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Platinum Games

Review: The Legend of Korra

Oct 21 // Chris Carter
The Legend of Korra (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Platinum GamesPublisher: ActivisionReleased: October 21, 2014 (PC, PS3, PS4) / October 22 (Xbox 360, Xbox One)MSRP: $14.99 For those of you who don't follow the Avatar/Korra cartoons, here's a quick refresher on what to expect. In the realm that Korra inhabits, there are four core elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Through rigorous training, benders can master any one of these, but the "Avatar," a living god-like entity who is reincarnated over time, can master all of them. Korra is one such Avatar. The game picks up in a strange spot having explained almost none of her backstory (outside of the aforementioned Avatar setup), and you're dropped into the action in Republic City right away. This is both a good and bad thing, depending on what you want out of Korra, as the story and any sort of real narrative takes a backseat throughout the adventure. Cartoon cutscenes are spliced in throughout, but they often last 30 seconds at most and serve as nothing more than quick, jarring transitions to the next area. The story plays out like a basic episode of the show. This time, the gimmick is that an evil seer has stripped Korra of her powers, and you'll have to earn each element back level by level. Every bending style has its own level system and sense of progression, and by the end you'll have everything at your disposal. [embed]282722:56009:0[/embed] Korra herself is a cool character, and tends to take a more hot-headed approach than Aang, the protagonist of the original Avatar series. She also has a pretty awesome friend in the form of Naga, a giant polar bear thing that you can ride during specific Temple Run-like sequences. Since the story bits are so short, you don't get to see a lot of Korra's personality, though. Like any Platinum game, the devil is in the gameplay details. You'll have light and heavy combos at your employ, as well as the power to use each element in tandem with one another -- water serves as a projectile of sorts, fire allows for quick melee blows, earth is slow but powerful, and air is more of an area-of-effect element. Korra can guard and counter (when guard is pressed at the right moment) for extra protection, as well as dodge when needed. All of this plays out like a "light" version of Platinum's previous games. Combos aren't as deep as the rest of the studio's action catalog, and while everything is rather smooth, you can often rely on the same few moves to earn success. It works as advertised though, and the game's visuals perfectly complement the smooth engine -- it really looks like the show. The game also tends to bank far too heavily on counters, which wouldn't be a bad thing if they weren't so finicky. For one boss in particular, anything outside of counters will do a pitiful amount of chip damage. The only problem is he randomly queues up some non-counterable attacks (lightning-themed abilities cannot be countered in general), and sometimes it can take a few minutes to get the "right" randomly generated counter move. It's not a huge deal considering these encounters only come around every so often. Each chapter is broken up by small hub worlds, which are connected to challenge rooms of sorts, putting up barriers to block your escape. There's not a lot of exploration -- mainly short hallways to locate elemental chests to break (some of which force you to replay levels with new powers). There's a small amount of platforming to master but not as much as I would have liked. Moderation is a recurring theme in Korra in that nothing is too frustrating, but nothing is too exciting, either. As you play you'll earn spirit energy, a form of currency used to buy health items and talismans from the shop. You won't need any of these items though, as normal mode is fairly straightforward in nature. Sadly, you'll have to complete the game on normal first before you unlock the Extreme difficulty. I get that it's a show aimed at younger audiences, but it would have been great to have the option to start there if you're a Platinum fan seeking a challenge. If you're keen on replaying the game there are a ton of unlocks, especially if you go back and try to find every elemental chest. There are also new costumes, including one for completing Extreme. One playthrough will last you around four hours over the game's eight chapters, and there's a "Pro-Bending" league to play afterwards with different rankings -- these are basically small arena-like encounters with special rules. At the end of the day, I wish The Legend of Korra was a fully-featured retail release. While Platinum has done a great job in terms of delivering a solid action romp, the jarring cutscenes and open-and-shut story leave little in terms of replay value. Avatar and Korra fans will likely rejoice at the fact that they're finally getting a decent game.
Legend of Korra review photo
A nice but brief romp with Korra and Naga
One of the biggest surprises of 2014 had to be the announcement of a Legend of Korra game, published by Activision and developed by Platinum Games. Yes, that Platinum Games -- the current master of action titles. It...

