and consumables

like rat poisons. Let’s

not forget that you can disguise

yourself as various characters

too, after you knock out the

NPC, strip them down to their

underwear and toss the body

in the nearest box or dumpster.

Graceful.

Combine these two mechanics

that make up the core gameplay,

and you’re set to complete

the various contract challenge

presets. These challenges can

range from mixing the aforementioned

rat poison in alcoholic

beverages, to releasing chandelier

frames over unsuspecting

bystanders, or even killing a target

wearing a vampire costume

(yes, there’s a vampire costume).

Each action you take during your


CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRAILER!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h24dF8_LcFM

missions is worth a certain number

of points, and is evaluated

at the end of each mission with

a total score. This score is then

compared with other players in

the world with a global leaderboard.

From what I was able to

work out, it appears that 250,000

is the maximum score achievable

in the main mission as nearly

everyone in the top ten currently

has achieved it.

On a slightly related note, Hitman

maintains an “always online”

presence which is slightly annoying,

as it causes a bit of a delay

in loading up the game. Additionally,

it appears that save games

are maintained individually between

online and offline modes

which is another annoyance, as

you’re forced to play online or offline

– there is not carrying them

between to the two.

Back to the gameplay side of

things, while this episode only

includes four story-based missions,

the game does feature

the contract creator mode that

made its mark in Hitman: Absolution.

Players can go online to

check out the hottest rated player-made

contracts and test their

skills against the online community

in a race for the quickest

completion time.

I did check out one or two of

these contracts, but after a while

they just felt a bit repetitious – go

to this location, kill this guy or

gal in a particularly methodical

manner wearing a very specific

outfit – and once completed, do

it all over again with a different

target, method and outfit.

The visual aesthetic of Hitman is

nothing short of pretty. Character

models are bursting with detail,

the lighting is on point and brings

out the colour in every area incredibly

well, and there are plenty

of pretty shader effects including

god rays that just make you

stand back and take it in. Environments

such as cellars and

basements are as dark as you’d

expect, adding to that overall immersion

when you’re crawling

around like a stealthy assassin.

Visual immersion is nothing without

the atmosphere created by

the accompanying sound design,

which again is on point.

As this game was reviewed,

it was played through a set of

Edifier R2000DB’s via an optical

output, and it sounded absolutely

incredible. In one of the story

missions in Paris, there is an

area of the level where you walk

in and you can hear the clusters

of conversation taking place,

only to be drowned out as you

walk into the next room where

catwalk techno music is blasting

through professional speakers,

not hearing a word of what’s being

said around you. Basically,

the sound design in this game

seems to have received a serious

amount of love to create that

meticulous level of authentic ambiance.

Hitman in its current form feels

more like a slightly beefed up

technical demo than the first

part of an episodic game series.

Sure, it has content, it’s pretty,

and sounds absolutely incredible

– but how many times can the

same limited content be played

before you’re reliving your childhood,

full of demo discs on Play-

Station?

In all seriousness however, this

first episode of Hitman is the

foundation of what is to come,

and I’m looking forward to checking

out the rest of what is on offer

in this series as it’s released. But

right now, it might be an idea to

give this a miss until more episodes

are released.


PROS:

IMMERSIVE SOUND

ATMOSPHERE

7.9/10

CONS:

EXPECTED MORE STORY

MISSIONS

ALWAYS ONLINE DRM

WRITTEN BY

matt raspe

WWW.STICKYTRIGGER.COM


THE DIV


ISION

review


REVIEW

THE DIVISION

Ubisoft’s ‘The Division’ might be

one of the year’s most anticipated

games. An online-only RPG/

shooter hybrid, The Division

looks to merge a cover-based

shooter with open-world RPGs.

The game has only just released,

though it’s already breaking records

for Ubisoft. Not only that,

but Ubisoft are swinging for the

fences with a strong post-launch

content plan recently announced

– so is The Division for you?

The Division takes place in New

York city, after a devastating

smallpox attack has all but wiped

out the population. After the attack,

people turn against each

other, gangs and looters rise,

and the military completely fails

to maintain control. Luckily, in

times like this, there exists a special

unit trained to restore order

when a direct line of command

ceases to exist. The Strategic

Homeland Division (also known

as The Division) is made up of

all sorts of people from all sorts

of backgrounds. They could be

your neighbour, your teacher,

your doctor – anyone, and they

have been going about their

everyday lives until now. They’ve

been activated.

Division Agents will need to band

together in order to uncover the

secrets behind the smallpox attack

and discover a vaccine.

They’ll also have to contend with

the various gangs and looters,

rescue hostages, and recover

items from highly contaminated

areas. They’ll also need to establish

a foothold in the city, a

safe haven where New Yorkers

can seek medical treatment and

the military can begin to turn the

tide against the gangs. There is

so much at stake, and so little

time to save New York.

Upon beginning The Division,

players create their character

and complete the basic tutorial.

Unfortunately, there is a distinct

lack of character customisation

in The Division, and it does have

a negative impact on the game’s

immersion. There are only a

handful of faces, hairstyles and

other features to choose from,

and considering that this is a

third person shooter (as in, you’ll

be seeing your character’s face

a lot), it feels like a missed opportunity

from Ubisoft Massive

and Ubisoft to not have a more

in-depth character creator.

The tutorial is relatively short,

and opts to cover the basics of

shooting, movement and cover

gameplay. There is a staggering

amount of missions in The

Division, though, and each time

a new type of mission occurs,

players will be presented with

a brief introduction on the mission’s

mechanics. Had this been

done any other way, The Division

might feel daunting for new

players, but Ubisoft Massive

have done well to ensure that

the game feels accessible and

easy to learn.

Your first mission is to meet up

with another Division Agent,

Faye Lau, who will serve as

your mission handler. Faye arranges

to meet you and fly you

out of Jersey via a helicopter to

Manhattan, though unfortunately,

things do not go according

to plan. An IED obliterates the

helicopter, and severely injures

Faye in the process. The player

blacks out, but awakens when a

second helicopter crew arrives

and transports them to Camp

Hudson, Manhattan. With Faye

out of the fight, it’s up to you to

establish a base of operations,

and take New York back.

After the game’s opening, how

players proceed throughout the

game is largely up to them. They

can experience the game’s story

through story missions, or they

can take on a number of side

missions and activities, including

bounty missions, encounters,


aids, and more. They can even

venture into the Dark Zone, an

area where the virus originated.

It’s highly contaminated, and

populated by some of the most

dangerous criminals and gangs

in New York. Martial Law is under

effect in the Dark Zone, and

Agents are able to work together,

or stab each other in the back.

Venturing through the Dark Zone

induces paranoia and tension –

you will never be at ease.

The Division’s story isn’t as present

as stories found in other

shooters. Instead of a linear and

more direct approach to delivering

a narrative, The Division

chooses to tell its story through

its characters and collectibles,

as well as the game world itself.

Some might criticise the lack of a

traditional narrative, but the details

are there for dedicated players

who seek out all the mobile

phones, crashed drones, case

files, surveillance footage and

other collectibles.

Early in the game I completed

a series of missions involving a

gang known as The Cleaners.

The Cleaners believe the government

failed to contain the initial

smallpox outbreak, and that

it’s up to them to purge the city of

the disease – by rounding up the

infected and incinerating them.

Their leader, Joe Ferro, believes

himself to be a hero when he’s

a madman, and has turned former

sanitation workers into a

legion of stormtroopers armed

with flamethrowers. If you just

complete the story missions involving

The Cleaners, you’ll be

able to gather that Ferro and

The Cleaners are dangerous

and need to be dealt with, but

not much more. Collect some

intel though, and you’ll discover

the Joe was very much once an

upstanding and concerned New

Yorker, having called local radio

stations to discuss the military’s

alleged mishandling of the outbreak.

Though The Division is a shooter-RPG,

you character does not

talk. While some people prefer

silent protagonists, I would have

enjoyed multiple choice dialogue.

Heck, I would have even

preferred my character to simply

speak without dialogue options

available. A lot of modern RPGs

understand the importance of

giving player’s decisions to

make, though The Division has

opted for a more linear approach,

which is odd. We’re not your typical

grunts, we’re Agents, and

we work outside of typical command.

We shouldn’t be simply

taking orders blindly from quest

vendors.

Ultimately, part of me would have

liked the story to be more present

in the actual missions. Collecting

intel is all well and good, though

if like me, you feel well and truly

burnt out by Ubisoft’s love of collectibles,

you’ll miss out on a lot

of details, or you’ll discover them

after completing a faction’s missions.

Gameplay-wise, The Division

feels like other third-person cov-


er-based shooters, like the Army

of Two and Gears of War games.

Players can run, climb and vault

the environment and shoot, and

melee strike, as well as dodge

roll, enter cover, and blind fire

(shooting from behind cover).

Oddly though, The Division does

not feature crouching, which is

widely regarded as a staple of

the genre. Crouching allows a

tactical advantage: it allows for

players to become a smaller target,

as well as lessen recoil, allowing

for an increase in accuracy.

It’s disappointing that it’s not

present in The Division.

Despite the lack of crouching,

The Division’s controls work. The

shooting is tight and responsive,

and the guns are balanced, but

varied from each other. Shotguns

are great for close range, as are

SMGs, and there are also assault

rifles, marksman rifles and

sniper rifles for players wanting

to attack from a distance. Light

machine guns are also available,

which are more capable of suppressing

enemies behind cover,

and turning the tide of battle. You

also have your trusty sidearm,

which can be a pistol or sawnoff

shotgun. Your sidearm never

runs out of ammo and can often

be the one thing that saves you

from bitter defeat.

In addition to the cover-based

gameplay and guns themselves,

there are also usable items, grenades

and skills players can take

advantage of. Items can heal the

player or award them a buff (a

temporary advantage) such as

increased damage against elite

enemies, skill cooldowns, as

well as the chance to cause area

of effect damage or the chance

to ignite enemies on fire. Grenades

specialise in dealing area

of effect damage, and come in

a number of varieties including

shock grenades, EMP grenades,

tear gas grenades, fragmentation

grenades and more.

The future is looking bright for

The Division, but as it stands

the game leaves me desiring

a more engaging story. It looks

gorgeous, and features some

excellent sound design. I won’t

say the game is for everyone, as

it is an online-only multiplayerdriven

experience – similar to

Destiny. As an RPG it feels light

on story and immersion, though

as a shooter is an absolute blast

to play (especially with friends).

We’ve been starved for a decent

cover-based shooter for some

time now, and Ubisoft Massive

has laid the foundation for what

might become a must-play experience.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRAILER!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uElsBflqgYw

PROS:

LOOKS GORGEOUS

FUN CO-OPERATIVE

GAMEPLAY

SOME TRULY EXCITING

MOMENTS

DARK ZONE IS AN INTENSE

EXPERIENCE

CONS:

ALMOST NO STORY

NO PLAYER CHOICE

SILENT PROTAGONIST

SOME BUGS AND OTHER

ISSUES


7.6/10

WRITTEN BY

NICK GETLEY

WWW.STICKYTRIGGER.COM


ETRIAN ODY

THE Fa


SSEY 2 UNTOLD:

fnir KNIGHT

review


REVIEW

ETRIAN ODYSSEY 2 UNTOLD:

THE Fafnir KNIGHT

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The

Fafnir Knight takes the acclaimed

dungeon crawler Nintendo DS title

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of

Lagaard, and brings it up to date

on the Nintendo 3DS. There’s not

just dungeons to crawl through;

there’s recipes to make, new

graphics to observe, a new story

to experience, and team mates

to love. For Etrian Odyssey fans,

there’s nothing to worry about.

Newcomers, however, have to

hike up their adventuring pants

and tackle unfamiliar territory.

Gameplay comes first and foremost

in the Etrian Odyssey series,

and Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold

is no exception. Gameplay

is split between dungeon crawling

through various floors and

mapping them out; you have

to be part time adventurer, part

time cartographer and draw the

map yourself.

Navigating dungeons is easy

enough, with pressing forward or

back on the d-pad to move, and

to turn with left and right. Each

floor holds little secrets to discover,

like pools of water or fruits

to restore health and technique

points, used for special moves.

One-time events can crop up

too, which can spur on humorous

dialogue from your party. A

coloured circle in the top right

corner goes from blue to green to

yellow to red to indicate when a

random battle is coming up. Battling

takes place like a traditional

turn-based RPG, combined with

line. During battle, your party

and the enemy can be split between

the front and back lines.

Some weapons can only hit enemies

in the front, there’s elemental

attacks to consider, abilities

tick over turns; if you’ve played a

turn-based RPG before, this’ll be

nothing new.

The map on the left was considered

incorrect by the in-game

tutorial, but the map on the right

was considered to be correct.

Early on, you have to learn how

the game wants you to draw your

maps without much prompting,

not how you want to draw them

yourself. Various tools must be

used in the way the game permits,

sometimes withholding

content until you comply with the

specific way it wants. For something

like drawing a map, this is

a bit perplexing. Certain floors,

when completed, can be fasttravelled

to by tapping the stair

icon, but it’s not all that clear how

this unlocks. The game almost

presumes you played Etrian Odyssey

in the past, caring only to

explain the newer features, but

not going into much depth with

the recurring mechanics, such

as the map drawing.

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold features

story mode, as opposed

to the original game. The story

mode features yourself as

a Fafnir Knight and survivalist

and friend Flavio as you escort

Arianna, the princess of Caledonia,

through Ginnungagap to

perform a ritual. Along the way

war magus Chloe and protector

Bertrand are bumped into, and

this merry band of five traverse

through Ginnungagap and the

Labyrinth. There’s nothing too

complex here, and the game can

be played in classic mode to circumnavigate

this, but one of the

strongest elements of Etrian Odyssey

2 Untold comes through

the story; the writing. Besides

the Fafnir Knight who’s nothing

more than a silent protagonist,

every line of dialogue adds a little

bit more to each character’s

personality.

Voiced character dialoue is a bit

of a mixed bag. During conversation,

characters will say something.

They may say a sentence

or three, but this happens rarely.


