Posts Tagged ‘Video Games’

So you have just received your Pokédex from Magnolia, and have boarded the train at Postwick, or will board the train soon. Unlike previous generations of Pokémon games where you had limited Pokémon variety prior to the first gym or trial, Pokémon Sword & Shield allow players to pass through the Wild Area much prior to the first gym. This presents players with a large variety of Pokémon to catch, as well as a good method to level up, quite early in the game. The Wild Area may appear overwhelming to players at first since players now have access to so much more Pokémon. I have compiled a list of the Pokémon that I most recommend catching.

Growlithe (Sh)/Vulpix (Sw)
Type: Fire
Priority: B (Growlithe), C (Vulpix), F (if you chose Scorbunny)
A fire Pokémon will greatly help for the first gym. Unfortunately, you do not have much of a choice for now. If you picked Scorbunny as your starter, you can safely skip these until later in the game. An arguably better fire Pokémon, Sizzlipede, resides in Route 3, the next route you will traverse, albeit at a 1% encounter rate. Between Growlithe and Vulpix, Growlithe ends up with better stats and greater move variety.

Magikarp
Type: Water
Priority: A, F (if you chose Sobble)
If you can get Magikarp to at least level 21, you have a very solid physical attacker quite early in the game. At that level, it can learn Waterfall, Ice Fang, and Bite, giving it very good coverage. Thanks to this game’s inherent Exp. Share, you never have to put Magikarp in battle to level it up, making a Gyarados easy to own. If you prefer speedy Pokémon…

Arrokuda
Type: Water
Priority: B, F (if you chose Sobble)
You actually catch Arrokuda in Route 2, not the Wild Area. Arrokuda’s final form Barraskewda ends up with about as much physical attack as Gyarados. While it cannot take a hit as well as Gyarados, it makes up for it with a lot of speed, more than Sobble’s final form. Barraskewda also learns some interesting coverage moves such as Drill Run, Close Combat, Throat Chop, and Psychic Fangs.

* Both water and grass cover rock and ground. Water covers fire, while grass covers water. If you picked Grookey and decide not to add a water type to your team, I strongly suggest catching a ground or rock Pokémon to cover fire, which I list below.

Roselia
Type: Grass/Poison
Priority: B, F (if you chose Grookey)
Lucky players can actually obtain a Roserade already by testing their luck at the Digging Duo. Roserade has similar stats to Grookey’s final form Rillaboom, boasting special attack equal to Rillaboom’s attack, but with slightly more speed. However, Roserade does not learn too many coverage moves outside of Dazzling Gleam and Shadow Ball (also Extrasensory, which requires breeding). A Pokémon further down this list uses those latter two moves better, so you may consider sticking two support moves on Roserade instead.

Bounsweet
Type: Grass
Priority: C, F (if you chose Grookey)
Consider Bounsweet’s final form Tsareena a slightly weaker Rillaboom. Tsareena’s main selling points include her signature ability, Queenly Majesty, and her signature attack, Trop Kick. To get Queenly Majesty, make sure you catch a Bounsweet with the Oblivious ability. Tsareena can eventually learn some coverage moves such as Hi Jump Kick and Acrobatics, helping to make up for having lower stats compared to Roserade or Rillaboom.

Swinub
Type: Ice/Ground
Priority: B
Most water Pokémon can learn Ice Beam, allowing for coverage without the weaknesses of ice types. Swinub stands out as a solid all-around physical ice and ground attacker. Much later in the game, obtaining Swinub’s final form Mamoswine from a 5* raid may yield its hidden ability, Thick Fat, which eliminates two of its weaknesses. However, Mamoswine’s strongest physical ice attack requires breeding.

Sneasel
Type: Ice/Dark
Priority: B, D (if you chose Sobble)
Early on, Sneasel will not appear in the wild – instead, it has a chance at appearing in a raid at one particular den. You can start catching it in the wild following the third gym. Sneasel shares similar stats to Arrokuda – it has great physical attack and speed, but otherwise cannot take hits well. Later in the game, Sobble’s final form Inteleon can learn Ice Beam and Dark Pulse, which covers both types of Sneasel. Until you can get these moves on Inteleon, Sneasel makes a good speedy dark & ice attacker.