Bayonetta 2 photo
Bayonetta 2

Yep, I have no idea what this Bayonetta 2 trailer's all about


I'm so lost
Oct 09
// Brett Makedonski
Look, I'm not the type of guy that would lie to you. I wouldn't feign expertise in something I know nothing about. Today, that something is Bayonetta 2, as this launch trailer makes very little sense to me. This is all givin...
Korra photo
Korra

Legend of Korra will have difficulty levels Platinum fans expect


And a final boss that will 'blow your mind'
Sep 29
// Steven Hansen
This first "behind the scenes" video for Platinum's Legend of Korra game isn't great, but fans of Platinum's intense action fare might be happy to hear that there will be a high difficulty level just for them. Could've ...
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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance now available on Mac


With a five-day sale
Sep 25
// Dale North
Platinum Games and Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is now available on the Mac platform, thanks to TransGaming. This marks the franchise's debut on Mac. This is a fine game that deserves to be on lots of sy...
Wonderful 101 photo
Wonderful 101

Wonderful 101's wonderful soundtrack is getting a digital release


127 tracks
Sep 09
// Chris Carter
Good news, Wonderful 101 fans -- Platinum Games is releasing the full soundtrack of 127 tunes to a digital provider near you. The collection is split into two volumes at $9.99 each, which translates to five CDs total. So...
Bayonetta 2 photo
Thirty minutes of Bayonetta
I'm still surprised that Nintendo is pushing Bayonetta 2 as hard as it is when Wonderful 101 matched their brand effortlessly, and they barely promoted it. As I've said in the past, every time I've seen this game d...

I swam around as a snake and then I don't know what happened in Bayonetta 2

Aug 30 // Brett Makedonski
I played chapter five, titled "Cathedral of Cascades," which started off with me transforming into a snake and swimming to land. I was incredibly good at this part, probably because it was impossible to screw up. Being the rock solid reporter that I am, I inquired as to whether Bayonetta can turn into any other animals. Did you know Bayonetta can transform into a fucking panther? Maybe I would've if I played the original, but seriously -- a goddamn panther. Needless to say, the next couple minutes were blocked off for panther dashing. That line of people behind me? I didn't care so much about them; they probably got lots of panther time in the first game.  Once that novelty wore off, I continued with the demo and things got significantly more convoluted. Combat? Yeah, I had no idea what I was doing. I eventually fell into a rhythm with the dodge button, and felt semi-competent despite the fact that I probably wasn't. I managed to rack up gold statuses on a few sections. That euphoria vanished immediately when the Nintendo representative told me that there are two rankings above gold. So, it's kind of a really fancy C-plus. However, combat was the most intuitive thing in the world compared to the narrative. Cut scenes? They looked nice, but it might as well have been in another language for as little sense as it made to me. Nintendo gave me a whole list of things that I can't mention in this preview, but it need not worry because I don't have a clue what any of those words mean anyway. My massive heaps of ignorance aside, I had a good time with Bayonetta 2. Combat can be supremely satisfying when the pieces fall into place. The plot? Maybe it's good, I don't know. But, don't be concerned with all of that because you can transform into a sea snake and a panther. That's all that really matters. This wasn't a very good preview.
Bayonetta 2 preview photo
That snake part was crystal clear, though
Minor confession to make: I haven't played Bayonetta. Yeah, I hear it's good, but I just never got around to it. It happens. Heading into a quick hands-on session with Bayonetta 2, I figured my inexperience wouldn't matter much. Wow, was I ever wrong. Now a few hours removed from the demo, my head's still spinning from trying to discern exactly what the hell just happened.

