Ys VI: Ark of Napishtim Steam Bound: A Throwback That’s Actually A Keeper


 

Xseed Games is giving PC gamers who just so happen to be fans of Nihon Falcom’s classic RPG franchise something else to smile about as the publisher is bringing an enhanced version of Ys VI: Ark of Napishtim to Steam and other digital delivery platforms sometime this spring. This won’t be a straight port of the former PlayStation 2 and PSP-only title, either. In addition to the expected higher resolution visuals and full USB controller support, the PC version of Ys VI will also feature full widescreen support, checkpoint warps, and an optional “Catastrophe Mode” in which healing items can’t be purchased or stored and are instead used automatically on pickup.


 

In other Xseed news, the company has also announced that it’s somewhat racy open-world brawler Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed will also be PC-bound. As with Ys VI, this version will feature Steam achievements and USB controller support plus the “Visual Editor” feature from the PlayStation 4 version of the game. The latter feature makes it possible to completely alter the game’s appearance through a control panel that lets players mess around with the lighting and rendering effects. Sure, this one’s not for all tastes, but it’s one of those games that’s got a solid sense of humor about its content and is definitely geared towards a certain type of gamer (cue whatever otaku music is in your head).

Get Your Gurumin Goodies Before The Game Gets Gotten

Gurumin PC March 

Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure hits Steam next week (March 30) and publisher Mastiff is dropping all sorts of cool arty freebies for Nihon Falcom fans interested in doing a bit of digital wallpapering on their assorted devices. Click on over to this site for some PC-friendly free stuff and this site for some mobile-friendly freebies. As for the game proper, here’s what to expect next week:


Non-linear game play in over 30 stages set in a variety of environments
24 non-player characters, 48 unique enemies, and more than 90 items to collect
11 costumes to unlock, and 15 equippable headgear to level up
Challenging boss battles, puzzles, and traps
Mini-games galore
Hidden characters, alternate gameplay modes, and other secrets
Beautifully updated graphics with full HD support
Soundtrack available on iTunes
Over 50 in-game achievements to unlock

Um, I think that’s it. Well, until next week when the game lands and Falcom fans worldwide get to check it out. We’re a small and loyal bunch of folks, but we do support our favorite developers when they get out the games we want to play.

New Batman: Arkham Knight Gameplay: Something to Tide You Over While You Wait A Little Longer


 

“Why so seriously delayed (again!)?” Actually, at this point the game looks so phenomenal that it’ll get snapped up even if it slips into the holiday season. I’m gathering this latest wait is due to the developer making sure the game will run as smoothly as possible out of the gate without the dreaded day one patching issues many games slap players in the face with. I’m wondering just how much better things would be if this was a completely single-player game with no online play, but such is the modern videogame development cycle that allows for DLC, season passes and other stuff that needs to work right out of the box or it’s unhappy campers complaining all over the internet. Well okay, it’s not THAT much longer a wait, but I can see a few Bat-fans leaping around and huffing and puffing in their hockey pads.

FUND THIS! Toe Jam & Earl: Back in the Groove Kickstarter

Toe Jam and Earl BITG KSSix days to go and I wish I had about a half million bucks to throw at this Kickstarter project just so it could get onto the Wii U as a stretch goal. Still, with just about $70,000 left to go before it’s fully funded as a PC, Mac and Linux game, it’s worth helping get ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove made if you remember the original Sega Genesis/Mega Drive game and its somewhat under appreciated sequel, Panic on Funkotron. Here’s a peek at an early version of Back in the Groove from the game’s KIckstarter page:


 

In terms of the art style of the new game, I like it quite a lot, but the more colorful and distinct look Panic on Funkotron had made such a strong impression on me that I’m slightly sad to see it not make a complete comeback. That said, those “stacked” levels are awesome to see in that early footage. Also great is the return to the roguelike play of the original that featured randomized levels, enemies and presents. Couch co-op is back, but with four players instead of two and online play is on board for those friendless types who need to reach out and touch someone. Just kidding on that last sentence, but TJ & E was (and is, as I still have my Genesis copy that gets whipped out from time to time) a game that worked best with a buddy next to you on the couch to work with. Or elbow in the ribs at when they weren’t doing what they needed to do.


