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?

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Namco-Bandai Games recently released their first promo video for Super Robot Wars Operation Extend (SRWOE) for the PSP. It’s the first contemporary 3D Super Robot Wars game to be a fully downloadable PlayStation Network title, so there will be no physical items (UMD, manual, box). The game marks the premiere of playable characters and robots from Mobile Police Patlabor, Zoids and Keroro Gunsou, adding to a plethora of notable series veterans such as Macross F, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Code Geass and Gundam.

Although Super Robot Wars (SRW) is entirely Japanese, in 2006 Atlus localized 2 games into English, namely SRW Original Generations and its sequel Original Generations 2 for the Game Boy Advance. Despite the language barrier, a significant population of niche gamers who play SRW actually exist, not only in the Philippines and Asia, but also in USA and Europe. Of course, those that can speak Japanese (and to a certain extent Chinese) have a definitive advantage, but seeing people who can really play and finish a SRW game without any knowledge of Japanese is impressively respectable. I give kudos to their resourcefulness and their willingness to overcome difficult obstacles for the sake of gaming.

SRWOE will be out this summer (in Japan) and will be playable in both the PSP and VITA. The game is split into 8 chapters and will be released in gradual increments (hence the name Operation EXTEND). You can purchase each chapter for 1,000 Yen each or opt to pre-purchase all 8 for 6,480 Yen, though buying everything in advance will not give you the full game content from the start. Its only advantage is you save more money in the long run. However, for a limited time, chapter 1 will be only 500 Yen (50% off)!

Now, most of you will be asking valid questions, like where to get Japanese PSN cards and how to create a Japanese PSN account. Kotaku has got you covered. For the cards, you can hop on to Play-Asia. Google is your friend.


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Black Rock Shooter The Game is a title that you should get if you are a big fan of the BRS franchise, and I believe that there is a huge following of BRS in the Philippines going by the number of BRS cosplayers out there.

I haven’t really played a PlayStation Portable game in a while, so reviewing Black Rock Shooter: The Game is a welcome break from all the Vita and 3DS games that I have played like crazy these past few months. The title is based from the character Black Rock Shooter (BRS) by Japanese artist Ryohei ‘Huke’ Fuke. BRS later spawned an animated movie (packaged with the BRS Nendoroid toy figure), manga, anime series and a bunch of other toy collectibles. Not bad for something that started off as a piece of concept art! I first saw this particular game in a toy store of all places. It was bundled in a premium box including a White Rock Shooter Figma and was really expensive back then. Fast forward to a few weeks ago; to my surprise BRS: The Game popped up on the PlayStation Store as NIS America localized the game in English!

Black Rock Shooter The Game is an action RPG/third-person shooter which features the eponymous character fighting in an alternate, post-apocalyptic world circa 2051. In the game, BRS was awakened by a bunch of surviving soldiers (curiously all male, so I guess humanity is doomed) who are fighting in the ravaged city of San Francisco and is tasked to eliminate the alien threat in the world.

The game is not like your usual action RPG where you hack and slash everything in your path; monster encounters play out separately every time you get into battle like in turn-based RPGs. Enemies move forward to attack and it is up to you to defeat all while timing your attacks and dodges in real-time.


Good Points:

  • Good interface and controls. Having a simple interface is always a plus for me in games and the controls are easy to learn and get into.
  • Bite-sized missions. Each stage breaks down into shorter missions that you can carry out in a few minutes so you do not really feel the usual fatigue when playing long stages in games.
  • Interesting game mechanics. The game battles feel like it’s turn-based because enemies take time to attack you (e.g. they move towards you when trying to attack then move back after doing so) but everything happens in real-time. Your attacks are also executed at the same time as the enemies move: you can choose to shoot, use active skills, block or dodge to defeat them.
  • Achievements. The player gets rewards by completing extra challenges in missions. Netting the rewards feels satisfying as it gives you attack or defense boosts as well as active and passive skills that can help you in the game.
  • Music. Imageepoch did a good job in scoring the game as the gritty guitars and rock music fits the overall mood of the game. The opening theme is also performed by One OK Rock, one of Japan’s most popular rock acts.
  • Character animation. Even though I wasn’t that impressed by the game’s overall look (more on this below), the character animations are actually pretty good.
  • Excellent dub and localization. The game has stellar voice acting from Japanese VA veterans like Maaya Sakamoto, Miyuki Sawashiro, Masaki Terasoma and Tomokazu Sugita. NIS did a very good job localizing the game’s character dialogues, making the story more interesting than it really is.


