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Review: Godzilla

Jul 14 // Jordan Devore
Godzilla (PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: Natsume Atari Inc.Publisher: Bandai Namco GamesMSRP: $59.99Released: July 14, 2015 Half an hour and several levels in, I wasn't sure Godzilla could really be hurt, much less die. That's not an inherently bad thing, as he's supposed to be tough, but I wondered where the challenge was. A few hours later, I found it. Godzilla is far too easy except when it veers into overwhelming, unfair, not-fun territory. Then it becomes a boring battle of attrition against the same old kaiju. A lot of frustration lies in the controls. You use L1/R1 to turn Godzilla, which is weird at first but eventually feels fine. He's got a forward-charging attack (that you'll frequently use given his normal plodding pace), a standard three-hit punch combo, a heavy tail whip, and atomic breath. The latter needs to charge up before you can fire it, but the cooldown isn't terribly long, especially with upgrades. Aiming, however, is a total nightmare; you don't have exact control over it. Say you want to shoot down a helicopter. You'll need to position Godzilla close to it -- but not too close! -- and line up his body. Next, you can turn the camera to confirm his head is more or less tilted in the correct direction. Now fire away and hope that a) the helicopter hasn't moved and b) the blast doesn't just hit the ground. That's my best strategy and it's not even consistently successful. Thankfully, it got me through the aggravating fights in which you're forced to take down a kaiju while multiple aerial vehicles (Super X, X2, and X3) come close, shoot you, then zip away. [embed]296005:59509:0[/embed] For some baffling reason, there's no blocking in the traditional sense. While Godzilla's roar acts like a block to an extent, initiating it is by no means instantaneous. You have to know in advance that an attack is imminent or you'll be too late. There is also this odd invincible dodge move, but it runs on the same gauge as your atomic breath, so it's often unavailable when you need it most. The end result is a slow, awkward fighting system that effectively recreates the movies but is annoying in practice. Although your attacks can and will be interrupted by strings of combos, you can't always interrupt your enemy's moves. To that end, I stuck with Battra whenever and wherever possible (Versus, King of Kaiju, etc.) -- the moth is quick, easy to control, and cheap. The main mode, God of Destruction, is something out of an arcade game. Levels are tiny, bland, and feature the same goal: destroy the generators. That's the focus. Generally, you'll also need to fight a monster, work within a time limit, or both. As you blow up vehicles and buildings, you'll earn points that fuel Godzilla's growth. There's a multiplier to encourage you to move quickly from structure to structure. By the end, he'll be about twice as big as when he first came ashore. Branching levels give you control over which kaiju you engage as well as the overall difficulty. You're meant to replay this mode several times to see all of the (super-light) story and unlock characters, but environments are so similar, so unengaging. I've literally punched hundreds of generators to death. There are variations on God of Destruction that have you invading as another beast, or defending as a protector like Jet Jaguar or Mothra. The format doesn't help. The game's extensive character upgrade system requires even more replays. Godzilla has quite a few moves that are locked until you can find and defeat specific monsters, some of which appear under mysterious circumstances. King of Kaiju mode's six quick back-to-back fights help with gathering resources, but tied to such repetitious content, the progression system is flat-out awful. It was also disappointing to learn that the Versus mode for up to three players is online only. No split-screen support. There are Godzilla-obsessed fans playing, at least, so it's not a total wasteland. The only other bright spot is the Kaiju Guide, a collection detailing the playable creatures as well as quite a few not featured. I adored seeing old stills from the films and, sure, there is a certain appeal to playing as a bunch of these guys. But the feeling fades before long. A love of the movies can only get you so far when the experience is this frustrating and hollow. What a letdown. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Godzilla PS4 review photo
Better luck next time
This was supposed to be the game for Godzilla fans -- an authentic adaptation that captured the look and feel of the films. In some ways, it is. There's a satisfying cast of playable characters including Mothra, Destroyah, an...