Tyrogue
Type: Fighting
Priority: A (Shield), C (Sword)
Look for a Tyrogue with more attack than defense so that it can evolve into Hitmonlee. This will serve as a main fighting type for Shield players. Sword players will encounter another fighting type to catch after the first gym.

Ralts
Type: Psychic/Fairy
Priority: A
With great special attack and decent speed, Ralts will serve you well all the way until the end of the story. With Psychic, Moonblast, and Shadow Ball (TR required), you can hit just about anything for at least neutral damage.

Drilbur
Type: Ground/Steel (upon evolution)
Priority: A
Like Sneasel, you cannot encounter Drilbur in the early sections of the Wild Area – you can only encounter it a raid at one specific den. However, you will still encounter wild Drilbur prior to the first gym. Drilbur evolves into Excadrill, one of the best attackers in the game. Given Earthquake (or High Horsepower to avoid hitting teammates), Iron Head, and Rock Slide, Excadrill can hit just about anything for at least neutral damage. Both of its abilities make it better in a sandstorm, so consider teaching it Sandstorm, or bringing a teammate that can start a sandstorm.

Gastly
Type: Ghost/Poison
Priority: C
Gastly counters psychic and ghost types hard, but cannot take a hit at all. You will also need to trade it to obtain its final form Gengar. Gengar has high special attack and speed, and can learn a wide variety of moves. Later on, another ghost type, Chandelure, has even higher special attack and can take a hit better than Gengar.

Types not suggested to catch yet:

  • Electric: You will receive Toxel, a much better electric (and poison) attacker, a route prior to needing an electric type for a gym.
  • Poison: See the note about Toxel above.
  • Flying: Fire covers grass and bug, while psychic or fairy covers fighting. This game does not have any Pokémon double-weak to flying attacks.
  • Bug: You can find a Sizzlipede, a great bug and fire attacker, in Route 3.
  • Rock: Teach Rock Slide to a Drilbur/Excadrill for a rock attacker.

This method works best with a freshly-caught Farfetch’d, as a higher-level Farfetch’d may do too much damage.

  1. Catch wild Farfetch’d in Route 5 until you catch one holding a Leek. A Large Leek will not work – that item only works for cooking. Feel free to give the Leek to another Farfetch’d of a close level.
  2. Return to a nearby Pokémon Center, heal Farfetch’d, put it in the lead spot of your party, and make sure it still knows Fury Cutter (do not replace or forget it for now).
  3. Go back to Route 5, save your game, and look for a level 19 Stufful. Level 20 Stufful has a move that hits hard, potentially taking out your Farfetch’d in one hit.
  4. Use ONLY Fury Cutter until you land three critical hits.
  5. Once you land the third critical hit, use Rock Smash to finish the battle.

If you own a higher-level Farfetch’d from either Giant’s Mirror or a raid, this method can still work, but with greater difficulty. Find a foe that resists Fury Cutter and does not threaten Farfetch’d much, such as Shuckle.

Like a flash, the 2018 Long Beach Comic Expo came and went this past weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center. This convention for all things comics moved to the convention center’s Hall A, and visitors had to enter from the west side. The main operations of the expo had not changed – hundreds of local comic book writers and artists exhibited their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more, either for sale or for show. Elsewhere in other rooms around the Exhibit Lobby, a number workshops and seminars occurred, ranging from speaker panels to art workshops to live activities. Cosplay Corner returned to the expo as a part of the show floor as like in previous years. Nothing else drastic changed from the previous years of the Long Beach Comic Expo; however, I experienced lower attendance than usual this past weekend compared to previous years. Last year’s expo faced bad weather, but this past weekend had nice weather, in addition to a holiday weekend.

As a comic expo, we cannot forget about the diehard fans dressing up as their favorite fictional character. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into an art of fans sporting outfits and accessories to appear like another usually recognizable character. Mainstream characters such as Harley Quinn and Deadpool often get selected as the costume of choice due to the fast recognition by many fans, while lesser known characters tend to receive more praise by the fans who recognize the outfit. Check out this collection of the great costumes from the 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo. If you recognize any of these awesome people, please leave a comment with a URL to the person’s website or Facebook page, as well as the reference costume & photo! If the image links go down, click here for the album.

