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Koei Tecmo

Dead or Alive Xtreme photo
Dead or Alive Xtreme

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 scores English subs

So import away!
Oct 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Much like a volleyball mid-flight, it remains up in the air whether Koei Tecmo will bring Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 to western shores. However, we received word today from Play Asia that the Asian-region version of the game will...
Yoru no Nai Kuni photo
Yoru no Nai Kuni

Koei Tecmo is localizing Gust's dark new RPG

Yoru no Nai Kuni becomes Nights of Azure
Oct 28
// Kyle MacGregor
Yoru No Nai Kuni is coming to western shores as Nights of Azure, Koei Tecmo announced today. Directed by Keisuke Kikuchi (Fatal Frame, Deception IV), the new role-playing game represents something of a departure for dev...
Fatal Frame V photo
Fatal Frame V

Despite all the hubbub, I'm still getting Fatal Frame

May I live to regret it
Oct 26
// Jonathan Holmes
Our own Zack Furniss had a pretty bad time with Fatal Frame V, as detailed in his excellent review. Having just finished the hour-and-a-half long free demo for the title myself, I completely understand where he's coming from,...
Deception photo

Tecmo's Deception returns next week on PSN

It's a trap!
Oct 24
// Kyle MacGregor
Tecmo's Deception: Invitation to Darkness is being re-released on PlayStation Network next week in North America, according to the latest episode of the PlayStation Blogcast. Ahem. Before we go any further, let me just warn y...
Arslan photo

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

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 ...
Dissidia Final Fantasy photo
Dissidia Final Fantasy

New Dissidia launches in arcades November 26

Final Fantasy fighter not far off now
Oct 20
// Kyle MacGregor
Dissidia Final Fantasy launches in Japanese arcades on Nov. 26, Square Enix announced today. The three-on-three arena fighter is in development at Koei Tecmo's Team Ninja, the studio best known for its work on the Dead o...

