Thursday, July 24, 2014

GotG-Universal-Weapon-Title
Marvel has become quite the marketing monster. No one outside of regular comic book readers had heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy a few years ago, and now the buzz around the imminent release of their movie has my six-year old treating Rocket Raccoon and Groot like old friends. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon is a cog in the hype machine, but one made by enough people who care about the characters that it’s genuinely enjoyable in its own right.
Not every mobile game based on comic book heroes gets an original story written by one of the men who knows them best, but this one does. Dan Abnett, who teamed with Andy Lanning to put the lineup of misfits used in the movie together in the Guardians’ ongoing 2008 comic series, is the architect of this tale too, much of which is told through comic panels. No prior knowledge of Star-Lord and company is necessary, as he is joined in short order by Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Rocket and Groot, each of whom have their distinct personalities come across.
GotG-Universal-Weapon-comic
They also play differently in the game’s action-meets-strategy battles. In each stage, the Guardians find themselves attacked by enemies who can come from either side of the screen or simply be teleported into their midst. Simply dragging a line from a hero to a bad guy will start them out on automatic basic attacks, and you can move them to avoid environmental hazards and the like in the same way.
Since you’ll end up with a team of four, that’s already plenty to keep you on your toes. But there’s also strategy to keep in mind, since ranged attackers like Rocket are more effective against melee-minded opponents, while bruisers like Drax do more damage to enemies with guns. Every Guardian has special abilities activated by virtual buttons at the top of the screen, and including certain character combinations on your squad also opens up the potential for potent combo attacks. Groot can also heal damaged allies, giving you some more versatility in battle.
GotG-Universal-Weapon-Gameplay
The end result is simple but frantic fun, though at times it’s easy to have characters stacked on top of each other and find it hard to move the one you want. Boss fights pop up every so often, some of which unlock additional characters from both the movies and the comics. I can’t reveal most of them without spoiling some of the fun, but suffice it to say that Abnett deftly juggles multiple sagas from the comics in ways that will reward diehard Marvel fans.
So are these the movie, comic book or brand new versions of characters like Drax? As Abnett told Gamezebo in a recent phone interview, it really doesn’t matter.
“It is, as it were, as user-friendly to the moviegoers as it is to the comic readers,” he said. “I think if we’ve done our job properly, the game will introduce these concepts to people who aren’t familiar with comic continuity. I think things will make sense, and how it all fits together will make sense.”
It does make sense, from the comical dialogue to the all-ages-appropriate art, which is cartoony in the comic parts and almost a super deformed style featuring oversized heads and small bodies during gameplay. Really, one of the lone bummers in The Universal Weapon is that it’s pretty short. You’ll be drawn into leveling up different Guardians and taking on non-stop waves of enemies in Arena mode only to find that the story builds to something of a climax and just kind of ends in one impossibly tough battle.
More scenes and characters are “Coming Soon,” so you can add “leaving them wanting more” to the things that Marvel has learned to master. Even if you haven’t been caught up in Guardians-mania yet, it’s a game with a heavily armed raccoon and a talking (sort of) tree, it’s easy to get into and has a cool story written by the guy who is basically the godfather of the game’s protagonists. As the movie posters say, “You’re welcome.”
[PS3] Angel Love Online [エンジェルラブオンライン] (JPN) ISO Download

Title : [PS3] Angel Love Online [エンジェルラブオンライン] (JPN) ISO Download
Game Information
Japanese Title : エンジェルラブオンライン
Chinese Title : 天使之恋Online
Publisher : Q Entertainment
Developer : Q Entertainment
Genre : RPG Game
Version : Japan CERO A (Free)
Available On : Play Station 3 (PS3)
Size : 2.15GB
Format : ISO
Players : 1

