GIRLS' WATER POLO
Championships, Saturday at Heritage Park (Irvine)
Division 4: #3 Peninsula vs. #1 Anaheim Canyon, 10 a.m.
Division 2: #4 Schurr vs. #2 Riverside Poly, 11:30 a.m.
Division 5: #3 Xavier Prep vs. #1 Pasadena Poly, 1 p.m.
Division 3: #1 Villa Park vs. #2 Redondo,...Read More
This week: A coming-of-age tale about a young Nigerian American woman, a Tony-winning musical comedy about murder most foul, and a physical-theater adaptation of a 17th century spiritual epic.
The Piano Men: A Tribute to Sir Elton John and Billy Joel With tribute artists Jeffrey Allen and Matthew...Read More
If you’ve ever eaten curry, and really who hasn’t, you’ve tasted turmeric. Turmeric is the spice that gives curry pastes and powders that vibrant golden hue. Long popular in India, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and North Africa, these days turmeric is having a golden moment. Maybe you’ve seen...Read More
If you want to understand the forces — and more to the point, the grievances — that gave rise to Measure S, the anti-development initiative that will appear on the March 7 ballot in Los Angeles, you have to go back to the 1980s. That was the decade Angelenos finally rebelled in significant numbers...Read More
The Dec. 22, 1968 Los Angeles Times caption stated, “Laker coach Bill Van Breda Kolf, left, applauds play against the Warriors–and why not be happy with a bench like this to call on.”
This Laker bench included three future members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Elgin Baylor,...Read More
A quarter of a century after a bitter political fight for control of California’s largest public employee pension fund, a new effort by Republicans in the state Capitol seeks to again dilute the influence of public employee unions by reshaping the agency’s board of directors.
The bill, introduced...Read More
Superstore Amy (America Ferrera) sees Mateo and Jeff (Nico Santos, guest star Michael Bunin) on a secret date in this new episode of the workplace comedy. 8 p.m. NBC
Supernatural Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles) seek Rowena’s (guest star Ruth Connell) help in their investigation...Read More
Ridley Scott is returning to his “Alien” franchise, but don’t fret, the first clip from the new feature film “Alien: Covenant” leaves “Prometheus” far behind. Well, except for that robot.
The first clip from the latest installment in the long-running franchise brings back Michael Fassbender as...Read More
Enjoy him while you can, NASCAR Nation.
Savor this Sunday’s Daytona 500. Relish it.
It might be the last one Dale Earnhardt Jr. ever runs.
NASCAR’s most popular driver has made it clear, he will not beat his brains out — literally — in order to continue racing.
“Of course I’m human and I’m going...Read More
New memos issued this week by Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly brought President Trump’s promised crackdown on illegal immigration one step closer to reality. Kelly lifted nearly all restrictions on targeting the 11-million people in the U.S. illegally for deportation.
Here’s a breakdown...Read More
The Rams, coming off a 4-12 finish, are longshots to play in the Super Bowl under first-year Coach Sean McVay.
The odds are even longer for a fan to correctly predict the Rams’ schedule before the NFL releases it in April.
As part of a Guess Our Games contest, the Rams are offering a $1-million...Read More
The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.
While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.
“As part of a broader discussion with other moving...Read More
Xbox executive Phil Spencer has had a busy week on Twitter. After answering questions about Project Scorpio and backwards compatibility, weighed in on Horizon Zero Dawn and the health of the Xbox ecosystem. Now, he's commented on the console sales race, why Microsoft hasn't made a dedicated handheld gaming device, and more.
On the subject of competition with the PlayStation 4 (a recent report claimed the PS4 is outselling the Xbox One 2:1), Spencer said gaming is "not [a] race between two consoles." Here is the full tweet, which Spencer sent as part of a continuation of his comments about the Xbox brand having its best console generation ever right now with Xbox One:
The game features multiple playable characters, which you can use in four-player co-op or by yourself, switching quickly between two fighters. A trailer, which you can watch below, highlights a number of rules on how to play the game, ranging from "Know your allies" through "Don't skip dialogue" to "Be kind to your cat."
