One of the great things about Sega's ongoing 3DS Classics series is that it allows retro games from the publisher's past to find a new audience. And given its rich and diverse history of quirky and fan-favorite titles, there'...
HAL Laboratories (Super Smash Bros., Mother) has been busying itself with a couple Kirby games recently, but it looks like someone over there had an idea for a lil puzzle game and rolled with it.
BOXBOY! (already released on the 3DS eShop in Japan) is minimal outside of its charming animations. It is black, white, and mostly made of squares. You can walk Qbby left and right in an overworld with a Ms. Pac-Man-esque bowtied Qbby trailing behind. Enter doors to start a world, most of which seem to be designed around a particular technique. Five worlds (with around seven levels each) were playable during my GDC demo. There are 17 in total.
Aside from running and jumping, Qbby can bud blocks from his body. Each level gives you a limit to how many blocks you can produce at any given time, while there is also an overall number of blocks you can use on a stage. Getting to the end while collecting one or two black crowns will net you a "perfect" rating (and give you currency to unlock fun extras).
When you start, you can produce one block from your body and usually throw it to use as a step to reach a higher platform. As the levels go on and the block limit gets higher, you use new techniques. One section is themed around using blocks as a hook. That is, you produce three stacked blocks straight up, followed one to the right, forming a hook atop your head. You can then latch that last block onto a high ledge and have Qbby contract up to that latched block like folding in one side of the accordion.
I'm fine with the absentee art style (and Qbby's dumb lil feet as you move the box back and forth), but I never felt stumped throughout the first five worlds. It was more relaxing than puzzling. Maybe that's the point. Or maybe the later worlds will combine the various techniques a bit more, or make it so the limit of blocks you can produce per stage actually feels like a restriction; I never ran out.
What a busy year this is going to be for Atlus. With the release of Persona 5 in the coming months, there are a lot of expectations for what's ahead with the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. In order to keep fans satiated till then, the publisher is offering another dose of MegaTen with a revisit to another much-loved title.
Just last month, Atlus released the follow-up to Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 in Japan. As an updated version of the Nintendo DS's Devil Survivor 2, the new 3DS release will have players re-experiencing the events of the original game along with a new story to unfold. Though fans in the west were left wondering about the fate of its release on this end, all we got was a vague confirmation that it was coming with no concrete date set.
Fortunately during a special hands-on session hosted by Atlus, the publisher has now revealed plans for the western release of Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breakeron May 5, 2015. Now on a new system, this ultra-quirky and devilishly difficult take on the MegaTen formula will get players to experience Devil Survivor 2 in a fresh way.
Code Name S.T.E.A.M. is a new turn-based, third-person strategy game from Intelligent Systems, maker of the critically acclaimed Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series. It launches in North America for Nintendo 3DS on March 13, in Japan on May 14,and in Europe on May 15.
The basic premise of the game is that you are part of a crack-squad unit assigned to protect the earth from alien invaders. And all of this takes place in the 1800s (although no solid time frame was given in the demo), in London, and your boss is none other than Abraham Lincoln.
Oh, one more thing: Everything runs on steam. Sold yet?
After a Nintendo press event yesterday, I was sent home with a review unit of the New Nintendo 3DS XL. I figured it would be a good idea to record my opening of it so that I could share my trademarked cynical indignation with you all. So, sorry about that. But, you get to see what thing looks like right out of the box! Shiny toys!
It's a pretty standard package, with the glaring exception of the lack of an AC adapter. Nintendo gave IGN the predictable company line, "Rather than raise cost of New Nintendo 3DS XL by charging consumers for a component they may already own, we are giving them the option to only buy if they need an AC adapter."
Cool. You know, except that this device is an upgrade of an existing device, and people might want to sell the obsolete model. Not to mention, people who don't already own a compatible power plug will be praying there will be one in stock when they go to buy the New 3DS XL, and will probably get stuck with a shitty third-party knock-off.
It is challenging to fit "Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire" into a headline. It wasn't hard fitting these 3D updates of the Game Boy Advance classics on the 3DS, though. It was hard making a clean segue from my meta commentary on headline economy.
And speaking of economy—god I'm good at this—the new Ruby and Sapphire return to the humble Hoenn region with your player character bouncing into town in the back of a moving van. This is dangerous, by the way. Always Sunny in Philadelphia showed this. Not that we should expect stellar parenting in a world where pre-teens are globe trotting dog fighters.
What is stellar is the transition to 3D, despite the departure from X and Y's upper-crust hometown and my general preference for the second dimension over the third. It looks as nice as the previous 3DS outing, maybe a bit smoother. The level of detail also let me realize that the rival, Brendan, is actually wearing a goofy white hat. He doesn't just have spiked white hair. I won't give him guff for the hat, but "Brendan?" Brandon, Brendon, Brandan, Brando. I thought "Steven Hansen" was a nuisance to spell what with first and last name having common alternate spellings.