Review: Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess

Jul 14 // Chris Carter
Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess (PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Vita)Developer: Tecmo KoeiPublisher: Tecmo KoeiMSRP: $49.99 (PS4)Released: July 14, 2015 Since the core experience hasn't changed all that much, head to the original review to get a full breakdown of the main mechanics. The gist is that you'll be controlling a character that, for all intents and purposes, can't attack on their own, and must rig an elaborate combination of traps to do their dirty work for them. You'll do this by pausing the game, bringing up a menu, and placing a number of wall, ceiling, and floor traps that can be used with one another for maximum mayhem. For instance, you can hold an enemy in place with a beartrap, shock them with a wall taser, then drop a giant boulder on their head from the ceiling. It's glorious. So before you get confused, The Nightmare Princess is an all-new SKU that includes everything in the original package on top of another story with 100 quests, a new character with a different moveset, and a "Studio" mode so you can create your own scenarios. The extra campaign is easily the new draw, and I have to say, newcomer Velguirie holds her own here. Her tale runs concurrently with Laegrinna's and doesn't feel tacked-on in the slightest. 100 new quests also isn't really anything to shake a stick at either, though it must be said that there's only a few new zones (which are rather small), as some quests re-use old areas from the base game. The second campaign does stand up on its own, and even playing both stories back to back, they didn't overstay their individual welcomes. Velguirie's big gimmick is that she can kick enemies now -- something no other protagonist was able to do in the history of the franchise. [embed]295432:59487:0[/embed] But it's important to put things into perspective here. She can't just karate-kick bad guys into oblivion with flashy combos. It's a simple timed kick on a cooldown that can be used to tactically slot foes into position for traps (or stomp them on the ground), which are still going to do the real legwork here. It's not a game-changer, but again, the story, bonus traps, and the new character design themselves are enough to carry another playthrough. Yep, I said bonus traps, including a deadly toilet, a bolt of lightning, a wardrobe that eats armor, and sticky flooring. At this point there are so many trap combos at your disposal that you're only limited by your imagination.  You'll get to test your inner demon plenty with the Studio mode, the other big addition in Nightmare Princess. Here, you can create enemies with various custom parts and name them, placing each creation inside an existing arena. You can craft fun scenarios like battling the entire Justice League, and even download or upload them online for all to see. It's not as expansive as I would have liked, but the fact that you can download new missions every so often is a breakthrough for the series. Keep in mind that your fun is also going to be limited by how many actual parts you have, which are unlocked by completing both campaigns. Here's the bad news for those of you who already bought the original. While the new story is enjoyable and the Studio is fun to mess around with, you aren't getting a substantial new expansion to pour over for weeks here. Think of it more like a hefty DLC package. In other words, unless you absolutely love Deception, it probably isn't a good idea to shell out $50 for Nightmare Princess. It's a really weird thing for Koei Tecmo to do, as it could have easily provided an "upgrade" for say, $20, and then released a package version on the side. As it stands, you either have to go all or nothing. At the very least, there is the added bonus of being able to import your old save data, so you don't have to complete the original campaign all over again to reap the unlock benefits. Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is in a really weird spot, but here's the rub -- as a Deception enthusiast, I was more than happy enough to take Velguirie's story for a spin, and I found myself beating the original game again as well as creating a few levels in the Studio. Just know exactly what you're getting into with Nightmare and make an informed decision. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Deception IV review photo
Hardcore trappers only
I really liked the original release of Deception IV. It was refreshing to see the series get another lease on life after taking a hiatus with Trapt all the way back in 2005, and newcomer Laegrinna fit right in. This...

Metal Gear Solid V photo
Metal Gear Solid V

Konami removes all Kojima branding from MGSV: Phantom Pain cover


Shock horror what a surprise
Jul 14
// Vikki Blake
In the latest of a long line of hideously public oh-my-God-will-this-ever-fecking-end-I-love-Mummy-and-Daddy-equally-why-won't-they-stop-fighting spats since Hideo Kojima parted ways with Konami, the publisher has now removed...
Dishonored photo
Dishonored

