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XSEED photo
XSEED

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim arrives on PC April 28


XSEED delivers enhanced Nihon Falcom RPG later this month
Apr 17
// Kyle MacGregor
Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim is coming to Windows PC on April 28, XSEED announced today. The role-playing game comes from Nihon Falcom, the studio also known for The Legend of Heroes and the recently localized Brandish: T...
Brandish Dark Revenant photo
Brandish Dark Revenant

XSEED just released this new PSP RPG in Europe


At long last!
Apr 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Brandish: The Dark Revenant is out now across Europe, XSEED Games announced today. It's been more than half a decade since the classic role-playing game was originally remade on PlayStation Portable, but as I said in my revie...
XSEED photo
XSEED

XSEED: Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim coming to PC


Updated Falcom RPG comes west this spring
Mar 26
// Kyle MacGregor
Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim is coming to PC for the first time in the West, XSEED just announced. Nihon Falcom originally put out the action role-playing game on PC in 2003, but it didn't arrive in North America or Europe unt...
Tokyo Xanadu photo
Tokyo Xanadu

Tokyo Xanadu is a new Vita RPG from Nihon Falcom


Pretty please, XSEED?
Feb 26
// Kyle MacGregor
Tokyo Xanadu is the latest project from Ys and The Legend of Heroes studio Nihon Falcom. The role-playing game is a departure from your classic Falcom fantasy setting, given the story takes place in modern-day Tokyo. Don't wo...

Review: Brandish: The Dark Revenant

Feb 02 // Kyle MacGregor
Brandish: The Dark Revenant (PSP, PS Vita and PS TV compatible)Developer: Nihon FalcomPublisher: XSEED GamesMSRP: $19.99Released: January 13, 2014 Despite having a history spanning decades, Brandish doesn't have much of a tale to tell. The adventure centers on Ares Toraernos, a young warrior who finds himself lost in a labyrinthine spire deep within the subterranean kingdom of Vittoria. His only interests are survival and escape. Brandish isn't without its charms, though. There's an endearing roadrunner and coyote dynamic between the protagonist and his nemesis Dela Delon, a vengeful sorceress who spends most of her time falling into pits. It's a game largely bereft of narrative, almost happily so. Falcom seems more than content to thrust old school dungeon crawling squarely into center stage.  Traipsing through mazes in search of the next staircase is the primary focus. However, the journey to the surface isn't as simple as it sounds. As one might expect, the tower is teeming with monsters, traps, and pitfalls. The treacherous setting is almost the principal character of this yarn. [embed]286365:57119:0[/embed] Brandish is difficult, but unlike the original, it's not challenging for the wrong reasons. While nearly identical in most respects, massive improvements have been made to the camera controls. Both versions share a top-down perspective. The hero is positioned in the center of the screen and can move forward, backward, and side to side using the control pad. Turning to the right or left is handled with the shoulder buttons, which actually pivot the world around the character. The design initially seems clumsy and odd, though it's never as bewildering as it was back in the day. The original game rapidly transitioned from one perspective to the next in a jarring fashion, whereas the remake has a clear twisting animation. This is definitely the version you want to play. Again, Brandish is all about surviving long enough to find your way to the next staircase, and there are a myriad of traps, foes, and puzzles along the way to prevent you from achieving that goal. The action-heavy combat actually reminds me a little of baseball. It has this rhythm, a comforting repetition that gives rise to the unexpected. Ares' shield automatically blocks most attacks, allowing you to focus on when and how to attack. It's a fairly simplistic setup, which is good because you'll frequently be combating more than one enemy at a time while avoiding environmental hazards. Another concern you'll have in battle is weapon degradation. Most arms can only be used a set number of times. This means you'll probably want to keep that powerful sword in reserve in case you come across an imposing adversary, as opposed to needlessly annihilating a common grunt. Yes, there are bosses, but they're rare. These encounters serve to punctuate the journey and test your mettle more than anything. While it can be quite tough, Brandish is rarely unforgiving. Falcom does an admirable job of showing you the ropes, gradually increasing the challenge and adding new elements as soon as you get handle on the old ones. The only major spike in difficulty occurs in the Dark Zone, which seems to have more pitfalls than walkable terrain, a limited field of view, and devastating enemies. Even if you're constantly dying, Brandish isn't discouraging.  It has a save-anywhere feature and checkpoints at every floor. It also backs that up with an item called "retry bread," allowing you to respawn at a particular location should you fall in battle. Taking advantage of these tools will help mitigate most of your frustrations, especially when things get a tad onerous later on. As much as I enjoy Brandish, it probably isn't for everyone. Those looking for a sweeping story about legendary heroes are barking up the wrong tree. This game is about marching through trap-laden mazes and solving puzzles at a deliberate pace. Go in with the right mindset and you will discover a well-crafted role-playing game, one which has aged surprisingly well. It may have taken forever to get here, but Brandish: The Dark Revenant was worth the wait. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Brandish PSP review photo
What's old is new again
Antiques possess a magnetic quality, an appeal to our imaginations, a false nostalgia for a time most of us are too young to remember. There's a comforting allure to these relics. They offer a window into the past, a living h...