PROS:

DIALOGUE IS AMAZING

GRAPHICS LOOK

WONDERFUL

CONS:

CHARACTER’S VOICE CLIPS

ARE DISTRACTING

CUTSCENES ARE

UNDERUSED

DIFFICULT TO PICK UP FOR A

FIRST TIME PLAYER


More often than not, characters

will say something, and the dialogue

text will say something

else entirely. What’s said usually

contains the same connotation

as the text, but it’s distracting

to be reading one thing, and to

have the character voice something

else. It’s a shame too, as

voiced dialogue was a heavily

marketed feature of Etrian Odyssey

2 Untold. However, if the

game is left to idle, characters

randomly chime in depending

on where you are, such as in

the Labyrinth, in the main town,

or at a menu. Like the writing, it

just splashes a dash of character

into the mix.

Everything looks quite a treat,

especially with 3D turned on.

In fact, I was scrambling for the

charger because my battery was

drained due to extended use of

3D. Graphically, everything’s received

an overhaul compared to

Etrian Odyssey II, released all

the way back in 2008. 2D images,

used to represent character

portrait and screens outside of

the dungeon have an incredible

depth-of-field effect applied to

them that really make them pop,

and the 3D models used while exploring

and battling look nice too.

Cutscenes are also added to explore

the story, but they’re rarely

used. It would have been nice to

have seen more cutscenes, as

opposed to character portraits

changing expression. It would

have been nice though if a consistent

art style was chosen between

2D and 3D.

It’s not just the graphics and the

voices that have been upgraded

from the previous title, but some

gameplay mechanics have been

changed too. The most notable

is the introduction of the café. After

discovering recipes and utilising

various items from killing

monsters, food can be cooked

and prepared to give bonus effects

while exploring, such as

recovering HP or protection from

various ailments. While it boils

down to a dressed up shop that

you have to give up items as well

as money, it’s fun trying to dis-

7.5/10

cover what items are needed;

each recipe hints towards the

items, and the only way to find

out what the hints are referring

to is to read the description of

items. For example, if a recipe

calls for salting red meat, you’d

have to put Rock Salt and Venison

together. It’s something that

didn’t require a layer of depth,

but it works.

For an Etrian Odyssey fan, Etrian

Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir

Knight is a sight to behold, figuratively

and literally. For someone

new to the Etrian Odyssey

franchise, there’s a little faffing

around before things start to

click. In the end, what’s left is

a visually impressive dungeon

crawler with characters that you

learn to care about, filled with

gameplay that pulls you in.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRAILER!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykpB8xGbd3A

WRITTEN BY

SASHA KAREN

WWW.STICKYTRIGGER.COM


the legend

twilight p


of zelda:

rincess

review


REVIEW

the legend of zelda:

twilight princess

It’s been thirty years since the

first Legend of Zelda game came

out, and nearly ten years since

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight

Princess was released on the

Wii and GameCube. What better

way to celebrate the Zelda

franchise with a remake then?

Brought to us by Nintendo and in

collaboration with Australian developers

Tantalus, The Legend

of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

is a remake, plain and simple.

There’s less changes compared

to The Legend of Zelda: The

Wind Waker HD, but it mostly

still holds up today.

In a franchise of cliché after cliché,

Twilight Princess dared to

be different, and after various

Zelda titles released after 2006,

it still holds its title as the black

sheep. Or wolf, in this case. Link

lives off in Ordon Village with a

cast of characters, when one day,

everything falls to pieces. Bulbins

come crashing in, stealing

away the village’s children, Link

gets clobbered over the head

with a club, gets dragged off,

and gets turned into a wolf. He

finds himself with Midna, a little

imp-like lady, and the two go on

a grand adventure. While some

original direction was taken with

trying to find the lost children, it

eventually falls back on clichés;

interactions with Princess Zelda

and the evil Ganondorf. The plot

plays out exactly as it did back in

the day.

Most of the gameplay has been

lifted straight from the Game-

Cube version, the only available

controllers are the GamePad, or

the Wii U Pro Controller. In the

Wii version, the entire world of

Hyrule and Link himself were

flipped, as the iconic swordsman

is portrayed to be left handed,

so for motion controls to conform

with the majority, Link had

to be right-handed, and waggling

the Wii Remote caused Link to

swing his sword. There’s none

of that here, with a simple button

used to swing the sword in Link’s

left hand.

The changes to be found are little

quality of life adjustments, much

like those found in The Wind

Waker HD. One of the more

obvious changes is that item

management can be accessed

from the GamePad screen, so

items can be swapped out from

the inventory without pausing.

While neat, I still found myself

looking down, or taking the time

to pause, and then change my

items, so it’s only a minor convenience

at best. There’s also

the introduction of Hero Mode

to Twilight Princess HD, which

was previously seen in The Legend

of Zelda: Skyward Sword, A

Link Between Worlds, and The

Wind Waker HD. When making

a file, players can opt in, which

results in enemies dealing double

damage, heart items don’t

appear, and the game is flipped,

much like the Wii version of Twilight

Princess, right handed Link

and all. There’s also little things,

like swimming and horse riding

having improved controls, more

Rupees can be held, less tears

of light per province to collect,

and the introduction of the Ghost

Lantern to make Poe hunting

quicker. There’s also 50 Miiverse

stamps to collect, which can be

added to posts to Miiverse. 26

of these are letters of the Hylian

alphabet, so it’s a cool little addition

for the big Zelda fans.

amiibo of characters from the

Legend of Zelda also have quite

a bit of usage. The most interesting

amiibo is the Wolf Link amiibo.

When tapped from the collection

screen, Link gets taken

to Cave of Shadows, which is a

40 level dungeon full of enemies

that must be done with Wolf Link.

It takes the level of Link’s hearts


PROS:

STORY RELATIVELY GOOD,

HOLDS UP TODAY

AMIIBO FUNCTIONALITY IS

NEAT

QUALITY OF LIFE CHANGES

ARE ALWAYS WELCOMED

CONS:

GRAPHICS DON’T ALWAYS

HOLD UP


from the save file used, so it’s

not recommended to try it out

straight away. A completely useless

but equally neat feature is

that a little while after gameplay,

the Wolf Link amiibo can be registered

to a save file.

On the title screen, tapping the

amiibo loads the save file. This

is something that can equally be

done with at least five presses

of A, but there’s just something

cool about it that I always tap in.

Besides the Wolf Link amiibo,

both Link and Toon Link can replenish

Link’s quiver of arrows,

Zelda and Sheik can restore

Link’s hearts, and the second

most interesting amiibo of the lot

is the Ganondorf amiibo. When

tapped, Link’s hearts turn blue

and takes double damage. With

hero mode, this turns to four

times, so there’s definitely some

challenge to be had.

The graphics should be the best

thing, as this is a HD remake.

Twilight Princess came out in a

world after the initial criticism The

Wind Waker originally faced, for

being a cartoony departure with

its cel-shaded graphics. After

that, Twilight Princess came out

in a stylised realism, with a combination

of vibrant and faded colours,

lots of browns, and more

bloom than you could shake

a Deku stick at. The art style

doesn’t hold up too well today;

Twilight Princess HD looks a bit

dated. That being said, Tantalus

did their best with what they had

8.4/10

to work with. In movement, everything

looks great, but it’s only

when you stand still things start

becoming noticeable.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight

Princess HD is a remake of a

2006, for better or for worse.

With a story that takes a new

look into the Zelda story but then

falling to becoming a Zelda story,

little quality of life updates that’re

nice, neat amiibo functionality,

and graphics that look great in

motion, there’s a solid game to

play, even though we knew it was

solid ten years ago. In all, there’s

many hours to be had exploring

Hyrule, even if it’s new ground,

or a path well-travelled.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRAILER!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxRCQqVeoME

WRITTEN BY

SASHA KAREN

WWW.STICKYTRIGGER.COM


PLANTS VS

GARDEN W


ZOMBIES

ARFARE 2

review


REVIEW

PLANTS VS ZOMBIES

GARDEN WARFARE 2

The Plants vs Zombies games

remain some of the most popular

ever released on mobile

platforms, and while they were

fiendishly addictive on mobiles,

identical gameplay may not have

flourished on consoles. The franchise

certainly held potential to

make the leap into mainstream

gaming, and that’s exactly what

Popcap Games chose to do with

2014’s Plants vs Zombies: Garden

Warfare.

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare

was a fantastic title, and

served as a brilliant introduction

to shooters for both kids and

adults alike. It sold over 3 million

units, though loyal FPS shooter

gamers didn’t give it the chance

it deserved. Fast forward to now,

and EA Games have released

‘Plants vs Zombies: ‘. It has more

characters, more levels, more

game modes, and more story elements

– can the franchise turn

a new leaf?

Garden Warfare 2 opens with

a fly-by camera shot that pans

across the city. Dr Zomboss and

his legion of the undead have

taken over a large area of the

city, with zombies roaming the

once beautiful city streets. A lone

sunflower blooms from cracks

in the pavement, with the player

then gaining control of the sunflower.

Crazy Dave contacts the

player, informing them that he’s

on his way to extract the flower.

This brief introduction also

serves as a tutorial for the player,

and tasks them with learning

the basics of gameplay found in

Garden Warfare 2. Once they

complete the tutorial, the player

is introduced to their home base,

where they can interact with the

game world, undertake various

missions or daily quests, customise

their character, spend

coins on sticker packs, and dive

into multiplayer.

Players can also wander outside

the confines of their base

and partake in the new Backyard

Battleground mode, which

is similar to king of the hill modes

from other games. Outside of the

base lies a park with a flag pole.

Raising your team’s flag begins

a battle for control of the park,

spawning multiple friendly and

enemy computer characters, and

tossing them into the fray. Reinforcement

crates will spawn, and

if the player manages to crack

them open, they get a hero character

as support.

I quite like Backyard Battleground,

as it allows players to

explore competitive gameplay at

their own pace. You can even invite

friends to play with you, and

they can even be on the opposing

team. I streamed Backyard

Battleground during the Garden

Warfare 2 beta, and had 3 friends

join the zombie army, while I defended

the flag for the plants. It

was an absolute blast!

It’s a far cry from the menu-driven

Plants vs Zombies: Garden

Warfare, and the game feels all

the better for it. Instead of being

thrown into the surprisingly frantic

traditional modes like Team

Vanquish, players are now able

to experience single player missions,

Backyard Battleground,

and more. My little sister is relatively

new to video games, and

absolutely loves how accessible

Garden Warfare 2 is. She

can explore the game world at

her own pace, laugh at the humour

and absurdity, and develop

her skills in a number of modes.

More games need to be this accessible.

In addition to Backyard Battleground,

players can also take on

missions for their chosen faction,

and can swap factions at any

given time. Completing a mission

will earn the player rewards,

such as coins for sticker packs.

There is a wonderfully odd hu-


8.3/10

mour in Plants vs Zombies: Garden

Warfare 2, and players get to

best experience it with these story

missions. Comedy in games is

a tricky feat to pull off, though I

found myself chuckling away at

Davebot-3000 and Dr. Patient’s

jokes quite often.

to build, and having to protect

it from waves of enemies. Players

can spawn zombies or grow

plants, who will aid them in the

fight. They can also plant or raise

Hero characters, who will fight

alongside the player in place or

real players.

Of course, traditional online

modes make a comeback in Garden

Warfare 2 as well. Welcome

Mat sees standard characters

with no upgrades compete in a

variety of game modes, Team

Vanquish sees two teams compete

against each other to see

who can reach a set KO count

first, Gnome Bomb sees teams

escorting a bomb to a designated

demolition site, Vanquish

Confirmed plays like Team Vanquish,

except that players have

to collect orbs from vanquished

enemies for the KOs to count,

Suburbination sees players

fighting for control over various

checkpoints (think Domination

from Call of Duty), and Mixed

Mode, which mixes all of the

game modes (except Welcome

Mat) in one place.

Somehow, there is still even

more for players to experience

in Plants vs Zombies: Garden

Warfare 2. Should the online

multiplayer, Backyard Battleground

and single player faction

missions not prove enough

for the player, they can check

out Garden Ops, and its Zombie

variant, Graveyard Ops. Both

modes involve choosing a base

Visually, PVZ:GW2 looks extremely

impressive, and the

soundtrack is fantastic. While

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare

also looked great, there is

more detail in the characters and

environments, and much more

use of colour and dynamic lighting.

Compared to other modern

games, PVZ:GW2 is vibrant and

stimulating.

Garden Warfare 2’s only real

downfall is that it doesn’t really

cater to local multiplayer all

that much. Sure you can play

Garden Ops split screen with a

friend, but you can’t actually take

the fight online in split screen. A

missed opportunity considering

older games have found a way

to achieve this.

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare

2 takes everything great

about the first game, and expands

upon it. It’s an excellent

introduction to shooters, and full

of colourful characters that players

are bound to enjoy. It’s accessible,

and offers tons of content

for its asking price. If you’re

on the fence about this one, don’t

be – hop in the garden and have

some fun!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRAILER!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNOZ53xYcYc

PROS:

VISUALLY IMPRESSIVE

ACCESSIBLE - ANYONE CAN

PLAY

LOTS OF HUMOUR

TONS OF GAMEPLAY

FUN CUSTOMISATION

OPTIONS

CONS:

LIMITED LOCAL

MULTIPLAYER

WRITTEN BY

NICK GETLEY

WWW.STICKYTRIGGER.COM


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geek o

FAVOURITE GAME

OF ALL TIME?

your say

LUCY LAWLESS:

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your say

favourite gam

“My favourite game of all time

would have to be Borderlands 2. It

serves as a really refreshing take

on the FPS genre and a great

way for people to break into it by

being light, colourful, full of humor

and diverse gunplay. The various

weapons and random drops all

make for exciting, fast-paced action

that requires thought, as well

as the use of skill-trees providing

several unique takes on each

character.

Not to mention the wide open

spaces and varied environments,

improving on the desert landscapes

of Borderlands 1. The

DLC is also a step-up, though

some of it is hit and miss, pieces

like Tiny Tina’s Attack on Dungeon

Keep or Torgue’s Campaign

of Carnage provide more of the

hilarious but also emotional at

times story that the main campaign

provided.”