Supplier : STORMAN
Catalog No : BLJS-10124
Realease Date : 2011-07-07
Official Website : http://www.angelloveonline.jp/
Info : Angel_Love_Online_JAP_PS3-STORMAN
Preview / Gameplay :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_cQZswrTtk
Description / About This Game :
Angel Love Online is a RPG game, developed and published by Q Entertainment, which was released in japan in 2011.
Download :
*Do not simply copy and paste the download links to your site.Thank you
*Password/パスワード : doujin-games88.net
DOWNLOAD/ダウンロード :
FA(FilesABC)
Angel_Love_Online_JAP_PS3-STORMAN.part1.rar – 530.0 MB
Angel_Love_Online_JAP_PS3-STORMAN.part2.rar – 530.0 MB
Angel_Love_Online_JAP_PS3-STORMAN.part3.rar – 530.0 MB
Angel_Love_Online_JAP_PS3-STORMAN.part4.rar – 504.2 MB
WUP (Wupload)
http://www.wupload.com/file/129784514/stm-alol.part1.rar
http://www.wupload.com/file/128574471/stm-alol.part2.rar
http://www.wupload.com/file/128574472/stm-alol.part3.rar
http://www.wupload.com/file/128574473/stm-alol.part4.rar
http://www.wupload.com/file/128574474/stm-alol.part5.rar
SM (FileSonic)
http://www.filesonic.com/file/1812773251/stm-alol.part1.rar
http://www.filesonic.com/file/1812547301/stm-alol.part2.rar
http://www.filesonic.com/file/1812773261/stm-alol.part3.rar
http://www.filesonic.com/file/1813189871/stm-alol.part4.rar
http://www.filesonic.com/file/1812822641/stm-alol.part5.rar
UST (UploadStation)
http://www.uploadstation.com/file/hYhnqrH/stm-alol.part1.rar
http://www.uploadstation.com/file/N7qnqQS/stm-alol.part2.rar
http://www.uploadstation.com/file/YbxJDAv/stm-alol.part3.rar
http://www.uploadstation.com/file/ZFPqN4x/stm-alol.part4.rar
http://www.uploadstation.com/file/QXYCdAS/stm-alol.part5.rar
FS (FileServe)
http://www.fileserve.com/file/3kYdbz8/stm-alol.part1.rar
http://www.fileserve.com/file/5NTAwSK/stm-alol.part2.rar
http://www.fileserve.com/file/aFSM5E9/stm-alol.part3.rar
http://www.fileserve.com/file/26TgAhH/stm-alol.part4.rar
http://www.fileserve.com/file/G7aQccS/stm-alol.part5.rar
UL (Uploaded)
coming soon

You might have seen my list of must-see geek conventions where I selected 17 excellent events from a variety of geekdoms such as video games, anime, and sci-fi. I received great feedback from you about the list, and readers wanted to see even more options across different types of conventions all over the globe.
This isn’t a directory as much as it is a curated list of both the small gems and big diamonds of the anime convention world. I researched what makes each convention special and provided you with their most popular events, tips on making the most of it, and more. Every anime convention has viewing rooms, dealer halls, cosplay competitions, dances, and guests – but, as you’ll see, every convention is different.
If your anime convention isn’t listed, fear not: this list will be updated and expanded. Let me know which anime conventions I should review in the comments below and I’ll consider them in the next round. (And check my list of 17 geek conventions you should see before you die – your favorite convention might already be on there.)
United States – West Coast Anime Conventions
United States – Midwest Anime Conventions
United States – East Coast Anime Conventions
United States – Southern Anime Conventions
Canada Anime Conventions
International Anime Conventions

United States – West Coast Anime Conventions

Anime Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California
January 9-11, 2015
Tickets: $40 – $60
If giganti-cons like Anime Expo are burning you out, you don’t need to look far for an intimate Southern California anime convention. Anime Los Angeles is the kid sister to the larger conventions in the area–surprisingly, some reported it having even more of an emphasis on cosplay than Anime Expo. (That says something – I’ve been to AX and the cosplay was pretty dang big.)

Kumoricon

Vancouver, Washington
August 29 – September 1, 2014
Tickets: $40 – $55
The Pacific Northwest’s growing anime convention, Kumoricon is an intimate gathering of 5,000 enthusiastic fans. “Kumori”, Japanese for ‘cloudy’, embraces the area’s overcast nature with a smile. An American voice actor lineup, cosplay chess, and the geek-friendly exhibitor hall make for a great way to spend Labor Day Weekend.

Japan Expo USA

San Mateo, California
August 22-24, 2014
Tickets: TBD
Europe’s largest anime convention organization returns to the United States for its second year. Japan Expo USA is still testing the waters as a young organization in a new country, and the first year fell short of its projected attendance number of 12,000. Hopefully 2014 will bring improvements and a smoother convention experience.

Saboten Con

Glendale, Arizona
August 29 – September 1, 2014
Tickets: $40
The largest anime convention in Arizona is home to over 4,000 otaku. The event gets huge thumbs-up on Saboten Con’s Facebook page with many attendees saying it’s the best convention, friendly to first-timers, and there is more than enough to do. Unique events such as a J-fashion show, a tea party, and a cosplayer health panel keep fans returning.

SacAnime

Sacramento, California
August 29-31, 2014
Tickets: $25 – $45
SacAnime sprouted its own wings after being a popular facet of its parent event, the Sacramento Comic, Toy and Anime Show (Sac-Con). “Our philosophy has always been to provide fun, safe, family friendly environment, with top shelf entertainment at a reasonable price.” It’s no wonder that the show has grown to well over 10,000 attendees in its ten years. Also, this is one of the few anime conventions that operate twice a year: once in the winter and again in the summer!

United States – Midwest Anime Conventions

Anime Central

Chicago, Illinois
May 15-17, 2015
Tickets: $40 – $60
Anime Central
Image: Animexcel
Better known as “ACen” in the anime community, Anime Central is the Midwest’s largest Japanese pop-culture convention. 2014 was host to nearly 30,000 attendees to enjoy a variety of geek culture: gaming, movies, Japanese guests, educational panels, and more.

Anime Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
February 13-15, 2015
Tickets: $30 – $45
Anime Milwaukee may be a young convention, but attendance has been growing a steady 20% – 25% year over year. The next event is on track to break the 7,000 attendee mark and has adult-oriented programming such as a late-night rave and an anime bar with themed cocktails.

