Onechanbara Z II: Chaos PS4-Bound In Japan (Yes, We Could Use It Here As Well)…

OneeChambara Z II Chaos LogoIt’s tough being a fan of a SUPER-niche series like the OneeChambara(also spelled Onechanbara, folks!) games, but I’ll admit to liking the games to some extent as a purely guilty pleasure. Well, except for that PSP game that felt half completed because of the oddball controls. Anyway, D3Publisher in Japan dropped this trailer yesterday for OneeChambara Z II: Chaos and both Gamekyo and Gematsu ran a ton of screen grabs and concept art for this first next-gen game in the long-running series that started out on the PlayStation 2. The game is set for an October 30, 2014 release and developer Tamsoft is promising a blazing 60 frames per second and full 1080p resolution, a first for the series.

Sure, compared to other games on the PS4, this one isn’t going to be the best-looking at all, but it’s nice to see Tamsoft make a game that looks like the cut scenes they’ve done in previous Onechanbara titles. As for this one getting an full English translation and US release? Well, that’s a tough one to call, as D3Publisher of America probably didn’t sell a ton of the first two Onechanbara games they localized (one for the Xbox 360 and another for the Nintendo Wii). I guess we shall see what happens, but I can see this getting at least some minor to moderate success in Japan if it plays well and had legs. Er, longevity, that is. I’ll bug someone at D3PoA in a bit to see what’s what. I’d love to play this one and really hope it’s being looked at for a potential North American release at some point. Sexy gals wiping out zombie hordes by the boatload and doing it stylishly? Yeah, it’s supposed to be silly and semi-serious simultaneously, but that’s what makes this guilty pleasure work so well, folks. Off to cross my fingers and hope…

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The Making of Mind Zero #4: A Bit Late, But A Nice Reminder I Need To Get This One…

Hmmmm. I still need to pick up a copy of Aksys’ new Vita RPG Mind Zero and play it, but I’ve seen mostly mixed reviews, some of which seem to “get” the game and others that don’t. It seems it’s only superficially like the Persona games, but here’s a case where a quick read of the game description and features can make one who follows Atlus’ more popular series raise an eyebrow at the similarities. Ah well, we shall see, I guess. We shall see. My backlog is still insane and not going down thanks to a few more games I’m staring at in a few folders on the laptop or on my desk here. Well, no time for dawdling, I guess. Time to knock a few reviews out over the next week or two…

Hyrule Warriors: One Of Nintendo’s Not So Secret Weapons This Year…

I’ll admit to grinning a wee bit too much when I heard about Hyrule Warriors, the latest mash-up of Koei’s fan favorite Dynasty Warriors series with an even more popular Zelda franchise and based on these videos, I’m betting Nintendo sees this one exceed their expectations. The pick up and play simplicity, hefty amount of playable characters and longevity of the DW series crossed with the massive appeal of the Legend of Zelda universe is pretty much a license to print money and I’m surprised that this hasn’t been done previously. Then again, the Wii U absolutely NEEDS an unbroken string of flat out hits and surprising sleepers in order to survive and it sure looks as if Nintendo is finally getting more consistent in terms of delivering better games for the console.

If this game is anything like the DW series (and it sure likes it’s going to be), there’s NO way anyone will blow through ALL the content on a rainy weekend. Sure, you MAY complete the game with one character by playing through for a few straight hours or breaking up gameplay sessions over that weekend, but you won’t have seen everything the game has to offer at all. It generally takes me a few months of playing to get as much out of a DW game and even then, I’m back for more if it’s a slow week and I have some free time… Continue reading

SDCC 2014: Hey, Lego! Why Can’t We ALL Have Nice Things?

SDCC 2014 Batmobile

Photo: LEGO

Well, I guess this post goes out to all the companies giving away or selling convention exclusives like this. It’s Batman’s 75th birthday and of course, the number of cool stuff from all over ranges from easy to nab (public libraries all over gave away Batman-related goodies yesterday) to “Unless you’re at the convention or pay a fortune on eBay when you cave in and throw your wallet at the screen” goodies like that awesome classic Batmobile above and that SUPER rare Batman of Zur-En-Arrh below. While the Batmobile will be on sale at the show (and people are already “pre-selling” it for over $200 on eBay (even though they probably don’t have one yet – caveat emptor!), that oddball Batman minifigure will be a totally RANDOM giveaway based on scanned convention badges to pick winners.

