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Role-Playing Games

Nier New Project photo
Spoilers?
Interviewing developers can sometimes feel like pulling teeth. For example, when I spoke to Nier producer Yosuke Saito and director Taro Yoko about their game the other day, the pair spent a good portion of the interview dodg...

How and why Platinum Games is making Nier 2

Jun 19 // Kyle MacGregor
"So, with the previous game, we got some feedback from our fans, not only in Japan but also from abroad, that for being an action RPG, the controls weren't great," Nier producer Yosuke Saito told Destructoid (through a translator) earlier this week at E3 in Los Angeles. "And that's one of the things we've really learned from the previous game." "When I thought about developers that are really known for great gameplay and design (in terms of gameplay implementation), there aren't that many," Saito continued. "But Platinum is one of them. They're known for great gameplay and development of gameplay engines and so we brought up this conversation dialogue and decided to make this collaboration project." "Honestly, in my personal opinion, the best action game developer in Japan has to be Platinum Games," Nier director Taro Yoko added. "So, being able to collaborate with them on this endeavor on the new Nier project is a great feat for us." But Platinum Games is known for action titles, not role-playing games. I wondered how different from its predecessor the sequel might turn out. Would it just be a straight-up action game? "It's more of a varied approach," Yoko replied. "It's not necessarily going to be the same way as before. I want to keep trying new things. And obviously with Platinum Games, they're renowned for their action game controls. So, we may do a little re-balancing and redesign in terms of some aspects, but we are considering a varied approach." [embed]294470:59163:0[/embed] What does that mean exactly? "Obviously Platinum Games are known for their quick, speedy combat. But if we go too far that direction, it gets too difficult for other people to really enjoy. So, since this is a JRPG we're trying to do that good balance with typical Platinum Games-style action elements with JRPG-element combat." "A lot of people think of action when they think of Platinum Games, but with this team they really showed a lot of respect to the original Nier. We actually have several fans of the previous game on the team, and through that respect they haven't completely deconstructed the old combat system or created a completely new one. They've taken the old combat system from the original and out of respect sorted of added onto it, added their own sort of flair here and there to improve upon what we already had and make a better game experience." It sounds like people needn't worry about this being a linear action game. "It's not going to be a game on rails so to speak," Yoko said when asked about the game systems. "It's not going to be one straight path. You are going to have room for exploration similar to the previous Nier." Yoko has long lived in Tokyo, but the director recently moved across the country to Osaka, where he is now embedded at Platinum's offices. So I asked him to talk about the studio, while also expressing some concern about the sheer number of titles Platinum is working on at the moment. "I don't know what Platinum Games was in the past. I've only been with them recently. I can't really comment on Platinum Games. But for my team specifically -- it's a very young team. For example, the game designer [Takashi Taura] is 29 years old." "So it's a very young, but passionate team. They have a lot of desire and passion for our project to do a good job. They're extremely skilled and very quick. Obviously we may do overtime here and there, but it's not like we're slave drivers necessarily. They love their job, they love being in the industry. Honestly I've been in the industry and I'm just amazed at the amount of skill and how efficiently this team works." We can look forward to seeing more of what the team has been up to sometime this fall.
Nier 2 interview photo
An interview with the RPG's creators
Nier isn't the sort of game you would expect to get a sequel, but that's exactly what's happening. Square Enix surprised (and delighted) folks the world over when it announced the new project at E3. That news alone would...

