Random Gibberish (Strikes again!)

Random Gibberish returned to Detroit for another stop in Detroit on their 10th Anniversary Tour! The band is based out of San Diego and mixes songs inspired by comic books, movies, and television so there is a little something for everyone. Featuring Matt Sernaker on piano and vocals, Erin Hatch on vocals, Jon St John playing the drums, Tom Wayland on guitar, and Kroze; this group was opening for Steam Powered Giraffe on Friday Night.

They featured songs from their newly released albums “Octopuses Stand In Our Way!” and “More Juice” which were available for purchase after shows and during their autograph sessions where you could meet the guys.

From “Well Excuse Me” a song about The Zelda Cartoon, to a song about The Neverending Story in “Bastian and Atreyu”, to damning the Jetsons (and Jane his Wife) in “You Lied To Me”.. their showed played a good range of catchy songs that even us on staff got stuck in our heads.  This group really played up the crowd and got some interactivity from it. They even had their popular Dance Break segment which got the crowd yelling for it!

The group is a lot of fun to see live and is a real class act. If they are ever at a convention or venue that you are at.. give them a shot! It’s a lot of fun and who knows, you might get a song or two stuck in your head!

M2X – Gaming Rooms!

What is there to say about Midwest Media Expo’s Gaming Room? Well… it was awesome! Those familiar with Youmacon would be very acquainted with the area as it was in the same area and pretty similar set up! The rooms were divided amongst video games and tabletop gaming.

 

Let’s start off with the tabletop gaming area! Inside this pretty massive room were several game vendors with a decent selection of their wares. Featuring selections from Munchkin and Cards Against Humanity to typical tabletop supplies, anyone who is a fan of games could easily find something that might catch their eye.

 

There were plenty of space and many tables pushed together to promote playing in groups. There was space for free play and then they also had set times for certain gaming and demos for set meet ups. Friday you could play Tanto Cuore, Cardfight!! Vanguard, King of Tokyo, and many other favorites. Saturday had times for a Magic The Gathering Journey to the Nyx Prelease, Yugioh, Munchkin, We Didn’t Playtest This, and more! Sunday had times for Mayfair Games Demos, Looney Lab Demos, Firefly The Game, and had gaming open till 5 PM for those to enjoy! If you made the times, there were also demos of Island Dice which looks to be a very fun and interesting game!

 

Now for the video gaming area, it is set up somewhat similar to Youmacon’s but not as crazy. When you first walk in, you had DDR machines and Beatmania to your left. So you could hear the music and fun before you even got in the door. They had televisions set up with Gamecubes, Wiis, Dreamcast, Playstation 4.. you name it. They also had arcade machines for Taito and a nice set up for Steel Battalion! For a first year convention, this was a pretty extravagant set up that even tops many of the game rooms for some other conventions that have been doing this for awhile.

 

To say this was impressive and a lot to take in is an understatement. We ended up having to visit this area multiple times and even found ourselves playing some of the games. The set up was nice and the atmosphere was wonderful.

Bravely Default: Demo Impressions!

On January 2nd, there was a Bravely Default demo launched on the Nintendo 3DS e-shop channel. This demo is some side quests not featured in the game to give gamers a taste of the mechanics and gameplay they can look forward to when the game launches February 7th in the US.

Bravely Default is the latest JRPG from developer Silicon Studio (3D Dot Game Hero) and publisher by BD1Square Enix. This game is a throwback in ways to the harden Final Fantasy game days, while mixing in some new mechanics. Players in the demo have a team of four characters (Tiz, Agnes, Ringabel, and Edea) and you talk to villagers to get side quests to complete. The side quests range from collecting beast livers by defeating enemies on the world map to having to slay a Dragon. When players finish each task, they are rewarded with money and an item or two. It is advised though, that players stick close to the town for a little bit to level up and earn some money to buy better gear to assist in these quests.

As well as leveling up your character (which the max level in the demo is level 20 by the way), you also can assign a job to each character. As you progress in level, you get more useful skills. The demo offers the following job classes: Freelancer, Knight, Black Mage, White Mage, Red Mage, Ninja, Performer, Valkyrie, and Swordmaster. The max level for each job in the demo is level 4. If you are someone who just wants to go through the demo without random encounters and just go straight to the mid boss, you can adjust the frequency of encounters to be nonexistent or very frequent.

BD2The mechanics they added to the battle system are called “Brave” and “Default”.  Players can use these functions to help their characters attack more or be defensive. The brave command can be used up to four times in the menu each turn to allow the character four powerful moves. The trade off with this is that the character will have less chance reacting to an enemy’s assault while waiting for their BP to go back up to normal. Default allows your character to defend and react after an enemy attacks.