The Fall expo, the Long Beach Comic Con, returns in early September. The Fall event should return to the exact same location as this past weekend’s event, and generally has a greater turnout due to more famous people in attendance. Until then, keep an eye out for other similar expos, such as WonderCon at the end of March, or Anime Expo in early July. You have plenty of time to work up that unique and amazing DIY costume that everyone will want to take a picture of.

Los Angeles Restaurant Week
January 12-26
Various locations
http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week

This dining event showcases the best in food Los Angeles has to offer. All participating restaurants will feature prix-fixe menus for locals and visitors alike. Lunches range from $15-25, while dinners range from $25-45.

12th Annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week
January 15-28
Participating restaurants in Newport Beach
http://dinenb.com/restaurant-week/

This 14-day period of restaurant specials takes place at participating restaurants in Newport Beach. Many restaurants will serve special prix-fixe three-course meals ranging from as low as $10 to as high as $40, or more for a few select locations.

Mustard Plug – Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 15, Slide Bar, Fullerton
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 16, The Casbah, San Diego
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 17, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 20, The Viper Room, West Hollywood
http://www.mustardplug.com/

Famous ska band Mustard Plug will headline a handful of shows in Southern California this week. Ticket prices and age limits vary by location, so check with the venues for details.

2nd Annual Pasadena Half Marathon & 5K
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, January 19
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 20
7:00 am – 1:00 pm, January 21
Rose Bowl, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenahalf.com/

Pasadena gets their own half marathon this weekend. A health & fitness expo will take place at the Pasadena Convention Center on Friday and Saturday, free to attend to the public. The half marathon and 5k will take place on Sunday morning at the Rose Bowl. Many streets around the area will close to vehicular traffic on Sunday, so check the website to see if any of the closures will affect your day.

Agent Orange @ The Whisky A Go Go
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 19
The Whisky A Go Go, West Hollywood
http://www.whiskyagogo.com/site/event/agent-orange-4/

Rock out to some local punk rock bands this Friday night in West Hollywood. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $20.

Santee Active Lifestyle Expo
7:00 am – 1:00 pm, January 20
Santee Trolley Square, Santee
http://www.santeeactiveexpo.com/

Free to attend for all ages, this event in Santee will with athletic demonstrations, free breakfast (while supplies last), vendors, activities, live entertainment, workshops, and more.

4th Annual SoCal Retro Gaming Expo
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 20-21
Frank & Son Collectible Show, City of Industry
http://www.socalretrogamingexpo.com/

Immerse yourself in gaming nostalgia this weekend in the City of Industry. This all-ages event will feature all things about retro video games, from the games themselves to artwork, toys, merchandise, and more. Presale admission costs $20 for Saturday, $15 for Sunday, or $30 for both days.

International Tiki Market Place
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, January 20
Don The Beachcomber, Sunset Beach
http://www.donthebeachcomber.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1896897423958463/

For $10 admission gain access to a plethora of tiki-themed vendors in Sunset Beach this Saturday afternoon. Admission comes with a $10 voucher for food & drink, so technically you get in for free!

Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up – Oxnard Appearance
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, January 20
The Collection at RiverPark, Oxnard
http://hellokittycafe.us/
http://www.facebook.com/events/320000541827735/

SoCal Hello Kitty fans will not want to miss this rare opportunity to experience the Hello Kitty Cafe. This weekend, visitors will enjoy macarons, minicakes, and other Hello Kitty treats not found anywhere else.

Retro City Festival
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, January 20
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 21
Fairplex, Pomona
http://retrocityfestival.com/

Surround yourself with arcades, pinball machines, and retro video games this weekend at the Fairplex in Pomona. $15 gets you in to enjoy unlimited play time for all the games on display.

