RPG

Screen Heroes Awards

Screen Heroes Awards
Screen Heroes

 
 
00:00 / 124:37
 
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Welcome to the 3rd Annual Screen Heroes Awards! This year, we bring you 32 categories spanning film, television, and video games. Join us as our three Screen Heroes hosts are joined by hosts from all across the Heroes Podcast Network to discuss the nominees you’ve been voting on for weeks and who the winners are, plus our own takes on those choices.

We do apologize for the echo in the audio. It’s inconsistent and varies in strength depending on who is talking.

Watch the episode here:

What did you think of our nominees and winners?  We want to know! Comment below or hit us up @HeroesPodcasts on Twitter or Facebook!

Go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

Want to join the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv/heroespodcasts

Subscribe to Screen Heroes! The links to iTunes, Blog Talk Radio, Spreaker, Google Play, and our RSS feed are below!

Stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Not ready for that kind of commitment? No problem! Buy us a coffee over at ko-fi.com/heroespodcasts because every dollar truly does help.

Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guests
Jon Czerwinski (former Gamer Heroes host)
Thomas Egan (Gamer Heroes host)
Kacey Parnacott (host of a coming soon Anime focused series)
Ian Turner (host of Echo Station and Costume Couture)

Executive Producer & Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

iTunes
Screen-Heroes.com

Blog Talk Radio
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/screenheroes

Spreaker

Google Play

RSS Feed

Social Media
@ScreenHeroesPod

Screen Heroes Awards

GH21: Minecraft Story Time

Minecraft can be a dangerous place, corporate challenge can be a freeing experience, Mario Odyssey gets 2-player, and the Necromancer returns to the world of Diablo. We talk these topics, plus a few more across the gaming universe including the Steam Summer Sale, BlizzCon, and the Xbox One X!

2:00 – Story time with Derreck: Minecraft Happenings

11:15 – Steam Summer Sales has Landed

15:50 – Xbox One X held back by S and PS4

23:40 – Blizzard Stuff: BlizzCon expansion, Overwatch Prime Loot, and Necromancer’s return

36:00 – Super Mario Odyssey and weird Nintendo Switch online chat

Don’t forget to subscribe and review us on iTunes for a chance to win a free console game!

Sign-up for our weekly newsletter! Head over to heroespodcasts.com/newsletter to sign-up today.

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

E3 2017 Predictions Podcast Credits

Hosts
Jon Czerwinski
Derreck Mayer

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

Google Play Subscription Link
https://play.google.com/music/m/I6qwdjccfc4sxi5urxuebuisatq?t=Gamer_Heroes_Video_Games__PC_Gaming__Console_Gaming_Mobile_Gaming

iTunes Subscription Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gamer-heroes-video-games-pc/id1193204259?mt=2

Feedburner Subscription Link
http://feeds.feedburner.com/GamerHeroes

RSS Feed Link
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Social Media
@HeroesPodcasts

GH09: Zelda – Breath of the Switch

Zelda: Breath of the Wild is quickly becoming one of Nintendo’s greatest success stories. It’s selling at a record pace, as is the Nintendo Switch console. Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a giant open world RPG that takes place 100 years in Hyrule’s future. This week, we talk about our first impressions of the game, including play style, graphics, difficulty, and story.

We also talk a bit about our first experiences with the Nintendo Switch and its launch titles, focusing on FAST RMX, a $20 digital only Indie title, and Super Bomberman R.

But that’s not all! We also repeat the winner of our show’s first contest but you’ll have to listen in to find out who the winner is.

4:00 – News: Lord of the Rings game, Xbox Subscription Service, Windjammers

17:00 – First Impressions with the Nintendo Switch: console, controllers, issues, etc.

41:55 – FAST RMX: Indie futuristic racer

45:50 – Shovel Knight Switch Details

48:30 – Zelda: Breath of the Wild review

1:10:25 – Closing & Contest Winner

What do you think of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? What about the Switch? Did you pick up any other launch titles? Hit us up with your thoughts!

Don’t miss out on our next contest by leaving us a review on iTunes! That’s all it takes to enter and you could win a free console game.