Full Metal Furies is also an Xbox Play Anywhere title, meaning buying it digitally on either Xbox One or PC will grant you a copy on the other platform for free. It remains to be seen if Full Metal Furies will come to additional platforms at a later date.
Cellar Door's last game, Rogue Legacy, originally launched on PC in 2013, before coming to PlayStation platforms a year later and Xbox One in 2015. In our review, we said "it's worth exploring Rogue Legacy's castle again and again and again."
For more, check out all of our Rogue Legacy coverage and videos here.Read More
For a very abridged version of a very deep series, Fire Emblem Heroes is initially engaging in that it has hooks for two different kinds of players: for fans, the hope of randomly unlocking a favorite character, and for newcomers to the series, an accessible and fun introduction to its turn-based battle tactics. But it also doesn’t do much beyond that, and if you’re somewhere in between those two archetypes, it doesn’t give a compelling reason for you to stick with it.
Playing Fire Emblem Heroes consists mainly of engaging in battles to earn Orbs and then using those Orbs to unlock characters from previous Fire Emblem games at random. There are several currencies to manage and a layered leveling system, but that’s the basic feedback loop. Win a battle, collect an Orb, and hope for a good character (or your favorite) to unlock; if you don’t get what you want, keep trying. What’s missing is why.
Heroes adapts the series’ tactical gameplay for mobile by lowering the difficulty enough to increase the pace of battle. Fire Emblem is known for turn-based strategy on a battlefield, punishing perma-death, and RPG-style character and story development. Heroes features simplified combat without perma-death, and it has a minimal story that isn’t at all interesting without previous Fire Emblem knowledge.
I breezed through the first few chapters with no problems aside from having a weak party initially, and it was a good warm-up after a long break from Fire Emblem. Battles themselves play really well on touchscreen thanks to intuitive controls, and dropping in for a few minutes while on a break makes sense and is definitely an entertaining way to spend some downtime. As the challenges get harder, executing the right strategy can take some serious trial and error, and finding a solution to a tricky map or tough enemies is satisfying.
Trying to unlock new characters, however, is more of a drag. If you have a bad party due to unlucky character drafts, pulling new, stronger allies is the best way to get the upper hand in high-difficulty battles. In the beginning, you can use reward items from completing challenges to quickly level up whoever you want to use. But if you hit a bit of bad RNG, that can mean a lot of grinding--and there are diminishing returns on how fun a battle can be when you’re only doing it to avoid paying real money for Orbs so you can keep getting more characters.
Of course, it’s like that on purpose, since that’s often how free-to-play games turn a profit. But if you’re not terribly invested in unlocking Tharja or Camilla or Marth, then the only reason to keep playing is for the battles. Before I’d put together a strong team, I started to lose interest in playing; but once I pulled good characters, I had a hard time putting my phone down. It’s very tempting to keep playing thanks to Heroes’ quick grind-reward loop, and when I wasn’t spending Orbs on characters, I was using them to fill my Stamina--a separate currency you need in order to battle which refills over time in typical mobile game fashion.
While I never felt forced to buy Orbs, I did end up spending money on them once I started battling for extended periods of time. Playing for more than a few battles in a row meant needing (and buying) more Orbs--and that’s when I decided I would much rather just play Awakening instead, where there’s more of a challenge and my favorite characters are more fleshed out.