Magic use is tracked using MP and each spell has the set MP cost. You learn spells by going into a shop and buying the scroll to learn the spell. There isn’t too high of a spell list in the demo, since players can only learn up to level three spells (cura, fira, etc.).

Another aspect of the game is to level up shops. That is done via a menu on your touch screen. Players select an obstacle to remove which then allows you to start working on leveling a shop when the task is complete. When players select a task, the game will display the time estimated to finish. This is where street passes with other people who play the demo comes in handy! With every street pass, that adds one villager to the village that can assist with upgrades. You can work on simultaneous upgrades or have the villagers work together to shorten the length a task takes. Each shop (item, armor, accessories, weapon) can be leveled up with their max being level 3 in the demo. The upgrade will show players what items would be available in shop once the upgrade is finished.  If an upgrade takes five hours and you are putting your system aside for a bit, be sure to leave it on the upgrade screen and leave your system in sleep mode! This will allow the task time to go down, but not add to your gameplay time. This is advised heavily as well since the demo will only allow you to launch the software 30 times.

So what do you get out of playing the demo that can help you when you get the actual full game in February? Well, there are seven bonuses that you can earn from the gameplay in the demo. These give you items to help you start off your actual game! Also in the battle menu, players can use the “summon friend” function and summon help from characters in your demo log. A few of your street passes also should roll over as well!

Needless to say, the demo is definitely worth a download to check out. It’ll give you enough of a glimpse to give you a feel for the game without spoiling any of the story for the full game! So please check it out and support the game’s official release! The full fledge game will be priced at $39.99 and also has a collector’s edition available which comes with an art Book, soundtrack CD, and 34 Augmented-Reality Cards for $54.99.

Youmacon 2013 Gaming Room

One of the biggest Youmacon 2013 surprises for me was the game room. Originally we stopped in as a way to waste time, but we ended up spending a few hours at the gaming oasis. Aside from the loud music of the rave and the craziness that was the After-Dark panels, the gaming room was filled to the brim with classic and modern arcade games. Everything from rhythm to fighting, home consoles to Virtual Reality was stuffed into the perfectly sized room. There was a huge setup for PC gamers where they hosted the League of Legends stream, an entire section of wall dedicated to Super Bomberman, and a ton of rhythm games.
Check out our gallery, and if you can, check out Youmacon 2013 next year and pop into the game room!

LOVERIN TAMBURIN Youmacon 2013 Review!

On Friday, I had the pleasure of seeing a concert with my friends while at Youmacon. After waiting in IMG_0028line for an hour, I was hoping that this concert was going to be well worth the wait since set up was running a little late. To say this concert was great is an understatement. First it featured a group called Random Gibberish who were celebrating their ten year anniversary. This show was a fun lead in to the group which really caught my eye during their performance.The second group to perform was a group called Loverin Tamburin. This is a group based out of Tokyo most known for their performance of “”Aishitageru”, the opening music of the Disgaea animated series. This group features Aya their main vocalist, Nagao Akihiro on piano, Ryo Fujio on guitar, Kohta Igarashi on drums, and Takumi Fire-Matsuda on bass.IMG_1559 Aya impressed me as a lead vocalist of this group. She played up the crowd really well, including a throwback to Random Gibberish’s “Dance Break!” which helped her win over the crowd. They continued to mix in other upbeat songs and even a ballad. She also talked about where they were from, thanking the crowd for coming out, and pointed out Ryo cosplaying as Cloud from Final Fantasy VII and Takumi wearing a yukata to help make the crowd feel familiar with them.They also performed a cover of “We Are” from One Piece to continue their winning over the crowd. After an awesome show, they made their way out to a table outside to meet and greet their fans! It was really awesome to get to meet each member and talk to them individually. On top of offering a free poster that they all signed on the spot, they posed for pictures. They also were recording their own videos of fans in line and during their show to show their mutual appreciation for the crowd. I also had the pleasure of picking up their CD “KI・SE・KI” after the show.I’m really glad I actually made it to the concert and found out about this group. I knew nothing about them going into the concert besides the Disgaea theme, and now I have several tracks dominating my iPod right now.  I definitely recommend checking them out! Also, if they ever end up at a con or venue near you please support this group!

For more information, you can visit their official site: http://www.loverintamburin.com/
Or like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/loverintamburin

And of course, please check out our gallery of photos that I took at the concert! There are several great shots and I hope you like the pictures!