Sign-up for our weekly newsletter! Head over to heroespodcasts.com/newsletter to sign-up today.

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Gamer Heroes Podcast Credits

Hosts
Jon Czerwinski
Derreck Mayer
Zach Story

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

Google Play Subscription Link
https://play.google.com/music/m/I6qwdjccfc4sxi5urxuebuisatq?t=Gamer_Heroes_Video_Games__PC_Gaming__Console_Gaming_Mobile_Gaming

iTunes Subscription Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gamer-heroes-video-games-pc/id1193204259?mt=2

Feedburner Subscription Link
http://feeds.feedburner.com/GamerHeroes

RSS Feed Link
http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/gamerheroes

Social Media
twitch.tv/heroespodcasts
twitter.com/heroespodcasts
instagram.com/heroespodcasts
Facebook.com/HeroesPodcasts
heroespodcasts.tumblr.com

GH09: Zelda – Breath of the Switch

Dungeons & Dragons Superbowl Special Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 and the conclusion of our Dungeons and Dragons Superbowl Special campaign! If you have not watched part 1, please check it out here. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get our latest videos including our new weekly series I Ship It, starring Rae of the Super Sirens cosplay duo, co-host of the podcast series Screen Heroes, and one of our D&D crew.

Now, last we left our heroes, they had only briefly been in the Bronco Village are we about the head into the local tavern to attempt to gain information about the temple, in order to complete their secret quest to successfully plant their pig bomb.

Dungeons & Dragons Superbowl Special Credits

D&D Players
Derreck Mayer
Nicole Henderson
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest Dungeon Master (DM)
Jon Wunsch

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

Email
contact@griddaily.com

We hope you enjoyed our special Dungeons and Dragons campaign in honor of Superbowl 50. We have plans to launch more D&D campaigns with video and even live streaming, so stay tuned for that!

Don’t forget to comment below with your thoughts on our first Dungeons and Dragons campaign for The Grid Daily!

Dungeons & Dragons Superbowl Special Part 2

Dungeons & Dragons Superbowl Special

Join the hosts of Screen Heroes for a very special Superbowl weekend Dungeons and Dragons campaign full of barbarians, dragonborn, elves, wolves, soldiers, and a special big bad. The campaign follows four heroes as they attempt to defeat their enemy during their tradition of the Superb Owl. Along the way, they must come to terms with their mission and decide what course of action to take when things are not what they expected. This three-hour campaign was split into two parts for easier viewing and enjoyment. Check out the first half below and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for part 2!

Dungeons & Dragons Superbowl Special Credits

D&D Players
Derreck Mayer
Nicole Henderson
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest Dungeon Master (DM)
Jon Wunsch

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

Email
contact@griddaily.com

What did you think of the first half of our campaign? Do you think the heroes will be able to complete their mission before the bomb explodes? Tune in next week for the second half of our Superb Owl D&D campaign!

Dungeons & Dragons Superbowl Special

SteamWorld Heist: Image & Form’s Next Big Hit – Review

(Updated: 7:40 CST December 10th, 2015)

Image & Form, the Indie video game developer from Sweden returns to the world of steam with SteamWorld HeistSteamWorld Heist is the turn-based RPG pseudo-sequel to their previous hit SteamWorld Dig. The new game takes place in the same universe but even further into the future. Per their official fact sheet:

Join Captain Piper Faraday, smuggler and occasional pirate, as she recruits a rag-tag team of steam-driven robots and sets out on a daring adventure. With your hearty crew you’ll board, loot and shoot your way through enemy spaceships. Overcome the challenges of the vast frontier by upgrading your robots with unique abilities, weapons – and even stylish hats!

Let’s take a look at some of the facts before we move on to my review of the game so far. SteamWorld Heist released yesterday, December 9th, 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS via the eShop. The game is also slated for release on the Nintendo Wii U, Sony Playstation 4 and Vita, Microsoft’s Xbox One, Steam (PC/Mac/Linux) and iOS in early 2016. These other versions are considered HD releases, per their website. The base game sports between 15-20 hours of play but there are talks of additional DLC in the future. The basics of the game is that you captain a crew of Steambots. Using various weapons, you take out the enemy. Each character boasts different status for damage, health, speed, etc. Each weapon boasts different stats for damage and accuracy as well as class use. Weapons include unique guns, hand to hand weapons like brass knuckles, and armor in the form of vests.

