Fantasy games have some of my favorite settings in all of videogames. Forests, mountains, chasms, rivers -- they all have a serenity and majesty about them that wonderfully adds to the sense of scale. It shouldn't surprise me that Dragon Age: Inquisition is poised to be incredibly huge and make nice use of the locations. At the beginning of a 30-minute presentation, I couldn't help but be amazed anyway.
The first thing I noticed in the hands-off demo was simply how big everything was. The open area that we started in seemed to stretch on forever -- mountains book-ending the sides, with a ton of detail in between, thanks to the use of the Frostbite 3 engine. Inquisition's executive producer made sure to make a point that everything we could see could be traveled to.
I wasn't out of my mind for thinking that it looked big. That area alone was larger than the entire play space of Dragon Age: Origins. Inquisition will be the biggest Dragon Age game to date. But, all that area isn't going to waste. Every location in Inquisition is part of a larger story.
One of the smaller games at E3 left the biggest impression on me. Titan Souls is a Ludum Dare entrant that was picked up by Devolver Digital to publish on PC, PS4, and PS Vita -- sort of an appropriate underdog's story that mirrors what takes place in the game. It's an against-all-odds adventure that proves the value of a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck. However, unlike anyone playing Titan Souls, the developers probably didn't have to fail several times before achieving success.
Titan Souls was first introduced to the world as a combination of Shadow of the Colossus meets Dark Souls. The Shadow of the Colossus part comes from the fact that there are only eight enemies in the game, and they're all boss-like in stature (Update: Devolver reached out to us to clarify that there will be "20 titans or so" in the final version). The Dark Souls bit has to do with the unrelenting difficulty. That's an easy sell to a lot of people that know their videogames.
Fans of farming and lifestyle sims are no doubt familiar with the confusion surrounding the Bokujō Monogatari series. Natsume owned the trademark on the English title, Harvest Moon, but XSEED had the relationship with Marvelous AQL, the series' developers.
So when XSEED wanted to bring Marvelous AQL's Bokujō Monogatari: Tsunagaru Shin Tenchi to the States, they couldn't call it a Harvest Moon title. And thus, Story of Seasons was born. I was able to get a look at the Nintendo 3DS game and couldn't have been more enchanted.
The last decade has brought us ten new Call of Duty games. With that steady drip of titles, the series' developers have figured out how to craft increasingly elaborate action scenarios. Despite being at it for a while, the franchise shows no signs of slowing down. That's great news for players that like their games with plenty of adrenaline-fueled moments.
At E3, Activision was showing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in hands-off presentations. While that format isn't very conducive to getting a good feel for games, the demo did a fine job of driving home the point that Advanced Warfare is going to be laced with over-the-top setpieces.
I tried my hardest to imagine what the combination of pinball and RPG would look and play like before meeting with Atlus at E3, but I kept coming to mental roadblocks so I decided to wait and be surprised when I got to see it. When I finally did see and play this unimaginable creation from indie debs Phantom Compass, I certainly was surprised.
First, I was surprised at how off-base I was with my imagined concepts. More importantly, I was surprised at how well it all came together in upcoming game Rollers of the Realm.
Atlus let me touch Persona Q on the first day of E3 during a private meeting. That was a mistake on their part. The main problem is that I didn’t want to stop. The other problem is that they told me I couldn’t write about the version I played -- double tease. But getting my hands on Persona 4 Arena Ultimax for the first time made me feel a bit better about the situation.
I’m by no means a skilled fighting game player, but I am a massive Persona series fan, and even as a novice I really enjoyed its predecessor. This new version adds some of the Persona 3 cast, a new character, and shadow versions of all characters to the mix, not to mention new story lines (my favorite part) to experience.
Waiting for one of Capcom’s own to sit in and play with me for my first go at upcoming 3DS title Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, I got a bit hasty and started picking my own quest. Little did I know I was headed for trouble by taking on a quest demo to take on the hardest enemy they had there, the Gore Magala.
When we finally did team up and get started on the quest I blindly picked we died pretty quickly. I’m fully responsible as I’ve only played Monster Hunter games casually in the past.
In a presentation through Microsoft's ID@Xbox program, The Farm 51's Lead Designer Kamil Bilczyński first showed the trailer for the upcoming first-person shooter/mystery investigation hybrid game Get Even.