Korra photo
Korra

See more of Platinum's Legend of Korra game


Is Pro-Bending a sport?
Aug 26
// Steven Hansen
We're in a great point in technology that 2D properties can be faithfully represented in 3D instead of looking weird and uncanny. Platinum's Legend of Korra game looks pretty neat, even to someone who hasn't watched the...
Platinum Games photo
Platinum Games

Platinum's The Legend of Korra releasing in October


Here's hoping this will be a treat for fans
Aug 25
// Jordan Devore
Months later, I'm still wrapping my head around the fact that action studio extraordinaire Platinum Games is behind an Activision-published videogame adaptation of The Legend of Korra. Potential -- real potential -- for a lic...
Bayonetta 2 photo
Bayonetta 2

The sound and the fury of Bayonetta 2's angels and demons


Finding the opposite of angels
Aug 20
// Brittany Vincent
Bayonetta 2 sound designer Daisuke Sakata touched on how he goes about designing sounds for his games in a recent post on the PlatinumGames blog. In particular, Sakata talks about the presence of both angel and demon enemies...
Bayonetta 2 photo
Bayonetta 2

More Bayonetta 2 screens make me want to speak in tongues


Now let me demonstrate...
Aug 15
// Brittany Vincent
I've got this feeling and it's deep in my body. It gives me wiggles and it makes my rump shake. It's called "looking at these Bayonetta 2 screens." That's why I'm so tickled about this latest batch, but honestly I'm about rea...
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I fartbend in your general direction
A new 15-minute-long gameplay video has been released for The Legend of Korra beat-'em-up by Platinum Games. It shows off a variety of combos and elemental abilities, including nods to the series such as the ability to ride an air scooter. Here's what I've gleaned from the footage.

Bayonetta 2 screens photo
Bayonetta 2 screens

This Santa is blasť, this mob-man is terrified: Bayonetta 2 is wacky


Look at his face!
Jul 24
// Steven Hansen
The choice between badass Santa and comically scared mob boss for the header image was a hard one. The Santa thing is a bit trite, I guess, but he wins out. Still, look at that guy's face.  Bayonetta 2 looks insane,...
Bayonetta 2 photo
Bayonetta 2

Don't worry, Bayonetta 2 will come packaged with the original game as well


Do you wanna touch me?
Jul 08
// Brittany Vincent
Concerned over how you're going to pick up Bayonetta in addition to its sequel when it finally hits the Wii U? Not sure how you want to purchase the game so that you'll get a copy of the first game? Worry no more -- at least,...
Bayonetta photo
Bayonetta

Bayonetta's sultry crooning will stay the same for Bayonetta: Bloody Fate


Oh-oh-oh-oh, Miss Bayonetta~!
Jul 08
// Brittany Vincent
If you were concerned that the dulcet tones of Bayonetta and the rest of the gang were going to change drastically with the release of the anime feature Bayonetta: Bloody Fate, you can breathe a sigh of relief. FUNimation has...
Daisy photo
Daisy

A Daisy costume will be making an appearance in Bayonetta Wii U as well


In addition to Peach, Samus, and Link
Jun 30
// Chris Carter
After a ton of detective work, users around the 'net spotted a peculiar image from the Wii U's upcoming release of Bayonetta. Specifically, it showed a locket containing special costumes from Link, Samus, and Peach, but there...
Bayonetta 2 photo
Bayonetta 2

Go in for the kill with these new Bayonetta 2 screens


AZAZAZ PIADPH!
Jun 27
// Brittany Vincent
"Do you want to touch me?" I mean, I wanna touch Bayonetta 2. I need my hands all over it. I can't wait much longer for its release, and we've already covered climaxing together. Here's something to keep you going while ...
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Hopefully, this game won't suffer from a lack of heart
Platinum Games, developers of Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising, are developing a Legend of Korra game. This game takes Korra on a quest to regain her element bending powers and defeat a new villain with chi-blocking abilities. The Legend of Korra game will be released as a download title for Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, and PC this Fall, for $14.99.

