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ATLUS photo
ATLUS

Lost Dimension finds Europe on August 28


One month after North American launch
May 21
// Kyle MacGregor
Lancarse's Lost Dimension is coming to Europe on August 28, NIS America announced today. The tactical role-playing game debuted on PlayStation 3 and Vita in Japan last year and is on its way to North America on July 28, ...
SMT photo
SMT

Shin Megami Tensei: Luciferís Call now available on PSN


Hee-ho!
May 19
// Kyle MacGregor
More than a year after coming to PlayStation Network in North America, Shin Megami Tensei : Lucifer’s Call -- Nocturne, if you're nasty -- is now available on European shores. If you can withstand its soul-cru...
Lost Dimension photo
Lost Dimension

Lost Dimension will launch on July 28 with free DLC


First character trailer released
May 13
// Alissa McAloon
It's a good news day for fans of the upcoming tactical sci-fi RPG, Lost Dimension. In addition to the announcement of a July 28 release date, Atlus has announced that $20 of DLC will be given away for free during the tw...

Review: Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains

May 11 // Chris Carter
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains (3DS)Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: AtlusReleased: May 12, 2015MSRP: $39.99 Just like the TV show, you'll embark upon a campaign that takes place across multiple points of view -- Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Levi, and Sasha. It re-explains the gist of the anime, where humans are under constant threat from mysterious Titans, and have subsequently sealed themselves into cities with giant walls. Thankfully it picks up after Eren, the main super shonen hero has been trained, and it doesn't waste much time with the Battle of Trost happening in mere minutes. The actual cutscenes are not new information or footage, as they are ripped directly from the anime, and the dialog is only in Japanese. It's a recap of sorts of the show, but with a lot of filler cut for time, which is definitely a good thing. Battles take place in an arena-like format, kind of like a baby God Hand, but not nearly as open or interesting. In other words, there's enough room to move about and locate boxes to slash, but they're not packed with secrets or anything.Amazingly, Humanity in Chains' gameplay emulates the feeling of zipping about in the show. You can use the R trigger to "Spider-Man swing" around cities at will, which is a blast. Y allows you to aim your hooks (you can even do it in the air), and players will be doing most of their combat in the air, which makes for a fairly action-packed experienced -- if you want, you can beat some missions without ever touching the ground. [embed]291391:58445:0[/embed] Most of your attacks will be swooping in to engage Titans (and their weak spots at the nape of their neck) with a timed QTE of sorts. It's cinematic, with a zoomed-in camera to boot, but it's also functional and easy to use -- and it's ever so satisfying to cut off an arm or a leg even if you don't get a killing blow. The Circle Pad Pro or New 3DS nub can be used as a camera if you have either one. I wouldn't recommend playing with 3D on, as it slows the frame rate down to a crawl, even on the New 3DS, which is a massive disappointment. The action is all very cool looking and fun to play, if a bit muted by enemies who practice similar mechanics, and déjà vu  environments (with plenty of retreading and re-used maps). Part of the reason the Titans aren't all that compelling to fight is that the AI is fairly easy to counter, and a lot of foes are kind of just "there," wandering around. Still, it does accurately capture the feeling of the show, and when Titans are aggressive, it's an odd balancing act that works. I'd actually claim that it looks more badass than the anime does on a consistent basis. After a couple of hours into the roughly 10-hour campaign you'll unlock "World Mode," the real meat of the game. Here you'll access the sole multiplayer component of Humanity in Chains (both offline and online with matchmaking), as well as an RPG-heavy system that allows you to create a character, level him up, and recruit new members into your party. It's a lot more involved than I thought, forcing you to scale up your base of operations, purchase supplies, pay to recruit soldiers, and embark upon missions much tougher than the story. You'll have to repeat a lot of missions to grind up more currency, but if you're so inclined you can also start up online sessions (which were smooth, in my experience) to mix things up a bit, and hire "mercenaries" by way of StreetPassing friends. My favorite aspect of World Mode is access to more open plain levels, where you can't rely on fluttering about on invisible buildings, and have to rely on horseback riding and pinpoint Titan attacks. It still has a lot of the same closed city maps though, so it's not a game-changer. Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains often can't shake the limitations of the 3DS platform, but it captures most of what makes the anime's world so captivating. If you can deal with similar environments and a lack of compelling objectives outside of the rat-race of World Mode, you'll have a lot of fun here. But in some ways, it feels like a tech demo for the next title. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Attack on Titan review photo
Now with slightly less crybaby Armin
If you even have one friend who enjoys anime, odds are you've heard of Attack on Titan. As a fan myself it seemed right up my alley, and my weekly anime club ended up giving it a shot last year. Sadly, I wasn't impressed. Whi...