- Grace Hester

Super Mario Bros 3 is the closest

you’ll ever get to a perfect game.

It’s a 2D platformer made during

the golden age of gaming. The

easy to learn, hard to master approach

used in the game allows

anyone to play the game. Add a

simple 2 button control scheme

plus a two player mode & you got

yourself a fun ol’ time.

One of the greatest things in the

game are the power ups. There

are some that exist only for specific

stages, some still used today

& all of them gave you unique

abilities.

Considering when the game was

made, it’s actually surprisingly

long with 6-8 hours of play... or 30

minutes if you know the secrets

well enough. There’s 8 bosses, a

fair few mini bosses & 8 worlds to

blast through.

The games has stood the test

of time with releases on NES,

SNES, Gameboy Advance, Wii &

Virtual console. The best version

is of course the SNES version in

the All-Stars cartridge because of

the save function the NES version

was sorely missing & it comes

with the other NES classic Mario

games as a bonus.

It’s a must play game, a strong

point in gaming history & Nintendo

has been trying to recapture

it’s glory in every game from

New Super Mario Bros all the way

to Super Mario 3D World. If you

haven’t played this game, you

can’t call yourself a gamer. 10/10”

- Jean-Paul Bartolomei


e of all time?

“The problem with gaming is it’s

always been generational. The

one game that had a huge impact

on me was the first Metal Gear

Solid. It was a completely Revolutionary

experience as it was

the first game that blurred the

lines between cinema and videogames.

The voice acting was top

notch, I never broke a persons

neck in a game before so it was

all very adult. The whole game

was a buffet of pop culture. From

Snake being a Snake Plissken/

James Bond Hybrid to Revolvers

Lee van Cleef to Vulcan Raven

doubling for Schwarzenegger. It

came all thick and fast. It was one

of the most amazing experiences

ever and still my favourite of the

whole series.”

- Simon Che Rodriguez

“My favorite game of all time?

Chohmakaimura. That’s Super

Ghouls & Ghosts. Why do I love

it? Its frustrating, its aggravating,

it drives to the point of curling up

in the fetal position and mumbling

crazily, its punishing, brutal. And

unlike even Dark Souls beating

it brings the ultimate in achievement.

I hope that Capcom rerelease

it so that todays gamers will

enjoy this classic.”

- Michael Pesak

“Well I’m 30 years old and I have

seen and played an overwhelming

amount of games across many

platforms for the last 25 years but

the one that I still think about is

Alex The Kid, it came built into my

Sega Mega Drive it was a fun and

entertaining game at the time but

soon Sonic and Mario and all the

other cool games surpassed it in

sales and graphics but I feel it will

make a return soon most likely

on mobile or similar devices and I

will pay whatever they ask.”

- Todd Mcarthur

“My favourite game of ALL TIME,

has to be Ori and the blind forest.

This game is so meaningful and

touching, it shows that there is

hope in every thing and that we

shouldn’t give up because something

we love moves along. The

game has almost perfect visuals,

it is like looking at a beautiful

mountain view, the sun is bright,

the forests are dark and the lighting

is just absolutely perfect. The

vibe and mood you receive from

it match the areas perfectly, it

shows how good a game could

get if you are determined to work

on this. The OSTs in the game is

just too perfect, too good to be

true, it has amazing music, when

listening to it, it really described

or shouts out, whatever you prefer,

that this is a forest, that this

place is magical. Throughout the

storyline, we see countless acts

of friendship, faith, humbleness

and wisdom. This can be perfect

for any age because of the messages

it provides with such good

and amazing morals. I would recommend

this game to anybody, in

fact, I already have. If you asked

me for any problem or complaint

about this game, there would be

none.”

- Micah Fede


your say

favourite gam

“This is tough. Theres so many

that have been spectacular for

me. But as for the oldest game

I can remember that is still a

gem, has to be Donkey Kong

country 2.

Donkey Kong country, the original,

was a masterpiece. The music,

the game play, the pixelated

artwork of the levels and character

animations. DKC2 took that

and made it better

You start the game with a view of

the overworld, Crocodile Isle. And

that overworld tune just said “welcome

to the island of bad guys”.

This is where all the evil in donkey

kongs world comes from. And

they got a taste for pirate fashion.

Who doesn’t like pirate fashion.

This was during the era where

games were tough but fun at the

same time. These days, a game

is either to hard to beat and it ticks

you off, or too easy and short and

leaves you disappointed. DKC

was a long game, tough to beat

but fun, something not so common

these days.

The music was awesome. This

was before the time where games

had full orchestras making beautiful

pieces. This was when music

was made with computers

and very few instruments. But it

worked. Having trouble getting

through those spiny thorn filled

tree tops? Its got some calming,

almost put you to sleep music.

And the gameplay was great for

its time. This was the one game

on the super nintendo that could

beat mario as a sidescrolling platformer.

Guess the ape won that

old feud after all. A huge variety

of enemies and bosses that only

get tougher would almost trample

you. You could just jump on most

enemies. Others you might need

to throw an explosive barrel at,

or just avoid altogether. (Those

damned bees). Or, you had your

animal friends. Ramba the Rhino

is still a prominent character

in the series. Who could forget

plowing through an entire level,

laying waste to every enemy that

dare walk aimlessly towards you

riding your big horned steed.

Finally there was some replaying

to do. You beat Kaptain K Rool

once. But go through the game

again and find all those big Kremlin

coins and you would unlock

the lost world, a tougher bunch

of levels where K. Rool is ready

for round 2. And those coins are

tough to find. This was one of

the best games of the Nintendo/

Rare era and is a reminder that

we’ll not be getting many games

on this level of amazing for a long

time.

DKC2 is available on the WiiU

store now for all those feeling

nostalgic.”

- Peter Stein


e of all time?

“My favorite game of all time is

Donkey Kong Country 2. First of

all the graphics for its time was

amazing and the level designs

and difficulty is much more challenging

compared to its prequel.

To top it all off the soundtrack is

in my opinion the best gaming

soundtrack of all time! I have replayed

this game so many times

thats how much fun it is!”

- Matty Bozzi

“My favorite game of all time is

Drakengard... which one of the

series is hard to choose, All the

games in the Drakengard universe

consist of beautifully designed

landscapes, intricate character

webs and the most beautiful

soundtracks. The games also

have such a wonderful dialog

throughout while you senselessly

murder thousands of people,

or release torrents of fire from

above. But I mainly love these

games for their beautiful environments,

characters and musical

scores. Good job square enix


your say

favourite gam

“My favourite game of all time

is Dishonored. It’s a first person

stealth / action game where you

take on the role of Corvor, the

Royal Protector of the Dunwall

Royal Family. He is accused of the

murder, imprisoned and forced to

escape in order to clear his name

and uncover the real culprits.

The main draw to this game is

that it’s a game about choice. Will

you be a force of vengeance who

kills all who cross your path or a

ghost, seen by none, heard by

none. It’s entirely up to you. This

as well as a unique artistic style,

fantastic world building (seriously,

read every little note. They really

make you want to see more of

the world they’ve created) and a

consequence system that shapes

how the world evolves throughout

the story, in my mind this is a gem

for any gaming enthusiast. With

an upcoming sequel on the way,

now is the right time to check it

out!”

- Tristan Oates

“My favourite game of all time:

The Last of Us:

As games go, this is what I always

imagined when I started

gaming as far back as Pong/Atari

and Commodore 64. The very essence

of this game is about epic

story telling, amazing graphics

and the almost complete entertainment

experience.

The story of a man, tortured by

his past, searching for a redemption

that may be impossible in

a world ravaged by a disease

that has consumed humanity.

The apocalypse representatives

are fungus infected humans that

are zombie like, yet the real threat

is the survivors. On your travels

you meet a young girl who brings

the story and action to a nail biting

conclusion at every turn almost

every minute.

As soon as there seems to be a

break from the relentless set pieces

or graphic extravaganza there

is a story that most Hollywood A-

Listers would win an Oscar for....

in short, this is an entertainment

experience that is not just one of

the best games ever made, but

one the most finely crafted and

phenomenally written pieces ever

presented on any medium. Don’t

miss it.”

- Andrew Threlfall


e of all time?

“Short review? Got it! lol

My favourite game of all time

would be the “Ace Attorney” series

on the Nintendo (3)DS. It is

a visual novel series set in an alternate

Japan where you play as

Phoenix Wright, a Defense Attorney.

The game takes on a POV of

Phoenix, and it follows his quirky

lawyer adventures to find truth in

all his cases which in turn reveals

a bigger story as a whole.

The game itself is amazing in

a sense that the story is written

quite well; captivating and

memorable. The characters are

mesmerising and uniquely lavish,

the soundtrack is beautifully composed

and gameplay itself uses

both touch screen, button pads

and the microphone.

The one thing a fan of the Ace

Attorney series will never forget;

once the game moved from the

GBA to the Nintendo DS system,

being able to shout “OBJEC-

TION!” during court gameplay using

the microphone brings out the

full thrill of being a make-belief

lawyer. Ace Attorney is hilariously

well done and entertaining, and

totally recommended for all old

and new players of the series,

and is a definitely a must play!

9/10 :)”

- Nurul Adilah

“Oh man, it’d have to be Crash

Bandicoot 3. It was much more

forgiving than the earlier games,

but still introduced heaps of mechanics

to keep it fresh and fun

(c’mon, you get to a ride freakin’

dinosaur and time travel!). I

always thought I completed it

“102%” as a kid, but turns out

there were two hidden levels;

ahh, playing those levels for the

first time took me back to when I

first started playing!”

- Leanne Dyer

“Super Mario Bros. 3! This game

pushed the NES to its very limits.

From the theatre style opening title

screen to the Dark World finale

this game was a polished product

jam packed with lots of gameplay,

innovative game features and

eye-popping (for the time) visuals.

With the original Mario Bros.

mini game added as an additional

feature and a plethora of ‘suits’

this game was not left wonting.”

- Brendan Upton

“My all time favourite game is

easily Goldeneye 64. It was challenging,

but extremely addictive.

I managed to finish every level

on every difficulty and because

of that, there are levels that are

branded to my brain. It’s the only

movie game that comes to mind

where the game makes you want

to watch the film. Also a game

where the multiplayer is just as

epic as the campaign. Absolutely

love the game, always the answer

when this question comes

up in convo”

- Matt Sutton


your say

favourite gam

“Hands down favorite game:

Secret of Mana.

This game was perfect.

The combat was amazing.

The soundtrack in my opinion is

still the best soundtrack for a video

game. There was so much to

like an epic story with so much to

offer. It stood out and was easily

the best RPG of that generation

One of the few games of that gen

to break out from the two player

system, it was one of a handful

of games ( back then you could

not fit to many games in hand ;P

) that used the SNES multitap for

some 3 player action.

If you have not played this game

I highly suggest you go buy it,

there is nothing like it and nothing

has held a candle to it since.”

- Michael Peterson

“My favourite game of all time is

Forza 6 it’s awesome can’t wait til

Forza 7 already.”

- John Allan

“Ronin Blade aka Soul of the

Samurai, a hidden gem for the

playstation 1 that not many know

of.

It is a hack and slash action

game, although the combat is

quite unique. You either play as

a samurai or ninja and when you

play both you unlock another

boss battle. The story is quite interesting

as well.”

- Alex Carlos Silva

“My favourite game is with out

question Final Fantasy 7, it was

the first full in-depth RPG and it really

gripped me with its character

development and immerse world

that still has not been matched

since, it revolutionised my world

and opened me up to a whole lot

of emotions which I haven’t met

since, in my opinion there is no

better game.”

- Brenn Cuff

“My Favourite Game of All Time is

Silent Hill 3.

The reason way I love this game

is for its survival Horror. Survival

Horror isn’t really seen into today

games with a third person camera

look. The character designs

are flawless and story is grabbing

and spooky in some point. Finally

it has show funny Easter eggs

that you encounter once you finish

the game.”

- Mitchell McGann

“Pokémon Red was the introductory

to my early childhood video

game years and the start of my

video game journey. Pokémon

introduced me to my favourite

video game character of all time,

Charizard. The games storyline

was one nobody could ever forget.

Once you began your journey

as a Pokémon Trainer, you

became a Pokémon master for

life.”

- Tahlia ‘Digs’ Burrows


e of all time?

“It’s hard to pick just one game as

a favorite right now with so many

fantastic titles out there right now,

but a game that stands out at the

moment is Shovel Knight by indie

developer Yatch Club Games.

In short Shovel Knight is an adventure

side-scrolling platformer

with creative characters reminiscent

of each level you visit.

The exploration upon these levels

as well as the progression are

ingenious in using the shovelling

mechanics to dig up dirt, bounce

ontop of enemies to even trying

to decifer where the luxurious

hidden items are in the main level

sections.

In finding these sections as well

is genius as it provides you with

a small section to get a feel and

understanding of your item before

progressing, providing great

level design. From character interactions

to world design for it’s

pixelated glory, Shovel Knight is

a great homage to the games of

old such as the original Megaman

game franchise for the NES and

SNES to name one.

An accessible game available

on a varied amount of platforms

as well as providing free updates

and DLC for extra characters

(one as of now for a Plague

Knight expansion), Shovel Knight

is a must pick if you ever want to

have an understanding of how

video games used to be.

So steel thy shovel, and game

on.”

- Fabian Castillo

“BioShock Infinite, there’s just so

much about the game that hits

the nail on the head. Sound is

amazing, music is beautiful, and

characters in a story that is unforgettable.

It’s a must play as far

my opinion is concerned.”

- Matt Taylor

“It has to be ICO a very addictive

game excellent graphics twists at

every point puzzles to work out

simple game but inventive.”

- John Lavill

“Favorite of all time.. mario party

2.. many hours of fun with my

siblings.. from fighting over who

got to play as yoshi to rubbing it

in everyones face when you won.

The maps where amazing, music

was nice to listen to, challenging

game that makes or breaks families

and creates memories either

way.”

- Mel Vandenboog


your say

favourite gam

“Pokemon Gold.

Growing up in the 90’s really

opened up a plethora of choices

when it came to games. In this

instance just coming in at my top

pick, is Pokemon Gold.

