3DS

DSC02511Despite popular opinion, Nintendo is actually a company of iterative refinement—a company that does not simply rest after unleashing its creations, instead finding ways to subtly improve on them. This is especially true in their hardware offerings, all but one (the beleaguered and short-lived Virtual Boy) receiving some sort of incremental upgrade during their respective lifetimes. Remember those mystery ports on the NES and SNES? Though often appearing stunted from a technological standpoint, Nintendo always seemingly looks ahead and somehow sneaks in some sort of improvement in their consoles or handhelds, mysteriously forcing their consumers hands and snaking in a quick payment when, really, the “old” version of the hardware worked just fine.

Whether it’s slapping add-ons to the system (the Famicom’s Disk System), miniturization (SNES Jr., Game Boy Pocket), slight spec bumps (Game Boy Color and this very piece of hardware), or correcting a terrible, terrible mistake (the Game Boy Advance SP and its actually-legible scren), all of us have paid for a “standard” mid-cycle Nintendo upgrade one way or the other.

DSC02514I suppose where I’m getting at with this is, yes, Nintendo has a giant hard-on for improving their existing hardware, for better or for worse. Enter the “New” Nintendo 3DS. In what’s probably the least-creative console rebranding this side of the PlayStation twos through fours, the New Nintendo 3DS (or NN3DS, as abbreviated by absolutely nobody) is simply just that, a newer, mid-cycle version of its vintage-2011 Nintendo 3DS handheld awkwardly slotting in a couple years before its real successor comes out. Unlike the Nintendo DSi right before it, Nintendo isn’t immediately halting sales of the “older” 3DS units in lieu of this iteration, instead puzzlingly choosing to market this in North American regions as a premium version of the 3DS hardware. Irritatingly, Nintendo of America has decided to not release the New 3DS XL’s smaller sibling at all, choosing to keep the “old” 3DS and XL, as well as its forlorn stepsibling, the adorable but maligned 2DS. It doesn’t take a marketing degree to realize that they’ve made a mess out of this.

That aside, the short story with the New 3DS is that its actually a worthwhile upgrade to the original 3DS and 3DS XL. Much unlike how a typical Nintendo fan fails to refine him or herself into a nuanced adult, the NN3DSXL feels like a more premium, mature product. Even the intangibles such as heft and gloss were taken into account when crafting Nintendo’s final revision of the 3DS product. On paper it sounds like a dicey cash-grab, but when you actually have one in your hands, the New 3DS XL looks, sounds and feels exactly how the handheld should have been in the first place.

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Small things, such as the volume slider being relegated to the top of the clamshell instead of its irritatingly easy-to-cajole former home on the bottom half of the console, turn into vast improvements once you spend some more time with the console. Little nuances, such as the brightness controlling itself automatically, or the Wi-Fi no longer needing to be switched on and off, pop in every now and then and remind the end-user that, yes, this is a better 3DS than the one you had. And of course, there are the tiny, irritating screw-ups that remind you that this is a Nintendo product: the MicroSD slot being nigh-inaccessible is definitely a Luddite decision that the tiny Kyoto company would make. I’m not even surprised that the New Nintendo 3DS doesn’t come with a charger: they know their target audience for these things, and their target audience has like four or five of those things kicking around from the DSi’s heyday. Whatever, I don’t even use them—I vastly prefer and recommend those knockoff USB chargers from China. Plug ’em into a sentient box that has a USB port (such as a cable/digibox) and voila, instant charging station.

DSC02515One immediate drag with owning a New Nintendo 3DS is the system transfer process. I can count the number of digital games I have with one hand, yet it still took four hours to move less than four gigabytes worth of data from my old 3DS XL to my New 3DS XL. It’s almost useless to hope for at this point, but it’s 2015 and the fact that Nintendo still doesn’t have a unified account system at this point is borderline laughable. I can literally run to the store, buy a new 2000-series Vita, download roughly 64GB of game data and saves from the cloud, make myself a mean osso bucco, and still clock in less time than it takes for a standard 3DS system transfer to finish. It’s insane.

Let’s talk about super-stable 3D: it’s awesome. Forget the bad, disjointed 3D experience from the old 3DS, that’s dead and buried now. The New 3DS tracks your head with some sort of proximity sensor and adjusts the 3D image in real-time to compensate, making playing in 3D on the darn thing actually feasible now. I hardly ever use the 3D feature on my old 3DS because it was such a pain to get into that “sweet spot” to enjoy the effect, but I have 3D permanently turned on with my New 3DS and apart from the quick jitter ever now and then when it fails to adjust for whatever reason, its totally seamless and immersive.

