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Shin

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They will die. A lot.

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When a game gets touted “The Demon Souls of tactical RPGs”, one would expect a game wherein you will die over and over. For Kadokawa/NISA’s Natural Doctrine (stylized as NAtURAL DOCtRINE), that is the absolute truth. Though the frustrating difficulty is the only thing it shares with the games from the Souls series.

The world is made up of nations all competing control over a rare resource known as “pluton”. This rare material is essential for constructing important trinkets and also needed to cast magic. Producing pluton is not something humans can do as the raw ore that it is refined from is deadly to humans. This does not apply to goblins though, so a lucrative industry is born out of raiding pluton mines and murdering those poor goblins.

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Neophyte warriors/love team Geoff and Vasily are recruited by rifle-wielding, potion-throwing Anka to initially accompany her for some mine raiding. Along with some friends they meet along the way they are thrust into a scenario more than what they bargained for. Natural Doctrine‘s story is relatively good so I won’t be going beyond that for the sake of spoilers. Don’t let the boring starting sequences turn you off as it really gets interesting later on.

Just like most games in the SRPG genre, the story is advanced by a series turn-based battles on a grid map. What makes ND unique is the grids are not just one character per square. One grid takes up a bigger area on the map and up to four regular sized characters (some units take up more than one slot) can be in the same grid at a time. Although the character’s movement is still based on a number of squares per turn, you are free to position them within the square. It’s sort of like a combination of the Valkyria Chronicles and Final Fantasy Tactics system. Smart positioning is a must. Your life will be easier if you learn how to utilize environmental covers and guard weaker party members. Make one mistake of leaving your mage open and the next thing you know he finds himself on the receiving end of a goblin boomstick barrage. Oh, and if that happens it’s GAME OVER for you as losing one party member fails the whole mission. Nice!

The mechanic that you will absolutely need to master is the Action Link. Every action/command that one of your units do on his/her turn has link conditions that if met, will enable other units to take a turn outside his/her usual turn. This essential tactic can turn the tide of the often overwhelming battles that you will face if executed correctly. Because turns are determined by unit speed, being able to kill the enemy next on the initiative queue (shown on the top of the screen) gets you an enormous battlefield advantage. If the circumstances permits, you can decimate all enemies without any of them getting an attack out.

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Of course the enemies have access to the same Action Link system as you and they usually outnumber you.., not to mention they are programmed to know everything there is to know about the system while you try to figure it out outside the very basic explanation in the tutorial. So there’s that.

Haha.

Outfitting your characters is necessary to tackle the ever-increasing odds against you. Units prefer specific weapon types like swords/shields, guns, staves and bombs. Some characters can change weapon types mid-battle with no penalty and are more versatile. Accessories increase your stats and you can equip each unit two of them at a time. Equipment are gained in the battlefield via monster drops or by opening chests. There is no currency to spend or shops to use them on although you can farm dungeons multiple times to get more items from chests. Opening chests also give you an amount of pluton every time. The pluton is used by your magic-users to cast spells as a substitute for magic points. It seems very limiting but magic is very powerful in this game and can often be used to turn the tide in your favor when used tactically.

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Units learn skills using a straightforward skill tree specific for each character. A party member gains a skill point (Geoff gets two) every time he/she levels up. Spend points to activate either passive stat-boosting skills or an active skill that either adds a new command or enhances a an existing one. Consumable items are also gained through skills. For example, a skill gets a unit two potions for use in a mission and gets replenished for the next one. One awesome thing about the skill tree is that you are free to spend and unspend skill points as you see fit without restriction. This encourages experimentation and helps to find the right approach dealing with missions.

The visuals leave a lot to be desired. The anime art looks good but the 3D models and animation are not what you would expect especially if you are playing the PS4 version. The game is available on all three Sony platforms (PS3/PS4/Vita) and have cross-save functionality so I kinda understand that it needs to work within the weakest system’s specifications in order to have the same performance on all platforms. It’s still not an excuse considering it is a retail release. Muddy textures and clunky animations all over. Definitely needs more polish.

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The music annoyed me the first few stages mostly because I was always dying and had to listen to the same grinding tracks over and over but it got better as the story furthered. Cutscenes are fully voiced. The english voice work is a notch above what you would expect from a NISA release but a welcome japanese voice option for the gamers who want it is included and can be toggled anytime.