Pokemon Gold really (at the

time) had a lot going for it. Updated

graphics, a memorable

soundtrack, richer colours & textures

as well a handful of new

Pokemon to catch, raise and battle.

Unbeknownst to the seven

year old that was me when I received

this game as a gift, was

the journey that followed after

defeating the Elite 4. Discovering

that I could return to Kanto,

the place that gave me so many

fond memories (in Red, Blue and

Yellow) was nothing short of outstanding.

Having the ability to

travel between Kanto and Johto

was something that just stood out

to me, and still does to this day.

10/10. Would play again.”

- Alexander Crew

“My favourite is Dragon Age: Inquisition

and the reason for this

is a bald elf who broke my heart

and has ruined my life. 10/10

would romance again and again

and again.”

- Shannon O’Driscoll

“Timeshift, why you ask? Because

you can blow people up,

reverse time and do it all over

again. Need I say more?”

- Cameron Miller

“Donkey kong country 1+2 on

Super Nintendo. The gameplay

was perfect, the colours made

the game stand out and the music

was incredible. I love the music

and makes the games just

that much better. I’ve still got both

copies today.”

- Andrew Donnelly

“Favourite game of all time World

Of Warcraft, it’s a game that just

gets better and better, hanging

out for the new release due in

September.”

- Kim Campbell

want to have ‘

head over to gametraders f

eye out for the next ‘your s

“Although I haven’t played it in a

while (I may have to rectify that

soon) my favourite game of all

time would have to be Ultima 7

part B.

If you have never heard of the

Ultima games, they are a series

of games set on a fantasy world

known as Sosaria later known as

Britannia (except for the one set

on Earth). Ultima 7 B picks up

where Ultima 7 A ends, after you

stop a cult from summoning an

evil god you then are tasked with

hunting down the cult’s leadership

to a lost and mysterious continent.

During your time you learn

about an ancient culture and their

war between Order and Chaos,

and the need for Balance, how

the current civilization came to be

there and why they hate the King

you serve as well as a predictions

of the end of the world and many

other mysteries. One of the best

things about this game is that

there are no “store-keep” NPCs.

Each NPC except enemies (and

also some of them) are proper

characters. They all have jobs (or


e of all time?

your say’ featured in live magazine?

acebook page: www.facebook.com./gametradersaustralia and keep an

ay’ topic/status update.

things they do though the day)

they all go to eat and sleep and

they all have unique things to

say to you. They all have a place

in the story making side quests

seem less like a side quest. The

graphics, I think, still look good,

with it’s 16 bit sprite based isometric

style and the music in this

game is solid.

The game-play itself is hack n

slash RPG that seems like Diablo

on the surface, but you actually

need to “train” to level up and

spells need reagents to work, and

with its game-play focus more on

exploration, solving puzzles and

mysteries and story telling it is a

quite different at its core.

I was very disappointed when my

computer stopped playing it, but

now days with programs like exult

it can be played on any newer

computer and with enhanced features.

I think I’ll be doing just that

now.”

- Aaron Yanner


oz comic con

lucy lawless:

A new year brings a fresh new

round of Cons to visit. First off

the bat in Adelaide at least is

Oz Comic Con featuring special

guest Lucy Lawless. All the Oz

Comic Con events have a huge

range of special guests - check

them out here:

www.ozcomiccon.com/2016

From playing the schizophrenic

Countess Marburg on WGN’s

Salem, Lucy moved to rejoin her

husband, Rob Tapert and longtime

friends, Bruce Campbell

and Sam Raimi on the 2015 reboot

of the EvilDead franchise,

ASH VS. EVILDEAD for STARZ.

Cast as Ruby, Ms Lawless leapt

at the chance play the nemesis of

Campbell’s iconic Ash Williams

character. “Our relationship is

one of mutual respect and merciless

razzing”, says Lawless.

Interspersed with stage performances,

Lucy has appeared in

internationally acclaimed series

such as THE CODE (Australia),

Jane Campion’s miniseries Top of

the Lake and as the girlfriend of

Nick Offerman’s “Ron Swanson,”

on the critically acclaimed comedy

Parks and Recreation. Before

joining the hit NBC comedy, Lucy

spent three years working in her

homeland New Zealand on the

STARZ series Spartacus. Lawless’

portrayal of the complex and

often wicked “Lucretia” delighted

critics and fans alike. The show

broke all records for STARZ and

turned the network into a top destination

for original programming.

Lawless, a New Zealander, rose

to international fame through her

ground breaking performance as

the title character in Xena: Warrior

Princess, the cult hit series also

executive produced by Spartacus

producers Rob Tapert and Sam

Raimi. She solidified her “fan-boy

cred” when she joined the critically

acclaimed SyFy Channel series

Battlestar Galactica as “D’Anna/

Number Three.” In addition to

these roles, Lucy has continued

to demonstrate her versatility with

a wide range of television work....

both comedy and drama...in such

notable projects as Flight of the

Conchords, Curb Your Enthusiasm,

The L Word, CSI: Miami,

Burn Notice, and The X-Files.

In film, she played “Aspen” in

Adam Sandler’s Bedtime Stories,

“Mother Superior” in the cult

favorite Bitch Slap, a dominatrix

in EuroTrip, and had cameos in

Raimi’s Spider Man, and Tapert’s

Boogeyman.

Lawless is a member of the board

of the Starship Foundation, the

fund raising body for the Starship

Children’s Hospital in her hometown

Auckland. She was made a

member of the New Zealand Order

of Merit in 2004.


special guest at perth & adelaide

oz comic con (saturday only)

oz comic con

perth: april 2 - 3

adelaide: april 9 - 10

melbourne: june 11 - 12

sydney: september 10 - 11

brisbane: september 17 - 18


BOARD/CARD GAMES

TOP SELLING

BOARD GAMES!

This month we asked one of our

largest Gametraders stores, who

are board game experts, what

they feel are the top selling board

games.

Not surprisingly there’s some

classics in his list and of course

some time relevant games like

Star Wars X-Wing Wave 8 in

there. Let’s take a look at what’s

hot for board gamers!

Star Wars X-Wing Wave 8

Catan The Settlers

Zombicide Black Plague

D&D Players Handbook

Blood Rage

Epic Spell Wars

D&D Starter Set

Dixit

Mysterium

Pandemic Legacy

For Star Wars Fans - there’s an

excellent review on:

Xwingminiaturesgame.com

xwingminiaturesgame.com/preview/breaking-wave-8-in-more-detail/

Classics like Catan The Settlers

and of course D&D are always

popular and great for an evening

of drinks and pretzels with friends.

Popular Mechanics website did a

good round up of the “best new

board games” and it’s worth a

look to see what their top games

are. On the list are games like…

Codenames - great for those who

love spy related gaming and enjoy

team board gaming. Highly

recommended by us.

Pandemic Legacy is on our list

too and is one of the best all time

co-op games. It’s not a quick

game but a project. Sure, each

game you sit and play takes an

hour or so but there is 12 to 24

games in the saga to complete. In

the game players take the role of

disease control specialists trying

to stop outbreaks and it really is

challenging and fresh each time

you play.

Go check out their list and summaries

of each game here:

popularmechanics.com/culture/gaming/g18/15-best-new-board-games-of-the-year/

Remember, Gametraders stores

either have most of these games

or can order them asap for a

night of gaming for you and your

friends. Don’t forget the pizza,

pretzels and if you’re over 18 the

beer and wine. Kids - go for the

soft drinks! Have fun!

get ‘em at gametraders


Photographer: SFX Images | www.facebook.com/SFXImages

! check with your local store for availability.


BOARD games : interview

gen42 games

BOARD GAME PRODUCER

We got to talk to John from

Gen42 Games about their collection

of super playable board

games!

Firstly John, tell us about

Gen42 Games and how and

why you got started.

Gen42 Games is my own publishing

company launched back in

2002 with the idea to self publish

‘Hive’ my first table top game.

I say table top game because it’s

not really a board game, as it has

no board. The idea was to launch

Hive under the Gen42 banner

and test the market. The initial

idea for Hive came to me whilst

watching a film that featured two

old men who met daily in a park

to play Chess. The inspiration

was to design a game that would

play quickly, be ultra portable

but keeping the essence of what

makes Chess so appealing. Hive

has been a massive success for

us and has become the flagship

game for our company.

Race and my new game for 2016

a Backgammon style dragon

themed game, called: Tatsu.

Hive has also had three expansions

added to the game: Mosquito,

Ladybug and Pillbug, along

with a travel version, Hive Pocket

and a classic black and white version,

Hive Carbon.

Do you publish your own games

as against going through a major

publisher and why?

The main reason I publish my

own games, instead of through

major publishers (though I have

had offers from them) is because

I like to keep control of the creative

direction and marketing of

my own games. Also if I was to

try and make a living out of designing

games and selling to publishers.

I would need to be have

many more games published that

I currently do. Royalty payments

for board games is not that much

and very hard to make a living

that way.

the amount of board game designers

who I know that have

made a living out of publishing

their own games. With every

business there are many challenges

and the major challenge,

is over coming the false delusion

that the road ahed is going to be

easy. It’s hard work, it takes a lot

of commitment and energy, and

most of your time is spent on the

business side of the fence. The

green lush game design side of

the fence is rarely visited. You

will spend 95% of your time doing

and promoting your business

if you stand any chance of making

it a success. I am fortunate

that I come from a business

background and so I knew what

to expect going in, but I would

advice anyone without any business

acumen to avoid or at least

think twice about going the self

publishing route.

Do you have any advice on

readers who might be looking

to produce their own board

games?

If I would give one piece of advice

to budding games designers,

I would say “design games

that you really love”. It may

never make you a living and you

may never even get published,

but if you find enjoyment in the

process then it’s all worth it.

How many games have you

produced?

Other than Hive I have design

and published 4 other games under

the Gen42 banner, Army Of

Frogs, Logan Stones, Junkyard

What are the challenges you’ve

faced and how did you work

round them?

Going the self publishing route is

not without its challenges however.

I can count on one hand

Finally where can our readers

go to find out more about

you?

You can find more info about the

games themselves on our website:

Gen42.com


grab a copy

of hive at

gametraders

today!

WWW.GEN42.COM


etro

The Gamer diaries:

Carmelo was a friend who I had

known since I was very young.

We attended playgroup together,

then kindergarten, then junior

and primary schools. He lived

around the block from me and our

birthdays were 5 days apart in

the same year! According to our

parents, we hated each other in

playgroup and used to fight a lot.

By the time we were in school we

were the best of friends. As I have

an Italian background Carmelo’s

mother treated me like her other

son, as he was an only child.

We grew up playing with Masters

of the Universe figures together,

which evolved to gaming on his

Atari 2600, but around this time

he got his hands on a PC. I was

intrigued as PC computers had

been around for years, but it was

around this time they started to

gain momentum as gaming machines.

Eventually this would see

the death of the home micro market,

and the big computer companies

could see this coming.

Amstrad had its own PC line, with

Commodore releasing the Colt

range of PC compatibles. At this

time PC gaming felt like a whole

new world, one I would eventually

become immersed in, but I’m getting

way ahead of myself here…

I was introduced to “Commander

Keen”, a very recently released

platforming game. Genius child

Billy Blaze, under the guise of

Commander Keen, travels to an

alien planet to liberate it from his

rival Mortimer McMire. That’s last

part is a bit of a spoiler, as you

don’t find out who the protagonist

is until the third game of the series.

At this time we didn’t have

the third game, as part one was

available to be distributed for free

as ‘shareware’, with parts two

and three requiring payment. It

was a fun platfomer and the use

of a pogo stick predated “Ducktales”

on the NES and Gameboy.

Having limited blaster shots was

challenging and the levels were

big, with plenty of secrets to discover.

Carmelo was also in possession

of the first adult game I would

ever see, “Leisure Suit Larry”.

At the age of around 13 a child

becomes interested in that sort

of thing, let’s be honest. “Leisure

Suit Larry” (LSL) was a humorous

take on losing one’s virginity.

Even though we had difficulty

completing it, it was fun watching

Larry die in the many various

ways. Even flushing the toilet in

Lefty’s Bar had consequences! I

had played adventure games on

the Amstrad before, but this was

the first game I had seen in this

style. Carmelo also had “King’s

Quest”, though we enjoyed the

humour of LSL a lot more.

Back at school people were beginning

to trade Gameboy games.

It was similar to the way in which

people traded Ninja Turtles cards

only a couple of years earlier. I

never traded any games, though

I did buy one from a school mate.

I had played “Choplifter” in the

arcade and really enjoyed it, so

when he offered me “Choplifter

2” I was interested. I think I may

have paid $20, a reasonable sum

for a 13 year old in 1992. I tested

the game first and loved it. Similar

to the first game, you have to rescue

people and take them back to

base, all while avoiding or shooting

enemy artillery. It was a challenging

game with great controls.

James had recently heard that

a mutual friend had managed to

score a copy of “Teenage Mutant

Ninja Turtles” on the Amstrad

CPC. By this stage the Simpsons

were dominating popular culture

and TMNT was dying out. I always

stood by the things I enjoyed and

never bowed to peer pressure

when it came to passing fads. If

I liked something I stuck with it.

James and I acquired our pirate

copies of “Teenage Mutant Hero

Turtles” (anything TMNT related

in the UK used to have “Hero” in

the title as “Ninja” was somewhat

of a taboo word) and it was different

to what we had seen before.

I had previously played the game

on the NES, Amiga and C64.

It was OK on the NES as there

were 2 buttons, one to jump and


1992 - 1993


1992 - 1993


one to fire. When you used the

fire button in conjunction with up

or down on the D-pad you would

swing your weapon in that direction.

On the home computers if

you pushed up and fire to swing

your weapon upwards you ended

up jumping most of the time, as

up was also the jump command

on a single button joystick. On the

Amstrad CPC the ability to swing

your weapons up and down was

removed, which was a smart

move on the part of the programmer.

The game was frustrating

enough without having to endure

an incorrect jump at the wrong

time. The levels & enemies were

slightly modified so you could hit

them without the need to swing

your weapon up or down. This did

make the game easier, but that

was a blessing as it wasn’t very

forgiving on other systems. In the

end I found a cheat code which

made the game even easier!