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DSC02512As for the new control features, they’re alright. The C-stick feels a lot like the eraser-nubs on old IBM Thinkpads, and is surprisingly solid-feeling once you get a hang of it. After clocking in a few hours on Monster Hunter 4 and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, sweeping the camera across the screen came as second nature, and the little nub deftly did its job when needed. I can’t see the C-stick ever working for FPS games, but given the fact that so few of those come the system’s way, I’m sure it’s not even a concern. I forgot the ZL and ZR triggers even existed, given how sparingly MH4 used ’em. I suppose we’ll have to wait for a “real” NN3DS exclusive to come out before we even see the little buttons get used.

DSC02517A small sidebar on software compatibility: it may be placebo effect, but games do in fact load faster on the New 3DS. Newer titles like Majora’s Mask and Smash Bros. aren’t a surprise since they were probably developed with the New 3DS in mind, but even older titles that I’ve revisited such as Snake Eater 3D (still a bad port) and Pilotwings Resort (super-underrated, even as a launch title) seemed snappier to load. My hope is that Nintendo and its third-parties patch out some of the older titles to fully take advantage of the New 3DS’ hardware, even to improve simple things like framerate and draw distance.

So for better or for worse, the New Nintendo 3DS is just that: its a New Nintendo 3DS. Despite the minor spec-bump, the system still sports sub-iOS level graphical capabilities, an insultingly low-resolution screen (exasperated by the XL’s massive berth) and shockingly bad online capabilities (the eShop is still a poorly-designed nightmare). Still, there’s a reason these things crush the competition, and thats simply thanks to an amazing software lineup. For those that happen to enjoy the 3DS’ roster of fine videogames, the New 3DS XL is almost a required purchase as it improves the 3DS experience so much.

As avid gamers, we always want to be ahead of the game (awful pun intended) by having the latest gadgets that enable us to play all the best games, either on the big screen or on the go. Y’see, games aren’t just played on consoles or handhelds nowadays: gaming is now a ubiquitous enough hobby that one can enjoy on any piece of tech with a screen. For instance, here’s my personal list of gadgets that I enjoy playing games on!

IMG_26171. HP Envy 15″ and Macbook Pro Retina 13″ laptops – I only play Diablo III Reaper of Souls and a bunch of Steam games on PC so I fire one of these two from time to time. I use the HP when I’m docked as it is heavier but it’s where I mostly play because of the bigger screen,  hard disk and a fuller keyboard. I use the Macbook when I’m stuck outside and more for work, but I also have a limited number games installed on that machine (like yep, Diablo III; if you haven’t figured out, I’m a D3 addict).

2. PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS – If I have to go out and I know I have to wait long for something (pay for a bill, or wait for someone to arrive), I almost always carry one of these babies depending on what I am currently playing. The titles are pretty diverse in each so you can always find a few games that will sit on your GOTY of the forever (for me it was Persona 4 Golden and Fire Emblem Awakening).

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3. iPhone 5 – If I have a spare minute (or thirty), I fire up Clash of Clans or one of my favorite Kairosoft titles (now being Ninja Village) to get my gaming fix. LINE also has a bunch of games like Puzzle Bobble (who hasn’t played or got addicted to that game though) but it gets pretty limited because of the fatigue-based mechanic (5 stages at a time, then you have to wait 30 minutes to replenish one stage turn). It’s pretty lightweight as a gaming platform but with millions of users, even Square Enix has picked up the pace and ported some of its most popular titles on iTunes.

4. PlayStation 3, XBOX 360 and Wii U – Exclusive titles and things more epic go to one of these consoles. Admittedly, I haven’t fired up anything recently (probably Wind Waker U from a few months back), but I still have a few discs lying around that I should look into finishing before I get a…

5. PlayStation 4Dragon Age: Inquisition comes out in a few months; I happen to be a big DA fan so this is the title that will make me break the bank to get a unit. Priced competitively and having supported off-screen play through the PS Vita, this is definitely the next step to my gaming progression.

From upgrades to new models to competing brands, deciphering what’s worth the splurge is an exhausting, confusing feat. So, SM Supermalls is making it easy for you as they celebrate Cyber Month for the whole month of August.

Get a gadget upgrade and join in the geeky fun with SM Supermalls’ exciting line-up of activities that will make all tech lovers go crazy:

  • Tech Sale – Stock up on the latest gadgets at discounted prices in the biggest technology sale of the year.
  • Cybervasion – Discover and experience the latest gadgets at their interactive tech displays.
  • Game Station – Check the hottest gaming consoles and videogames of the season.
  • Cosplay Parade – Catch your favorite characters and the most outrageous costumes at their exciting cosplay parade.

