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Role-Playing Games

Bravely Second photo
Bravely Second

Bravely Second shows off some new jobs, including Astrologian


Also, Exorcist and Charioteer
Jan 28
// Chris Carter
If Bravely Second: End Layer is simply more Bravely Default, I can deal with that. Of course it will have some new stuff to go with its story continuation, including nine new jobs. That includes Guardian, Exorcist, Wizar...
FFXV photo
FFXV

Final Fantasy XV's January 30 update will detail stealth, magic


Oh and have some new screens
Jan 26
// Chris Carter
Square Enix has been peppering in "Active Time Report" updates for some time now, which are basically just big livestreams that detail more information for Final Fantasy XV. Normally I'd be over a gigantic hype campaign ...

Nintendo 3DS's spring is an oasis of JRPGs

Jan 26 // Steven Hansen
Project X Zone 2 is full Japanese gaming fan service with appearances by the likes of anyone from Street Fighter's Ryu to Devil May Cry's Dante and Vergil to Shenmue's Ryo Hazuki to SPace Channel 5's Ulala. It's coming to 3DS February 16. Bravely Second: End Layer hits Europe on February 26 and the states on April 15. There are 12 new jobs in this old school JRPG from Square Enix, including Catmancer, a class that trains cats to use enemies' skills (like the past game's Vampire). Another involves throwing cake at people. It also tried to "take the pain out of the grinding" with a "let it ride" system where random battles will flow into one another so you don't have to run back and forth to trigger another. The caveat is that if you finally lose, there goes all the accumulated experience from those battles. It also "might be longer than Bravely Default." Plus, here are some actual lines of dialogue from Bravely Second: End Layer. Note: "Ba'als" is pronounced "balls." Like balls. "She studies Ba'als." "Ba'al buster Magnolia Arch is on the job." "A new Ba'al is headed this way and it's my job to bust it." "It's...it's huge [referring to a Ba'al]." "I'm Magnolia Arch and it's time to bust some Ba'als." The localization team went Ba'als to the wall with this joke. Oh, hey, Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow -- yes, the originals -- are coming to the 3DS eShop on February 27? Time to find out how well that game is actually balanced 20 years later. Also to argue over which version's sprites were best. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King and Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past are also coming to 3DS in 2016, with Dragon Quest VII coming first. It won't have random battles, instead getting treats like Dragon Quest VIII with enemies on a world map and other additions.
JRPG spring lineup photo
Six within a month
Fire Emblem Fates is just a few weeks away (February 19) and I'll finally have a reason to re-glue my face to my 3DS and play nosy match-maker. But the two versions of Fates are just, uh, two of the JRPGs (and adjacent genres...

