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Tomonobu Itagaki

Devil's Third photo
Devil's Third

Devil's Third's 'Chickens' mode is making me wish Nintendo didn't send the game to die


Capture the Chicken
Dec 16
// Chris Carter
I had a great discussion with some of my fellow action fans in the comments to my Devil's Third review, and came to the conclusion that even though the game itself is underwhelming, I'd still recommend it to the diehards. Aft...

Review: Devil's Third

Dec 11 // Chris Carter
Devil's Third (PC, Wii U [reviewed])Developer: Valhalla Game StudiosPublisher: Valhalla Game Studios (PC), Nintendo (Wii U)MSRP: $59.99 (Wii ), free-to-play multiplayer (PC)Released: August 28, 2015 (EU), December 11, 2015 (US) / TBA (PC) Let's start with the campaign. It's puzzling why Nintendo got involved, and thought "yeah we should sign our name to this." Writers and fans alike have debated the merits of Bayonetta's titular character for years, noting that despite the low brow humor, Bayonetta's sexuality can be seen as an element of power, where she is constantly in control. That's on top of the fact that Platinum's pair of Bayonetta games are two of the most storied titles in the entire genre. But with Devil's Third, I'm struggling to really find anything worthwhile here. Now, I don't have a problem with pulpy, crass works in theory, but not all of them are created equal. Instead of an interesting character like Bayonetta or the campy (pre-Ninja Theory) Dante, we get Ivan -- one of the deadliest prisoners currently being held in Guantanamo Bay, but generic at heart. From there, Itagaki installs some of his famous military-based storytelling, involving a man stuck in the middle of his ideals and a government organization (in this case, the United States government). Satellites all across the world have been destroyed, creating chaos, and it's up to Ivan to put down his former comrades and put a stop to it. From the moment I started the adventure, my expectations were immediately curbed. Dialogue never really amounts to much more than boring, unmemorable lines like "that dude don't look like bullshit to me," and so on. Whereas I can usually recall a cheesy rant from a classic character like Krauser in a game like Resident Evil 4, nothing sticks out to me in Devil's Third throughout the entire five-hour campaign experience. As for the controls, they are much more manageable than you've probably heard. Yes the game is a technical mess, but I didn't have trouble acclimating with either the GamePad or the more desirable Wii U Pro Controller, especially when I came to terms that it was basically a PS2-era experience. If you have issues controlling a camera with a right analog stick you may have some problems, but for the most part, it works. [embed]324540:61465:0[/embed] Melee is swift and effective, with "fast" and "strong" variable attacks, followed by Arkham-like finishers (but in this case they usually lead to decapitations). Most levels start you off with a weapon in-hand like a katana, but you can also pick up items Final Fight style and use them throughout the mission. Close combat is probably my favorite part, but the level design seldom actually makes use of it, most of the time relegating players to shooting sequences. There's a section in the third level that pits the player against a series of melee enemies in a tight arena, and at that point, I saw flashes of a great game, only to be let down again moments later. Gunplay is enacted by way of first-person aiming, which did take some getting used to. The fact that it operates like an FPS is jarring, especially when the poor inconsistent framerate kicks in, and the hit detection goes awry. Sometimes you'll hit someone square in the chest and score a headshot, and vice-versa. The same goes for the cover system, which includes instant snapping to terrain, and doesn't work occasionally (both in the sense that cover doesn't provide cover, or you can't snap to it). Itagaki has gone on record as saying that members of the press didn't have the "skill" to play the game, partially stating that the GamePad (the default controller) isn't ideal. Well my friend, as someone who has been playing hardcore action games for years on the highest Dante Must Die-esque difficulty settings, and used a Wii U Pro Controller for this review, I can safely say that the game has a few mechanical problems that are not related in any way to skill. What really let me down was the linear design of the missions themselves. There is a level of verticality to their design in some cases due to the ability to jump and wall climb in certain areas, but for the most part, they are a series of straightforward paths. There's absolutely not enough discovery present, which is a shame as the Itagaki-led Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden 2 had some incredible secrets buried underneath the surface of their nuanced stages. Then you have the uninspired boss fights, several of which follow the standard "throw lots of guys at you to make it harder" (adds) school of thought. There are a few glimmers of hope though in these mostly humanoid encounters, particularly the Saha battle, which brought me back to the Krauser fights in Resident Evil 4. Those parts, like the aforementioned melee arena are fleeting, however, and the short nature of the campaign facilitates that they are few and far between. Okay, so that's the disappointing campaign knocked out, but there's another major element to Devil's Third -- the multiplayer. Simply put, this is far more robust than the story, with tons of rewards, silly cosmetic options, and gear to choose from. Players will have the chance to start off in a training ground to try out every weapon in the game (though you need to acquire in-game currency to buy them over time), and then pledge support to clans for large turf war-like battles, or participate casually in 16-player combat. The action system works far better here with human opponents, and the penchant for wackiness is extremely high. There's a high skill ceiling involved, and action fans will no doubt be able to stretch their legs a bit in this unconventional shooter. You're basically forced to use every tool at your disposal, like the slide and shoot ability, which you don't necessarily need to utilize in the campaign, to succeed. There is a caveat though. There is no option for offline play, split-screen, or bots. There are 10 modes available that span a number of fun game types, but in the end, who will play them? Sadly, it has been confirmed by the developers themselves that US and European players cannot play with one another, so there isn't even a large pool readily available. I'm struggling to find games, alongside of severe connection issues at launch. This is on top of the fact that Nintendo buried it in the US eShop so that it's difficult to find, and that there's a severely limited run of retail copies out in the wild. The best part of the game may not even be consistently playable in America, which is a damn shame. After sensing a sinking ship, Valhalla Game Studios was smart to start development of the free-to-play PC version of Devil's Third. Multiplayer is easily the shining star of the experience, and I can see a lot of people picking it up with the right marketing. That day is not today though, and not with the Wii U version of the game. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer. Nintendo of America did not send out review copies for Devil's Third.]
Devil's Third photo
Well, it has multiplayer...
Devil's Third has been in the pipeline for so long, that any given year I completely forgot about it. Announced in 2010, after the infamous Tomonobu Itagaki left Tecmo in 2008, the game has been in development limbo, pas...

