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Valkyria PS4 photo
Valkyria PS4

Valkyria Chronicles Remaster screens hot and fresh out the kitchen


Coming to PS4 next month in Japan
Jan 10
// Steven Hansen
You know who didn't shank a gimme field goal wide left? Sega, with new screenshots for Valkyria Chronicles Remaster, the PS4 port for the beloved turn-based strategy game. Sega had an easy task, especially after the nice PC r...
Monster Hunter X photo
Monster Hunter X

2015 was the Japanese games industry's worst year on record


Sales hit historic 26-year low
Jan 07
// Vikki Blake
According to Famitsu’s annual report (via VG24/7), the Japanese games industry was worth ¥321 billion - that’s a 13 percent drop from the previous year. Although these figures do not take into account digital ...
Boxboy photo
Boxboy

A Boxboy sequel is out now in Japan


One More Box
Jan 06
// Chris Carter
HAL Laboratories released BOXBOY! on the eShop last year, and it seems like they were keen enough to create a sequel. The follow-up, BOXBOY! One More Box is out right now in Japan, by way of the 3DS eShop for 630 Yen. This is one of the few major releases I didn't get a chance to really dig into, but I think I may fix that in the near future. There's no word yet on a localization.
Kaga Create photo
Kaga Create

Japanese dev Kaga Create shuts down because it can't compete with mobile games


Dissolved
Jan 05
// Chris Carter
Another Japanese developer has shut down -- this time, it's Kaga Create. The company has been operating since 1988, developing games for the PC Engine, the Game Boy, SNES, and many other consoles. After some time (around...
SNES photo
SNES

Someone left a SNES switched on for 20 years to preserve a save file


Umihara Kawase's worth it, apparently
Jan 04
// Joe Parlock
Back during the days of the Game Boy and SNES, games would save progress using a small on-board battery. It was great at the time, however, unfortunately, those things only have a limited lifespan, and in the last few years t...
SNK photo
SNK

New pachinko laws pushed SNK back to games


Whatever works
Jan 02
// Kyle MacGregor
Six years after its last major release, SNK Playmore is getting back to its roots as a game studio. In 2015, SNK made a surprising about-face. Not only did the Neo Geo company announce a new entry in the King of Fighters seri...
Koei Tecmo photo
Koei Tecmo

Koei Tecmo missed a big announcement for the 15th anniversary of Warriors, so expect it this year instead


A 'big' surprise
Jan 01
// Chris Carter
You can't really fault Koei Tecmo for pushing back the 15th anniversary of Dynasty Warriors given what they've been working on in 2015. From Hyrule Warriors DLC to the 3DS port to Attack on Titan (their first P...
Level-5 photo
Level-5

Level-5 will announce a sequel to a 'very popular series' in 2016


I'll take it
Dec 29
// Chris Carter
As part of 4Gamer's end of the year interview blitz, they managed to briefly talk to Level-5 president Akihiro Hino, who, among other Japanese developers, promised big things for 2016. According to Hino, "all kinds of new tit...
Japanese Indie Games photo
Japanese Indie Games

Here are the doujin games of Comiket 89


Over an hour of Japanese indies
Dec 27
// Kyle MacGregor
Winter Comiket is almost here and that means Astebreed studio Edelweiss has another compilation video showcasing many of the Japanese indie games that will be on sale at this week's big event. Comic Market 89 kicks off T...
Sorry, Wii U photo
Sorry, Wii U

One Piece: Burning Blood slated for just about every console in the west


Sorry, Wii U
Dec 21
// Steven Hansen
One Piece: Burning Blood, announced for PS4 and Vita at Tokyo Game Show, has just been confirmed for 2016 release in North/South America and Europe, where it will be available on: PS4, Vita, Xbox One, and PC via Steam. The 5...
Boobs, boobs never change photo
Boobs, boobs never change

Ogle virtual girls in Dead or Alive Xtreme 3's new trailer


What is that flag game?
Dec 18
// Jed Whitaker
Yesterday we snuck a peek at the titillating environments of the Asia-exclusive Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, and today we ogle virtual girls with a hint of gameplay in this latest not-safe-for-work trailer. Most of this trai...
Xenoblade photo
Xenoblade