There are five difficulty levels: Casual, Regular, Experienced, Veteran, and Elite. Mission failure penalties are assessed on all levels except Casual and experience bonuses, which increase incrementally each level, are provided for Experienced and higher. Additionally, the difficulty level for individual missions can be modified in-game, meaning this is not a universal setting for your entire game profile but can be set on an as-needed basis if you run into a mission that’s too easy or too difficult.

SteamWorld Heist Banner

Official Press Release

“Dear all,

After two years of developing SteamWorld Heist, our biggest effort to date, we’ve come out on the other side. Towards the end we beat a near-impossible time schedule to have the game approved on the first try by Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe. We made it: it would be released in 2015. A week ago we sent out for reviews and wrung our hands in giddy, dreadful anticipation of the verdicts. And we passed that test as well: in terms of reviews, SteamWorld Heist is a resounding success.

SteamWorld Heist is a game that requires a longer explanation than a brief elevator pitch. It’s a new game, a mashup of genres where the sum constitutes something unique and larger than its parts. In short you control Captain Piper, who commands a rag-tag band of steam-driven robot pirates throughout strategic, turn-based shootout missions. It’s set in 2D, so you can use the environment to bounce shots, take cover and get the upper hand. You’ll find weapons and equipment, collect swag and gather experience to upgrade your crewmates, while you’re slowly getting tangled up in a war of factions.

Today, December 10, SteamWorld Heist is finally out of our hands. It’s strange that we cannot really affect it anymore. From today it will be put to the real test – the judgment of the Nintendo 3DS community. When we released SteamWorld Dig on Nintendo 3DS in 2013, we came from nowhere and were embraced, lifted up. You can’t imagine what that’s like. Because of that, since then we’ve been determined to give as much back as possible: to make a game so great that it could change people’s preferences, to make them play a game they thought they wouldn’t like – and ending up loving it.

I believe we’ve made such a game, and here it is. With it, I hope we never have to listen to phrases like “It’s a great game… for an indie studio,” because it implies that indie studios will somehow always be second-rate. With such a preconception, we cannot charge adequately even when making top-notch games, and in turn it means that we can’t be brave enough, economically and creatively, to go all in.

Well, we have gone all in this time, and we’re not afraid. Games aren’t indie or AAA – they’re just better or worse. We know we’ve made one of the best games this year, and we want you to find that out for yourself. Your faith in our promise is the only thing we need to continue creating magic. Thanks for supporting us.

Brjann Sigurgeirsson

Image & Form”

SteamWorld Heist: My Take

For a little background, I have never played SteamWorld Tower Defense, the 2010 game that was the first in the SteamWorld series but SteamWorld Dig has been one of my favorite 3DS titles and I still play it every now and then. You can read my review of SteamWorld Dig here. But let’s talk about the game of honor, SteamWorld Heist. This game mixes up the genre again by making a fast-paced turn-based tactical RPG. I enjoy a good RPG but I tend to get bored very easily playing turn-based RGPs or turn-based strategy games. I like action and I like being able to adapt based on what’s going on around me. Now, this game does a solid job of keeping me engaged and interested without losing the turn-based aspects.

SteamWorld Heist LasersightLet’s start from the beginning. The title screen opens with a short video explaining the context of the game. For those who never finished SteamWorld Dig, there is a bit of a spoiler because it names the planet all of the Steambots are from, something mainly eluded to in the previous game. I really like this introduction video. It’s styled up in a similar fashion to the Fallout, Cold War propaganda films. There’s an excited announcer spewing biased named groups defining both the good and bad guys. It’s fun and I always enjoy a good setting.

