Pokemon Sword and Shield Review

Hi, Welcome to my Review of Pokemon Shield. I know the title says Pokemon Sword and Shield, but I only have Pokemon Shield. I figure the games are similar enough that I can use this review to help people thinking about purchasing either version.

Pokemon Sword is similar to Pokemon Shield, but Shield is the version I chose to buy. Pokemon Sword’s Legendary is better overall, focusing on attack, while Shield’s Legendary focuses on defense.

And let’s be honest Pokemon Sword’s Legendary has a better overall design – a Pokemon that carries a sword in its mouth looks way cooler than a Pokemon whose neck scruff is vaguely shaped like a shield lol. So why did I buy Pokemon Shield instead of Sword? read more

AI-Powered Fantasy Games Of Chance To Explode In 2018

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A computer poker program called Libratus won the Best Use of AI Award in November last year. For players of games of chance online like myself, it was an exciting news that offered a sneak peek into this year. My gut says there will be some sensational, new fantasy games of chance this year, thanks to advancing technologies and evolving AI capabilities. read more

Heart of Crown Boardgame and PC Videogame Review

Update: 12/21/2017 – The developers of the PC version of Heart of Crown reached out to me via email and wanted to provide support for some of the issues I encountered, as well as to let me know about new features that are underway, such as full screen mode (currently in the beta client), and a tournament that will take place next year to celebrate the international release of Heart of Crown. They also wanted to let me know that there are (text based) chat rooms available on the Discord server (and I’ve adjusted the score for community based on that feedback). Overall, it is encouraging to see an active Dev team who seem to really care about improving the game and connecting with the community. 🙂 I hope they continue to work on polishing up the PC version of the game, but as I said already in my original review, yes the game has issues, but at the price point of $19.99 (at time of this review) it’s a great game and still a lot of fun, and a worthy purchase.

Original Review Below:

I recently picked up both the board game and steam versions of Heart of Crown, a kawaii anime deck building card game. I love the artwork and the theme of the game (multiple princesses vying for the throne). It reminded me a lot of one of my favorite anime (RE:Zero) so I was instantly drawn to this board game when I attended the Pittsburgh Steel City Comic Con 2 weeks ago. (although I actually purchased this one from the large game store, Mr. Nice Guy Games, at the mall nearby the convention center). And then a few days after that, the PC game released on steam, so imagine my excitement having only just heard of Heart of Crown days prior and being hyped by my new kawaii gaming find. As you will learn in this review, I am happy with both purchases, but each has it’s own unique pros and cons. Find out which version of Heart of Crown is right for you in the reviews below.

Gameplay Explanation:

The gameplay is simple, although it can be confusing at first, and both the manual included in the boardgame, as well as the hidden and horribly confusing tutorial in the PC game, make this gameplay seem much more complex than it actually is.

I will try to briefly describe the gameplay, please bear in mind my experience with this title is still limited to just a handful of play sessions.

To understand the gameplay we must first understand the different card types. Largely these consist of one of the following:

Princess Cards – these cards are available for purchase once you reach 16 points. There are 6 different Princesses in the base game (maybe more in various expansions). Each princess has unique abilities, some passive (always in effect) and some that you can activate during your turn. These abilities may give you advantages such as viewing your draw pile, drawing extra cards, forcing opponents to discard a card, or so on.

The objective of the game is to choose a princess whose ability matches your play style and then “back her” by acquiring points to put her on the throne. I’m not in front of either version of the game at the moment, but I believe the amount needed to back a princess is 21. (might be 20 or 25, somewhere in that range).

When this happens, a “coronation ceremony” will occur. At this time, any other players take one final turn, and if able to do so, may also back and crown a princess. If no other players can put a princess on the throne, you win. However, if another player also gets enough points to back and crown a princess the game enters sudden death where the first player to reach 30 points wins.

But how do you get points you ask? That’s where the other cards come in handy.

Territory Cards: these cards grant you coins (think of it as taxing your people for living in your lands). Coins are used to purchase items from the common shared area known as the market place. Note that cards obtained from the market place go to your discard pile. This is rather quirky and different from most other games I’ve played where they would automatically go to your hand or your draw pile. When you reach the end of your draw pile, your discard pile gets shuffled and becomes your new draw pile, allowing you to finally use the cards you have purchased. Coins may also be spent to activate abilities on some cards.

