MOBA Monday: Blizzards May be Done, but We’re Not Done With Them

Posted by on April 6, 2015 - No Comments »

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MOBA Monday is a weekly showcase of how to perform, eh, let’s go with adequately – we hope – in a multiplayer online battle arena. The streaming squad features the hottest, upcoming or most interesting titles of their and the communities fancy for a few rounds of PvP shenanigans in our weekly Twitch channel staple.

It took a few weeks extra but it appears that we’re finally out of the woods. Winter is no longer coming. It is, in fact, quite over. And while that means I can get to gardening, outdoor activities and beer gardens it doesn’t mean that I’m done with Blizzard by any means. I’m of course referring to the game developer. That one behind World of Warcraft, StarCraft and such. The and such is of particular interest for this piece. Heroes of the Storm is on rotation for today’s MOBA Monday.

The game is coming along. New heroes being added here and there, new maps keeping everyone on their toes and ranked play heating up. Sylvanas will certainly liven things up and Tomb of the Spider Queen adds its own diverse bit of lore to the multiverse of Blizzard. By the way, there’s that whole Founder’s Pack thing still happening. I’m not sold on its importance or relevance, but it’s going away soon. Guess that limited label was no joke.

Of course, this could also mean that launch is approaching. Since, you know, Founder’s Packs are only available pre launch usually.

Don’t forget that all Lore Hound Twitch shows have been moved to their new time at 7:00 PM EST. We still have the same great line up, the same shenanigans and the same daily dose of awesome. Hit the jump or head directly to the channel page to watch live. Follow for all the updates and giveaway opportunities. Read more…

F2P Friday: Let’s Play a Fighting Game (Giveaway)

Posted by on April 3, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_metadev_orion_brawlhalla_pax_east_f2p_fridayF2P Friday is our weekly showcase of the growing free-to-play market, from MMORPGs to first-person shooters and beyond.The stream team will feature the latest, greatest and just plain fun games that cost you nothing to play. Ever. Granted, you should throw the developer a bone if you enjoy a title, but you don’t have to.

It’s time to break out my wired, yes, wired, Xbox 360 controller, blow off the dust, and get the thumbs warmed up because we’re diving into the frenetic world of Brawlhalla this week. Modeled after the ridiculous fun that is the Super Smash Bros. gameplay the Blue Mammoth Games title spawned not from simply a lack of such options on the PC but the company’s original game, Dungeon Blitz.

You’ll recall that we were introduced to Brawlhalla by Zeke Sparkes as part of our PAX East coverage. Since then we’ve given away hundreds of beta keys, some exclusive skin codes but haven’t returned to the weapon-based fighting title. That’s all changing in a scant few hours. We’ll be providing additional beta keys for those that’d like to join us in some viewer match fun. And even some more Oren skins. But I’ve gotta keep one of those for myself of course.

Despite lurking on the Brawlhalla subreddit for the past week or so I don’t have high expectations for my upcoming performance. Something tells me that my opponents won’t mind kicking my ass for two hours. Come watch my humiliation!

Be sure to subscribe tothe channel for all our streams, giveaways and shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which is scheduled to kick off around 7:00 PM EST. Read more…

Seeing the Trees Through the Forest or Picking a Game to Play

Posted by on April 1, 2015 - No Comments »

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It’s a metaphor.

There are numerous options for gamers these days. The list of devices with exclusive, either permanent or temporary, titles alone is daunting. Let alone how many titles are coming out for each. Let’s not forget the exploding indie scene either. Being in the industry over the years in a variety of ways – journalist, blogger, marketer and PR – I’ve dedicated obscene amounts of time to this hobby/job. Building an impressive rolodex of contacts over the years has earned me early access and other perks. But it’s also put me on plenty of lists I’d never expected (or wanted) to be on. Genres I’ve never covered, devices I don’t own, and so on. The amount of material I’ve to trudge through daily is obscene.

And necessary. After all there’s income involved. That isn’t the case for the average gamer. The one that’s looking for an entertainment. Attempting to bond with other like-minded individual or simply escape their current predicament to join a sci-fi/fantasy/superhero quest. Or puzzle. Or sandbox. Character adventure, simulator, sports franchise. The list goes on. My point is simple. We all have options. In fact, I firmly believe that every single person has a game – video or otherwise – that would addict them. The issue at hand is finding it in the noise. It doesn’t matter if you label yourself as a gamer or not. Read more…

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Bellona

Posted by on March 31, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_deities_demigods_gods_explained_Bellona_Default_CardSMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive back story of lore. From the Greek to Hindu, each week we’ll look at two characters from a major pantheon and provide a quick recap of their history and in what capacity their digital incarnation will represent on the field of Hi-Rez Studios’ new MOBA.

Lore: Here we go again. Another test of your Roman versus Greek mythological knowledge. Bellona is the undoubtable a god of war, but which people worshiped her as such? Yes, you’re correct it was the ancient Romans. Tied with her brother Mars, also a god of war, Bellona was earlier known as Duellona. Named so for being associated with the term “battle.” The designation and divinity was so far reaching, so important to Roman culture and conquest that the Roman Senate met in the Templum of Bellonae when discoursing of matters of military strategy pertaining to foreign war.

