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Pokemon photo
Pokemon

These Bulbasaur planters are pretty adorable


Oddish too!
Feb 06
// Kyle MacGregor
I've never been into gardening, but these Bulbasaur planters have convinced me to give it a shot. The design is just too perfect; after seeing it, I had to snap one up right away. If you're interested in following suit, ...
XSEED photo
XSEED

Return to PopoloCrois gets March 1 release date


At least in North America
Feb 06
// Kyle MacGregor
Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale launches on March 1 in North America. While XSEED will release the"farming-flavored" role-playing game in both physical and digital form across North America, Marvelous...
ATLUS photo
ATLUS

The Legend of Legacy is out now in Europe


Ribbit
Feb 06
// Kyle MacGregor
The Legend of Legacy is now available across Europe, NIS America has announced. I wasn't too fond of the role-playing game when it launched in North America last fall, finding it to be a repetitive experience without muc...
Platinum Games photo
Platinum Games

Platinum didn't want to make licensed games


Not at first, anyway
Feb 05
// Kyle MacGregor
Platinum Games has been in business for nearly 10 years, and in that time the studio has changed a great deal. The development team has tripled in size since 2006, and, in more recent history, transitioned from just making or...

Square Enix photo
Square Enix

Square Enix's Adventures of Mana is out now


For mobile worldwide, PS Vita in Japan
Feb 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Adventures of Mana, a remake of the Game Boy classic Final Fantasy Adventure -- the first entry in Square Enix's Mana series, is now available worldwide on iOS and Android for $14 / £10.50 / €14. Of course, there's also a PlayStation Vita version, but for some reason it's exclusive to Japan.
Odin Sphere photo
Odin Sphere

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir hits Europe in June


Same as North America
Feb 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Vanillaware's Odin Sphere remake is coming to Europe this June, NIS America just announced. The PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita action RPG will be available both at retail and via the PlayStation Store with...
PS VITA photo
PS VITA

See Nippon Ichi Software's new game in action


Rose and the Old Caste of Twilight
Feb 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Curious what Rose and the Old Castle of Twilight looks like in motion? Well, you're in luck. NIS has released the first footage of its upcoming puzzle game, and, yep, it sure does look a lot like its predecessor,&nb...
Toukiden photo
Toukiden

Toukiden 2 looks, well, like this


Devilishly good-looking
Feb 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Toukiden 2 was announced at Tokyo Game Show last fall, but little else has been revealed about Omega Force's upcoming demon-hunting game in the months since then.  That is, until now. Koei Tecmo has opened the open-world...
Pokemon photo
Pokemon

Game Freak nearly lost Pokemon Red and Green


Major technical difficulties
Feb 04
// Kyle MacGregor
This month is Pokémon's 20th anniversary, which seems like as good an opportunity as any for the development team to share some memories of their time working on the series over the years. Game Freak's Junichi Masuda h...
Indie Games photo
Indie Games

Telepaint is the Titan Souls team's next game


'Portal meets Lemmings'
Feb 04
// Kyle MacGregor
And the follow-up to Titan Souls is... a puzzle game for iOS. Bet you didn't see that one coming! Described as "Portal meets Lemmings," Telepaint is about moving buckets of walking paint through increasingly co...
PS4 photo
PS4

Doujin hack-and-slash coming to PS4 this month


Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae
Feb 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Doujinsoft studio Zenith Blue's Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae is coming to PlayStation 4 in North America on February 16, Japanese indie game publisher Playism announced today via the PlayStation Blog. A word of warning, as someone w...
Miitomo photo
Miitomo

Nintendo's first mobile app and new rewards program launch in March


Miitomo and My Nintendo are almost here
Feb 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Nintendo's first mobile app, Miitomo, and its new rewards program, My Nintendo, are launching next month, the company's Japanese leadership revealed in an investors meeting today. Miitomo, a Tomodachi Life-esqu...
JRPG photo
JRPG

Sega JRPG coming to Americas this summer


For Nintendo 3DS
Feb 03
// Kyle MacGregor
7th Dragon III Code: VFD is coming to the Americas this summer, Sega has announced. Despite being the fourth entry in the 7th Dragon series, Code: VFD will be the first to release in the West, as the 2009 Nintendo D...