Xenoblade director: 'Most of the movies, TV dramas, novels, and games I pick up are made in the West'


Also talks next project
Dec 17
// Chris Carter
Xenoblade Chronicles X is a pretty fantastic game -- but director Tetsuya Takahashi doesn't necessarily think that Japan can keep churning out titles like this for forever. When interviewed by Time, Takahashi noted that ...
Sony partnership photo
Sony partnership

Kojima chose Sony over 'a lot of offers from overseas companies'


Not worried about Japanese games market
Dec 16
// Steven Hansen
Kojima Productions' first game, when it releases presumed years from now, will be a PlayStation console exclusive thanks to the new studio's partnership with Sony. Studio head Hideo Kojima (have you read his name enough times...
Nendoroid Shizue photo
Nendoroid Shizue

Cute ass Isabelle Animal Crossing toy being re-released


Nendoroid Shizue
Dec 16
// Steven Hansen
Nintendo partnered with Good Smile Company a couple years back for an Isabelle Nendoroid and followed that up with a winter uniform Isabelle. The original summer-suited look is getting a re-release next year. It will be available April 2016 for roughly $30 -- pre-orders are up here. She comes with a few different faces and some props.
Splatoon sales photo
Splatoon sales

Splatoon celebrates 1 million sold in Japan with a concert


Japan sales double since last report
Dec 16
// Steven Hansen
Everyone's favorite podcast (credit Animal Crossing with that joke) Splatoon sold one million danged copies in Japan and Nintendo is celebrating the success of its original Wii U game with a newly announced Squid Sisters con...
Agatsuma Entertainment photo
Agatsuma Entertainment

Code of Princess studio closes its doors


So long, Agatsuma Entertainment
Dec 13
// Kyle MacGregor
Code of Princess developer Agatsuma Entertainment announced its closure this week. Citing financial difficulties, the studio dissolved Friday with plans to fully liquidate by March 31, 2016. Established in Tokyo in 1997, Agat...
Gravity Rush: It's good photo
Gravity Rush: It's good

Wack ass America doesn't get dope Gravity Rush ads


PS4 remaster all out in Japan
Dec 11
// Steven Hansen
I've been consigned to horrible downtown all week doing my civic duty and boy are my arms tired. And while I love to pay $7 for a $3 sandwich and to walk a mile and to drop $4 a day on public transit, you know what I don't lo...
JRPGs on Steam photo
JRPGs on Steam

Grandia and Lunar are probably coming to Steam


Database entries have popped up
Dec 09
// Jordan Devore
At this rate, we might be better off with a database of games that aren't headed to Steam. Listings for Grandia and Lunar have come through SteamDB, so it would seem PC ports of these classic role-playing games are happening ...
Street Fighter photo
Street Fighter

Street Fighter V has a 'Hot Package' in Japan


I'll bet it does!
Dec 09
// Jordan Devore
I'm not sure what's up with Ryu's eyes in this art for the "Hot Package" edition of Street Fighter V, but I am fond of the way his hair flows together. It's majestic. This Japan-only bundle comes with alternate costumes that are available here in the West as pre-order bonuses. It'll be out on February 18, 2016 for 8,990 yen.
5318008 photo
5318008

Booby games publisher Marvelous' YouTube account suspended


There is always PornHub
Dec 09
// Jed Whitaker
[Update: Marvelous' channel has been restored.] Marvelous Entertainment, the publisher of many booby games such as the Senran Kagura series and the upcoming lesbians-that-turn-into-weapons game Valkyrie Drive, has had it...