When the west finally gets Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate -- what Capcom calls "the most complete version of 4 that it'll get" -- players are going to need to turn their attention to the layering of the game. Rather than solely ground-level areas, Ultimate features plenty of ledges to climb up and to hop onto monsters' backs from. That's the big difference from the Monster Hunter you may already know and love.
Gone are the water terrains, which Capcom called "controversial." The newly placed emphasis on vertical play replaces them, in what is kind of the "hook" for the game. However, that doesn't mean Capcom expects the same mixed reception. The opposite, in fact. It anticipates that players will welcome the verticality because it's fluidly interwoven into play. Small ledges will be automatically ascended, and larger ones will actually take some effort to climb.
With this new information in mind, a party of four of us set off to best the Daimyo Hermitaur -- a giant crab-like creature. Equipped with a weapon called the Insect Glaive, one of our members sent insects toward our target to retrieve essences from him. The Insect Glaive also served a second (and more fun) purpose. It can be used to pole vault on top of a monster and ride him into temporary submission.
It was almost surreal to be playing Persona Q in English for the first time this past week. It came out of nowhere late last year, a fantasy game mixing Persona 3 and Persona 4 characters in a new 3DS game that uses Etrian Odyssey's engine and dungeon play. I didn't believe the game was real after first hearing about it -- it sounded more like fan fiction! Now I'm playing the very first English language build, just ahead of the North American release.
Mighty No. 9 is probably one of the most anticipated games of 2015. After a massive Kickstarter, creator Inafune and developers Comcept and Inti Creates have kicked off a long line of products to hype it up, including Mighty Gunvolt and a potential cartoon.
After all that hype though we finally have a chance to play the game. I have to say, it has the feel of a Mega Man game, but a few aspects definitely took some getting used to.
During a hands-on Nintendo event, I was given the option to play a number of upcoming games -- naturally, I gravitated towards Fantasy Life, which I've been waiting a few years to see in action overseas. Developed by the famous Level-5, Fantasy Life dropped in 2012 in Japan (and sold very well), and we've been asking for a localization ever since. Now we're getting it, as the game is set to drop on October 24.
The concept of Fantasy is dead-simple: you have 12 "lives" (jobs, essentially) to choose from, which derive from three principles -- combat, gathering, and creation. Although there is a core storyline that you can technically "beat," all 12 jobs have their own sub-story, and every job can fight in combat. In other words, it doesn't feel nearly as limiting as other simulators, so you can play the way you want to rather than shackle yourself to a certain archetype.
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.
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.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call has added the option to use buttons instead of the stylus. Game producer Ichiro Hazama told us in an interview at E3 today that he was thinking that fans that play 3DS while laying in bed might enjoy this alternative control method. I told him that I think I might be better at it than the stylus method.
Nintendo has been doing a lot to build hype for Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U off at E3, but that does not mean the company is neglecting the fighting game's little brother, Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS. In the upstairs area of Nintendo's booth, there was a row of 3DS XLs ready to demonstrate the 3DS-exclusive Smash Run mode.
What initially seemed like a simple addition ends up being an interesting exercise of risk and reward. It turns out to be a pretty cool mode; the only downside now is that we will not see it for the Wii U version
Just last week, Sega announced that the two upcoming Nintendo-exclusive Sonic games were given subtitles. The Wii U title is now Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, and the 3DS version is Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal. Despite sharing the Boom moniker, these two games are headed in opposite directions.
While I'm not sure that Lyric shows a ton of promise,Shattered Crystal certainly does. The handheld platformer draws from some of the most beloved Sonic games of all-time, while injecting inspiration from the best parts of Lyric to keep gameplay varied.
By and large, Shattered Crystal looks to be a 2D-platformer that's paced similarly to the original Sonic The Hedgehog. That is to say, it doesn't play as fast as the series would eventually ramp it up to. But, what it lacks in speed, it makes up for in other areas.
The allure of a digital life is what inevitably led me to become much less of an internet hermit during my adolescence. There's something to be said about reinventing yourself from the ground up, whether you're just altering your appearance or taking on a new personality entirely. My avatars and digital representations of myself are usually grounded in reality, except they're always cuter, thinner, or a lot cooler than the real me.
That's part of why I was drawn to the bizarre, yet wholly irresistible charm of Tomodachi Life. It's colorful, quirky, and more than a little nonsensical, and as my time with the painfully short Tomodachi Life: Move-In Version drew to a close, I was left with one thought lingering in my head: why can't I just go ahead and purchase the full version now?