When the incentive to keep playing is to be able to keep playing, it’s easy to burn out on Fire Emblem Heroes. Aside from obtaining your favorite characters--if you even care about that--Fire Emblem Heroes becomes less and less rewarding as time goes on. Grinding can only be fun for so long before chasing rare allies becomes a chore, and in that sense it caters to two ends of a wide spectrum while offering little incentive for anyone in between.Read More
There's always been something voyeuristic about sniping in video games. With a powerful rifle in hand, you're perched in some bombed-out tower overlooking a Nazi-occupied town, your crosshairs fixated squarely on the head of an enemy soldier as he strides along his designated patrol route. He has no idea that with one pull of the trigger, you're about to send a bullet careening through flesh and bone, snuffing out his young life in a single, gory instant. It's in these moments, when an unaware enemy is trained in your sights and you take a deep breath before pulling the trigger on a skull-shattering killshot, that make Rebellion's Sniper Elite such a devilish joy. Where the series has regularly faltered, however, is in the moments between these euphoric, long-range kills, where it has often been a cumbersome chore just to get around in a stealthy manner. With Sniper Elite 4, Rebellion has changed all that.
This starts with the levels themselves. In Sniper Elite 3, Rebellion abandoned the linearity of previous series entries in favour of opening things up, and Sniper Elite 4 continues that trend in grand fashion. The smallest map in Sniper Elite 4 is three times the size of the largest one seen in its predecessor, and these expansive sandboxes are brimming with open-ended objectives you can choose to complete in any way you desire and in any order you please. They're varied locales, too, stretching across picturesque Italian landscapes on the verge of invasion: from the sunswept isolation of a cavernous island off the coast, to the narrow confines of an opulent beachfront town, to the dense overgrowth found in the heart of a verdant forest. Each one teeming with fascists just waiting to be extinguished with a well-placed bullet.
And these massive playgrounds aren't just big for the sake of it; they grease the cogs of every other aspect of Sniper Elite 4's design. Collectibles and advantageous sniping positions are judiciously dotted around each map, encouraging you to explore, and the macabre satisfaction of sniping is increased tenfold when you're able to execute a pinpoint headshot from as far as 400 metres away. Sniper Elite's signature X-ray kills return in all their morbid glory here--now with even more detail--and it's a particular treat to see a bullet travel over these extensive distances before colliding with an enemy's skull, the hot lead bursting through eyeballs and sending a mixture of brain matter and skull fragments scattering onto the floor. This may sound tasteless, but the series' grisly ballistics are still second to none--and there's something wonderfully schlocky about rupturing an enemy's scrotum from 200 metres away.
Getting into these fruitful sniping positions isn't the chore it once was either. There's a newfound responsiveness to protagonist Karl Fairburne's movement that makes it easier to get around and stay hidden. This polishing of the underlying mechanics makes tiptoeing across these mammoth spaces enjoyable in itself. There's a decent degree of verticality to each map, too, and you now have the ability to utilize it by clambering up specific surfaces, jumping across gaps, and climbing in and out of windows to navigate with increased freedom--not to mention the ability to wipe out a few enemies with some stealthy ledge takedowns. Environmental kills also play a part, whether it's a convenient red barrell or a rickety-looking bridge, and foliage is often a welcome aid to keep you out of sight from curious Nazi eyes.
With the structure (or lack thereof) of its open-ended mission design, there's also a clear emphasis on experimentation. This is never more evident than with the two-pronged function of each item in your deep-pocketed arsenal. For distraction devices, this means you can switch between throwing rocks to lure enemies to a specific area, or a whistle that will bring them straight to you. Where it really gets fun, however, is with the bevy of explosives in your stockpile. Equip landmine, for example, and you can set it to detonate after one press or two. The former will see it explode the moment it's stood on, which is ideal for a single enemy; while the latter detonates after two steps, making it perfect for dealing with groups. Rig one up with two presses in, say, a doorway, and the delayed blast radius is liable to take out three or four enemies, rather than just the first guy to enter the room. Once you start booby trapping bodies, this devious feature really comes into its own.
Personally, I have a soft spot for the sniper rifle's secondary function: suppressed rounds. These trade dramatic bullet drop-off for silent sniper fire, giving you the flexibility to use the game's standout feature with much more frequency. This was actually an issue in Sniper Elite 3, where it often felt like there were too few chances to use the sniper rifle without alerting everyone to your position, almost encouraging you to stick with the silenced pistol. There are still opportunities to mask the loud crack of your rifle with malfunctioning generators or the thundering noise of Luftwaffe flying overhead, which is the ideal way to silently pop skulls. But in areas where this isn't always possible, you now have the option to snipe with far more regularity, which is key in a game built around doing just that.