Anime-ZAP!

Peoria, Illinois
January 2-4, 2015
Tickets: $15 – $35
This midwest winter anime convention will warm you up for a new year of anime, manga, video games, and more. An intimate gathering of 1,000 – 2,000 in attendance will bring you back to your convention roots. Win a date at the date auction, play anime-themed games like Death Note Mafia, and browse the impressive exhibit hall.

AnimeIowa

Coralville, Iowa
July 25-27, 2014
Tickets: $35 – $50
The middle of cow country hosts a lively little gathering of anime geeks. This 24-hour convention prides itself on being a welcoming and friendly atmosphere for its 3,000+ attendees. Bonus: there’s an array of healthy eats on-site for convention goers. If you’re familiar with anime conventions, you’ll know how prolific junk food can be. What else could you expect from America’s bread basket?

Anime Midwest

Chicago, Illinois
July 4-6, 2014
Tickets: $35 – $100
A new relatively new kid on the Chicago anime convention scene, Anime Midwest branched off of Anime Central to try their hand at new programming since 2011. They pride themselves in being “by the fans, for the fans” and work with Anime Central to get the word out to the region. Five thousand attended in 2013, and the organization is striving for 10,000 in 2014. Now is your chance to get in on an intimate anime convention!

Anime NebrasKon

Omaha, Nebraska
October 31 – November 2, 2014
Tickets: $25 – $50
Anime NebrasKon offers everything you want in an anime convention on a smaller scale within a tight community of fans and friends. Hosting year-’round gatherings helps members keep in touch and the energy growing until the big Halloween bash.

AniMinneapolis

Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 23-25, 2014
Tickets: $40 – $50
AniMinneapolis prides itself on offering something for everyone–whether you’re outgoing or like to keep to yourself. At only three years young, it’s quickly becoming an attendee favorite with its nerdcore concerts, cosplay contests, and free ramen. (Um, how many other anime conventions can you name that give away FREE RAMEN?)

Colassalcon

Sandusky, Ohio
June 5-8, 2014
Tickets: $10 – $55
Formerly known as the Cleveland Colossal Convention, Colossalcon lives up to its name if not in the length of the event. Four days of official anime convention time is quite a commitment, whether you’re a staff member or an attendee. And it’s not just about the convention itself: Colassalcon is hosted at America’s largest indoor water park.

Daisho Con

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
November 21-23, 2014
Tickets: $25 – $75
Daisho Con is more than a 2,000-attendee convention: it’s a story that continuously evolves with each year of the event. Join Musashi, Daisho Con’s mascot, through programming such as a cosplay contest, video gaming, an interactive show featuring attendees, and more.

Naka-Kon

Overland Park, Kansas
March 13-15, 2015
Tickets: $20 – $30
Give a gold star to Naka-Kon for creating a lineup of truly unique programming. Between their interactive ghost story event hosted at midnight and a warrior obstacle course, this isn’t your typical anime convention. The attendance of nearly 8,000 otaku makes Naka-Kon a Japanese oasis in the middle of the Midwest.

Nan Desu Kan

Denver, Colorado
September 12-14, 2014
Tickets: $30 – $50
A medium-sized anime convention approaching 8,000 attendees, Nan Desu Kan brings out the cosplayers for the World Cosplay Summit competition, where the finalists have the chance to represent the United States on the International stage. NDK is a non-profit that loves to support charities and raises money every year for a variety of causes.

No Brand Con

Eau Claire, Wisconsin
April 24-26, 2015
Tickets: $15 – $35
No Brand Con is celebrating its 13th year as Wisconsin’s longest-running anime convention. The event attracts a melting pot of English voice acting talent and experienced DJs. Its 2,000 in attendance enjoy unique programming such as a charity auction where dance dates are auctioned off, and a Mystery Science Theater 3000-style “mock a movie” marathon.

YoumaCon

Detroit, Michigan
October 30 – November 2, 2014
Tickets: $50 – $120
Youmacon
VampireBree
YoumaCon’s focus on all-ages programming features celebrity guest panels, live musical performances, video games, and even a live-action Mario Party competition where participants ARE the video game characters! Detroit’s celebration of Internet geekdom is a medium-sized convention with 14,000 attendees in 2013.

United States – East Coast Anime Conventions

Anime Boston

Boston, Massachusetts
April 3-5, 2015
Tickets: $40 – $65
Anime Boston
Image: anime diet
Anime Boston is the Northeast’s largest anime convention, topping over 25,000 attendees in 2014. Previous guests include Dai Sato (anime scriptwriter for Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell: SIC, and Ergo Proxy); Japanese band JAM Project; and Magi voice actress Cristina Vee.

Anime Festival Orlando

Orlando, Florida
July 25-27, 2014
Tickets: $40 – $60
Anime Festival Orlando will be welcoming English voice actors Troy Baker (Bioshock Infinite) and Kari Wahlgren (Samurai Champloo) to its celebration of Japanese pop culture. Be sure to arrive early or use mass transit to get there – parking has been reported to be an issue at this event.

