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What's new in God Eater 2: Rage Burst? photo
What's new in God Eater 2: Rage Burst?
by Elliot Gay

I put a sizable chunk of time into the original God Eater 2 on the Vita late last year. It was a solid entry in the long line of recent hunting action games, but certainly not without its fair share of issues. It suffered from a lack of content, and its AI was dreadful. The plentiful content updates helped a lot; online coop, new story missions, extra equipment. At the end of the day though, it still felt incomplete. The underlying mechanics were strong, so I was hopeful that we'd see an upgraded version ala Monster Hunter and the Ultimate/G releases sometime in the near future.

Enter God Eater 2: Rage Burst

Featuring a new storyline, new characters, new weapons, and all sorts of other additions, Rage Burst's developers are pushing it as the definitive version of the game. I had a chance to go hands on with the Vita build and clear the two demo quests at Tokyo Game Show, and I came away feeling good about the changes.

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Tales of Zestiria's combat is fast and furious photo
Tales of Zestiria's combat is fast and furious
by Elliot Gay

Ask most Tales fans what game has their absolute favorite version of the Linear Motion Battle System (LMBS), and you're likely to get a wide variety of answers. Some prefer the 2D combat from the Tales of Destiny PS2 remake and its sequel, while others hold up Tales of Graces F as representative of the direction the system should go. While I wasn't a huge fan of the latter game, I adored its fast paced, technical combat, and was let down when I eventually played through Tales of Xillia. It wasn't necessarily bad, it just wasn't what I wanted from the series.

I had heard that Tales of Zestiria would be borrowing major elements from Graces' combat, and after ten minutes of time with the TGS demo, I can definitely see the similarities. 

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Project Morpheus seems to be lagging behind Oculus Rift a bit photo
Project Morpheus seems to be lagging behind Oculus Rift a bit
by Brett Makedonski

As the virtual reality races wages on, different prototypes keep coming out for Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift. I had yet another chance to play two new titles on Project Morpheus at Tokyo Game Show. While they were certainly unique in their own right, it’s tough not to feel as if Oculus is a bit ahead of Sony’s project.

The first game that we played was The Deep – a shark attack simulator. Ascending from the depths of the ocean in a deep sea cage, I had a first-person view of an angry shark as he tried relentlessly to rip the vessel apart and feast. I’m sure I’m delicious, but I didn’t want it to find out.

I was equipped with a gun that fired flare-like projectiles, which could be aimed based on the positioning of the DualShock 4. Unfortunately, I don’t think these shots were actually effective in any way, and were only included to make the experience interactive. Still, it was fairly incredible to watch the shark lurk, circling the cage and slowly ripping it apart.

By the end of the ride, I made it to the surface intact. The finale held one last, grand attack in which I was sure the demo would end grimly. It didn’t, as the shark gave up and went back to the deep unknown to terrorize other unlucky creatures.

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Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate brings a lot of verticality to the table photo
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate brings a lot of verticality to the table
by Brett Makedonski

When the west finally gets Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate -- what Capcom calls "the most complete version of 4 that it'll get" -- players are going to need to turn their attention to the layering of the game. Rather than solely ground-level areas, Ultimate features plenty of ledges to climb up and to hop onto monsters' backs from. That's the big difference from the Monster Hunter you may already know and love.

Gone are the water terrains, which Capcom called "controversial." The newly placed emphasis on vertical play replaces them, in what is kind of the "hook" for the game. However, that doesn't mean Capcom expects the same mixed reception. The opposite, in fact. It anticipates that players will welcome the verticality because it's fluidly interwoven into play. Small ledges will be automatically ascended, and larger ones will actually take some effort to climb.

With this new information in mind, a party of four of us set off to best the Daimyo Hermitaur -- a giant crab-like creature. Equipped with a weapon called the Insect Glaive, one of our members sent insects toward our target to retrieve essences from him. The Insect Glaive also served a second (and more fun) purpose. It can be used to pole vault on top of a monster and ride him into temporary submission.

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Resident Evil: Revelations 2 raises more questions than answers photo
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 raises more questions than answers
by Brett Makedonski

My time with Resident Evil: Revelations 2 at Tokyo Game Show was brief -- maybe 20 minutes if we're being generous. Swiftly dumped into the beginning of the game, I was left to try to unravel the mystery of what exactly was happening, an inquiry that went unsolved. It was predictable, though. There's a lot of story to tell over Revelations 2's month-long release of four installments in early 2015; they're not going to clue me in right from the get-go.

What I do know is that I woke up in a jail cell as Claire Redfield, the action protagonist of Revelations 2. She handles all the shooty/stabby parts, and her cohort Moira Burton handles all the investigation bits. Moira was similarly imprisoned close by, until I used Claire to free her. From then on, the two could be switched on-the-fly with a simple press of a button.