Review: Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel

Feb 02 // Kyle MacGregor
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel (PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: ExamuPublisher: Marvelous, XSEED GamesReleased: December 10, 2015 (JP), February 2, 2016 (NA), Early 2016 (EU)MSRP: $29.99 (PS3), $39.99 (PS4) Following in the footsteps of the aforementioned Persona 4 Arena and Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, Nitroplus Blasterz markets itself as a game that is easy to pick up, but difficult to master. Targeting both fighting game enthusiasts and Nitroplus fans that might have never thrown a dragon punch, it attempts to walk a line between something players from both camps can get behind. I'd argue that line is drawn a little closer to the hardcore side of things. While the inputs for special attacks and super moves are relatively easy to execute in contrast with some one-on-one fighters, if you're the sort of person who struggles to pull off quarter circle motions, you're probably in for a bad time. That said, there are certain concessions for more casual players, like the "Variable Rush," a special lunge attack that launches characters into a short-lived combo. If the Variable Rush connects, players can essentially button mash to execute a customizable string of impressive-looking attacks that change depending on which face buttons are pressed. It's not necessarily the most effective use of meter (costing two of three power bars), but it's easy to execute and reasonably effective. Beyond the standard light, medium, and heavy attacks are launching "Heavy Action" moves and "Escape Actions," which, depending on directional inputs, can be used to perform everything from short hops, cancels, rolls, air dashes, and defensive maneuvers. One of the more interesting (and useful) Escape Actions is the "Vanishing Guard," which negates chip damage when blocking and, if pressed at the right moment, acts as a parry, giving the user a momentary advantage over the enemy to strike back or get away. Vanishing Guard has its limitations, though, as it can only block either high or low, leaving one angle open for enemies to exploit. [embed]337261:62032:0[/embed] Of course, each character has plenty of unique special and super moves, as well as a single "Lethal Blaze" attack, which, for the price of full meter, triggers a fighter-specific mini-cutscene that unleashes an assault powerful enough to turn the tide of a one-sided match or swiftly end a nail-biter. Lethal Blaze also can be wielded as a trump card by taking priority over other attacks. There are a couple other minor systems at play, but I want to talk about the characters. The main roster contains twelve main combatants, including the sword-wielding Saber (Fate/Zero), ranged fighters Saya and Anna, cat-throwing Nitroplus mascot Super Sonico, zone-controlling Ein, Spider-Man-esque Muramasa, grappling Ethica, and Ouka, a heavy-hitting robotic walking crucifix. While there isn't a male character in the bunch, the cast is very diverse in terms of mechanics, so players shouldn't have trouble finding at least one or two characters that suits their tastes and personal play-style. But the fun only begins with the core cast. In addition to main characters, players will also take into battle two (of twenty) additional partners that can significantly impact how a match unfolds. Each partner comes has a unique move -- and I mean unique. One rides a hang-glider in from off-screen, aiming to crash into your opponent, while others can summon overwhelming swarms of minions, like zombies or bugs. Another sends in a barrage of missiles from the sky, and a few don't attack at all, instead doing things like giving both sides a bar of meter or placing buffs in the middle of a stage, impelling players to play tug-o'-war over the bonuses. The partner blitz attacks recall the arcana system from developer Examu's Arcana Heart series, which allows players to accent their character with different abilities and gives the game an added level of strategy. In my time online with the online mode (which, by the way, is fine -- if a tad spartan), I noticed a pattern of opponents picking partners to counter one another, as the impacts their assist attacks provide can mean the difference between victory and defeat. I can imagine high-level competitors spending a lot of time working out which partners are best in particular spots and situations, offering an incredible amount of depth for those who seek it. In addition to that added level of complexity, Examu also left its mark on Nitroplus Blasterz by allowing Aino, one of the characters from its Arcana Heart series, to join the roster as a DLC character along with Senran Kagura's Homura. While I haven't spent as much time with them as the rest of the cast (they were not available pre-release), I've enjoyed the few matches I've been able to use them in and could easily see one becoming one of my mains, along with Anna and Saber. Since both Aino and Homura are free for the first week following the game's launch, that provides a little added incentive for interested parties to pick the game up early. While I'm certain some players will balk at the dearth of bonus features or collectibles, that sort of stuff (along with the visual novel-style "Another Story" mode) doesn't really interest me. I'm more than content with your standard arcade, score attack, network, and versus modes if the gameplay is solid -- and it is. That's where I derive my enjoyment from. And I appreciate added perks like cross-platform and cross-region play, so I can compete against players on PlayStation 3 and people from other countries. Even though I still have no idea who most of these characters are, that didn't end up mattering to me in the end. Nitroplus Blasterz is a fast, smooth, strategic, and generally entertaining fighting game that has found a happy medium between accessibility and depth. Provided a decent-sized community builds around the game, this is a fighter I could see myself enjoying for a long time to come. [This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.]
Nitroplus Blasterz Review photo
No nostalgia necessary
I recently attended a tribute night at a local brewery, where musicians were invited to serenade patrons with songs from the '70s. Early on that evening, I glanced around the darkened beer hall to discover I was a few decades...