XSEED teasers photo
XSEED teasers

XSEED hints at the games it's localizing this year


HNNNNNNNNG!
Jan 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Those wily folks at XSEED are up to no good again, craftily teasing the Internet with crafty teasers. The localization studio shared a New Year's card via Facebook yesterday, one that foreshadows a handful of unannounced proj...
Brandish: Dark Revenant photo
Brandish: Dark Revenant

Falcom RPG Brandish crawls to PSP, Vita next week


Classic dungeon crawler localized nearly five years after Japanese debut
Jan 08
// Kyle MacGregor
Brandish: The Dark Revenant is finally coming to PSP in North America next Tuesday, January 13, publisher XSEED Games announced today. It will be compatible with Vita and retail for $20. Players take on the role of swordsma...
Brandish Dark Revenant photo
Brandish Dark Revenant

XSEED is releasing a PSP game in January 2015


Brandish: The Dark Revenant coming early next month
Dec 26
// Kyle MacGregor
A PSP game is coming out in 2015. What a world we live in! Brandish: The Dark Revenant is targeting an early January launch on PlayStation Network across North America, XSEED Games announced today, promising a specific d...
 photo

Falcom Sound Team jdk library of music on iTunes


!!!
Oct 03
// Dale North
Game music fans, did you know about this?! I didn't until I wrote this piece about my dream racing game a few days back. While I was throwing out unrealistic wishes I daydreamed about the famed sound crew from Falcom making t...
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New Ys for PS4/Vita gets a brand spankin' [not so] new trailer


Jumping has returned
Sep 17
// Elliot Gay
[Update: So apparently this is mostly the same trailer as before, only they just released it again for TGS. Whoops!] With Japanese JRPG developer Falcom on the cusp of releasing their latest game here in Japan (Sen no Kiseki...
Trails in the Sky PC photo
Trails in the Sky PC

Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky hits PC next week


HNNNNNNNG!
Jul 22
// Kyle MacGregor
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is coming to Windows PC on July 29, XSEED Games announced today. The occasion marks the first time Nihon Falcom's acclaimed RPG will be available in English on the platform. It will be...
Steam Greenlight photo
Steam Greenlight

Upvote Falcom action-RPG Gurumin on Steam Greenlight for a free copy


Not a fan of this approach
Jul 18
// Jordan Devore
Nihon Falcom's Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure originally released on PC in Japan, but most of us will know about this action-RPG for its PlayStation Portable version. Years later, publisher Mastiff is bringing it to PC here t...
Ys: Memories of Celceta photo
Ys: Memories of Celceta

PSA: Europe, you can play Ys: Memories of Celceta now


Yurope
Feb 26
// Steven Hansen
Ys: Memories of Celceta helped cap a strong fall for the Vita that no one paid attention to. Maybe the fragile Europeans will appreciate its belated-but-not-Atlus-belated release in their home continent.  Go play more fun Vita games, one and all.