Devil's Third photo
NOA doesn't seem proud of it
Tomorrow, Devil's Third, a game years in the making, will be released in the US on Wii U, published by Nintendo. So where is all the fanfare, and reviews from US outlets? Nowhere, because Nintendo isn't sending out revie...

Itagaki photo
Itagaki

Buy tickets to see Dead or Alive's Itagaki in court


Devil's Third trademark infringement
Nov 11
// Steven Hansen
I say "Dead or Alive's Itagaki" because perhaps you forgot about the brash Team Ninja head. You wouldn't be at fault. Since leaving Team Ninja in 2008 all he's managed to put out is Devil's Third, an incredibly poorly receive...

Devil's Third photo
Devil's Third

Devil's Third Online announced for PC


Also, a new title might be in the works
Nov 06
// Chris Carter
Valhalla Game Studios has always noted the existence of a PC edition of Devil's Third, but today, it officially announced Devil's Third Online. It's basically a stripped down version of the Wii U game, which eliminates the ca...
Devil's Third photo
Devil's Third

Devil's Third has microtransactions, hopefully they don't ruin the game


16.4 GB download
Jul 23
// Chris Carter
More details are coming out for Devil's Third by way of the official website. Evidently, multiplayer has multiple modes (as we've seen in the past), a few of which are Deathmatch, "Cross Fight," and "Carnival." The latter inv...
Devil's Third photo
Devil's Third

Devil's Third multiplayer actually looks kind of fun


I want to see this one for myself
Jul 22
// Chris Carter
While the first few minutes of this new official Devil's Third trailer looks fairly boring, the multiplayer component, which starts at 2:30, actually seems kind of cool. Like Itagaki has said in the past it's a military...
Nintendo of America photo
Nintendo of America

Nintendo confirms it is publishing Devil's Third Wii U, PC version published by Valhalla


'Quarter four of this year'
Jul 20
// Chris Carter
After rumblings that Nintendo of America had dropped Devil's Third (and that XSEED had picked it up), the publisher just confirmed to Destructoid that the game will launch in North America in "quarter four of this year" under...
Devil's Third photo
Devil's Third