LEGO Star Wars photo
LEGO Star Wars

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a thing that's happening


Because of course it is
Feb 02
// Kyle MacGregor
In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, the next entry in Warner Bros. and TT Games' popular LEGO video game series is based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While the companies presumably would have liked to a...
Korean MMO photo
Korean MMO

Black Desert Online launches March 3


For North America, Oceania, Europe*
Feb 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Black Desert Online, the Korean MMO famed for its extravagant character creator, is launching in North America, Oceania, and some European regions on March 3, Daum Games announced today. Until then, prospective players can do...

Podtoid 321: Witness the Rise of Bombshell

Feb 01 // Kyle MacGregor
[embed]338048:62073:0[/embed] Recent Episodes: Podtoid 320: Grandma is a Climate Denier Podtoid 319: Kangaroo Hotdish Podtoid 318: Oculus Butt Plug Podtoid 317: Sad Christmas Podtoid 316: My Bowels Are Strange Want to help the show? Send questions to [email protected] or leave a comment below.
PODCAST photo
ソーセージ トイレ
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or download it here. This week, the Podtoid cabal is once again joined by our dear friend Hayden Dingman to chat about The Witness, Street Fighter V, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Bombshell. 

Platinum Games photo
Platinum Games

Xbox boss discusses Scalebound delay


Time for polish and time to breathe
Jan 31
// Kyle MacGregor
Earlier this month, Platinum Games announced that its Xbox exclusive Scalebound wouldn't be hitting its "Holiday 2016" release window and would instead release in 2017. Speaking with IGN, Xbox senior marketing director Aaron ...
Falcom photo
Falcom

Ys VIII screenshots? Ys please!


Debuting in Japan this summer
Jan 31
// Kyle MacGregor
Nihon Falcom recently opened up an official website for Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, the next entry in the studio's brilliant action RPG series, and with it comes new information and pretty pictures. This particular adventure ...
Mistwalker photo
Mistwalker

Mistwalker shares concept art for unannounced project


Terra Battle console game, is that you?
Jan 31
// Kyle MacGregor
Last week, Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi gave a master class presentation at the University of Hawaii's West Oahu campus as part of a series of talks aimed to increase students' understanding of the business of con...
Umihara Kawase photo
Umihara Kawase

Umihara Kawase will return to Steam soon


Hopefully this week
Jan 31
// Kyle MacGregor
Umihara Kawase will "hopefully" return to Steam "this week," Degica told Destructoid today. In case you're wondering why it's making a comeback, the platformer trilogy was delisted from Valve's storefront in December followin...
Square Enix photo
Square Enix

Adventures of Mana drops February 4


For mobile platforms (and Vita in Japan)
Jan 31
// Kyle MacGregor
Square Enix's Adventures of Mana is launching worldwide for iOS and Android on February 4, the company has announced. And because we can't have nice things, a PlayStation Vita version will be available the same day, but ...
Final Fantasy photo
Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy XV release date coming March 30


Announcements of announcements
Jan 31
// Kyle MacGregor
[Update: New screens are in the gallery below.] In case you're chomping at the bit to find out when you're going to find out when Final Fantasy XV is coming out, well then chomp no further. Square Enix is hosting an event on ...
Smash Bros. photo
Smash Bros.