Platinum is making a Legend of Korra game, and it's pretty awesome

Jun 26 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Legend of Korra [PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 [previewed], Xbox 360, Xbox One]Developer: Platinum GamesPublisher: ActivisionRelease: Fall 2014 For all you fans of the series, The Legend of Korra game takes place right after book two, centering on the consequences of what happened at the end of last season. Think of this as more of a self-contained episode, a nice side story before we deal with the real consequences in Book 3: Change which debuts this Friday on Nickelodeon. Show creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko worked closely with Platinum to develop the game. They even jointly created the new villain, one that uses a new type of Chi blocking that has left Korra powerless at the beginning of this adventure. Her powers haven't been taken away completely, and as you go through the levels (with set pieces taken from the show such as Air Temple Island, Republic City, more), Korra will remember how to use her bending abilities once again.    The story here will reference elements from the show and there will undoubtedly be a lot of callbacks that will make fans happy. That said, don't let that keep you from this game. The action elements are pretty awesome, thanks in large part to Platinum's skills at making great combat mechanics. All you need to know is that you're playing as a real badass who can bend the four elements of fire, water, air, and earth to her will. As Korra re-discovers her various bending skills, she'll find that she's stuck using more of the basic attacks with each element. But as you progress and level up, you'll upgrade your attacks and learn new combos. What makes the fighting top notch here is how seamlessly you can swap between your four powers as you're unleashing combos on enemies. Water bending, for example, is good for long-range attacks -- either throwing out projectiles, or using a "water whip"-like move to reel enemies closer to you. On the other hand, air bending is best as an area-of-effect attack when dealing with a group of enemies surrounding you. Each bending style offers something unique, and it's best to mix up your attacks as much as possible. Oh, and you totally can summon an air ball and ride it around just like in the show. Between your light and heavy attacks, you also have a special charge attack for more powerful bending moves, plus there's a dodge and counter move as well. Countering is especially encouraged, most of all when dealing with boss-type enemies. It's a similar counter system to that of Revengeance, where you have to learn the enemy patterns to best time the counter over being babied and getting some notification to time the counter correctly. Though, admittedly, the learning curve for timing is way smaller in The Legend of Korra.  And yes, you can go into the Avatar state. The specifics of what will allow you to summon your special ability haven't been quite nailed down yet, but ultimately the game will let you know when you can go full out, and at that point you'll be unleashing all your bending abilities at once for a duration of time. Again, for an alpha, the combat system was pretty damn fluid. The camera was a little finicky during my hands-on time, but didn't ultimately hinder my session. I was impressed with how far along the game was already, and there's going to be loads of time for polish between now and the release date. Visually, the game was looking nice too. The cartoon-y/cel-shaded look was pleasant, especially when the different bending elements were in use by the player or enemies. Speaking of which, while the big boss is new, most of the enemy foot soldiers were recycled from the past two seasons of the show. My playthrough saw me encountering chi blockers, Mecha Tanks, and some of the Triads too. A nice touch though at least is that chi blockers can knock out whatever last ability you were using for a small duration of time. The voice actors from the show reprise their role here for the game, and a large chunk of the game's music is taken from the show too. On top of the core action elements, there's also a Naga-running section where you have to navigate levels much in the same way as something like in Temple Run. Plus there's Pro-Bending sections where Korra, Mako, and Bolin will be fighting others in Pro-Bending! So, you're probably asking at this point how this crazy collaboration came to be. Platinum, a Japanese studio, working on a license game of a American TV series that takes heavy influences from Japanese anime. And it's being published by Activision, no less. Well, on Activision's end, the specific office in charge was presented with a list of developers to work with. It was a "no brainer" when they saw that Platinum was an option, as Robert Conkey, producer on the Activision side told Destructoid. "These guys are one of the best third-person action developers in the world." As for Platinum's perspective, producer Atsushi Kurooka broke down exactly what made the Japanese studio interested in working on this project (as translated through Robert Conkey): "One of the first impressions with Korra was that [we] were blown away by how awesome the show was. The main reason [we] were interested in the brand was one, [we] were really impressed with how involved the story was and how detailed it was. It was just really fascinating to [us]. Just the fact that it's so detailed and the fact that each of the bending styles is based on actual different types of Kung-Fu. The way that it's actually animated is just really impressive. "There's more to it than that too. There's the love story that they have, and there's Bolin as the comic relief and the comedy in it is just awesome. [We] felt that it was an incredibly well put together and balanced show and [we] hadn't seen something like that before ... [We] felt like [we] could relate. In a lot of [our] older games, it was often that they had a serious side to it but it also had a tongue-in-cheek aspect. We considered it a challenge that we never really had to do it very strictly before, stick to a brand and actually realize that brand while still keeping to [our] way of making games." I think the one only downside to The Legend of Korra game is that it's going to be four hours long for an average playthrough. Of course you can do replays and go for 100% completion, but as a giant fan of the cartoon series, I wish there was going to be more. Otherwise, like I said before, think of this as a self-contained episode. It's not going to outstay its welcome, and it's a solid deal when you also factor in that this will be $14.99 when it comes out. Oh, and there's a 3DS The Legend of Korra game in the works. I only found out because it was offhandedly mentioned in the press release I got so I guess Activision doesn't have much faith in it? Anyway the 3DS game is being developed by Webfoot Technologies as a retail release where it follows the same story as the console version, but it's a turn-based strategy RPG where you maneuver Korra and her allies around on the battlefield.
Legend of Korra photo
First hands-on preview
Yup, you read that headline correctly. Platinum Games, the maker of such fine titles as Mad World, Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising, The Wonderful 101, and more, is creating a game based on The Legend of Korra series. It's being ...