Brews & Bros Craft Beer Festival 2018
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, January 20
Cable Airport, Upland
http://brewsandbrosfest.org/

Celebrate Last Name Brewery’s 15th anniversary with lots of beer this Saturday. This beer festival will have over 80 beers to sample, plus cider, wine, craft soda, gourmet food, live music, games, and more. General admission costs $50, starts at 1pm, and comes with a souvenir glass and unlimited beer pours while supplies last. VIP admission costs $65, starts at 12pm, and also includes a bottle opener, preferred parking, and access to rare beers.

14th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week
January 21-28
Participating restaurants in San Diego
http://sandiegorestaurantweek.com/

Select restaurants throughout San Diego County will offer prix-fixe meal deals during this 7-day period. Lunches range from $10 to $20, while dinners range from $25 to $45.

3rd Annual Ladyface Ale Invitational
11:30 am – 4:30 pm, January 21
Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie, Agoura Hills
http://www.ladyfaceale.com/

Lady Alehouse celebrates their eighth anniversary this weekend with lots of beer, both in-house and from guest breweries. Admission costs $40 presale or $45 at the door, and gets you a souvenir glass and 20 beer tasters. Ladyface Alehouse will serve food at an additional cost to attendees. No one under 21 may attend.

The highly anticipated TwitchCon took place at the Long Beach Convention Center this past weekend. This all-ages convention represents one of the biggest annual video gaming events worldwide, attracting tens of thousands of international attendees. As a convention that focuses on Twitch, a livestreaming website, many of the booths, vendors, and programs pertained to video games and streaming. As a major event, the convention contained so many activities, programs, booths, and more that one could not easily access everything in one day. From gaming tournaments to video game demos to streaming services and more, TwitchCon more than earns its place as one of the world’s top video game related events to attend.

TwitchCon took over the entire Long Beach Convention Center, using up every single room and hall. TwitchCon dedicated some of the major rooms to its own programs, such as the Glitch Theater for screenings, or the H1Z1 Arena for H1Z1 tournaments throughout the weekend featuring some of the world’s top players of that game. On the other side of the convention center from the aforementioned rooms, attendees could find all the rooms for the seminars (all of which you can find recorded and uploaded on Twitch), as well as the Twitch Store, where attendees could purchase official Twitch apparel and accessories. Of course, who can forget about the expo hall? Nearly all of the action took place within the expo hall, which contained too many things going on that I could possibly list. A variety of stages, video game demos, exhibits, gaming vendors, and more covered the floor of the expo hall, spread out just enough to give attendees room to walk through. If an attendee wanted to check out every single booth and play every game demo available, that would definitely take more than one day at TwitchCon. But what about for those who did not care to play all the demos?

TwitchCon sold 3-day passes in addition to single-day passes. Does one truly need more than one day at TwitchCon? Once you have seen all the booths, you have seen them – no need to return another day to see them again. Since the booths and stages remain the same, what changes daily? The programs change daily, and the people you may encounter change daily. As mentioned earlier, you can watch all of the programs that you may have missed – all of the seminars got recorded and uploaded to Twitch. As for the people, exactly what I predicted occurred – much like VidCon, the “celebrity” streamers constantly had a swarm of people following them. Nobody ever saw a “celebrity” streamer alone – they always had a posse with them. The majority of attendees only wanted to see these famous gamers and streamers, so the popular got more popular while many attendees did not care much about the lesser streamers. It felt like TwitchCon represented a platform for top streamers to show off their fame, rather than a convention to actually help small streamers grow their audiences. Oh, and the plague that has befallen Twitch known as “IRL”? What happens in IRL happened at TwitchCon too, especially with the female streamers. Put it this way – LOTS of female streamers present at TwitchCon essentially wore clothing that they would never wear to visit their grandparents, and like the famous streamers, one would never see them alone.