Review: Final Fantasy Explorers

Jan 26 // Chris Carter
Final Fantasy Explorers (3DS)Developer: Square Enix, RacjinPublisher: Square EnixReleased: January 26, 2016MSRP: $39.99 Right at the character creation screen, it's immediately evident that Final Fantasy Explorers is a dated game. It was released in 2014 in Japan, after all, and the limitations of the tool itself will not inspire any confidence. I actually got a laugh out of the initial male avatar -- it had typical chibi-like features but a rock-hard manchild set of abs. It won't matter much when you're all suited up in gear, and the game has a Goku hairstyle in its small pool of options, so it gets a pass. Like many other entries in the series, Explorers revolves around crystals (of course), and the overall plot is kind of secondary to leveling up, acquiring cash, and completing missions, which lead to those sweet, sweet boss battles we all crave. You'll roam about in a Monster Hunter-esque hub world complete with shops, upgrade centers, and a few other fixins (like a one-mission-bonus-granting fortune teller who takes Play Coins as payment) as you take on new quests that lead you out into the overworld. Combat is based around AP, which fuels your abilities and is used when sprinting. The game has a rudimentary lock-on feature, the option to use the Circle Pad Pro (or the New 3DS nub) to control the camera, L or R toggles menus for your powers (with four mapped to each trigger, for a total of eight active abilities), an auto-attack button, and that's really it. To dodge or do anything fancy, you'll need to equip a skill for it, and even then, it's a bit rigid in nature. Make no mistake, this is not a high-intensity twitch action game. [embed]335296:61957:0[/embed] You'll get the keys to the kingdom so to speak after roughly 30 minutes of tutorials, where Explorers will provide you with five jobs (classes) right away: Knight, Monk, Ranger, White Mage, and Black Mage. Thankfully, it isn't as rigid as a lot of other RPGs in that jobs and abilities can often overlap. With the exception of, say, a Knight using bow-based skills while equipped with a sword, players can thankfully experiment a bit. Almost anyone can use magic, including the always helpful Cure spell. It's a great concession for newcomers and veterans alike. You can really mess around with nearly everything available to tool up your dream build -- which includes silly "Trance" modes featuring fan-favorite characters like Cloud. As time goes on it only gets deeper, as an impressive 21 jobs are at your disposal. The freedom to do what you want is even better when playing with a party (both locally or online). Team synergy and class makeups aren't necessarily bound by the RPG Trinity (tank, healer, damage), but are composed a bit more loosely, to the point where everyone can have fun with what they want to play -- like a Dragoon that can use his jumps along with evasion techniques from other jobs for maximum mobility. Speaking of multiplayer, there is support for lobbies online (rather than shoddy matchmaking), which allowed me to get into a number of games even before launch. If you're going at it solo, you can bring up to three other monsters with you on your travels, with the caveat that the AI isn't very intelligent or nearly as effective as players. By the time you fight Shiva several hours in, it picks up, but as a general rule Explorers is a slow burn. Now, I did have fun working my way up the ladder, earning more jobs, and crafting my own equipment, but it's a bit too slow going at times. As such, the "it gets better after you put time into it" argument comes to mind, but plenty of games do allow for an enjoyable early game to accompany the payoff. That's not the case here, to an extent. If you do end up sticking with it though, you'll find a 100-hour RPG full of stuff to do, including an endgame that involves fighting all of the core bosses again with new strategies in tow. Like many games filled to the brim with different classes, a lot of my time was spent trying out new jobs. While some of them don't feel wildly different from one another, the dichotomy between the three core playstyles (melee, ranged, and magic) is strong enough to feel like you're playing a different game. Final Fantasy Explorers has a litany of pacing issues, particularly when it comes to its quests and, visually, it feels like a DS-era game at times. But players who are willing to jump in with both feet will find a lot to love, and that goes double if you're planning to play through the adventure with a friend. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.] 
Final Fantasy review photo
Eidolon Hunter
If one wanted to delve into the world of Final Fantasy for the first time, the barrier to entry is generally rather high. You have a host of 50-hour JRPGs, several daunting MMOs, and a number of complicated and deep tactical spinoffs. Final Fantasy Explorers tries to ease people into the world of Black and White mages with a different, gentler approach, albeit with its own set of flaws.

Dragon Quest photo
Dragon Quest

This Dragon Quest Builders display was built with lots of blocks


Go on, take a piece
Jan 25
// Jordan Devore
Last year, Square Enix promoted Dragon Quest Heroes in Japan with a huge wall of poppable slimes at a metro station. It was the stuff of dreams. (For me, anyway, but then again I see strange things when I sleep.) A similar ca...
FNaF World pulled photo
FNaF World pulled

FNaF World pulled from Steam, refunds being made available for all


Full game will be free on GameJolt
Jan 25
// Nic Rowen
Following last Friday's apology that he rushed to publish FnaF World too early, creator Scott Cawthon has pulled the game from Steam. Unhappy with the quality of the title (despite positive fan reception), Cawthon is currentl...
Pathfinder Adventures photo
Pathfinder Adventures

Obsidian's Pathfinder Adventures out on March 29


Free to start
Jan 25
// Darren Nakamura
Whenever I describe Pathfinder Adventure Card Game to somebody (usually when I am trying to get them to play it), I start with a caveat. "On its surface, all you really do is flip a card and roll some dice. But for some reaso...
It's heeeeere photo
It's heeeeere

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered coming west with limited first run case