Like I said, Natural Doctrine is available for all three Sony platforms but it is the first of its kind on the PlayStation 4. So if you are itching to play a really challenging strategy RPG on your next-gen system, many hours of gameplay awaits with your purchase. If you only have the PS3 and you think the frustrating difficulty will put you off, then there are many games in the same genre available to you from its vast last-gen library. The game is perfect on the PS Vita as it lends itself beautifully for on the go gaming.

There is a separate online multiplayer mode included that is unrelated with the single-player campaign. It is a deck building card game but since the game was not released yet at the time I was playing it, I was not able to find anyone to play with online. So I can’t really say anything about multiplayer.

For this review, I played the PS4 and PS Vita versions. I did not try on the PS3 but I’m sure it looks and plays almost the same.

Mission Accomplished (Pros):

  • Very deep battle system: The game rewards you for smart tactical planning but will rape your butt the moment you make a mistake.
  • Interesting story: Starts slow but really picks up fast. A nice change from the lackluster story other games in the genre are known for.
  • Skill tree experimentation: You are free to learn and unlearn skills as much as you want means getting as strategic as much you want.
  • Not bad voice acting: Character banter in and out of missions are enjoyable. Although Vasily might grate on you (like FFXIII’s Vanille)

Mission Failed (Cons):

  • No mid-mission save: You can be playing for half an hour and then die. Some missions have halfway checkpoints but they are still far in-between. Much frustration.
  • No currency or shops: I don’t know but I like my RPGs where I can buy stuff.
  • Mediocre graphics: Hey, I’m playing on the most powerful console in the world but what the hell is this? lol
  • Tutorial not in-depth enough: The enemies know all the quirks of the action link system from the beginning but you are just given the gist of it and will have to learn as you go. So they will enjoy murdering you a lot early in the game.

Mission Stalemate (Love it or Hate it):

  • Difficulty cranked up to 11: Even on easy mode the enemies seems to be cheating. And some enemies can wipe your entire party in one fell swoop. Still, everything can be countered with smart positioning and careful planning
  • Grinding for items and level: Some like to grind, some hate it. I don’t mind, though.

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NAtURAL DOCtRINE

Developer: KADOKAWA GAMES

Publisher: NIS America

Available for: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita

Date: September 30, 2014

Thanks to NISA for providing us with the review copy.

I wasn’t aware that this little shooting game from developer HE-SAW was based on a comic book.  I played the demo and actually enjoyed myself through it so I felt I had to experience the full game. So I did.

Blue Estate is an on-rails arcade shooting game. If you remember playing Time Crisis or House of the Dead then you already know what you’re in for. Now the main difference is you are not using a light gun peripheral. You use the DualShock 4’s sixaxis accelerometers to aim your reticule and shoot the bad guys in the nuts (there is an actual bonus for shooting enemies in the balls. Seriously).

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The game let’s you take control of either Tony Luciano, son of a mafia mob boss who is in love with a hooker or Clarence, an ex-Navy Seal hired by Tony’s dad to take clean up Tony’s mess and rescue his favorite race horse named Blue Estate. Yes, the game is named after a horse. To be honest, I did not pay too much attention to the overall story because you don’t really need to. The game itself even acknowledges this by offering to fast forward to the gameplay part when there’s a story sequence/cutscene. Blue Estate tries to be funny but aside from an ocassional giggle or two over an immature/racist quip or a pop-culture reference, you can just skip to the killing.

Like I said, Blue Estate forgoes the gun peripheral in favor of the Dualshock 4 controller. In addition to the aiming with the gyroscopes, the game utilizes the face and shoulder buttons for actions like reloading and hiding. Pressing up on the D-pad will quickly center your reticule to re-calibrate your aiming. This is a real smart way of making sure the gyros are accurate and you will be pressing it a lot. The DualShock 4’s unique touchpad is also an important piece for the control scheme. Context-based commands, like opening a door, dodging an obstacle, and brushing up Tony’s hair when it obstructs his vision (I’m not kidding) are executed by swiping in different directions on the pad. The game also has 2-player co-op mode.