Even more surprises await online with SM Supermalls’ #31HappyCyberDays promo:

  • DigiTalk – Answer Cyber Month-related questions on the SM Supermalls Facebook page and win cool prizes.
  • Cyber Rave – Listen to what your favorite blogger has to say about their favorite gadgets of 2014.
  • Tech Throwback – Send in a pic of your “antique” gadget together with a clever caption or funny story and win its modern-day counterpart.

Be the first on scene with the newest gizmos as SM Supermalls celebrates Cyber Month until August 31. For more details, like SM Supermalls on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@smsupermalls), and use the hashtag #EverythingForTheTechieInYou. You can also like their SM Cyberzone Facebook Fanpage at https://www.facebook.com/smcyberzone. Contact these numbers for queries: (02) 876-1111 (Metro Manila) / 0917 876-1111 (Globe) / 0908 876-1111 (Smart) / 0922 876-1111 (Sun).

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

You can name this game as a Final Fantasy spin-off like “FF: Crystal Chronicles Dimensions” or however you want to fit in the word “3D”. I imagine that they would have called it Final Fantasy something and deferred that idea due to less-than satisfactory sales of non-Final Fantasy Numbers games. Regardless of the glaring similarities in the game system of Bravely Default with Final Fantasy games, credit must be given where it is due, it is a well made game.

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Bravely Default is as turn-based as it gets.

Bravely Default is the summary of the collective experiences of classic Final Fantasy games (I through VI), updated to appeal to a younger/more casual player base. The game is also integrated with a social networking experience (Streetpass and a “Netfriend” system) to deliver a some-what refreshing RPG experience while feeling all yet too familiar to older fans of the genre with classic turn-based mechanics and the ever-loved job class system.

The story revolves around four (4) characters namely: Tiz Arrior, the sole survivor of a great calamity which struck his home town of Norende the wake of the disaster would be known as the “Great Chasm”.  Agnes Oblige, the Vestal of Wind who has the ability to awaken crystals. Ringabel, an enigmatic man with no memories of his past with a penchant of speaking perverted thoughts out loud seemingly without knowledge of basic social graces and Edea Lee an impulsive young girl who has a very simple view on values by categorizing them as black or white. They are accompanied by the ever-charming “cryst-fairy” only known as Airy. She possesses the “collective knowledge” of all vestals of the crystal from the past and guides Agnes in awakening the crystals to prevent the end of the world.

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It’s not a Square game without fantastic graphics (most of the time).

Struggling to save a world in turmoil from the crystals losing its light and the oppressive kingdom of Eternia opposing the religion of the Crystal Orthodoxy our main characters fight an uphill battle against Eternia‘s elite forces and ancient evils which have corrupted the crystals. A new job class is unlocked every time the group defeats Eternia’s top soldiers and leaders by taking their “job asterisk”. These will unlock a new set of active and passive skills which will prove vital in future boss fights and competing the game.

I must emphasize that unlocking all the job classes is absolutely essential not only for beating the game but enjoying the game to the fullest. The combinations of skills from several jobs is key to making your life a whole lot easier as proven by this interesting bit of news from Bravely Default’s Japanese release. While I didn’t bother to attempt that feat, playing Bravely Default smartly is something I agree with. Capping out your character level and getting the best gear means squat because the later chapter boss fights will prove to be impossible unless you figure out the right combinations to outlast them or even to completely suppress their relentless assaults.037

The Brave and Default system makes battles more interesting. Each action a character takes costs one (1) Brave Point (BP), you can have them make a maximum of four (4) actions per turn by using the Brave command. You do not need to accumulate Brave Points to take multiple actions in one turn but when your BP falls below zero at the start of your turn, that character cannot take an action until your BP is at least zero. The Default command simply raises your defense at no expense of BP, allowing you to accumulate Brave Points to take multiple actions without losing turns. This simple system can be used and abused based on your job skill combinations and opens up various ways to beat certain bosses. What I really like about this system is how battles turn into combinations of exciting big swings from you to your enemies at least until you figure out the extremely cheese combos which I abused ’till the end of the game.

It is very difficult to discuss Bravely Default in detail without spoiling the entire game so here is a run down on key features of the game that will help you figure out if the game is worth your time or not. But if you do pick up the game or have already done so, I invite you to look back at this review after completing the game. A lot of things will suddenly make more sense.

Good Points:

  1. Graphics (it’s Square, duh)Once your eyes get settled with the game after the nice CG intro, you will find that the graphics of the game is done really well. Especially with the background environments. When you leave your game idle, the map will zoom out for a breath taking scenery you can further appreciate with the 3D option of your 3DS (because 2Ds owners am cry).