PS4 port coming to Europe, Americas
Jan 25
// Steven Hansen
Hey hey hey, that Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is leaving Japan. The PS4 version of Sega's beloved PS3 turn-based strategy game has been confirmed for release in Europe and the Americas this spring. It'll run you $30 (or $4...
Yo-Kai Watch photo
Yo-Kai Watch

The Yo-Kai Watch anime is coming to the UK, 100 more territories


Global domination by Level-5
Jan 22
// Chris Carter
If Yo-Kai Watch isn't a massive hit outside of Japan, it seems like Level-5 is intent on making it happen. Nintendo still hasn't boasted about the sales figures yet in the US, which has me wondering whether or not i...
Dragon Quest Builders photo
Dragon Quest Builders

You can pick up a Dragon Quest Builders demo in Japan


Coming next week in the east
Jan 22
// Chris Carter
Dragon Quest Builders is massively intriguing. While most Minecraft-like games are usually just straight-up clones from smaller developers, here we have Square Enix and a massively popular property meshed in, and wh...
Valkyria photo
Valkyria

Yep, Valkyria: Azure Revolution still looks great


Announce the localization already
Jan 22
// Chris Carter
Valkyria: Azure Revolution kind of came out of nowhere. People basically assumed that the series was dead since 2011 when the third game came out (which was Japan-only, by the way), and BAM, Sega announces a brand new upcomin...
Fire Emblem Fates photo
Fire Emblem Fates

Nintendo expands upon same-sex relationships in Fire Emblem Fates


'Making changes is not unusual'
Jan 22
// Chris Carter
With all the controversy surrounding Fire Emblem Fates (what arena of gaming doesn't have controversy surrounding it these days?), Nintendo has finally spoken up on the matter of same-sex relationships and the dreaded dr...
FNaF World release photo
FNaF World release

Surprise? FNaF World is out early


Get your Fred on
Jan 21
// Nic Rowen
A week ago Jordan reported that FNaF World would be out on February 19th but it wouldn't be a Five Nights at Freddy's game without a sudden, “surprising” release date now would it? FnaF World in all its weird, cut...
Destiny Valentine's photo
Destiny Valentine's

Love is in the air for Destiny's Crimson Days


Valentine's Day-themed event
Jan 21
// Darren Nakamura
After a long holiday, Bungie is back to work this week. For the first update of the new year, Destiny will be adding an event not unlike the Festival of the Lost from Halloween. Except since this one is coming in February, it...
Wii U photo
Wii U

Here's some HD footage of Linkle in Hyrule Warriors Wii U


Transfered
Jan 21
// Chris Carter
The vast majority of the footage so far for Hyrule Warriors Legends has been by way of the 3DS, but it's not exactly the most impressive platform for showing off the new characters. Compliments of NintenDaan on YouTube, we no...
FFXV photo
FFXV

Well, it looks like Final Fantasy XV has Magitek armor


Alright alright alright
Jan 21
// Chris Carter
Folks, Magitek armor has been confirmed -- nostalgia boosters, engage. New screens from Final Fantasy XV show the iconic suit in action, with the team battling one. Magitek has shown up in several games after its debut i...
Witcher 2 photo
Witcher 2

The Witcher 2 is currently free on Xbox Live right now


Grab it
Jan 21
// Chris Carter
Why is The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings free on Xbox 360 in the US? We don't know (CD Projekt Red hasn't updated its Twitter in nearly two weeks)! But you sure can mosey on to the download link and grab it! I just tested it,...
Music photo
Music

The Banner Saga soundtrack is getting the vinyl treatment


Shipping Q2 2016
Jan 20
// Jordan Devore
Austin Wintory's music is once again making its way to vinyl. Following his collaboration with iam8bit on Journey's vinyl release, his orchestral soundtrack for The Banner Saga is next in line. Pre-orders open tomorrow, Janua...
Hyrule Warriors Legends photo
Hyrule Warriors Legends

Hyrule Warriors Legends will also support amiibo on 3DS


More daily items
Jan 20
// Chris Carter
Hyrule Wariors Legends is nearly out in Japan, and as a result, more concrete info is coming out of the woodwork. Due to pre-loading, fans have learned that the file size is 16,101 blocks (2GB). Additionally, there's only one...
Obsidian photo
Obsidian