Some people have already asked me, “How did you like TwitchCon?” To each person, I always gave a short and concise response: “I thoroughly enjoyed TwitchCon, but I would not go back again.” TwitchCon represents an event that you must attend at least once, but not need to attend multiple times. Any fan of video games and/or streamers ought to attend TwitchCon just to say that they did it and went. I compare TwitchCon to Coachella – I believe everyone should go to Coachella once just to say that they went. I will say the same thing about TwitchCon – I believe everyone should go to TwitchCon once just to say that they went. However, do not just jump the gun and flat out buy tickets to next year’s TwitchCon. If you have some favorite streamers that you follow, ask them if they plan to attend TwitchCon, and if they do intend to go, then by all means purchase a ticket so that you can meet them. If you do not visit Twitch already. I encourage you to create a Twitch account (if you do not already have an account) and start finding streamers to follow. Twitch has evolved beyond video gaming streams – Twitch now contains livestreams for almost any aspect of life, such as art, cooking, music, fitness, activities, events, travel, and more. If you have used Facebook Live, Twitter Live, Instagram Live, or Snapchat, then you already have the knowledge of livestreams.

Check out my photos from TwitchCon 2017 below, and watch my videos from TwitchCon from each day: Day One, Day Two, and Day Three.

Video games have undergone some substantial changes over the past few years. Those who grew up in the 1990’s era of video games desire nostalgia, and a lot of old-school style games have made a comeback. With all the new programs, software, and technology available today, virtually anyone can now develop their own video games and get it distributed to the public via the internet. Today’s video games range from classic 8-bit or 16-bit style games to rich, beautiful games with tons of graphics and objects. Beyond the standard video games, we now have virtual reality games to further immerse players into the games that they play. With all of the big games and new technology out, sometimes the lesser known games get filtered out fast. Check out these five games of PC that I recommend taking a look at this season.

Watch me play these games and more at Twitch.tv/OnePunkArmy

5. Sundered

The Metroidvania genre of games remains ever popular among gamers, especially those who speedrun games. This genre derives from the Metroid and Castlevania series, 2D platforming games that emphasized items, weapons, exploration, epic bosses, and often backtracking with new abilities to access new areas. Games of this genre also tend to reward players who complete the game in under a certain amount of time, which makes this genre very popular for speedrunning. Earlier this year, we saw the release of Sundered, a Metroidvania game with a twist. In Sundered, while the important rooms remained a constant, the game randomizes the rest of the maps. For example, if you want to get from point A to point B, you could possibly go straight through, but on another visit to this section, you may have to zig-zag through the room. Aside from this, Sundered features an upgrade tree, where you spend EXP on upgrading paths in the tree to reach stats and skills. If you enjoy this genre, definitely check out Sundered.

4. Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls

The Danganronpa series has trended for the past few weeks with the recent western release of Danganronpa V3. The core series plays similarly to the Ace Attorney, where you gather clues and evidence to take to trial, and use what you know and have to call out the lies of the witnesses and true culprit. The Danganronpa series has also had a few spinoff games, including Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. Essentially Danganronpa 1.5, this game takes place soon after the events of the first Danganronpa game, so Another Episode includes characters from the first game. Unlike the rest of the series, Another Episode plays like a third-person shooter. You make you way through the city trying to escape the hoards of enemies wanting to kill you, and you get a gun that holds multiple types of ammunition. While this sounds basic, the game has its own story that continues off the first game, so fans of the series will not want to miss this installment.

3. Super Cloudbuilt

We used to have a great parkour game, but it contained so many bugs and glitches that many people laughed off any game that contained parkour as the main focus. This negative perception of parkour games may change with the recent release of Super Cloudbuilt. At first, Super Cloudbuilt may appear as a 3D platformer with graphics that resemble the Borderlands franchise. The prologue serves as the tutorial for the game, and introduces you to the mechanics of dashing, wall-walking, jumping, and more. Sooner or later, you gain access to weapons, and then you need to incorporate attacking as you do the parkour stuff. This all appears easy to grasp, but once you realize that you usually have less than a second to time your movements and attacks right, you will find the real challenging meat of this game.

2. Nex Machina

These days, one can not easily find arcade halls still in operation. Trends change, and people prefer their mobile devices or consoles rather than going to the arcade to play games. As such, arcade-style games have largely faded away as gamers make their way towards online games, especially shooters and team-based arenas. Some game developers still cherish traditional arcade games, which led to the development of Nex Machina. Simple to pick up but difficult to master, this twin-stick shooter feels like an arcade machine in your hands. You use a controller’s dual joysticks for primary controls: one to move, and one to shoot. The pace of the game makes you feel like playing an arcade game, as the game holds nothing back when it comes to throwing enemies in your face. Luckily you can pick up items, weapons, and power-ups as you plow your way through each section. Pick up Nex Machina today for some good old shoot ’em up action.