Review: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

Oct 19 // Zack Furniss
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water (Wii U [eShop only])Developer: Koei Tecmo, Nintendo Software Planning & DevelopmentPublisher: NintendoReleased: October 22, 2015MSRP: $49.99 This time around, the ghost-infested location is Mount Hikami, which is a stand-in for Aokigahara (worth a read if you want to hate trees), the real-life Suicide Forest. Initially, this feels like the perfect environment for Fatal Frame. A series that deals with ancient, forbidden rituals in Japan should feel at home in the suicide capital of the world. Unfortunately, the setting feels wasted as soon as you start playing. For the first hour and a half, you're locked on a ridiculously linear path. A supporting character gives you a tutorial on how to use the camera and explore your environment, and you can't do anything except what she tells you. "Let's go upstairs," she monotonically asserts. If you try to go off the path, the camera forces you back around. If this segment was a few minutes long, it would be forgivable, yet this feeling of restriction creeps back in sporadically throughout. Want to go down that road in the forest? "You must find Fuyuhi," the dialog box insists, as you're pointed back towards your current objective. Objectives are another unwelcome addition. Instead of having to explore Mount Hikami, you can almost always hold a button to watch a ghostly image of whoever you're trying to find appear, heading in the direction of your objective. Although past games in the series have erred on the side of obfuscation, the areas you wander about are mostly small and confined. Having a constant push in the correct direction feels obtrusive, as if Maiden of Black Water doesn't trust its own visual cues to convey your intended destination. Using the GamePad as the Camera Obscura should make up for the lackluster exploration, but the control scheme fails to feel intuitive in any way. Be prepared to keep the pad at eye-level at all times, since pressing the camera button in your lap will make your perspective start at your crotch. You can either choose to use the gyroscope and analog stick or just the analog stick, and I would recommend the latter after the novelty of the GamePad wears off. The main problem with the gyroscope is that you're required to rotate the controller to take certain pictures, but when combating spirits you still need to use twin stick movement to avoid attacks. Even when the pad is completely vertical the sticks don't compensate, so you still have to hold forward to move forward, which sounds rational but feels awkward as all hell in practice. If you're like me and invert your Y-axis, good fucking luck making this work. You'll still have to turn it like this with the gyroscope turned off, because Fatal Frame really wants to justify its use of the GamePad. Koei Tecmo didn't think we could handle puzzles this time around, so the next best idea it had was that some keys could only be found by taking pictures with a correctly oriented camera. It's not difficult, but it never goes beyond feeling like an afterthought. Even simple movement can be frustrating; occasionally, turning around becomes more arduous than fighting ghosts. Battling ghosts with the Camera Obscura is relatively similar to past iterations, which the exception of tilting the camera to get portrait shots. Ghosts now have small fragments that float around them, and if you can take a picture with five targets, you'll do more damage to them. There are also three different characters who have their own abilities with the camera, like charged shots or chains of 8 rapid-fire photographs. You can also upgrade the camera's stats, improving its damage or the lenses that you find throughout Mount Hikami. Snapping photos of the ghosts with these lenses is cathartic, and it's heart-warming/chilling to hear that old Camera Obscura sound. That catharsis doesn't remain for too long, since you'll be encountering enemies about every two minutes. Tension never has a chance to build since there's always a specter ready to pounce at you. Instead of dreading ghosts because they're horrifying, you'll dread them because of the repetition they bring. Pacing was not a priority here. In keeping with the aquatic theme, there's a new "wetness" gauge that fills up when you're running through rain or attacked by certain ghosts. If you're thoroughly soaked, you'll take more damage, but your pictures become more potent. This risk-reward system could have added some much-needed adrenaline to the combat, but the change in damage values is negligible. The wetness gauge never goes beyond an excuse to ogle a bit of rain-soaked bra strap. There's also an abundance of healing items that render both this status effect and any damage you receive toothless. Tell-tale shiny glints betray herbal medicines and better film hidden all throughout Mount Hikami. This becomes increasingly far-fetched as you explore each area in the game entirely too many times, yet the items are always replenished. I'm usually not one to point out clichés, but Maiden of Black Water found a way to make items infuriatingly annoying. Y'see, you don't just press a button to pick something up. You have to hold a trigger to slooooooooooooowly reach out towards the object while a bweeeeeeeeyooooooooo sound rings in your ears. Each time you do this, there's a ~20% chance that a disembodied ghostly hand will grab your wrist, weakly shaking you and doing a minuscule amount of harm. It happens often, is never scary, and will make you angry. I can't fathom why this mechanic was even considered, as it murders any semblance of pacing left in the game. So many horror games are given passes for poor controls and mechanics if they manage to raise your heartbeat. Maiden of Black Water fails even in this regard. The aforementioned pacing is the crux of the issue, but unimaginative enemy and location designs are also to blame. While I can remember most of the enemies from the previous games, I'm having trouble remembering all of the ghosts from the one I just played. You'll fight a bunch of shrine maidens and one memorable guy with a big knife, and one woman who convincingly moves as if she's still hanging from the rope that she used to kill herself. The rest? They're...people, I guess. Nothing as good as the Broken Neck Woman, or the Woman in the Box, or the Kusabi. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water seems so, so tired. Maidens, rituals, sacrifices, suicides, water, black hair growing and covering every surface...we've seen all of this done before and with more skill. Two small moments offer an enticing glimpse at what could have been: a short trip to a cable car station and a short episode where you're monitoring surveillance cameras. The second I got to the modern-looking cable car station, I realized how much this series needs to go to new places. I was wrong about Aokigahara, it was more of the same. That surveillance episode subverts the camera theme, making you helplessly watch as phantoms slowly encroach upon your friends' rooms. If new concepts like these were used throughout, this could have been something special. At least there's a hefty amount of game here. My first playthrough took about 13 hours, and there's a bonus episode where you can play as Ayane from Dead or Alive. It's not great, but playing Fatal Frame stealthily is at least a novel idea. There's also the Nightmare difficulty and the bonus costumes you can unlock for further replayability. It's too bad that most of that is backtracking through the same areas time and again. I experienced four freezes in my time with the game. I'd recommend not looking at your photo list to see your recent pictures, as that's what led to each freeze. The only way I could get out of the menu was by doing a hard system reset. That I wasn't able to look at pictures in a game about taking pictures is a fantastic summation of my experience. Off-TV Play made too much sense for Koei Tecmo to get it right; it's playable, but whether you're using headphones or not, you can't hear any of the in-game voices (dual audio, by the way!) or music. You need the TV for that. Nintendo seemed hesitant to bring Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water overseas, and I'm sure it'll be monitoring how it sells to gauge interest. Twelve-year-old me would be upset with this review, and he'd blame that asshole Zack Furniss for condemning the series to death with a damning review. He'd be in the comments below telling me that I wasn't playing it right, or that it wasn't my type of game. All I would have to say to him is this: If this what Fatal Frame is now, I don't want it anymore. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Fatal Frame review photo
Treading trashwater
I was on the cusp of adolescence when I first played the original Fatal Frame. My friend Richard and I spent many a summer night with eyes wide from the horrors we had witnessed in the Himuro Mansion. The sequel Crimson Butte...