Abyss Odyssey PS4 photo
Abyss Odyssey PS4

Abyss Odyssey: Extended Dream Edition is coming to the PS4


Dodge-cancels are in
May 11
// Chris Carter
Abyss Odyssey was a pretty neat little action game that was built on fighting game mechanics, and in addition to the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 release, it's also coming to the PS4 as an Extended Dream Edition. The game will...
Persona 4: Dancing All Ni photo
Persona 4: Dancing All Ni

101 screenshots of Persona 4: Dancing All Night killed me


Save yourself, it's too late for me
May 11
// Joe Parlock
Kill me. No, please do kill me. Anime girls laid eggs under my skin a few weeks ago, and now it is time for them to emerge. They’re flaying and burrowing away at my flesh. They’re in my eyes. Oh my fucking god the...
Sega not at E3 photo
Sega not at E3

Sega continues to wind down relevancy, won't have an E3 booth


Japan's gaming giants lumber off
May 05
// Steven Hansen
As a business, Sega is doing fine. It has two mobile games that, on their own, each turn over $5 million a month. That's to say nothing of Sega's succesful non-gaming businesses. The company's projected revenue forecast on th...

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 is now better than ever

May 04 // Kyle MacGregor
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker (3DS)Developer: AtlusPublisher: AtlusReleased: May 5, 2015 (NA), Fall 2015 (EU)MSRP: $49.99 Tokyo is in shambles. Earthquakes have ravaged the city, knocking out all lines of communication, derailing trains, and flattening entire buildings. There are fires, riots, refugee camps, oh, and an army of demons that threaten humanity's continued survival. Enter a band of plucky teens with demons of their own to save the day and stave off the apocalypse. That's the lead-in to the "Septentriones Arc," the main story from the original Devil Survivor 2, which is now accompanied by a second campaign called the "Triangulum Arc." The epilogue picks up right where the first part leaves off, leaving our heroes to deal with a new threat. The continuation isn't quite a full-blown sequel so much as it's a sizable expansion, one that should keep you busy for an extra couple dozen hours on top of the base game. Thankfully, the Triangulum Arc is available from the get-go; so if you've already played through the main story and just want to see the new content, you needn't start from square one. Of course, newcomers will want to begin with the Septentriones Arc. Despite including a quick refresher at the outset of the journey, the new campaign likely won't make much sense to neophytes jumping into the narrative in media res.  [embed]291439:58422:0[/embed] In addition to the new campaign, Atlus has put in the effort to upgrade the overall experience. After doing a side-by-side comparison with the original game, Record Breaker's music really caught my ear. The soundsmiths at Atlus really cleaned up the audio quality, making it sound way more crisp and clear while eliminating a scratchy, fuzzy quality that mars the DS release.  On top of the enhanced sound quality, the team at Atlus USA went ahead re-localized the entire script and kitted it out with full English voiceover, which is a massive improvement over the text-only original. Being able to hear the cast goes a long way to helping flesh out these characters, especially given how lively and rich many of their performances are. The visuals are also a shade nicer. Again, looking at the games side-by-side, I noticed Record Breaker looks a tad sharper and features slightly more vivid colors. The camera perspective in battle has also been pulled back, which make the sprites appear less chunky. One of the major complaints a lot of folks seemed to have with Devil Survivor 2 when it launched in 2012 was the difficulty. In our review, Dale North said "the first game's difficulty bar was already set pretty high, but Atlus has turned it up even higher in this sequel with battles that are so difficult that [he] came dangerously close to snapping [his] DS in half." This time around there are multiple difficulty settings, which hopefully should help you keep your system intact. At its core, Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker is still a satisfying fusion of classic "MegaTen" and strategy gameplay. And with the new story content and other additions and enhancements, this is definitely the best version of the game. Whether it's enough to warrant a second purchase is debatable, but given a choice between the two, this is without question the one to get.
Break Record impressions photo
Record Breaker is finally here, and it was worth the wait
If you've ever wanted to experience Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 or wondered what happened to its colorful cast of demon tamers after the credits rolled, now is the time. Atlus is about to unleash Record Breaker, a new version of the 2012 tactical role-playing game that not only improves the title, but expands upon it with a new arc that advances the story.

Attack on Titan 3DS photo
Attack on Titan 3DS

Copyright forces Atlus to rename Attack on Titan


Complications cause delay for Europe
May 02
// Kyle MacGregor
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains appears to be having some difficulty coming to Europe, as a copyright claim has forced Atlus to rename the game and delay its release. The publisher didn't provide specifics on when we...