Anime Mid-Atlantic

Chesapeake, Virginia
June 13-15, 2014
Tickets: $25 – $55
After jumping around to various locations in Virginia, Anime Mid-Atlantic has settled on the picturesque city of Chesapeake to host this 5,000+ attendee convention. Notable programming treats are the ramen- and sushi-eating contests and the real-time making of a novel.

Anime USA

Washington, D.C.
October 3-5, 2014
Tickets: $32 – $70
Anime USA
Image: Anime USA
This east coast anime convention was originally hosted in Virginia from 1999 through 2011 until they outgrew their shoes. What differentiates Anime USA from most other conventions is its authentic Maid Cafe and Host Club – interactive experiences featuring entertaining lunch companions.

Animazement

Raleigh, North Carolina
May 21-24, 2015
Tickets: $45 – $75
Animazement is a completely fan run, volunteer operated anime convention in the heart of the east coast. Its history began with a 36-hour anime marathon in 1997 and has blossomed into a 10,000 attendee family-friendly festival. The variety of Japanese cultural programming covers the ancient to the modern: from a shamisen performer to the founder of the famous Mad House anime production studio.

Another Anime Convention

Manchester, New Hampshire
October 17-19, 2014
Tickets: $40 – $50
Another Anime Convention is an intimate gathering of over 2,000 attendees from the area. This down-to-earth convention will bring you back to your con roots, when an entire event could fit into one hotel and everybody knows your name–or is at least willing to learn it. Tea fans should check out the Sunday Tea Party.

ConnectiCon

Hartford, Connecticut
July 10-13, 2014
Tickets: $50 – $75
ConnectiCon
Image: Kalamari Kastle
Technically, ConnectiCon is a “massively multi-genre convention.” (Perhaps we can coin the acronym “MMGC”?) That means you’ll see much more than anime here – horror, sci-fi, comics, television, and more. But many anime guests are attracted to this 12,000+ attendee convention such as Vic Mignogna, Chris Cason (of Dragonball Z fame), Lauren Landa (Attack on Titan voice actress), and more.

KotoriCon

Sewell, New Jersey
January 9-10, 2015
Tickets: $25 – $30
KotoriCon
Image: KotoriCon
Bigger isn’t always better: KotoriCon is “the little anime con with a big heart,” and it is a great hidden gem for those who prefer the smaller, more intimate anime conventions. This convention is operated by local college students who are passionate about promoting Japanese culture. Feel great in your attendance knowing all proceeds go to humanitarian charities. Buy your tickets early – it sold out last year!

MetroCon

Tampa, Florida
July 11-13, 2014
Tickets: $45 – $100
MetroCon is a for-profit anime convention that is expecting to break their 10,000 attendee milestone in 2014. Convention goers have overwhelmingly positive feedback for the event, citing it as one of the biggest and friendliest anime cons they have attended where everyone–from young to old–can be themselves.

ShadoCon

Palm Harbor, Florida
October 31 – November 2, 2014
Tickets: $40 – $80
ShadoCon mashes up anime, gaming, and comics for one incredible weekend at the Innisbrook Resort. The Breakdance Breakdown, Shado Tournament, and the Final Fantasy Ball are three of their most popular and unique programming events. ShadoCon’s cleverly named Eternal Shadow Pass is an incredible deal for die-hard Florida geeks: a one-time purchase of $450 gets you admittance forever with perks every year.

Tsubasacon

Huntington, West Virginia
October 10-12, 2014
Tickets: $35 – $60
Get ready to don your angel wings (tsubasa is Japanese for “wings”) – Tsubasacon is an intimate anime convention in West Virginia. Their cosplay-centric programming features a masquerade ball, a cosplay craftsmanship competition with cash prizes, and even a live cosplay lip-synch music video!

United States – Southern Anime Conventions

Anime Overload

Austin, Texas
August 8-10, 2014
Tickets: $35 – $85
Texas’ friendly anime convention is back for year six! This family-friendly weekend features fan-run programming. Photographers: get your cameras ready! Anime Overload has been reported to be a very photograph-friendly convention where the cosplayers are happy to pose.

Anime Weekend Atlanta

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Dates: September 26-28, 2014
Tickets: $25 – $65
Anime Weekend Atlanta
Image: Bentpic5
Anime Weekend Atlanta holds the crown as one of North America’s top ten largest anime conventions. It also has a notable AMV (anime music video) competition with hundreds of entries – the organization says its “Video Art Track” is the largest event for amateur music videos. AWA is on pace to break the 20,000 attendee mark in 2014.

AnimeFest

Dallas, Texas
August 15-18, 2014
Tickets: $25 – $50
AnimeFest has street cred – conceived in 1992, it’s one of America’s longest-running anime conventions. But don’t mistake its age for its size: AnimeFest is Texas’s biggest “little” convention at an estimated 8,000 – 10,000 in attendance. Visit this year and see amazing Japanese guests such as Dai Sato (scriptwriter for Ghost in the Shell and more), Hiroshi Shimizu (animation director for a number of Studio Ghibli films), Kazuhiro Furuhashi (animator for Ranma 1/2), and many more American anime industry guests.