The game allows for three different save profiles, so feel free to try it out in different difficulties. For the sake of reviewing, I left the difficulty at the default, which is Regular. In retrospect, I might go back and play Casual just to get the story because I ran into some difficult levels about 90 minutes into playing. The characters are a lot of fun. You primarily play as Piper. She is the female Steambot captain of the ship. She has a crew that grows as you complete quests and use water to recruit more for your fight. Water is the main currency and is used to purchase new items, recruit more people to your team, and is taken away if you fail a mission on a high enough difficulty level.

SteamWorld Heist Piper

The game map is pretty standard but does a solid job. It shows the various locations and ships. Locations are usually places to get information or make purchases while ships are your missions. Most missions consist of boarding a ship and getting all of the swag (loot) on board. Turrets, alarms, and unique enemy units make the tactical side of things very interesting and, at times, quite difficult. Sometimes all the cover you have is an explosive barrel, other times there are too many turrets to have any cover at all. Each mission has a possible three starts to collect. The stars are used to unlock other missions\levels. The picture below is an actual shot from my 3DS using my phone’s camera. You’ll notice that this particular mission, “Cargo Barge” is available. As the top left indicates, this mission has special swag available; I can use three mission members, and I have not earned any stars yet. In the bottom right, you can see that I currently have 10 out of a possible 45 stars. One mission, for example, required 22 stars, so I couldn’t play it yet.

SteamWorld Heist on 3DS

If I have anything negative to say at all, it’s that when you encounter a new villain, it’s difficult to know what is unique about them off the bat. Some, for example, explode when they are destroyed, something good to know… otherwise you might use a melee attack on one and blow them and yourself up. But, of course, I didn’t do that…. certainly not multiple times. Okay, I did but still.

Overall, this is a fun and exciting game that continues one of my favorite sci-fi universes, SteamWorld. The characters are unique. The animation and graphics are sharp and fit the style of this universe perfectly. I do feel like their graphic design is more sophisticated and detailed than SteamWorld Dig and they accomplish this upgrade without losing the feeling and connection to the previous game.

SteamWorld Heist is on sale now in the Nintendo 3DS eShop and will be available for additional platforms early next year.

Currently, the game sits with an 89% on Metacritics, making it the highest rated Nintendo 3DS game this year and pushing it to the top 6 on the all-time list! Very impressive.

You can pick up the game for a limited time discounted price of $16.99 USD as part of their release promotion. Additionally, a free 3DS exclusive home theme is available until December 31st. So get to downloading!

I give the game 4.5 out of 5 saucers. I feel like some of the abilities could have been explained a little better but it’s a great game definitely worth your time, even if you’re not a fan of the turn-based RPG genre.

Rating_Saucers_4.5_outof_5

 

 

Image&Form_logo1_for_light_backgrounds

Have you picked up SteamWorld Heist from Image & Form? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

SteamWorld Heist: Image & Form’s Next Big Hit – Review

The Trouble with Licensed Games – Part 2

In my last post, I talked about how the key to making a good licensed game is tapping in to what makes that license special and allowing players to experience that for themselves.  Great licensed games allow us to immerse ourselves in that world.  This level of gaming immersion was really first mastered by traditional pen and paper role-playing games, of which Dungeons and Dragons hold prominence.  While not directly a licensed IP (at least not then), D&D was for many players a chance to explore the fantasy realms they grew up with from Tolkien and others.

For me, my first RPG experience was with a licensed IP RPG called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness by Palladium Books.  In this game, you created your own mutant animal character, rolling to determine the extent of the mutation, whether your mutant was secretly trained by ninjas, and what kind of relationship your mutants had with humans.  I made scores of mutant sparrows and wolverines and rhinos to go fight some of the weirdest enemies imaginable.  It was fantastic.  I saw a near-mint copy of the original sourcebook, now long out of print, at a recent convention.  The vendor wanted $100, which seemed ridiculous, but what price do you put on nostalgia?  I almost went and bought it anyway.

TMNT

Maybe not the best system designed, but the nostalgia factor still gets me.