If you are spotted and the bullets start flying, pulling out your Thompson and going toe-to-toe with the bloodthirsty fascists isn't as clunky or frustrating as it has been previously. There's a fluidity to the way the game shifts from stealth to action and then back again. And while its cover-based shooting is merely competent at best, its viability as a messy plan B for when things go awry is very much appreciated--which, once again, traces back to the size of the levels themselves. Every objective essentially occupies a pocket of space on these vast maps. Once you're inside one of these pockets, you can cause as much mayhem and destruction as you please, and the rest of the enemies dotted across the level will be none the wiser. This allows you to go in all guns blazing and savour each violent moment, safe in the knowledge that you won't have to worry about the rest of the mission being full of Nazis on high alert. It's a smart choice.
The AI shows a marked improvement over its predecessors in situations similar to this. They'll attempt to triangulate your position based on the sound of gunfire, and officers will command their troops to overwhelm you if they have your location locked down. Inconsistency is a common menace, though, and they're not always the brightest bunch. There were a number of occasions where I would simply circle around an area after being spotted, only to find a bundle of enemies cowering behind cover near my last known position. With all of their backs turned, it was easy pickings. In other instances I've killed an enemy whose body is quickly discovered by one of his buddies. Naturally, I kill him while he's examining it, which garners the attention of another guard, and you can probably tell where I'm going with this. Guard after guard after guard; each one brazenly disregarding the growing pile of corpses to wade into my line of sight.
If you want a harder challenge from the occasional bungling enemy, the “Authentic” difficulty setting strips away all of the handy assists and extends the life of the campaign with a steep learning curve. You'll probably want to skip all of the cutscenes a second time through, though. The plot is completely forgettable; a stereotypical World War II tale, with an unhinged Nazi villain, and a superweapon only our gruff American hero can stop. Some surface level details touch on the Italian resistance and the mafia's role in the war, but it never delves deep enough to be particularly enlightening or engaging as a story. Beyond the beautiful Italian landscapes, the setting isn't exploited as much as one might hope.
Sniper Elite 4 feels like a natural progression for this series, as Rebellion continues to refine its systems and put a greater emphasis on the long-range shooting
Multiplayer serves up a plethora of game modes spread across competitive and cooperative offerings. Control asks teams to battle for supremacy over an ever-moving control point, disregarding the sniper rifle in favour of some up-close-and-personal skirmishes. This sits in stark contrast to the rest of the competitive modes, which are predominantly marksman affairs. If you enjoy cautiously moving across maps with an eye open for the glint of an enemy scope, then there will be something here for you. I can't say I've ever regularly enjoyed sniping in multiplayer shooters, so entire matches based around this style of combat aren't for me. Killing a human player from the opposite side of a map is still immensely satisfying, but these moments are so few and far between, it was never enough to hold my attention for too long.
Survival fares much better, as up to four players work together to withstand increasingly challenging waves of enemies-- à la Horde mode. As snipers, distance is a key advantage, and it's fun finding an opportune location to seek shelter and pick off each wave of progressively difficult Nazis. In a unique twist, the supply box you use to replenish your ammunition also moves to a different location every few waves, forcing you to get creative with your trap placement, and discover new areas to camp out. Once mortar fire, tanks, and heavily-armoured units rain down upon you, it can get incredibly tense.
Sniper Elite 4 feels like a natural progression for this series, as Rebellion continues to refine its systems and put a greater emphasis on the long-range shooting it does so well. Its stealth and action mechanics may be simplistic, but they're functional and regularly enjoyable. And the maps--with their impressive scale, open-ended objectives, and clever level design--coalesce these disparate systems into a creative and fulfilling whole. There are still some issues with AI inconsistency, a bland story, and some dull competitive multiplayer, but it finally feels like this series is living up to its long-standing potential.