Seeing as it was the beginning of the game, this is where Revelations 2 did its best to acclimate players with the simpler mechanics. Here's a knife, stab stuff with it; here's a gun, it's used for shooting bad people. That sort of thing. After teaching me how to push shelving, a zombie burst through the other side, imploring me to punch him with my knife in his big dumb face.

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Godzilla: Walking in the shoes of the king of monsters photo
Godzilla: Walking in the shoes of the king of monsters
by Elliot Gay

Fun fact. When I was a child, my mother sat me down in front of Godzilla films and subsequently burned them into my brain. As a result, I ended up learning Japanese and moving to Japan as an adult. It's not a stretch to say that I'm where I am because of the big G.

So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that Bandai Namco was developing a Godzilla game for the PS3. The big monster has had more than his fair share of game appearances, but none of them have ever been any good. I recall playing Super Godzilla on the SNES and trying my best to convince myself that it was the best game I had ever played. Needless to say, I had some issues believing my own words.

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I sure did kill a lot of giant bugs in the new Earth Defense Force on PS4 photo
I sure did kill a lot of giant bugs in the new Earth Defense Force on PS4
by Brett Makedonski

In the course of covering videogames, sometimes you go into an appointment knowing exactly what's going to happen. You know precisely how the game will play and what the demo will be like -- everything's just crystal clear. That's how my first look at Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair on PS4 went. There sure are a lot of bugs, and oh boy, do you ever kill them.

Dropped off in the middle of a giant city, I was given ten minutes to defend Earth with my forces. Equipped with a machine gun and a rocket launcher, I set off to blow as many giant ants into rust-colored oblivion as I possibly could. Real talk: If the game kept track of this sort of thing, I may have done more damage than good. But, we're here to fulfill our exterminator superhero fantasies, so let's not dwell on semantics.

Anyone that's familiar with the franchise won't be surprised to find out that The Shadow of New Despair isn't going to push the PS4 to its visual limitations. Right now, everything looks pretty rough, and I'd doubt it ever gets significantly better. Every asset in the game is just more jagged than we're used in 2014 (and the past several years), but that's to be expected with EDF. It's almost a calling card of sorts.

Another calling card is just how much cathartic, dumb fun it can be. Yep, good thing I killed those huge bugs so now I can go take care of the giant ants climbing on the skyscraper and then I can massacre this other group of them. Relentless, unceasing insect murdering. It's not for everyone, but it looks as if The Shadow of New Despair will be right up EDF fans' alley. And, that alley will probably house some bugs that needs blown up.

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Final Fantasy Explorers feels like Crystal Chronicles meets Monster Hunter photo
Final Fantasy Explorers feels like Crystal Chronicles meets Monster Hunter
by Elliot Gay

It's become exceedingly easy in recent years to point the finger at any four player cooperative game in Japan and call it a Monster Hunter clone. I'm not particularly fond of this way of thinking. Despite my love of Monster Hunter (200+ hours in MH4), I think many of the various hunting action games have unique, interesting qualities that separate them from one another.

Perhaps that's why I had been so jazzed to check out Final Fantasy Explorers, Square Enix's first attempt to dabble in the hunting action genre. With a stable of classic monsters, jobs, and giant bosses in its long history, Final Fantasy seems like the perfect franchise to get a spinoff in the genre.

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9:30 AM on 09.18.2014

Bladestorm lives up to its name, looks nice on PS4 and Xbox One

I'd never played Bladestorm, the historical action/strategy title that seems to be a bit of a cult classic within the Dynasty Warriors type. It's still a bit odd that Koei Tecmo is reviving the 2007 PS3 and 360 game and that ...

Steven Hansen



I pissed off a bunch of Bloodborne's villagers right quick photo
I pissed off a bunch of Bloodborne's villagers right quick
by Brett Makedonski

Maybe it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but the beings hanging out in the Tokyo Game Show showing of Bloodborne weren't exactly enamored by my presence. That's putting it lightly. Cautiously trekking through the village that the demo thrust me into, I quickly found out that none of them wanted to be my friend, and all of them just wanted me dead.

Some of them succeeded in their mission.

Able to select from a few different characters for the demo, I toggled between a fairly well-balanced build and one that favored agility. Rolling, blocking, and backward jumping to my heart's content, I disposed of these neighborhood crime watch suspicious suspects with relative ease. That is until they decided that group efforts would be more effective. Turns out these freaks of the night know a thing or two about efficiency and teamwork.

It's tough to get a real feel for a title like Bloodborne from a 20-minute demo without time to flesh out a unique character. I mean, it was Souls-esque with more fluid feeling controls in a setting that actually sets itself apart from the Souls series. That's grand; I'm all in. Given that it was my proper introduction to the game (I just kept missing it at other shows), what a fine first impression. But, a cheery visit and maybe a useless housewarming gift would've been a bit more inviting than death ad nauseam. I guess that's just how From Software rolls.