Itagaki blames negative Devil's Third previews on player skill


Because skill affects the frame rate?
Jul 19
// Kyle MacGregor
The situation surrounding a North American release for Devil's Third remains precarious, but it's launching next month in Europe, where critics recently got some hands-on time with the game. The reaction thus far has been ove...
Devil's Third photo
Devil's Third

Itagaki throws GamePad under bus for Devil's Third, talks recent press criticism


GamePad 'not recommended'
Jul 17
// Chris Carter
Devil's Third footage is now out in the wild, and depending on who you ask, it's either glorious or terrible. For the most part the consensus from press who have played it seems to be that it's unintentionally bad, but may en...
Devil's Third photo
Devil's Third

Itagaki muses on developing Devil's Third campaign and multiplayer concurrently


Previews aren't kind, however
Jul 15
// Chris Carter
Speaking to Famitsu, Tomonobu Itagaki provided some updates on Devil's Third, which is in a really odd spot with Nintendo right now. He notes that since he's a "military enthusiast" there's many political themes in the game, ...
Devil's Third photo
Devil's Third

Photo realistic cat heads in Wii U's The Devil's Third


Itagaki's insane multiplayer Wii U game
Jun 25
// Steven Hansen
It's weird clicking a mature content warning on a video on Nintendo's YouTube with Mario staring innocently at me. But the collaboration between Itagaki and Nintendo for The Devil's Third, revived as a Wii U exclusive, is we...
Wii U photo
Wii U

Itagaki talks collaborating with Nintendo on Devil's Third


He has a vision for a trilogy and beyond
Jun 24
// Jordan Devore
First Bayonetta 2, and now Devil's Third. Two unexpected but welcome games arriving exclusively on Wii U, thanks to Nintendo. The latter title, long in development at Valhalla Game Studios and led by Ninja Gaiden's Tomonobu I...
Devil's Third photo
Devil's Third

Devil's Third gets a new logo, more info coming 'this year'


What's another six months or so, right?
Mar 27
// Chris Carter
It feels like Devil's Third, action veteran Tomonobu Itagaki's latest venture, was announced forever ago. That's probably because it was, and after all these years, we haven't gotten much info at all on what the game is actua...
Itagaki photo
Itagaki

Devil's Third is coming next year, promises Itagaki


Do we still want to play it, though?
Dec 30
// Jordan Devore
I haven't exactly been wondering what designer Tomonobu Itagaki's been up to as of late, but now I'm curious. His team at Valhalla Game Studios was working on Devil's Third last we heard, although updates on the project have ...
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Devil's Third is now fully owned by Itagaki and Valhalla


Jul 05
// Chris Carter
Some time ago, THQ had picked up Itagaki's latest action game Devil's Third, hoping to distribute it worldwide at some point in time. Then, years, later, we find out that THQ was actually attempting to offload the project ont...
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Devil's Third is having production troubles


May 16
// Chris Carter
Who would have thought, right? It's no secret that I have great respect and admiration for Itagaki and his games. But it's also fairly obvious that wherever Itagaki goes, trouble will follow. The issues his new production com...
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How Aerosmith and Armageddon changed Itagaki's life


Feb 09
// Dale North
My eyes roll at Aerosmith's hit song "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing," but game creator Tomonobu Itagaki gets tears in his eyes when he hears it. He explained how the song and the Bruce Willis movie Armageddon changed his life, d...
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Itagaki: Japanese devs lack knowledge, social skills


Jul 26
// Jim Sterling
Devil's Third developer Tomonobu Itagaki has suggested that studios in his home country of Japan suffer from poor management that doesn't know what it's doing. According to the Sunglasses King, a lack of development knowledge...
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While certain people in the games industry make me jump up and down with excitement, there are others who make my personality do a complete U-turn and Tomonobu Itagaki is one of them. Instead of swearing and squealing&n...

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Itagaki-developed Devil's Third won't launch until 2013


Jun 14
// Jim Sterling
We've seen hide nor hair of anything developed by Itagaki since he left Team Ninja in 2008, and according to the Prince of Videogame Darkness, we won't be seeing anything in the near future either. Not until 2013 at the lates...

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