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Kyle MacGregor

Star Ocean photo
Star Ocean

Star Ocean 2 coming to PS4, Vita very soon Japan
Oct 09
// Kyle MacGregor
As Square Enix promised at Tokyo Game Show in September, Star Ocean: Second Evolution is coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in the near future -- sometime this month in Japan. Based on the PSP remake of the PS1 orig...

Review: Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax

Oct 07 // Kyle MacGregor
Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax (PS Vita, PS3 [reviewed])Developer: French Bread, Ecole Software, SegaPublisher: SegaReleased: November 13, 2014 (JP), October 6, 2015 (NA, EU)MSRP: $29.99 (PS Vita), $39.99 (PS3) Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax has the appearance of a hardcore fighting game, and it certainly has the pedigree, coming from Melty Blood and Under Night In-Birth team French Bread and Ecole Software, but both looks and lineage can be deceiving. Here, the studios (along with their Sega-employed producers and associates at Kadokawa) aimed to deliver a more accessible experience than their previous work, something less impenetrable to the average person than the Guilty Gears or Street Fighters of the world. It's a noble idea. For as enjoyable and well-made as Arc System Works and Capcom's projects are, they are incredibly complex affairs. The barrier to entry with these games is much higher than, say, Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series, which is more easily enjoyed by newcomers, despite its potential for high-level play. Fighting Climax tries to occupy a similar space, striving to create a middle ground, an intermediate that can appeal to fighting game enthusiasts of all stripes. In attempting to do so, Fighting Climax strips away many of the genre's more byzantine subtleties, while adding tools to facilitate absorption. There are no elaborate inputs here, not by traditional fighting game standards, anyway. The most difficult commands involve quarter-circle and half-circle movements, which makes executing special moves or "climax arts" relatively straightforward without reducing the gameplay experience to something oversimplified or wading into button-mashing territory. Well, that is aside from the auto-combo feature, which allows players to string together a reasonably powerful series of moves merely by hammering on the light attack button repeatedly. It's a concession to beginners, providing a mechanism to chain together a barrage of attacks, but its use is limited, preventing it from being a substitute for actual skill. Also more simplistic than a typical fighting game are the inputs, which are identical across the entire roster. The 14 main fighters, from Toradora's Taiga and Asuna of Sword Art Online fame to the unlockable Selvaria of Valkyria Chronicles and Virtua Fighter's Akira, all have the same commands for their basics attacks, special moves, impact skills, and supers. This makes picking up a new character easy, but weakens the roster considerably. Since every fighter is essentially cut from the same cloth, Fighting Climax doesn't foster as wide a variety of play styles or combat strategies as do its genre peers. And aesthetically, while every character has unique animations based on the source material, most of them fall into the "waifu" female lead archetype, exacerbating the sense of redundancy and lack of diversity present in the mechanics. There's some depth to be found in the assist system, with 23 support characters to choose between and a wide array of support and offensive moves to augment your fighter's innate abilities. These can be used mid-combo at the cost of meter to lay on some added hurt or topple your opponent, or just in normal situations with a cooldown to disrupt or punish other competitors. While assist characters accent the roster, they highlight a myriad of unique figures in the Dengeki Bunko catalogue that would have made for more compelling choices than several of the leading ladies. While everyone will have their own favorites, I was particularly disappointed to see Spice and Wolf's lupine goddess Holo relegated to a supporting role. The stages are also an odd choice, drawing inspiration from a number of Sega franchises (Sonic the Hedgehog, Shinobi, Virtua Fighter, NiGHTS, and Phantasy Star Online among others), rather than the non-Sega worlds the vast majority of the cast is drawn from. While this makes sense in terms of the scant narrative the title's story modes offer, it's curious move on Sega's part to impose itself to such a degree in a game made primarily for fans of Dengeki Bunko's light novels and their anime adaptations.  There is some fan service to be found in the story modes, though, where players get to see characters from various universes interact with one another in cute little vignettes. Beyond that, Fighting Climax offers a bog-standard suite of features fighting game enthusiasts should be familiar with -- a spartan training mode, versus mode, a trio of challenge modes, plus ranked and unranked online versus. Most of it is handled fairly well, but, while I have no major complaints, nothing is terribly exceptional either. French Bread is a talented maker of fighting games, giving the experience a high floor, but this is not the studio's best work. It's perfectly competent, but feels like a major step down from the outstanding Under Night In-Birth, even if the titles were made for different audiences.  While decent enough, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax may be too simplistic for most hardcore fighting game fans to enjoy as anything more than an ephemeral lark, but is also perhaps still too complex for those that find the genre intimidating. It feels like another instance of game designers shaving off any sharp corners in an attempt to please as many people as possible. Fighting Climax shows a clear reticence to take risks, and its failure to do so betrays its potential to become truly remarkable or distinctive. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Dengeki Fighting Climax photo
Identity Crisis
Teenagers are in a strange point in their lives. No longer children, but not quite yet adults, adolescents exist in an uncomfortable grey area, a metamorphic state that compels them to forge identities independent of their gu...

