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Tekken 7 photo
Tekken 7

Akuma is likely the only Tekken 7 crossover character


Don't expect much
Jan 05
// Chris Carter
Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada recently had a chance to clarify the Akuma and Tekken 7 crossover, noting that he was the only planned Street Fighter character at this time that would make an appearance. Harad...
Tales of Berseria photo
Tales of Berseria

Namco Bandai shares new details for Tales of Berseria


Also, new character overviews
Jan 04
// Chris Carter
Tales of Berseria is still a ways off (it doesn't even have a release date in Japan yet, though a localization has been confirmed), but that hasn't stopped Namco Bandai from sharing some new information. Apparently the theme ...
Bandai Namco photo
Bandai Namco

New Sword Art Online coming to PS4, Vita in 2016


Asuna!
Dec 26
// Kyle MacGregor
The fourth Sword Art Online game, Hollow Realization, is coming to North America and Europe next year on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, Bandai Namco announced this week. This entry sees protagonist Kirito explore a new v...
God Eater photo
God Eater

Not one, but two God Eater games coming west


Summer 2016
Dec 26
// Kyle MacGregor
After establishing God Eater as a popular franchise in Japan, Bandai Namco is working to bring its response to the Monster Hunter phenomenon to the rest of the word next year. This week, the publisher announced plans to local...
Katamari Damacy photo
Katamari Damacy

Tap My Katamari is coming soon so you can click click click while you poop poop poop


Your iPhone or Android will be filthy
Dec 22
// Zack Furniss
Just a few weeks ago, Jordan "Eagle Eyes/Good Legs" Devore wrote about Bandai Namco filing a trademark for Tap My Katamari. Now we have confirmation that it'll be what kids call a "clicker," and it's coming soon. You can find...
Tales of Symphonia photo
Tales of Symphonia

Tales of Symphonia coming to PC in February


Free if you preordered Tales of Zestiria
Dec 22
// Kyle MacGregor
Tales of Symphonia is coming to Steam on February 2, Bandai Namco announced today. The GameCube classic will be available free to anyone who pre-ordered Tales of Zestiria via Steam prior to its October launch, though there's ...
Julien Merceron photo
Julien Merceron

The creator of Metal Gear Solid V's Fox Engine lands a new job at Bandai Namco


Seems to still be making engines
Dec 22
// Joe Parlock
Back in September, Konami’s worldwide technology director Julien Merceron left the company after their reported shift away from AAA development (which no longer appears to be the case). He was the lead architect on...
Gundam VS photo
Gundam VS

Gundam Extreme Vs. coming Stateside on Vita


Dibs on the Char clone
Dec 21
// Nic Rowen
After years of surviving on a thin stew of import model kits and Crunchyroll viewings of Iron Blooded Orphans, North American Gundam fans are finally getting some love. Namco Bandai is bringing Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs....
Joey JoJo photo
Joey JoJo

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven is coming west


From CyberConnect 2
Dec 21
// Chris Carter
If I hear the phrase "CyberConnect 2," I'm usually in. Although they've been consigned to creating licensed anime games for years, they've also crafted a few original joints, most notably Asura's Wrath -- one of my perso...
Not PS3 photo
Not PS3

Tales of Berseria is coming to PS4 and PC in the west


First woman-led Tales tale
Dec 21
// Steven Hansen
Bandai Namco's Tales of Berseria was announced in the middle of this year for PS3 and PS4 in Japan. That has since received a 2016 launch date in Japan. Today, the company confirmed its plan to bring the newest Tales of game...
God Eater photo
God Eater

God Eater Resurection may be coming west


Per a European trademark
Dec 20
// Kyle MacGregor
God Eater Resurrection, a remake of Bandai Namco's take on the Monster Hunter formula, looks like it's coming west, or so suggests a European trademark filing made December 18. In January of this year, the publisher also file...
Bandai Namco photo
Bandai Namco

What is Bandai Namco teasing?


'Can you feel the hunger?'
Dec 18
// Joe Parlock
Bandai Namco has just released a countdown site, teasing the announcement of uh… something. Right now it’s anyone’s guess as to what it could be, as “hunger” doesn’t give us a lot to go o...
Noby Noby Boy photo
Noby Noby Boy

After six years, Noby Noby Boy's Girl has completed her journey


Ending sequence revealed!
Dec 15
// Ben Davis
Well this was sudden! We just heard last month that Noby Noby Boy's Girl had finally reached Pluto. Shortly after, she has already looped around and made her way back to Earth, ending her journey where it began. I figured it ...
Tales of Berseria photo
Tales of Berseria