Inside the carnage of the Lakers’ “Red Wedding” trade deadline, where decades of service to the franchise were sent packing, an opportunity has arisen.
Magic Johnson, the man who always knew how to pick ‘em in transition, the man who made the perfect pass at the perfect moment, needs to hire himself...Read More
Two weeks after Walt Disney Co. launched a bailout of struggling Euro Disney, another international Disney resort revealed that its financial woes grew last year.
Hong Kong Disneyland reported a second consecutive annual loss on an 11% drop in attendance and a 7% decline in revenue. The $22-million...Read More
New Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson will function as the team’s general manager during trade talks in the next two days, Johnson said on Spectrum SportsNet, the Lakers’ official TV station.
The NBA trade deadline is noon Pacific time Thursday.
Johnson said he had already...Read More
Long crazy about Coco, Chanel is now going gaga for Gabrielle. That’s the name of the brand’s latest handbag hope, its communications thrust for 2017 and a forthcoming fragrance — the company’s first new pillar in 15 years, named after the house founder and exalting the rebellious, mold-breaking...Read More
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders got a rock star’s welcome when he spoke in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday in what was theoretically a book tour stop but amounted to more of a political rally, urging progressives to play by new rules as they resist President Trump’s administration.
“We are looking at...Read More
Milo Yiannopoulos’ book was cancelled Monday. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be published.
Simon & Schuster took the unusual step of cancelling publication of “Dangerous,” by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, after a video surfaced that showed the Breitbart editor appearing to defend sex...Read More
To the editor: I must respond to a letter writer who suggested that the leaks by “unelected and unnamed bureaucrats to bring down officials is what happens in a police state.” (“Constant revelations about the Trump administration and Russia bring back memories of Watergate,” Readers React, Feb....Read More
To the editor: This headline might as well be, “Why fixing climate change won’t be easy.” (“'This is the worst I have seen': California's roads are in dire shape, says former Caltrans director,” Feb. 12)
The inability of American or even progressive California legislators to raise the measly, unchanged-in-a-quarter-century...Read More
Wayne Shaw was hungry, so he ate a meat pie.
The problem with that is he did so while serving as a backup goalie for Sutton United during a Football Assn. Cup match against Arsenal — and with the knowledge that a betting company had 8-1 odds that he would grab a snack on the sideline during that...Read More
What do a ten year-old boy with fairy godparents, a half-ghost teenager, an anthropomorphic animal secret agent and a pint-sized beast have in common? They’re all characters born from the mind of Butch Hartman.
For the first time ever, the animated worlds of “The Fairly Oddparents,” “Danny Phantom,”...Read More
From a closing at Grand Central Market to new tasting menus from an L.A. veteran, here’s what’s happening in the Los Angeles food-and-drink world.
Farewell: Bar Moruno, Mozza alums Chris Feldmeier and David Rosoff’s Spanish-inspired restaurant at Grand Central Market, will close Sunday. The stall...Read More
Hi, my name is Houston Mitchell, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. It just really hit me the other day that we won't be able to hear Vin Scully this season.
Chase is back
The big news recently was the Dodgers re-signing Chase Utley to a one-year deal. Utley's deal is worth $2 million...Read More
One month down, 47 (or 95) months to go.
As President Trump celebrated his first month in office Monday, late-night hosts lined up to take on his latest round of headlines.
Seth Meyers found plenty of reasons to break out his keenly honed Trump impression on Monday's "Late Night," opening the show...Read More
An Israeli military tribunal on Tuesday sentenced a soldier to 18 months in jail for fatally shooting a Palestinian knife assailant lying wounded on the ground in the West Bank city of Hebron last March.
The decision comes a month and a half after the military court unanimously convicted Sgt. Elor...Read More
Restaurant Brands International Inc. said it's buying Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. for $1.8 billion, bringing the fried chicken chain under the same corporate umbrella as Burger King and Tim Hortons.