1. A Hat In Time

Gamers just want a bit of nostalgia in their lives. They want games that remind them of the games they played growing up. So when new games come out that resemble older games, you can bet it will have a lot of people interested in it. Enter A Hat In Time, an indie 3D platformer available for multiple platforms. One can call A Hat In Time the spiritual successor to Super Mario Sunshine. Gameplay will remind many gamers of the first generation of 3D platformers such as Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie. The protagonist can run, jump, attack, use skills/tools, and more to explore the world, all while collecting hourglasses, which resemble Super Mario 64’s Stars or Banjo Kazooie’s Jiggies. With cute charm, a vast world, multiple terrains, intuitive controls, A Hat In Time stands out as one of the most underrated 3D platformers of the current generation of video games.

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? Since the beginning of time, civilization has always asked what came first. While the public can typically attribute tangible items with an origin, everything else requires documentation to pinpoint an origin, unless generally accepted. For example, the gourmet food truck trend started in early 2009 with Kogi BBQ, which everyone will say started it all. When you look at expos for comic books, all fans will tell you that the San Diego one started it all. But with the San Diego Comic Con selling out in seconds every year, what else can fans do? Sure they can shell out the cash for super inflated after-market passes, but why not travel up the coast two hours to Los Angeles County? LA County hosts a handful of comics events and cons, some of which can appear as large as the San Diego one, such as Nerdbot-Con.

Nerdbot-Con 2017 returned to the Pasadena Convention Center this past Saturday to a massive crowd easily in the thousands. For as large a turnout that appeared, this expo consumed the entirety of the conference center, the entire east building, to hold that many fans. Taking place in all rooms of the conference center, dozens of comic book writers and artists traveled here to exhibit their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more. In addition to the expo on the show floor, various workshops and seminars took place in the surrounding meeting rooms for those who registered ahead of time. Throughout the day, various activities took place on the show floor to keep attendees entertained, such as live bands, scene reenactments, karaoke, dancing, and more.

Even to those not interested in comics, everyone should attend a comic expo/con just to see everyone dressing up in costume. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into a staple for any sort of expo in this industry, and the fans proudly donned their best gear for this expo. Watch in amazement the best of the best of this year’s Nerdbot-Con.

Missed out on Nerdbot-Con? Keep an eye out for other similar expos, such as Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con in late October, BlizzCon in early November, and Anime Los Angeles in late January. You have plenty of time to work up that unique and amazing DIY costume that everyone will want to take a picture of.

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? Since the beginning of time, civilization has always asked what came first. While the public can typically attribute tangible items with an origin, everything else requires documentation to pinpoint an origin, unless generally accepted. For example, the gourmet food truck trend started in early 2009 with Kogi BBQ, which everyone will say started it all. When you look at expos for comic books, all fans will tell you that the San Diego one started it all. But with the San Diego Comic Con selling out in seconds every year, what else can fans do? Sure they can shell out the cash for super inflated after-market passes, but why not travel up the coast two hours to Long Beach? After all, Long Beach plays home to the semiannual Long Beach Comic Con, which costs less to attend and has not ever sold out.

The 2017 Long Beach Comic Con returned to the Long Beach Convention Center this past weekend to a massive crowd easily in the thousands. For as large a turnout that appeared, this expo consumed two of the convention center’s halls to hold that many fans. Taking place in both Halls B & C, hundreds of local comic book writers and artists traveled here to exhibit their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more. In addition to the expo on the show floor, various workshops and seminars took place in the nearby meeting rooms for those who registered ahead of time. Diehard fans will recognize the various celebrities sitting in for meet & greet and autograph sessions. For a large space, it took some time to walk through every single aisle to gaze at all the work on display.