Review: Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair

Dec 08 // Jordan Devore
Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair (PlayStation 4)Developer: SandlotPublisher: XSEED GamesReleased: December 8, 2015 (NA) / February 12, 2016 (EU)MSRP: $49.99 Some of those enhancements are immediately apparent; others are hard to pin to down. Visually, this is the best-looking, best-running Earth Defense Force I've played -- which is not to say it looks good or runs all that well by normal standards, mind you. Despite claims of a "steady" 60 frames per second, the game struggles to keep up with itself. Noticeable dips are a common sight when too many Ravagers pile up near your character or when skyscrapers crumble. The drop off usually isn't dramatic enough to be bothersome, but there were a handful of moments during my initial 15-hour-or-so run through the campaign where the frame rate briefly became a choppy, unmanageable mess. This is by no means new for the series, but it is a shame these problems persist on a current console like the PlayStation 4. Thankfully, load times fare significantly better. They're quick. I often made it into levels before I even had a chance to finish reading the tips and tricks shown on the loading screen. Considering how many missions there are (89 in single-player and split-screen; 98 in online co-op), that's a huge deal. These games are heavily built around players returning to levels countless times to earn more armor and cool weapons. No one wants to rack up literal hours of waiting to get into the action. [embed]325050:61450:0[/embed] Generally speaking, EDF 4.1 feels like a remix. Developer Sandlot reused set pieces and story beats in its earlier games, and that doesn't change here. (Again, this is an enhanced version of 2025, which in turn borrowed from 2017, so it's to be expected.) Remember fighting waves of red ants on a beach? Oh, you will. You'll also take on spiders, bees, bipedal robots, and spaceships, all of varying color and form. The mission is always to kill everything (or simply survive until someone tells you the thing you're after can't be killed yet), but there's enough variety strung throughout the campaign that I rarely got bored. The pacing is good, and few levels outstayed their welcome. That said, your results may vary depending on which class you choose (Ranger, Wing Diver, Air Raider, or Fencer), which weapons the random-number generator has blessed you with, and whether or not you're playing alone. The latter three classes are more specialized, but they have better options for getting across EDF's huge environments -- whether it's flying, driving, or dashing -- and they possess some of the more entertaining toys. The Ranger is well-rounded, but he can get stale. To that last point, these games are inherently more enjoyable with a friend (or up to three, if you're playing online). The classes are designed to complement each other, so it's most enjoyable with a mix of characters. The Air Raider, for instance, can buff others, lay down shields, and manually target enemy weak points for teammates' weaponry to lock onto. As far as new foes go, there is one particular encounter worth highlighting. Sandlot has added a new kaiju enemy, Erginus, that spans multiple levels. Your superiors eventually figure out that normal bullets and missiles have no effect on the monster. Naturally, the only way to bring it down is to initiate an absurd Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots-style brawl. You get to take control of a slow-moving "walking fortress" mech and punch the gargantuan approximately three thousand times until it finally keels over. I should have known that was its one and only weakness. A later mission raises the stakes with multiple mechs fending off against multiple Erginus. My first time through, everyone got tangled up in one corner of the map and I had to wait on the AI to die before I could even get within range to throw punches. The whole thing was a stupid, beautiful mess, which is exactly what I hope to find when I play Earth Defense Force. And in case you were wondering, yes -- the mechs are carried in by choppers. Tunnel levels and vehicles are some of my least favorite elements of this series, but both are better than ever here. New lighting effects make underground areas appear as if they are, in fact, set underground, and soldiers have lights on their weapons to compensate. The atmosphere now feels far more appropriate. I still find these levels to be uninteresting and quickly get annoyed when insect bodies pile up and block my shots, but the majority of the game is set above ground. As for vehicles, crucially, you can now see where you're aiming thanks to a laser sight. It's a total godsend. And I can't tell if the handling has been improved or it's merely my imagination, but for once, I genuinely wanted to drive tanks whenever and wherever I could. It helps that one of them is shaped like a spider and can crawl on walls. Bring that one below the surface. I also got the impression that there are more NPCs on the field compared to 2025. By pressing the DualShock 4 touchpad, you can place a marker on specific buildings, enemies, or locations. I was never sure if the AI was reacting to these commands or not (those weren't suggestions, people!), but being able to highlight targets is a great feature for co-op play. Insubordinate or not, more soldiers means more goofy dialog. The strange on-the-ground banter is spontaneous, hilarious, and rarely appropriate for the situation at hand. You can spur specific sayings using the touchpad. My personal favorite is a song that sounds an awful lot like the "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." One variation of the tune goes a little something like this: "To save our mother Earth from any alien attack, from vicious giant insects who have once again come back. We'll unleash all our forces, we won't cut them any slack. The EDF deploys!" My troops have uttered those words no fewer than 50 times and they'll continue to sing on command if they know what's good for them. This is precisely the sort of silliness that makes these games endearing in spite of their technical flaws and lo-fi aesthetic. In organizing my thoughts for this review, I realized I'm not ready to stop playing EDF 4.1. That's exciting, but also scary. I don't typically stick with these games long enough to get deep into the higher difficulty settings. Reaching that point requires a lot of grinding and patience. Too much. But that's where you need to tread to earn the best, most interesting weapons. While part of me hates that the progression system isn't more respectful of our time, I understand the appeal of having something you can keep coming back to for hundreds of hours. There's comfort in that. If I were to stick with a single installment going forward, this would be the one. Some of the upgrades fall short of expectations, and a good deal of the content is overly familiar at this point, but The Shadow of New Despair still represents the series at its best. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
EDF 4.1 review photo
The bugs are back in town
I'm happy Earth Defense Force continues to exist. There's no shortage of modern video games in which your primary interaction with the world is shooting things, but so few of them are lighthearted, charming, or funny. I don't...

Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Koei Tecmo's Attack on Titan gets a Japanese release date


February 18, 2016
Dec 07
// Joe Parlock
We’ve known for a while now that Koei Tecmo’s Attack on Titan game would be coming to PS3, PS4 and PS Vita in February.  Now thanks to Gematsu, we appear to have an actual Japanese release date: February 18, ...
Yakuza comes west photo
Yakuza comes west

Yakuza 5 comes west next week, Yakuza Zero confirmed for PS4


Yakuza news
Dec 05
// Steven Hansen
Yakuza 5 is coming to PS3 December 8 and Yakuza Zero is also coming to the west on PlayStation 4, Sony announced at the PlayStation Experience. SEGA's Yakuza 5 missed its mid-November release date after being announced for a western release at last year's PlayStation Experience. Yakuza Zero is a prequel set in the '80s that came to PS3 and PS4 in Japan earlier this year.
Namco photo
Namco

Namco is partnering with Hooters in Japan to open up an arcade


Haha ok
Dec 04
// Chris Carter
I've already professed my love for Japanese arcades, having visited some for the first time a few months back, but this is something else entirely. Namco Bandai is reportedly teaming up with Hooters to bring a "Gaming Barside...
Machoke photo
Machoke

Have a video of hundreds of flexing Machoke


Pokemon? More like Pokemanly, right?
Dec 04
// Joe Parlock
I don’t know what The Pokémon Company and Japanese fan club Pokémon Daisuki Club are doing, but I love it. Recently they launched the Kairiky Gym website, a site devoted giving us all the information...
PlayStation Awards photo
PlayStation Awards

Metal Gear Solid V, GTA V win big at the PlayStation Awards 2015


V has come to...the top sales bracket
Dec 03
// Josh Tolentino
The Game Awards may be coming up soon, but another awards show made minor waves just a few hours ago: Sony's PlayStation Awards, the yearly event hosted by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and Asia to give a pat on the back ...
Japanese commercial photo
Japanese commercial

Square only needs 15 seconds to sell Kingdom Hearts Unchained


Japanese commercial
Dec 01
// Steven Hansen
Oh, I get to look at a cute cat and then walk through an elaborate pop up book? Dope. Sold.
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni photo
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni

Lesbian weapon brawler Valkyrie Drive gets steamy trailer


Out next week on Vita in Japan
Dec 01
// Steven Hansen
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni, from Senran Kagura creator Kenichiro Takaki, is a game where girls kiss their partners to transform into battle weapons. It is coming to PlayStation Vita in Japan on December 10.
Real Revolver Ocelot photo
Real Revolver Ocelot

You deserve to see Revolver Ocelot spinning his guns


A weapon to surpass Metal Gear...
Dec 01
// Steven Hansen
[Photo] Now that 2015 is officially over and there's definitely no more massive holidays to attend or anything like that everyone's going to start getting all retrospective and I'm going to kick it off by waxing nostalgic for...
Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

A new fighter is coming to Pokken Tournament soon


Revealed on December 10
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
Pokken Tournament currently hosts 11 characters (counting Pikachu Libre and Shadow Mewtwo), and it looks like one more will be revealed on December 10, as per the official Twitter account. I'd wager that the new character wou...

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