Bad Points:

  • No solid storyline. Sure, you get to learn why the aliens are attacking the Earth plus BRS’s memory comes back with every completed mission in Free Mode, but I found the overall plot to be meandering, with little incentive to keep your eyes glued to the screen.
  • Mediocre graphics. True, BRS: The Game was developed for a handheld that’s almost seven years old; but I think Imageepoch could have gone down another path on the CG/art direction, especially since it’s one of the later game releases for the system. Another gripe I have is with the enemy (alien) designs. They’re just so boring, and are mostly palette swaps; so much so that it makes you feel that…
  • Battles get repetitive.
  • Game view. This is a pretty minor issue but the game switches the viewpoint suddenly from back to front that it throws you off when you are running around.


Things That Can Swing Either Way:

  • You just mostly use only the gun in the game – well, she’s called Black Rock Shooter after all. There are the motorcycle levels that show off her use of the sword although it feels slightly gimmicky but I guess some people may enjoy it as it breaks the monotonous encounters in the game.
  • Difficulty. The game is too easy. Some will probably appreciate its easiness, especially since I think that the target players of the game are the younger anime fans.
  • Unlockables. The game’s replay value gets artificially extended by throwing you rewards such as art galleries and the like. Not quite my cup of tea, but I’m sure hardcore fans of the series will appreciate this.


In Closing:

Black Rock Shooter The Game is a title that you should get if you are a big fan of the BRS franchise, and I believe that there is a huge following of BRS in the Philippines going by the number of BRS cosplayers out there (plus the number of fangirls who screamed at Kaname for cosplaying the BRS male version in last year’s Cosplay Mania). Sure, the storyline is bland—the anime and manga are way better than the game in this regard—but the core gameplay more than makes up for it. The game is enjoyable to pick up and play for short sessions as it makes a good in-betweener for the other long grinds you might be playing, or something to play when you just have a few minutes of free time to spare. The battles can be repetitive, but the boss fights shake things up at least as they are fun and challenging to an extent (I died a few times in some to figure out the patterns), but not ridiculously hard to the point of frustration.

Black Rock Shooter The Game is available as a digital downloadable game via the PlayStation Store for $19.99. Thank you to NIS America for providing us with a review code for the game.

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Black Rock Shooter invades the PlayStation Network!  NIS America announced the release of Black Rock Shooter The Game for the PSP yesterday through PSN.  The game is priced at $19.99; pretty reasonable if you ask me!


Black Rock Shooter (for the uninitiated) is based on a series of character designs by Ryohei ‘Huke’ Fuke which turned into a franchise of anime, toys and now videogames.  I am a big fan of the Black Rock Shooter series and I even completed the Nendoroids and Figmas for my collection (maybe I should review the toys too, what do you think?).  I am pretty much stoked about this game coming out in English and what’s great is that NISA has graciously given 30lives access to the game so stay tuned for our full review soon!

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We like playing old games! And some old games deserve a fresh look. Hence the concept of LTTP Reviews. We play older games, and give you our thoughts. It’s that simple!

So let’s get this straight: the first two Ys games have been chopped up, ported, remade (or re-remade, in this case) more times than I’d care to count over its twenty-six years of existence. What has Chronicles going for it, then? Absolutely nothing, put bluntly. Chronicles won’t impress the uninitiated, quell the fears of people who’ve dabbled with and hated the series, nor give hardened vets  anything substantial to chew on. Taken at face value, however, it is a wonderful package: a well-done, portable remake of one of the first and greatest action-RPGs.

The plot remains the same: strapping young lad Adol Christin ventures forth in the land of Esteria to discover the books of Ys, containing the history of a vanished kingdom called Ys, which (spoilers!) he actually gets to explore in the second game. What makes Ys special is its brisk, simplistic, yet elegant combat model. Run into enemies, rinse and repeat: the “bump system” doesn’t get any simpler than that.182640-1-screenshot

Another thing that defines Ys is its wonderful soundtrack, composed by industry legend Yuzo Koshiro. As expected, Chronicles’ OST is nothing short of incredible. Falcom has thoughtfully included the option to play through the game with either the original PC-88 chiptunes, fully redone tracks from the 2001 Windows version this game is based on, or wonderfully arranged tracks exclusive to the PSP release.

The spritework in Ys is crisp, colorful, and—most importantly—faithful to the source material. I’m really impressed by the spritework—everyone from tiny NPCs down to the humongous bosses receives intricate details. The hand-painted backdrops look marvelous as well, and the faint polygonal and particle effects enhance rather than detract from the experience.

Again, I realize this series isn’t for everyone, and anyone who remotely enjoys Ys has already played one of the billion I&II ports out there. But hell, anything Ys-related is worth a look (or two) in my book. Thumbs up, kids.