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Ar nosurge photo
Ar nosurge

Sci-fi RPG Ar nosurge out now on PlayStation Vita


Boxed special edition available via NISA
Jul 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Ar nosurge Plus: Ode to an Unborn Star is now available across North America and Europe. As we've come to expect of Gust-developed role-playing games, this PlayStation Vita release is an enhanced port of last year's PlayStati...
Slain! photo
Slain!

Slain's new trailer has more blood than a GWAR concert


That is to say, there's a lot of blood
Jul 02
// Brett Makedonski
I was originally going to pass on posting this trailer, but I came across it while I was listening to Lana del Rey's Ultraviolence and that just seemed like too great of a coincidence. Also, the developer's name (Wolf Brew) ...
Yomawari photo
Yomawari

Creepy NIS Vita horror game is actually kind of cute


Yomawari
Jul 02
// Steven Hansen
NIS (Disgaea) recently teased a spooky game with live-action first-person flashlight footage and a requisite creepy child. It ended up being for Yomawari, which is coming to Vita in Japan on October 29. It's about a young gir...

PlayStation Plus photo
PlayStation Plus

There are four PS4 games in July's PlayStation Plus lineup


And, sweet, Geometry Wars 3 for Vita
Jul 01
// Jordan Devore
I feel like a digital hoarder with PlayStation Plus. So much stuff I don't need and never will. But I do need Rain, that game about a boy who is invisible unless he's in rain. Missed that back in 2013 and haven't given it any...
Japanese charts photo
Japanese charts

Fire Emblem Fates outsells Persona 4: Dancing All Night


Good thing Nintendo didn't kill it
Jul 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Last week was a great time to be a portable gaming enthusiast in Japan, as not one, but two highly anticipated titles launched on Thursday in Fire Emblem Fates and Persona 4: Dancing All Night. Fire Emblem Fates was far and a...

Review: Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3

Jun 30 // Chris Carter
Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 (3DS [reviewed], PS Vita)Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Tecmo KoeiMSRP: $29.99Released: June 30, 2015 In a sense, although Chronicles 3 is a continuation of the existing Chronicles offshoot series, it actually ends up being bite-sized take on Warriors 4, but with a few twists in tow. Players will create their own warrior right off the bat and follow a more personalized story, putting them smack in the middle of famous figures like Takeda Shingen. It's a strategy fitting for a portable, even if it takes some liberties when it comes to gameplay. What this does is it allows Samurai newcomers to instantly acclimate themselves without having to know any background on the franchise whatsoever. Even with the last full iteration, it was tough to glean a lot of ancillary backstory about armies and characters unless you had kept up with the series. With Chronicles you can just jump right in, and it will assist you in filling in the blanks. There's a bit of choice involved in the pre-battle cutscenes, but it's mainly an illusion and more of an excuse to learn more about the cast. This goes double for the story, which doesn't really change, and is more of a predetermined narrative for your character. Having said that, the "bonding" system does allow you to unlock new scenes (and a few levels) the more you battle (or pay to drink tea) with fellow officers. [embed]295006:59270:0[/embed] For the most part, gameplay is roughly the same: there's your standard attacks and combo openers as well as supers. It's fast, and despite claims of being "repetitive," it's still a damn fun approach to beat-'em-ups. Chronicles 3 takes things a bit further though (as it has in the past) and allows you to swap between four characters in the battlefield at will, which is better than Samurai's recent two-character mechanic, and a great way to always keep you in the action. Instead of running back and forth constantly, you can just switch to someone else. The main storyline took me roughly 10 hours to complete, then it's off to individual battles while you grind up your character and earn gold to buy new outfits. Instead of a bunch of different bonus gametypes, you'll have a simple challenge mode at your disposal, which is basically a score attack on a timer. Most of your enjoyment will derive from grinding it out for rare weapons and fighting enemies across the span of the entire campaign all at once. It's fun, but its appeal is definitely limited and your mileage may vary. I would have preferred more modes. Sadly, the 3DS hardware has not been kind to Chronicles. The game looks incredibly generic, especially in comparison to the detail that was put into Samurai Warriors 4's new character models. You can't even make out faces for enemy soldiers a lot of the time, much less the set pieces in the background. As a reminder, this review is based off the 3DS version (the only one that was provided), which does have the added benefit of constantly displaying the map on the bottom screen. The 3D effect enhances the experience a bit, but sadly, also contributes to some slowdown. It's never unplayable, but it does make things worse and I don't recommend using it. Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 is held back by the switch to the 3DS, and I recommend just picking up the past core entry instead. In the meantime, I'll attempt to locate a Vita version to see how it compares to Warriors 4, which was also released on the Vita earlier this year. With some of the performance issues smoothed out, this personal story would be more worth telling. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the developer.]
Samurai Warriors review photo
Not quite as punchy on a portable
Samurai Warriors 4 was a noticeable advancement for the series, and added a number of interesting mechanics like instant character switching and more varied move sets for each character. It even solved a few common compl...