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On the visual side of things, Blue Estate is not pretty. The game can easily be done on a last-gen system. To be fair, I’m sure it’s going for the dirty gritty look of the source material but it I’m also sure it could look much better. Of course the PS4’s extra horsepower is making it sure that it all runs smoothly without slowdowns and such, but a next-gen title it is not.

Music is the kind that you would expect of a game in this genre. Besides, heavy metal guitar riffs and beats go really well with gunshots and big explosions, doesn’t it? Voice acting is pretty much okay except for the annoying narration from a character named Roy — who is described in the comic’s website as “The ace private eye who never sleeps (and rarely bathes)”.

The game from start to finish has seven stages that is each immediately selectable and replayable after you finish them opening up chance to improve your score or play on a different difficulty. That’s great for trophy hunters because there are stage-specific acheivements. Each level takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete making Blue Estate a very short game if you just want to finish the story.

 

Hits the mark:

  • The DualShock 4’s motion controls work surprisingly well as a replacement for a gun peripheral.
  • Killing people and keeping up your combo meter is satisfying.
  • Mini-game mechanic dispersed throughout the stages are fun.

Missed it by that much:

  • Game looks like last-gen. Looks outdated.
  • Story does not deserve your attention.

Blue Estate

Developer: HeSaw

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive

 

Yeah. Definitely questionable.
Yeah. Definitely questionable.

I like video game versions of trading card games. Learning to play them via an in-game tutorial is better than consulting a printed rulebook, for one. And it’s much cheaper than buying the real-world equivalent especially with most of TCGs having expansions and collectible price market. It’s also more convenient to just play online (if the game supports it) than to trek to a local hobby shop and find people to play with.

Monster Monpiece is a card collecting battle game from Idea Factory. In the past, Idea Factory has licensed their games to other publishers (like Atlus, etc.) for North American release but this time, they are doing it themselves. I think it’s because the other publishers chose not to have a go at this one for reasons I’m about to tell you.

The gameplay part is solid but the theme is a bit risqué. Cards all depict “monster girls” — anime girls that are sexually suggestive in nature and mostly underaged looking (i.e. lolicon). Cards have the capability for upgrades to power them up by a mini-game system that you would not dare do in public. It involves stroking the front and rear touch panels of the Vita system, an action that is akin to jerking off the male genitalia. This unfortunately plays out via embarrassing moans and grunts from the female character illustrated on the card. After looking around to see if anybody was watching that mess over your shoulders, your efforts are rewarded with new abilities and higher stats for the card; and more importantly, the monster-girl’s artwork on the card will be changed. When I say “changed”, I mean “more naked”. So yeah.

Monster Monpiece’s tale is a typical anime-inspired save the world from a catastrophic event kind of story. The protagonist is ayoung girl named May who is in training to become a card wielder. The plot revolves around May’s relationship with the monster girls that reside magically in their cards (think Pokemon but with cards and loli girls instead of grotesque creatures) and solving the mystery behind an evil power turning other monster girls into “Lost,” or evil monster girl cards in human-speak. Small note, character skits are fully voiced in Japanese. There is no English audio option but the text translation is pretty good.

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I was surprised at the depth of Monster Monpiece’s core gameplay; as a reformed TCG addict I found the rules intuitive enough for lapsed gamers such as myself, or even new players to the genre to grasp. The game is paced really well, and doesn’t just throw you into the flames. It explains the basic stat and properties of the cards then walks you through a sample battle before introducing you to more advanced cards with specific abilities.

Obviously, being a TCG title, battles play out with a turn-based system. With a turn consisting of a player summoning a card to the board, spending mana. A set amount of mana is added to your pool every turn but certain card abilities give you more mana if you need it. The board consists of multiple lanes and squares where you put the cards when you summon them. At the opposite ends of the boards are each player’s “castle”. Your goal is to have a monster reach your opponent’s castle and reduce it to zero hit points. At each of your turn you can summon one card or pass. After that  phase, the cards in play will either move one space towards your opponent’s castle or attack an opposing monster if they are in range. Attack and defense are decided with the cards stats and abilities. ATTACK is how much damage the card deals, HP is how much damage it can take before it dies, and INT is used by healers and buffer type cards.