Ahh, so that's how you're supposed to play Dishonored


Why is he... oh
Jul 13
// Jordan Devore
Dishonored gives us the freedom to look like a total fool or an unstoppable force of nature. In this video, YouTube user StealthGamerBR shows once again that he knows what his targets are thinking before they do. And he even makes use of the rat swarm! Daud never stood a chance.
Tony Hawk trailer photo
Tony Hawk trailer

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 trailer darkslides a powerline


Pop shove-it into your eyeholes
Jul 13
// Darren Nakamura
Yep, that looks like a Tony Hawk game all right. There are highly technical tricks on absurdly dangerous terrain. Grinding that increases speed instead of decreasing it. Just the right amount of jank in aerial maneuvers, as ...
Slay Momma, slay photo
Slay Momma, slay

Watch Dragon's Dogma Online beta gameplay right now!


Free-to-play, free-to-slay
Jul 11
// Jed Whitaker
The free-to-play Dragon's Dogma Online beta is now out in Japan on PS3, PS4, and PC for the lucky few who were selected to test it. Sadly the game hasn't been announced for other regions, but never say never. For the time being, feast your eyes on what you're missing out on.
Disgaea photo
Disgaea

The Disgaea Triple Play Collection is coming to the US


Expect it soon
Jul 10
// Chris Carter
NIS has announced that the Disgaea Triple Play Collection is coming to the US on September 15. It's currently available in Europe, but today is the first time the publisher has revealed that it will be coming furthe...
Black Ops III photo
Black Ops III

Black Ops III has a classic Zombies map remake, but only for special editions


We've seen this trick before
Jul 10
// Brett Makedonski
Treyarch's at San Diego Comic-Con spilling the beans about Black Ops III's Zombie modes. The biggest splash came from the new film-noir "Shadows of Evil" and its star-studded cast. But, Black Ops III also has something f...

Resident Evil 0 N64 prototype shows how far remaster has come

Jul 10 // Kyle MacGregor
[embed]295730:59450:0[/embed]
Resident Evil 0 prototype photo
A long, long way
Today, Capcom took a trip down memory lane, reanimating some old footage of a Nintendo 64-era Resident Evil 0 prototype originally shown at Tokyo Game Show in 1999. The following year, the publisher reworked the project for n...

Transformers: Devastation photo
Transformers: Devastation

Watch Comic-Con footage of Platinum's Transformers game


Where's Transformers Animated 2??
Jul 09
// Mike Cosimano
Today, Hasbro announced the release date for Transformers: Devastation at its SDCC Generations panel. The game will be released on pretty much everything on October 6, 2015. Coincidentally, that will be the day I retreat into...
The Phantom Pain photo
The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid V producer responds to early 'downgrade' complaints


The Phantom Pain
Jul 09
// Steven Hansen
Wow. If my math is right  (it always is), we're 69* days away from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but enterprising gamers are getting a jump on graphics downgrade controversies, sarcastically tweeting at Konami pr...
Dragon Quest photo
Dragon Quest

Want more Dragon Quest games localized? You might want to buy Dragon Quest Heroes


The Western world's woe and SE's dough
Jul 08
// Ben Davis
Polygon recently spoke with Dragon Quest series executive producer Yuu Miyake about Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below (God, I love that title). Since this is the first Dragon Quest game to be...
PSN sale photo
PSN sale

This week's PSN sale offers super deals on superhero titles


Well, super-ish
Jul 08
// Ben Davis
In light of Comic-Con, the PlayStation Store is having a sale on all things superhero-related. The Supserhero Sale is already live, and will be available through July 13, 9:00am PT. It looks like the sale is extended to gener...
Mortal Kombat X photo
Mortal Kombat X

There are some secret brutalities hidden in the latest Mortal Kombat X patch


One of many things in the Predator Patch
Jul 08
// Brett Makedonski
Hearkening back to a time when you had to figure out special moves on your own in the glow of your local arcade, the latest Mortal Kombat X patch adds some new moves but it won't hold your hand in explaining them. If you...
Black Ops III photo
Black Ops III