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    It looks even better in 3D.
  2. Streamlined game – The character XP and job XP are streamlined so that you can max everything out with little effort if you play smartly. There are a lot of features which make “grinding” a walk in the park like Auto-Battle which remembers the last actions your characters take and the option to increase or decrease your random encounter rate. You will at the least want to max out your job levels to play around with all the skills so Bravely Default gives you all the tools to play your game with ease.
  3. Job Class System – Boss fights in later chapters will prove to be some of the best battles yet. Granted that there are some fool-proof methods to beat them, you are not limited to those combinations only (you also need to figure them out first). You can attempt to beat bosses with the various tools presented to you outside abusing the Bravely Second skill which allows you to take extra actions at no penalty and break the 9999 damage cap. You can try to beat bosses while retaining some of your favorite job classes whilst taking on a handicap because sometimes the journey is more exciting than the answer.
  4. Character Development – There is a surprisingly huge amount of character depth despite the droll plot of the game. As you go through the course of the game, the growing cast of characters keep developing their personality to maturity.

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    Unacceptable!
  5. Game Depth – This isn’t a “you will get 60 hours of game-play, this is worth it!” thing. Rather, the meat of the game is in overcoming challenges presented to you. While everything is ruined by consulting an online guide, relying on your understanding of the game’s job system is the real reward in playing Bravely Default. I mean if that is your thing.

Bad Points:

  1. Voice Acting – This could really have been done better. They sometimes sound like they are just being played over a voice recorder and some character voice acting are just plain bland. It really puts a damper of a pretty nice soundtrack. Your usual orchestral fair.
  2. Plot Structure – Einstein once said insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” and I couldn’t agree with it more. This does not pertain to grinding in the game but a more core aspect of the game, the plot.
  3. Not expansive – When the game’s plot unravels, you will realize that the game world is not as expansive as you were lead on to believe.

X-Factors:

  1. Micro-transactions – Anything under this is normally bad but it does provide a way for people to share their benefits (of dealing incredibly insane amounts of damage by using Second Points (used to activate Bravely Second) or even buying them. While viewed by some as “breaking the game”, it is an edge you have the option to use. If you pride yourself too much in being “such a hardcore gamer” don’t use: problem solved.

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    One thing I didn’t write much about: Special skills, lots of special skills
  2. Social Networking Features – While Bravely Default is in the strictest sense a traditional RPG. The inclusion of the Abilink and Send Skill feature really helps break in casual gamers into the genre. Abilinks are the collective job levels your registered friends on your 3DS have already attained. You can start out a game at level but have maxed out job levels already. This takes out the grind for the player who benefits from Abilinks from early adopters. With this, new players can focus on core game-play and the story rather than take time to level up. If you have really hardcore RPG playing friends, they probably already found a way to deal hundreds of thousands of damage and can share their skill for you to summon in times of dire need, that’s if they’re not selfish. If they are, you may stumble on someone who is not as selfish, as I have.  Net Friends are random people you can add up as villagers and receive their sent skills. No worries about your privacy, as this is Nintendo, absolutely no personal information Friend Codes included will be shared with these people.
  3. Added Value – On top of the above mentioned social networking features, you can access additional content through the rebuilding or Norende. You can gain access to valuable items, weapons, Special skill parts and new costumes for your character through re-populating Norende and upgrading the shops using villages you acquire through Streetpass or from sending invitess to “Net Friends” daily. You will also receive Nemesis monsters to fight from your Streetpasses and Net Friends. These Nemesis are challenging boss monsters which drop permanent stat improving items provided you can beat them. There is a challenge for everyone all the way to level 99. While entirely optional, rebuilding Norende does unlock a lot of goodies for you.

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    Rebuilding Norende
  4. New Game Plus – That’s replay value for you should you crave for more but honestly, once is more than enough. I’ve enjoyed Bravely Default thoroughly in my first play-though.

Overall, I would still say Bravely Default is an extremely well made RPG which will appeal to its traditional fans and makes a strong attempt to break into non-RPG players through social networking. It uses its fan-base as ambassadors of the genre through Abilinks and Net Friends to give casual gamers a huge edge in the game which they would normally not attempt to achieve by spending their time grinding in the game. If you like role-playing games, this is a no-brainer. Buy it.

There are potential spoilers below. Highlight the space below at your own risk.

As a head-up to current and potential players of Bravely Default, the droll plot of the game will eventually make sense of standard RPG functions which are treated as plot holes such as save-points. He he he.