Marvelous photo
Marvelous

Valkyrie Drive reveals new Weaponized Lesbians


New screenshots and character art
Jun 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Marvelous has unveiled a few new characters for Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni, the new project from Senran Kagura creator Kenichiro Takaki, which has been colloquially referred to as "Weaponized Lesbians" around these parts for r...
Persona 4 Dancing photo
Persona 4 Dancing

Persona 4: Dancing All Night coming to Europe without delay


We shared the same mad potion
Jun 30
// Kyle MacGregor
It looks like Persona 4: Dancing All Night might arrive simultaneously (or close to it) across Europe and America, as NIS has followed Atlus' lead, announcing the rhythm game for a "Fall 2015" launch. In addition to the stand...

'You paint the world with your Soft Body'

Jun 29 // Jordan Devore
[embed]295022:59271:0[/embed] Introducing Soft Body on PS4, PS Vita [PlayStation Blog]
Soft Body photo
Gooey
Well, that headline wrote itself. Soft Body, *ahem*, looks like a cool, free-flowing take on Snake. Here, you're dodging bullets while filling in the world and your snake can split apart to form two bodies, each controlled by...

New Atelier photo
New Atelier

Gust announces JRPG Atelier Sophie for PS4, PS3, Vita


The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
Gust has turned heads with a new PlayStation (3, 4, and Vita) action RPG Yoru no Nai Kuni (something along the line of Land of No Night). It's much darker (but still pretty) than the Atelier games the company might be best k...
IA/VT Colorful photo
IA/VT Colorful

Senran Kagura dev's new game isn't coming west


Music licensing to blame
Jun 28
// Kyle MacGregor
Marvelous' upcoming rhythm game IA/VT Colorful isn't likely to receive a localization.  Speaking with Siliconera in a recent interview, producer Kenichiro Takaki, best known for his work on the Senran Kagura se...