Black Ops III gets a multiplayer beta soon, and it may be PS4 exclusive


'More information coming soon'
Jul 08
// Brett Makedonski
[Update: Activision has contacted us to clarify a few points. The beta will be coming to Sony first, but it will be coming to other platforms as well. Pre-ordering will grant you beta access.] Like most triple-A multipla...
Steins;Gate photo
Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate on PS3 and Vita are exclusive to Amazon in the US


Interesting
Jul 08
// Chris Carter
The Steins;Gate visual novel is coming to the PS3 and Vita platforms in the west, and will hit North American shores in August -- exclusively on Amazon, apparently, as revealed at the end of the newest trailer above. Strangely, the Vita version is $49.99 and the PS3 edition is $39.99, and both are physical. You can still find the game on PC at a number of locations if you wish.
Destiny stupidity photo
'Year One' fans suffered a beta phase
Having played and conquered every bit of Destiny for almost a year now, it's clear to me that the game was shipped as a beta. Bungie has provided a number of great quality-of-life updates, but the last House of Wolves&nb...

Dragon Quest Builders photo
Dragon Quest Builders

New Dragon Quest looks like a Minecraft clone


Welp
Jul 08
// Kyle MacGregor
Minecraft has no shortage of imitators, but I never thought Dragon Quest would be one of them. Enter Square Enix with its latest creation, Dragon Quest Builders, a "block make RPG" that looks an awful lot like Mojang's ludicr...
Lizard Squad photo
Lizard Squad

The hacker who ruined Christmas for Xbox Live and PSN gets off easy


A gentle slap on the wrist, very gentle
Jul 07
// Jed Whitaker
Remember last Christmas when I gave you my heart when PlayStation Network and Xbox Live were down for days at a time? That was caused by a group known as Lizard Squad of which 17-year-old Julius "zeekill" Kivimaki w...
Journey photo
Journey

Journey gets all emotional on PS4 in two weeks


Free for those who own it on PS3
Jul 07
// Brett Makedonski
Journey has been a staple of everyone's PlayStation 3 indie catalog for the past three years. In a scant two weeks, it'll be that exact same fixture except on PS4. They grow up so fast. Sony and thatgamecompany have ann...

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward's Alexander makes raids much more accessible

Jul 07 // Chris Carter
Endgame raids have seemingly undergone a few changes since we last left the Binding Coil of Bahamut in Realm Reborn. For starters, you can use the duty finder to enter Alexander immediately after completing the roughly 10 minute attunement quest -- the only thing you need is Item Level 170 or above, and the main story completed. Square Enix noted that they wanted the base raid to be more accessible (with a tougher challenge coming later for static groups), and I think they succeeded with that goal. There are four wings in all so far (more will be added at a later date like Coil), and the first three can easily be completed with a pick-up-group, so long as everyone is on their toes. The first fight features two mechs which need to be kept apart by the two tanks, the second battle is similar to Turn 4 of the first Coil (lots of adds, but with a fun mech-suit twist for one DPS), the third features a really cool shape-shifting water elemental, and the fourth is against a giant structure that almost feels like a confrontation with Alexander himself. I like all of them in their own way, though the fourth is easily comparable to an EX fight, and will give pick-up-groups more trouble. Loot is handled differently as well, as every fight drops "tokens" that you can use to acquire Item Level 190 gear in Idyllshire. The accessories only need one token, but the left side armor pieces will need at least two, if not four. As of today, I won two rolls for the head piece token, granting me a piece of headgear -- I have two more "lockouts" that I need to complete for the rest of the week, at which point I can't earn any other gear in Alexander. Theoretically you can get three pieces this week, with one accessory token, one waist token, and two hand tokens (some tokens share loot tables, and the body and legs take four each). [embed]295523:59398:0[/embed] It's not a perfect solution, but I really prefer it to the old system. Previously, I was raiding in Coil with my old static, and we'd find that we'd frequently get doubles of unneeded gear, leading to some of our group not getting any pieces and falling behind by sheer luck. This is typical of the MMO endgame routine, but in recent years, many developers have implemented tokens to combat this -- it's nice to see Square Enix adopt it, just in time for the new Master Loot system to make raid lead's lives easier. The actual design of the dungeons themselves are brilliant, filled with steam pouring from pipes, metallic slides, and tons of personality throughout. It's a nice departure from the overused Allegan theme of Coil, and overall, I'm liking it a bit more. I also really like the soundtrack, as it gets me sufficiently pumped to take on the new encounters.  I'm happy with Heavensward's Alexander raid debut, and Savage mode is set to arrive in two weeks from today, which will bring about the aforementioned tougher fights, more akin to what a typical static group would expect.
Square Enix photo
I braved all four current floors today
Today marks the release of the Alexander raid in Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, a pretty monumental day for hardcore players. We've all been tirelessly working on our sets, ensuring that we make our way up to a respectable I...