Fatal Frame costumes photo
Fatal Frame costumes

Zelda and Zero Suit Samus costumes in Fatal Frame

Less spoopy now
Oct 16
// Darren Nakamura
Being a young girl whose only defense against ghosts and vampires is a camera can be quite spoopy, so for those who want to feel more empowered, how about putting on the suit of a renowned bounty hunter, feared across the gal...
Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 photo
Dead or Alive Xtreme 3

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 PS4 trailer is like slapping raw chicken breasts about

Beach volleyball
Oct 15
// Steven Hansen
Costco no longer sells its bulk chicken breasts in individually wrapped two-breast packs. Now it's just a giant plastic sack full of chicken breasts. Imagine: me, you, and some friends. We each grab a couple breasts and proc...
Fatal Frame Wii U photo
Fatal Frame Wii U

Oh right, a new Fatal Frame comes out next week

Sneaky Nintendo
Oct 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is creeping its way to North America next week. Literally. Nintendo of America hasn't been terribly gung-ho about promoting Koei Tecmo's latest, despite the fact it's one of this autumn's mo...
Hyrule Warriors photo
Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors requires New 3DS to play in 3D

Needed the additional processing power
Sep 21
// Kyle MacGregor
While Hyrule Warriors Legends, an updated Nintendo 3DS port of last year's action game, will be compatible with older models of the portable, its stereoscopic 3D effects will not. Speaking with 4Gamer at Tokyo Game Show, prod...
Dead or Alive Xtreme photo
Dead or Alive Xtreme

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 coming to PlayStation VR

Sep 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Dead or Alive Xtreme fans will probably be thrilled to hear Team Ninja will be taking things up a notch, as the developer has revealed plans to incorporate PlayStation VR functionality in its next risqué ...
Nioh photo

Lookin' real good, Nioh

Sengoku action-RPG about slaying demons
Sep 17
// Jordan Devore
What stands out to you at Tokyo Game Show 2015? Nioh, yeah? It's got that Onimusha / Souls thing going for it, which is a damn good thing to have. More details have come out for the Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja action-RPG, as re...
Arslan photo

Arslan: The Warriors of Legend feels like an old-school Warriors game

In all the best ways
Sep 17
// Chris Carter
Current anime games are insane to me. This generation has basically made it possible to play an animated TV series, with a stable framerate to boot. Games like One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 on the PS4 run as smooth as silk, and manage to maintain an aesthetic that looks nigh indistinguishable from anime. Arslan: The Warriors of Legend is one such game.
Hyrule Warriors Legends photo
Hyrule Warriors Legends

Hyrule Warriors Legends is releasing in Japan on January 21

Ganondorf's luscious locks on 3DS!
Sep 17
// Joe Parlock
The 3DS re-release of Koei Tecmo’s Zelda game, Hyrule Warriors, has been dated in Japan. We also got a shiny new trailer showing off what's new in the game. Hyrule Warriors Legends, which introduces a crapton of new st...
Tecmo Koei photo
Tecmo Koei

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII may not be coming west, but it is getting an English release

So you can import the Asian version
Sep 16
// Kyle MacGregor
[Update: It sounds like the game is also in development for Xbox One.] Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII has not been announced for a western release, but it sounds like you should be able to play the upcoming strategy ...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Get a brief look at the new Attack on Titan game's brutal combat