Review: J-Stars Victory VS+

Jun 28 // Laura Kate Dale
J-Stars Victory Vs+ (PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Vita) Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: Bandai Namco EntertainmentRelease: June 26, 2015 (EU), June 30, 2015 (US) I may not be the most knowledgeable anime fan out there, but I'm always willing to try out a new series if it looks interesting. As such, I was pretty excited coming into J-Stars Victory VS+. I was hoping to experience well known characters I already knew, as well as finding new characters to get invested in and try watching going forward. Unfortunately, J-Stars Victory VS+ was a bit of a disappointment in that regard. The representations of characters I already knew didn't feel accurate and the hooks to get invested in new series just weren't there for me. So, as this is a fighting game first and foremost, let's talk about the fighting mechanics at play. Every character has one light attack button, a heavy attack button, a special attack button, a block and a dash. While these are tailored to each character, the movesets all feel very similar to play using. While it's cool to see Ichigo pull off a Getsuga Tensho and Goku a Kamehameha, both on a mechanical level act near identically. Every move is an approximation designed to fit a specific combat system's mold, which ultimately takes away some of what makes these characters unique. Defensive techniques like cancels are minimal, so if you wait for an attack animation to start then start mashing buttons you'll usually win. J-Stars Victory VS+ is not a game of skill, it's a game of waiting for any enemy to attempt anything slower than a light attack, interrupting with a light attack then button mashing while they remain locked in your combo. [embed]294934:59255:0[/embed] So, ignoring the fact the combat system itself lacks depth, lets look at how this functions as a pure fanservice game. Just looking at the numbers there is a lot here for fans of Shonen anime to love. There's representation from newer series like D.Gray-man as well as older series like Rurouni Kenshin and a whole host of series in between. There's even inclusions from my super niche sports anime, but only as support characters rather than full playable roster members. Damn, I was just about ready to praise this game for supporting my niche interests. So, let's talk about the modes on offer in J-Stars Victory VS+. There's J-Adventure, where you sail around the world on a tiny boat given to you by god to earn your way into a tournament of champions, where everyone involved seems perfectly fine with the fact god gave them a boat that couldn't get most of the places it needed to go and needlessly pads out the experience with narrative fluff between fights. This mode has four arcs, each of them near narratively identical. I couldn't see any reason players would want to go through all four of these, they're all equally padded and dull. Your other options are Victory Road which sets up special fights loosely themed around anime dream team fights, a standard Arcade mode which offers minimal challenge, local free battles and online free battles. None of these modes felt terribly coherent or fleshed out. On paper, the roster of nearly 40 playable characters is certainly impressive, but what makes these characters unique is rarely utilized fully. Each character's ultimate attack feels decidedly less visually impressive than comparable titles like Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. The story mode offered on disk features static 2D images of characters that may say the odd single word to each other, but otherwise remain silent. Their dialogue feels terribly homogeneous, stripped down so that every character speaks with the same uniform voice. This doesn't feel like a series of characters clashing for the first time, rather it feels like one person in many different outfits badly acting out their alternative universe fanfiction. Where the games opening cinematic gave me hope for a visually impressive, fanservice heavy experience, the single player largely boiled down to watching static images talk to each other in a weirdly unemotional tone then fight for no adequately explained reason. It just wasn't compelling. Ultimately, J-Stars Victory VS+ only succeeds as numbers on paper, the game itself being largely disappointing. The roster have had much of what made them unique stripped down, stopping me getting truly excited about the characters I knew and preventing me getting a sense of which characters were worth me investing future time watching. The mechanics are shallow, the fanservice is surface level and it only succeeds in terms of its pure number of supported characters. Overall, I walked away rather disappointed. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the developer.]
J-Stars Victory VS+ photo
Mash, mash, mash, mash, mash, mash......
J-Stars Victory VS+ is a game that's mechanically light, heavy on fanservice volume but that only ever skims the surface of the characters it includes. If you want an anime brawler that focuses on the sheer volume of anime ch...

PSN flash sale photo
PSN flash sale

Time for another PlayStation Network flash sale


Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen for $13.20!
Jun 26
// Jordan Devore
I haven't made much use of the PlayStation Network flash sales -- the best deals are often for games I own -- but I'm happy they're a regular occurrence. There's another one this weekend. PS4 Bound by Flame ($14) CastleStorm...
ATLUS photo
ATLUS

Persona 4: Dancing All Night opening movie


Scorpion something true now...
Jun 25
// Kyle MacGregor
No lie, I've been listening to Persona 4: Dancing All Night's main theme, "Dance!," on repeat since playing the game at E3 last week. It's just so danged infectious. I'm this close to importing the game -- which just came ou...
Sega PS3/Vita sale photo
Sega PS3/Vita sale