DDO (dee-doe) photo
DDO (dee-doe)

Capcom looses trailers for Dragon's Dogma Online


PS4, PC, PS3
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
Dragon's Dogma was a weird one. It was a Japanese take on the Western role-playing genre (Witcher 3 et al) that did some interesting things. The pitch black nights stood out to me. So, too, did the horrible combat barks. Doe...
Dragon Age: Inquisition photo
Dragon Age: Inquisition

Future Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC will be PC, PS4, and XB1 only


No Varric in a speedo for Gen 7, sorry
Jul 07
// Joe Parlock
Bad news for people still trudging through Dragon Age: Inquisition on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360: you won’t be getting any more DLC. In a blog post on the official Dragon Age site, it was announced all future DLC for...
WWE 2K16 photo
WWE 2K16

Glass breaks, music hits, and Stone Cold walks out as WWE 2K16 cover star


2K16 goes 3:16
Jul 06
// Brett Makedonski
As 2K is wont to do on occasion, the cover athlete of WWE 2K16 isn't a current full-time WWE Superstar. Well, he's current in that he hosts one of the best wrestling podcasts today, but he doesn't step into the squared ...
FFXIV photo
FFXIV

I'm pumped to raid in Final Fantasy XIV's Alexander


Mechanical playground
Jul 06
// Chris Carter
The Alexander raid, the second real raid set to debut in Final Fantasy XIV after The Binding Coil of Bahamut, is on track for tomorrow. In the meantime you can check out this new trailer to get an idea of what to expect...
Destiny script photo
Destiny script

Bungie brought on David Cross and Brian Posehn to write for Destiny


Ghost's dialogue could've been funny
Jul 03
// Jordan Devore
Did Destiny take itself too seriously? From my whopping hour and a half of experience with the game, I'd say so. It didn't have to be that way. Speaking to IGN, comedian and writer David Cross said he "jumped at the chance" t...
Battle Fantasia photo
Battle Fantasia

Beautiful fighter Battle Fantasia is coming to PC


Next week
Jul 02
// Chris Carter
Back in 2008, Battle Fantasia was released for the PS3 and 360. It was unique little fighting game with an amazing art style, but it was sadly swept under the rug. Thankfully it's getting a new lease on life on PC next week,...
WWE 2K16 photo
WWE 2K16

WWE 2K16 roster swells to almost twice the size of last year's


Bulking up
Jul 01
// Brett Makedonski
Developer Visual Concepts and wrestler Seth Rollins have a lot in common. They're both the architects and the future of the WWE. The only difference is that Visual Concepts handles the 2K video game side of things, not t...
PlayStation Plus photo
PlayStation Plus

There are four PS4 games in July's PlayStation Plus lineup


And, sweet, Geometry Wars 3 for Vita
Jul 01
// Jordan Devore
I feel like a digital hoarder with PlayStation Plus. So much stuff I don't need and never will. But I do need Rain, that game about a boy who is invisible unless he's in rain. Missed that back in 2013 and haven't given it any...
Arslan photo
Arslan

Here's our first look at the Heroic Legend of Arslan Musou game


Finally, actual in-game footage
Jul 01
// Chris Carter
The Heroic Legend of Arslan is getting a Musuo game that will arrive in Japan later this year on PS3 and PS4. Arslan is a classic manga series that's pretty popular in the east (and just got a new anime series), th...

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