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Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

This fab looking Attack on Titan fangame has released its first playable alpha


Your move, Koei Tecmo
Jan 07
// Joe Parlock
If the wait for Koei Tecmo’s Attack on Titan game is too long for you, and you’ve already played Fenglee’s awesome fangame to death as I have, developer Guedin’s got you covered. Guedin has released t...
LOL SEGA photo
LOL SEGA

Phantasy Star Online 2 anime coming west


But not the game, obviously
Jan 02
// Kyle MacGregor
It's been close to four years since Sega announced Phantasy Star Online 2 for a western release, but, despite the game being available in English throughout Asia, we're still without a localization. In an amusing turn of even...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Here's lots and lots of spoiler-filled Attack on Titan screenshots


Very closely following the anime
Dec 22
// Joe Parlock
Koei Tecmo has released a whole shedload of new screenshots for its upcoming Attack on Titan game. They show off some new playable characters, as well as some more uh… spoilery things. If you don’t want spoilers,...
Sorry, Wii U photo
Sorry, Wii U

One Piece: Burning Blood slated for just about every console in the west


Sorry, Wii U
Dec 21
// Steven Hansen
One Piece: Burning Blood, announced for PS4 and Vita at Tokyo Game Show, has just been confirmed for 2016 release in North/South America and Europe, where it will be available on: PS4, Vita, Xbox One, and PC via Steam. The 5...
New logo explained photo
New logo explained

What the hell's up with that wild new Kojima Productions logo?


Pioneer spirit
Dec 16
// Steven Hansen
Hideo Kojima took former Metal Gear Solid artist Yoji Shinkawa with him to serve as the art director for Kojima Productions. The result? A Giger-looking logo much more in line with Shinkawa's style than the previous slick Koj...
Not just game developers photo
Not just game developers

Kojima Productions 'could consider movies, animations,' including del Toro collaboration


'Definitely interested' in VR, too
Dec 16
// Steven Hansen
Kojima Productions is not just a video game development company. The first project will be a game because that's what fans expect, but from there? "The focus is on digital content, so we could consider movies, animations, an...
GITS:SAC-FAO photo
GITS:SAC-FAO

Play class-based Ghost in the Shell shooter now on early access


GITS:SAC-FAO on Steam
Dec 14
// Steven Hansen
That Ghost in the Shell shooter I keep talking about, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - First Assault Online (GITS:SAC-FAO for short), is finally playable in its Early Access period on Steam or through Nexon's launch...
Yo-Kai Watch photo
Yo-Kai Watch

A third Yo-Kai Watch movie is coming next year


The train continues in Japan
Dec 07
// Chris Carter
When I was in Japan, Yo-Kai Watch was everywhere. Ads, merchandise, and even general chatter from locals was abound, and that massive impact doesn't seem to be slowing down at all for Level-5. It has just announced a thi...
Revenant Kingdom photo
New Level-5 RPG coming to PS4
I was just thinking recently about how quiet Level-5 has been with Ni no Kuni since 2013's Wrath of the White Witch and, well, there's that. During the PlayStation Experience, Namco Bandai (its international publisher) annou...

Danganronpa photo
Danganronpa

Danganronpa 3 is an anime, new Danganronpa game also coming


Danganronpa V3: The Phantom Pain
Dec 02
// Mike Cosimano
Two new Danganronpa projects have just been announced and I have no idea how I feel about either of them. For one, Danganronpa 3 is actually not a video game. It's an anime, subtitled The End of Hope's Peak, and wil...
JoJo photo
JoJo

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven could give me that 3D brawler fix


Remember The Bouncer?
Nov 27
// Chris Carter
CyberConnect2's newest JoJo's Bizarre game, Eyes of Heaven, is coming along nicely. It's set to debut on the PS3 and PS4 in Japan on December 17, and this clip should give you a general overview of what the game is trying to...
One-Punch Man photo
One-Punch Man

This champion recreated the One-Punch Man anime in Fallout 4


Go go Saitama
Nov 27
// Chris Carter
Similar to Kill la Kill and other animes throughout the years, One-Punch Man has been making the rounds on the Internet in the past few months due to its absurd premise and high-octane fight scenes. In essence, the...
Dengeki Bunko photo
Dengeki Bunko

The new Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax Ignition trailer shows the whole cast


I've only heard of about three of them
Nov 27
// Joe Parlock
When it’s not being an absurdly long name that’s a pain in the arse to type, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax Ignition is the updated version of Sony and Dengeki Bunko’s crossover fighting game. It released i...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan will be released in February in Japan


