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Kyle James Hovanec's Articles

Sega/Atlus = The Return of the Old School?

Feature; Dec. 19, 2013; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Sega/Atlus = The Return of the Old School? Sega’s purchase of Index Holdings is old news at this point. Index Holdings is the owner of the developer and publisher Atlus, famous for RPG titles such as the Persona and Disgaea series. This move by Sega has caused a large amount of speculation and worry from fans who above all else feel that Sega was not the right company to take control of Atlus, leaving one of the few publishers responsible for a steady stream of JRPG and niche...

Retro Review: Game & Watch Gallery

Review; Nov. 22, 2013; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Retro Review: Game & Watch Gallery The Nintendo Game and Watch legacy began as an idea from famed Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi as a way to relieve boredom and play simple games along with serving as a functional alarm clock. The Game and Watch handhelds sold over 43 million units worldwide and feature a large selection of mini-games, some of which feature famous Nintendo characters Donkey Kong and Mario. Despite the devices being retired in 1991, four Game and Watch titles were...

Steam's Next Big Thing

Feature; Nov. 21, 2013; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Steam's Next Big Thing With the recent announcements of Valve's new Steam OS, Steambox, and controller, lots of questions and speculations have been raised by the gaming community. What exactly is it? Who is it meant for? Will it pose a threat to upcoming consoles? Do I even need this if I already own a PC?   I've broken down and dissected the various components of Valve's announcements and have come up with a guide for those interested in Valve's next big thing....

Retro Review: Gundam Side Story 0079: Rise from the Ashes

Review; Sep. 16, 2013; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Retro Review: Gundam Side Story 0079: Rise from the Ashes Giant robot games are making a comeback, and I couldn’t be happier. As someone who was a fan of the genre since playing Mech Warrior 2 on PC, it’s a real joy to see titles such as Mech Warrior Online, Hawken, and the upcoming Titanfall embrace the big, lumbering mechs that I have grown to enjoy since my childhood. Mech games were a little more frequent back in the day, before the FPS and cover-based TPS became popular. Xbox had Mech...

Retro Review: Die Hard Arcade

Review; Aug. 30, 2013; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Retro Review: Die Hard Arcade My first memories of anything Die Hard related don't involve a young Bruce Willis battling his way through a terrorist-occupied office high rise. It isn't watching him stand by helplessly as a passenger jet plummeted into the ground, nor is it him teaming up with a younger pre-Nick Furry Samuel L. Jackson. My first memories of Die Hard are of the arcade and Sega Saturn beat 'em up, Die Hard Arcade. Originally released as a non-Die Hard game in...

Sleeping Dogs Review

Review; Feb. 2, 2013; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Sleeping Dogs Review Imagine a video game that featured the frenetic and violent shoot-out of classic John Woo movies, the freedom and huge overworld from GTA, the immersion and attention to detail that Shemnue and Yakuza offered, and the drama and character dynamics of Infernal Affairs. Sleeping Dogs is all of this with enough quality gameplay and content to keep you busy for a long time. What began as a new entry in the True Crimes series ended up as a third...

Binary Domain Review

Review; Jan. 7, 2013; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Binary Domain Review On first glance, Binary Domain appears to be another clone among the many trying to share the spotlight with the triple A titles -- in this case, Gears of War. While they are both mechanically similar -- third-person, cover-based shooters -- Binary Domain manages to do something different from its competitor: be a fun shooter while fixing some of the mistakes commonly found throughout Gears of War. Binary Domain takes place in a cyberpunk future...

Hotline Miami Review

Review; Dec. 17, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Hotline Miami Review The recent surge in popularity with indie titles has been a renaissance for new ideas that push the boundaries and limits on what gameplay and narrative can achieve. Titles such as Limbo, Braid, and Super Meat Boy relied on traditional 2-D gameplay to deliver clever new twists on the genre while games like Amnesia: Dark Descent used the latest in technology to give players a truly immersive experience. Games like Minecraft have shown that by...