Bayonetta and Corrin hit Smash Bros. next week


New fighters debut on February 3
Jan 31
// Kyle MacGregor
Bayonetta and Fire Emblem Fates protagonist Corrin will join the Super Smash Bros. roster on Wednesday, February 3 in North America and Thursday, February 4 across Europe and Japan, Nintendo announced today at the fighting ga...
Evil publisher fight photo
Evil publisher fight

Ubisoft and EA clash over 'Ghost' trademark


Ghost Recon vs. Ghost Games
Jan 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Publishers Ubisoft and Electronic Arts are primed to go to war over the word "ghost." The former filed a Notice of Opposition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office this Friday, disputing a pair of trademark appli...
JRPG photo
JRPG

PS Vita JRPG Stranger of Sword City delayed


Now coming in late April
Jan 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Stranger of Sword City's PlayStation Vita release is being pushed back a month. Initially planned for a late March debut, the portable dungeon crawler is now expected to arrive in North America on April 26. A E...
Falcom photo
Falcom

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is out now across Europe


For PS3 and Vita
Jan 30
// Kyle MacGregor
A month after its North American release in December, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is now available across Europe, courtesy of NIS America. I haven't had a chance to crack open my copy just yet, but it's definit...

Podtoid 320: Grandma is a Climate Denier

Jan 25 // Kyle MacGregor
[embed]336366:61968:0[/embed] Recent Episodes: Podtoid 319: Kangaroo Hotdish Podtoid 318: Oculus Butt Plug Podtoid 317: Sad Christmas Podtoid 316: My Bowels Are Strange Podtoid 315: Happy Wife, Happy Life Want to help the show? Send questions to [email protected] or leave a comment below.
PODCAST photo
Bless her heart
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or download it here. Podtoid is back with another 56 minutes of witty banter spanning lovely topics like The Big Short, Hollywood racism, unwanted Steam gifts, Darren's grandma, Lost Odyssey, Oxenfree, The Witness, Destiny, Donski's bizarre yearning for a Guitar Hero remaster, and other things too, probably.

Marvelous photo
Marvelous

Here's your first look at Senran Kagura creator's new Vita game in action


Introducing Uppers
Jan 25
// Kyle MacGregor
Well now, this looks wild. That was my initial impression of Uppers, the latest game from XSEED parent Marvelous. With its over-the-top street fighting, the new brawler has a bit of a Yakuza feel to it. You know, if Yak...

The evolution of doujin brawler Croixleur

Jan 24 // Kyle MacGregor
To say Croixleur has come a long way since I first encountered the game three years ago would be a massive understatement. The original PC release, or at least the localized version boutique publisher Nyu Media released in January 2013, was light on content and rough around the edges. Inspired by Devil May Cry's Bloody Palace mode, the game initially starred the red-haired Lucrezia, a young noblewoman on a quest to fight her way through a gauntlet of arena battles known as the Adjuvant Trial. While the story was largely inconsequential, the experience of fighting my way up the Nitro Towers and racing against the clock (the story mode must be completed in fifteen minutes or less) was a downright enjoyable, arcadey romp -- and one hell of a challenge. While it certainly took me more (much more) than one attempt to successfully complete the main campaign, once I did, I discovered there wasn't much else to the game other than bonus modes, like score attack and survival, to flesh out the package. It left something to be desired. [embed]336428:61974:0[/embed] That situation improved when Souvenir Circ. debuted the initial version of Croixleur Sigma at Comiket 85, introducing a new playable character, more weapons, a second story mode, two-player co-op, a new challenge mode, voice acting, online leaderboards, and mild visual upgrades. Don't get me wrong, it was (and still is) a simplistic game, but that extra content went a long way toward making Croixleur feel less like a severed bonus mode and more like its own game. The recent PlayStation 4 and forthcoming PlayStation Vita versions improve the experience even more, though, giving the game a dramatic facelift, both in terms of content and visuals. Souvenir Circ. went back and gave the game a completely fresh lick of paint, adding shine and detail to what was once a dull-looking game. Lucrezia and friends certainly clean up nicely. Speaking of those friends, the PlayStation version also includes a pair of new faces, both of which come with 30-minute campaigns that make the original game feel like a cakewalk. Between those and the new 50-floor dungeon mode, the game is definitely no longer hurting for content. And on top of that, there's a myriad of useful new equipment to collect, incentivizing repeat playthroughs. Pulling up the original game and playing it side by side with the new PlayStation release, it's nice to see how far Croixleur has come over the years. And I'm happy to have been along for the ride.
Doujin Dojo photo
From Alpha to Sigma
Doujin Dojo is a sporadic column dedicated to spotlighting independent games from Japan and the people that make them. In the years I've been following Comiket, Japan's biannual indie media festival, one thing ...


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