Crossing Souls is a stellar tribute to the 1980s

Jun 19 // Alessandro Fillari
Set in a small town during the summer of 1986, a group of friends stumble across an ancient artifact that allows them to connect with the world of the dead. Interacting with ghosts of former residents, both long-past and recently departed, they begin to learn that things are not what they appear to be in their boring, quiet town. But soon after, they discover that several forces want control of the relic for themselves, and they must evade police, the U.S. government, and other supernatural entities in order to keep it out of their hands. The developers behind Crossing Souls cite '80s films and TV, along with '90s video games like EarthBound and A Link to the Past as their major sources of inspiration. During my half hour with the game, it was clear that this was a love letter to the era. It not only exudes style channeling the playful rebelliousness of E.T. and The Goonies, but also the sense of adventure found in SNES action/adventure titles. Stylistically, it's a charming game featuring VHS-esque distortion during many of the animated cutscenes. And with music from Timecop1983, one of the Internet's more well known Snyth-Pop artists, Crossing Souls pulls those nostalgia strings hard, and it does so in an evocative way. As the group must keep the balance between the world of the living and the dead, they'll have to explore both realms simultaneously. Each of the five friends possess their own strengths, which necessitates switching between them. Some have certain skills for climbing and heavy lifting, while others have access to ranged attacks. While exploring the town, you can freely interact with the folks from both the living and dead realms. It's completely open, and you can uncover side-missions and events that will have you explore the furthest reaches of town. My favorite part of the demo was exploring the town square and seeing ghosts from the past comment about 1980s culture. It was interesting to see the changes between the two. In one world you could be relatively safe in a populated area, but in another you might get swarmed by vengeful ghosts looking to attack anything alive. Also featured in the game will be an Arcade mode. Throughout your adventures, you'll come across mini-games and special encounters that will have you take part in a trial of wits and timing, and after they're completed you can play them again at any time within this mode. During one segment, I had to evade the police on my bike in style very reminiscent of Battletoad's infamous speeder bike sequence. Thankfully, this one was a lot more fun and less stressful. I wonder what else the game has in store. The mini-games were a cool diversion from the core gameplay, and I'm sure most players will find one they'll gravitate to. I wish I could've spent more time with Crossing Souls. I'm a huge admirer of 1980s culture and entertainment, and it hit all the right nostalgic notes. This was totally the type of game any '80s and even '90s kid would want to experience, and it recalled all the cool moments I had playing video games or watching cartoons back then. Fourattic channels that sense of wonder and awe of experiencing something so fresh and charming. I can't wait to see more from this title in the coming months, and with its release next spring, you'll get to re-experience an era of exuberance soon.
Devolver Digital photo
Releasing on PC and Mac in spring
In recent years, Kickstarter has opened the doors for a lot of developers looking to make things happen. It's a real pleasure to see titles that would've never been greenlit by publishers find an audience willing to put up ca...

NieR interview photo
Director explains how they came to be
Nier is a game of extremes. For all its strengths, it has as many weaknesses. One of the roughest elements of the experience is fishing. The whole thing is poorly implemented and just as badly explained. And one of them wasn'...

Vampyr photo
Vampyr

Vampyr teaser: Brief look at Life is Strange dev's new game


'The Role Playing Game'
Jun 18
// Steven Hansen
Dontnod is still wrapping up Life is Strange, but the Remember Me developer is also working on a new RPG with Focus Home Interactive called Vampyr. It was announced earlier this year, but this little concept teaser is the first look at the tone and whatnot Dontnod is going for its new project.
GIRFE photo
GIRFE

What we thought was a Shin Megami Tensei/Fire Emblem crossover is 'an entirely new experience'


A new thing with hints of both series
Jun 17
// Steven Hansen
Nintendo showed off some weird Japanese idol game during its digital event. I figured it was not Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem, just like last time they showed what ended up indeed being Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem. ...

Final Fantasy VII remake will have new story bits, updated gameplay

Jun 17 // Steven Hansen
"Since we now formally revealed Kazushige Nojima’s name for the scenario, there will be more plot devices in the story, so I think you can also look forward to that," Nomura said. "if you are going to do a full remake, you have to take a different approach and make something that suits the times." I'm completely with Nomura here. A straight Final Fantasy VII remake would be fine, but I'm glad Square Enix seems to be trying to do something bold and make appropriate changes rather than end up with something like Gus van Sant's Psycho.  We may see more at Tokyo Game Show or maybe Sony's PlayStation Experience if they do another one of those Vegas shows and Square stays mum on what other platforms its coming to for a while. フルリメイク版『ファイナルファンタジーVII』&『キングダム ハーツIII』について野村哲也氏を直撃【E3 2015】[Famitsu]『FFVII』は安易なリメイクではない。『KHIII』を含めて野村哲也氏へインタビュー【E3 2015】[Dengeki Online]The Final Fantasy VII Remake Won't Be Exactly the Same [Kotaku]  
Final Fantasy VII remake  photo
'Not a simple remake'
Zack Furniss couldn't pull much about Final Fantasy VII when he interviewed Square Enix’s Tetsuya Nomura (in what was a Kingdom Hearts 3 focused meeting), but crumbs of not at all unexpected news about the for-real Fina...