On PS3, PS4, and Vita
Nov 26
// Chris Carter
By way of a new trailer from Koei Tecmo, we now know that Attack on Titan will launch in Japan in February of 2016. It'll be released for the PS3, PS4, and Vita platforms, but what's particularly notable is that this is...
Tokyo School Life photo
Tokyo School Life

A couple of age-gated visual novels are on sale on Steam


Up to 40% off...the price
Nov 25
// Steven Hansen
You know, those weird ass god damn Clannad eyes got me thinking; I'm not sure about what, but I'll get back to you if I figure it out. Anyways, a couple more visual novels are on Steam and these ones at a more reasonable pric...
First Assault Online photo
First Assault Online

Ghost in the Shell shooter hits Steam next month


Team-based FPS
Nov 24
// Steven Hansen
The wonderfully named Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - First Assault Online -- GITS:SAC-FAO for short -- is coming to Steam some time in December. It will also be available through publisher Nexon's launcher. GITS:SA...
Clannad releases photo
Clannad releases

Clannad visual novel on Steam, briefly outsells Call of Duty


Cheap this week, too
Nov 24
// Steven Hansen
Visual novel Clannad released on PC in Japan back in 2004 and since spawned various adaptations, including an anime series. Publisher Sekai Project ran a Kickstarter last year for an official English release that was funded ...
One Piece photo
One Piece

Now that's a video game screenshot!


One Piece: Burning Blood
Nov 23
// Jordan Devore
You don't need to know the first thing about One Piece to enjoy this screenshot from Burning Blood, Spike Chunsoft's upcoming fighter for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PS Vita. A colorful robot fighting a dashing dinosaur? Thi...
Attack on Titan PS4 photo
Attack on Titan PS4

That new Attack on Titan game freaks me out


There can be no survivors
Nov 21
// Jordan Devore
It's not like I was going to sleep tonight, anyway, Attack on Titan. A handful of audio-less gameplay clips from Koei Tecmo's upcoming PS4, PS3, and PS Vita action game have surfaced on the official Japanese site. Lots of zooming around, slashing titan flesh. A couple of the videos are more mundane and feature the protagonists chatting with one another. Let's not focus on the mundane.
Yandere Simulator photo
Yandere Simulator

Read erotic manga to up your seduction game in Yandere Simulator


Killing Japanese school girls
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
It's been a bit since we checked in on Yandere Simulator, the Hitman-like stealth game "about stalking a boy and secretly eliminating any girl who seems interested in him, while maintaining the image of an innocent schoo...
Saint Seiya photo
Saint Seiya

A Saint Seiya: Soldier's Soul PC port will be released this month


Previously exclusive to Sony platforms
Nov 13
// Chris Carter
The Bandai Namco trend of porting to PC continues. Saint Seiya: Soldier's Soul is next up on the block, and is slated for a November 27 Steam release in North America. Previously, it was exclusive to the PS3 and PS4 plat...