Celebrate Sonic's birthday with cheap Sega games on PSN


Look away, Knuckles!
Jun 23
// Jordan Devore
Oh shoot, it's Sonic's birthday today! He's 24 years old. I find that unsettling for some reason. Anyway, Sega is holding a celebratory sale on PlayStation Network. Besides Sonic games, this is an inexpensive way to score Yak...
Punch Line photo
Punch Line

999 and Zero Escape writer's new game coming to PS4, Vita


Punch Line
Jun 23
// Steven Hansen
What with Zero Escape not being profitable and the trilogy being put on hold, series writer and director Kotaro Uchikoshi (999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors) went and wrote an anime called Punch Line. It has a pretty ...
Gust RPG photo
Gust RPG

Gust's dark RPG Land of No Night continues to look good


It's dark, but there's no night?
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
I was surprisingly impressed with Gust's (Atelier) new PlayStation (3, 4, and Vita) action RPG Yoru no Nai Kuni, or Land of No Night, when we got a first look at the gameplay (and whatever shreds of fabric the character is wearing in that picture). This new trailer shows off the battling a bit more, as well as some of the menus and monster accumulation system.
Trailer photo
Trailer

Lost Dimension brings anime paranoia to PS3, Vita


New E3 trailer
Jun 21
// Steven Hansen
Have you ever felt like you can read snippets of your friends' thoughts and that some of them are out to get you and you'd be better off killing them? Same, same. Lost Dimension tasks a group of 11 capable warriors with stop...

Persona 4 goes full Miku in Dancing All Night

Jun 20 // Kyle MacGregor
This is all a set-up for a rhythm game, where the spotlight shines on Atlus composer Shoji Meguro's infectious tunes, including some new tracks to go along with remixes of old favorites.  Persona 4: Dancing All Night's gameplay is reminiscent of Sega's Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA series, which makes sense given the tiles were both created in part by the same studio, Dingo. Unlike the Project DIVA games, where the notes fly in from off-screen toward the center, Atlus is taking the opposite approach with Dancing All Night. Star-shaped objects appear and fly from the center of the middle of the screen toward six points on the outer edges of a ring, all of which correspond to parts of the D-pad and individual face buttons. As rhythm game veterans know very well, how you time your button presses as the notes fly into these zones will impact how well you score. There are various levels of difficulty to select between, so fans of the genre can challenge themselves while those just looking for a new Persona story can breeze through the stages with less resistance.  As you tap along with the beat, familiar faces like Kanji and Chie will groove out to the music on the Midnight Stage while Shadows look on the in audience. Eventually, the stages will culminate in a Persona summon, which I got a real kick out of. Seeing (the main protagonist) Yu's partner Izanagi jam out on a bass guitar put a big smile on my face. Atlus also showed us the game running on a PlayStation TV, which might be a tad more challenging than playing it in the palm of your hands on the Vita depending on how far away you sit from your screen. Since we were pretty close to the monitor during our demo, this required us to rely heavily on our peripheral vision, which added a layer of challenge. Whether it's an RPG, fighter, or rhythm game, more Persona is always a good thing in my book and seeing Persona 4: Dancing All Night in action this week at E3 has me no less excited about the game. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of it when it finally launches sometime this fall.
P4D preview photo
Just set it free and dance!
It's been months since the Investigation Team cracked the case and life is getting back to normal. That is, until members of Rise Kujikawa's J-pop group suddenly go missing. And, surprise, surprise: The rescue mission brings ...

Gravity Rush 2 photo
Gravity Rush 2

Sony 'waiting for the right time to unveil' Gravity Rush 2


The Vita isn't dead! Unless it's PS4
Jun 20
// Steven Hansen
As is always the case after a Gravity Rush 2-free show goes by, the lack of Gravity Rush 2 at E3 this year was a bummer, even after the report six months ago that it was, "in earnest development." With Sony skipping gamescom ...
Linguo photo
Linguo

Sony pays lip service to Vita with 1 minute showcase video


Vita...dead? Vita...IS...dead
Jun 20
// Steven Hansen
Sony did pretty dang well with its press conference this year, but one area where it was sorely lacking is Vita support. The closest we got was World of Final Fantasy, which is also coming to PlayStation 4, and the furthest ...
Deception IV photo
Let me show you
When Deception: The Nightmare Princess was announced, a wave of confusion crept up on every Deception IV owner. Is it DLC? Is an an expansion? Well, it's a weird combo! I just got my hands on a US copy of the game ...