MIGS photo

Destructoid partners with MIGS15

Montreal International Game Summit 2015
Oct 06
// Kyle MacGregor
Destructoid is pleased to announce our partnership with the Montréal International Game Summit, the largest professional video game development conference on the Eastern Seaboard. We will be providing coverage from the...
PS4 price cut photo
PS4 price cut

The PlayStation 4 may be getting a price drop

Target seems to think so, anyway
Oct 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Target seems to be suggesting a PlayStation 4 price cut is nigh. The retailer's website indicates the system "now" costs $349.99, as opposed to the standard $399.99 manufacturer-suggested price tag, which has remained co...

Nintendo 64 photo
Nintendo 64

Unreleased N64 game surfaces after 16 years

First footage of Viewpoint 2064 since 99
Oct 04
// Kyle MacGregor
History is littered with the bones of games like Viewpoint 2064, the unreleased sequel to Sammy's 1992 Neo Geo shooter Viewpoint. The Nintendo 64 project was first (and last) seen at Nintendo's Space World event in 1999, befo...
SEGA photo

Man tries to pawn Sega Genesis with meth inside

Gotta go (to jail) fast
Oct 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Sonic may be the fastest thing alive, but our subject today surrounds a different type of speed. On September 29, a 31-year-old man was arrested by police in Moultrie, Georgia and charged with methamphetamine possession after...
SAO photo

New Sword Art Online announced for PS4, Vita

Hollow Realization coming next year
Oct 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at the Dengeki Bunko Festival in Tokyo, Bandai Namco revealed Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, the latest role-playing game based on Reki Kawahara's popular light novel series. The story takes place within "Sword Art: Origin," a new MMO modeled after the world of Aincrad.
Zelda photo

Zelda: Tri Force Heroes region locks online play

Nope, none of this
Oct 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Cloaked behind a curtain on the flank of Nintendo's overflowing E3 booth this year, the company set up an intimate corner for press to see the likes of Star Fox Zero and Super Mario Maker without having to deal with the swarm...
Sports photo

Street Racquetball is a real game coming to PSN

Oct 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Street Racquetball, one of the more obscure titles in D3 Publisher's budget-priced Simple series, is coming to PlayStation Network next Tuesday, October 6, as a PSone Classic. Mmm, yes, classic. In Japan, Street Racquetball&n...

Super Meat Boy composer refuses to license the original soundtrack for PS4, Vita release

Oct 03 // Kyle MacGregor
"You may also know that I did not do the soundtrack for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth," (another game created by Team Meat's Edmund McMillen) Baranowsky adds. "I made a decision a couple years ago to end my working relationship with them for many reasons that don’t really need to be listed here. I apologize for any disappointment this may cause my fans." Contrary to any rumors, Baranowsky maintains his broken relationship with Team Meat doesn't stem from creative differences, saying only "I didn't feel like the license fee and exposure through PSN they offered was enough to make me seriously consider accepting the deal. I decided to decline their offer. I wish them and the new artists the best of luck with the game." To replace the original soundtrack, Team Meat hired several musicians, including Ridiculon (The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth), David “Scattle” Scatliffe (Hotline Miami), and Laura Shigihara (Plants vs. Zombies). "That’s a pretty slick roster of artists," says Refenes. "We were lucky enough that they were all friends of ours and fans of Super Meat Boy. Their passion and love for the game can be heard in the work they put into making the game sound amazing. We’re honored to have them on the team for this version of Super Meat Boy." You can listen to a sample of the new score (Ridiculon's Hell Boss theme) right here. Super Meat Boy debuts on PSN Tuesday, October 6, free of charge to PS Plus subscribers.
Danny B no longer works with Team Meat
Super Meat Boy is finally coming to Sony platforms next week, but the game PlayStation owners will experience is slightly different than the one that launched on Xbox 360 and PC in 2010. Writing on Team Meat's official b...

Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

New Animal Crossing amiibo are cute as hell

Oct 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Nintendo has revealed four new figures based on the Animal Crossing series for its amiibo toyline. The group, which includes Celeste, Mr. Resetti, Kicks, and Blathers, launches Dec. 17 in Japan. There's currently no word on w...
Level-5 photo

Level-5 forms new company for world domination

Studio sets up subsidiary in California
Sep 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Level-5 and Japan's top advertising firm Dentsu have formed a new company, Level-5 Abby. Located in Santa Monica, California, Level-5 Abby aims to bring Level-5's video games and anime to a global audience, promoting popular ...

Review: Persona 4: Dancing All Night

Sep 29 // Kyle MacGregor
Persona 4: Dancing All Night (PS Vita)Developer: Atlus Publisher: AtlusReleased: September 29, 2015MSRP: $49.99 Taking place shortly after the events of Persona 4, Dancing All Night opens with Rise Kujikawa and a couple members of the gang in a dance studio. The former idol is mounting a comeback and has enlisted her friends as backup dancers to perform at a large music festival. Of course, things quickly go awry. A cursed Internet video has droves of people falling into comas, and to top it all off, members of Kanamin Kitchen, the pop group headed by Rise's frenemy Kanami Mashita, have gone missing. We soon find out the women have been transported to an alternate dimension called the Midnight Stage, where a mysterious voice and hordes of Shadows hold them hostage. Kanamin Kitchen's captors prey on idols' identity crises and try to make them fall in line with the image of what people think believe are, or want them to be, rather than wage any sort of painful personal struggle. The Investigation Team naturally comes to the rescue, except in this world they can't use their Personas to fight. The only way to beat back the Shadows and save Rise and Kanami's friends is to dance. It's a contrived plot device to shoehorn in rhythmic gameplay based on Sega's Hatsune Miku: Project Diva series, but honestly, who cares when the end result is a damn good time?  [embed]311909:60472:0[/embed] The mechanics at work here are nothing revolutionary. Notes appear in the center of a circle and fly outward toward six zones on circle's perimeter in formations based on music. Players are tasked with keeping the beat, the success or failure of which will determine things like high scores, whether new levels are unlocked, and earn in-game currency for purchasing items and costumes. Dancing All Night functions perfectly, and its three main difficulty settings all feel appropriately challenging. Regardless of which you choose, a poor performance will result in a quick hook, though a mediocre one may allow you to complete a level without passing. This can be a powerful motivator, and definitely kept me coming back to some of the tougher stages. On top of the standard fare, there's also an even harder (hidden) difficulty setting awaiting dedicated players. So good luck with that! Aside from the joy of watching familiar faces like Teddie and Chie cavort around in ridiculous outfits, what makes Dancing All Night a blast is the music itself. One of my favorite aspects of the Persona series is composer Shoji Meguro's handiwork, which is obviously thrust into the spotlight this time around. After completing both the story and free dance modes (plus redeeming some downloadable content) I've unlocked 36 songs, spanning everything from original Persona 4 tracks to spin-off theme songs and even a live performance. However, while that may conceptually seem like a decent-sized selection, it doesn't always feel that way. Half of the soundtrack is padded out with remixes that may or may not resonate with players. While I absolutely loved many of them, there are others I will seldom play again. I found it difficult at times to appreciate versions of songs I've adored for years, only to have some DJ somewhere strip the track of nearly all its personality and transform it into something else entirely. Dancing All Night's uneven score wasn't the only facet of the experience that wasn't as compelling as it could have been. The story is somewhat plodding at times and suffers from repetition, following multiple groups that tread similar ground for most of the game. While there are some pensive themes at work, endearing new characters, and a dramatic finale once the narrative threads begin to converge, the plot doesn't quite live up to its source material -- which is probably expected, given how phenomenal that is. This fusion of visual novel of rhythm game isn't exactly perfect, but speaking as someone who loves Persona (and Shoji Meguro's work in particular), I really enjoyed my time with this one. It might be pure fan service, but sometimes maybe that's enough. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher. Several DLC tracks were also provided by the publisher. ]
Review: P4D photo
Your prize cow
Persona 4 was a story about acceptance. We all have a dark side, some aspect of our personality we dislike about ourselves, something we choose to repress and hide away from the rest of the world. This isn't the healthiest pr...