Given the penchant for outright cribbing of Greek creativity Bellona has few distinctions from her counterpart. No, not Athena, but Enyo. Both were sisters of the male god of war. The pair being born of the same parents, yet often described as wed to one another. In Bellona’s case the holy matrimony is less ironclad. Nerio, a personification of valor, may hold that honor. She does stand out in the contemporary art of the time. Seen with breastplate, shield, sword and other weapons of battle she was seldom unadorned by her military helmet no matter how much the rest of her may have been exposed. Read more…

MOBA Monday: Remember When Infinite Crisis Was in Beta? (Giveaway)

Posted by on March 30, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_moba_monday_silver_pack_infinite-crisis-green-lanternMOBA Monday is a weekly showcase of how to perform, eh, let’s go with adequately – we hope – in a multiplayer online battle arena. The streaming squad features the hottest, upcoming or most interesting titles of their and the communities fancy for a few rounds of PvP shenanigans in our weekly Twitch channel staple.

The Lore Hound community has been following the developments of Infinite Crisis since Turbine Entertainment opted to break out of its MMORPG safe zone and begin work on its first, and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s second, multiplayer online battle arena. But little can compare to leveraging one of the largest comic book events in history.

Development of Infinite Crisis went back to the drawing board during the summer of 2014. A freeze was placed on content releases as the development team searched for the game’s identity. With such a crowded market, which has even seen strongly-backed attempts fail, Turbine Entertainment wanted to ensure it’s product offered a diverseexperience. Something more than a new, if beloved, universe to battle it out in. We brought up all the difficulties and discussed the growing pains with Creative Director Cardell Kerr as part of our PAX East 2015 coverage.

For our efforts and constant feedback we were rewarded with some delectable items for the Lore Hound community. We’re talking about Silver Packs to Infinite Crisis. No, it’s not liquid silver, but it’s worth well more than its weight considering it unlocks a contingent of super heroes/villains in the MOBA. Join us later today to have a shot and watch iTZKooPA return to the fields of Infinite Crisis. His first foray since beta play late last year.

Don’t forget that all Lore Hound Twitch shows have been moved to their new time at 7:00 PM EST. We still have the same great line up, the same shenanigans and the same daily dose of awesome. Hit the jump or head directly to the channel page to watch live. Follow for all the updates and giveaway opportunities. Read more…

PAX East 2015: MOBAs on Mobile Equals Vainglory

Posted by on March 24, 2015 - No Comments »

CelesteSplash_finalSuper Evil Megacorp launched Vainglory into the wild in late 2014. November to be exact. An odd ability in this world of alphas, closed betas and open betas. We here at Lore Hound didn’t get a taste for the company’s flavor of mobile design until a few months ago during PAX South. We, like many of you, had our reservations. Mainly, for me, the control scheme. As petty as it may sound I’ve always despised putting my hand in front of my field of vision. While that does happen in Vainglory its inconsequential in the grand scheme.

We caught up with two members of the C-suite that makes up SUM for a short interview to catch us up on the state of the game. The short interview was expanded into a long, marathon session of a casual chat on the title’s current place in MOBAdom – yeah, we just coined that – its future and, as you’re likely well aware, what they believe with a deep passion is the upcoming future of the genre they’ve put blood, sweat and tears into.

If you’re looking for details on upcoming heroes, the way they work in the lore of the universe and the community that you’re apart of, or at certainly should give an opportunity, then this is the interview for you.
Read more…

PAX East 2015: What Infinite Crisis Learned When it Went Dark (Interview)

Posted by on March 21, 2015 - No Comments »

Batman_PirateIn mid July of 2014 Turbine Entertainment, the developer behind super hero themed MOBA Infinite Crisis, took a mighty turn. Looking at the horizon of its upcoming title it feared that Infinite Crisis wasn’t unique enough. It wasn’t offering gamers a diverse experience. Something clever, intuitive or simply far better done than what was currently available or hitting the market soon. Rather than cancel a title far in development, like some others have done, Creative Director Cardell Kerr and Co. returned to the design board.

Previous notions, discussions and reveals went out the window.

Development wasn’t stopped but we’re sure there were an incredible amount of meetings. Meetings to have meetings about meeting goals, aspirations and community expectations. So many meetings must have been had that the room’s carpet needed to be changed. “What those meetings covered, and what was settled upon” you ask? Well, that’s the line of questioning we went with when we had the opportunity to speak with Cardell Kerr, again, at PAX East 2015.

Kerr didn’t shy away from the oft-difficult answers. See the entire interview and what to expect from next week’s Steam release of Infinite Crisis after the cut. Read more…

PAX East 2015: Brawlhalla Started as PvP for Another Title (Interview)

Posted by on March 19, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_metadev_orion_brawlhalla_pax_eastBlue Mammoth Games made its mark on the game industry with the release of Dungeon Blitz, a 2D side-scrolling MMORPG set in the fantasy worlds of Human World and Sleepy Land. Players began requesting that the story-driven quests be spiced up. Considering the 2D nature a PvP mode in the vain of a fighting game seemed to be the logical extension for the free-to-play title. The Atlanta-based developer diligently went to work.

And ended up making an entirely new game.

Yes, Brawlhalla, the frenetic hit-em-off-the-side-of-the-screen began as an extension to Dungeon Blitz. To say the former PvP mode has taken on a life of its own would be an understatement, as Zeke Sparkes details in our first hands-on and interview with the team. There’s no shame in being compared to the likes of Super Smash Bros. and Powerstone. While the later may have fallen afoul of Sega’s slow decline, the former remains on of the best-selling and highest-rated with each new installment.

Blue Mammoth isn’t recycling the format and sliding it over to the PC. No, no, weapons modify a player’s attributes, levels will continue to be developed, skins and other customizations exists. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s all powered by a network technology, Steam, that isn’t arcane, cumbersome or back asswards.

The skinny’s after the cut and stay tuned for Closed Beta keys and exclusive convention skins! Read more…