Sufficiently bloody
Sep 16
// Chris Carter
Information has been scant for Koei Tecmo's new Attack on Titan game, but the basic concept is starting to come into focus. The first minute of this trailer is all previously seen footage, but the rest shows the in...
Nioh photo

Team Ninja's new samurai action-RPG is badass

Nioh lives on with PlayStation 4
Sep 15
// Jordan Devore
While Koei has been kicking around ideas for a game called Nioh since before the PlayStation 3 days -- take a look at this trailer from 2005! -- the project is only now coming to fruition. During Tokyo Game Show this week, it...
Toukiden 2 photo
Toukiden 2

Toukiden 2 coming to Japan in 2016

Sep 15
// Zack Furniss
Tecmo Koei's Toukiden, a popular hunting action game, will be receiving a sequel in 2016. The demure translator lady says that it will be "...very reali-realistic and o-open world..." A crazy demon fought a small anime woman in a short cinematic and you'll know more when we do.
Nioh photo

Nioh's coming exclusively to PS4 in 2016

'Impossible to clear on your first try'
Sep 15
// Brett Makedonski
"What's Nioh" you ask? I'm not really sure, if we're being honest. There was some gruesome monsters, a spirit floating around, and an evil-lookin' lady tongue. Ah, the joys of covering a press conference that's being run...
Dragon Quest Heroes photo
Dragon Quest Heroes

Dragon Quest Heroes' DLC will be on-disc and free in the US

No waiting needed
Sep 11
// Chris Carter
When Dragon Quest Heroes arrives in the west in October on PS4, it'll sport all of the DLC so far that has been released in Japan, by way of free patches in that region. The game followed a similar strategy to Hyrule War...
Hyrule Warriors 3DS photo
Hyrule Warriors 3DS

Hyrule Warriors 3DS adds Toon Link and the Helmaroc King

They're pulling me back in
Sep 09
// Jordan Devore
I'm trying not to pay too much attention to Hyrule Warriors Legends knowing full well how much time the original Wii U game ate up. But the expanded 3DS release sounds alluring, what with its on-the-fly character switching an...

Review: Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence

Sep 03 // Kyle MacGregor
Nobunaga's Amibition: Sphere of Influence (PC [reviewed], PS4, PS3)Developer: Koei TecmoPublisher: Koei TecmoRelease Date: September 1, 2015MSRP: $59.99 My journey began by acquainting myself with Sphere of Influence's comprehensive (perhaps a tad too comprehensive) tutorial, before jumping headlong into one of the title's nine historical campaigns. There, players have the opportunity to act as one of Japan's elite families during the country's "warring states" period in the 16th century. Whether you choose to recreate history as the Oda clan or blaze your own trail, the aim remains the same -- to unite the fractured nation. How you get there will require a careful synthesis of conflict, management, and diplomacy, as the path toward bringing dozens of warring territories under a common banner requires a multi-pronged approach. This begins with building up a small province, developing it into a rich, bountiful launching pad that can support a growing empire. The backbone of the realm is the labor force, which is, of course, limited in supply. Daimyos must allocate their workers to projects mindfully, whether that means paving new roads, constructing new buildings, improving fortifications, focusing on trade or food production, the list just goes on and on. Rest assured, manpower is always at a premium. That line of thought extends to the nobility as well as the commoners. With only so many officers to go around to carry out diplomatic missions, govern territories, lead military units, and oversee civic projects; managing the ruling class is of the utmost importance. Individual leaders have varying skills, and knowing how and where to employ them can make a drastic difference in how quickly and effectively a clan enacts the wide swathe of policies these officers must take charge of. [embed]305046:60241:0[/embed] If that sounds incredibly intricate and exacting, well, that's because it is. Despite being a game where the end goal is conquering (or subduing) an entire nation spanning dozens of factions and hundreds of settlements, Nobunaga's Amibition doesn't shy away form minutiae. No task, from appeasing the local hill tribes to planting an orchard or setting up a suggestion box for citizens to voice their concerns, is too small a concern to deal with. And in the aggregate these sorts of seemingly minuscule moves tend to pay dividends when clashing with neighboring daimyo or getting them to join your coalition. It isn't all about raising armies and sending them off to battle. Not that combat isn't a large part of the game, because it most certainly is. After players finish managing their towns, the experience switches from a turn-based affair to a real-time one, where armies will march off to besiege enemy villages or clash with hostile forces on the battlefield. The battles play out automatically (as depicted above), but can be controlled manually, with players taking control of each individual army as a unit on the battlefield. This facet of the experience might seem a little primitive in comparison to some of its genre peers, but it's not entirely without depth. While there isn't much in the way of unit variety, each commander has his or her (no, you needn't marry off all your daughters to forge political alliances) own abilities that buff their troops with improved defense, melee attack, and a myriad of other temporary strategic supplements. Skirmishes aren't always a numbers game, either. I've frequently found myself using guerrilla tactics, surrounding a large battalion with several smaller ones and harassing them from all sides. This negates their numerical superiority, since a block can only attack in one direction at any given time, while forces with smaller, more plentiful detachments possess the ability to be more nimble. Throughout the experience, players are treated to historical vignettes, which not only follow key events pertaining to your chosen faction, but other clans as well. If significant affairs are happening across the country, chances are you'll be given a front row seat. These aren't always assassinations and coups d'état, though, sometimes they're a tad more trivial, pertaining to the romantic lives of clan leaders or the arrival of western missionaries spreading Christianity in certain provinces. There's a lot going in Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence, to be sure, and much of it is done well. After pushing through some initial bewilderment associated with coming to grips with its mess of elaborate systems, I discovered an experience that rewarded the time I put into it in spades. Its pace may be too plodding for some and it certainly seems somewhat backwards or dated in relief with other modern strategy games, but Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence still remains an ornate and absorbing title that kept me engaged for hours on end and surely will continue to do so. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Nobunaga's Ambition photo
Sublime Sengoku-era strategy
My first experience with Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence nearly broke me. I collapsed into a heap over my keyboard, weeping softly, wondering just what I had got myself into this time. Even as a seasoned strategy gam...