Star Ocean photo
SO5 producer on how new game came to be
During an interview with Destructoid today, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness producer Shuichi Kobayashi intimated the series was in a state of upheaval after the launch of Star Ocean 4. Kobayashi told me "nobody would ...

Corn on the cob crawdaddy and more in Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale

Jun 16 // Jed Whitaker
Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale certainly doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it certainly has a hella fresh wolf and the coolest crawdaddy I've ever seen.
Return to PopoloCrois photo
A wolf wearing a bandana
Listen, I'm going to give it to you straight forward here: I've not played any of the games in the Story of Seasons series, nor do I know the source material. What I do know, however, is that there is a wolf wearing a ba...

Fable Legends photo
Fable Legends

Fable Legends has 'years of content' planned


Not a one-and-done
Jun 16
// Darren Nakamura
At the PC gaming show this evening, Xbox's Phil Spencer came out and introduced a few developers working on PC and Xbox One. One game in the presentation was Fable Legends, which I liked the last time I played it. In addition...
PS4 and Vita photo
PS4 and Vita

World of Final Fantasy meant for kids, set in a new world


PS4 and Vita
Jun 16
// Steven Hansen
Square Enix showed off World of Final Fantasy at its press conference. It was previously announced for PS4 and Vita at Sony's last night. It takes place in a "completely new universe" than other Final Fantasy games, though it...
Mario RPG photo
Mario RPG

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam looks like a good time


Papercraft Mario, y'all
Jun 16
// Jordan Devore
The Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario worlds are colliding! Nintendo debuted Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam at E3 2015 and it looks fabulous. The Mario brothers are teaming up with the Mario brothers for this new role-pla...
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X releasing on December 4


'It's [almost] time to suit up'
Jun 16
// Darren Nakamura
Nintendo has been pushing Xenoblade Chronicles X pretty hard with Japanese live streams earlier this year. Now it's getting close to time for Western audiences to start getting hyped. The short trailer shown during Nint...
It's actually happening! photo
It's actually happening!
Wow. When a release exists so far in the realm of improbability that it becomes a joke -- like The Last Guardian or Agent or Half-Life 3 -- and then, bam, E3 gets a damn car battery to the gonads as one of these things actua...

The Old Republic photo
The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic's next expansion is story-driven and free


'This is the expansion for our players'
Jun 15
// Brett Makedonski
BioWare has been at the helm of Star Wars: The Old Republic for a fairly long time now. Come December, the game will have been around for four years. All the while, BioWare's been tweaking, expanding, and enhancing the p...
ATLUS photo
ATLUS

Stella Glow launches on 3DS this holiday season


Complete with that $49.99 'Atlus tax'
Jun 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Stella Glow is coming to North America this holiday season, Atlus USA just announced. The upcoming RPG is likely to be the swansong project for Luminous Arc developer Imageepoch, whose recent bankruptcy filing isn't expected to impact the title's release. Atlus is exhibiting Stella Glow at E3 this week, so expect some impressions out of us soon.

Dark Souls III confirmed for early 2016

Jun 15 // Jordan Devore
(Cool box art, Namco.)
Dark Souls III photo
Rise from your grave!
The leaks killed the surprise, but I'm still into it -- Dark Souls III is coming early next year to PC, PS, and Xbox One. "Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team" are on the project, according to Bandai Namco. A pre-rendered video p...

