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Console owners should keep an eye on Nova-111

Jordan Devore, Managing News Editor - Destructoid
15 minutes ago - 3:00 PM on 09.19.2014
Console owners should keep an eye on Nova-111  photo

Funktronic Labs' cool turn-based/real-time hybrid adventure game Nova-111 was originally slated for PC/Mac/Linux first, followed by consoles at a later date, but that's no longer the case. The studio is partnering with Curve Digital to achieve a simultaneous 2015 release on those platforms as well as PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, and even Wii U (!!!).

I was curious about Nova-111 after reading Brett's preview and made sure to set time aside to try it at PAX. It's terrific! But, unfortunately, it's one of those games that doesn't entirely "click" until you're playing it for yourself, learning the mechanics first hand. Even videos don't do it justice.

Your character moves one tile at a time in a sort of turn-based fashion, as do some of the enemies, but there are also elements -- like falling spikes, or explosions -- that occur in real time. Very distinct feel. I was also a fan of the ability upgrades, because upgrades rock.

Anyway, that's the game in a nutshell. Try to keep it on your radar -- should be something special.




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A quick guide to all four Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel skill trees

Darren Nakamura, Contributor - Destructoid
1 hour ago - 2:00 PM on 09.19.2014
A quick guide to all four Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel skill trees photo

In case you have not yet heard, the full, interactive skill trees for all four of the Vault Hunters in the upcoming Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel have been released for public consumption.

Some of the mathematics governing the skill trees has been tweaked for the Pre-Sequel, so in contrast with Borderlands 2, these new Vault Hunters will be able to reach the end of two of their three skill trees before hitting the initial level cap of 50.

Most people looking forward to the title had already decided on which character to main, but now we can all make more educated decisions. In my case, I am sure I will eventually play them all. So after reading every skill carefully, imagining how it will all play out on the battlefield, and spending far too much time tweaking skill points, I have come up with proposed builds for how I expect to play each of the new characters.



Nice! Housemarque's Outland is coming to Steam

Jordan Devore, Managing News Editor - Destructoid
2 hour ago - 1:00 PM on 09.19.2014

Back in 2011, Super Stardust HD and Resogun developer Housemarque released an action-platformer called Outland for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. It's coming to Steam on September 29, priced at $9.99/£6,99, with improvements like a revised checkpoint system.

Outland is perhaps best remembered for its Ikaruga-esque light-and-dark mechanic, which allowed players to switch their alignment to pass through projectiles. Definitely worth a look for folks who enjoy open-ended platformers. The PC version will cost $9.99/£6.99.



Thomas Was Alone hopping on over to PlayStation 4

Kyle MacGregor, Contributor - Destructoid
2 hour ago - 12:30 PM on 09.19.2014
Thomas Was Alone hopping on over to PlayStation 4 photo

Thomas Was Alone is making the leap to PS4 later this year, Curve Studios announced this week.

The PS4 version will feature cross-buy compatibility with the PS3 and Vita iterations, so veterans will be able to upgrade at no additional cost. Curve also notes the indie platformer's downloadable expansion Benjamin's Flight will also be available on the new platform.

No word yet on the supposed Wii U and Xbox One ports. But if it's coming to PS4...

Thomas Was Alone Coming Soon to PS4 [PlayStation Blog]



Tales of Zestiria's combat is fast and furious

Elliot Gay, Contributor - Destructoid
3 hour ago - 12:00 PM on 09.19.2014
Tales of Zestiria's combat is fast and furious photo

Ask most Tales fans what game has their absolute favorite version of the Linear Motion Battle System (LMBS), and you're likely to get a wide variety of answers. Some prefer the 2D combat from the Tales of Destiny PS2 remake and its sequel, while others hold up Tales of Graces F as representative of the direction the system should go. While I wasn't a huge fan of the latter game, I adored its fast paced, technical combat, and was let down when I eventually played through Tales of Xillia. It wasn't necessarily bad, it just wasn't what I wanted from the series.

I had heard that Tales of Zestiria would be borrowing major elements from Graces' combat, and after ten minutes of time with the TGS demo, I can definitely see the similarities. 



Turn-based JRPG Zodiac's MMO-inspired multiplayer explained

Steven Hansen, Features Editor - Destructoid
4 hours ago - 11:00 AM on 09.19.2014
Turn-based JRPG Zodiac's MMO-inspired multiplayer explained  photo

Once you get past the beautiful artwork and big names -- Final Fantasy composer Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy XII), series scenario writer Kazushige Nojima (Final Fantasy VII) -- Zodiac does start to raise some questions.

One such question bursts like a xenomorph after you read, "Final Fantasy meets Valkyrie Profile and Dragon's Crown" and then read, "in a new online multiplayer experience."