It is clear why he opened with it; the footage is stunning. One of the others in the room asked if it was live action that was filmed, and it turns out that it was entirely rendered by computer. Get Even had our attention at that point, and fortunately, there is more to it than just being a shooter with realistic looking environments.
Square hasn’t been afraid to use the Hitman IP in fun and creative ways. Hitman GO was a critical success for doing something unique, and while Hitman Sniper isn’t on that same scale, it is still at least a ton of fun.
I've always felt like the videogame industry doesn't feel right without a Mortal Kombat. So many games are always striving to be these serious affairs, and it takes something like Mortal Kombat to remind people that oh right,...
The debut of Dead Island led us to believe that it would tell a very dramatic and serious story about the horrors of the zombie apocalypse. That’s not quite the game we ended up with, so it’s refreshing to know th...
No Man's Sky. We've been abuzz about this game ever since the first trailer was revealed late last year, and today Destructoid got to see a live gameplay demo showing off the amazing scope that the developers at Hello Games are trying to achieve.
One of the big things about No Man's Sky is that they really don't want to get too specific about all the little things players can do. The trailers and screens give some clues and all that, but otherwise they want players to just discover things for themselves.
We were still able to learn a few more specifics though, but just enough that we still can't quite wrap our heads around this universe exploration game.
I've been treating Alien: Isolation coldly. If I don't let myself get invested or excited, I can't be hurt. I think Alien is a perfect piece of film making. That doesn't need, should never have been, a franchise.
I played one of Alien: Isolation's challenge maps. I don't know if the entire game will end up being this good, but as a slice that demonstrates the mechanics and tone, it completely won me over and I'm dying to play the full thing.
I also died a lot in the challenge map. I played for about a half hour without getting to the end. I'd died as early as 30 seconds in. I'd survived as long as eight minutes. I was stressed out with a racing heart. I took the headphones off to wrest myself from Isolation's constricting, horrible world and struck up conversation with one of the developers to try and calm my nerves.
EVE Valkyrieis super neat. It looks like a cool dogfighting-in-space game when you watch a trailer, but actually being in the cockpit with the Oculus Rift? It's a trip and used to great effect. Looking down at your fake chest and hands on the controls is sort of weird, like having a phantom extra limb.
Moving your head to look around the cockpit and out of the windows is neat. I knew there was just a wall behind me in real life, but when I turned around like I was backing out of a driveway, I saw more bits of my ship.
It's not a perfect simulation. You still lose peripheral vision and have to do mildly exaggerated neck movements to look up or down or left. Maybe a mix of Oculus type tech and eye tracking is our future. But for the time being, EVE Valkyrie works remarkably well with the Rift -- and looks better than anything I've played with it.
Nearly ten years ago, Kirby: Canvas Curse graced our original Nintendo DS handhelds, showing us (once again) that Kirby games could be about things other than floating around, ingesting bugs, and vomiting stars. Canvas Curse also had the responsibility of showing that fully touch-controlled games could be worthwhile, and by most accounts, it succeeded in that endeavor.
That same gameplay hook is back with Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. Now on the larger screen of the Wii U GamePad, players will still tap Kirby to make him move and draw rainbows for him to use as platforms. What is new is the clay aesthetic, which brings to the game its own neat mechanics.
As Miku fans likely already know, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd is coming to North America this year, to both PS3 and Vita. It was through your support for the first title that this sequel's release is possible, Sega tells Destructoid. That strong support also made it so that Sega will be bringing physical releases for both versions. That's great news for fellow Vita fans.
I spent a little bit of time with DIVA F 2nd. As you know, the gameplay is pretty close to that of the first game. But they've made a few changes and improvements to that gameplay. In playing through "The World is Mine," "Decorator," and "Doppelgänger," I had to get used to the stick flicking and linked stars (tracing shapes with analog sticks), but those are fun after you get them down. I liked being able to tweak the difficulty settings even further with items, especially on stages I sucked on. Even Normal setting is pretty challenging at first.
There will be 40 songs in this release, some of which have only been available in Japan until now. Old ones were upgraded to HD, too. Some of the videos for these stages were crazy busy, but that's how I like it.
No surprises here, though. Series fans know what they're getting. Stay tuned for more news on DIVA F 2nd's release.