Review: Ys: Memories of Celceta

Dec 11 // Wesley Ruscher
Ys: Memories of Celceta (Vita)Developer: FalcomPublisher: XseedRelease Date: November 26, 2013MSRP: $39.99 ($59.99 Silver Anniversary Edition) Awakening in the town of Casnan, series mainstay Adol Christin finds himself lost without any memory of how he got there. Alone, without even the knowledge of his own name, this redheaded sword-wielding adventurer quickly finds solace in a mysterious burly man, named Duren, who tells Adol he last saw him heading into the Great Forest. As Adol is trying to get some bearing on his situation, the local mine finds itself under a monster attack. Deciding to check what all the commotion is about, Adol stumbles upon a mysterious light that triggers a repressed memory that hints he may have been a swordsman before his accident. With this newfound information in hand, he ventures into the mine in an effort to save the trapped workers. And this is all within the first 10 minutes of the game. [embed]266454:51582:0[/embed] I love how straightforward Memories of Celceta is in its story telling. It reeks of old-school game design, yet at the same time is so refreshing. The game doesn't waste a moment with overly tedious tutorials and excessively long narrative and instead thrusts the player right into the heat of the action. It’s just -- grab a sword and head straight into the monster slaying without the slightest care for the who, what, when, or why that tends to eat up the beginning of many contemporary games. But this is not to say that the world in the latest Ys is any less grand than any modern RPG. In fact, Memories of Celceta’s world is one of the richest and most alluring lands I've had the pleasure of trekking across in a long time. The world is wrapped in mystery -- not just to the amnesiac Adol, but to every citizen of Celceta -- and brimming with little tidbits of lore and beautiful vistas to see. It just takes time to discover. There’s also a small sense of choice presented throughout the adventure; whether it’s through simple dialog selections that steers the tone of banter or in the occasional decision to tackle a specific destination next. There’s never a wrong way to play or adventure either, and even though the narrative takes its sweet time to become something special, every interaction is penned with an exquisite charm that makes it enjoyable from beginning to end. When I first started playing Memories of Celceta, my girlfriend asked about the story and I told her something about amnesia, but that it didn't matter because of how rewarding the combat is. But by the end of the game, I was completely captivated by the “badguy wants to take over the world” scenario that I've played a dozen times before. A true testament to the localization by Xseed. The writing is never overly funny, perverted, or epic, but it puts a smile on your face as it develops every character into a likable companion and not some played-out trope. The localization team at Xseed could have easily dialed it home, but it’s apparent that they want the Ys series to be as prominent today as any of Square Enix’s top franchises. You can also tell Falcom wants the Ys franchise to be the premier action-RPG on the Vita since Memories of Celceta really holds nothing back. The game contains some of the best music (and one of my favorite Ys soundtracks) and graphics to grace Sony’s portable to date. The visuals are rich with vibrant colors, full of bloom effects, and so lush you can’t help but want to visit Celceta on your next vacation. The score to the game is easily as enchanting and pairs perfectly with the main attraction: the combat. Even without a well-written story, and intoxicating soundtrack, Memories of Celceta would still be worth playing. At the core of this game lies one of the most enjoyable action-RPG games I’ve ever played. The combat, for those new to the series, takes the basic Zelda formula and pumps it up tenfold. It’s fast and frantic, but at the same time it’s extremely rewarding to master. It constantly pushes the player forward in adventuring and better yet, it’s far from overly complicated, even with the three-party system that the game implements, similar to that of Ys Seven. For starters, each character’s weapon affinity holds an advantage over certain enemy types. Adols sword can cut through the plant-like Canolen like a hot knife through butter. But when paired up against the flying Bonpeets later in the game, his sword isn’t nearly as effective as the piercing knives or spears that Karna and Ozma wield. Overall there are three weapon types -- slash, strike, and pierce -- that are mixed evenly between the game’s six playable characters. Mastering which character is best for the situation is only the tip of the iceberg for success. On top of the controlled chaos that combat brings, there is crafting, quest taking, and a giant map to explore. Finding items for crafting accessories or to strengthen weapons never becomes a hassle since the map marks where you can find whatever you may need as you venture forth. Traveling is also a breeze with waypoints that let you jump across the map at ease and later become completely open to a fast-travel system for even easier backtracking for missed treasures, memories, and supplies. There are a lot of little systems in place in Memories of Celceta, but they never detract from the overall experience. RPGs can kill their own pace with overly-convoluted mechanics and thankfully Falcom made sure to keep everything as streamlined and efficient throughout. This ease of use additionally carries over to the game's controls which keep every killer move just a simple button press away. Touchscreen controls make menu navigation a breeze, but they are never truly shoehorned into the experience aside from controlling your party's AI tendencies which is done by pinching in and out on the rear touchscreen. It’s a little awkward, but it never gets in the way or becomes something you accidentally instigate, unless you’re prone to rubbing the back of your Vita for fun. And really this is my only nitpick for an otherwise near-flawless experience. Falcom’s decision to take ownership of this entry, to create a more cohesive narrative amongst the series, has once again delivered one of the finest experiences for both the series and the platform it’s landed on. Ys: Memories of Celceta is not a system seller, but it’s a game worthy of buying if you own a Vita and easily one of the best RPGs of the year.
Ys reviewed! photo
A memory to cherish
It’s strange to think that Ys: Memories of Celceta is actually the fourth iteration of Ys IV. Even weirder, it’s the first time the game has been developed by Nihon Falcom, who was the developer of pretty much eve...

