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Role-Playing Games

Anchors in the Drift photo
Anchors in the Drift

Second Fig crowdfunding campaign Anchors in the Drift failed to meet its goal

Only made about 21 percent
Nov 20
// Darren Nakamura
I was ready to eat crow at the very beginning of the Anchors in the Drift crowdfunding campaign. After wondering aloud if the general public would get behind paying sizable chunks of money for a free-to-play game, it opened s...
Fallout 4 cut weapon photo
Fallout 4 cut weapon

Cut Fallout 4 weapon resurrected by modder

Harpoons thrust into the sky
Nov 20
// Nic Rowen
From the murky brine of cut content and dummied out items, modder xxdeathknight72xx has returned to the surface with a most intriguing treasure. A curious harpoon gun that never made it into the game proper. The harpoon gun ...
SMT X FE photo

Bask in the glory of more Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem weirdness

Love those costumes
Nov 20
// Chris Carter
More Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem (Genei Ibun Roku #FE in Japan) weirdness awaits. This time, admist the peppered-in combat sequences, there's a commercial for soda, lots of fantastic costumes, and even some anime c...

Review: Renowned Explorers: International Society

Nov 20 // Darren Nakamura
Renowned Explorers: International Society (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: Abbey GamesPublisher: Abbey GamesReleased: September 2, 2015MSRP: $19.99Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit In Renowned Explorers, the goal is to become a particularly renowned explorer among the group known as the Renowned Explorers. This is achieved by going on expeditions, recovering valuable treasures, making scientific discoveries, and navigating combat situations. Basically, an expedition is separated into two parts: resolving text-based events while traveling between nodes on a map and tactical combat on a modified hex grid. Both sections have elements of procedural generation, so there's always a sense of exploring the semi-unknown, even on an expedition to the same location as a previous run. Area maps are covered in fog of war, with only the nearest nodes visible. Combat arenas will vary the layout of obstacles, choke points, and healing zones. [embed]321138:61123:0[/embed] Indeed, Renowned Explorers is a "roguelite," meant to be played multiple times in order to truly master it. Herein lies one of the biggest hurdles I had to get over in order to enjoy it. For a game meant to be played again and again, it just takes way too long. A single run consists of five expeditions, and each expedition can take 30 to 45 minutes depending on how many encounters there are. It took me days to get through my first run because of the time commitment. This does speed up with experience, because combat becomes much faster after learning the ins and outs of it. Even so, expeditions easily last 20 minutes or more, so it's not the kind of "just one more" experience a roguelite needs to really grab somebody. This is exacerbated by the planning phase that occurs in between expeditions. Here, players spend the resources gathered during the previous expedition to purchase improved gear, recruit followers, and perform research. This is easily the densest part of Renowned Explorers for a new player. Every resource is connected to another in some way, and the game takes a laissez-faire approach; it presents a bevy of options and lets the player sort out what to do with them. Navigating the nooks and crannies of the planning phase can be exhausting at first, which makes the thought of taking on a new expedition right away seem that much more unreasonable. By far, my biggest disappointment starting off was with the combat system. It advertises multiple ways to resolve encounters; an explorer can be aggressive with physical attacks, be devious with insults and threats, or be friendly with encouragement. The three styles have a rock-paper-scissors relationship, so an aggressive approach is advantageous against a friendly enemy for instance. The problem with it is that each form of "attack" draws from the same "hit point" meter, which represents a foe's willingness to keep fighting. You could punch an enemy until he has only a sliver of health remaining, then finish him off by encouraging him to believe in your cause. Fighting and talking don't feel like they function differently. The battle system is hardly different than a simple three-element magic system at first. Only after really digging in did I spot the nuance. Some encounters will provide different rewards depending on how they are resolved. More importantly, it's the asymmetry in the rock-paper-scissors system that makes it interesting. Aggressive attack damage is a function of physical power, where devious and friendly attack damage comes from speech power, so an orator might have a stronger pair of scissors than he has a rock, so to speak. Within the speech powers, there is asymmetry as well. In general, devious skills cause debuffs while friendly skills cause buffs -- on friends and enemies alike. So while the current mood might call for a friendly attack, it is still necessary to weigh the risk of increasing the enemy's attack power in return. The point is: the combat system is deeper than it initially lets on, but it takes some effort for a player to really understand that. That basically describes Renowned Explorers: International Society on the whole. It features a set of deep systems with complex mechanics and relationships, but it places most of the burden on the player to discover it. I'll admit, I disliked it until it all fell into place and revealed itself for what it is. I'm not chomping at the bit to keep playing, but I am curious to delve deeper. Different combinations of explorers can beget different tactics both in and out of battle. That thought alone is enough to keep me from uninstalling it.
Renowned Explorers review photo
A lot to dig into
I'm glad I stuck Renowned Explorers out. For the first couple hours it was kind of a slog. Not exactly bad, but dense, unwieldy, and unexciting. I would finish an expedition and quit, not wanting to get back to it until days ...