The trouble with RPGs is that they take a lot of time to invest in properly.  They provide the deepest emotional payoffs, but it can be challenging as an adult to find others willing to help you build this common experience.  It’s also impossible short of schizophrenia to engage in these games by yourself.  This is one area in which video games can certainly shine.  When a video game captures the experience of an IP we love, the result can be magical, and, for the company behind it, incredibly lucrative.  Just how much money has LucasArts made again?  And I promise you, if they were to re-release their classic X-Wing and TIE Fighter series of flight simulators today with updated graphics, the internet might near break from glee.

To me, though, the peak period of licensed video game tie-ins seems to have passed.  For every Star Wars: Battlefront we get, we have to wade through tons of terrible Spiderman or Transformer games.  Maybe there’s something like an uncanny valley effect taking place.  As we get closer to photorealistic games that might as well be movies themselves, the experience seems a little more artificial and isolated.  The theme of that property seems to get lost in the constant pressure of console wars and frames-per-second and trying to figure out just how old my graphics card is.

This is one of the reasons I have turned to the blossoming market that is modern board games.  They seem for me to be the happy medium, balanced somewhere between the creativeness of a video game and the imagination that fuels an RPG.  When done right, board games can create powerful experiences with a great license.  There have been a number of hits in this space, as well as plenty of misses, but my feeling is aside from the Cash Grab games, they’re getting more right than wrong right now.

To provide an example, let’s look at the world of Joss Whedon’s Firefly. An undeniable cult classic, we Browncoats have been dying for more from this setting. I’ve read the comic books, what few there are. I’ve thumbed through the Firefly RPG. I’ve played almost every non-Cash Grab board game that exists (Firefly Yahtzee Special Edition I’m looking at you…). There’s a Firefly Online MMO in development, the first real video game treatment of note, which has me feeling more cautious than hopeful. Let’s look at two board games that will show how it works – Firefly: the Game by Gale Force Nine and Firefly: Shiny Dice by Upper Deck Entertainment.

Firefly Boardgame

Firefly: The Game being played at a recent convention.

Firefly: the Game has players captaining one of several vessels, typically Firefly-class transports, with each ship being led by one of several key characters from the show. The slogan for the game is “Find a Crew. Find a Job. Get Paid”, and that describes the gameplay fairly well. You fly your ship around the ‘Verse, avoiding Reavers and the Alliance Cruiser, looking to take jobs from various key characters in the series, trying to hire crew that were also characters in the series, and accomplish a set of goals to complete a game. It takes a long time to play, typically 2 – 3 hours once you know the rules (longer if you’re learning), but the game drips with theme. It creates stories that feel like they could just as easily have been ripped from the show. The game mechanically isn’t much more than a traditional “pickup and deliver” game, but it uses the Firefly theme to great effect. There’s a real depth to the setting, and it’s tough to imagine this game working as well with a different setting. I love it; I own all the expansions, and can’t wait to play it again, which I’m planning to do soon.

Firefly Shiny Dice

At least I can use the playmats as mousepads?

Firefly: Shiny Dice is a lightweight, push-your-luck game of rolling dice, resolving their effects, then spending dice to cancel other dice. Some dice have faces that represent the crew from Firefly, some dice have other cast members or supplies, and still others have villains on their faces. Once you finish spending and canceling dice, you get paid some money if you didn’t fail, and can then decide if you want to keep going with fewer dice to press your luck. There are some cards that give you various dice modification effects, and the cards have lots of flavor text on them reciting famous lines or moments from the TV show. You could absolutely replace every component in this box with a couple of different colors of six-sided dice and some cards with text and nothing would be any different. The theme just didn’t work. It’s not a terrible game (though not a very interesting one), but nothing in this game felt like Firefly to me. In fact, failing to deliver the promised theme took a game that would have been just mediocre and made me hate it.

This is why so many licensed IP games fail. What is Firefly about? It’s about pulling together a misfit crew and struggling to make your way through an unfriendly universe and do the best you can. If you can help me recreate that experience, regardless of the medium, respect what it’s about, I will happily throw my money at you over and over again and tell all my friends to do so, too. If you’re going to try to trick me into buying the Top Gun drinking game turned Party Game, expect me to ignore anything else you have to say.

What games do you think really capture the spirit of an IP best?  Let me know what I’m missing out on in the comment section below.

The Trouble with Licensed Games – Part 2