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As the first current-gen Naruto, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is a huge visual leap

Apr 13 // Chris Carter
Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (PC, PS4 [tested], Xbox One) Developer: CyberConnect2Publisher: Bandai Namco EntertainmentRelease: TBA 2015 Sometimes when a developer is able to focus solely on the production of a current-generation build, it shows. That's the case with Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, which is easily one of the best-looking anime games I've ever seen. Despite the screen being constantly filled with blasts, everything runs very smoothly, which is crazy when you consider the amount of detail present in nearly every battleground. For instance, one encounter had a giant animated nine-tails monster looming about, and even though it wasn't directly involved in the fight, its presence was felt. Since this is supposed to be the last game in the Ninja Storm series (the manga just ended), it will feature many elements from the final stretch of episodes, as well as the last film. New Ultimate Jutsu techniques are in, as are new characters like Hanabi Hyuga. Players will have the opportunity to switch leaders while playing story mode in many sequences, which was one of the most requested features from fans. I was able to chat a bit about the new game with the CEO of CyberConnect2, Hiroshi Matsuyama, who arrived at the event donned in an appropriate costume. When asked why he enjoyed working on the franchise so much, he responded, "I want to create a game where I'm satisfied as a fan first, and then I can know that fans will be happy. I wanted to support the series by creating a masterpiece to close out this chapter of Naruto." I asked him about the advantages of having new systems as a lead platform, and the biggest change that he is excited for is the focus on "bigger battlefields, with more open air. We want to really give players a sense of scale and we can do that now on the PS4 and Xbox One. There will also be more animations that weren't possible before, like costume damage details, even things like water extinguishing fire damage." From what I could tell based on my demo playthrough, these claims were true, as Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is ridiculously cinematic, almost like the equivalent of a Michael Bay movie in anime form. By that same token, it can be repetitive to watch said cinematic play out in an actual battle, like one fight that had a CPU character using the same 30-second invincible move every minute or so. The good news is once you get through it, it's off to another fantastic setting that looks nothing like the others, chained together through QTE transition phases. Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is looking great so far, and I'm really happy with CyberConnect2's decision to focus on newer platforms. It'll be interesting to see where its involvement with the Naruto series will go from here, because it is too good of a developer to stop now.
Naruto preview photo
A more authentic look
There are more Naruto games than one sane person can possibly handle. Although Bandai Namco Entertainment owns the license, a number of different developers have worked with the gaming side, most notably CyberConne...

New Saint Seiya photo
New Saint Seiya

Another Saint Seiya game is on the way for PS3, PS4, and PC called 'Soldiers Soul'


Will feature characters from the new 'Soul of Gold' series
Apr 12
// Chris Carter
Bandai Namco Entertainment has announced that another Saint Seiya game is happening, this time for the PS3, PS4, and PC platforms with the subtitle Soldier's Soul. It follows the same formula as the last game in the ser...
Ghost in the Shell photo
United States, Latin America, Europe, Australia
You remember this Team Fortress 2 take on Ghost in the Shell coming to Japan and Korea? Well, Nexon America noted on Twitter that Ghost in the Shell Online is indeed coming to the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Au...

Maverick Hunter X photo
Maverick Hunter X

Watch Mega Man Maverick Hunter X's 'The Day of Sigma' OVA in HD


The PSP source was of a much lower quality
Apr 06
// Chris Carter
Back in 2005, Mega Man Maverick Hunter X hit the PSP with a pretty awesome OVA titled "The Day of Sigma." The main problem is that it was previously only available on the UMD itself, with a 480x272 level of video qualit...
Attack on Titan 3DS photo
Attack on Titan 3DS

Atlus localizing Attack on Titan 3DS game this May


Confirmed for both North America and Europe
Apr 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains is officially on its way to North America and Europe. Atlus USA just formally announced plans to publish the Nintendo 3DS action game as part of today's Nintendo Direct presentation. Expec...
YouTube censors photo
YouTube censors

YouTube bans Yandere Simulator anime panty shots, commenters are pissed


To be fair, when aren't YouTube commenters pissed?
Apr 01
// Brett Makedonski
The developer of Yandere Simulator made a recent unfortunate discovery. YouTube removed one of his videos for violating its policy on nudity and sexual content -- a claim that he seemingly vehemently disagrees with. The...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Is Atlus teasing an Attack on Titan localization?