Action cards – these cards have abilities that affect you or other players such as declaring war to lower their points, or forcing them to discard a card, or allowing you to draw more cards, or take a card from the market place.

Character Cards – these cards all feature a different character, such as a duke, maid, etc. who will grant or sometimes subtract from your total points value. After you have backed a princess, you can play these character cards by placing them under your princess card.

There are also 2 special mechanics in this game.

Keeping Cards: 1 is the ability to “keep” up to 3 cards in your hand by placing them over your kingdom cards (territory cards that were used to back your princess) you cannot keep a card greater than the point value of the territory cards holding it. But by keeping a card, it allows you to use that card on a later turn instead of automatically discarding it at the end of your turn when you would normally discard all of your cards.

Chain Cards: The other interesting fact is that you can chain cards together, some cards have a yellow arrow. This means you can play another card. This is most commonly seen on territory cards.

Putting it all Together:

So the basics of gameplay go like this, draw your cards, play territory cards to get coins, then choose cards from the market place that go to your discard pile. As you run out of cards in your draw pile, the discard pile gets shuffled and turned into the new draw pile, and you may get lucky and draw the cards you purchased from market. Once you reach 16 points, choose a princess to back by carefully considering her special abilities. Continue to play territory cards and purchase more cards from the market – you’re likely going to be looking for cards to increase your point total. Be the first person to reach enough points to crown your princess. Other players may challenge you, so be ready to be the first player to reach 30 points and win the game, or win automatically if no one else can crown their princess after one more turn.

 

Score Card:

Board Game Version

Overall Score: 52/80 65% “D” “Average Game for Girls”

Geeky: 1/5 – the anime theme and cute girls are the only “geeky” thing here. There is little to no strategy involved with this game, no customization, no legacy, no story, no complexity, no hidden things to explore, etc. Just a straightforward, simple, cute family friendly game with great artwork.

Sweetie: 5/5 – And that great artwork is enough to score it a 5/5 on the sweetie meter. Combine that with the theme of the game, a game about princesses, and you have one of the cutest games ever.

Breakdown:

Value for What’s Included: 7/10 – You get a lot of cards, with gorgeous high quality art work, a beautiful box to store the game in, and a lengthy detailed full color glossy manual. However, that manual can be confusing and overwhelming to new players. There is no play mat, card sleeves, tokens, figures, or other goodies, but I still think overall, I feel satisfied with what was included at the $40 price point. Note there are expansions you can buy that add new cards and new features as well.

Initial Learning Curve: 5/10 – setting up the first time and learning what to do can be frustrating. But once you jump into your first game, it really isn’t so bad. Therefore, the learning curve difficulty is somewhere in the middle. It may turn off some casual gamers, but is still simple and friendly enough for family game night or to introduce to your non-gamer friends.

Gameplay: 7/10 – it’s simple, short and sweet. Most games take under 20 minutes to complete. There is a nice variety of cards, from abilities, to characters, and plenty of opportunity to interact with other players. However, the game length is quite short and there’s not much complex or exciting / enticing to help enhance replay value. I think this game will be fun once or twice a month, but don’t see it being a “weekly game board night” staple, when other games offer greater replay incentives and more for even the most seasoned and veteran gamers to discover on multiple playthroughs. Still, if you have young kids, or a significant other who is obsessed with “the kawaii life” they will love this cute little anime game. I bought it simply because I love how cute it is, and I’m not disappointed!

Artwork: 10/10 – I love the artwork, for me it really sold me on this game – Picked it up in a board game store I had never visited before, and had not heard of the game, and bought it simply because of the cute anime girls lol.