Things that the Persona 5 trailer is better than

May 01 // Steven Hansen
[embed]287234:58408:0[/embed] The first thing I did the morning I knew the trailer would launch was paw around in the dark, eyes half closed, for my phone to watch it and it was somehow as good as I expected it to be despite unreasonable expectations. But how good is that? We need context. Here are some things that the Persona 5 trailer is better than: 1) Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones. 2) Having ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife. 3) The love and acceptance of a parent, because a parent is just going to die and leave you alone. Persona 5 will never leave you. 4) The Iditarod. 5) The episode of Seinfeld where Elaine dances badly. 6) When America legalized standing with your feet close together, thus freeing public transport from sweaty, leg splayed wafts. 7) Ants. 8) Some cats. 9) This joke: "Need a friend named Nick so I can say 'what do you call a guy with no balls?' Eunuch." 10) The time 50 Cent's grandma made him take out the trash and he tweeted, "I'm rich fuck this I'm going home I don't need this shit." 11) Brett Makedonski's basketball game. 12) The time when I was like five years old, playing on the top of a bunk bed. I grabbed the guard rail, looked over the side, and the guard rail came loose, taking me down with it. I split my head open and lost so much blood that I had to be carried around the house (no, of course I didn't go to the hospital, what am I, made of money?) 12) List posts.
Persona 5? It's good photo
The Persona 5 trailer is better than a lot of things and here are some of those things
Kyle posted some new Persona 5 screenshots earlier, which got me excited, which got me watching the Persona 5 trailer again, which just got me more excited. I like when a trailer can turn me on (not sexual). I watch a lo...

Persona 5 photo
Persona 5

Take another peek at Persona 5


Still looking all kinds of sexy
May 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Atlus has been all quiet on the Persona 5 front lately, but today we get another look at the most anticipated game of  the century, courtesy of this Sony-hosted product page. There's a bounty of images to gape at, but we...
ATLUS photo
ATLUS

Atlus censoring upcoming RPG for western audiences


Dungeon Travelers 2 avoids AO rating
Apr 24
// Kyle MacGregor
While publishing our initial report on Dungeon Travelers 2, a PlayStation Vita role-playing game based on an erotic visual novel, I wondered what sort of concessions Atlus would have to make to localize such a game for wester...
Persona 4: DAN photo
Persona 4: DAN

Naoto comes out of her shell in her Persona 4: Dancing All Night trailer


The detective prince of dance
Apr 24
// Alissa McAloon
Naoto's character trailer for Persona 4: Dancing All Night shows a sexier side of everyone's second favorite Persona 4 girl. The trailer shows off her new-found dancing skills, but more importantly it gives us anot...
Persona 4: DAN photo
Persona 4: DAN

Persona 4: Dancing All Night's cast is dressed to impress in this new trailer


As expected, Nanako is freaking adorable
Apr 17
// Alissa McAloon
I know we're all waiting patiently for Persona 4: Dancing All Night's US release date, but a new trailer is almost as exciting. This second official trailer offers a look at some choice dance moves from different member...
ATLUS photo
ATLUS

NIS announces a bushel of Atlus games for Europe


RPGs and tigers and bears! Oh my!
Apr 14
// Kyle MacGregor
Poor European Atlus fans... They're always so upset. I wish I could brighten their day somehow. Oh, hey, what's this? A press release from NIS... Four Atlus titles coming to Europe? Hot damn! Apparently Shin Megami ...
ATLUS photo
ATLUS

Atlus USA publishing Vita RPG Dungeon Travelers 2


Coming to North America this summer and Europe by fall
Apr 14
// Kyle MacGregor
Atlus USA just announced plans to localize Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & the Monster Seal, a PlayStation Vita-exclusive role-playing game "for dungeon crawling fan-service devotees."   ...
Etrian Odyssey 2 photo
Etrian Odyssey 2

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold's Fafnir Knight looks pretty dapper


A look at our hero
Apr 09
// Chris Carter
Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight is arriving sometime this summer in the US, with a solid "unknown" date in Europe -- good ol' Atlus. As you can probably tell it's a remake of the second game, much like The Mi...
Persona 4 Vita photo
Persona 4 Vita

Persona 4's best character (also, Kanji) get Dancing All Night trailers


Kanji likes boys
Apr 06
// Steven Hansen
Oh maaaaaaaan. I am only ever dancing as Chie in the yellow Bruce Lee Game of Death jumpsuit. Criminal to only show that off for like four seconds (:58). Either don't show it all and leave it a lovely surprise, or parade that thing around like it's a bright yellow jumpsuit. Oh. Kanji dances, too, I guess. I think his default costume is background character in House of Pain's "Jump Around" video.