 

Anyway, if you like what you see, do what you need to do and tell some friends about this one. They need some old-school retro rap roguelike love in their lives too you know…

Snake No Longer Solid: Kojima, Konami Part Ways

I'm Going
 

A cryptic tweet and some rumblings from the business side of things later and it looks as if Hideo Kojima/Kojima Productions and Konami are breaking up at least in terms of the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Gamers and industry folk are all going “!” at this news as they speculate on the reasons for the rift turned split. I’ll save the guesswork for deciphering the facts to come later on, but Konami is pushing forward in that way big corporations that own assorted IP tend to do. They’ve removed Kojima’s name from the marketing materials for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and is currently looking for a team to help create a new Metal Gear Solid series. As lousy as that news is to many core MGS fans, you’d best believe applicants will be jockeying for the opportunity of a lifetime… Continue reading

Archie vs. Predator? Okay, I’ll Bite.

archie vs predator 

Ha. Oddball legal issues with one of its former employees a few years back aside, Archie Comics is clearly having a great time cooking up all sorts of alternate universes for its characters to mess around in. The latest and possibly greatest thing coming down the pike is this collaboration with Dark Horse Comics, Archie vs. Predator. Yeah, it’s on the way to a comic shop near you soon (as in April 15 at a comic shop near you). Here’s the rundown on what to expect in this four issue mini-series:

Archie vs. Predator Full Cover 

HE’S IN RIVERDALE WITH A FEW DAYS TO KILL!

Archie vs. Predator #1 (of 4)

Alex de Campi (W), Fernando Ruiz (P/Cover), Rich Koslowski (I), Jason Millet (C), Eric Powell (Variant cover), and Francesco Francavilla (Variant cover)

On sale April 15

FC, 32 pages

$3.99

Miniseries

America’s favorite teen meets the galaxy’s fiercest hunter! Archie and friends hit Costa Rica for Spring Break, where party games and beach games are soon replaced by the Most Dangerous Game! What mysterious attraction does the gang hold for the trophy-collecting Predator, and will the kids even realize they’re in danger before it claims them all?

The wildest Archie crossover ever (and that’s saying something)!
From Alex de Campi (Grindhouse, My Little Pony)
Variant covers by Eric Powell (The Goon) and Francesco Francavilla (Afterlife with Archie)!

If you want more laughs than you can shake a stick with a head on, check out the variant covers and other fun (and feel free to pre-order the book if you’re rolling off your chair laughing) here.

Nintendo Goes Mobile With DeNA: It’s The End of an Era, The Beginning of Another

EDIT! The funny thing is, I just re-read (or more precisely, completed reading) an article on this and it seems that Nintendo IS in total creative control on the developement front with their mobile lineup. DeNA is helping out with the behind the scenes backend production stuff. This bodes well for anyone concerned that Nintendo is shifting their licenses to a company that will slap a pay wall around any fun and sap wallets on a regular basis. My mistake! Oops. Well, let’s see what’s coming when it arrives, right? Right.

 

Yikes, what a big fat news item to wake up to. Anyway, it was pretty much a given that this sort of thing would happen (particularly if you read a few industry sites over the last year or so and started putting pieces of news together), but what does it all mean at the end of the day for longtime fans? More games to play and on platforms they never expected to see them on, most likely. Now, I’m sure Nintendo didn’t “sell out” their franchises to DeNA (or GungHo Online for that matter, see previous post). And I’m sure they’ll have final say in what gets out there. I do know that DeNA’s games, while criticized for their pay walls, happen to do well at getting people to play them and some of the more popular ones emulate gameplay elements found in Nintendo’s Pokemon series (which was created for them by GameFreak). Anyway, I’m just not going to say a peep more about this deal until I see what games are coming and how they’ll get to the fans. I know the most die-hard loyalists don’t want to see the words “free to play” attached to anything Nintendo does. But the sad thing is, this seems to be the wave of the future (yuck) and an unavoidable means of reliable revenue. Ah well…

Puzzle & Dragons Finally Comes to Nintendo 3DS, Wii U Owners Forgotten (Once Again!)