 

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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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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Y’know, it just doesn’t seem right that we’re twelve days into 2014 but we haven’t even decided on our collective GOTY candidates. Since objectivity runs into subjectivity on these lists, we’ve decided to take the scientific route and use some actual math and statistics to determine our true collective games of the year, based on the 30lives team’s myriad tastes. True science at work, dear friends!

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10. Tomb Raider (PS3, Xbox 360)
Lara Croft makes a triumphant return in the most engrossing and action-packed Tomb Raider ever. There are few dull moments and you really see Lara’s character develop throughout the game. A brilliant inventory system, great level design, and responsive combat mechanics makes it a perfect introduction to Lara Croft for the new generation of gamers. – Shin (read my full review here, dolts)

rabidsmt9. Shin Megami Tensei IV (3DS)
My second foray to the Shin Megami Tensei world (Persona 4 Golden being the first), SMT4 was one of the games that kept kicking my ass. What a refreshing game for a change too, in a world where today’s games kept holding your hand through the tough levels, SMT will keep kicking your ass until you scream no more and change the difficulty level to Fellows. – Cheena

We reviewed this game a while back too! Point your browsers right here.

8. Dragon’s Crown (PSVita, PS3)
I like 2D scrollers and dungeon crawler games. This became an insta-favorite for me and my constant gaming buddy since it’s one of the few co-op games that we both enjoy. I even bought a Vita version so I can level up my sorceress on the go. – Cheena

Check out our review of Dragon’s Crown right here!

7. Pokemon X/Y (3DS)
Pokemon X and Y
represents the series’ apex as it marks several technological and gameplay refinements that may upset some, but ultimately level the playing field down so new players and those that haven’t been paying attention to the games for a while (this guy) can play at a much higher level than in previous iterations of the series. I truly appreciated how scaleable the game can be: you can either choose to simply partake in this game’s respectable 30-hour quest, or catass yourself all the way to tens of thousands of wasted hours breeding and IV training and such. I would recommend talking to friends and loved ones first before making the latter choice. – Ryan

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6. Ni No Kuni (PS3)
I have been waiting for a spiritual successor to Dragon Quest VIII (one of the greatest games of all time, in my opinion) and this is probably the closest that I’ve accepted wholeheartedly. Ni no Kuni has the elements for a legendary RPG: good writing, lovable lead characters, collectible monsters and crafting. What’s even better is that the game is ensconced in a perfect Ghibli-rendered world. Absolutely breathtaking. – Cheena

Read Ryan’s take on the game here.

5. Saints Row IV (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
To me, video games are ultimately trivial hobbies—this is why I loathe games that take themselves too seriously, or try to pretend to be anything else than an interactive time-waster/rollercoaster ride. Saints Row IV is the ultimate “fuck around” game and in my opinion curbstomps (pause for inappropriate visual) Grand Theft Auto V where it counts the most: the “fun” department. Don’t get me wrong, I had a ton of fun with GTA V but Saints Row IV simply outclassed it as an open-world game (despite recycling much of SR3’s assets) as well as a multiplayer experience. – Ryan

fire-emblem-awakening-624x4044. Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
Turn-based strategy games will always be my favorite game genre and Intelligent Systems has revitalized an old franchise by producing a high quality game. I instantly fell in love with all the characters with all the ‘shipping’ features plus the introduction of the Casual mode embraces all noobs who want to play without the stress. – Cheena

Click here to read Cheena’s musings on FE: Awakening!

 

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3. Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag (PS4, Xbox One)
Assassin’s Creed IV made me forget the whole obnoxious memories entertainment “corporation x conspiracy” theories because: Pirates. Fond memories of Sid Meier’s Pirates were rekindled in a much more badass and violent manner. There is so much swashbuckling to do that I almost forgot I was playing an Assassin’s Creed game. It’s that good! -Alex

Last2. The Last of Us (PS3)
Though probably on the top of most gamers’ and outlets’ collective GOTY lists, in my honest opinion The Last of Us falls short for the simple reason that—under any real scrutiny—it’s a solid B+ game and nothing more. Though Naughty Dog has crafted a fine narrative in spite of the staid source material, the game screams “AAA” through and through, splashing on a beautiful coat of paint on your standard “monster closet” design. -Ryan; my full thoughts here

1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
A Link Between Worlds reinvents the best Zelda game (A Link to the Past) to make it compelling to play in a concise package. I have not played a game all year long (2013) that made we want to pick up my 3DS and play for consecutive days as long as I could. This is the one 3DS game you shouldn’t miss and one you can repeat through-out the years in the form of speed runs.  -Alex

And there you have it, that’s our GOTY list. Any other games you folks felt should be on our list? Feel free to drop us a line on our Facebook page!