Yakuza 6 photo
Yakuza 6

Here's the first glimpse of Yakuza 6

Starring 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano
Sep 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Here's the first look at Yakuza 6, and -- wait -- is that Beat Takeshi? Why yes, yes it is. The famed Japanese entertainer, who you might know the host of cult game show Takeshi's Castle, has a role in Sega's latest gangster ...
Final Fantasy V photo
Final Fantasy V

Final Fantasy V's PC release looks a bit crap

Okay, maybe a lot crap
Sep 28
// Kyle MacGregor
Which version of Final Fantasy V looks the best? The original? Maybe the Game Boy Advance one? You probably have opinions on the matter, burning hot takes on this, the defining issue of our times. Anyway, I've put t...
Pimpin' ain't easy photo
Pimpin' ain't easy

Pimp My Ride: Mario Kart Edition

Yo dawg, I heard you like Mario Kart...
Sep 28
// Kyle MacGregor
West Coast Customs, the auto shop featured in MTV's Pimp My Ride series, apparently took a break from its usual work outfitting 1997 Jeep Cherokees with back-seat Jacuzzis and subwoofers designed to shatter your eardrums to recreate a couple vehicles from Mario Kart. Pretty Pimpin'...
Rainbow Six photo
Rainbow Six

Rainbow Six Siege won't have a solo campaign

Hope you like training with bots
Sep 27
// Kyle MacGregor
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege will not feature a traditional single-player campaign. Speaking at EGX this weekend, Ubisoft's Scott Mitchell, the art director on Rainbow Six Siege, confirmed the game's focus is on multiplayer...

Podtoid 306: Tales of Tokyo Game Show

Sep 27 // Kyle MacGregor
Things we talked about: Japanese food and booze Metal Gear Online Airplanes Mobile gaming Weird Japanese shit Pokkén Tournament  Arcades Shinjuku Golden Gai Cat Cafés  Badweiser Donski doesn't tip Recent Episodes Podtoid 305: The Voice of God Podtoid 304: The Phantom Pain Podtoid 303: A Good Amount of Cocaine Podtoid 302: Virtual Reality is the Future Podtoid 301: The Least Interesting Man in the World Send any and all questions, tips, and Donski hentai to [email protected]
Podtoid: Tokyo Game Show photo
Kat Cafe Edition
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or download it here. Brett and Steven return from Tokyo Game Show to tell us about their adventures in Japan.

When a bonus mode is better than the main game

Sep 26 // Kyle MacGregor
There's just something about Monkey Target. It seemed to have the power to transfix random passersby that might otherwise have little interest in games. Perhaps it was the peaceful music, which never seemed to get old no matter how many times you heard it. Maybe it was the bright colors that pulled people in -- a vast cerulean ocean stretching out as far as the eye can see, rainbow-coated targets, and rows upon rows of golden (and bizarrely Dole-branded) bananas hanging in the air. Maybe it was just the alluring concept of a bunch of monkeys in translucent balls rolling themselves down a slope toward the sea, popping the capsules open and gliding over the water toward faraway bull's-eyes. It's strange and fantastical -- the sort of thing you would have never dreamed up on your own in a million years, something you can learn in a minute but take a lifetime (or at least countless hours) to truly master. I'm not sure what it is about Monkey Target that I love so much. Everything, probably. Even today, I dusted off my old GameCube and fired the game up for a little "research." An hour later I was still trying to best my high score, just as enamored as I was 10 years ago. Are there any extra modes you enjoy more than the main games they're attached to? Funnily enough, the Chao Gardens from another Sega series, the Sonic Adventure games, also come to mind. Please share your favorites with us in the comments below.
Super Monkey Ball photo
Monkey Target forever
Super Monkey Ball was magical. It's a series for which I have so many fond memories. I have this vision in my head, a strong mental picture of half-a-dozen guys in a dimly-lit college dorm room playing Monkey Target 2. There ...