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The player has absolute control over what cards to use in the deck and one can even save multiple configurations. Each deck can have a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 40 cards. In my experience, getting your deck to the full 40-card limit is more advantageous as the AI often exhausts his deck in a long drawn out match. Running out of cards means automatically losing the match. You can build up your card collection by winning specific cards in the story or buying booster packs with the in-game currency earned by winning matches.

Upgrading your cards will require spending “Rub Points” which you acquire by winning battles. And as I mentioned above, you wouldn’t want anyone catching you doing this. The rewards are great (upgraded stats, new abilities) but they didn’t need to implement that specific gimmick just to do so. Sure, it’s funny the first few times but it is really embarrassing and the developers could have  honestly offered to disable this. You can’t really finish the game and win the more difficult battles far into the game so this awkwardness is unfortunately forced to the player.

There is an online mode where you can battle other players but I was not able to find anyone when I tried it so I reserve my judgement on Monster Monpiece‘s online modes. One other weird thing about the game: it has the Vita’s screenshot feature disabled while playing the game. Hmm, I wonder why.

It’s a shame that Monster Monpiece’s fantastic gameplay is forever trapped in such a sketchy presentation. But if you can look past this (and do the upgrading when no one is around), the game offers solid strategic gameplay that anyone can enjoy.

Rubbed me the Right Way:

  • Gameplay is solid. Surprising amount of strategy involved.
  • Lengthy campaign but structured perfectly to play on the go.

Rubbed me the Wrong Way:

  • Forced gameplay mechanics that are not really needed.
  • The hentai factor.
  • Screenshot feature is disabled while playing the game for some reason.

Monster Monpiece

Developer: Compile Heart

Publisher: Idea Factory

Available for: PlayStation Vita (Digital)

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Daylight is a poorly-executed mess of a horror game. You have my permission to stop reading this review and judge it by my first sentence. If you do, then I will envy you for not wasting time playing this.

For those of you who still want to read why, alright: Daylight is a first-person horror game where you navigate a procedurally-generated dungeon-like map. You find a set of items, you find the key, get our of the area onto the next, then rinse and repeat. No real combat here, you are just haunted by shadow creatures called “witches” which gets defeated if you light up a flare.

A horror game’s typical strength is with its intricately-created set pieces that lead you to to memorable moments; which is a fancy word of saying lures to a trap. Remember the first time Nemesis showed up and chased you around in Resident Evil 3? Nothing of that sort happens here, really. The idea of having randomly-generated content completely tramples this formula and the whole game suffers because of it.

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You will always be holding your tablet up. #Ngawit

Cheap scares are brought to you in a non-thought of way. Sure, the first time it happens it’s a chilling moment but it shortly becomes laughable because of the repeatedly clumsy way it’s being delivered to you. The video below is me encountering an enemy for the first time. The surprised scream coming from me did not come back on subsequent encounters. Believe me. Please.

Internet celebrity/IGN personality/licker of handheld systems Jessica Chobot was the much-ballyhooed pen behind Daylight. She might also be the voice of the protagonist but I didn’t bother to look it up. The voice acting is entirely made up of gasps and exclamation of dread that is so random and repetitive, it becomes hilarious really quick. The narrative is a fairly run-off-the-mill horror asylum/Cthulu mythos tale. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but seeing pentagrams, human sacrifice, and the devil never looked so bland. Seriously, it’s like the developers ran through a checklist of tropes and environments from every horror videogame, ever and just went with it.

On the technical side of things, the game is also a mess. It’s the first game I’ve ever played on the PlayStation 4 that dips below 30 frames per second. Unbelievably, it does this all the time! There are instances where the game will stutter and freeze for a few seconds. Completely unforgiveable, given that the visuals themselves are less-than-impressive.

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Hey. it’s an abandoned asylum! So original.

You can finish the game in less than two hours. The developers claim it is meant for multiple playthroughs because of the procedurally-generated levels. No thanks.

In my opinion, Daylight has nothing to offer to my gaming tastes. My limited gaming time is better spent on something else. A poorly-crafted tale behind a poorly-crafted gameplay system makes Daylight easy to put down and ignore.