Review: Etrian Mystery Dungeon

Apr 06 // Chris Carter
Etrian Mystery Dungeon (3DS)Developer: Spike Chunsoft, AtlusPublisher: AtlusRelease Date: April 7, 2015MSRP: $39.99 If you've never played a Mystery Dungeon title before, it's fairly easy to explain, despite the fact that each title is quite difficult to master. It's a roguelike (and I actually mean roguelike, not the overuse of the buzz term to denote permadeath) that takes place mostly within randomly generated labyrinthine locations, tasking one with staving off monsters, earning loot, and leveling up a swarthy crew. It's entirely turn-based and takes place on an invisible grid that can be toggled at will -- so if you don't move, even if there are enemies in the room, nothing happens. It's less of an action game and more of a tactical affair, where position and conservation of gear and skill points matter. In Etrian Mystery specifically this is mostly due to the fact that every step takes FP (Food Points), you can only carry a certain amount of items into a dungeon, and the toughest limitation of all -- your party has to actually finish or escape a dungeon to get any loot and prevent any losses of gold or items. If you fail in any fashion, it automatically saves your game and it's back to town with your tail between your legs. The way movement and combat works is through a "leader" system, controlling one of four members with the other three in tow. While you're in control one can manipulate any character at will, but the others will go about their business automatically with a sort of Gambit-like system. You'll also be able to change your formation to protect more fragile members, and since many monsters can one-shot casters, it's important to get used to the practice. [embed]289800:58006:0[/embed] Party composition absolutely matters too, and having two melee with two ranged characters will make a world of difference. Naturally choosing what classes will take you quite a while to decide, as there are ton of options, including but not limited to tanks (Defender), healers (Medic), debuffers (Hexer), warriors (Landsknecht), ninjas, samurai (Wanderer), dancers, casters (Runemaster), and more eccentric hybrid classes like royals. CPU characters mostly make good decisions, but unfortunately the Gambit mechanic only has an "on or off" toggle for abilities -- no complicated formulas to flip through to get exactly what you want. Of course, that's where manually switching leaders comes in, and bosses give you direct control over each member for every action. There's no way to sugar coat it, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is tough. At one point in the second dungeon, I descended a flight of stairs into a room with five enemies who could each two-shot the party. One of them killed my caster instantly, grew stronger as a result, and one-shot my subsequent characters. Shortly after I realized the auto-level system was off, and I hadn't assigned skills for my party. I returned after some grinding and my runemaster smoked half the room with his newly acquired spells before they could make a move while my tank taunted the remaining foes to soak damage. It was immensely satisfying. Each individual dungeon is no joke, and you pretty much have to do sidequests and level up a balanced party, including your reserves. A decent chunk of quests that are required to buff up individual classes also must be done solo without help, which can get very dicey on lower dungeon levels. Etrian Mystery Dungeon makes you work for pretty much everything, and punishes you for failing. That's perfectly okay with me as the tools to succeed are sufficiently provided, but one should definitely know what they're getting into. The reason what Etrian Mystery works so well is mostly due to the fact that the game opens up the more you play it. Each dungeon layout is randomly generated, but you can build "forts" to lock in certain levels for a hefty fee. As a secondary benefit you can also send standby party members there to train at a higher experience rate, and later in the game they serve a new purpose of keeping gigantic monsters away from town. As you start to unlock new parts of town you'll also have the option to redevelop areas of your choice for extra benefits, like more reserve spots in a party or extra stock in the town shop. The town itself is all menu-based, but it's incredibly easy to move around, organize your party, save, locate missions, buy items, and eat one-dungeon food buffs. The art style isn't all that impressive once you're in the actual dungeons, but the character models, town, and landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful, as is the soundtrack. It's also important to note that a rich engrossing story isn't really the core focus here so much as constantly entering dungeons and bettering yourself. While there is a tenuous narrative afoot, the real meat of the universe is found in tomes or in-game database entries, as most of the dialog is basically table-setting for more dungeon crawling. I really enjoyed some of the relationships between the townsfolk, but they didn't have a lot of interesting insights or meaningful backstories. The more I played Etrian Mystery Dungeon the more I fell in love with it. While the learning curve is pretty steep and the rewards are fairly low-end early on, you really do get as much as you put in. It gives existing Mystery fans a lot to stick around for, and serves as a nice entry point for newcomers, so long as you are willing to learn. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Etrian Mystery Dungeon photo
Same old dungeon, lighthearted new feel
Mashups are often born purely for fanservice-related reasons, and as you can probably guess, the results are mixed. For instance, it would be tough for an RPG developer to make an action game based on two different puzzle pro...

Attack on Titan 3DS photo
Attack on Titan 3DS

Atlus localizing Attack on Titan 3DS game this May


Confirmed for both North America and Europe
Apr 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains is officially on its way to North America and Europe. Atlus USA just formally announced plans to publish the Nintendo 3DS action game as part of today's Nintendo Direct presentation. Expec...
ATLUS photo
ATLUS

Atlus USA localizing Nintendo 3DS RPG Stella Glow


Coming in 2015
Mar 31
// Kyle MacGregor
Nintendo 3DS role-playing game Stella Glow is coming to the Americas, Atlus just announced.  Players take on the role of Alto, a young knight who must convince Witches throughout the Regnant Kingdom to join his si...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Is Atlus teasing an Attack on Titan localization?