Weird Vine murders ketchup packet people
Mar 31
// Laura Kate Dale
Earlier today, the Twitter account for Atlus USA posted a very strange Vine. The short clip features a man destroying tiny ketchup packet people, splatting red on walls and eating a hotdog. We were initially confused, what on...
Steins;Gate 0 photo
Steins;Gate 0

Steins;Gate 0 announced from the same team as the first game


No, that semicolon is correct
Mar 30
// Chris Carter
Roughly one year ago the original Steins;Gate game was localized, and it was pretty well received critically. Developer 5pb isn't done yet with the series, and has just announced Steins;Gate 0, a follow-up to the or...
One Piece photo
One Piece

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is getting a special edition in Europe


Bandai Namco loves the EU
Mar 30
// Chris Carter
When One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 arrives in Europe, the PS3 and PS4 versions of the game will be getting a special edition. How special? Well, a certain character will grace you with his presence inside the box in figur...

Review: htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary

Feb 22 // Josh Tolentino
htoL#NiQ: The Firely Diary (PS Vita)Developer: Nippon Ichi SoftwarePublisher: NIS AmericaReleased: February 24, 2015MSRP: $19.99 First, to that bit about minimalism: htoL#NiQ has virtually no written or spoken dialog, or even text. Apart from some prompts explaining the basic controls and a brief crawl in the opening, players won't even encounter so much as a lettered sign in the background. The plot, such as it is, is delivered almost entirely in-game, via environmental clues and lightly interactive flashbacks.  The game screen itself is largely free of HUDs and icons, and combined with low-lit environments that flicker as if beaming from a vintage film projector, gives off a universally gloomy, unsettling aura that contrasts well with the cutesy character design. The flashback scenes are rendered in a totally different, isometric style that recalls older RPGs like Contact. [embed]287859:57450:0[/embed] Exploring this downbeat dystopia is Mion, a silver-haired waif with big eyes, a pair of branches growing from her head, and all the self-preservation instinct of a videogame lemming. Accompanying her are Lumen and Umbra, the titular fireflies and the only means by which players can guide Mion through the wilderness. Players can use the touch screen to move Lumen, with Mion following her Navi-esque companion wherever it goes. Lumen can also signal Mion to throw switches, push boxes, and other puzzle-solving interactions. Umbra, on the other hand, resides in Mion's shadow, and can only be controlled by shifting to an alternate dimension with a tap of the rear touchpad. From there, Umbra can move through shadows freely - including those cast by Lumen's glow - and interact with objects too far away for Mion to reach. Manipulating the environment and using the firefly duo to help maneuver Mion past various hazards forms the bulk of htoL#NiQ's mechanics. This all sounds simple enough, but the game in which these mechanics are employed is an artifact of what I can only describe as gleeful, knowing sadism. htoL#NiQ is one of the most difficult games I've ever played, and the bulk of my playtime has been spent dying, over and over and over again. That's not necessarily a bad thing, seeing as the last few years have brought a new renaissance for tough, uncompromising game design, but the type of pain dealt by htoL#NiQ is of a very particular type, one that's been justifiably abandoned by most modern titles. Simply put, this game trades in pure, trial-and-error frustration. Thanks to a combination of deliberately lethargic controls and deathtrap-obsessed level design, virtually no challenge the game poses can be passed on the first try - or the 48th try, for that matter. That's how long it took me to overcome just a single checkpoint in the second level, a checkpoint that, performed successfully, takes about a minute to transition through.  Since Mion can only be moved by moving Lumen ahead of her, a slight delay accompanies every movement, and Mion herself hits her top speed at "leisurely stroll", even when pursued by rampaging hellbeasts made of shadow. The awkwardness of using the touch screen and rear touch pad to control Lumen and Umbra can be alleviated somewhat by switching to an optional control scheme that uses the analog stick and face buttons, but the precision and sluggishness in movement remains. Worse still, some challenges demand precise timing to trigger environmental actions using Umbra, but the pauses that accompany attempting to switch to Umbra's dimension make that timing even tougher to nail down. Add in hidden enemies, barely-telegraphed hazards, instant death, and occasional randomized factors that cheapen every death, and htoL#NiQ ends up embodying a strange sort of videogame Murphy's Law: Anything that can kill Mion, will kill Mion. Several times.  To clarify, there's nothing wrong with deliberate, "slow" controls. As a fan of Monster Hunter and the Souls games, I can appreciate that style, and intention behind them being in this game is fairly clear. htoL#NiQ aims for the kind of dynamic that defined the likes of classics like Ico. The problem here is the decision to combine the tension of having to escort a helpless charge with such demanding level design. The stress of both having to keep the charge safe as well as perform feats of precision timing and speed is almost too much that would stand to gain the most from the game's low-key storytelling and unique aesthetic. Extending the comparison further, if htoL#NiQ were to be compared to Ico, the difference between the two in terms of difficulty would be akin to trying to shepherd Yorda through the Tower of Latria from Demon's Souls.   It simply isn't fun to have to redo every section just to pass - or replay certain portions perfectly just to access all the game's collectible flashback scenes (which form its most substantial narrative payoff), but then again, I did retry a single section forty-eight times in a row, so there may be something to htoL#NiQ, after all. The creepy atmosphere and interesting visuals were just enough to keep me hooked alongside its grim, intriguing story. And of course, there's the stubborn, bitter, vengeful thrill of finally defeating a game that's seemingly designed with the middle finger extended towards its players.  I won't lie: htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary feels like an ordeal to play, but it is worth noting that historically, surviving an ordeal was often taken as a sign of being blessed by a higher power. That notion may appeal to some types of players, and it's they who'll find the fun in this gorgeous, cruel game. Everyone else should just hang back and ask how it went. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
htoL#NiQ Review photo
Oh Dear, Diary
No, that isn't an encoding error up there in the headline: "htoL#NiQ" is indeed this PS Vita game's title, and is essentially a very stylish way to type "The Firefly Diary" in Japanese. Whatever personal peculiarities led the...