 

Leave it to Nintendo to once again do something flat out awesome yet still manage to make me NUTS because they’ve once again forgotten about a slice of their loyal consumers. Sure, it’s absolutely GREAT that the ridiculously popular and profitable Japanese mobile hit Puzzle & Dragons is coming to the Nintendo 3DS soon as Puzzle & Dragons Z this May. And sure, it’s great that Nintendo has wisely realized that many US gamers probably don’t yet know P&D so they’ve had Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition cooked up just for those gamers as part of the same package. One price, two games? Yup, lovely and double yup, all that is fantastic news. What’s NOT at all fantastic is once again, Wii U owners get stiffed out of a game (or TWO games) a lot off them would probably want to play on a TV with friends, as a standalone product or hell, as something that would connect with one or both of the 3DS games in one way or another.

To me, that kind of forethought makes for a better product, but once again, Nintendo does it halfway. Again, it’s great halfway, but halfway nonetheless… Continue reading

Astro Boy Omnibus 1: Manga Classics 101 At An Everyman Price Point

Astro Boy Omnibus
 

If you already own the complete 23-volume set (which I believe is out of print), you probably don’t need Astro Boy Omnibus 1 at all. If on the other hand you’re new to the manga scene or have never read the late, great Osamu Tezuka’s seminal work, Dark Horse Comics is making sure to get your full attention with this 700-page volume. For $19.99, you’re getting quite a deal that won’t take up a lot of physical space. Yeah, some of us still read and buy real books, folks.

Anyway, September isn’t all that far away when you think about it (yeah, time flies, doesn’t it?), so make sure to keep an eye peeled for this one.

Firefly Online: The “Little” MMO That’s Gonna

Even though I don’t play online games these days, Firefly Online has had me intrigued every since I heard there was an official game underway. Oddly enough, no one from any PR firm contacted me about covering it, so I assumed that was some sort of warning sign or worse, someone not wanting to do the hard work of getting the word out on something they thought was going to be too niche for its own good. Well, I was wrong on both counts as I found out when I bit the bullet and signed up for Firefly Online Cortex, the companion pre-game app currently available on Steam, Google Play and the App Store.

firefly online cortex 

There’s not much to do in Cortex other than collect digital trading cards and points playing mini-games on a map of The Verse or reading news updates. That said, the cards are cool, there’s a second series coming soon and you can also score some even better bonuses by ponying up five bucks to attain Big Damn Hero status. This status will get some some great perks for the main game when it launches this spring on Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android OS. What kind of perks? Well, exclusive gear for your crew mates, access to items non-BDH players won’t have and some other neat stuff. Hey, they got my five clams without hesitation. I’m not here to babble about anything you can read in the FAQ here other than to add I like where this is all going and if you ever were a Firefly fan at some point in the past, you may want to think about signing up yourself.

What I like about the game based on the descriptions and video above it that it’s NOT at all forced social interactivity. You can play along with your virtual crew as you rise up in the ranks, taking your customized ship into charted and uncharted territories for fun and profit. The game is in fact, a single-player experience that just so happens to have some social elements added in like the ability to create and share quests with others. As it’s also powered by Unity, this means there’s a slim chance it may end up on other platforms (as in consoles) if it does well enough on the initial platforms it launches on (and there’s enough demand for a port in every port, of course).

Right now, my own personal choice will be what to play this on when it does ship. I’ve been eyeballing a few inexpensive tablets recently (primarily for gaming purposes) as well as dinking around on devices owned by a few friends while I decide to make up my mind. I suppose I could just run the game on the laptop just fine. However, I want to keep it freed up to write and have something else dedicated entirely to FFO. So, it may be a mobile platform after all that’s bigger than a phone and smaller than a breadbox. We shall see, but whatever I choose, Firefly Online will be played. At my own pace, of course.