Interaction With Other Players: 4/10 – I feel like this is solidly in the middle somewhere. There are plenty of action cards and abilities to play against your friends. But it’s not as social as let’s say cards against humanity nor as encouraging of attacks and alliances as say Munchkin,

Fun: 7/10 read more

Android Gaming App with its High Features

Android Gaming App with its High Features

We all know that today the use of Smart Phone, Android Phone or iPhone is not only limited for
communication as now Apps development over Android platform has make a huge opportunity to
improve the level of entertainment value for each and every group of people. Android game app
development is very much popular among the people as well as development companies also. To give better value of entertainment, Android App development companies are trying hard to make out
creative ideas by their experts in the world market and enhance the curiosity of users. They also made a guide for users. There are
uncountable number of game apps you can find which makes the android game app as a strong place
over mobile market. Requesting for new game apps are blowing in the market. Thus, many android
application development companies are looking for expert app developers who can add more creativity and put new ideas, thrill and fun with the latest technology.

Most of young generations are game lovers whether it is in their PC, mobile, video game or any live
casino game. There are so many online game apps website those which are offering live games to play and enjoy your leisure time. Like – https://www.unibet.co.uk/livecasino is one such online website where you can enjoy your free time by playing live games. Game Apps are going popular day by day and such platforms offer huge opportunities to the different age group of people. Developers today are creating such game apps which can run easily on different platforms according to the client’s requirement. The Android game apps are today fulfill lots of criteria’s including running on different platforms, ,match with different time zones, understand latest smart phone technologies and many more.

If anyone is choosing the platform for gaming app development, then it has several benefits as Android project will not cost so high. The game development in android app will cost low. This platform will let the developers to use the most features of the device and can able to do a higher degree of customization which makes it stable and provide strong support to tailor made Android gaming apps.

Android Game app can support various games like sport, adventurous, racing, action, puzzle, augmented reality, mission, cartoon etc. It will also support multiplayer game. Android platform today is the leader of mobile operating gaming platform and it is spread out with over 60-70 percent in Smartphone. Lots of well known smart phone companies like Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola, HTC and many more are using this platform today.

So, overall if you love to play online games, or games in your smart phones or any live game, you can
then go through the website or even plan to buy any good featured Android mobile so that you can
enjoy your game fully.

How DDoS Attacks Impact Gamers

Ever since the infamous DDoS Attack on Sony’s Playstation Network back in 2011, the gaming industry has seen a sharp increase in DDoS Attacks including but not limited to attacks on Warcraft, League of Legends, Xbox, Nintendo, Microsoft, and many more. Game servers need to give special consideration when it comes to implementing DDoS protection.

A DDoS Attack or Distributed Denial of Service Attack, is a strategy which attempts to shut down a network by flooding it with traffic. The traffic often comes from a group of systems which has been infected with a virus or trojan. These attacks typically happen due to the gaming server having outdated, misconfigured, or conflicting security settings which the hackers can then exploit to execute their attacks.

Everyday more than 150 million people around the world play online games; online gaming has soared into a multi-billion dollar industry with players from North America, Asia, Europe, and all around the globe logging in and connecting simultaneously. The game servers are usually tested to withstand a certain threshold of activity, and new servers added or closed as the game ages and audience and traffic changes. However, a gaming server can easily be over taxed by sudden spikes in traffic, making it a juicy target for DDoS attackers.

Often times, single player or competitive teams are also targeted by DDoS attacks when it comes to online gaming tournaments. Some players use these attacks to get an unfair advantage, while others use it as a ransomware attack where in the player must pay money to remove the threat. We even see these types of attacks on Twitch and similar streaming services where a group will flood a user’s twitch stream to interrupt their gameplay and live stream. Since many people are “professional gamers” and earn a livelihood by streaming or competing in gaming tournaments, these attacks cause lost of wages as well as frustration.

Gaming is a prime target for DDoS attacks because so many games require online connectivity, and so many gamers have an emotional connection to their favorite games which increases frustration and havoc when the attack hits. Gaming servers are also easy to disrupt, because you do not need to fully take a server offline to render it unplayable. Attackers can simply disrupt the server to the point where lag renders the controls unresponsive and interferes with gameplay.

In the case of Sony, gamers took the company to court and won a class action lawsuit costing Sony millions of dollars. This proves that Gaming networks are liable and responsible for delivering uninterrupted service and taking appropriate precautions to help mitigate such attacks.

Also, as Sony has proven, it’s not just PC games which come under DDoS attack. Console games and even mobile games are also at risk.