Dishonored Review (Dueling Reviews 1)

Review; Dec. 11, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Dishonored Review (Dueling Reviews 1) New big-budget IPs are somewhat of a rarity these days. With rising production costs, publishers are less likely to try something different. The new ideas -- the radical ideas -- are often left to smaller, lower-budget indie developers willing to try out something new, to pull an interesting twist on an established gameplay mechanic. Dishonored is the big-budget, fresh approach game we desperately need. It’s the new and interesting...

Thirty Flights of Loving Review

Review; Dec. 6, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Thirty Flights of Loving Review Stories in video games are rarely good. They may be adequate, or entertaining, but rarely are they groundbreaking narratives that demonstrate the strengths of the medium nor do they often pose the opportunity to discuss multiple interpretations or an analysis on the genre itself. Video games are entertainment, after all, and rarely by presenting bombastic situations and gruff characters do they end up becoming bestsellers. That’s not to...

Yakuza: Dead Souls Review

Review; Nov. 30, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Yakuza: Dead Souls Review Zombies are everywhere. They’re in our FPSs and our adventure games. They’re in our hack-and-slashers and our RPGs. Hell, even our racing games are no longer free from the undead menace. Zombies have become a never-ending source of bullet fodder and the go-to in games that need enemies slaughtered, violently and en masse.   Due to this saturation in nearly every genre, it can be difficult to recommend a good zombie game. It may...

Skyfall (2012) Review

Review; Nov. 1, 2012; Channels: Movies; By Kyle James Hovanec

Skyfall (2012) Review James Bond is an old hero for an older generation. His no-nonsense approach to stopping forces determined to overthrow the world usually revolved around a three-step plan of high-tech gadgets, witty retorts, and beautiful women at his side. As the years went on, Bond slowly became a parody of himself. His sly remarks, unquenchable sexual appetite, and reliance on the latest shiny toy/car/exploding pen seemed painfully out of place in our...

Marvel vs Capcom Origins Review

Review; Oct. 12, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Marvel vs Capcom Origins Review With Marvel vs. Capcom 3 now in the fighting game spotlight and the Marvel name hotter than ever thanks to the success of this year’s The Avengers, Capcom has re-released some of its earliest entries in its Versus series with Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, a digital release containing both Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Heroes.   For many, this may very well be the first time playing these titles in their proper...

Black Mesa Review

Review; Sep. 28, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Black Mesa Review Black Mesa may be one of the best mods for a PC game I have ever played. A strong and perhaps hyperbolic way to begin a review, but it can't be denied. The amount of care and quality put into this mod, the level of detail that went into recreating nearly every aspect and square inch of the Black Mesa Research Complex while adding and tweaking some existing gameplay elements is a thoughtful and impressive tribute to one of the greatest first...

XenoMiner Interview With Gristmill Studios' Jesse Nivens

Feature; Sep. 26, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

XenoMiner Interview With Gristmill Studios' Jesse Nivens OMGN recently sat down with Jesse Nivens, one of the designers behind Gristmill Studios' latest title, XenoMiner, and discussed the inspirations behind game, what gamers can expect from the title, and what the future holds for the studio's next big project.   1. Tell us a little more about your company and yourself. How did it get started? What was the inspiration or drive behind assembling this studio? Gristmill is a group of dedicated...

DiRT 3 Review

Review; Aug. 28, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

DiRT 3 Review As my tiny, super-powered hatchback sped along the frozen trails of Norway's premier rally track, a sense of urgency and fear began to overtake me as I slid around corners at breakneck speeds. As I stared intently ahead at the icy roads, feeling every bump and every slide, one thought continued to go through my mind: I'm going to die.   DiRT 3 is one of the scariest racing games I have ever played in my life. No, it's not a survival horror...

The King of Fighters XIII Review

Review; Jul. 30, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

The King of Fighters XIII Review When I first started playing fighting games, it was always the offerings from Capcom that managed to grab my attention. The memorable characters from legendary titles such as Street Fighter II and Marvel vs Capcom 2 made for hours of practice and gameplay, whether alone or with friends. The King of Fighters series was always that “other series" -- the one that I'd heard of, saw a little bit of, but was never really interested in playing....