Tales of Berseria has a silly name, but it's still looking great


New trailer
Dec 15
// Chris Carter
Tales of Berseria will launch next year on PS3 and PS4, Bandai Namco has confirmed. Accompanying the announcement is a new trailer, which actually gives us a hefty amount of gameplay, both in terms of combat and field explora...
Pokken photo
Pokken

Japan is getting a special Pokken Tournament controller for Wii U


Uhhhh
Dec 15
// Chris Carter
When I played Pokken Tournament over in Japan, the first thing I noticed was the controller. It has a distinctive look and feel to it, and although it's not the most comfortable thing in the world, it works. To celebrate...
Lizard ppl are the NWO photo
Lizard ppl are the NWO

Sceptile confirmed for Pokken Tournament


Farfetch'd!!!
Dec 09
// Jed Whitaker
The grassy lizard Pokémon Sceptile has been confirmed for the upcoming Pokken Tournament via the Japanese trailer above. As someone who played Pokémon competitively for a while, this game makes no sen...
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...

Ace Combat photo
Ace Combat

Dog fighting Ace Combat 7 announced for PS4


At least partially in VR
Dec 05
// Zack Furniss
If you have a jet-shaped hole in your heart, boy oh gee golly gosh do I have news for you. Ace Combat 7 has just been announced for PS4 at the PlayStation Experience in San Francisco. Bandai Namco will be bringing the se...
Dark Souls III photo
Dark Souls III

Here's what Dark Souls III cooked up for PlayStation Experience


It's a good'un
Dec 04
// Brett Makedonski
Hope you didn't forget how to use a shield after all the Bloodborne-ing this year. From the looks of it, you'll need all the blocking and rolling you can muster to best Dark Souls III's many lumbering foes. They're even in a...
Dark Souls III photo
Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III now has a confirmed US release date of April 12


Not just 'April' now
Dec 04
// Chris Carter
In its new "Darkness Has Spread" trailer, Namco Bandai has confirmed the final release date of Dark Souls III -- April 12, 2016. Before this, the publisher had a nebulous "April" date set. It will launch on March 24 in ...
Namco photo
Namco

Namco is partnering with Hooters in Japan to open up an arcade


Haha ok
Dec 04
// Chris Carter
I've already professed my love for Japanese arcades, having visited some for the first time a few months back, but this is something else entirely. Namco Bandai is reportedly teaming up with Hooters to bring a "Gaming Barside...
Lost Reavers photo
Lost Reavers

Lost Reavers has officially launched in Japan


For free
Dec 02
// Chris Carter
Although it still hasn't been confirmed for localization, Bandai Namco's Lost Reavers is now out in Japan. The game is a free-to-play title that features a dungeon crawling-esque setup, with a heavy emphasis on teamwork and ...
Bandai Namco photo
Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco Europe just opened an official online store


Buy some mugs, shirts, and art
Dec 01
// Laura Kate Dale
Hey you, European Bandai Namco fans, do you want to buy some physical stuff to do with games you like? Well, Bandai Namco Europe just launched an online store where you can buy all sorts of online goodies. To celebrate the si...
Katamari photo
Katamari

Bandai Namco is cooking up Tap My Katamari


Trademark and domain found
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
Katamari Damacy has such a strong hook and delightfully offbeat vibe, it's hard to imagine I'll ever grow tired of the series. It's been a few years, now. We're due for another installment. If a recent trademark and domain ar...
Noby Noby Boy photo
Noby Noby Boy

Noby Noby Boy has finally reached Pluto


Now, on to the Sun!
Nov 23
// Kyle MacGregor
It's been nearly seven years (2468 days in total) since February 19, 2009, the day Bandai Namco unleashed Keita Takahashi's demented brainchild Noby Noby Boy upon the world. Since then a dedicated community has been...
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...
JRPGs photo
JRPGs

PS Vita RPG Ray Gigant heads west next spring


Playable at PlayStation Experience
Nov 21
// Kyle MacGregor
PlayStation Vita dungeon crawler Ray Gigant is coming to North America and Europe next spring. The role-playing game comes from Operation Abyss and Demon Gaze studio Experience, and while it was published by Bandai Namco in ...
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 ...

Pokemon photo
Pokemon

Pokken Tournament strikes Wii U spring 2016


Japanese debut slated for March 18
Nov 12
// Kyle MacGregor
The Wii U version of The Pokémon Company and Bandai Namco's fighter Pokkén Tournament will debut in Japan on March 18 and sometime in the spring across Europe and North America. An amiibo card for Shadow Mewtwo will be included with first-run copies of the game worldwide. Nintendo says the creature can also be unlocked sans card "after you fulfill certain conditions."

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