Gaming servers often require special consideration when it comes to implementing security measures to help mitigate these attacks. Since many DDoS bots are becoming more sophisticated and mimicking human player behavior, many gaming companies are forced to decide between stricter security measures which could trigger false positives and block access to the game for many legitimate players, or to lower their defenses and make the game widely accessible to players all over the world, but at the risk of also being accessed by bots and attackers.

There are three basic types of DDoS attacks:

Volumetric Attacks are the most common type of DDoS attack. They work by throttling the bandwidth causing the servers to shut down by flooding them with high volumes of constant traffic.

Protocol Attacks target the infrastructure and resources of a server, such as the firewall and load balancers.

Application Layer Attacks target security vulnerabilities in Apache, Windows, and OpenBSD. These attacks mimic human behavior and perform a slow and steady string of seemingly innocent requests that overtime will cripple the server.

How Can You Protect Your Server from DDoS Attacks?

You can help protect your gaming servers from DDoS attacks by implementing additional security software or services such as those offered by KODDoS. KODDoS protects you from DDoS attacks by detecting and blocking the attack in less than milliseconds ensuring that your servers remain online and without interruption of service. You also have access to a team of DDoS experts 24/7 who work to monitor incoming attacks and implement solutions in real time or on demand giving you around the clock DDoS protection.

KODDoS works to protect against all types of DDoS attacks by using many layers of filtration to mitigate the attacks. They have a large 400Gbps network, which once the traffic hits their network, they apply ACL rules to block malicious traffic at the edge of the network.

The traffic then reaches a scrubbing center and is filtered based on different signatures and predefined traffic patterns. Each packet is analyzed to ensure no malicious traffic reaches the client’s servers. These methods work to protect against layer 3/4 attacks as well as layer 7 attacks which are harder to detect and which target applications and web servers using only a small amount of bandwidth.

They have a full range of DDoS solutions ranging from plans for web hosts, VPS networks, remote servers, or enterprise dedicated servers. With pricing starting at just $39.99 a month.

You can also contact them for a free consultation to help decide which of their services are the best fit for you.

Check them out at https://koddos.net/

eSports and iGaming – A Match Made in Heaven

For the past quarter of a century or so, the concept of eSports has grown from humble beginnings to become the world’s latest major sports phenomenon. When you look at the size of the industry today, it’s hard to believe that the earliest large-scale competitive gaming event took place less than thirty years ago. read more

Why Is League Of Legends a Popular Esports Game? Is It Worth Betting On?

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You can watch LoL matches on streams, you can play it for free and you can even bet on tournament matches here: gg.bet/en/. You can do everything you can think of because most of these activities are free.

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The answer is simple. Riot, the game developer, released a MOBA-style game that is free to play a couple of years ago. It wasn’t something new, but the quality of the game and the complexity that it offered combined with the free to play feature made it popular around the world. read more

How Bingo Sites Are Using Tech to Attract More Players

The world of new technological advancement is booming and these are being used in many types of industries. Bingo is just one of the places that these breakthroughs are present, which may surprise some that think of this is an older person’s hobby. Stick with us as we talk you through what these sites are doing to attract their audience.

Mobile games are big business nowadays, in just a few short years they’ve come to rival PC and console games. Largely thanks to the freemium game model, we’re seeing more and more games emerge onto the market. There are freemium bingo games out there but every site worth its salt is also on mobile now.

These sites can’t be seen to be offering less than their competitors, so some form of mobile play is really essential. This is partially due to the vast increase in read more

Line Play Free Anime Dressup Game Like Gaia Online for IOS and Android Mobile Devices

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This review honestly has been long overdue. I’m sure many of our readers already play Line Play everyday. This cute anime-styled game has been popular for a number of years now. It offers everything you could want in a dressup game, pets, cute outfits, rooms, fishing, minigames, and even chat rooms. There’s tons of stuff to do and new items being released constantly into the game which gets updated quite often with new cute things to collect, new minigames, or limited time events.

Needless to say, if you enjoy other similar anime dressup games I’ve reviewed here such as Hello Nikki, CocoPpaPlay, Romantic Diary, Pokemini / Pokecolo or Miitomo then you will also enjoy Line Play, so let’s take a closer look below!