The Girl Gamer Examined: An Interview with Andrea Phillips

Feature; Jul. 3, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

The Girl Gamer Examined: An Interview with Andrea Phillips Award-winning author Andrea Phillips has worked as a game designer and writer on titles such as Perplex City, Floating City, and America 2049. Phillips took time out of her busy schedule to talk to OMGN about women in gaming, the recent events surrounding girl gamers, and whether the industry is becoming a kinder, gentler place in which all gamers can play and enjoy. OMGN: Over the past few years, gaming has become more cinematic and emphasized...

E3 2012: Round Up

Feature; Jun. 13, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

E3 2012: Round Up The dust has settled. The conference has cleared, and the games are official. This year’s E3 has ended, and in its place now comes a flurry of questions, comments, speculations, and criticisms. Here’s a look back at some of the biggest surprises, presentations, and of course, biggest disappointments. The Big Three Conferences Microsoft: Pros: Halo 4. The opening to Microsoft’s press conference started with a look at one of Xbox...

Interview With David Staats of Visions of Zosimos

Feature; Jun. 13, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Interview With David Staats of Visions of Zosimos Visions of Zosimos is an upcoming MMOCCG (Massively Multiplayer Online Collectible Card Game) that draws from real world texts regarding mythical forces and alchemy. This will be the first major release from creator Forever Interactive. OMGN recently interviewed Project Director David Staats about the upcoming release, how the Kickstarter Project is being employed to make this game possible, and how this game stands out in the crowded MMO market...

E3 2012: EA Press Conference

News; Jun. 6, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

E3 2012: EA Press Conference Alongside Microsoft and UbiSoft, EA gave its own hourlong press conference to showcase some of its upcoming titles for the next two years. While the selection was solid with some big-name sequels, there was little for gamers who don’t enjoy shooters or sports titles. Some of the highlights included:  New Sim City gameplay footage. Appears to control much like past titles but with some emphasis on roads and specialized towns. Crime is...

E3 2012: Ubisoft Press Conference

News; Jun. 6, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

E3 2012: Ubisoft Press Conference Ubisoft recently showcased several of its new titles for consoles, including the Wii U. While the conference in its entirety didn’t floor anyone, there were plenty of new titles and the announcement of a new IP that caused gamers across E3 to take notice. Some of the highlights included: The conference began with the announcement of Just Dance 4 for multiple consoles. Rapper Flo Rida was on hand to promote the upcoming game and give a mini...

House of the Dead 4 Review

Review; Jun. 4, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

House of the Dead 4 Review Light gun games used to be a staple in arcades, but their popularity waned at the same time as arcades' did, and gamers' interest swung toward first- and third-person shooters. Despite a few titles keeping the genre alive, it seemed like another form of digital combat coming to an end. With the release of the Nintendo Wii and, later on, the PS Move attachment for PS3, light gun games began making a slow comeback. Games like Ghost Squad and...

E3 2012: Nintendo Pre-E3 conference

News; Jun. 4, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

E3 2012: Nintendo Pre-E3 conference Nintendo decided to start the E3 party early by having a special pre-E3 conference narrated by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. The 30-minute presentation did not reveal any new games or titles (those are being saved for E3) but rather a slew of new information regarding the Wii U console and some of its key features. These include: A redesign for the tablet controller. Now officially called the Wii U GamePad, Nintendo revealed analog sticks...

Shadows of the Damned Review

Review; Jun. 1, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec

Shadows of the Damned Review Next to the first-person shooter, third-person shooters have become a common sub-shooter genre. From a gameplay perspective, they offer a slight variation with copious arsenals and the ability to easily take cover from return fire. While games such as Kill.Switch on the PS2 and Xbox may have been some of the first to experiment with this idea, Resident Evil 4, Gears of War and Uncharted have brought the genre to the spotlight and have added...

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