Review: Sword Art Online: Lost Song

Nov 13 // Josh Tolentino
Sword Art Online: Lost Song (PS4, PS3, PS Vita [reviewed])Developer: ArtdinkPublisher: Bandai Namco GamesMSRP: $39.99 (Vita), $59.99 (PS4)Released: November 17, 2015 (NA), November 13, 2015 (EU), April 28, 2015 (SEA), March 26, 2015 (JP) [Note: This review is based on the English-language version of Lost Song released in Southeast Asia on April 28, 2015. While there may be some differences between this version and the North American/EU ones, we expect the core experience will be highly similar, if not identical.] Let's not mince words: Like its predecessor Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, Lost Song is meant for existing fans of Sword Art Online (or at least of Hollow Fragment), and few else outside that sphere. In fact, Lost Song's main plot virtually ensures that only those invested Kirito and the gang's adventures and interactions will find fulfillment from the game's narrative.  But first, an aside: When it came to the anime and novels, the reason the ALO-set story arcs felt so weak was the overriding sense that the show was treading water. In contrast to original's grand hook of "dying in the game means death for real", the goal of Kirito playing ALO to search for Asuna carried not nearly as much weight. This was exacerbated in the second season, which followed up an excellent murder mystery set in Gun Gale Online with Kirito and his pals literally just doing a raid and some quests in ALO for a nice sword. It came to pass that when ALO was onscreen, Sword Art Online became less about exciting adventures and speculative future game design than essentially watching a bunch of nonexistent Let's Players play a nonexistent game. Lost Song falls afoul of ALO's curse as well, with even its central story afflicted with the same sense of meandering and lack of stakes. Still placed in Hollow Fragment's alternative timeline (which saw the cast stuck in SAO for much longer than in the "canon", and adding characters like Sinon under different circumstances), Lost Song sees Kirito and his posse moving to ALfheim Online right on time for the game to debut "Svart ALfheim", its first expansion, consisting of five massive floating islands. Being the top-class gamers they are, the crew resolves to be the first to burn through it. [embed]318569:61096:0[/embed] The quest for "world-first" (a motivation familiar to anyone who's played an MMO) eventually brings them into conflict with Shamrock, a massive guild run by Seven, an idol/scientist (!) who's taking the opportunity run a big social experiment within ALO. If the whole premise of Lost Song's plot sounds like the kind of inter-guild "drama" that plays out on forums and social media feeds for actual games today, one wouldn't be too far off. This puts the bulk of the game's narrative appeal in the interactions between cast members new and old, told via entertaining Tales of-style vignettes, in-game events, and lengthy personal quests, some of which adapt storylines from the canon like the well-received "Mother's Rosario" arc. In a nice touch, these events are mostly encountered semi-randomly and often without explicit prompting. A minor thing, to be sure, but one that channels the "live" qualities of MMO play, where impromptu encounters and stories grow even against otherwise static environs and content. Ultimately, though, those invested in seeing the characters of Sword Art Online again, sporting their ALO-styled redesigns and touting long-running in-jokes, will get their fill, but players seeking epic adventure or the kind of JRPG saga that ends with the heroes saving the world will come away disappointed. It doesn't help, either, that Lost Song doesn't work very hard to introduce players to the characters themselves. In some ways that's to be expected, seeing as this is a sequel to Hollow Fragment and mostly features the same faces (with a few more added), but curious folks who just want to know what the fuss over Sword Art Online is all about would be better served by picking up Re: Hollow Fragment (the "Director's Cut" PS4 port of Hollow Fragment), or just watching the anime. Narrative pitfalls aside, Lost Song is at least less of a slog to play, mechanically, bringing some new, entertaining gimmicks to the table. The combat system ditches the auto-attacks, casting times, and menus of Hollow Fragment for a straightforward, directly-controlled action-RPG setup. Players can string together combos of light and heavy attacks, controlling any three of up to seventeen playable characters (they can even replace Kirito as the leader!), each wielding a number of weapons with signature skills and magic. Special moves and magic can be triggered by combining shoulder and face buttons. New attacks, spells, and passive effects can be unlocked by leveling up their weapon skills through use, and assigning them to preferred button combinations. A Union gauge fills up in battle, and when triggered enables devastating "Switch" attacks involving the whole party. While simpler and arguably less deep than Hollow Fragment, the new system is more engaging and wastes less time. Most low-level foes can be dispatched in seconds, and fighting large bosses rewards mobility and effective use of buffs and debuffs to chop away at their massive, stacked health bars. AI companions fight and support effectively, and need little in the way of handholding unless severely under-leveled. New gear can be found in the field, or bought, identified, and upgraded at Agil and Lisbeth's shops while Side Quests and Extra Quests can be accepted at the hub town's tavern. Side Quests usually fall into the "Kill X number of Y enemy" category, but Extra Quests usually pose an additional challenge, involving big takedowns of one or more boss-class foes for better rewards. And then there's the flying. Being a fairy-themed game, ALO plants wings on all its characters to enable long-distance travel and a level of verticality rarely embraced in the RPG space. Lost Song gladly obliges, featuring huge, open-world maps populated by roaming enemies and dotted with dungeons at varying altitudes. Players can switch from running on the ground to hovering to racing through the air with a flick of the D-pad. While a bit fiddly at first, this mobility quickly becomes second nature and makes a genuine difference when fighting outdoors, as aerial dashes can be used to set up powerful charging attacks, and hovering up high can put safe distances between players and ground-bound foes. Fighting indoors, however, is more of a chore, as most dungeons prohibit flying and often take place against large numbers of enemies spawning in ways that cause the combat camera and lock-on function to freak out unpleasantly. Worse still, the dungeons themselves are so bland and unimaginative that I initially mistook them for being procedurally generated. Having players visit these dungeons in order to progress just hammers home the apathetic level design. And there's even multiplayer, making Lost Song the only Sword Art Online game that's actually, well, online. Local and online play sessions are available, including a PVP versus mode, and team battles against roided-out versions of the single-player bosses. It's an alright option to have, but there's little compelling reason to engage with it. Players can use custom characters, but the customization options are so limited that anything created just resembles the generic NPC characters littering the hub world. For better or worse, Sword Art Online: Lost Song replicates both the highs and lows of its predecessors. Existing fans of the series will find plenty to like in the further adventures of Kirito and his MMO pals, despite a dull main story. The revamped mechanics also support a steady drip-feed of Sword Art Online fan service mainly by not getting in the way too much. Unfortunately, Lost Song stumbles hardest when trying to engage players outside that sphere of pre-existing investment, and in some ways ends up an even less suitable jumping-off point for newbies who want to get in on enjoying the franchise. My advice to those folks would be to watch the anime or try out Hollow Fragment first. If they're still jonesing for some more of this motley crew of irredeemable MMO nerds when they're done, then Lost Song will be music to their ears. [This review is based on a retail copy of the game acquired by the reviewer.] Fallout 4 (PC, PS4, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Bethesda Game StudiosPublisher: Bethesda SoftworksMSRP: $59.99Released: November 10, 2015
SAO: Lost Song Review photo
Familiar Tune
Ask most folks who watched the Sword Art Online anime series, and they'll likely tell you that the show's weaker moments usually coincided with events set in ALfheim Online (ALO), a fairy-themed virtual reality MMO that ...

Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

See the latest footage from Koei Tecmo's new Attack on Titan game


Another teaser
Nov 05
// Chris Carter
It's a small tidbit of gameplay, but this teaser from Koei Tecmo will give you an idea of what the new Attack on Titan [working title] game will look like. This will be their first "lead platform" PS4 game, so I'm expec...
Angels with Scaly Wings photo
Angels with Scaly Wings

How to bang your dragon: Dragon dating sim revived


Angels with Scaly Wings
Nov 02
// Steven Hansen
"I'm imagining the beginning to Stand By Me, but, instead, 'Hey, kid, you ever plow a dragon?'" Crude. But that's what I had to say about Dragon Dating Simulator last year. The project ultimately missed its funding goal, onl...
Arslan photo
Arslan

Arslan: The Warriors of Legend will launch in February in the west


Yes!
Oct 23
// Chris Carter
Ever since I laid eyes on it I've been looking forward to Arslan: The Warriors of Legend. Thankfully I had a chance to play it at TGS recently, and my suspicions were confirmed -- it was not only a great looking Warriors ...
Champ-yons! photo
Champ-yons!

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth launching February 2, 2016


North America-exclusive preorder content
Oct 13
// Steven Hansen
SAO photo
SAO

New Sword Art Online announced for PS4, Vita


Hollow Realization coming next year
Oct 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at the Dengeki Bunko Festival in Tokyo, Bandai Namco revealed Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, the latest role-playing game based on Reki Kawahara's popular light novel series. The story takes place within "Sword Art: Origin," a new MMO modeled after the world of Aincrad.
Pokemon photo
Pokemon

The Yo-Kai Watch anime debuts in October in the US


The next worldwide Pokemon?
Sep 22
// Chris Carter
There are a number of reasons why Pokémon took off overseas (the games were pretty damn good for one), but there's no doubt that the massive success of the TV show and movie series have played their part. Now, Nintendo...

Sword Art Online plays so much better when you can fly

Sep 17 // Chris Carter
When I first started my demo session with Lost Song, it felt far too familiar for its own good. It has a very similar presentation, right down to the simplistic combo system (that's basically built on two attack types, dodging, and a few abilities), and the extremely samey zone that was almost a copy and paste job from its predecessor. However, there are a few minor enhancements along the way that Sword Art fans will recognize after digging in a bit, like the addition of a three-party group, and most notably, flying. With the touch of a button, players can soar up in the air, swooping about, or opt for a more deliberate glide maneuver, with a control scheme that's extremely precise in nature. It opens up your exploration options considerably, and cuts down on some of the monotony of traveling long distances. Plus, plenty of enemies inhabit the skies, so you'll be able to do some fighting along the way, alongside of tactical dodges and pursuit situations. By that same token, the world still feels a bit hollow and uninspired, showing its PS3-era roots. Flying is fun, but the areas that I could actually fly to in my demo weren't exactly riveting, mostly consisting of high-up vistas with no flair or unique rewards. Still, everything looks a tad more impressive on the PS4 in comparison to Hollow Fragment, which initially launched on the Vita before heading to the current generation just a few months ago. Sword Art Online: Lost Song will arrive in the US on November 17, 2015, on PS4 and Vita.
SAO preview photo
Other than that, it's par for the course
I had mixed thoughts on Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment last year, but ultimately I came away happy. Funnily enough, as someone who absolutely hated the second arc of the anime, I actually found the follow-up, Lost Song, to be a little more enjoyable based on my hands-on session at TGS. As it turns out, flying around in the world of ALfheim Online is quite a bit of fun.

Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell shooter adds words to its title ahead of western release


Class-based multiplayer shooter
Sep 17
// Steven Hansen
Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex First Connection Online is being called Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – First Assault Online for its 2016 western release. Yes, that's a push back from the earlier 2015 ...

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