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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD plays as well as ever photo
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD plays as well as ever
by Elliot Gay

I adored Final Fantasy Type-0 when it first released on the PSP in Japan a few years back. It took me a whopping 75 hours to clear the game my first time, and while it undoubtedly had its fair share of problems (weird RTS sections, poor group leveling system, camera), I felt that the positives heavily outweighed the negatives. It's not secret that it's my personal favorite Final Fantasy of the last generation. 

In what turned out to be a pleasant surprise, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD appeared on the TGS show floor in completely playable fashion, so I rushed over first thing to give it a look.

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Watch Dogs: Bad Blood goes punk, features co-op play and new modes photo
Watch Dogs: Bad Blood goes punk, features co-op play and new modes
by Alessandro Fillari

Say what you will about Ubisoft, but they've got a knack for trying something a little different for their DLC offerings. After the incredibly successful launch of Watch Dogs back in May, it seemed like they've been biding their time with the release of some smaller DLC packs to one of their best-selling new titles. With so much content packed in Watch Dogs, I was curious to see how a single-player campaign DLC can stack up.

But now, it seems Ubisoft felt that four months was enough for players to explore the city of Chicago as Aiden Pearce. With a new playable character, a new set of tools, and new missions to dive into; players can see the streets of Chicago through a fresh perspective, and can even bring a friend along for the ride.

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BioWare is working to specifically differentiate Dragon Age: Inquisition from Dragon Age II photo
BioWare is working to specifically differentiate Dragon Age: Inquisition from Dragon Age II
by Chris Carter

When I entered BioWare's offices and had a chance to speak to the game's Executive Producer and Studio GM, I had one goal in mind -- to find out how Dragon Age: Inquisition was going to be more like Origins, and less like Dragon Age II.

You'd expect a lot of Molyneuxian backpedaling when confronted with the idea that the last game was a letdown in many eyes, but the responses I received were genuine, with a real concern for learning from past mistakes, and a confident assurance of the game Inquisition could really become.

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Adventure Time Game Wizard has a pretty cool level editor photo
Adventure Time Game Wizard has a pretty cool level editor
by Abel Girmay

There's a new game coming out based on everybody's favorite television show, Adventure Time! You know what that means right? Go on and grab your friends, because we're going to some very distant la---actually, you might want to rethink going on this adventure.

Adventure Time Game Wizard's biggest strength is in its content creator. Using the iPad camera, you can scan in any level you've drawn out on a piece of graph paper, or you can draw directly in-game. From there, you can choose a themed backdrop based on the show including the Snow Kingdom, Candy Kingdom, and others.

There's a set of simple shapes and outlines you can draw, each corresponding to a type of platform. Want a lava pit? Just make two vertical shafts with zig zags in between. Need a moving platform? Just sketch out a striped rectangle.

There are a good number of platform types you can draw and combine to create your own levels, and Game Wizard offers an intuitive guide for all the shapes you can use. They never get more complicated than what you can trace on graph paper, and even when I didn't draw perfect lines, the scanner was always capable of translating past those errors.

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Titan Souls is my PAX Prime 2014 game of show photo
Titan Souls is my PAX Prime 2014 game of show
by Abel Girmay

Confession time: I'm pretty out of the loop when it comes to the indie game scene. I love me some Nidhogg, Samurai Gunn, and Crawl, but it's not uncommon for me to have only heard about these games just before release or later. With that track record, you won't be surprised to hear that I knew nothing about Titan Souls before sitting down with it at PAX.

I am so glad that I did, though. Between the music, art, and the brilliantly challenging combat, Titan Souls is far and away one of my most anticipated releases.

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Nicalis kicked my ass again with Castle in the Darkness photo
Nicalis kicked my ass again with Castle in the Darkness
by Jordan Devore

After checking out The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth at PAX Prime, I spent a decent chunk of time with another upcoming Nicalis project, Castle in the Darkness. It's a challenging platform-adventure PC game that feels all too appropriate given the company's prior involvement with 1001 Spikes.

Admittedly, words like "challenging" and "difficult" get thrown around often -- too often -- when describing games that aren't afraid to test players. But good lord, Castle in the Darkness was tough. I must have died 50 times during my playthrough, and that's being conservative.

Part of that has to do with your limited health -- a few hits is enough to do you in, at least early on -- and your knight's movement, which takes getting used to. He's quick, super quick, and his initial sword attack doesn't extend very far. It was frustrating at first to come to terms with all of this, but I suspect the fast pace will feel great with sufficient practice and muscle memory.

The game's structure is exploration-based in that you'll hit switches and acquire items that will allow you to reach previously inaccessible areas. There's also going to be a ton of bosses, based on what I played. That damn owl from the trailer gave me hell. Expect gear upgrades, too.

Castle in the Darkness is rather clearly inspired by NES classics in the genre, particularly Castlevania, which I don't consider to be a negative. Maybe you do. Either way, I'd suggest getting your hands on it before casting any final judgments. Could be pretty cool at the right price.

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