Obsidian lead designer is up for working on another Fallout game


Yes please
Jan 20
// Chris Carter
Fallout 4 is a pretty good open world game that a lot of people are still enjoying weeks after launch, but I couldn't help but feel like it was a downgrade from New Vegas in many ways. Most of you agreed. That's bec...
Bravely Second photo
Bravely Second

Bravely Second: End Layer launches April 15 in North America


Props on that packaging
Jan 19
// Jordan Devore
Bravely Second: End Layer (video game names are just the best) hits North America on April 15, 2016, Nintendo confirmed today. If you're in Europe, you'll only have to wait until February 26. The collector's edition comes wit...
Final Fantasy Explorers photo
Final Fantasy Explorers

Final Fantasy IX gets the Final Fantasy Explorers snub


FFVII, X over-represented
Jan 19
// Steven Hansen
The upcoming Monster Hunter-ish Final Fantasy Explorers is a more nondescript, job-system-based affair, but that doesn't mean your favorite characters are absent. While in Trance mode, your character can use previously equip...
Valkyria: Azure news photo
Valkyria: Azure news

Valkyria: Azure Revolution gets villain, demo breakdown


The evil Maxim...how familiar
Jan 19
// Steven Hansen
I was reviewing our past coverage of Valkyria: Azure Revolution, Sega's PS4 spin off of the Valkyria Chronicles series, and damn, that bust. Straight up distracting. Onto the news. Famitsu has revealed an antagonist to the ga...
Hyrule Warriors Legends photo
Hyrule Warriors Legends

New Hyrule Warriors Legends spot reminds us that there's no campaign co-op


Also, I hope you have a New 3DS
Jan 19
// Chris Carter
I don't know why it didn't cross my mind, but the upcoming 3DS edition of Hyrule Warriors Legends will not have campaign co-op. This video confirms as much, noting that you can play levels side-by-side with a friend to s...
Pokemon photo
Pokemon

The upcoming Pokemon Virtual Console re-releases won't have restore points


No save state
Jan 19
// Chris Carter
More information has come to light regarding the new Pokemon Generation 1 re-releases, particularly as it pertains to save state functionality and connectivity. For starters, players will not have the option for "restore...
Knuckle Sandwich photo
Knuckle Sandwich

Knuckle Sandwich is another peculiar RPG


Keep 'em coming
Jan 18
// Jordan Devore
I could have sworn one of us had already touched on Knuckle Sandwich, but I guess not. This latest teaser is as fine of time as any to introduce the surreal role-playing game and its prominent noses. The story, at least initially, has to do with a cult and missing people. Could the two be connected? Playing as a dude who is bored to tears of his new job at the diner, it's on you to investigate.
Darkest Dungeon photo
Darkest Dungeon

Prepare to lose your sanity with Darkest Dungeon's launch trailer


Man, that guy has a cool voice
Jan 18
// Zack Furniss
Tough-as-nails insanity simulator Darkest Dungeon is finally releasing on PC tomorrow, and Red Hook Studios has a trailer to get you all hot and bothered (if you're into tentacles, STDS, and heart attacks). There's still...
Iron Maiden photo
Iron Maiden

A time-traveling Iron Maiden RPG? Um, yeah bro


'Play as Eddie in his various guises'
Jan 18
// Zack Furniss
Well, here's something I never thought I'd write about: Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast will be a mobile RPG in which you play as Eddie (the band's mascot) traveling through time to recover the shattered shards of his soul. ...
Mario and Religion photo
Mario and Religion

Did You Know Gaming takes on religion in the Mario series


Interesting stuff
Jan 18
// Chris Carter
Japanese media is no stranger to religious references, with many creators inserting them for no reason other than looking "cool." In this episode of Did You Know Gaming, we get to see a few of those concepts as they pert...
Dragon's Dogma photo
Dragon's Dogma

I'm surprised Dragon's Dogma runs as smooth as it does on PC


Out now
Jan 18
// Chris Carter
I'm falling in love with Dragon's Dogma all over again with the PC port. It's not just the fact that it fixes the framerate issues of the console original, but the fact that the updated visuals make everything look new ...

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