Dead or Alive fan vote photo
Dead or Alive fan vote

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3's smallest chested volleyballer leads polls

Looks like all the youngest leading
Sep 01
// Steven Hansen
Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, which may come west and will feature women in bikinis playing volleyball on the beach, is filling out its swimsuit roster by way of fan vote. And, perhaps surprisingly, fans of the series known for its...
Fatal Frame Wii U photo
Fatal Frame Wii U

Fatal Frame Wii U is an eShop exclusive in North America

Aug 24
// Jordan Devore
Fans speculated that Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water would be a digital-only release on the Wii U eShop in North America. Unfortunately, they were correct. Nintendo confirmed its launch plans (October 22, $49.99) in a 2015...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

New Attack on Titan PS4 game is lookin' good

A shade or ten prettier than the 3DS one
Aug 23
// Kyle MacGregor
No offense to Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains, which I'm sure Spike Chunsoft put a lot of hard work into, but this is more like it. This is the sort of Shingeki no Kyojin game I've been waiting for. This time around ...
First screens photo
First screens

Bikinis, volleyball confirmed for Dead or Alive Xtreme 3

First screens
Aug 21
// Steven Hansen
Just in case you were concerned that Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 would not feature Japanese women in bikinis playing volleyball on the beach, I am here to reassure you that Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 will in fact feature Japanese wome...
Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 photo
Dead or Alive Xtreme 3

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 may come west after all

Provided there is enough demand
Aug 18
// Kyle MacGregor
Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 is in development for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, the latest issue of Famitsu reveals, while also giving fans in the West some hope of seeing a localized release. Though Koei Tecmo currently onl...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Tecmo Koei's shonen crying simulator Attack on Titan shifts dev focus to PS4

Before, PS3 was the lead
Aug 13
// Chris Carter
Tecmo Koei's Omega Force is planning an Attack on Titan project, to be released on the PS3, PS4, and Vita platforms. Speaking to Dengeki, producer Hisashi Koinuma notes that this is the first time they are really fo...
Nobunaga photo

I totally forgot that a new Nobunaga's Ambition comes out next month

Sphere of Influence on PC, PS3, and PS4
Aug 07
// Chris Carter
Holy crap there's a new Nobunaga's Ambition coming out! Even though I recently remembered this while I was sorting it out for review, I forgot again, and was reminded this morning looking for news. Nobunaga! This new tr...

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