New Attack on Titan game photo
New Attack on Titan game

Capcom is making an Attack on Titan arcade game


HNNNNNNNNG!
Feb 13
// Kyle MacGregor
Capcom is developing an Attack on Titan arcade game, the publisher revealed today at the Japan Amusement Expo in Chiba. Details are scarce at present, but we'll learn more this summer. Attack on Titan is a dark fant...
One Piece photo
One Piece

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 makes Gekko Moriah playable


A chance to see new lands
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
Bandai Namco is showing off more One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 footage, and hot damn does it look great. In addition to some new zones and characters, you'll also see the newly playable Gekko Moriah in action. He's...really weird. It's due in March on the PS3, PS4, and Vita in Japan, with a summer release in the US, and a "TBA 2015" date for Europe.
 photo
He's really the Prince of All Jerks
I was surprised to find myself given the opportunity to interview Christopher Sabat; the founder of voice over studio, Okratron500, and the voice actor for Vegeta, and many other Dragon Ball characters. I've been a huge Drag...

Nitroplus Blasters photo
Nitroplus Blasters

Nitroplus Blasters adds four new faces to its extensive roster


Saya x another video game = my OTP
Feb 02
// Brittany Vincent
Nitroplus Blasters: Heroines Infinite Duel has added some new faces to its roster, and they're pretty awesome. Saber of Fate/Zero and Ethica Kibanohara of Tokyo Necro have been announced as playable characters in the upc...
Beard View photo
Beard View

Beard View: Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind


'If you want a game where you can run around naked on your 3DS, this is the one'
Feb 01
// Jonathan Holmes
Our beard buddy Jed is back with another look at a game you may have heard of, but probably haven't played. This time we have Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, the Japaneses 3DS exclusive based on the popular anime...
Like Dissidia photo
Like Dissidia

School of Ragnarok is Square Enix's 1-on-1 arcade fighter


'Exclusive title for arcades around Japan'
Jan 29
// Steven Hansen
If you are in Japan or going sometime this year (and want to take me with you!), you can play Square Enix's newest title, School of Ragnarok. The one-versus-one fighter is more of a Gundam VS (or maybe Square's own Diss...
Dengeki Bunko fighter photo
Dengeki Bunko fighter

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax coming to PS3, Vita


Sega and ASCII Media Works' fighter heads west this summer
Jan 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is coming west this summer, Sega just announced. The crossover project celebrates the 20th anniversary of Dengeki Bunko, pitting characters from Sword Art Online, Spice & Wolf,&nb...
Criminal Girls photo
Criminal Girls

You have the right to remain sexy with Criminal Girls: Invite Only's latest screens


Or don't, that's your opinion or whatever
Jan 23
// Brittany Vincent
Criminal Girls: Invite Only is a game I've been following for some time now, and right now I'm in the middle of reviewing it for Destructoid. Since there's still a bit of time left before it actually comes out, however, I've ...
Cartoons photo
Cartoons