Even to those not interested in comics, everyone should attend a comic expo/con just to see everyone dressing up in costume. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into a staple for any sort of expo in this industry, and the fans proudly donned their best gear for this expo. Watch in amazement the best of the best of this year’s Long Beach Comic Con.

Earlier I had mentioned that this event occurs semiannually. Just like earlier this year, the comic con took place across two days, while the Spring event operates as the Long Beach Comic Expo. The next expo will take place in the middle of February next year back at the Long Beach Convention Center. Although existing under a different name, the same organizer runs both events, so you can expect largely the same things at the Spring expo. You can check out what else they have in store on their Facebook page and Twitter feed. Until then, keep an eye out for other similar expos, such as Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con in late October, BlizzCon in early November, and Anime Los Angeles in late January. You have plenty of time to work up that unique and amazing DIY costume that everyone will want to take a picture of.

The 2017 Long Beach Comic Con returns to the Long Beach Convention Center this upcoming weekend. This two-day all-ages expo of comics, video games, anime, manga, and toys brings together fans, artists, designers, and more from around the world to meet with like minds and share interests. With plenty of speakers and workshops, the expo ensures that any attendee would find something to stay occupied. The Long Beach Comic Con has plenty more information to share on their website, as well as all their social media, such as their Facebook and Twitter pages. For those posting about the event, use the hashtags #LBCC #LBCC17 or #LBCC2017 since all three will refer to the event.

The convention runs on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend: starting at 10am to 7pm on Saturday, and 10:30am to 5pm on Sunday. Purchase your admission by 5pm this Friday to gain access to the convention half an hour earlier. Presale admission costs $40 to attend on Saturday, $35 to attend on Sunday, or $60 for the entire weekend. Admission passes at the door will cost $5 extra. Parking at the convention center costs $10 per vehicle. Those looking for free parking will not find much in Downtown Long Beach, so either park in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Ave, or take public transportation from elsewhere. This expo takes place mainly indoors, so most visitors will not have to worry about sunlight or excess heat; however, anyone intending to remain outside for prolonged periods for photographs should apply sunscreen just in case.

What comic convention can rightfully call themselves a Comic Con without cosplay? Hundreds of attendees always display their creativity and craftsmanship with the various costumes donned to this expo. Sure the majority wear costumes less original than anticipated (such as Star Wars characters – sorry Slave Leia fans), but for those who put on something new or different, I salute them all. Check out some of the better costumes from last year:

Video games have undergone some substantial changes over the past few years. Those who grew up in the 1990’s era of video games desire nostalgia, and a lot of old-school style games have made a comeback. With all the new programs, software, and technology available today, virtually anyone can now develop their own video games and get it distributed to the public via the internet. Today’s video games range from classic 8-bit or 16-bit style games to rich, beautiful games with tons of graphics and objects. Beyond the standard video games, we now have virtual reality games to further immerse players into the games that they play. With all of the big games and new technology out, sometimes the lesser known games get filtered out fast. Check out these five games of PC that I recommend taking a look at this season.

Watch me play these games and more at Twitch.tv/OnePunkArmy

5. Airtone (Steam link)

Virtual Reality technology remains in its introductory phase at this point. VR has not gained too much media attention, as the technology to use it costs about as much as a high-end smartphone. For now, you may find some virtual reality gaming centers – like how department stores used to demo video games, some shops specifically have VR games for you to try. Virtual Reality expos and events also take place occasionally, allowing you to try out VR before making the plunge with your wallet. At this year’s VRLA Expo, I got to try out a handful of VR games, including the VR rhythm game, Airtone. Fans of anime and/or rhythm games would love to check out Airtone, combining the music and characters with the rhythm of tapping or holding on to points along the song track. Song tracks contain three colored notes that each correspond to a different action: touch the green notes, click on yellow notes, or click, hold, & follow pink notes. On harder difficulties, Airtone can really give you a good workout! Dozens of VR rhythm games exist, but none as fast-paced as Airtone.

4. Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni (Steam link)

Anime games have to walk a careful line. Most anime games have scenes or images not suitable for children. As such, anime games receive a bad rap from other gamers due to the cheesy fanservice content. Still, this manages to entice lots of gamers to check out the game anyway, especially if the gameplay has even more ridiculous mechanics. The hack & slash genre usually employs ridiculous mechanics of one versus the world, where a sole person takes out hundreds of foes in one battle. Dynasty Warriors perfected that formula, but that series lacked something. When you take hack & slash and combine it with fanservice, you get the Senran Kagura series. The Senran Kagura series revolves around dozens of high school girls with shinobi powers. Armed with a variety of weapons, these girls can beat up hordes of baddies, and when the going gets tough, like in many anime series, they can transform into a more powerful forms. As for the fanservice part, when the girls take too much damage, their clothes rip off. The series has a handful of games, but the publisher behind it has also entered another franchise, Valkyrie Drive, which led to the launch of Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni. While Senran Kagura wants to introduce you to lots of girls, Valkyrie Drive prefers to keep the roster smaller so that they can develop on characters and their stories. The gameplay remains mostly the same as Senran Kagura – characters have a variety of weapons, characters can transform to gain stronger combat prowess, and you fight off dozens of foes at a time. If you like anime games or hack & slash games or both, check out Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni.

3. Kritika Online

The peak popularity of the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) occurred years ago during the high times of World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, and Final Fantasy XIV. Since then, hundreds of MMORPG’s have launched around the world, most with the free-to-play model. Additionally, the MMORPG genre has paved the way for other multiplayer online games, such as MOBA’s (multiplayer online battle arena) and ARPG’s (action role-playing games), one of which includes Kritika Online. From the publisher behind Tera Online, Kritika Online has come to deliver another ARPG experience to the west. Kritika Online recently entered Open Beta, a term used by game publishers to officially launch the game while allowing bugs and imbalances to exist. However, that does not detract from the fun of Kritika Online. Featuring four classes that branch off into more subclasses, WASD movement, and lots of skills to combo with, Kritika Online can make for a good casual experience to the MMORPG waiting for the next big thing. Do note that this game contains heavy pay-to-win features with the microtransactions. With premium costumes & titles giving stats, and the Elite membership giving unfair boosts, if you do not spend money on this game, do not expect to do too much at max level other than grind for gears.

2. Little Nightmares

Horror in general has captivated the hearts of countless people all over the world. To the typical person, horror typically associates with movies, as in horror movies. Horror also refers to a plethora of video games, from psychological horror to survival horror. Establishing a sense danger and uncertainty makes for a great horror game, something that Bandai Namco has done with their recent release, Little Nightmares. Launched last season, Little Nightmares combines elements of puzzle, platforming, exploration, and horror all into one package. The player controls a child who wants to escape from an unknown area, but on the way out, the player encounters many horror-themed villains, such as a doll-keeper with long extendable arms and a cannibalistic butcher. The player must traverse from room to room, solving the puzzles in the room in order to progress. Criticism for Little Nightmares mainly revolves around the short duration of the game. The game contains five chapters, and each chapter takes between 30-60 minutes to complete. Although initially short, this game will get some DLC to add more chapters with greater difficulty. If you enjoy solving puzzles while having a sense of pressure or urgency, check out Little Nightmares.

1. Aaero

Rail shooter games have existed for a long time. Gamers still remember the classics such as Gradius and Raiden, as well as modern favorites like the Touhou series. On another level, rhythm games have existed for a long time as well. People recognize games like Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero worldwide, with a majority of rhythm games originating from Japan. But what happens if you love both genres of games and want to somehow combine the two? Independent developer Mad Fellows Games has done just that with their entry into the gaming market, Aaero. This visually-stunning game takes the mechanics of a rhythm game and throws in the elements of a rail shooter. The player will automatically move forward through a stage, and will encounter both rhythm and shooting gameplay. On the rhythm side, the player must follow a line, called the Ribbon, that moves with the beat of the stage’s song. On the shooting side, the player can shoot down baddies that appear, but for best effect, the player should shoot to the beat of the song. Shooting not on the beat will cause the shots to fire slower, as well as reward less points. With unique gameplay, stunning graphics, a great independent soundtrack with some popular hits, and a global leaderboard, Aaero represents one of the most underrated releases of 2017.