Zodiac is best played in real time with friends because otherwise your party (three or four) will be composed of AI characters that make their own decisions. You fill your party with any of your friends' most recently synced character, which gives them experience points when they log back in. While you can hang out with friend data based on whom you like best, you might want to pick someone classed in an element you're not skilled in. While you can change your class in real time, AI characters will stay at their initially chosen class, so it's best to have someone actually playing with you.

Of course, you might be less inclined to play with pals once you realize that the party leader is the one who actually moves through over world areas, interacting with NPCs, engaging with enemies, and solving the mild puzzle elements. Everyone else is along for the ride until a battle starts and their turn comes up. Multiplayer is encouraged, but paradoxically a bit less interesting for anyone not in the driver's seat. This is more Guild Wars than Dragon's Crown, though, and maybe later info on things like raids, which include multiple groups of parties fighting enemies, will make for some engaging enough, strategic turn-based battles.



Sega to publish Persona 4 Ultimax in Europe

Kyle MacGregor, Contributor - Destructoid
4 hours ago - 10:45 AM on 09.19.2014
Sega to publish Persona 4 Ultimax in Europe photo

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is coming to Europe this November, courtesy of Sega.

The fighter's release will mark the first occasion Sega acts as a distributor for Atlus since the publisher acquired the Shin Megami Tensei studio last September. Hopefully this will become standard operating procedure for the companies, as Atlus doesn't have European offices and could sorely use a reliable partner on the continent.

For instance, the original Persona 4 Arena took nearly two years to land on European shores. After missing its initial release date, the title was hit with a lengthy delay. By comparison, a couple months is a relatively short wait in contrast with what players have previously endured.

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax hits PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in North America on September 30.



Destiny's vehicle heavy 'Combined Arms' playlist starts today

Chris Carter, Reviews Director - Destructoid
4 hours ago - 10:30 AM on 09.19.2014
Destiny's vehicle heavy 'Combined Arms' playlist starts today photo

If you're looking to play Destiny this weekend, you can take part in a limited time multiplayer playlist in The Crucible called "Combined Arms." It basically features increased heavy ammo drops as well as extra vehicles. Sadly, the playercount isn't increased, and remains at six per team.

Xur, the unique vendor that only appears over the weekend, can now be found near the Speaker's area, directly across from the entrance to his chambers. You'll also find an attached list of upcoming events.



Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus hits Vita next month

Kyle MacGregor, Contributor - Destructoid
4 hours ago - 10:15 AM on 09.19.2014

Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus is cutting a trail to North America on October 14, XSEED Games announced today. The PlayStation Vita brawler will strike Europe the very next day.

The story is a continuation of Senran Kagura Burst, wherein groups of teenage ninja girls fight one another with stuff like giant frogs and huge stacks of pancakes. You know, because reasons.



Project Morpheus seems to be lagging behind Oculus Rift a bit

Brett Makedonski, Contributor - Destructoid
5 hours ago - 10:00 AM on 09.19.2014
Project Morpheus seems to be lagging behind Oculus Rift a bit photo

As the virtual reality races wages on, different prototypes keep coming out for Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift. I had yet another chance to play two new titles on Project Morpheus at Tokyo Game Show. While they were certainly unique in their own right, it’s tough not to feel as if Oculus is a bit ahead of Sony’s project.

The first game that we played was The Deep – a shark attack simulator. Ascending from the depths of the ocean in a deep sea cage, I had a first-person view of an angry shark as he tried relentlessly to rip the vessel apart and feast. I’m sure I’m delicious, but I didn’t want it to find out.

I was equipped with a gun that fired flare-like projectiles, which could be aimed based on the positioning of the DualShock 4. Unfortunately, I don’t think these shots were actually effective in any way, and were only included to make the experience interactive. Still, it was fairly incredible to watch the shark lurk, circling the cage and slowly ripping it apart.

By the end of the ride, I made it to the surface intact. The finale held one last, grand attack in which I was sure the demo would end grimly. It didn’t, as the shark gave up and went back to the deep unknown to terrorize other unlucky creatures.



Explaining 4th dimension mechanics in translation is probably hard

Steven Hansen, Features Editor - Destructoid
5 hours ago - 9:30 AM on 09.19.2014

Tokyo Game Show held its annual Sense of Wonder Night, an awards show for unique sorts of games, typically indie. Ten games were up for the prestige of being the most wonderful (in the less casual sense of the word). 

We were only able to pop in for the last three. First was Chained, a moody puzzle game from three students that involves lugging around a ball and chain. Despite the usual "horrible nagging wife" cliche the phrase evokes, it's meant to be all metaphorical for any negative attachment people drag around, which is why the team designed a lead character that "just about everyone can relate to" (well, men, anyways).

Then there was Expand, a minimalistic puzzle game about moving a pink square through a changing black and white labyrinth.

Last -- and likely hardest for the translator to deal with -- was four dimensional puzzle game Miegakure, which has been in development for a number of years still. Probably because it's rather confusing. Developer Marc ten Bosch basically gave the same explanation as the above video, plus showed off one more puzzle that involved linking two solid square blocks. I kind of get it.