Redemption:

  • It’s not a retail priced game (though $15 is still not cheap enough for this)
  • The buttons work and there is video and sound.

The Human Sacrifice:

  • Random generated levels =  stupid idea for a game like this.
  • Repetitive and bland gameplay progression
  • Technical issues galore.

Factor that can swing either way:

  • You might die tomorrow.

Daylight

Developer: Zombie Studios

Publisher: Atlus

Available for: PlayStation 4, PC

Reviewed: PS4 version

Get ready for an awesome PlayStation month even if you don’t have extra money to buy new games!

First up, PS3 owners get Lara Croft’s latest adventure for zilch. Tomb Raider was one of our top games of last year and the PS4 definitive edition was just released this month so this is an amazing and surprising addition to the IGC.

The PS3 also gets indie love in the form of Thomas Was Alone — an award-winning platformer, and Lone Survivor: Director’s Cut — a survival adventure game.

Going next-gen nets you a free download of the excellent Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition. This co-op twin-stick zombie shooter that was originally released on the PS3 is now coming to the PS4 bundled with all the DLC and updated visuals.

On the handheld side of things we get the 3rd person shooter Unit 13 and Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP game, playable on Vita). Kinda lame but you can’t beat free, right?

 

Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition (PS4)

Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition

Free for PS Plus members

Run-and-gun through the zombie apocalypse as hit arcade shooter Dead Nation shuffles onto PlayStation 4. Fight for your life alone or with a friend as Jack McReady or Scarlett Blake as you step onto the streets of a city overrunwith undead flesh-eaters. And, if you’re feeling really brave, take a walk down the Road of Devastation – a deadly experiment that pushes your survival skills to the absolute limit as you face hordes of zombies with no extra lives and no second chances. The dead may walk – but you can make sure they don’t walk very far.

 

Tomb Raider (PS3)

Tomb Raider

Free for PS Plus members

This newest rendition of Tomb Raider explores the intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to the hardened survivor that she would become known as. Armed only with raw instincts and the ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, Lara must fight to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold.

 

Thomas Was Alone (PS3)

Thomas Was Alone

Free for PS Plus members

Thomas Was Alone is the critically acclaimed indie platformer about friendship and jumping. Guide a group of sentient rectangles through a series of environments, combining their skills to reach the end of each level. Listen to awesome music by David Housden, negotiate obstacles meticulously placed by Mike Bithell and immerse yourself in the characters’ journey with a voiceover read wistfully and amusingly by Danny Wallace.

 

Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut (PS3)

Lone Survivor Director's Cut

Free for PS Plus members

In this psychological survival adventure, the masked protagonist must escape from a city ravaged by disease, by any means necessary. Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut is a new kind of adventure where the choice of how to survive is up to you. Sneak through without firing a single shot, or kill everything in your path. Eat and sleep well, or resort to drugs to keep going. Search for survivors, or try to escape the city alone. Look after your mental health, or descend into madness. Lone Survivor is a game where your choices genuinely matter.

 

Unit 13 (PS Vita)

Unit 13

Free for PS Plus members

Jump into the action with Unit 13 for PlayStation®Vita and conquer 36 tactical missions and 9 high value target battles as you help take down global terror networks and earn your place in the military elite. With the precision of the PlayStation Vita systems’s dual analog sticks and unique touch interface, Unit 13 is the perfect on-the-go action shooter. Wi-Fi connectivity adds fast 2-player co-op action, and 3G compatibility keeps you connected for instant social updates and new daily mission challenges.

 

Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite (PS Vita)

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

Free for PS Plus members

In the world of Monster Hunter you’re never alone.
-The biggest Monster Hunter title to date with over 500 hours of gameplay.
-Huge variety of character customizations including 1400 weapons and over 2000 armor sets.
-Players can form a team of up to 4 players through Ad-Hoc play and experience the social gaming phenomenon.
-AI Felyne companion, who will accompany players on quests and provide aid through the challenging battles. With the ‘Felyne Exchange’ feature players can share their companions with other players, transferring data using the PSP’s sleep mode.
-Fans of the series can transfer their data from Monster Hunter Freedom 2.