Project X Zone 2 photo
Project X Zone 2

Project X Zone 2 pre-order bonuses include a challenge stage

Nov 20
// Chris Carter
Pre-order bonuses, as a rule, are pretty scummy. I get that publishers really need that cash now, but providing in-game incentives, some of which are not sold later (or, even crazier, just included in the game -- weird, ...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

There's a Fallout 4 patch hitting PC next week

Console patch on the way later
Nov 20
// Laura Kate Dale
It's no secret that Fallout 4 is pretty damn buggy. Bethesda open world RPGs are not known for technical polish, and the development team knows that well. Thankfully, the first patch for the game will be rolling out next week...
First Valkyria trailer photo
First trailer and way more screenshots
So I jumped the gun yesterday when I said Valkyria: Azure Revolution and Valkyria Chronicles Remaster (PS4) news was petering off. Yesterday's plain, boring website is now home to a bunch of new screens, the first footage of...

Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

How to make sure you're extra super dead in Fallout 4

That's gotta hurt (locker)
Nov 19
// Brett Makedonski
What do you call a man with no arms and no legs floating in a lake? Bob! What do you call a man with no arms and no legs outside a door? Matt! What do you call a man with no arms and no legs flying across a post-apocalyptic wasteland? I...I don't have a dad joke for that one.
Pretty good photo
Pretty good

No one's talking about Square's new Chrono Trigger inspired PS4/Vita RPG

It looks alright!
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
I guess a few years ago "new Chrono Trigger-styled RPG from Square" might've carried a bit more weight. Hell, a few years prior still and "new RPG from Square" would've carried a lot more weight. Maybe it's that the former "P...
Dragon Quest Heroes PC photo
Dragon Quest Heroes PC

Dragon Quest Heroes coming to PC December 3

Includes DLC from PS4 edition
Nov 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Dragon Quest Heroes will be coming to Steam on December 3, Square Enix revealed today. For $60, the PC version will come packaged with 11 bonus items and a pair of additional maps that were originally included with the "Slime Collector's Edition" on PlayStation 4. You can find more information about the action RPG in our full review here. Dragon Quest Heroes: Slime Edition [Steam]
Japan Warriors poll photo
Japan Warriors poll

Persona or SMT Warriors? Atlus says 'get in touch with us anytime'

Or Final Fantasy Warriors?
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
A recent Famitsu poll asked fans what Koei Tecmo Warriors (or Musou) crossover they'd most want to see and Gematsu has the Sokuho@Hokanko translation of the results, as well as responses by those series' respective creators o...
Imperial SaGa photo
Imperial SaGa

Sad new PC SaGa videos let you relive the old art

Imperial SaGa nods to series' past
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
For the 25th anniversary of SaGa, Square announced a new entry for Vita, SaGa 2015. With it, there's Imperial SaGa, a free-to-play PC RPG executive produced by SaGa creator Akitoshi Kawazu and featuring a few other key SaGa ...
Valkyria PS4 details photo
Valkyria PS4 details

Valkyria: Azure Revolution, Valkyria Chronicles Remaster get websites

Plus box art
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
Two days ago an announcement, yesterday the first screens, and today...web pages. Well, yes, things do get less exciting after their initial release. Gotta slow the pace down to be able to blow you out of the water with the n...
Fallout video photo
Fallout video

Fallout 4 at its unscripted best

Anything goes!
Nov 18
// Jordan Devore
Much has been said about Fallout 4's imperfect dialog system, but I haven't seen many people bring up the weird, occasionally hilarious things that can happen to you mid-conversation. This ten-second video is one such example. Perhaps even the perfect example.
Fallout 4 armor photo
Fallout 4 armor