The move fits with Restaurant Brands' approach of taking over well-known fast-food chains it...Read More
This walled and gated desert dwelling in Palm Springs contains an oasis of its own. Rooms in the 1936 Spanish hacienda-style home face an expansive swimming pool area that takes in views of the surrounding mountainsides. At the heart of the single-story home is an over-sized great room with an...Read More
Looking for an office complex with its own helipads, swimming pool, data center and emergency power?
One just hit the market in Torrance: the longtime North American headquarters of Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, which is consolidating its U.S. operations in Texas.
Toyota announced its plans...Read More
If you ask recent visitors to New Orleans to assess their dining experiences, the responses will undoubtedly fall in the range of “great” to “How much time do you have?”
The Crescent City has long been a lure for epicures, a place where the cuisine has been informed by centuries of new arrivals...Read More
Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as investors return from the holiday weekend in a buying mood.
Energy companies and banks posted some of the biggest gains in early trading Tuesday. Hess rose 2% and Northern Trust rose 1%.
The gains sent indexes further into record territory. U.S. markets...Read More
Baseball fans who want an edge on spring-training travel to Arizona might consider staying at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. The period hotel has added something new to its roster of guest services this season: baseball butler.
The pros on the hotel’s concierge staff have been guiding Cactus...Read More
Officials in Modesto are preparing for the Tuolumne River to rise higher than 60 feet by midafternoon Tuesday and begin flooding nearby areas, the result of the release of water down the spillway of Don Pedro Dam for the first time in nearly two decades and continued storms in Northern California.... Read More
How do you get around Yellowstone National Park in winter? One way is to take a daylong tour with experienced guides aboard a comfortable snow coach. Old Faithful Winter Expeditions are on sale now, starting at $299 per person.
The deal: For the past half-century, Teton Science Schools has been...Read More
Investing in start-ups trying to make video games has fallen out of favor in much of the venture capital community.
They’re difficult-to-predict businesses, driven more by characters and animation than by novel technology and often have limited potential buyers if they don’t work out as well as...Read More
It's difficult to think of an anime and manga property more suited to join Omega Force's Warriors meta-series than Berserk. Franchise protagonist Guts lives and breathes hack-and-slashing, enough that he, at first glance, can be mistaken for a one-dimensional mercenary obsessed with killing. Unfortunately, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk's simplistic gameplay does little to demystify this shallow perception. It's an inadequate introduction to the Warriors games although the abundance of anime and CG cinematics makes it a fitting gateway to the Berserk even if it doesn't do its main character any favors.
For a manga series that has lasted over 27 years, spanning myriad story arcs, it was wise of Omega Force to focus on Berserk's most well known events, namely the narratives that have been adapted into various anime productions. The result is a comprehensive Story Mode that chronicles Guts' evolution from a raging teenage mercenary with no life goals to a homicidal adult seeking retribution. Band of the Hawk isn't a sufficient substitute for the anime since it glosses over many supporting characters' storylines. Furthermore, the best action scenes, from The Golden Age film trilogy in particular, have been omitted as you get to reenact those same battles instead. Unfortunately, these playable scenes fail to elevate its presentation to match the show.
Berserk is representative of Warriors games at their most simple and straightforward which, when compared to their recent achievements with Hyrule Warriors and Dragon Quest Heroes, is all the more disappointing. Assignments are limited to three types: destroy, rescue, and kill. The game of region dominance--a hallmark of Dynasty Warriors campaigns--is barely utilized and would have added depth to Berserk's 46 story chapters.
Even with Guts' propensity for killing, there's no substantial or long term incentive to slaughter everyone that crosses his sword. At its best moments, amassing a body count of over 1,000 while completing goals in a single mission feels cathartic but there's never the compulsion to wipe an entire map clean of enemies. To do so would add monotony to an already tedious campaign, when the drive to tick off objectives and reach the next cutscene becomes more appealing than staying on the battlefield.