SDCC 2014 Batman of Zur-En-Arrh

Photo: LEGO

Photo: LEGO

Photo: LEGO

Of course, I’m not asking for a massive mass production of these figures to the point where they’re stocked to the rafters at your local retailer. It would just be nice to see some of these cool toys pop up in some stores without the SDCC logo and perhaps stamped somewhere that they aren’t “exclusive” to that event. No company producing any of these giveaways of for sale items makes a penny off the secondary sales market, but they certainly can brag that “Figure X” has sold for up to $—-” to some collectors” at future media events if someone at one of these companies keeps track of that stuff.

Now, I’m not complaining at all, kids. Heck, I avoid conventions these days because the dopes who run them have made it rough for smaller sites like mine to cover them (despite me having NO trouble getting a media pass previously for a few years running AND even working at a friend’s booth). If I were to complain at all, it would be with certain con organizers who treat the smaller press like cattle, forcing us to pile in with the public (which is HELL for making appointments on time). That and I just got tired of the mob scene, some really stinky people and that infamous “convention flu” crap a lot of folks take home from so many people crammed together, not all of whom are healthy.

Eh, maybe I won’t miss that Batmobile after all. I can just buy a bunch of Lego sets and look up plans online to make a custom one, I guess. That way, Lego will still get some of my money (and probably more than the $39.99 that convention exclusive costs) and everyone’s happy at the end of the day…

Nintendo Wises Up, Wii-Uses The Fatal Frame License (Finally!)

 
I tell you, folks… I wish game companies would ring me up and pick my brain when they announce new hardware. As soon as I saw the Wii U GamePad revealed at that E3 a few years back, one of the FIRST games I thought NEEDED to be made was a new Fatal Frame. For the uninitiated, it’s a horror-themed series that started life on the PlayStation 2 and later got installments on the Xbox, Nintendo Wii and 3DS. Japanese Nintendo Wii U owners are getting an all-new installment in the series on September 27,2014 called Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko, which seems to be related to the upcoming movie, set to be released in theaters there the day before. While zero news of an English localization for either the game or film have been announced, for my money, it’s a no-brainer that at least the game get a proper English translation and release outside of Japan.

 
As for the film, it’s hard to gauge how it’s going to be from this way too short teaser trailer. But if it’s in the vein of other popular Japanese horror films, I’d imagine we may see a US-centric remake or at least a film set in Japan with some popular American actress(es) playing some of the roles. I’d prefer the original film get a US subtitle job and a limited release here over any remake, but I guess Hollywood calls the shots on that front.

Anyway, Nintendo? Get on that localization and get this game out here sooner than later – the Wii U NEEDS some more quality titles in different genres and horror is very under-represented on the system.

Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unknown Star Trailer: Some Would Say It’s Music of the Stares…

Arnosurge logo

Ar nosurge home_bgNot a true “sequel” to the fan-favorite Ar Tonelico games on the PlayStation 2, Tecmo Koei’s upcoming Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unknown Star uses enough elements from those games and is set in the same universe, allowing fans of those games to dive right on in with relative ease. Interestingly enough, Ar nosurge is actually the sequel to a PlayStation Vita game never released outside Asia called Ciel nosurge, an episodic adventure/sim that had its first chapter released on a game card, another other nine DLC chapters since and twelve planned total chapters when all is said and done later this year.

Of course, the chances of Ciel nosurge coming out here are about zero, but big thanks go out to Tecmo Koei for getting Gust’s latest PS3 game out and localized relatively quickly. The Japanese version arrived in March there and North America and Europe will be getting English versions in September. As you can see on the official site, the “seven volumes” of screen shots as well as the the character and background art look quite lovely indeed. Granted, the game won’t be for all tastes what with its semi-dressed sort of machine-like ladies and certain sequences that will be easily misunderstood by those who judge content solely by game screens and not actually playing the game. Nonetheless, it’s great to see yet another JRPG that blends 2D and 3D art styles so well coming for Sony’s still strong “old” console. This one’s added to my “Shut Up & Play It!” list…

DESTINY Collector’s Editions: Get That Ghost (Or Whatever Else You Want) Soon!