PlayStation Vita photo
PlayStation Vita

Don't expect Sony to make another portable

Climate 'not healthy' for Vita successor
Sep 26
// Kyle MacGregor
In case you hadn't already guessed, Sony is unlikely to make another dedicated gaming handheld. Speaking during a panel at EGX this weekend, SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida expressed that while he personally is "a h...
Puzzle & Dragons photo
Puzzle & Dragons

Puzzle & Dragons tops 50 million downloads

Up 9 million since January
Sep 26
// Kyle MacGregor
GungHo Online's cash cow Puzzle & Dragons has been downloaded more than 50 million times worldwide since the  role-playing puzzle game's launch in 2012, the company just announced. The figure has risen by more than 9...
ATLUS photo

Atlus confirms Hatsune Miku Persona 4: Dancing All Night DLC for the Americas

Coming October 20 for $5
Sep 24
// Kyle MacGregor
While we already knew Hatsune Miku was coming to Persona 4: Dancing All Night in Japan, the possibility of a western release was up in the air. Well, until now, anyway. Atlus USA has just informed us the make-believe singer's...
Minecraft x Oculus photo
Minecraft x Oculus

Minecraft is coming to Oculus Rift after all

Even if Notch thinks Facebook is creepy
Sep 24
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at Oculus Connect 2 in Los Angeles, company founder and Rift inventor Palmer Luckey announced Minecraft's Windows 10 Edition will support the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.  The move represents an about face ...
Gear VR photo
Gear VR

Samsung unveils new Oculus-powered $99 Gear VR

Cheaper, lighter, and more comfortable
Sep 24
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at the Oculus Connect 2 conference in Los Angeles, Samsung Mobile Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy Peter Koo unveiled the company's next generation of Gear VR headsets. Koo stated the device will b...
Hyrule Warriors photo
Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors requires New 3DS to play in 3D

Needed the additional processing power
Sep 21
// Kyle MacGregor
While Hyrule Warriors Legends, an updated Nintendo 3DS port of last year's action game, will be compatible with older models of the portable, its stereoscopic 3D effects will not. Speaking with 4Gamer at Tokyo Game Show, prod...
Sonic photo

Rare Sonic arcade game coming to a PC near you

Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car
Sep 20
// Kyle MacGregor
Back in 1991, when Sega was helping Energizer and Duracell achieve record profits, probably, the company released Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car, a Japanese arcade game targeted at children. In the years since release, when ...
PS4 price cut photo
PS4 price cut

Xbox boss predicts PS4 price cut for the West

Markdown coming in Japan this October
Sep 20
// Kyle MacGregor
Speaking with IGN, Xbox kingpin Phil Spencer asserted his belief that a PlayStation 4 price drop in western markets is around the corner following Sony Japan's recent markdown announcement. "I fully expect they [PlayStation] ...
Censorship photo

Sony: Chinese censorship limiting PS4 sales

SCE challenged by Beijing's restrictions
Sep 20
// Kyle MacGregor
Sony feels China's strict censorship laws are limiting the PlayStation 4's potential in the country. "We are still challenged somewhat with a censorship regime that we have to work with. This can be time-consuming," SCE boss ...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Xbox One Elite controller coming October 27

Hope you've been saving up
Sep 20
// Kyle MacGregor
Microsoft's Xbox One Elite controller seems to be targeting an October 27 release date, according to a number of retailers, including Amazon, GameStop, and Microsoft's own online storefront. That would mean the customiza...
Hohokum photo

Hohokum dev Honeyslug disbands after 7 years

Co-founders now pursuing solo careers
Sep 20
// Kyle MacGregor
After seven years in business, Hohokum studio Honeyslug is splitting up, with co-founders Ricky Haggett, Nat Marco and Mark Inman going their separate ways to pursue solo careers. In addition to Hohokum, the team is responsib...

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