XSEED photo
XSEED

Ys: Memories of Celceta launches today on PS Vita


Adol Christin returns in a new role-playing adventure
Nov 26
// Kyle MacGregor
Ys: Memories of Celceta arrives on PlayStation Vita today with no memory of how it got there. The action role-playing game offers players a new evil-plagued land to explore alongside the series' trademark hero, Adol Chr...
PS VITA photo
PS VITA

Ys: Memories of Celceta wanders to PS Vita on November 26


Sexy special edition celebrating series' 25th anniversary
Nov 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Ys: Memories of Celceta will find itself on PlayStation Vita come November 26, arriving just in time for Thanksgiving travelers to sink their voracious teeth into this holiday season. The looming role-player is the late...
XSEED photo
XSEED

Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky sequel coming in 2014


It's official!
Sep 06
// Kyle MacGregor
Good news, everyone! The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter will be heading West in 2014, XSEED Games has announced. The follow-up to the acclaimed Falcom-developed role-playing game will be release...
XSEED is a big tease photo
XSEED is a big tease

Is XSEED teasing Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky: SC?


Strange things are afoot at the Circle K
Sep 06
// Kyle MacGregor
XSEED is pure evil. This much is certain. My favorite little publisher is up to no good again. Hot on the heels of teasing a Western release for Senran Kagura Burst, the Marvelous AQL subsidiary is back up to its old tri...
Ys preview photo
Ys preview

I don't want to forget about Ys: Memories of Celceta


Sony may have amnesia when it comes to the Vita; luckily XSEED is quite lucid
Jun 18
// Wesley Ruscher
XSEED Games may have single-handedly championed the Sony Vita at this year's E3. Not one, but three offerings are slated from the niche publishing localization house. Japanese RPGs like Valhalla Knights 3 and Ragna...
 photo

The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki looks really nice


New screenshots
May 01
// Dale North
The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki is still in the works for Japan for the PS3 and Vita, and after looking at the great new screenshots in the newest update of the official website, I've decided to just be happy for them. I ...






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