The Division photo
The Division

Tom Clancy's The Division is getting an Xbox One Exclusive Beta in December


Time to fight for today
Jun 15
// Laura Kate Dale
Excited to finally get to play Tom Clancy's The Division? Well, if you're an Xbox One owner then you're in luck. The game is getting an exclusive beta on Xbox One this December, announced on stage during Microsoft's E3 press ...
Fallout 4 screenshots photo
Fallout 4 screenshots

Fallout 4 screenshots fresh from the Bethesda showcase


Looking good, Boston
Jun 15
// Darren Nakamura
Bethesda spent a lot of time on Fallout at its E3 showcase. Though the video presentation is probably the way to go for those hungry for Fallout 4 information, fans short on time might prefer a quick browsing of screens. Thou...
Fallout 4 photo
You can play Donkey Kong on your Pip-Boy
Tonight at Bethesda's E3 2015 press conference, game director Todd Howard demonstrated Fallout 4, which begins before the bombs fell. The character creator takes place in a mirror and adjustments happen in real time. And, yes...

Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Bethesda is releasing a 'Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition' with a real Pip-Boy


It uses your smartphone
Jun 14
// Chris Carter
Today at Bethesda's E3 conference in LA, the "Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition" was released. It will ship with both the game and a special edition package, which includes a real Pip-Boy accessory. To spice things up even more, the ...
The Witcher 3 photo
The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3's already been played for ten millennia or so


That's right -- 10,000 years
Jun 12
// Brett Makedonski
CD Projekt Red's The Witcher 3 is the type of game that you can sink a whole lot of hours into. Open-world role-playing games tend to run on the long side. It took testers 25 hours to speedrun it, after all. Couple that ...
Bandai Namco photo
Bandai Namco

Tales of Zestiria officially confirmed for PS4, PC


Coming in October
Jun 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Bandai Namco's worst kept secret is now officially official. Today, the publisher confirmed the rumors are indeed true. Yes, Tales of Zestiria is in development for PlayStation 4 and PC. Alongside the previously announced Pla...
#Darksiders2 photo
#Darksiders2

Darksiders 2 remake confirmed, has a punny name


A lot of Vigil team working on it
Jun 11
// Brett Makedonski
Closing in on four months later, we can finally confirm the February leak of a Darksiders 2 remake. Nordic Games announced a 1080p remaster for PS4 and Xbox One. It's cheekily named Darksiders 2 Deathinitive Edition, whi...
The Legend of Heroes photo
The Legend of Heroes

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel hits Europe this fall


Falcom loves you
Jun 11
// Kyle MacGregor
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is coming to Europe this fall, NIS just announced. The good word follows news that XSEED Games is publishing the upcoming PlayStation 3 and Vita RPG in North America this autumn. We'...
ATLUS photo
ATLUS

Atlus USA officially announces Legend of Legacy


FuRyu RPG heads west this fall
Jun 11
// Kyle MacGregor
The Legend of Legacy is coming to North and South America, Atlus USA proclaimed today. This isn't exactly a revelation, considering the studio's PR manager John Hardin inadvertently spilled this particular can of beans while ...
Fire Emblem If photo
Fire Emblem If

Take a nice, long look at the new Fire Emblem


Sweet torture
Jun 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Fire Emblem If is still a long ways off. That is, unless you live in Japan, where Nintendo's upcoming strategy role-playing game is just a fortnight away from its June 25 release. Soon enough people half a world away will be...
Witcher 3 sales photo
Witcher 3 sales

Witcher 3 sold 4 million in two weeks


You go, girl!
Jun 09
// Steven Hansen
Despite some hiccups with bugs and other nitpicks, The Witcher 3 has been a rousing success for developer CD Projekt Red. It has even, thus far, managed to largely avoid the several weeks later scathing takes that often pour ...
Dark Souls III photo
Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III confirmed to be real, releasing in early 2016


According to this art leak
Jun 09
// Brett Makedonski
The past week has brought about speculation that From Software would follow up this year's Bloodborne with a third installment in the Dark Souls series. There were even some mighty convincing screenshots that h...
FF Type-0 HD patch photo
FF Type-0 HD patch

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is getting a console patch today


Minor improvements
Jun 09
// Chris Carter
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD was surprisingly good, and it looks like Square Enix isn't quite done with it yet. In addition to the announcement of a full-on PC port later this year, the publisher has revealed a patch for the conso...

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