HamaCon

Huntsville, Alabama
June 6-8, 2014
Tickets: $30 – $48
This l’il fan-friendly convention in America’s deep south draws American voice acting talent and cosplay enthusiasm. The Maid Café and Host Club has sold out tickets in 2014, so be sure to reserve your spot early for 2015!

IKKiCON

Austin, Texas
January 2-4, 2015
Tickets: $35 – $115
Plan your post-holiday escape now – downtown Austin will be quiet with the exception of the bumping anime parties. Check out the VIP perks – for just a few extra bucks ($25 – $80 above ticket brice) you get to enjoy special access to events, custom souvenirs, opportunities to meet the celebrities, and more.

MechaCon

New Orleans, Louisiana
August 1-3, 2014
Tickets: $45 – $65
Escape the deep south’s summer humidity with 5,000 other anime fans at MechaCon! As the name suggests, there’s a special emphasis on mecha at this anime convention. Cosplay shines at events such as Anime Burlesque and Cosplay World’s video game cosplay competition. If you’re driving, plan ahead for parking premiums on-site, or play at Harrah’s across the street for 30 minutes to get free parking.

San Japan

San Antonio, Texas
July 18-20, 2014
Tickets: $35 – $50
Another Texas anime convention gem, San Japan is a medium-sized gathering of over 10,000 attendees that just keeps getting bigger every year. Fan parodies, Internet culture, and the Masquerade Ball draw in the enthusiasm. If you’re traveling from across the vast plains of the state, here’s a pro-tip: hitch a ride with Megabus for only $10!

Canada Anime Conventions

Anime Evolution

Vancouver, British Columbia
June 27-29, 2014
Tickets: $35 – $55
Anime Evolution is truly a story of fan passion and resiliency in the face of obstacles. The growing convention of 6,000 attendees faced financial and legal complications in 2010, canceling the event indefinitely. A new non-profit resurrected the phoenix from the ashes in 2012. The reincarnation proved to be a smaller group of 2,000 – 3,000 fans with immense enthusiasm. The AMV (anime music video) contest draws attention across North America.

Anime Revolution

Vancouver, British Columbia
August 22-24, 2014
Tickets: $50 – $200
Only conceived in 2011 with over 7,000 attendees, Anime Revolution is the new kid on the block with a lot of momentum. Entertainment groups such as The 404s receive rave reviews. However, be patient as some attendees report production and staffing hiccups – looking forward to seeing how this convention matures in the coming years.

Animethon

Edmonton, Alberta
August 8-10, 2014
Tickets: $25 – $50
What started as a small anime club at an Edmonton university, Animethon has sprouted into a non-profit organization with nearly 10,000 at its annual event. Newcomers can get a sampling of what to expect at the mini-convention “A Taste of Animethon” hosted at the original university–and a great way for veterans to get their fill while waiting for next year’s convention.

Otakuthon

Congress, Montreal
August 22-24, 2014
Tickets: $30 – $50
Bilingual convention Otakuthon will please French and English speakers alike with their wide variety of Japanese pop culture programming, from anime music video screenings to a “garage sale”. Otakuthon will host the debut of the Canadian peliminary for the World Cosplay Summit – finalists will get to compete to represent Canada the world over!

International anime conventions

Abunai Con

Veldhoven, The Netherlands
August 29-31, 2014
Tickets: €19 – €49
Expect excitement to hit The Netherlands in August: Abunai is Japanese for “dangerous”. Best be bringing a helmet and protective eyewear to this small gathering that’s filled with fan programming like karaoke, competitions, workshops, and more.

Alcon

Leicester, England
September 4-7, 2014
Tickets: £5 – £25
Alcon is a small anime convention with 1,400 in attendance. All-day, all-night programming includes a dealers’ room, anime screenings, anime night club, artist alley, cosplay, all manner of gaming, and dozens of additional activities.

Animecon

The Hague, Netherlands
June 13-15, 2014
Tickets: €24 – €61
Animecon
Image: Animeconnl
Staying true to the theme of “Summer Games”, the Netherlands’ largest anime convention is pitting teams of convention attendees against each other in the Anime Olympics! Challenges such as Idol Training, “Cards Against Animecon” – a variation of the popular card game, and Japanese Bingo await competitors. Oh, and of course this wouldn’t be an anime convention without martial arts demonstrations, anime viewing, tabletop gaming, and more.

AnimagiC

Bonn, Germany
August 1-3, 2014
Tickets: €29 – €77
AnimagiC
Image: AnimagiC
German speakers: rejoice! AnimagiC is one of Germany’s best forums for anime fans. The convention attracts talent such as Tadashi Ozawa, animator of iconic anime such as Nausicaa, Castle in the Sky, and Akira, who hosted animation workshops for attendees.