Mahjong Pretty Girls Battle is authentic mahjong, but with sexy anime girls


Uh, who wants to come over and play some regular domino?
Jan 23
// Steven Hansen
Most of the mahjong games on Steam are weird. There's a weird tower one, an Antiques Roadshow one. They either all have their own rules, odd set dressing, or both. In the case of Mahjong Pretty Girls Battle, these are, ...
New Pokemon photo
New Pokemon

Meet the new mythical Pokémon Hoopa, the, uh, hoop Pokémon


New movie star will be available in Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby
Jan 14
// Steven Hansen
The 18th Pokémon movie, cleverly titled Pokémon the Movie XY 2015 and then re-titled The Ring Genie Hoopa, is coming out--you guessed it--this year. It stars the titular new ghost-psychic pocket monst...
Samurai Warriors photo
Samurai Warriors

FUNimation will stream the Samurai Warriors anime soon


I need to get around to watching this
Dec 31
// Chris Carter
Samurai Warriors 4 came and went earlier this year, and for Warriors fans, it was definitely worth picking up. The Samurai train isn't over though, as an anime called Sengoku Musou will be debuting next year, a...
Crunchyroll on Wii U photo
Crunchyroll on Wii U

Anime app Crunchyroll is now available for Wii U


A gift for the Wii U-boos
Dec 25
// Darren Nakamura
Crunchyroll is pretty cool, right? I'll admit: I don't really know from experience. The only anime stuff I have watched lately have been Miyazaki films and the Professor Layton anime. But following people like our former Edit...
amiibo photo
Third-party games have it too!
As you may have heard, third-party games will be opting in for amiibo support in addition to Nintendo titles. The biggest one so far is probably One Piece: Super Grand Battle! X for the 3DS. You can use the figures to u...

Stein's Gate photo
Stein's Gate

The Stein's Gate game is coming to Vita, PS3 in 2015


Okarin! Do do doooo
Dec 16
// Chris Carter
I haven't gotten around to the Steins;Gate game yet, but I absolutely loved the show from start to finish. Some people say it starts off a little slowly and ramps from there, but I loved the banter and buildup just as mu...
Great name! photo
Great name!

The 18th Pokémon movie is Pokémon the Movie XY 2015


Great name!
Dec 12
// Steven Hansen
It feels like just a year ago we were hearing about the 17th Pokemon movie, but actually it was 11 months ago. Pokémon XY: Cocoon of Destruction is released July 19, 2014 in Japan.  Its follow up,&...
Hahahahaha photo
Hahahahaha

Tekken 7 lead annoyed you don't like the catgirl so she's Asia/Europe-exclusive


'Hello small world. I'll make muscular & skinhead character for you'
Dec 09
// Steven Hansen
Yesterday, Tekken 7 revealed a new character with cat ears and a Japanese pop idol aesthetic designed by Fire Emblem: Awakening and No More Heroes character artist Yusuke Kozaki. Our own Destructoid's...
KAWAII~~~ photo
KAWAII~~~

Nya! Good god, Tekken 7's Lucky Chloe is anime as hell


Kawaii new character
Dec 08
// Steven Hansen
I have a strong urge to get very, very good at Tekken 7 and just piss off (mostly western) players by beating them endlessly with this stupid cat girl. 
DRAGON SEX photo
DRAGON SEX

Dragon Dating Simulator is...well, duh, you date dragons


Imagine, dragons!
Dec 05
// Steven Hansen
I'm imagining the beginning to Stand By Me, but, instead, "Hey, kid, you ever plow a dragon?"  Dragon Dating Simulator is a visual novel with a "novel-sized script" and "at least" four dragons (two male, two female...
JRPGs photo
JRPGs

Xbox head promises JRPGs on Xbox One


Yeah, and I promised my kid I'd quit drinking!
Dec 01
// Steven Hansen
The Xbox One bombed in Japan and continues to not do well. In fact, over the holiday weekend, Head of Xbox Japan Takashi Sensui stepped down. But according to Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, Japan's lack of interest in t...
Criminal Girls photo
Criminal Girls

Criminal Girls: Invite Only up for parole in February 2015


Doin' time and the living's easy
Nov 26
// Brittany Vincent
You may remember Criminal Girls: Invite Only as the game we covered back in July two different times where it was briefly suggested the game shouldn't be localized. But that's only because I didn't write the post, because I'm...

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