Bayonetta photo
Bayonetta

Working with Nintendo pushed Bayonetta 2 'to even higher quality,' says director


Platinum 'learned a lot from Nintendo'
Jun 25
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo hasn't bought Platinum Games (wouldn't that be an interesting development?) but the company is acting as publisher for Bayonetta 2, which has become one of the bigger Wii U games of this year. Speaking to CVG, direct...
Platinum Games photo
Platinum Games

The Legend of Korra game announced, developed by Platinum Games


Uh.....wow?
Jun 25
// Alessandro Fillari
I'm not really much a fan of the Avatar series, but I might become one after this. It was just announced that Platinum Games, the developers of Bayonetta, Vanquish, and Metal Gear Rising, are working on the official video gam...
Bayonetta photo
Bayonetta

Bayonetta Wii U-specific outfits empower Bowser kicks and visor flips


Sequel pack-in bonuses add extra flair
Jun 21
// Jonathan Holmes
Bayonetta 2 is almost here, and from everything I've played, it seems to be a more consistently exuberantgame than the original. While the first game frequently toggled between serious face grim-darkness and light-hearted whi...
Bayonetta photo
Bayonetta

Original game not included with Bayonetta 2 Wii U eShop downloads


What gives?
Jun 10
// Jordan Devore
[Update: Oh good! "The original version of Bayonetta will be available via a digital download on eShop when you purchase Bayonetta 2 (either a box version or digital copy of the game)," says Nintendo. Glad that's settled.]...
Bayonetta photo
And there are Nintendo-themed outfits
As announced during Nintendo's E3 2014 Digital Event, Platinum Games will finally be ready for us in October with Bayonetta 2 -- and there's a bonus. The original game is included for free! We also got a quick look at a new trailer -- it looked hot, always -- and apparently there will be Link and Samus outfits for Bayonetta. Gotta find those, ASAP!