To encourage the participants showing off their games, including the ones we missed, attendees were give this squeaky gavel. At any moment, one or two shakes could give way to a round of high pitched waka waka waka from the crowd. I'd like to reserve my waka waka waka for the translator who translated ten Bosch's heady puzzler.







Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate brings a lot of verticality to the table

Brett Makedonski, Contributor - Destructoid
6 hours ago - 9:00 AM on 09.19.2014
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate brings a lot of verticality to the table photo

When the west finally gets Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate -- what Capcom calls "the most complete version of 4 that it'll get" -- players are going to need to turn their attention to the layering of the game. Rather than solely ground-level areas, Ultimate features plenty of ledges to climb up and to hop onto monsters' backs from. That's the big difference from the Monster Hunter you may already know and love.

Gone are the water terrains, which Capcom called "controversial." The newly placed emphasis on vertical play replaces them, in what is kind of the "hook" for the game. However, that doesn't mean Capcom expects the same mixed reception. The opposite, in fact. It anticipates that players will welcome the verticality because it's fluidly interwoven into play. Small ledges will be automatically ascended, and larger ones will actually take some effort to climb.

With this new information in mind, a party of four of us set off to best the Daimyo Hermitaur -- a giant crab-like creature. Equipped with a weapon called the Insect Glaive, one of our members sent insects toward our target to retrieve essences from him. The Insect Glaive also served a second (and more fun) purpose. It can be used to pole vault on top of a monster and ride him into temporary submission.



Resident Evil: Revelations 2 raises more questions than answers

Brett Makedonski, Contributor - Destructoid
7 hours ago - 8:00 AM on 09.19.2014
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 raises more questions than answers photo

My time with Resident Evil: Revelations 2 at Tokyo Game Show was brief -- maybe 20 minutes if we're being generous. Swiftly dumped into the beginning of the game, I was left to try to unravel the mystery of what exactly was happening, an inquiry that went unsolved. It was predictable, though. There's a lot of story to tell over Revelations 2's month-long release of four installments in early 2015; they're not going to clue me in right from the get-go.

What I do know is that I woke up in a jail cell as Claire Redfield, the action protagonist of Revelations 2. She handles all the shooty/stabby parts, and her cohort Moira Burton handles all the investigation bits. Moira was similarly imprisoned close by, until I used Claire to free her. From then on, the two could be switched on-the-fly with a simple press of a button.

Seeing as it was the beginning of the game, this is where Revelations 2 did its best to acclimate players with the simpler mechanics. Here's a knife, stab stuff with it; here's a gun, it's used for shooting bad people. That sort of thing. After teaching me how to push shelving, a zombie burst through the other side, imploring me to punch him with my knife in his big dumb face.



Offscreen Tales of Zestiria footage shows rolling hills and fierce battles

Elliot Gay, Contributor - Destructoid
7 hours ago - 7:30 AM on 09.19.2014

I had the chance to go hands on with the latest in Bandai Namco's flagship RPG series, Tales of Zestiria. I came away from the demo feeling pretty excited for the fast paced combat, but I also managed to get a couple of offscreen videos of gameplay before it got too crowded at the booth. The first video shows off the main field in the demo as well as some combat. The quality starts out a little low but gets better toward the midway point. The second video shows off some more combat as a little bit of a town. 

I'm personally rather fond of how hilly the terrain is compared to the flat wilderness in both Xillia games. What do you folks think?

Full demo impressions coming a bit later.



First gameplay footage of Battleborn's cooperative campaign

Darren Nakamura, Contributor - Destructoid
8 hours ago - 7:00 AM on 09.19.2014

In a whopping 18-minute video released today, Gearbox Software's Andrew Goldfarb, Aaron Linde, and Randy Varnell discussed the factions and characters in the multiplayer shooter Battleborn, before showing off the first gameplay footage of a five-player cooperative mission from the campaign.

In what looks like the mission that Abel described the other day, we see the battle play out from the perspectives of characters Oscar Mike, Montana, Thorn, Miko, and Rath. Each fighter's standard attacks and special abilities are displayed, along with the simple leveling system and a bit of the team chatter.

The mission begins with an assault toward an objective, where it switches gears into a wave defense of the area. After that, some members of the team split off to destroy a new threat just before a boss shows up for all of the battleborn to converge upon. The demo ends with an vague visual introduction to the true enemies in the universe.

Battleborn is set to release in 2015 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.



Steven and I rode a carousel of loneliness at TGS

Brett Makedonski, Contributor - Destructoid
11 hours ago - 4:00 AM on 09.19.2014
Steven and I rode a carousel of loneliness at TGS photo

Steven and I took a few minutes out of our packed schedule of eating curry and playing videogames to ride a carousel at Tokyo Game Show. Don't tell Dale.