CosDay

Frankfurt, Germany
July 19-20, 2014
Tickets: €10 – €25
An intimate all-ages gathering of anime fans encapsulates every aspect of Japanese pop-culture with a special focus on cosplay. With over 2,000 in attendance, CosDay hosts a preliminary competition leading up to the Deutsche Cosplaymeisterschaft (German Cosplay Championship) where the winners will strut their stuff at the finals in October.

DoKomi

Düsseldorf, Germany
June 7-8, 2014
Tickets: €8 – €32
DoKomi
Image: Sweet Spice Host Club
DoKomi has introduced a ticketing system unlike that of many major anime conventions: pay what you want. Yes, that’s right – they’ve crowdsourced the convention’s funding. There’s a minimum price to pay so that the organization can cover its basic costs, but if you want to see more programming and special guests, you can pitch in. (And you’ll be rewarded with great gifts, too!) A host club, maid cafe, great DJ lineup, and interactive cosplay events keep the 12,000+ attendees returning.

Expomanga

Madrid, Spain
May 8-10, 2015
Tickets: €5 – €15
Expomanga
Image: Expocomic
One of the largest anime conventions in Europe, Expomanga welcomed 40,000 attendees through its doors. A busy schedule of over 170 activities within three days covers the gamut of anime geekery and beyond: karaoke, paintball competitions, a Pokemon tournament, workshops for the manga creator, and more.

Japan Expo

Paris, France
July 2-6, 2014
Tickets: €8 – €53
Japan Expo is one of the longest and largest anime conventions in the world: a solid five days of programming in 2014 to celebrate their fifteenth anniversary! A staggering 232,876 walked through the convention’s doors in 2013–nearly FOUR TIMES THE SIZE of America’s largest anime convention, Anime Expo. The sheer size and breadth of the event attracts dozens of exceptional special anime industry guests the world over. Be ready to anime to the extreme.

London Anime and Gaming Con

London, England
July 5-6, 2014
Tickets: £40 – £60
Why limit your fun to just anime? The London Anime and Gaming Con features over 100 gaming kiosks and indie developers. But of course your true, blue anime programming is front and center with a Maid Café, panels, and great parties. Leave the kiddies at home: this event is for those 18 and older.
Antique Road Trip: American Dreamin’, based on the popular “Antique Road Trip” series by Boomzap Entertainment, is now available for iPad!
Ever wanted to be a real antique collector? Now you can in Antique Road Trip: American Dreamin’ ! Currently available for PC on the Big Fish Games website, now Big Fish is bringing this popular road trip to the iPad as a free-to -download-and-play adventure. Like the other games in the franchise, you play as a new antique shopkeeper, who must transform a rundown antique shop into a quality old world shopping experience. This is your shop, your story and your antique collection!

Antique Road Trip: American Dreamin’ starts with a shop in disrepair that you need to fix up, furnish and supply with antiques to sell. You do this by traveling around the U.S. collecting vintage antique items to help your store flourish. To collect items, you must help other antique dealers by solving puzzles that include hidden object scenes, “find the difference” scenes, matching games and digital jigsaw puzzles. Each successful puzzle solved earns you money that you can then spend to upgrade your antique store with better furniture, rugs, lamps, doors, etc… The more you update your shop, the more antiques you have to sell, making your store THE antique destination!
Helping fellow antique dealers is just one of many ways you can earn antiques, money, experience points and energy. You can also participate in auctions, or hunt for deals and trade items with other real live players like yourself! Earn special bonuses for excellent finding skills or for completing an entire antique collection. Use your experience and money for fantastic upgrades to your store. When in a bind, get help from a puppy sidekick, [who joins your party or “who you acquire along the way,” or …]!

Fans of the other “Antique Road Trip” games will appreciate the familiar gameplay, but American Dreamin’ does offer some unique new twists. Not only do you get to restore your antique store, but also help restore other old buildings and spruce up the town of Beechwood Cove, where this game is set. Last but not least, connect with your friends on Facebook to share and trade antiques, level ups, special rewards and your progress toward becoming THE antiques expert in Antique Road Trip: American Dreamin’.

Start your antique collection today on PC or iPad!
Pollen is known for causing allergies, but in Czechoslovakia it causes death! Citizens have reported the presence of a strange and toxic pollen that causes those who encounter it to become deadly ill. The pollen appears suddenly, the only warning of its impending arrival a faint, hypnotic song sung by a woman’s voice. Who is behind this pollen and why have they unleashed it?
Dark Parables: Ballad of Rapunzel is the seventh installment in the popular Dark Parables series. Developed by Blue Tea Games, the Dark Parables series are a unique and beautiful retelling of the very fairy tales we know and love. Not only do these hidden object adventure games star nostalgic characters with a unique twist, each Dark Parables game includes a storyline that is interwoven within each sequel. While Dark Parables: Ballad of Rapunzel will surely introduce you to a new cast of characters, including the beautiful and haunted Princess Rapunzel, be on the lookout for characters, items or references that appeared in the previous six Dark Parables games!