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.

Grand Theft Auto V is this week’s game.

That’s it. Thanks for coming!

Here are this week’s vidyas:

 

Hot Wheels Worlds Best Driver (Wii U/3DS Retail)

We Sing: 80s (Wii U Retail)

Cut the Rope (3DS eShop)

Rage of the Gladiators (3DS eShop)

Star Wars Pinball (3DS eShop)

AiRace Speed (3DS eShop)

 

Grand Theft Auto V (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Capcom Fighting Evolution (PS2 Classic)

Saints Row 4 – GATV Pack (PS3 DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Wild West Pack Pack (PS3 DLC)

Real Boxing (PS Vita PSN)

 

Grand Theft Auto V (Retail)

Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver (Retail)

Saints Row 4 – GATV Pack (DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Wild West Pack (DLC)

 

Foul Play (PC Steam)

Borderlands 2 – Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 (PC Steam)

Ironclad Tactics (PC/Mac)

Takedown: Red Sabre (PC/Mac)

Urban Trial Freestyle (PC Steam)

Saints Row 4 – GATV Pack (PC Steam DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Wild West Pack (PC Steam DLC)

Announced during Japan’s recently concluded Monster Hunter Direct Presentation, Capcom and Nintendo announced that players will be able to outfit themselves with the equipment of the one and only (not really) Hero of Hyrule in the upcoming Monster Hunter 4 for the 3DS.

The iconic green tunic, as well as the Master Sword and a Hylian Shield will be equippable by blademasters while Link’s bow will be the weapon for gunners. The set will be available via download so let me have a sigh of relief knowing that I wouldn’t need to hunt 100 Ganons just so his rare tescticle component will drop (though that sounds strangely fun).

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It was also announced during the presentation that your Felyne companions will have access to Mario and Luigi costumes.

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Monster Hunter 4 will be released in Japan on September 14. No announcement of a western release yet, but at this point they better! Or I’m gonna cry.

Rayman Legends is finally out this week, though you might want to steer out of the way of the PS Vita version of the game as we heard it’s missing some content (until they patch it). Diablo 3 makes its way to consoles as promised, and you can get jiggle with it with Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate *mmphh*, and a new adventure awaits you with the Strawhats in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2.

Here are this week’s vidyas:

 

Rayman Legends (Wii U Retail)

eShop Releases (TBA)

 

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Diablo 3 (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Rayman Legends (PS3/Vita Retail/PSN)

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PS3 PSN)

Castle of Illusions (PS3 PSN)

Chaos Code (PS3 PSN)

Hunter’s Trophy 2: America (PS3 PSN)

Kickbeat (PS3/Vita PSN)

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 (PS3 PSN)

Stella Deus: The Gate of Eternity (PS2 Classic)

Borderlands 2 – Costume Packs (PS3 DLC)

Borderlands 2 – Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 (PS3 DLC)

Grid 2 – Destruction Derby (PS3 DLC)

Metro: Last Light – Tower Pack (PS3 DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Dubstep Gun (Remix) Pack (PS3 DLC)

 

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (Retail)

Diablo 3 (Retail)

Rayman Legends (Retail)

Castle of Illusion (XBLA)

Freefall Racers (XBLA)

Borderlands 2 – Costume Packs (DLC)

Borderlands 2 – Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 (DLC)

Grid 2 – Destruction Derby (DLC)

Metro: Last Light – Tower Pack (DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Dubstep Gun (Remix) Pack (DLC)

Minecraft – Mass Effect Mash-up (DLC)

 

Borderlands 2 – Costume Packs (PC Steam)

Borderlands 2 – Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 (PC Steam)

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PC Steam)

Castle of Illusion Castle of Illusion (PC Steam)

Grid 2 – Destruction Derby (PC Steam)

Huntsman: The Orphanage (PC/Mac)

Metro: Last Light – Tower Pack (PC Steam)

Outlast (PC Steam)

Rayman Legends (PC)

Saints Row 4 – Dubstep Gun (Remix) Pack (PC Steam)

Total War: Rome 2 (PC Steam)

Total War: Rome 2 – Greek States Culture Pack (PC Steam)

Squenix fans rejoiced when it was announced a few months ago that the much-clamored 3DS RPG — Bravely Default: Flying Fairyis going to get a western release.

Meanwhile, Japan will be getting an enhanced version of the game titled Bravely Default: For the Sequel (srsly?). This version features an improved UI, a streamlined battle system, dual audio and more detailed environments.