Title: Line Play

IOS Version Herehttps://itunes.apple.com…

Android Version Herehttps://play.google.com…

Genre: Anime Dressup Game

Publisher: Line Corporation

Geeky: 3/5  – Although it is saccharine overload at times, if you’re not opposed to a “cutesy” game, then Line Play actually has a ton of features and is more robust and in depth than a lot of other anime dressup games. There are also a lot of skill-based minigames which provide a fun challenge and way to earn in-game currency. It does however sometimes suffer connection issues or lag which is why I can’t rate it higher.

Sweetie: 5/5  – This game oozes charm and cuteness at every corner. It also partners with big-brand names you know and love such as Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon, Disney, and Show by Rock, as well as offering tons of options to customize your avatar, your room, even raising cute pets! It also has a journal system and chat rooms making it almost a social network as much as it’s also a game.

Overall: 60/80 75% C “Good Game For Girls” read more

Tree of Savior Closed Beta First Impressions Archer vs Wizard Levels 1 through 20

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get into Tree of Savior Closed Beta, thanks to a very nice giveaway at treeofsaviorgame.com – Thank you guys so much for the beta key. I will upload some videos soon <3. Although Closed Beta Phase 2 is ending in just a few days, my time with it has been short but enjoyable.

Overall here are a few first impressions of the game itself, then I’ll give some feedback about the early levels of two of the classes that I played.

The game is rather lonely in the early levels – I don’t know if this is because it’s possible to solo then, or because I got into the beta so late and everyone has already formed their little groups. I only had one person “talk” to me, if you could even call it that. I didn’t respond, because I felt it was rude/annoying. He simply typed “Lady” “Lady” “Lady” about 3 or 4 times, each on a different line, within a few seconds of eachother. I don’t know if he wanted to chat, or wanted to tell me to stop attacking “his” mobs. I didn’t even see him on my screen until I took a few steps further, and he came into my view, It wasn’t like I was trying to steal his monsters specifically. I stopped attacking and moved on a little further down the map.

The game is beautiful. If you love retro games, pixel/sprite art, kawaii monsters, and anime styled portraits, this game delivers. I am a former Ragnarok Online player. I played all through Beta, and even continued when it went pay to play until FFXI came out, and then I switched to that game instead. Tree of Savior is highly regarded as a “true” sequel to Ragnarok Online, because fans were so disappointed by RO2. The similarities in art style and creature design are definitely there.

The text is too damn small!!! “RAGEFACE” 🙁 — I literally can not read anything. And there’s no way to adjust it in game!! I’m just playing on a laptop computer 15.6″ monitor set at 1366 X 768 resolution. Playing in fullscreen mode. So I don’t think it’s my resolution or display settings as my laptop is old and there’s many people playing at even higher resolutions. — This is my main complaint with the game.

The server is laggy, at least in the main city. It’s not like unplayable, but I did get disconnected twice, to what I assume was lag, and there is noticeable delay/freezing when navigating in the main city.

Tree of Savior is split up into different channels within different servers, this takes away some of the “massive” out of the MMORPG – It feels empty. I rarely run into other players outside of the main city.

Monsters tend to ignore you unless you attack them in the early levels. This is strange to me, and even if there’s like 30 monsters on a map, and you’re attacking some of the ones nearby, the others will just wiggle around on your screen ignoring you while you slay their friends.

Character customization in the early stages is a bit limited. You can choose hair style, but you cannot choose hair color. Hair colors are unlocked later in the game (through crafting and questing I believe). Once you’ve unlocked a hair color, you can select it at any time. also their faces are not detailed at all, nope. lol. We’re talking like 16 bit Super Nintendo style sprites here. Cute, but when compared to games like Aion, or even Mabinogi, or even the original RO, this game disappoints in character customization. NOTE: there are tons of cute items to equip on your character, which do show up in game, so that’s a plus.

All of the starting zones look relatively the same as one another. (keep in mind, I’m only level 20 and the game goes to level 600+). (and yep that’s not a typo). (not sixty, but six hundred.) Which is cool because, I don’t like end game; the journey is more fun than the destination. And with 600+ levels, I’ll be kept busy for a long time! That’s insane.