In Dark Parables: Ballad of Rapunzel you play the role of the renowned Fairytale Detective, who is called upon to discover the source of the deadly pollen. As a master detective, you trace the pollen to Mount Snezka, where lie the ruins of the fabled Floralia Kingdom. The kingdom was once ruled by the beautiful and wise Queen Violante who, upon her death, left the kingdom to her daughter, Princess Rapunzel. Some say that Rapunzel still lives among the ruins of her mother’s kingdom, hidden away in a tower for reasons unknown. Upon arriving at Floralia’s gates you encounter not only the purple flower from which the pollen originates, but a young botanist named Kai under attack by a mass of violent vines. After saving Kai you gain access to Floralia and immediately encounter Princess Rapunzel whose haunting song releases a cloud of noxious pollen. But she is not alone! By her side at all times is a shadowy young woman, who appears to hold significant sway over the once beloved princess. Who is this woman and what has she done to Princess Rapunzel? To find out you will need to enter Rapunzel’s Tower, if you can get past the giant plant Gollum that guards it!

Search through hidden object scenes to find the items you need in your journey. Play mini games to unlock important items or new areas of interest. Every good detective knows the importance of details. Prove how good you are by finding all of the parable pieces and unlock the back story for Rapunzel, the Kingdom of Floralia and other important characters or locations within the game. Finally, test your object finding skills by locating all of the morphing objects!
Can you stop the spread of the deadly pollen!? Play now on PC and MAC.
Konami has resurrected Sword & Poker.  Now known as Swords & Poker Adventures, this is a free-to-play reimagining of Gaia Co.’s poker-meets-RPG original. And looking at its new Candy-Crush-ified level layout, replete with energy system and two-tiered currency, it can be easy to groan about what Konami has done to this game. But don’t – the core game is a ton of fun, even for those just diving in, and it does a lot to mitigate our pay-to-win fears, letting players buy their way out of the energy system completely.
Swords and Poker Adventures Guide When Use Wildcard 
The combat is a take on standard poker rules. Games take place on a 5×5 grid, with 9 cards laid out in a 3×3 grid on the center. Players are dealt 4 cards, with 2 always showing to the opponent, and must form hands by laying 2 cards down on each side of the cards on the center (and not, say, on the bottom row, even if there are 3 cards in the center). The better the poker hand, the more damage it does. This is further affected by the weapon that’s equipped, causing some hands to be worth more or less, or to cause special effects to the opponent. Armor can protect from some early damage, and players can equip magic spells that will make some hands stronger, let players steal cards, and offer up other effects.
The role-playing game elements of course come in with the weapon-buying, purchasing health upgrades and buying additional armor. That said, many items are locked until reaching a certain point in the game’s progression.
Thankfully you won’t mind grinding your way to new items, because the combat is a ton of fun. There’s that element of chaos that comes from not knowing what the next poker hand will bring, but also, there’s an element of strategy in trying to block off the opponent’s moves based on the two cards that they’re showing. As a round goes on, it’s possible to make multiple hands by playing the diagonals, so by being smart about when these are triggered, it’s possible to deal out massive damage at once.
Swords and Poker Adventures Guide Max Combo 
Just like real poker, it’s about who can manage their luck – and knowing that sometimes, passing is better than playing a bad hand.
As part of its transition to free-to-play, Swords & Poker Adventures has an energy system, with progressive enemies requiring increasing amounts of energy in order to fight them. Or if you’d rather, there’s the ability to just buy out of the system for $4.99.
I recommend buying it as soon as possible, as playing this game unencumbered is well worth it. Otherwise, it’s difficult to even beat an entire level without exhausting the energy supply. If the unlimited energy buy-in was more than $4.99, it might be a tough sell. But it feels like it’s in the sweet spot here. If the game had put up a paywall at a specific level and required a $4.99 buy-in to advance, it would feel just as fair.
Of course, if you’d rather play without paying at all, the option is there. It’s an extremely tedious option, but an option nonetheless.
And the game does make spending hard currency a persistent threat, offering boosts, healing, and other items exclusively through “gems.”  Still, the game makes it difficult to buy one’s way to success, as many items are locked behind level-walls. Buying multiple spells to use on a single match still means that only one can be used per round. This is a free-to-play game where it’s possible to buy small advantages, but not outright victory.
Do you enjoy spending your free time spinning the slots on your mobile device, anticipating a big win? How can you ensure that you’re getting the best bang for your virtual buck? Throw out the bar and seven slots from yesteryear, and check out these top five features to look for when choosing your social slot game for your mobile device.

1. Community

The lure of a real casino comes from the thrill of chance, the excitement of winning and the fun that comes from sharing it with others. Choose a game with a large community, so you can get even closer to community scatters (group payouts).  The more people playing, the more you win as a group.

2. Rich Graphics

With the increase of mobile slot games coming to market (expected to make up 46% of mobile game categories in 2014), playing with weak visuals isn’t an option. To bring home the excitement of Vegas, rich animations and “big win” celebrations are crucial to create the level of excitement loyal slotters crave.