Platinum on Xbox One photo
'Action at a whole new scale'
Platinum Games has shown off their new Xbox One exclusive, and it looks insane as usual. It's called Scalebound, and the idea is focused on huge boss fights with various creatures, ranging from dragons to the Hydra. It'...

Smash Bros. photo
Smash Bros.

Wonder Red appears in Smash Bros. 4... as a trophy


*Price is Right losing horn*
May 07
// Jonathan Holmes
One of the intrusive thoughts that would hit me while playing The Wonderful 101 is how great the game's collection of 100 simultaneously controlled heroes would work as a contestant in the next Smash Bros tournament...
Platinum Games photo
Platinum Games

Platinum Games once again sings the praises of Nintendo


The publisher is thanked again for saving Bayonetta 2
Mar 03
// Chris Carter
Platinum Games producer JP Kellams recently spoke at UCF’s Center for Emerging Media, and reminded fans yet again that if it wasn't for Nintendo, Bayonetta 2 would not have existed. Kellams outright states, "...

PC Port Report: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Jan 17 // Patrick Hancock
Metal  Gear Rising: Revengeance (PC tested], PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: Platinum GamesPublisher: Konami Digital EntertainmentMSRP: $29.99Release Date: January 9, 2014Rig: Intel i7-4770k 3.50 GHz, 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 560 Ti GPU  I’ll start with the best news of all about this PC port: the team is listening. When the game launched, it required an online connection to Steam in order to actually play; playing offline was impossible. However, Konami is actually paying attention and has already fixed the issue. With any PC port, an attentive team behind the game is critical. Too often do games get a terrible port only to also be ignored after the initial release. If they’re paying attention, any number of further issues could be addressed! When booting the game up, be ready for some unskippable splash screens of company logos. As of yet, there isn’t even a sneaky edit-the-files way of getting around this, which is a bummer. After that, diving into the video options screen yields some decent results. There are some missing resolution sizes, and for whatever reasons my native desktop resolution simply does not work with Revengeance, forcing me to play at a lower resolution. If you change the display to one that can’t be displayed, the game won’t automatically go back after 15 seconds or so, like most resolution changes. Mashing the escape key will eventually reset the settings, though. Texture filtering, antialiasing, blur, and more can all be customized in the options menu. There is not, however, an option to play in a borderless window or to alter the FOV. The controls can be almost completely remapped, as the game does not accept extra mouse buttons (mouse 4+) as valid inputs. Playing with a keyboard and mouse isn’t bad, though performing the slow-motion slices, where the angle can be adjusted with each slice, is very awkward when using a mouse. The game also has negative mouse acceleration, which means that very small mouse movements will simply be ignored by the game. The game also supports Xbox 360 controllers perfectly fine, though other controllers will require a third party program to use and the button prompts will not be changed on-screen. The game looks great, especially in motion. With the graphics pushed up, everything is just lovely. In-game, Revengeance runs at a constant 60 frames per second. Seeing as the game moves incredibly quickly at times, the solid graphics and great framerate make Revengeance a wonderfully visual experience. Considering that the PC version also comes with all three pieces of DLC and Raiden costumes, it’s hard to argue against this port. Sure, it isn’t perfect, with a glaring omission or two and it lacks a handful of niceties, but it has something that many PC ports don’t have -- a team that fixes stuff, opening up the door to more potential fixes in the future. It plays very well on a keyboard and mouse or an Xbox gamepad, so take up your weapon of choice and get slicin’.
PC Port: Revengeance photo
A lesson in listening
Hey everyone! There’s a Platinum Games game out on PC! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Well, I guess since this is their first foray into the world of PC ports, it’s probably a good idea to check and see how well they&...

Wonderful 101 photo
Wonderful 101

Kamiya considered Mii play for W101, wants it in W102


You don't say
Jan 17
// Chris Carter
Pretty much everything famed game director Hideki Kamiya says on Twitter shouldn't be taken at face value, but every so often he'll tweet out a sincere take on the industry. Musing on some of the design concepts of Wonderful ...






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