If you're using power armor in Fallout 4, you'll want this torso piece

Radiation for the nation
Nov 18
// Nic Rowen
I've been really trying to break the “too good to use” curse in Fallout 4. Now that power armor consumes (semi) rare fusion cores whenever you use it, my natural instinct is to tinker and craft myself the perfect ...
Valkyria shots photo
Valkyria shots

First shots of Valkyria: Azure Revolution and the PS4 remaster

New Valkyria series game coming to PS4
Nov 18
// Steven Hansen
I don't know if it was the Valkyria Chronicles Steam release success or Sega just doing its regular couple years of apologizing with good releases before falling into a funk again, but there is a new, anime-as-hell Valkyria C...
Chrono Trigger photo
Chrono Trigger

The concept for Chrono Trigger came about from a trip to the United States

Man, this game!
Nov 18
// Chris Carter
I had played RPGs before it, but Chrono Trigger was probably the first time that I sat down and became immersed in something for days on end. Having borrowed it from a friend I didn't run into the "rental" problem I had...
We are all 12 photo
We are all 12

The dialogue in Fallout 4 is so much better as farts

I can't stop laughing at this
Nov 18
// Jed Whitaker
Some evil genius decided to completely redo all the voice dialogue in Fallout 4, only instead of words he uses fart sounds. Bethesda spent years writing and recording this dialogue, while this person made it better in just ov...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Fallout 4 mod lets you see full sentence dialogue prompts

No more accidental choices
Nov 18
// Laura Kate Dale
Fallout 4's streamlined dialogue options have been a divisive subject among players. Some love the more minimal interface, while others like myself wish we had a clearer idea of what exactly we were about to say. Thankfully, ...
SMT IV: Final photo
SMT IV: Final

Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final gets original SMT IV cast

Including one party member
Nov 17
// Steven Hansen
Atlus is embracing confusing naming conventions with the upcoming Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final, which Atlus has billed as not a direct sequel to SMTIV (you don't have to have played it to play Final) when we last wrote about...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

We need to dirty that Pip-Boy up a little bit

As carefully as possible, of course
Nov 17
// Brett Makedonski
Anyone who got their hands on the wrist-encapsulating replica Pip-Boy with their copy of Fallout 4 might feel a dissonance between the dirty, grimy in-game world and the shiny coat of paint on the device. For a place wh...
Valkyria Chronicles photo
Valkyria Chronicles

A new Valkyria Chronicles and a remaster are coming to PS4

Next year in Japan
Nov 17
// Jordan Devore
As it turns out, Sega's recent Valkyria trademark was worth getting excited over after all. The company has a new game in the series and a remaster of the original Valkyria Chronicles in development for PlayStation 4, accordi...
Project Setsuna photo
Project Setsuna

Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna, Tokyo RPG Factory's latest, launches in early 2016

Also known as 'Project Setsuna'
Nov 17
// Chris Carter
Earlier this year at E3, we got a glimpse at "Project Setsuna," and damn was it beautiful. Now the game is known as Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna, and already has a release date in Japan -- February 18. It'll launch on both ...
Andromeda photo

Is this our first glimpse at the name of the Mass Effect: Andromeda protagonist?

Would certainly make some sense
Nov 17
// Laura Kate Dale
The internet is full of really eagle-eyed geeks, the kind of people willing to freeze frame trailers that seemingly show off absolutely nothing and find nuggets of new information in them. Sometimes they are right on the mone...
Fallout myths photo
Fallout myths

Well, that's one way to enter a locked building in Fallout 4

Fallout 4 Mythbusters
Nov 16
// Jordan Devore
In this first Fallout 4 episode of the YouTube show Mythbusters, we're shown a trick to enter locked buildings. Turns out you can just peek through a window and sit on furniture to warp inside. There can't be very many locations where that would work, but it's amusing all the same. And speaking of amusing, try holding up an item the next time you chat with someone.
Disgaea on Steam photo
Disgaea on Steam

I hope Disgaea on Steam is a sign of things to come

The first game hits PC in February
Nov 16
// Jordan Devore
NIS is bringing the original Disgaea to Steam. Cool, right? The strategy role-playing game will be available on PC in February with enhancements including an updated user interface and textures, Steam achievements and cloud s...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Fallout 4 has a room with all the weapons and items, and it's easy to find

Nov 16
// Brett Makedonski
Fallout 4's the type of game that's dripping with secrets for the community to discover. Its open world holds so much potential to hide things from players, knowing that they'll inevitably find them. One such room has been f...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Yes, the first game breaking Fallout 4 bug has been found

Be careful where you travel
Nov 16
// Laura Kate Dale
It was only a matter of time, but the first repeatable game breaking bug has been found in Fallout 4. We all knew this was coming. The bug, which crashes to desktop on PC, is triggered as part of a settlement quest where play...
Arcanum photo

Design documents for a sequel to Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura uncovered

More inspired by Deus Ex and Thief
Nov 16
// Joe Parlock
Way back in 2001, gone-but-not-forgotten developer Troika released Arcanum: Of Steamworks of Magick Obscura. It was an utterly fantastic (if buggy) RPG set in a vast, strange steampunk fantasy world where the long-established...