In the South Australian suburb of

Para Vista, on the corner of Milne

Rd and Nelson Rd are a collection

of shops. On the very corner

you can see a Red Rock Noodle

Bar up on a small hill. Shops

used to rotate in this space a lot,

and previously there had been a

fish and chip shop where the doctor

surgery is now. I used to go in

there to play arcade games with

a couple of school friends. The 2

games I remember were “Hippodrome”

and “Cabal”. In 1992 one

of the bigger spaces in this group

of shops was vacant. This empty

space ended up being an arcade

called ‘Megazone’ and it was on

the way home from school after I

got off the bus. Whenever I had a

few spare coins I would tell Mum

to expect me late home as I would

stop and play arcade games.

A friend of mine, Mark, decided

to start getting off at my bus stop

after I mentioned this at school. It

was a much farther walk for him to

get home, but he didn’t care. We

would play “Golden Axe” (which

I loved), “Altered Beast” (which

I was always indifferent about)

and many more. I discovered

“Legend of Hero Tonma”, which

is a difficult little platformer. You

shoot magic spells which can be

upgraded. You have to find keys

to progress through the level and

you can get treasure chests with

coins a-plenty. C+VG magazine

reported that this game was only

ever ported to the PC Engine. I

already wanted one as the quality

of the games being ported on

it were just amazing. “Legend of

Hero Tonma” cemented my desire

to eventually own NEC’s little

gaming wonder.

Mark and I befriended the owner’s

son, so our trips to ‘Megazone’

saw us spending less money

than you would have thought a

pair of young teens would spend

in an arcade. The owner’s son

once gave us over 100 credits on

TMNT, which we promptly completed

with 4 Turtles. I first played

“Double Dragon 2” here, and I

was struck by the slightly unusual

controls. You would push the left

button to attack left and the right

button to attack right. It sounds

simple, right? After the first “Double

Dragon” which had kick and

punch buttons it was hard to get

used to. I remember being one of

many who struggled with that.

Earlier that year my grandparents

had gone to Singapore for a

holiday, where Gameboy games

were much cheaper than in Australia.

They bought some back

for me, and in the Christmas of

1992 I was given “Terminator 2”,

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

2”, “The Simpsons - Escape from

Camp Deadly” and my first ever

multi cart. “The Simpsons” and

“Terminator 2” were US releases

in standard Gameboy boxes.

“TMNT 2” was in a smaller Japanese

box, while the multi cart

was in a non standard box. At this

stage there was no Internet, so no

way of finding out what this thing

actually was or how it came to be.

The cartridge contained some interesting

games, including “Ninja

Gaiden” and an interesting puzzler

called “Flipull”.

On the Amstrad GX400 a puzzle

game called “Plotting” was released,

and I remember reading

about it in Amstrad Action. “Flipull”

is the same game with a different

name. You play a blob who

has a block that he has to throw

at other blocks to remove them,

change them, then it gives you a

new block. That was a confusing

description, but it’s a confusing

game. It’s quite addictive, but is

far from being a standard ‘pick

up and play’ puzzles. “Flipull” requires

the player to invest some

time into discovering the mechanics

of the gameplay. If you’re prepared

to put in the time you will

find a pleasant little time waster.

As 1992 rolled into 1993 I also

managed to get a copy of “Super

Mario Land”. While it appears to

be a re-imagining of the original


1992 - 1993

“Super Mario Bros”, this was a

different game in a very different

setting. Gone are Princess

Peach, the Mushroom Kingdom

and Bowser Koopa. In their place

are Princess Daisy, Sarasaland

and the evil Tatanga. It was a

surprising side step from the traditional

Mario story, and though

its canon is questionable Princess

Daisy has since established

herself in the main Nintendo universe.

The world of consoles were starting

to dominate my gaming interests.

I purchased my last copy of

Amstrad Action in January 1993,

which ended up being the October

1992 issue. It was apparent

that the Amstrad was dying as

less and less games were being

reviewed each month. The covertape

on that issue featured an average

game called “On The Run”

which I was quite non-plussed

about. I still loved my Amstrad,

but in an era of emerging new

technologies it was starting to

look a bit old. With that said, the

Amstrad remained in my room

and I continued to play the classics,

“Head Over Heels”, “Jack

The Nipper”, etc… It was almost

like going through the motions

though, as I was becoming more

and more focused on getting my

hands on a Super Nintendo.

Around the same time I purchased

my last issue of Amstrad

Action, I was also given a copy of

a new Amstrad magazine. I kid

you not, in 1992 as the Amstrad

was dying a new magazine was

launched. It was called CPC Attack

and I immediately recognised

the mascot ‘Amy’ from Computer

and Video Games magazine,

where she was called ‘Sadie’. I’m

not sure why the two magazines

shared the same mascot or why

her name was changed… Maybe

they thought nobody would

notice. Surprisingly, inside this

magazine was a feature on consoles.

I was rather taken aback,

as in my mind this had no place in

an Amstrad magazine, but there

it was. If anything it only further

whetted my appetite for a Super

Nintendo.

I had started discussions with

my parents on ways I could earn

money to obtain a SNES. “Street

Fighter 2” had been released

on the system and there was a

“Street Fighter 2” bundle pack.

This was the one I had to have!

Yes, I was a big fan of “Super

Mario World”, having played it on

the Super Play Choice that was

a Timezone Modbury, but “Street

Fighter 2” was THE game to own.

I figured I could always buy “Super

Mario World” at a later time.

At this stage James had already

purchased a Super Nintendo, so

we had moved on from Amstrad

gaming. By now it seemed archaic

and we wanted to immerse

ourselves in the new technology.

James owned “Super Mario

World” but didn’t have a lot of interest

in playing it. “Street Fighter

2” had consumed our lives with its

characters, storylines and various

endings, as it did for many other

kids in the early 90s.

Anyway, that’s all the space I have

this month. If you’re interested in

my occasional gaming posts feel

free to give me a follow on Twitter

@dizrythmia

I can also be found writing articles

and giving interviews on:

www.retrospekt.com.au


WRITTEN BY

paul monopoli


etro

As the prices of vintage games

and systems escalate beyond all

reason, many third party manufacturers

have been hard at work

creating solutions for today’s retro

gamer. Plug in solutions that use

ROM files on USB drives and SD

cards are allowing gamers to play

their old favourites on the original

hardware. As well as allowing us

to avoid the evil that is ‘The Ebay

rip off merchant’, these devices

also allow gamers to experience

home-brew titles, translations of

Japan only releases or modified

versions of existing games. However,

what many Everdrive loving

Super Nintendo owners may not

be aware of is that these devices

have been around for years!

If you read The Gamer Diaries you

will be familiar with my childhood

friend, James. James owned a

Super Wildcard, the first one that

I ever saw. The Super Wildcard

contains a floppy drive and a Super

Nintendo cartridge port. The

device sits on top of your Super

Nintendo and allows you to copy

games from cartridge on to a

floppy disc. You could then just

load the game off that floppy disc

to play it any time you wanted.

James would hire games, back

them up on to discs, then return

them knowing that he had a copy

of the game to play any time he

wanted. When I bought my first

Internet account we discovered

Super Nintendo ROMs. I would

download games (on dialup) and

copy them to floppy disc, then

James would test them out on his

Super Nintendo. We played many

games that never saw the light of

day in Australia, including some

amazing anime titles.

PAUL, THE

RETRO GAMING

PIRATE!

While there a few different Super

Nintendo back up devices on

the market in the 90s, the king of

them all was the Super Wildcard

DX2. This allowed you to play Super

Nintendo games up to 64Mbit,

and it allowed you to connect a

Zip drive via a parallel port that

was on the back. This drive could

be used instead of the on board

floppy disc drive. Zip drives, created

by iOmega in 1994, use special

discs that can hold 100MB of

data. They are more robust and

a lot less prone to errors than

floppy discs. I purchased my Super

Wildcard DX2 about 10 years

ago, but luckily I had a Zip drive

lying around. The problem was

that I didn’t have a computer with

a parallel port. Who uses parallel

ports these days?

Luckily iOmega released a model

of the Zip drive that could be connected

via USB. I found one on

Ebay, made my purchase and my

Mac laptop recognised it immediately.

I downloaded some Super

Nintendo ROMs onto a disc, put

that disc in to the Zip drive that

was connected to my Super Wildcard

DX2 and ran it. The game

worked perfectly! I tried running a

few fan translations of unreleased

J-RPGs, as well as the recent

home-brew version of Donkey

Kong. The Super Wildcard DX2

does not contain special chips

such as the DSP, Super FX or

SA-1, so you will still need to buy

a copy of Super Mario Kart!

The Super Wild Card DX2 also

includes a direct PC link, though

modern computers don’t have

COM ports, so I haven’t tested

this function. The setup is a lot

clunkier than using a simple Everdrive,

but the device has a very

retro feel to it.

In my travels I happened upon

another backup unit. Found at a

Gametraders store, this device

is called the Multi Game Hunter.

What separates this unit from the

rest is that it allows you to back

up and play games on both the

Super Nintendo and the Megadrive.

The included images show

the device with a disc drive and 2

cartridge ports, one for each system.

There is no special Zip drive

or PC interface, so you’re stuck

with standard floppy discs. Still, it

remains an interesting curio, and

it is convenient having one device

that works on both systems.


So, is it worth buying one of these

retro backup devices today? To

be honest, no. Many modern

USB and SD solutions allow you

to play games that use enhanced

chipsets, something these devices

are lacking. For the impatient

gamer there is also the issue of

then using slow disc drives to

load games. If you want to explore

games on the original hardware

then go for an Everdrive, or

similar device.

For more of my retro rants feel

free to give me a follow on Twitter

@Dizrythmia or visit:

www.retrospekt.com.au

to see all the other wonderful retro

gaming related stuff I do!

WRITTEN BY

paul monopoli


comics

ready to rumble!

One of histories greatest debates,

Marvel Vs DC. It’s up there and as

divisive as the Kennedy assassination,

the moon landing and

the existence of Sasquatch. Fans

have raged debated on this idea

since comic culture really took

off. However it really is a dumb

argument really… They are both

fantastic! The idea that somehow

you need to pick a side is simply

absurd. It’s perfectly fine to prefer

the titles one company puts out

over the other, that’s totally normal.

But to somehow develop a

strange hatred of the other company

is simply bizarre. I personally

much prefer Marvel comics,

but I love Batman, Superman

and Green Arrow. I love that DC

produce those comics I love and

revel in the fact that there are just

more comics for me to read. It’s

like the PlayStation Vs Xbox debate,

it all stems from the fact that

you can’t have both so for some

illogical reason hate the one you

don’t have. Here’s the big secret

to life though, you can have both!

As individual companies both began

their lives as very different

companies. DC was National Allied

Publications started in 1934.

Marvel was Timely Comics which

sprang to life in 1939. DC started

out with gritty crime stories and

adventure comics. Marvel had

its western and science fiction titles.

Spectacular adventures on

offer to the public! 1938 saw the

birth of Superman and 1939 saw

the birth of Batman. Marvel had

their first heroes with The Human

Torch and The Sub-Mariner with

their first massive hero Captain

America hitting the pages in 1941.

These early heroes would go on

to set the tones for both companies.

DC with it’s dark brooding

Batman and god-like Superman.

Marvel with it’s fantastical, bright,

over the top science fiction driven

stories.

Today they stand as the two great

juggernauts of the comic book industries,

with the only other really

massive title in the world at the

moment being The Walking Dead

from Image Comics. But there is

no denying that Marvel and DC

are the undisputed heavy weight

champions. Things have certainly

changed since comics were just

in print. Now they are ruling our

popular culture, mainly in the cinema.

Pretty much every single

blockbuster film released at the

moment is a comic book film. This

year alone we get Deadpool, Batman

V Superman, Captain America

Civil War, X-Men Apocalypse,

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

2, Suicide Squad, Gambit and

Doctor Strange… (deep breath).

That’s just insane! So many awesome

geekfest films in one year

and people are already fighting

over them. Enjoy them all you

crazy kids!

Marvel have been in domination

of the comic book movie scene

for the last few years with the

only real rival to the Marvel Cinematic

Universe being the Nolan

Batman Trilogy. But now DC

is throwing their hat into the ring

and getting ready to launch their

massive universe of films, which

they started with Man of Steel in

2013. This Year Batman V Superman

is set to really shake things

up with advance ticket sales already

pointing to projections of

over a billion dollars in complete

grossing. It will be a big leap forward

for the DC movie universe

given that the Marvel series has a

total gross so far of over nine billion

dollars making it the highest

grossing film franchise of all time.

It’s a good time to be a geek!

One major detractor for the whole

Marvel V DC affair is probably the

fact that the two companies don’t

really have an rivalry with each

other. The companies themselves

have no hatred, it’s all from the

fans. To prove this, in 1996 both

companies joined forces and created

a company together. Amalgam

Comics was born. A strange

world where heroes from the

Marvel world and DC world could

collide in issue together, it even


marvel

vs. dc

led to some odd mash up heroes.

We saw Logan Wayne AKA Dark

Claw. A cross between Wolverine

and Batman. We also saw Super-

Soldier the cross between Superman

and Captain America. Amalgam

Comics was a big deal in

the mid 90’s! And you would think

that should have really been the

nail in the coffin of geek on geek

fighting… But no… If you get the

chance I really recommend trying

to find some of the Amalgam comics,

they are well worth the read,

really fun comic cross-overs!

While I have no doubt that the odd

comic book rivalry will continue

for years to come as raged up fan

boys fight it out. It’s like the old

Star Wars V Star Trek fight, they

are both so very different it makes

no sense to even compare them,

they are both awesome for very

different reasons, and that is fundamentally

the same with Marvel

Vs DC. DC is a dark, brooding

world set in fictional cities. Marvel

is a bright, fun world set in our real

world. Both are great for their different

reasons and both should be

loved and embraced for all they

have done for us geeks!

WRITTEN BY

scott f. sowter


anime

hot DVDS

TO LOOK OUT FOR at gametraders!