Despite the multiple objectives, the occasional mid-mission plot twists, and all the running around, the majority of chapters can take less than 10 minutes to complete. What results are missions that are shorter than the cinematics that frame each sortie. The intermissions in the first third of the story mode wisely reprises scenes from Berserk's Golden Age film trilogy while players are spared from footage from the divisive new TV show in favor of new CG scenes. It's plot-heavy by Warriors standards but works in the context of Guts' epic road to revenge.
Guts' brutal and offensive-minded repertoire is expressed through the simple combos that make up much of his move set. It all comes down to how many quick and strong attacks you string together. After every hundred or so kills, Guts can unleash a finishing move that wipes out every nearby foe. Such carnage is fitting for him though it's easy to see how a sense of routine can set in quickly and often. Without a greater variety of objectives, Omega Force's brand of unrefined hack and slashing becomes all the more magnified as you labor through this lengthy campaign.
The novel appeal of playing someone other than Guts loses its allure quickly since Free Mode only features previously beaten story missions.
This reliance on the Warriors formula extends to the playable areas outside the story. Free Mode, a staple of the meta-series, serves as an outlet to try out Berserk's supporting cast. They all control with the same quick attack/strong attack simplicity of Guts, each with their own brutal flourishes, where two dozen troops can be vanquished with a single sword stroke. The androgynous Griffin kills with the lethal grace of a fencer while the skilled Casca moves with the agility of a ninja. The novel appeal of playing someone other than Guts loses its allure quickly since Free Mode only features previously beaten story missions.
Berserk's repetitiveness is all the more pronounced in Endless Eclipse, the game's endurance mode. Despite its seemingly intimidating 100-round design, this mode lacks character as it's neither a tower dungeon nor is it a hectic wave-based survival mode. Instead, it mimics the Story Mode's prioritization on completing objectives with no penalty for running past all the lesser enemies in each round. Endless Eclipse also underscores Berserk's lack of replay incentives, despite the character-building rewards it bestows when completing missions. In Endless Eclipse, boredom is as much an obstacle as anything this mode throws at you.
Given how well Guts' bloodlust and battle experience are well-suited to the crowd fighting and mass slaughter of Warriors games, it's a disappointing that this tie-in lacks the engagement and nuance of Omega Force's more imaginative efforts with other franchises. Its saving feature is the expansiveness of the campaign narratives, which serve as a hearty sampling of the Berserk franchise's multiple story arcs. If not for these insightful cutscenes, the developer's penchant for adequate but unengaging hack and slash combat would perpetuate the image of Guts as a one-note protagonist. And even if you're a Warriors fan who knows not to expect a Dark Souls level of gratifying melee combat, Band of the Hawk still deprives you of the juicy sights and sounds that one associates with Guts' savagery; the splashes of red that result from every kill hardly counts as "gore".Read More
I’m Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don’t want you to miss today.
After Flynngate, the White House Does an About-Face
A week after the departure of conspiratorially minded Michael Flynn, President Trump has named a new national security...Read More
Guess what? It did get better for gay, lesbian and bisexual high schoolers when the states they were growing up in changed their laws to allow same-sex marriage, a new study finds.
More specifically, in a 16-year period during which changes in state marriage laws were sweeping the nation, states...Read More
The day he was sworn in to the California Assembly, freshman Bay Area Democrat Ash Kalra filed his first piece of legislation: Assembly Bill 20, which would force the state’s two largest public employee retirement funds, CalSTRS and CalPERS, to divest from companies involved in building the disputed...Read More
The news is good but not great. Women and minorities have made modest gains in front of and behind the camera but remain significantly underrepresented as leading actors in films, as TV show creators, as writers who sweat out the dialogue — just about every part of the entertainment industry,...Read More
Elections have consequences, as the saying goes, and here’s another one arising from conservative Republicans taking complete control of the federal government: The Endangered Species Act, which played a significant role in saving the bald eagle and the California condor from extinction, is now...Read More