Quests and storyline, or lack there of, are not terribly interesting in the early levels. This is true of most MMORPGs though, with only a few exceptions (FFXI and SWOR both come to mind as having a great story).

The game has some unique features that I’ve never seen in other MMORPG, most notably, the Adventurer’s Journal and Ranking System; where you earn not just achievements, but get ranked against other players based on how much you’ve seen / done / explored / killed / quested / etc. It’s different from just a pvp ranking or gear score, etc. It’s an all encompassing record of everything you’ve done in the game. This makes it rewarding to get out there and explore. I love that. It adds a little competitive edge, beyond just rewarding titles, gear, achievements, etc (which it also does reward all those things too). But now you have a way to see how you measure up to everyone else. And if you do make it to the top, everyone else can see how awesome you are.

The music in Tree of Savior is cute and mostly calming/melodic. It’s catchy and fits the kawaii theme of the game perfectly.

With my initial thoughts out of the way… Here’s some experiences I’ve had as a lowly archer and lowly wizard. Once again I’m only level 20ish and If there is a cap, (there may not even be a level cap) the rumor is that it’s level 600+. Therefore my experiences are only “first impression” and in no way am I authoritative as to which class is better etc. I’ve only played up to 3% of each of these class’ full potential so far.

The first character I made was an Archer because pets are cute / awesome, which you don’t get until later. I still don’t have one :(. But Archer itself is pretty fun. Now there’s a lot of discussion with people saying Archer is the lowest DPS and has no AOE attacks. (see for example this post here) (of course there are people that are coming to counter argue the points made too. It’s a pretty good discussion actually.)

I am of the belief that Archer has a lot of benefits over Wizard which was the second character I rolled. The main plus is fast attack. My wizard gets hit and her casting interrupted all the fricken time. I have never died as my archer, but my poor wizard died 3 times going from level 1 to 20. With my archer, I have greater attack range. I can attack while moving (albeit slowly) and I have swift step which lets me race all around the map “kiting” the mobs so they keep the heck away from me lol. With my wizard, she gets surrounded, she can’t run while she’s casting, and my god, her casting time sucks.

The wizard’s cool downs are better though. (I’m not in front of my game right now so forgive me for forgetting skill names) The first fire ball type attack that you learn, you can cast it 3 times before it goes on “cool down” where you must wait to cast it again (VS the Archer’s skills going on cool down each time they’re pressed 1 time). Wizards do have a shield to reflect some of the damage when you get hit (I still died though lol.) and Wizards can sleep and CC mobs left and right.

With Archer, your choices aren’t as many, and you are going to be auto-attacking a lot (due to the cool down of your skills and/or lack of SP). You do have some nice skills though they are VERY SP (spell point) intensive. I burn through mana pots more on my Archer than my wizard. Something is just f–ked up about that! That doesn’t make sense LOL. Alternatively though, I have to spam health pots on my wizard, and my archer almost never gets hit by anything since I kite the mobs around as I attack them.

For me, and my play style, Archer was a lot more fun, and a lot less aggravating than wizard. Wizard is more powerful. Even with me dying three times, I got to level 20 in about half the time that Archer took me. This could be in part since it was my second play through and I was more accustomed to the quest line / chain of progression / controls / game mechanics, etc.

But Wizard felt more annoying. I did not like dying so often. I know wizards are glass cannons in all MMORPG – they would be WAY too over powered if they were anything else! — But just for me, personally, I rather trade the “dps” for some more “durability” and the kiting play style is more “fun” to me than just sitting there spamming my skills, sleeping mobs to keep them away, and hoping to kill them before they reach me (which clearly doesn’t always go in my favor lol).

I just did the advancement quest on my wizard lastnight to go to Pyromancer. I plan to take my Archer on her advancement class quest later tonight. If I’m lucky enough to get to level 40 or 50 before this phase of the closed beta testing ends, I will write up another review. I also really want to check out barbarian who is supposedly really “overpowered” right now, and cleric to a lesser degree (I’ve never really enjoyed healer classes.).

But for me, right now, based on my, all be it VERY limited experiences with both classes, I prefer playing Archer. My view point could change later in the game, but for now, I consider my Archer my “main” and I am enjoying it.

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