FREE! - ETERNAL

SUMMER (SEASON 2

+ OVA)

This month we take a look at some of the most

popular releases hitting stores this month! If

you’re an anime fan these DVD’s are a must!

The cherry blossoms are blooming,

the sun is shining, and it’s

the perfect time to hit the pool!

Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa, and Rei

are anxious to get into the water

and warm up their winter muscles

ASAP, but things aren’t all

flip-turns and finish lines. Haru’s

passion for swimming is drying

up, which dashes Rin’s hope for

a true rivalry. With their futures

after high school looming over

them, Makoto and Haru are having

a hard time focusing. And a

gruff new Samezuka student, Sosuke,

appears just in time to jeopardize

Iwatobi’s chance at nationals.

The boys of summer are

back! Haru, Makoto, Nagisa, Rei,

and Rin are reunited for a second

season in Free! Eternal Summer.

After the last swimming meet,

the bonds of friendship have only

gotten stronger, and with each

passing day these boys continue

to grow. This season brings new

rivals and new challenges. So get

ready, the competition is about to

get fierce!

TOKYO ESP

COMPLETE SERIES

Rinka Urushiba lives with her

father while being in near poverty

stricken conditions that she

needs to work part-time. Her life

changes when she has the ability

to use strange powers that are

labelled to be as extrasensory

perception or ESP.Rinka is a high

school student in Tokyo trying to

make ends meet while supporting

herself and her father. Her ordinary

life takes a turn for the extraordinary

when she witnesses a

penguin and a school of fish flying

through the air. After catching

up to one of the fish, she passes

out and wakes up to find herself

suddenly granted supernatural

powers. With her newfound ability

to walk through solid objects,

Rinka is about to learn just how

transparent the world can be.

LORD MARKSMAN

AND VANADIS

COMPLETE SERIES

After being taken captive by a

female general from an enemy

country, Count Tigrevurmud Vorn

leaves his own lands completely

open to attack. Unable to sit by

and watch the destruction, Tigre

must do what he can to convince

his beautiful captor to join him in

a fight to save his homeland.

Using his skills as an archer and

her otherworldly prowess as a

War Maiden, the pair must work

together if they hope to stand a

chance against two warring nations

and a rogue faction led

by power hungry nobleman.

Outgunned, outnumbered and

branded as a traitor, the valiant

Tigre will need to win the favor of

the remaining War Maidens if he

plans to come out on top.


DRAMATICAL

MURDER COMPLETE

SERIES

Nothing on Midorijima has been

the same since the powerful Toue

Konzern forced the original population

into the Old Residential

District and converted the rest of

the island into the exclusive resort

Platinum Jail. Despite that,

Aoba Seragaki has tried to build

a normal life for himself, working

part-time in a junk shop and

hanging out with his friends and

his A.I. “pet” AllMate, Ren.

But when Aoba is drawn into the

shady underworld that surrounds

the popular virtual game Rhyme,

the universe that he thought he

knew falls apart. If deja vu describes

the sensation of experiencing

something that you think

you may have done before, what is

it called when other people seem

to recognise you for doing things

that you don’t remember doing?

All Aoba knows is that there are

gaps in his memory, people are

disappearing, and a secret buried

in his own mind may be the only

keys to revelation!

LOVE LIVE! SCHOOL

IDOL PROJECT

SEASON 2

Having avoided the closure of

Otonokizaka High, the members

of μ’s return to their everyday

lives. But when news of a second

Love Live! reaches the girls, they

are more determined than ever to

make it into the finals and win it

all! Can they reach their goal of

winning Love Live!?


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PRE-RELEASE

EVENTS AT

GAMETRADERS

GAMETRADERS LIVE MILDURA

Saturday 2nd April - 12.30pm (Flight 1) & 6.30pm (Flight 2)

Sunday 3rd April - 12.30pm (Flight 3)

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GAMETRADERS MARION

Saturday 2nd April - 5:30pm

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GAMETRADERS SALISBURY

Saturday 2nd April - 11am

GAMETRADERS MORAYFIELD

Saturday 2nd April - Midnight & 12pm

Sunday 3rd April - 12pm


GAMETRADERS

& TCG TOU

VICTORIA

BACCHUS MARSH

Magic the Gathering and Table Top - Wednesday 5:30pm

HIGHPOINT

No current tournaments.

GAMETRADERS LIVE MILDURA

MTG Prerelease Flights for Shadows over Innistrad

Saturday 2nd April - Flight 1, Sealed starting @ 12.30pm

Saturday 2nd April - Flight 2, Sealed 2HG starting @ 6.30pm

Sunday 3rd April - Flight 3, Sealed starting @ 12.30pm

X-Wing: Sunday 10th April Store Championship starting @ 11.30pm

Pokémon: Fates Collide Prerelease starting @ 12.30pm

We also run:

Pokémon both TCG & VG, MTG FNM, MTG Constructed Tournaments, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Star Wars

X-Wing, Warhammer 40k, Cardfight!! Vanguard, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros & Ultra Street

Fighter IV Tournaments, plus heaps more.

For event details and times, please check:

www.facebook.com/GametradersMildura/events

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

HYPERDOME

Yu-Gi-Oh - Saturday 10am

Pokémon - Saturday 2pm


STORE EVENTS

RNAMENTS!

QUEENSLAND

CHERMSIDE

Yu-Gi-Oh - Sunday 3pm

Cardfight!! Vanguard - Wednesday 6:30pm

Pokémon - Saturday 3pm

Magic the Gathering - Tuesday & Friday 6:30pm

MACKAY

Yu-Gi-Oh - Sunday 4pm

Magic the Gathering - Friday 6pm

MTG Monday Night Modern - Monday 6pm

Pokémon - Monday 4pm

Board Game Night - Monday 6pm

MORAYFIELD

Magic the Gathering Modern - Wednesday 7pm

Magic the Gathering Commander - Thursday 7pm

Magic the Gathering Standard - Friday 7pm

Yu-Gi-Oh - Thursday 7pm & Sunday 2pm

Pokémon - Saturday 12pm

Magic the Gathering Learn to Play - Saturday 2pm

LARP Tournaments - Saturday 6pm


NEW SOUTH WALES

BLACKTOWN

Advanced Yu-Gi-Oh - Sunday 10:30am

Magic the Gathering - Thursday 6:30pm & Sunday 10:30am

MACARTHUR SQUARE (CAMPBELLTOWN)

Yu-Gi-Oh - Wednesday 5:30pm

PARRAMATTA

Yu-Gi-Oh - Wednesday 6pm

Magic the Gathering - Friday 6pm

Cardfight!! Vanguard - Wednesday 6pm

GAMETRADERS LIVE PENRITH

Cardfight!! Vanguard - Saturday 5pm

Magic the Gathering - Friday 7pm

Pokémon - Saturday 12pm

X-Wing - Wednesday 7pm

Dragon Ball Z - Thursday 6pm

Force of Will - Friday 7:30pm

Buddyfight - Saturday 12pm

My Little Pony - Saturday 5pm

Demo board games from Wednesday through to Saturday.

GAMETRADERS LIVE HORNSBY

Magic the Gathering (Standard) - Monday 4pm

Yu-Gi-Oh - Tuesday 4pm & Sunday 12pm

Pokémon - Tuesday 4pm & Sunday 2pm

Magic the Gathering (Draft) - Wednesday 4pm & 7pm

Hearthstone Fireside Gathering + Tournament - Wednesday 6pm

Board Games - Thursday 7pm

Magic the Gathering (FNM) - Standard Fridays 4pm & 6pm (Standard, Modern, Draft)

Super Smash Bros - Saturday 1pm

Magic the Gathering (Commander) - Sunday 2pm

For more special events and tournaments please visit:

www.facebook.com/GametradersHornsby


SOUTH AUSTRALIA

INGLE FARM

No current tournaments.

MARION

Pokémon - Saturday 2pm

Cardfight!! Vanguard - Tuesday 6pm

Yu-Gi-Oh - Wednesday 6pm

Magic the Gathering - Friday 6pm

SEAFORD

FREE Monday Night Magic - (Standard/Constructed) 6pm (5:30pm registration)

My Little Pony - Tuesday 5pm (4:30pm registration)

Video Game Tournaments - Tuesday 6pm (5:30pm registration)

Dungeons and Dragons - Wednesday 6pm (5:30pm registration)

Board Game Nights - Wednesday from 5-8pm

Dragon Ball Z TCG Tournament - Thursday 5:30pm

Yu-Gi-Oh - Thursday 6pm (5:30pm registration)

Cardfight!! Vanguard - Friday 4:30pm

Friday Night Magic - Draft 6pm (5:30pm registration)

Pokémon - Sunday 1pm (12:30 registration)

MT. BARKER

X-Wing Night - Thursday 6pm

Yu-Gi-Oh - Saturday 4pm

Magic the Gathering - Sunday 1pm

SALISBURY

Magic the Gathering - Thursday 5:30pm & Saturday 11am

Yu-Gi-Oh (Advanced Format) - Saturday 12.30pm

GAMETRADERS STORE EVENTS

& TCG TOURNAMENTS!

Tournaments are subject to change. Please check with your local store on tournament times before attending.

Visit www.gametraders.com.au/facebook to find your local stores Facebook page.


...Trading cards, tournaments, accessories &

more. Get it all at Gametraders.


TCG RELEASES!

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Gametraders has a HUGE range of anime & DVD’s

available - can’t see what you’re after in-store?

We can order it in for you!


C O S P LA

smzeldarules

cosplay interview

JUSZ

cosplay interview

song ja

park

cosplay interview

star wars

cosplay

cosplay editorial:

chatty anny

tips to get a

more pleasing

look to your

images

photography tips


Y


COSPLAY

smzeldarules

This month we caught up with

“smzeldarules,” a cosplayer

from Buffalo NY in the U.S.

Welcome to Live Magazine!

Let’s start with how you got

into cosplay and why.

Hello! :) I was really into Japanese

animation and games when

I was young. When I started using

the computer at ten years old,

I stumbled upon some Japanese

drawing boards called oekakies.

There I met the two girls who got

me into cosplay – Shiya Wind

and x3rikku! They were always

my number one idols in everything;

Not just cosplay but also

art (since we all drew together!),

fashion and lifestyle! I looked up

to them so much and since we’ve

known each other for so long it

was amazing when I finally met

both of them in person. They

were the ones who got me into

a lot of things that were huge inspirations

when I was young like

Pokemon, Powerpuff Girls, Final

Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts!

Now you’ve been cosplaying

since 2006, you’re a gamer,

a graphic designer … how do

you fit it all in?

Yep! 2006 was when I was so

inspired by Des (x3rikku) and

Shiya that I decided to finally

start cosplaying. As for gaming, I

www.FACEBOOK.COM/smzeldarulesartandcosplay

started watching my brother play

Earthbound and Zelda Ocarina

of Time when I was really young,

and then decided to start playing

them myself soon after. The

name “S.M. Zelda Rules” actually

was thought of by my dad when

I started using the Internet, and

it was my handle on the oekaki

boards, DeviantArt, and eventually

led to my cosplay as well. I

wanted to keep it all consistent.

S and M are my initials (I have no

middle name), and my dad knew

I liked Zelda so much so he put

Zelda Rules in! SMZR for short :)

I got inspired by my brother to

pursue graphic design; He got

me into a lot of nerdy things and

helped me grow into the graphic

designer I am today.

How I fit it all in, well… I actually

didn’t cosplay much or go to

many cons while I was in college

from late 2009 until spring 2013,

since I had to work a lot to pay

out of my own pocket for my tuition/

car payments. I didn’t really

get back into it until spring 2014

when I was more financially stable

to start the hobby again. You

always want to put those kinds of

life things FIRST!

Simply put, cosplay is the only

artistic outlet besides graphic design

that I 100% enjoy. And since

graphic design is my profession,

cosplay became my number one

hobby because of how creative

and fun it is. Gaming always fits in

somewhere; especially Sundays

when I’m relaxing at home!

You’ve got some great cosplay

planned, what’s the most challenging

costume you’re working

on.

So far this year (2016) I’ve made

Tabby from .hack//Roots (one

of my dream cosplays!), Esther

from Ni no Kuni, and Small Lady

Chibi Usa (pink dress) from Sailor

Moon. With some help from other

friends, so far this year I put together

Tsubaki from Your Lie in

April, Knives Chau from Scott

Pilgrim, and Human Luna from

Sailor Moon.

My plans for the rest of the year

include: Swaine from Ni No Kuni

for my boyfriend, Rikku from Final

Fantasy X-2, Nanami from

Suikoden 2, Rosaline from To

the Moon, Ruby from RWBY,

Emil (transformed version) from

NieR, Akane & Kougami (my boyfriend)

from Psycho-Pass, and

fem!Atreyu from The Neverending

Story with my boyfriend as

Artax (hehehe). There could be

more or less, depending on what

happens this year! I think what

scares me the most is Ruby from


Photographer: Tommyish Cosplay & Photography | www.facebook.com/Tommyishh


Photographer: Some Kid | www.facebook.com/ohheyitssk


RWBY’s scythe…I really want to

make it collapsible, so am going

to need help from prop friends!

What about cons? What’s your

favourite and do you have

plans for 2016?

My BIG cons for 2016 are PAX

East (Saturday – definite), ColossalCon

(all weekend – definite),

and Anime USA (all weekend

– in planning!). There’s a bunch

of small and medium-sized cons

in the Western NY and Ontario

Canada areas that I plan to go to

as well. My boyfriend’s and my favorite

con last year was definitely

ColossalCon; we really look forward

to that this year too. We love

PAX East as well because video

games!! Anime USA in October

is a new one for us. A lot of our

friends live in the DC area so it

should be really fun!

You’re a gamer too - what are

you currently playing?

Yes! I am a HUGE fan of old

school JRPGs. Chrono Trigger

will forever be my favorite game

and there’s no topping it. I love

newer JRPGs as well, and also

enjoy some platformers with

great storylines! Point-and-click

adventure games, and interactive

drama story based games will

always hold a dear place in my

heart too. Right now I’m playing

Xenogears for the first time! My

boyfriend and I also like to stream

our Steam and other PC games

on my Twitch channel at smzeldarules!