Weird Vine murders ketchup packet people
Mar 31
// Laura Kate Dale
Earlier today, the Twitter account for Atlus USA posted a very strange Vine. The short clip features a man destroying tiny ketchup packet people, splatting red on walls and eating a hotdog. We were initially confused, what on...
P4: Dancing All Night photo
P4: Dancing All Night

Persona 4: Dancing All Night's Japanese box art is appropriately groovy


I'd expect nothing less
Mar 25
// Brittany Vincent
Persona 4: Dancing All Night is still slated for a Western release in 2015, but it's headed for Japanese Vita owners on June 25. I'm eagerly gobbling up every single scrap Atlus tosses out until the official release, so check...
Atlus sale photo
Atlus sale

Hey Atlus fans, there's a big sale today


Bye bye money, hello waifus
Mar 18
// Robert Summa
I don't know what's going on lately, but there seems to be a plethora of sales happening, especially for consoles. Today's big fat deal comes by way of the publisher Atlus. Posted over on their Facebook page, they decided to offer some wallet relief for hump day. Take a close look, because here is what they got for sale:
Vita RPG photo
Vita RPG

Atlus, NISA team to publish Shin Megami Tensei-inspired PS3/Vita tactical RPG Lost Dimension


Coming summer 2015 to North America and Europe
Mar 11
// Steven Hansen
Lancarse's Lost Dimension (PS Vita, PS3) is coming to North America and Europe courtesy of Atlus and NISA, respectively, this summer. The tactical RPG came out in Japan last year. There's a lot of pedigree behind it, too. La...