Digtial Digital Guardian Edition_info sheetWhile I’m not sure how supremely high interest is in Bungie’s first new project since the blockbuster Halo days (that’s a bit on an in-joke, kids – people seem to want this all-new IP quite a lot), the hype around Destiny is certainly huge enough that the game is getting a few collector’s editions as you can see and read below:

Destiny PS4 Limited Edition_packshot Destiny Limited Edition_info sheet

That’s the Limited Edition above and there’s the Ghost Edition below:

Destiny PS4 Ghost Edition_packshot Destiny Ghost Edition_info sheet

And of course, DLC is along for the ride in this online-only experience. Here’s what’s coming down the early part of that long road Bungie and Activision have planned for the future:

Destiny Expansion Pass_info sheet
Now, I’m not big on the whole Expansion Pass thing, but it’s one of those accepted practices that should work here quite well should the game have legs and Bungie wants to give its fans more as they burn through all the content in the main game. I just KNOW there will be some really enterprising players who team up to blow through the game world and its story content as quickly as possible, so I’m hoping the developer can at least keep up with those people and address any “complaints” they have. Granted, you’re not “supposed” to stay up for what, 20 hours straight (or however long it takes to see everything) playing ANY game. but try and stop someone with too much time on his or her hands and prepare to get slapped when they get a free hand.

Hyrule Warriors Trailers: Four Times The “You Need To Buy This Game!” Courtesy of Nintendo…

screenshot0As a longtime fan of the Dynasty Warriors franchise and its odd and always interesting offshoots, Hyrule Warriors is going to not only be a must buy game for me, I predict it may move a few Wii U’s if it’s got the same sort of longevity the other games based on the Musou engine have. One thing the DW franchise has done perfectly over the years is give players way too many characters and so much action that every entry is an exercise in joyous overkill some love. Granted, the repetition tends to set in after a while and yes, can get to be tedious is you’re sucked in for too many hours. On the other hand, the land of Hyrule in the hands of veteran developers Omega Force and Team Ninja will no doubt make for such a brilliant teaming that this one will be nearly impossible to dislike.

 
On the other hand, I may have a slight gripe with the game if it’s just a series of battles and very little plot. I’m sure we’ll get cut scenes and a general plot working away here, but I’m hoping for something that does a good job of showing why Princess Zelda finally gets to kick a bunch of butt after all these years of needing Link to get her out of harm’s way. Actually, I hope that the game does well so we can see some sort of follow up that’s less a Dynasty Warriors re-skin, but something more akin to the highly underrated PS3 exclusive Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll. Take that game, add the ability for local co-op play (and perhaps online if the frame rate can be kept stable) and you have an even more excellent game that bridges a few genres and franchises… Continue reading

No Man’s Sky: Hello Games’ Will Be Your Favorite Developer Soon, I’ll Bet…

As soon as I saw images and movies of No Man’s Sky, I had to add Hello Games to the top of my rather long favorite developers list. This small team of talented folk aren’t strangers to game development, having knocked out a few fun games in the Joe Danger series for iOS mobile devices, PC, PSN and Xbox Live Arcade. No Man’s Sky is a massive departure from those fun and outrageous side-scrolling stunt titles, an open space action/simulation game that’s harder to describe until you see it in motion. And even then, there’s so much innovation going on here that it’s astounding to hear how the game came about and where it’s going. Check out the video above and marvel at how Hello’s Sean Murray describes how his dream cam is coming to reality (and a PlayStation 4 near you in 2015).

Kingdom Under Fire II Trailer, Slight Return Version. Still Looking Good And Worth Keeping An Eye On…

 
Here’s a slightly reedited version of the Kingdom Under Fire II trailer from E3 that Blueside put together using all in-game engine footage. As someone who’s played the two previous tactical/action based Xbox games, I’m quite pleased that the developer is following the same style of troop movement and direct character control play from previous entries while adding new elements. Some people STILL don’t “get” how the game will flow thanks to those cut scenes that break into the gameplay and the lack of menus and such, but all will be explained soon enough, I’d bet. If the new game is like the old ones, there will be a map to navigate, waypoints to set and other things to manage before and during battles to keep you occupied. What’s here is just to tease you into keeping an eyeball peeled for anything else coming down the road…