3. Auto-Spin

Keeping your finger on the trigger can be a drag when you’re zipping through several hours of gameplay. Auto Spin allows you to set your bet and keep spinning while you sit back and watch your winnings grow.

4. More Pay Lines

More lines mean more ways to win! You should be looking for at least 9 pay lines.  Some machines offer up to 25 lines. 

5. Special Bonus Features

Seek out a game with expanded wilds, win multipliers and/or mini games to keep your gameplay diverse and exciting and to increase your earnings.
Hot off the success of Dark Dimensions: Somber Song, Daily Magic Productions has just unveiled their latest game! This time, it’s the start of a brand new series called Ominous Objects.
Ominous Objects: Family Portrait has been in development at Daily Magic for quite some time. After many hardships, an entire world’s worth of revisions, and many long nights spent pouring over every detail, Ominous Objects has reached its final form. It is a truly unique and exciting new adventure.
Instead of becoming lost in an ancient maze or sucked into a dark dimension, the Ominous Objects games will challenge players to solve the mystery of cursed objects that threaten their lives.
In Family Portrait, the paintings in your new home have come to life, unleashing monsters, creating traps, and opening portals to another world. You play as a father trying to save his family from the clutches of the mysterious force behind these paintings. However, unlike Daily Magic’s other adventures, this time you won’t be alone.
Meet Mr. Jenkins! He’s a clever young cat who belongs to your children in the game. Once you find him inside your house, he’ll perch on your toolbar and accompany you wherever you go. Have you ever found yourself facing an obstacle in a game that’s difficult for a human to overcome? Have you ever wished that you were much shorter or more agile? That’s where Mr. Jenkins comes in!
But you might be asking yourself why did Daily Magic choose a cat as the player’s companion? After all, felines aren’t known for being particularly helpful – unless, of course, there’s a tasty treat being offered to them. However, in this case, you could say that this cat actually chose Daily Magic!
That’s right! Mr. Jenkins is actually based off a real cat, or more accurately, several cats. While they were in the beginning stages of designing the game, the development team kept encountering Siamese Himalayan cats. One developer spotted one crossing the street, while another dreamed of one! When they discussed these encounters, yet another developer revealed that they owned a similar cat as a pet. These experiences alone were strange coincidences, but what happened next was almost magical.
One Monday morning, as the team entered the office, they were greeted by a beautiful Siamese Himalayan cat staring up at them, as if to welcome them. To this day, no one knows for sure how the cat even got into the office, because all of the windows and doors were locked! After the cat presented itself to Daily Magic, it wandered away, leaving just as mysteriously as it had arrived. This strange event led to the creation of Mr. Jenkins, who has wriggled his way into the hearts of the development team and even onto their desks!
The people at Daily Magic believe that great games are made when the developers put pieces of themselves into a game. The hearts of every artist and programmer are embedded deeply into each location, character, and mini-game that you will see in the game. Ominous Objects: Family Portrait was a labor of love, and the development team sincerely hopes that you will enjoy their hard work.
Big Fish is proud to announce this week’s release of Cascade on iPhone and iPad. Download for free and start playing today!
Cascade is THE game that will finally help everyone break their Candy Crush sweet tooth! With 140 handcrafted puzzles to solve, Cascade is a Match-3 game that combines a unique mash-up of skill and luck with a slots machine mechanic. This combination results in a game that is both familiar and entirely unique, requiring both strategy and luck.

How to play: You match the available gems in the vertical column above each crate in groups of 3 or more. If you run out of matches simply hit the SPIN button to swap out the gems in your crates. Each level comes with specific goals to achieve as well as a set number of available spins.
You only need 1 star to advance to the next level! To prove you’re REALLY good at the game, strategize your matches to earn more points and more stars…with 3 stars being the maximum for each level! If you do get stuck on a puzzle, there are a variety of boosts that you can use to make things a little simpler, and a daily spin wheel that awards free boosts.
The story of Cascade has you journeying alongside Jasper, a mole participating in the Great Cascade Gem Rush. Accompany Jasper through 10 hand-painted lands and meet his wildlife friends: bears, arctic foxes, and an otter who LOVES kayaking. Just as Jasper has friends, Cascade comes with social features that allow players to invite their Facebook friends to enjoy the fun, send each other gifts, and compete for the high score in the Daily Challenge. However, you don’t need to participate in ‘friending’ to successfully play Cascade. Each hand-crafted puzzle is quick and fun so you can play anywhere, anytime, by yourself or with your friends, and for as long as you want!
Cascade is available now for free on iPhone and iPad!
With new lands, characters, obstacles, and gems being added each month it’s a never-ending cascade of fun (pun intended)! Cascade is available now for free on iPhone and iPad!


Check out my quick look at the new Match 3 game Cascade! I fill you in on some of my favorite parts of the game, and explain how cute I think Jasper the Mole is.  I seriously want a spin-off cartoon series! Who’s with me?
Cascade is available now for free on iPhone and iPad!