Holy hindsight! Five series that should have been on Wii

Mar 10 // Tony Ponce
In a 2009 interview with Kotaku's Stephen Totilo, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime expressed frustration regarding why the biggest third-party titles were skipping Wii: "I've had this conversation with every publisher who makes content that is not available on my platform. The conversation goes like this: 'We have a 22-million unit installed base. We have a very diverse audience... We have active gamers that hunger for this type of content. And why isn't it available?'" The unfortunate reason was that, prior to Wii's launch, most publishers didn't have faith in Nintendo's unconventional strategy, especially coming off of GameCube's lukewarm performance. By the time they realized that Wii mania was real, they were too entrenched in HD development to easily shift gears. When support did come, it was in the form of minigame collections and low-priority efforts farmed out to C-team studios, most of which seemed to target the stereotypical "casual" gamer while ignoring the rest of the audience. The Wii wasn't conceived as a "casual machine," but rather a low-risk development option that could ideally satisfy everyone -- with a focus on videogame newbies, true, but not an exclusive focus. From the beginning, there was enormous interest among the enthusiast crowd for more substantial software, but as the years slipped away and their needs weren't met, they simply turned their attention elsewhere. There were sporadic attempts to appeal to enthusiasts, though most typically fell into the mid-tier category -- the types of games that, on a well-served platform, would help round out the library. But without headliners to attract an audience in the first place, the MadWorlds and Little King's Storys of the world were stuck playing an empty venue. It's clear that the Wii was no powerhouse and wouldn't have been able to realize many of the eventual HD hits in a satisfactory fashion. However, you can't tell me that publishers weren't sitting on golden preexisting properties that could have easily been adapted to the hardware -- properties that had a near guaranteed chance of finding success, which would in turn have led to a greater influx of auxiliary Wii software and a healthier third-party ecosystem overall. Just to name a few examples... Kingdom Hearts Remember the rumors years ago that Kingdom Hearts III on Wii might be happening? A series whose chief draw is allowing you to visit famous Disney worlds and battle alongside famous Disney heroes seemed like the obvious choice for a Nintendo platform, where family-friendly entertainment is the order of the day. Square Enix thought so too, just not in the manner we had hoped. Following Kingdom Hearts II in 2005, numerous word-building side stories and interquels were released on portables, with the bulk appearing on Nintendo machines. One in particular, Dream Drop Distance for 3DS, was even billed as a lead-in to the eventual Kingdom Hearts III. Meanwhile, the series was completely absent on home consoles. This would have been a perfect opportunity for Square Enix to port KHI and II onto Wii in their "Final Mix" forms. That way, those who followed the series on PS2 would be able to transition smoothly, while others with little exposure to the games would have the perfect entry point. And with all these returning and newly minted fans on Wii, maybe the PSP-exclusive Birth By Sleep would have had another platform on which to score sales, which were otherwise soft in Western territories. Metal Gear When Super Smash Bros. Melee was brought out West, it introduced players to Marth and Roy, two unknown characters from a Japan-exclusive franchise called Fire Emblem. The warm reception these fresh faces received gave Nintendo the incentive to start localizing future installments in the tactical RPG saga. I had hoped that Solid Snake's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl would have led to a similar decision regarding Metal Gear, but no dice. Why was Snake in Brawl to begin with? Definitely not because of his rich history on Nintendo platforms -- Metal Gear did more for PlayStation than it ever did for NES. No, it's because Hideo Kojima practically begged Masahiro Sakurai to put him in. Regardless of how the arrangement came about, Snake was a welcome addition to the Smash roster, quickly rising to the top of many players' lists of favorite fighters. A smart publisher would have tried to capitalize on that kind of exposure. Konami could have tested the waters with a Wii reprint of The Twin Snakes, which had become quite rare in its original GameCube format. Follow that up with with MGS2 and 3 ports, possibly an up-port of Peace Walker as well. MGS4 was never going to come over for obvious reasons, but hey, 360 didn't get it either, and Xbox and Metal Gear are good buddies these days. Instead, the only Metal Gear to appear on a Nintendo platform post-Brawl was Snake Eater 3D, which was made redundant a few months later with the release of HD Collection on Vita. One of the most popular characters in Nintendo's all-star roundup wound up being nothing more than advertisement for competing platforms, even though he didn't have to be. Street Fighter Did you know, if we disregard the combined-SKU Resident Evil 5, that the original Street Fighter II for Super Nintendo is the single best-selling game in Capcom's history at 6.3 million copies? It also happens to be the best-selling third-party game in the SNES library -- and that's before we even factor in the various updates! Among Wii owners were a fair number of lapsed gamers -- people who may have gamed in the arcades or on an NES or SNES back in the day but have since lost interest. I guarantee a significant cross section of that group were former SFII players itching for a proper follow-up. And since the goal of the Street Fighter IV project was to make the series accessible again to the widest possible audience, it would have behooved Capcom to include in its multi-platform plans the console built entirely around the concept of accessibility. You can't tell me that SFIV was dependent on high-end hardware -- it was designed to be a traditional 2D fighter with 3D window dressing. The fact that a spot-on port was later developed for 3DS, with static backgrounds as the sole concession, should be all the proof that a Wii version could have looked and played just fine. If you want to argue that SFIV was ill-suited to Wii because the Wii Remote was an inappropriate fighting game controller, I think you're overestimating the general game-playing public's need for the "perfect gaming controller." Besides, anyone who desired a more traditional pad would have made the effort to buy one -- such as with Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. Speaking of TvC, there's a game that strikes a fine balance between technical skill and accessibility. Although I appreciate the effort it took to localize such a licensing nightmare, that seahorse in the logo was the kiss of death -- only hardcore anime aficionados had the slightest inkling who these strange new characters were. It's odd that Capcom would invest in TvC yet couldn't be bothered to hammer out an adequate SFIV port, which would have had a significantly larger shot at finding a receptive audience on Wii. Persona Atlus has enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with Nintendo since the former's founding in 1986, and that relationship thrives to this day. In fact, over the past generation, the bulk of Atlus' in-house productions have found an exclusive home on Nintendo platforms, including new