 

Capcom’s premiere futuristic ninja is finally wrecking havoc both on PS3 and PS4 and Square Enix kicks off the public PS4 beta of their MMORPG. Rayman Legends also makes an upgrade to next-gen and you can also get good ol’ Adewale’s adventure without having the main Assassin’s Creed IV game.

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Freedom Cry ($14.99)
AC Freeom Cry
Rise up against slavery with the latest single-player action-adventure game in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Assassin’s Creed Freedom Cry is now available exclusively for download on PS4 and PS3. Born a slave, Adewale found freedom as a pirate. Now, 15 years after the events of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Adewale has become a trained Assassin.
Rayman Legends ($39.99)
Rayman Legends
The Glade of Dreams is in trouble once again! During a 100-year nap, the nightmares multiplied and spread, creating new monsters even more terrifying than before! These creatures are the stuff of legend… Dragons, giant toads, sea monsters, and even evil luchadores. With the help of Murfy, Rayman and Globox awake and must now help fight these nightmares and save the Teensies!
Strider ($14.99)
Strider
Strider returns in a brand new adventure, complete with incredible side-scrolling action, and lightning fast combat all in a massive interconnected world! Download the full game now and become the original assassin!
Final Fantasy XIV: A realm Reborn (Beta)
FF14 A Realm Reborn
Beta test the award-winning FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn now for FREE with players from around the world. The beta will be available from Saturday, February 22, 2014 to Sunday, March 2, 2014. Characters created during the beta are limited to level 20 and progress will not be saved after the beta ends.Create your own unique FINAL FANTASY hero and embark on the adventure of a lifetime to help forge the fate of Eorzea.

The excellent Tomba! 2 makes an appearance in the PSone classics section of the store as a follow to the original Tomba! that was released a couple of weeks ago. PS2 Classics have Neo Contra which I don’t remember ever playing. Heh.

Sales galore! Aside from the huge list this week, there’s a separate Rockstar Sale going on which you should check out. Bully for under $3 is a steal, my friends.

For fellow PS Plussers we are entitled to Remember Me (starring Renz Verano) on PS3 and Street Fighter X Tekken on Ps Vita for the exciting price of ‘free’.

For a complete list of additions and changes to the PS Store, hit the source link!

Awesome month coming for PlayStation Plus members. Sony has announced the February lineup for its Instant Games Collection but this time they made a nifty handy-dandy cool video detailing it. So watch it (embedded above) and be informed/amused.

For those of you who don’t want moving images, here’s a list and a picture:

Outlast (PS4)

Metro: Last Light (PS3)

Payday 2 (PS3)

Remember Me (PS3)  starring Renz Verano.

Street Fighter X Tekken (PS Vita)

ModNation Racers: Road Trip (PS Vita)

Square Enix wants to prepare us for the third and final part of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy and they are doing it in style. They’ve put together an awesome retrospective video summarizing the first two games in SNES-style 16-bit!

Complete with a chip-tuned version of the FFXIII soundtrack, this video makes me all the more excited for when Claire Farron finally returns in less than two weeks from now.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will be available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on February 11th, 2014.

Starting this Tuesday (early Wednesday morning locally) and through next week, the North American PlayStation Store will offer 11 Final Fantasy titles at a discounted price (bigger savings if you are a PlayStation Plus member).

Prices listed are normal discounted and PS Plus discounted, respectively.

  • Final Fantasy IX — $5.99 / $5.39
  • Final Fantasy Origins  — $5.99 / $5.39
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 — $9.99 / $8.99
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Collector’s Edition — $35.39 / $32.39
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Standard Edition — $23.99 / $21.59
  • Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy — $9.99 / $8.99
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy — $9.99 / $8.99
  • Final Fantasy III — $9.99 / $8.99
  • Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection — $9.99 / $8.99
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: The War Of The Lions — $4.99 / $4.49
  • Final Fantasy V — $5.99 / $5.39

So are you picking up anything?

Capcom has announced that the much-awaited Monster Hunter 4 is going stateside “early 2015”. The english-speaking world will get the equivalent of Monster Hunter 4G in Japan — an enhanced version of the vanilla Monster Hunter 4 that has more content. Much like what Monster Hunter 3G was to Monster Hunter 3.