As a designer do you do other

art apart from cosplay like

painting or photography?

I used to be into traditional painting

a lot when I was in school,

and I do want to experiment with

photography one day.

Right now graphic design and

cosplay are the biggest parts of

my life! Once I pay off my new

car, I would love to buy a new

Macbook (since mine is a bit old)

and also get a DSLR to start delving

into photography :)

Who inspires you?

My family and friends who are all

amazing and talented in their own

ways!

Some fun questions -

Who would you love to sit and

have coffee with - past or present?

I would love to sit and have coffee

with my favorite singer Ayumi Hamasaki!

I’ve loved her music since

I was about 14 or so. Her style has

changed a lot since then but I will

always love her nostalgic tracks.

I even based one of my two high

school AP Studio Art portfolios on

her 2000 album, “Duty.”

If you were stuck on an island,

what food, music and DVD

would you take with you?

I would eat Japanese or Indian

curry rice all day, listen to my favorite

trance DJs (like Andrew

Bayer, Above & Beyond, and

Kyau & Albert), and my favorite

movie Tommy Boy. Life of solitude

complete!

What food do you love after a

long day at a con?

Anything that’s not American really!

I feel like usually my friends

and I choose Japanese or Korean

restaurants after cons.

Finally can you share 5 tips for

those just starting out in cosplay?

1 – Have fun! Seriously this is

what cosplay is about. Don’t let

anyone’s judgment or words keep

you from cosplaying a character

you love.

2 – Make friends! This hobby

made me find such amazing people

I would have never met otherwise.

Even if you make close

friends that live far away, it makes

hanging out with them at a con or

elsewhere so much more awesome!

3 – Prepare early! I know a lot of

people just aren’t wired for getting

costumes and con preparations

done on time. I think the thing

I’m praised the most for is getting

things done early so I don’t have

to worry about them later. But try

your best to be prepared as much

as you can. This just doesn’t include

costumes – think about

food, hotel room needs, money,

etc! Make checklists when crunch

time comes around – they really

help!

4 – Put real life priorities first!

Cosplay shouldn’t take over your

entire life. It easily can grab ahold

of everything when you first get

super into it, but try your best not

to let that happen. Stay fiscally


Photographer: Amaleigh Photography | www.facebook.com/AmaleighPhotography


Photographer: Mo-ria | www.facebook.com/moriacosplay

responsible, be good in school/

work/health and put things on

hold if you need to. That’s what

I did during college and although

I missed a lot in the community

during that time, I don’t regret a

thing.

5 – Stay positive! There’s nothing

I dislike more than when people

get discouraged over costumes

not getting finished on time for

groups, upset about internet

drama, and just act petty and/or

immature. Listen, all you need to

do is put on a costume and have

fun. If people are mean, ignore

them. If they’re your “friends,”

don’t be their friend. If someone

thinks you’re not talented/popular

enough to be their friend, they’re

too immature to be yours. Keep

on keeping on, and if you EVER

need any advice, especially with

things like that, don’t hesitate to

send me a message on my facebook

page. I’d love to listen and

give advice as best as I can!

And where can our readers go

to find out more about you?

facebook:

facebook.com/smzeldarulesartandcosplay

twitter:

twitter.com/smzeldarules

Instagram:

instagram.com/smzeldarules

cospix:

cospix.net/smzeldarules

worldcosplay:

worldcosplay.net/member/smzeldarules

tumblr:

smzeldarules.tumblr.com

twitch:

twitch.tv/smzeldarules

youtube:

youtube.com/user/smzeldarulescosplay

acparadise:

www.acparadise.com/loves/smzeldarules

cosplay(dot)com:

www.cosplay.com/member/51052

You can also just search “smzeldarules”

on all of these and I’m

sure I’ll show up :) I’m also on

the Cosplay Amino app!

Thanks Sarah!

Thank YOU guys! I’m so honored

to be a part of your lovely

magazine. I absolutely adore the

branding, layout and graphics.

Keep being awesome!

~ smzeldarules ~


Photographer: Herbiecide | www.facebook.com/herbiecidez


Photographer: Pial Visions Photography | www.facebook.com/PialVisions


Photographer: Vick Krishna Films | www.facebook.com/Vickkrishnafilms

Photographer: Herbiecide | www.facebook.com/herbiecidez


Photographer: Pial Visions Photography | www.facebook.com/PialVisions


COSPLAY

jusz cosplay

Hey Justine, you’ve been on

the other side of our mic with

interviews but today we wanted

to catch up with you. You’re

a guest at Oz Comic Con this

year, tell us about that.

I’m so thrilled and excited to have

been invited to Oz Comic-Con as

a guest. It was a really wonderful

surprise to be contacted by a

convention that I love attending

and be asked to take that step up

and be an actual guest. It’s also

pretty nerve-wracking, but I’m

more excited than anything else.

I’ll be presenting one workshop

and hosting the new ‘Cosplay Active’

cosplay competition, and I’m

sure more cool things will be added

as we get closer to the event.

So how did you get started in

cosplay?

Like everyone else, as a fan. I

love costumes and dressing up

and when I found out that the

Armageddon comic convention

was coming to Adelaide in 2011 I

knew I would have to dress up to

attend. I bought or rented everything

for that costume and had an

absolutely unforgettable time.

My parents gave me a sewing

machine for Christmas later that

year, I think my mom was hoping

I’d make curtains or something,

www.FACEBOOK.COM/juszcosplay

and that opened up a whole new

world for me.

Now apart from cosplay, you’ve

been a touch famous in Canada,

tell us about that.

Oh goodness. I’m not sure famous

is exactly the right word for it, but I

was in an all girl pop group called

G-Force for a few years back in

Vancouver. By the time we parted

ways we’d started to build a bit of

a following and had not only performed

at clubs in Vancouver, Toronto

and Las Vegas, but also for

Jay Leno at the Tonight Show in

LA. It was really interesting, because

we were totally self-funded

and self-managed so we had a

lot of control over our music and

image. It was a lot like cosplay –

tons of un-glamorous hard work,

lots of shiny fabrics and my never-ending

battle with false eyelashes.

Back to cosplay, why do you

think it’s grown so much in the

past few years?

I think the internet has a lot to

do with it - that’s how I found

out about cosplay. The internet

opens up so many windows into

different worlds and the internet,

especially social media, allows us

to show off our work as well as

find and connect with others who

have similar interests. I’ve learned

techniques I wouldn’t have ever

considered via YouTube and other

people’s tutorials, and there’s

also the expansion of materials

and references that have helped

people get started so much easier.

Thermoplastics, specialised

patterns and fabrics and access

to quality wigs all make cosplay

easier to get into and bring it further

into the ‘mainstream’.

Who inspires your cosplay?

There are so many! Major Sam

Cosplay and Floksy Locksy Cosplay

both inspire me with their incredible

and beautiful work. Eve

Beauregard is the sweetest person

and I love both her gorgeous

work and her awesome online

presence. And, of course, Yaya

Han is the epitome of what I’d like

to be as a cosplayer. She’s gracious

and lovely, her work is eyemeltingly

beautiful and she’s a

very savvy business woman.

On to costumes and props - do

you make your own and if so,

what’s been your most challenging

cosplay?

I do make most of my own costumes

and props, with a few exceptions.

I like to think I know

when something would be best

made by someone else and I try


Photographer: Steamkittens | www.facebook.com/steamkittens


Photographer: Steamkittens | www.facebook.com/steamkittens

Photographer: Charlie Nicholson | www.facebook.com/gotsuperpowers


to always credit accordingly. I

really enjoy making costumes,

especially sewing. It’s so satisfying

to put two pieces of fabric

through the machine and have it

come out as a garment. My most

challenging would have to be a

tie between Armoured Belle and

Diana from League of Legends

– I don’t make armour easily and

both costumes had considerable

challenges when it came to their

construction.

What about props, what has

been a difficult prop to make?

My Divas Championship belt was

pretty challenging. It was early on

in my cosplay days and I ended

up remaking the belt part at least

once because it was a yoga mat

at its core and was far too thick.

Each ‘metal’ plate was made out

of a mousepad with the details

hand drawn in fabric paint and

covered in more fabric paint and

crystal stickers. Actually getting

the plates to stick to the belt was

the hardest part and so frustrating.

It’s a bit hard to describe at

Bunnings when you’re trying to

find the right adhesive!

Cosplay and photographers go

together like bread and butter,

tell us about some of your experiences.

What is involved in

a typical shoot…

Usually, a photographer will contact

me because they have a specific

cosplay they would like to

shoot and we’ll arrange the time

and place. I really like when we’re

able to talk a bit about their concept

for the shoot and I love when

we swap reference photos – it really

helps me get a feel for their

vision and contribute my ideas.

Once we get to the location we’ll

sort out what we’re shooting

where and get right into it. So

much of photo shoots is holding

crazy poses forever and it’s

really a heck of a workout. If

you’re lucky to have assistants

on a shoot there can be more hair

flipping, cape tossing and droid

wrangling than you would have

thought. Plus, you’re sometimes

contending with other light sources,

passers-by and occasionally

even drunk people. Every shoot

is a new experience and I’m still

learning new things every single

time.

Do you have any tips for new

cosplayers doing their first

shoot?

Be prepared. Always come to

a shoot ready to go and have

poses that you’ve practised. You

don’t want to run out of ideas too

early and the more you can contribute

the better! It can be helpful

to bring along a handler so they

can give moral support, help you

feel comfortable and even flick

capes and adjust hair. And AL-

WAYS speak up if you’re asked

to do something that makes you

uncomfortable. A good photographer

will find a different way to

achieve the shot if you’re scared

of heights or direct you verbally if

you prefer not to be touched (and

a photographer should always

ask to touch you if they want to

move an arm or stray hair).

Sometimes cosplayers get

negative comments via social

media, what’s been your experience?

I’ve been very lucky, I don’t get

a lot of negativity on any of my

social media - I’ve got a great

bunch of people who follow my

page and other profiles. I do get

some unnecessarily over-sexual

comments, but I tend to hide or

delete those and I’ll occasionally

call people out if I feel like they

can be educated about their behaviour.

“So-and-so did it better”

comments are silly and pointless,

but it comes with the territory and

sometimes I even discover some

great cosplayers through those!

You’ve done really well with

your cosplay, what are the key

things you’ve done that has

got you to be a special guest at

Oz Comic Con?

Thank you very much. I’m still

feeling like I don’t know what the

magical key is to being an invited

guest, but I’ve always tried to

let the me behind the costumes

also shine through. I’m still a giant

nerd, I get overexcited about

con guests and movie trailers

and I dress up as wrestlers, and I

guess that’s resonated with people.

I cosplay for me and I really

love what I do, which makes me

happy and hopefully helps make

those around me happy too.

Ok, some fun questions now…

You’re asked to be in a movie -

what character would you love

to be?

Well, since Black Widow appears

to already be taken, it would have


to be Zatanna. Zatanna is still

one of my all-time favourite characters

and if Mark Millar (writer

of Kingsman, Kick-Ass) says I’m

his pick… well, come on Warner

Bros, call me!

You’re stuck on an island -

what one book and one food is

a must have?

One book would have to be anything

from JD Robb’s In Death

series. I’m crazy about those and

reread them over and over. Food

would most definitely be pepperoni

pizza.

What’s your favourite movie?

Singin’ in the Rain. I’ve lost count

of how many times I’ve watched it

since I was a kid.

If you could sit and have coffee

with anyone in history who

would that be?

Audrey Hepburn. I could go on

about how amazing she was for

ages. Not enough people know

she was so much more than a

wonderful actress - when she

was a teenager during WWII, she

ran messages for the Dutch Resistance.

Very inspiring and so

talented.

And finally where can our readers

go to find out more about

you?

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/juszcosplay

Instagram:

www.instagram.com/juszcosplay

Twitter: www.twitter.com/justinegf

Photographer: Nathan Tan | www.facebook.com/gotsuperpowers


Photographer: Rob Jenkins Photo | www.facebook.com/robjenkinsphotography


COSPLAY

SONG JA

PARK

www.FACEBOOK.COM/LoveSongJaPark

Hi & welcome to Live Magazine!

First Question - tell us about

how you got into Cosplay?

My best friend introduced me to

Manga in Jr. High School. We

read and watched anime after

school lol.

One of our local comic stores was

doing a ‘anime fest’ and we decided

it would be really neat if we

attempted to cosplay as our favorite

manga/anime characters.

Our cosplays were of poor quality

lol but we had fun. I enjoyed it so

much, I kept at it for another 12+

years.

You run a business called Cake

Shop Couture - tell us a bit

about that… and is there a demand

for what you sell.

My business is mostly custom

made dresses inspired by Japanese

street fashion and I also do

quite a few Star Wars, Marvel

Comics and Doctor Who inspired

dresses. I also make jewelry and

accessories. My business keeps

me busy but I love what I do!

Ok, on to cosplay- what was

your favourite cosplay so far?

I’d have to say Haruko from FLCL.

Not only did I have fun making

her costume, I also love her crazy/silly

personality that I can pose

according to.

What’s been your most challenging

cosplay and why?

Currently I am working on Motoko

from Ghost in the Shell: First Connection.

This has became such a

challenge!

From all the different shades and

patterns of grey in the body suit

to working with EVA foam for the

armor for the very first time. It’s

been a great learning process!

With the many cons around -

what’s your favourite and what

cons are you visiting in 2016?


Photographer: NBMA Photography | www.facebook.com/NBMAPhotography


My favorite local convention is

Saboten Con in Phoenix, Arizona.

My convention plans for this

year are Wondercon, Sabaku

Con, Phoenix Comic Con, and

Saboten Con.

Have you done many photo

shoots and can you share 3

tips for those about to do a first

shoot?

I’ve done quite a few photo

shoots, I enjoy them very much!

Try not to be nervous, have fun

with the shoot. Look up poses

that your character does so that

you can have a assortment of different

photos.

Lastly, exaggerate your body. It

may feel funny but it translates

very well in photos.

Ok now some fun questions:

What is the best food to eat before

and after a con?