With the delay of the western version you would think that it is only right that the enhanced version should be the one we get, right?

Today, Square Enix, via their official Bravely Default twitter account announced that this is the case.

bravely2 

Still no specific release date but awesome news is awesome.

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In an odd show of backpedaling and hubris, Nintendo has decided that the 3D effect isn’t quite what attracts people to the 3DS: it’s the games. Hence the launch of the new, entry-level Nintendo 2DS. The 2DS is a cut-down version of the existing 3DS hardware, containing the same guts inside (including Wi-Fi and all connectivity options), without the ability to display games in 3D. The design is odd, to say the least—it’s a standalone, non-clamshell device that looks more akin to the Game Boy line than its DS predecessors. Instead of “closing” the clamshell to put the device to sleep, there’s a rocker switch that flips the screens to “off.”

Putting it bluntly, it’s a weird piece of tech and a weird choice for Nintendo, overall. It seems geared towards the lower-end youth market but the front-facing design kind of kills that idea, because that was the appeal of the DS (and the GBA SP) line in the first place: you can flip down the system to protect the screens. Still despite the puzzling design, the sad fact is at $129, we here at 30lives will still buy the darn thing just to have it.

The Nintendo 2DS launches on October 12 (alongside Pokemon X and Y). Stay tuned for our hands-on review shortly thereafter!

Stuck at home with nothing new to play? Fret not, Atlus is here to save your day (and wallet)! You can buy select Nintendo 3DS Atlus titles at a discounted price until August 31st on the eShop so now is the best time to catch up on your backlog.

Code of Princess drops to $19.99 from its usual price of $29.99. This is great for side scrolling action fans who are on a roll from the recent hit Dragon’s Crown.

If you’re more into Shin Megami Tensei, Soul Hackers is also on sale for $29.99. This is a remake of the 1997 game optimized for the 3DS so get it if you passed before.

Finally, we have Etrian Odyssey IV, also for $29.99. I bought it months ago but still remains in its sealed packet so this makes me sad.

See? No more excuse for you to be bored this day even if you’re at home! Stay dry and safe, guys. Spend the time off with your 3DS instead of going out.

Hey Nintendo folks! We’ve got new(ish) games in this week’s Nintendo eShop update!

Wii U is still stockpiling on classic games via the Virtual Console. This week sees the release of Galaga ($4.99), a classic shoot-’em-up that weaned us back in the 80’s before we moved on to classier shmups and bullet hell games. What was your favorite?

Speaking of shooters, well… Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist is also now on the Wii U with new controller-specific functions exclusively for the Gamepad. Release date is on August 20th and it can be had for $59.99.

Discounted games Trine 2: Director’s Cut is available for $7.99 until September 5th from its original price of $19.99, and BIT.TRIP Presents RUNNER 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is going for $11.25 (from $14.99) until August 29. Also, BIT.TRIP has a new DLC for $3 which features six new playable characters so you might want to throw that in if you’re planning to buy the game.

As for the 3DS, you can get Heavy Fire: Black Arms 3D ($4.99, originally released for WiiWare) if you’re into shooters (is it shooter week for Nintendo or something), and then there’s the 10-in-1 Arcade Collection which reminds me of those shady cartridges everybody owned back then for the NES. It’s going for only $2.99 so maybe it’s a good deal for retro fans?

Retail releases for Barbie Groom and Glam Pups and My Western Horse 3D (both at $29.99) which I will refuse to talk about, because principles.

Speaking of retro, Donkey Kong is now available for the 3DS Virtual Console collection for the usual price of $4.99.

Nothing to pick up this week, so I guess I’ll go back to Hydeland and try to beat Infernal this week. What about you?

Good Nintendo releases this week for a change. Mario and Luigi: Dream Team is officially out (though some local stores already broke streetdate last week) and Ducktales Remastered makes a comeback (multiplatform). Payday 2 is also this week and I’m hearing good things about it. Check it out if you are one of them FPS dorks.