Unlike MH3U before it that had both 3DS and Wii U versions, MH4U is only announced for the 3DS. And I don’t have a problem with that.

This one has online multiplayer (finally!) so the days of meeting up in a coffee house to play are over.

Nooice!

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Squenix’ successful PC/PS3 MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will be gracing Sony’s next (current) generation console officially on April 14th. If you already played this on the PS3 then you are automatically qualified to play the beta which starts on February 22nd. This gives you time to think if you wanna upgrade to the PS4 version.

Square Enix will also release a collector’s edition of the game which will include content from previous PS3 and PC collector’s editions with a Fat Chocobo Mount and a Wind-Up Moogle Minion.

I’m done with MMO’s myself but I’ll be sure to at least try the beta and ogle at the graphics.

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Weakest release week ever! Boooo!

But I would suggest you get OlliOlli if nothing else (given you have a PS Vita).

 

NO NEW RELEASES

 

Lucifer Ring (PSone Import/PSN)

OlliOlli (PS Vita/PSN)

 

Dead Rising 3 – Operation Broken Eagle (DLC)

 

Insurgency (PC/Steam)

Kickbeat Steam Edition (PC/Steam)

NeoGaf, infamous for leaking out video game dev info, has a post about the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS. Details about new characters and mechanics are apparently revealed.

Among them are the ones about Donkey Kong nemesis King K. Rool and Punch Out‘s Little Mac (the Wii remake version) joining the roster, as well as Fire Emblem: Awakening‘s Chrom being added and will co-exist with the Smash veteran Ike from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn. The one about Samus’ archenemy Ridley we already knew about before. There are also new stuff about assist trophies, costumes, and stages.

As always, this is not confirmed to be true but more often than not, Nintendo leaks from NeoGaf are pretty much reliable.

Hit the source link below for all the details in the actual post.

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Much-awaited DLC for The Last of Us, Left Behind is coming soon according to developer Naughty Dog. It features a younger Ellie and her friend Riley in events before the main game.

Check out the teaser trailer above and read the interview with Ellie voice actress Ashley Johnson by clicking on the source link below. In there, she provides us with details and her own insights about the new content.

The Last of Us: Left Behind will be available soon (exact release date TBA UPDATE: Valentine’s Day Feb. 14) and will drop you $15. Season Pass holders will have automatic access to it when it is released.

LEFTC

Starting Tuesday, January 14th (Wednesday morning locally), Sony kicks off their huge PS3 and Vita offering with the “14 for ’14” PSN Sale.

No less then 14 PS3 AND 14 PS Vita games will have drastically slashed prices — up to 50% off and up to 75% off for PlayStation Plus subscribers.

Here are the games included with the sale for PS3:
Game Title PS Plus Price Sale Price Original Price
BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien $3.75 $7.49 $14.99
Crysis 3 $5.00 $9.99 $19.99
Deus Ex Human Revolution: Director’s Cut $13.49 $14.99 $29.99
ENSLAVED: Odyssey to the West Premium Edition $5.00 $9.99 $19.99
F1 2013 $20.99 $29.99 $59.99
Far Cry Blood Dragon $3.75 $7.49 $14.99
Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut (Cross Buy) $5.24 $7.49 $12.99
Pool Nation $2.25 $4.49 $8.49
Puppeteer $7.00 $13.99 $39.99
Rain $3.75 $7.49 $14.99
Rayman Legends $35.99 $47.99 $59.99
Tales of Xillia $10.00 $19.99 $39.99
The Wolf Among Us Season Pass $13.49 $14.99 $19.99
Thomas Was Alone (Cross Buy) $2.50 $4.99 $9.99
And for PS Vita: 
Game Title PS Plus Price Sale Price Original Price
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two $7.50 $14.99 $29.99
Killzone: Mercenary $9.00 $17.99 $35.99
LIMBO PS Vita $3.75 $7.49 $14.99
Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut (Cross Buy) $5.24 $7.49 $12.99
METAL GEAR SOLID: PEACE WALKER $5.00 $9.99 $19.99
PIXELJUNK MONSTERS: ULTIMATE HD $3.75 $7.49 $14.99
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time PS Vita $6.75 $13.49 $26.99
Soul Sacrifice $9.00 $17.99 $35.99
SPELUNKY (Cross Buy) $3.75 $7.49 $14.99
Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark (Cross Buy) $4.19 $5.99 $9.99
The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season $5.00 $9.99 $19.99
Thomas Was Alone (Cross Buy) $2.50 $4.99 $9.99
Velocity Ultra Vita $2.00 $3.99 $7.49
Worms Revolution Extreme $3.75 $7.49 $14.99

 

Time to feed the ol’ PSN Wallet!