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...
Devolver photo
Devolver

Devolver bringing Crossing Souls, Eitr, Mother Russia Bleeds to PS4 & Vita


Tasty indie goodness
Jun 15
// Zack Furniss
Devolver's bringing some cool stuff to the PlayStation 4 and Vita. Crossing Souls, Eitr, and Mother Russia Bleeds are on their way to both systems. We'll have impressions when we see them on the floor over the week! I could use a good beat 'em up in my life right now.
World of Final Fantasy photo
World of Final Fantasy

World of Final Fantasy set PS4 and PS Vita, coming 2016


Chibi Final Fantssy
Jun 15
// Alessandro Fillari
During the Sony E3 presser, we got a sneak peek at an upcoming spin-off title for Square-Enix's fabled JRPG series called World of Final Fantasy. It's looks to be an super-deformed take on FF lore, featuring a young cast about to embark on an adventure. It looks quite colorful, and I'm intrigued to see what the gameplay will be like.
Bloodstained Kickstarter photo
Bloodstained Kickstarter

Bloodstained Kickstarter ends with over $5.7 million pledged


Hit all stretch goals, set records
Jun 12
// Darren Nakamura
It doesn't feel like it has been a month since we were first asked "sword or whip?" or we first heard the term "Igavania," but here we are. Koji Igarashi and company launched the Kickstarter campaign for Bloodstained: Ritual ...
Lego Jurassic World photo
Lego Jurassic World

Lego Jurassic World has some classic scenes and music for you


Playing with bricks
Jun 12
// Brett Makedonski
The Cleveland Cavaliers jumped the gun a bit last night when they unleashed an avalanche of bricks, because Lego Jurassic Park didn't actually release until today. Bad basketball aside, Traveller's Tales' latest game lo...
Bloodstained: Ritual photo
Bloodstained: Ritual

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night cracks $4.5 million, gets Shovel Knight crossover


He's looking bulky
Jun 12
// Chris Carter
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is sticking it to the man, with $4.5 million raised, making it the most successful game on Kickstarter. But IGA and his team aren't resting on their laurels just yet, as even more conten...

Based on the new demo, I have a good feeling about Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

Jun 11 // Chris Carter
[embed]293784:58947:0[/embed] The first ever playable build of the game that's been released to the public features three levels -- a water ruins location, a desert, and an action sequence that takes place on a conveyor belt. The first two heavily feature transformations, which thankfully have returned after their absence in Pirate's Curse. For the first stage you'll have the opportunity to change into Shantae's classic monkey form, which can climb up walls and jump with ease, and on the second, she sports a crab transformation with heavy defensive capabilities. As always, her new forms are downright adorable. Unlike Mighty No. 9, which doesn't match its great gameplay with a similarly impressive visual style (it still looks a little bland), Half-Genie Hero is gorgeously hand-drawn. In other words, it looks almost exactly like the concept art: a rarity these days. It also plays great, as the simplistic three-button system (jump, attack, and dance for transformations) works perfectly even in this early build. I dig the bright settings, platforming design, and art direction. Get a look at two of the stages above yourself -- you'll have plenty of time to decide on whether or not to pull the trigger, as WayForward has made it clear that there is still no solid release window for Half-Genie Hero.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero photo
Three levels in Early Access
Back in 2013, WayForward crowdfunded a new project by way of Kickstarter called Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, the fourth game in the storied Shantae series. It managed to raise almost a million dollars in funding, whic...

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'...

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