Here are this week’s vidyas:

Angry Birds Trilogy (Wii/Wii U Retail)

Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff (Wii/Wii U/DS/3DS Retail)

Ducktales Remastered (Wii U eShop)

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (3DS Retail)

Heavy Fire: Black Arms 3D (3DS eShop)

 

Payday 2 (PS3 Retail)

DuckTales Remastered (PS3 PSN)

Mars: War Logs (PS3 PSN)

Thunder Wolves (PS3 PSN)

Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches (PS3 DLC)

A-Men (PS Vita PSN)

BreakQuest: Extra Evolution (PS Vita PSN)

Fruit Ninja (PS Vita PSN)

Open Me! (PS Vita PSN)

 

Payday 2 (Retail)

Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff (Retail)

Charlie Murder (XBLA)

Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches (DLC)

 

Betrayer (PC Steam)

Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches (PC DLC)

DuckTales Remastered (PC Steam)

Europa Universalis 4 (PC/Mac Steam)

Hammerwatch (PC/Mac/Linus Steam)

Payday 2 (PC Steam)

Space Hulk (PC/Mac Steam)

Unholy Heights (PC/Mac)

Worms Clan Wars (PC Steam)

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Here’s a newly released Monster Hunter 4 trailer from Capcom. This action-packed video features the new NPCs and the new Wyvern bosses.

Graphics are amazingly well done considering it’s on the 3DS. And this one has native online multiplayer support — the one thing missing from Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the 3DS.

Dear Capcom,

Western release announcement or GTFO!

Thanks.

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The Titans aren’t so big after all — they fit inside the 3DS!

Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin in Japan), the manga/anime series about a group of kids imitating Spider-Man while killing Yao Ming is getting a 3DS game release this year. It is being developed by Spike Chunsoft (who made the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games and that warrior StreetPass game) and it seems to be an action game.

And that’s all we know so far! (LOL) We are promised to get more details about it on September 9th.

*High-fives all around* because why not?

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The awesome crossover game Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan last year without a hint of a western release, much to the dismay of fans in the english-speaking parts of the world.

Well, it’s finally coming! During last night’s Nintendo Direct presentation, Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney was announced for a 2014 release for North America and Europe.

*High-fives all-around*

It’s the official release week for Dragon’s Crown (the image above is from the game’s fantastic unlockable gallery)! If you have a PS3 and/or PS Vita then this should be an instabuy for you or else we can’t be friends anymore. Meanwhile, Pikmin 3 arrives for the game-starved Wii U and Tales of Xillia finally sees the western light!

Here are this week’s vidyas:

Disney Planes (Wii/Wii U/DS/3DS Retail)

Pikmin 3 (Wii U Retail)

Cloudberry Kingdom (Wii U eShop)

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (3DS Retail)

SteamWorld Dig (3DS eShop)

Dragon’s Crown (PS3/PS Vita Retail/PSN)

Tales of Xillia (PS3 Retail)

Ibb and Obb (PS3 PSN)

The Red Star (PS2 Classics)

Superfrog HD (PS3/PS Vita PSN)

Little Acorns (PS Vita PSN)

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (XBLA)

Saints Row 4: Inauguration Station (Demo)

Divinity: Dragon Commander (PC) [Steam]

Guacamelee! (PC) [Steam]

Guncraft (PC) [Steam]

Papers, Please (PC/Mac) [Steam]

Saints Row 4: Inauguration Station (PC) [Steam]

The Sims 3: Dragon Valley (PC/Mac)

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Pretty soon, the Vita won’t be the only handheld where you play as women with grotesque body proportions. Equal-opportunity achievers XSEED will soon grace Nintendo 3DS owners everywhere with the presence of a popular Japanese title known as Senran Kagura Burst. Based on an anime/manga of which I have no knowledge about (one which I’m assuming admittance to possession/viewing would probably land me on an FBI/NSA joint watchlist), all I know is the game and its separate Vita companion title burned up the charts in Japan when they were released.

Senran Kagura Burst is set in an academy which serves as a front for an underground school where female students are secretly trained in the art of ninjutsu. Consisting of two separate storylines, Skirting Shadows introduces players to the “good shinobi” of Hanzō Academy while its counterpart, Crimson Girls, turns the tables to tell the same tale from the rival Hebijo Academy’s point of view.

Players assume control of the five primary female characters in each academy who aspire to become full-fledged shinobi. Within the “Ninja Room” hub located in each academy, character interactions reveal the thoughts and feelings of the students before and after each game mission. Novel-style story scenes then precede other missions, offering a deeper look into the world of Senran Kagura. The drama of the battle adventure unfolds as players complete combat assignments for each of the main characters, including retrieval missions, multi-character battles and epic boss fights. During combat, damage to the girls is revealed through the gradual destruction and removal of their shinobi outfits.  The original Japanese voice-overs have been left intact and will be accompanied by English subtitles.

Literally the game’s only hook is that the chesty protagonists’ clothes get continuously-damaged (which I’m going to coin an industry term for: RapeRipped(TM)) as battles get more and more intense. You do get two games in one—an up-port of the original Senran Kagura and a direct sequel built from the ground up, SK Burst—so it’s a pretty good deal, potential embarrassment notwithstanding.