IPs like Etrian Odyssey, Trauma Center, and Radiant Historia. Of important note is how Atlus has gradually been shifting the entire Megami Tensei franchise back into the Nintendo camp, beginning with Devil Survivor on DS and culminating with Shin Megami Tensei IV on 3DS. One particular MegaTen sub-series, however, has remained with Sony: Persona. It's apparent that Atlus was reluctant to jump into HD development right away. Releasing Persona 3 as a late-gen PlayStation 2 title was one thing, but sticking to PS2 for Persona 4 as well? That earned the company quite a few stares. But if Atlus was insistent on squeezing out every last ounce from legacy hardware, why not prep those Personas for simultaneous release on the low-spec Wii as well? Atlus already had a Wii development pipeline in place, so the financial risk would have been extremely minimal. Wii versions could have only added to those games' success. The series has finally come to Nintendo in the form of Persona Q on 3DS, although the game's main selling point -- the crossover of P3 and P4 characters -- would feel more appropriate had those two titles actually appeared on a Nintendo platform prior. Grand Theft Auto "Nintendo has done all it can to persuade Take-Two Interactive Software to bring the Grand Theft Auto franchise to Nintendo consoles, and it is now up to the third-party publisher to decide whether Rockstar Games' immensely popular series will appear on Wii." Reggie Fils-Aime shared this nugget in December 2006, shortly after the Wii's launch, to let the world know that Nintendo desired the violent crime series on its hardware (those Game Boy Color and Advance titles don't count). Sadly, Take-Two didn't seem to want to play ball and even laughed at the notion just one year later, when then-executive chairman Strauss Zelnick asserted, "[T]here are other titles better suited to the Wii than Grand Theft Auto." Nonetheless, talks continued, and Take-Two and Rockstar Games eventually decided to give Nintendo a shot... with a DS game. That's not what fans were asking for, but baby steps, we figured. Take-Two CEO Ben Feder did state that Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was an important step in the company's relations with Nintendo and suggested that this new title could pave the way for future developments. The rest is sick, sad history. Chinatown Wars earned rave reviews, becoming the highest-ranked DS title on Metacritic, yet sold just under 90,000 copies in the US in its launch month. Not willing to take any chances, Rockstar quickly announced PSP and mobile ports. Mature games were reaffirmed as poison on DS, and all hopes of another GTA on a Nintendo platform vanished. Let's try to understand why Chinatown Wars failed. First, GTA is not a handheld series. Some brands are simply better suited to home consoles than handhelds or vice versa -- Monster Hunter, for instance. Yeah, both Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories on PSP were million sellers, but those sales were a drop in the bucket compared to what the console installments regularly pull in. Those were ported to PS2 months later too, so it's not like Rockstar had full confidence in them either. Still, both LCS and VCS sold much better than Chinatown Wars, which brings me to my second point: GTA only became a phenomenon with GTAIII and the leap into the third dimension. Taking the series back to its top-down roots was never going to appeal to all the same people who fell in love with the real-world atmosphere and fully voiced and acted cutscenes, no matter what kind of review scores it earned. Need further proof? Although you can find copious news bites around the web lamenting the poor sales of Chinatown Wars on DS, you'd be hard-pressed to find any mention of sales of the PSP port. It's safe to surmise that it tanked even worse than on DS, because Take-Two would have said something otherwise. The mobile ports likely outsold those two combined, though it's difficult to draw a solid conclusion there when sales were aided by rock-bottom mobile pricing. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was the wrong game for the wrong platform. From day one, Rockstar should have been working on a Wii game in the desired 3D style as Nintendo had originally intended. It would have been more expensive to produce, though I doubt anywhere in the range of GTAIV's $100 million price tag. If Rockstar didn't want to take that gamble, it could have assembled a PS2 trilogy collection, or ported the PSP games, or anything! We're talking about the biggest home console of all time, after all! If you still doubt the viability of GTA on Wii, consider Call of Duty: World at War, which sold over a million copies on Wii. Big deal, you figure, since sales of the PS3 and 360 versions vastly outstripped it. But also consider that Activision has repeatedly withheld information regarding the Wii versions of Call of Duty installments up to and sometimes even after release, limiting awareness to those who had prior knowledge or had seen one of the rare TV commercials. Somehow, the game still broke a million -- can you imagine how much better it could have performed had Activision given it exposure comparable to the HD builds? How could Take-Two wholeheartedly say, during a period when Wii was selling faster than any other home console before or since, that the audience wasn't there? Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest gaming brands of all time! Its most recent entry has shipped 45 million units across all platforms! Its consumer base includes every type of gamer, from kids to adults, from the hardest of the hardcore to those whose only other gaming purchase in a year is the latest Madden! If Take-Two honestly believed that there was little to no chance of success in adapting Grand Theft Auto to Wii, it means that either its marketing department is completely clueless as to what makes GTA so appealing, thereby attributing each record-breaking achievement to blind luck, or everyone in management simply didn't give a shit. As you can see, I'm not suggesting that publishers should have thrown millions at unproven concepts. All it would have taken to get the ball rolling was some low-risk ports based on established, popular brands. Even if some of these franchises wound up not resonating with the Wii audience, most are powerful enough that they would have been accepted without question. Had key third-party tentpoles been established and found success on Wii early on, smaller studios would have felt comfortable in producing Wii content. Instead of the sudden decline as casual players lost interest, Wii could have maintained a steady momentum by serving the enthusiast crowd low-tech yet feature-rich software, in turn extending its life. By the time Nintendo introduced a follow-up console, publishers would have been far more willing to offer support than they wound up being with Wii U. Though we can only speculate precisely how such a movement would have affected Wii and the industry overall, it could only have been a net positive -- for Nintendo as well as third parties that struggled to stay in the black or simply wanted to grow their consumer base. You can blame Nintendo for certain Wii shortcomings, but third parties are at fault for letting painfully obvious opportunities slip through the canyon-sized cracks.
Wii got shafted photo
Third parties missed some major opportunities
By the end of 2014, Xbox 360 had slid past Wii to become the best-selling seventh generation console in the US. While a fantastic achievement for Microsoft, this event also punctuates the drastic shift in Nintendo's market do...