Quick tips for making friends in Yo-Kai Watch

Nov 15 // Ben Davis
The main thing you'll want to do when trying to befriend a certain Yo-Kai is figure out which type of food is its favorite. This can be a bit difficult, as there's no way to know for sure without throwing a bunch of different things at it and seeing which one it likes best. Plus, there are a ton of food types to choose from (rice balls, bread, candy, milk, burgers, ramen, vegetables, meat, and more). Some of them are easy to guess: for example, Mochismo, the Yo-Kai based on mochi, likes rice balls; and Chummer, the shark Yo-Kai who can be seen eating grass, likes vegetables. For everyone else, it might be simpler to just look up a guide rather than waste a bunch of food trying to figure out what they like the most. The best guide I've come across can be found here. When using food during battle, press the Y button to use the food on an enemy rather than a member of your party. The food will usually be eaten by the center enemy in battle, so if you're looking to befriend a different one, either defeat the middle Yo-Kai first and then use a food item, or place a pin on the enemy you want to focus on. Strangely enough, it can sometimes end up that a Yo-Kai other than the one you threw food at will ask to be friends after the battle, which can be annoying, but it happens. Another good tip for making friends is to try and find a Yo-Kai with the Popularity skill. This skill makes foes more likely to become friendly after battle, so it's always a good idea to have someone with this skill on your team while hunting for new pals. Yo-Kai with the Popularity skill include Cupistol, Casanuva, Shmoopie, and Pinkipoo. But make sure you don't have Casanono or Pookivil on your team, because their Unpopularity skill might scare potential friends away. Cupistol and Shmoopie can be found relatively early on, so they will probably be the best bet for players just starting out. Cupistol is a rank D Yo-Kai who can be found in the Downtown area around Graduate Street to the north. Look around the trees there for a rank D to appear on your watch. Cupistol will also sometimes appear along with Happierre, a rank C Yo-Kai who can be found in the trees in that same area. Make sure to bring lots of bread when trying to befriend Cupistol. Shmoopie is a rank C Yo-Kai who can be found in the grassy patches of Mount Wildwood. I believe this one always appears alone, so no need to worry about accidentally befriending someone else. Shmoopie likes hamburgers, so stock up on those before hunting for him. The other two, Casanuva and Pinkipoo, can only be found later in the game. Casanuva can be evolved from a Cupistol if fused with the Love Buster item. Likewise, Pinkipoo can be evolved from Shmoopie when combined with the Love Scepter. They can also be found in the wild. Casanuva likes to hang out in Nocturne Hospital, sometimes alone and often as a counterpart with Betterfly or Compunzer. Pinkipoo can be found in the final area of the game, which is maybe a bit spoilery so I won't get into it here, but you'll know it when you see it. Both Casanuva and Pinkipoo enjoy the same food as their unevolved forms (bread and hamburgers, respectively). The final tip is a bit more unreliable, but if you get lucky it can really help. Occasionally during battle, a floating wisp will appear which can be hit with a pin for various rewards. Sometimes, a bunch of hearts will pop out of the wisp, which means foes will be much more likely to become friendly after the battle. It's not something you can count on, but if you ever see a wisp during a fight with a Yo-Kai that you really want, be sure to hit it with a pin just in case! Of course, even after doing all of this, there's still a chance that the Yo-Kai will not want to be your friend, which can be frustrating. But these tips should increase your chances significantly. I found that after obtaining a Casanuva, I was spending way less time grinding for friends, so apparently the Popularity skill works well, especially when combined with food. Just keep at it and eventually you'll have all the friends you could want!
Yo-Kai Watch tips photo
Just be my friend already!
Yo-Kai Watch recently released in the west earlier this month. I've been having a blast with it, but I've also been having some difficulties as well. So far I haven't been able to find any good guides to help walk me through ...

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