Coffee is food right? lol I usually

eat a banana morning of con. After

con, I usually pig out on Korean

BBQ.


Who do you look to for inspiration?

I have so many talented friends

that also cosplay that inspire me

to try new things and techniques.

Ever had something go really

wrong at an event?

Of course. It’s bound to happen

to everyone that cosplays at

least once. You end up forgetting

something at home, something

on your cosplay decides to come

unstitched or unglued.

You sew a lot, what machine do

you use and why?

I use a Babylock machine and a

Brother Serger machine.

Finally we’d love to see more of

your work, where can we go?

Almost all of my work can be seen

on my Facebook page:

Facebook.com/LoveSongJaPark.

I also update my Instagram quite

a bit with cosplay progress photos!

Photographer: Adam Patrick Murray | www.facebook.com/adampatrickmurray


Photographer: JW Cosplay Photography

| www.facebook.com/ jwcosplayphotography


Photographer: JW Cosplay Photography

| www.facebook.com/ jwcosplayphotography


Photographer: Adam Patrick Murray | www.facebook.com/adampatrickmurray


Photographer: JW Cosplay Photography

| www.facebook.com/ jwcosplayphotography

Photographer: JW Cosplay Photography

| www.facebook.com/ jwcosplayphotography


cosplay EDITORIAL

STAR WARS

Before 2016, I had never seen a

single piece of Star Wars media,

I know, it’s shocking – one of the

most well-known franchises in the

world and I’d avoided every single

piece of content for over 20 years

right up until Star Wars: The Force

Awakens was released late last

year. On New Year’s Day, a few

friends dragged me to the cinema

to see it, and when I came out I

was sold.

Kylo Ren - Ebil cosplay www.facebook.com/ebilcosplay

Artificial Photography & Videography - www.facebook.com/ArtificialDogma

I spent the next few weeks consuming

every single piece of canon

and extended universe Star

Wars media I could find. Now

heading into April, I’ve watched

eight seasons and seven movies,

played two games, began

following three comic series and

consumed countless pieces of

online media from videos to comics

to memes, and it was obvious

this was all going to lead me here

– falling in love with some of our

Aussie Star Wars cosplayers.

First up I have to feature some of

my favourites from my own hometown;

Ebil cosplay’s Kylo Ren is a

stunning rendition of everyone’s

favourite villain at the moment,

carefully adapted where it could

be for Australia’s heated summer.

The helmet itself is just a mask,

artfully hidden by the fantastic

skills of Artificial Photography &

Videography and taking a look at

these photos makes me kind of

want to hide from this Dark side

user’s wrath.


y chatty anny: www.FACEBOOK.COM/FerretCosplay

:

AN AUSTRALIAN

COSPLAY FEATURETTE


cosplay EDITORIAL

STAR WARS

Scouring the interwebs, I couldn’t

go past our previous writer Hayley

Elise’s Princess Leia Organa.

From the feisty princess who

stood up to Darth Vader to the

slave who took back her freedom

by choking her captor to death,

Hayley’s Leia is everything we

love in our incensed princess.

Leia Organa (Slave, White dress) - Hayley Elise www.facebook.com/HayleyEliseCosplay

WhatABigCamera - www.facebook.com/WhatABigCamera


y chatty anny: www.FACEBOOK.COM/FerretCosplay

:

AN AUSTRALIAN

COSPLAY FEATURETTE


cosplay EDITORIAL

STAR WARS

There’s nothing better than a collaboration

by talented people,

and Steamkittens’ photos of JusZ

Cosplay proves that. Made in

only a few weeks for The Force

Awakens’ premiere, JusZ’s Rey

was the first cosplay I saw that

convinced me I needed to go see

this movie. Completed with a fantastic

Kylo and BB-8, this shoot

shows you just what you can do

with the power of the Force – and

even Carrie Fisher approved on

Twitter!


y chatty anny: www.FACEBOOK.COM/FerretCosplay

:

AN AUSTRALIAN

COSPLAY FEATURETTE

Rey – JusZ Cosplay www.facebook.com/JusZcosplay

Steamkittens - www.facebook.com/steamkittens


cosplay EDITORIAL

STAR WARS

Okay, I’ll admit it – I loved the prequels,

with their terrible dialogue

and weird editing; so seeing this

photo of Ian’s Anakin at Mustafar

made me tear up a little..

Anakin Skywalker – Ian Bartlett - Artificial Photography & Videography

www.facebook.com/ArtificialDogma


y chatty anny: www.FACEBOOK.COM/FerretCosplay

:

AN AUSTRALIAN

COSPLAY FEATURETTE

It wouldn’t be prequel appreciation

without mourning the loss of a

villain with such potential as Darth

Maul; and Brontology Cosplay’s

genderbent Maul makes me long

for what could have been.

Darth Maul – Brontology Cosplay

www.facebook.com/brontologycosplay

Photographer: Thomas Hadland


cosplay EDITORIAL

STAR WARS

I’ll always have a soft spot for heroes

who see the best in villains

(but still don’t hold back beating

them up!) and Rey and Luke

really epitomize that. Andrew

Scott’s Kylo and Christie Lee’s

Rey watching their skies at different

times makes me shiver with

anticipation for what the future of

their stories bring in movies, while

Izzys Cosplay’s Luke makes me

fear for what he’s about to do –

despite having seen it all myself!

Rey & Kylo Ren:

Andrew Scott & Christie Lee

Andy Wana Photography

www.facebook.com/AndyWanaPhotography


y chatty anny: www.FACEBOOK.COM/FerretCosplay

:

AN AUSTRALIAN

COSPLAY FEATURETTE

Luke Skywalker - Izzys Cosplay www.facebook.com/IzzysCosplay

James Niland - www.facebook.com/james.niland


cosplay EDITORIAL

STAR WARS

Darth Talon - Soylent Cosplay www.facebook.com/soylentcosplay

Charmaine Morgan Photography - www.facebook.com/charmaine.morgan88

When The Force Awakens was

released, it was heartbreaking to

some fans that their favourites in

the extended universe (used to

refer to anything that isn’t included

in the official Star Wars canon

anymore) were basically erased

from existence. Seeing photos

of Soylent Cosplay’s Darth Talon

and Sarah Ashley Cosplay’s

Mara Jade, I mourn alongside

them. Star Wars has long been

criticised for it’s lack of female

characters, so to have such fantastic

characters lost into the void

is always a disappointment – but

at least we have these cosplayers

to make up for it!


y chatty anny: www.FACEBOOK.COM/FerretCosplay

:

AN AUSTRALIAN

COSPLAY FEATURETTE

Mara Jade - Sarah Ashley Cosplay www.facebook.com/Sarah.Ashley.Cosplay

Cosplay Australia - www.facebook.com/CosplayAU (above)

Lorenzo So Photography - www.facebook.com/lorenzosophoto


PHOTOGRAPHY tips

Tips to get a more

pleasing look to

your images

Tip One - Good bokeh.

Bokeh? What the heck is bokeh?

Well if you’ve been into photography

for a while you’ll know that

bokeh is that soft blur you get

behind the main subject. Check

the image from Shutterstock by

Piyato - those soft bubbles behind

the cosplayer are an example

of bokeh. Bokeh is described

as “the visual quality of the outof-focus

areas of a photographic

image, especially as rendered by

a particular lens.” That’ from the

dictionary. It’s a Japanese word

that really came into use in the

past 20 years or so. Particularly

with digital, and so many more

people now into photography.

The way to get good bokeh is

to use what we call a “fast lens”

- that’s a lens with a large aperture-

like a 2.8 or larger. On some

systems you can get 1.2 or ever

larger apertures. Ideally you

might use a lens with an 85mm

or so focal length. On a crop sensor

that would be around 56mm

and on a mirrorless that would

be around the 40mm mark. Then

frame your subject like the example

and the focus on her eyes (or

his eyes or whatever your subject

might be - it could be a glass of

water) and then the background

will go soft and blurry. Now the

quality of the blur or bokeh will depend

on the quality of your lens.

Nikon USA has an excellent article

/ tutorial on bokeh here - jump

on over but then come back for

tip 2…

www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-explore/article/h0ndz86v/bokeh-for-beginners.html

Tip Two - The right framing.

Often the beginner or casual

snapper, makes this mistake.

They take a photo of someone

and put them in the middle and

far away. Now that might be fine

if you’re wanting to show the relationship

between the subject and

say a building or mountain. But if

you simply want a nice photo of a

friend, try getting in closer. As we

say here at Live Magazine - make

the main thing the main thing.

Frame your subject so they fill

the frame. Sure, you can experiment

and try different angles and

framing options. But if you want

a photo of a cosplayer’s costume

and the amazing detail, then get

close, focus and show it off! Again

I’ve found a nice explanation with

lots of examples from Nikon here:

www.nikonusa.com/en/Learn-And-Explore/Article/h7dfrceh/5-easy-composition-guidelines.html

In the photo here of Suzanne

from Armored Soul Cosplay, I’ve

framed her and her weapon so

that they both are the focus of attention.

She is positioned on the

left third of the frame that is pleasing

to the eye and I’ve cropped it

so that she and her weapon are

really the main thing you see.

When you start our you hear

about things like the rule of thirds

and yep it’s a good guideline. But

like all rules, once you know the

rules, you can try creative ways

to break the rules.


PHOTOGRAPHY tips

Tip Three - Light and

shadow.

While I didn’t use Nikon to help

me write this article - it all comes

from my experience. I have found

some excellent resources from

the Nikon website that helps

explain and teach better then I

could. I’ve got a link for light and

shadow below but remember this

from the previous point - make the

main thing the main thing. What

I mean here is sometimes when

you see a scene or a shot you

simply must photograph, what

you’ve seen is something that

connects with you. So don’t go

messing it up by adding too much

or too little light. If you see a person

in shadow and you just love

how dramatic it looks, don’t flip

up your flash straight away. Think

about what caught your eye and

work on capturing that first. Then

experiment with light or flash etc.

in the photo of Nat (right) in her

Dredd cosplay you’ll see light really

highlighting the gold part of

her uniform and the silver of the

gun. Nat is an amazing cosplayer

and also an amazing artist in how


she creates costumes and props

- head over to her Facebook page

for more inspiration -

www.facebook.com/natstonproductions

Other times it might be the shadows

that attract you like the photo

of Aislynn from Axe Massacre

Cosplay - here she is sitting in a

church and the light just fell beautifully-

I had to grab a shot and it’s

a favourite of mine. You can see

more of Aislynn at her page here:

www.facebook.com/AxeMassacreCosplay

The key to growing as a photographer

is to shoot regularly - like

weekly. Plan projects and try

things out. Experiment and realise

that you will need to make a lot

of mistakes in your journey - you

learn from mistakes. If you fluke

a shot - hey nice. But you don’t

learn from them so much as making

a dozen mistakes and then

getting it right. And when you get

it right and you can repeat it over

and over, you become proficient

at that technique.


HOW RATINGS WO

The Australian Classification

CTC - Check the classification.

CTC

The content has been assessed and approved for advertising unclassified films and

computer games.

Any advertising of unclassified films and games must display the CTC message on

posters, trailers, on the internet, and any other types of advertising.

G - General.

The content is very mild in impact.

The G classification is suitable for everyone. G products may contain classifiable elements

such as language and themes that are very mild in impact.

However, some G-classified films or computer games may contain content that is not

of interest to children.

PG - Parental Guidance.

The content is mild in impact.

The impact of PG (Parental Guidance) classified films and computer games should be

no higher than mild, but they may contain content that children find confusing or upsetting

and may require the guidance of parents and guardians. They may, for example,

contain classifiable elements such as language and themes that are mild in impact.

It is not recommended for viewing or playing by persons under 15 without guidance

from parents or guardians.

M - Mature.

The content is moderate in impact.

Films and computer games classified M (Mature) contain content of a moderate impact

and are recommended for teenagers aged 15 years and over.

Children under 15 may legally access this material because it is an advisory category.

However, M classified films and computer games may include classifiable elements

such as violence and nudity of moderate impact that are not recommended for children

under 15 years. Parents and guardians may need to find out more about the film or

computer game’s specific content, before deciding whether the material is suitable for

their child.


RK:

Board

There are two separate Boards that are independent from the government and from

each other. There is the full time Classification Board that decides the classifications of

films, video games and certain publications and the Classification Review Board that

meets only to review a decision of the Classification Board when there is a valid application

for review.

The Board bases its’ classifications on six elements:

Themes, Violence, Sex, Language, Drug Use & Nudity

Below are a list of classifications you’ll find on games and movies:

MA 15+ - Mature Accompanied 15+.

The content is strong in impact.

MA 15+ classified material contains strong content and is legally restricted to persons

15 years and over. It may contain classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug

use that are strong in impact.

A person may be asked to show proof of their age before hiring or purchasing an MA

15+ film or computer game. Cinema staff may also request that the person show proof

of their age before allowing them to watch an MA 15+ film. Children under the age of

15 may not legally watch, buy or hire MA 15+ classified material unless they are in

the company of a parent or adult guardian. Children under 15 who go to the cinema

to see an MA 15+ film must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian for the

duration of the film. The parent or adult guardian must also purchase the movie

ticket for the child. The guardian must be an adult exercising parental control over

the person under 15 years of age. The guardian needs to be 18 years or older.

Parents and guardians may need to find out more about the film or computer game’s

specific content, before deciding whether the material is suitable for their child.

R 18+ - Restricted to 18+.

The content is high in impact.

R 18+ material is restricted to adults. Such material may contain classifiable elements

such as sex scenes and drug use that are high in impact. Some material classified

R18+ may be offensive to sections of the adult community. A person may be asked for

proof of their age before purchasing, hiring or viewing R18+ films and computer games

at a retail store or cinema.

There is also an X 18+ for adult films and these titles are only available for sale in the

ACT and the Northern Territory.

Sometimes games are refused classification. This can cause gamers to be frustrated,

citing that the R18+ classification should take care of adult content. But still some

games don’t get classified until the publishers/developers have addressed the concerns

of the Classification Board.

Want to know more? Visit the Australian Classification website -

www.classification.gov.au

CTC


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