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold photo
Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold

Atlus: Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold coming this summer


Who's ready to go dungeon crawling?
Mar 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight is coming to North America this summer, Atlus USA just announced. The Nintendo 3DS role-playing game is a remake of the second entry in the series and includes a new story mode along with various other improvements.
Rise's idol rival photo
Rise's idol rival

Persona 4: Dancing All Night's new dancer is Kanami Mashita


Rise's idol rival
Mar 09
// Steven Hansen
Persona 4: Dancing All Night has an additional playable character only referred to in passing during the game, Rise's idol successor Kanami Mashita.  I'm not sure why she's dressed like a clowned out Erica (or what's wi...

Etrian Mystery Dungeon is a quirky spinoff in line with series legacy

Feb 26 // Alessandro Fillari
Etrian Mystery Dungeon (3DS)Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: AtlusRelease date: April 7, 2015MSRP: $39.99 For those unaware, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is a spinoff of its mainline series Etrian Odyssey. Playing as adventurers seeking fame, fortune, and glory, you must explore dangerous monster-filled dungeons while helping out local townsfolk in need. In and around the village of Azlarga, you build your reputation amongst the locals who come to rely on you for help. Over the course of your adventures, you'll acquire new weaponry, abilities, and and party members that wish to join in on your successes, and hope to conquer the more nefarious and deadly dungeons that remain untouched by explorers' hands. In similar vein to last year's Persona Q, EMD takes several of the series' concepts and gameplay ideas, and injects them into a brand new setting. In Mystery Dungeon, the action is moved to the tried-and-true roguelike dungeon crawler school of thought. With an overhead third-person angle, you have to keep watch of your party members and their surroundings as they venture through the environment. Utilizing grid-based movement, positioning is everything. Certain party members use either ranged or close-range abilities, and must be placed accordingly. With only four characters to bring with you into the field, you'll have to choose wisely from the several classes that EMD has to offer. While exploring, you'll want to monitor the status of your party members. As some traps poison people, or debilitate movement, you have stay stocked up on recovery items. For every step you take, you also drain FP (food points), which affects stamina and combat prowess. Once that's completely drained, your party leader will sustain damage for every move you make. In order to stay ahead of this, you'll have to keep them well-fed, or have another member of the group take point. This puts an interesting spin on exploration, as often times you'll have your tank lead. But if he's too tired to take charge, then you might be forced to escape or have one of your more vulnerable members lead. [embed]288216:57511:0[/embed] Fortunately, there are many different ways to stay on top in dungeons. Certain classes can scout ahead and spot traps and monsters, while others can keep the party buffed and in good health. Also, there are several areas within the labyrinths that are fairly safe, which can be fortified by your group. In these forts, you'll remain safe, and they can be used for quick travel back to the outside. Forts are run by members of the guilds you can join back in Azlarga, and they help monitor your resources. Loot, minerals, and other special resources found in the dungeon can be taken back to the forts, though, keep in mind, they can be still be attacked and destroyed by monsters in the dungeon. So it's important to make sure if you want to invest the time and money to build one, especially in a dangerous location. The Etrian Odyssey series is known for its tough challenges, and EMD definitely retains that for dungeon exploration. Every dungeon you travel to is randomly generated, which not only keeps things interesting, but has you on your toes. In some cases, the first few floors of the dungeon might be a cake walk, but traveling to a fresh location might have you walk right into several traps and powerful foes. Despite the challenges, there are many opportunities to save yourself and your crew. If you for instance wipe, you can send in rescue units for your team for evac back to town. Unfortunately, you'll lose out on items and currency found at that location. So it's always best to keep a fresh save at all times. I'm usually not that partial to dungeon crawlers, but I found Etrian Mysery Dungeon to be charming, despite its difficulty. The visuals and art style are vibrant and colorful, which is a welcome departure from the common brown and grey aesthetic of roguelike dungeon crawler RPG titles. I found the presentation to be fun, and the world is one I would love to explore again. I expect players to be quite taken with Mystery Dungeon. With its release in April, it should also scratch an itch for fans eager to play Etrian Odyssey V, which is still a ways off. Granted, this is a bit different than previous EO titles, but that's actually kind of a good thing. It's another approach to dungeon crawling, sure, but at its heart it's a similar experience fans will love.
Etrian Mystery Dungeon photo
Hardcore dungeon crawling with a new perspective
Over the years, Atlus has become one of the more endearing presences in gaming. One thing fans appreciate is its tendency to switch things up. The publisher has a handle on the niche gaming scene, and it's reassuring to know ...

Rise trailer photo
Rise trailer

Rise is dancing all night in Persona 4's Vita rhythm game


Would you like to Dancing All Night with Rise?
Feb 24
// Steven Hansen
We are four months away from Persona 4: Dancing All Night's Japan release (and special edition Vita) and we've already seen and heard the lovely intro, so now what? Well, character trailers can be fun. Little tastes of the b...






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