Dekamori Senran Kagura, described by Famitsu as a “hyper big-breasted cooking-rhythm game”, is set to be released in Japan on March 20 of this year.

The game will have both a PS Vita and a PSP version.

There are two more Senran Kagura spin-offs planned in addition to the cooking game: Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson is a side-scrolling action game that serves as a sequel of the original for the 3DS and Senran Kagura: Estival Versus which is a fighting game for multiple PlayStation devices.

Boing. Boing. Boing.

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The people at Jasco has put together a 20-minute video playthrough/tutorial of their upcoming Mega Man: The Board Game.

As someone who has some experience on board games like these, I find the mechanics interesting and for one would like to try it. Though it might come of as a bit too complicated for regular people who only play the occasional Monopoly here and there.

I guess we’ll see when it actually comes out!

The third game to grace the next-gen Instant Game Collection is the survival indie game Don’t Starve for the PS4. In it you play a scientist trapped in limbo where you’ll need to use the available resources to not die. It is also a game that teaches us that rabbits are yummy.

If you are still sporting that retro machine called the PS3 (heh) then you can download Ninja Theory’s Dante reboot, DMC: Devil May Cry for it. In it, you play Keanu Reeves.

Sorry Vita owners. Nothing for you this week. Boo.

PlayStation Plus: Instant Game Collection

Don’t Starve (PS4)

Free for PS Plus members

PlayStation Plus Update 1-6-2014
Don’t Starve: Console Edition is an uncompromising wilderness survival game full of science and magic. You play as Wilson, an intrepid Gentleman Scientist who has been trapped by a demon and transported to a mysterious wilderness world. Wilson must learn to exploit his environment and its inhabitants if he ever hopes to escape and find his way back home.
DMC Devil May Cry (PS3)

Free for PS Plus members

PlayStation Plus Update 1-6-2014
In a society corrupted by demons only The Order can see the world for what it really is. Join Dante in the ultimate experience of stylish action chain together combo after combo with panache and dispatch demonic spawn back to hell – reveal the truth behind the lies. Explore Dante’s dark past encountering some the most familiar faces in the DmC universe. Call upon unimaginable powers combined with Dante’s epic arsenal of weapons: sword, scyte, axe, pistols and more. Face your demons…

 

If for some reason you still have your PS3 (heh) then you might want to check the ever so cool and essential System Update button in the XMB.

PlayStation 3 Firmware 4.53 is an optional update (for now) and is lugging these with it:

  • You can now set the group of players who can see your trophies. You can also specify for each game whether to show trophies.
    >See details
  • The PS3™ system can now perform the following operations when you set Settings [Settings] > System Settings [System Settings] > [Automatic Update] to [On], even if you do not subscribe to PlayStation®Plus. When this setting is [On], the PS3™ system will automatically start each day at the specified time, perform these operations, and then turn off.
    • – Download content items purchased with other devices
    • – Download the latest system software
  • Support of Closed Captions function on playing Blu-ray Disc™ videos and DVDs (SCEA UC model only). “Blu-ray Disc™” and “Blu-ray™” are trademarks of the Blu-ray Disc Association.

Strategy Role Playing Game Natural Doctrine is set for a February 22nd release in Japan (a.k.a. Japanese PS4 launch). It’s from Kadokawa Games — favorite publisher of Suda 51 (Killer is Dead, Lollipop Chainsaw) — and Patapon director Atsushi Ii. The game will be available for all three active Sony consoles: The PS3, PS4 and the PS Vita.

Judging from what we’ve seen so far, Natural Doctrine will let go of the traditional grid-based SRPG in favor of a more free-flowing movement system. If this turns out to be something like Valkyria Chronicles, then me says absolutely DO WANT!

Here’s hoping for a western announcement soon!

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