Yakuza 5: No Controversy Here, Just Sega Pleasing Some Fans


 

Almost lost in all this noise on Shenmue III and its somewhat controversial (to some) Kickstarter campaign was the fact that Sega of America itself was going to be publishing Yakuza 5 in North America this fall. General Director Toshihiro Nagoshi, Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama and their talented dev team are clearly showing that the PlayStation 3 isn’t “dead” yet as a viable console and the game certainly looks like their best work yet. Even better, it’s an exclusive to Sony’s console so you can wave your system under the noses of any friend with a competing console who may be a bit jealous. However, expect that console to be used to gently bash you over the head with if you’re too braggy.

Unfortunately for you physical media collectors out there the game is only getting a digital release via the PlayStation Network. So you’ll either need to bite that bullet and download this one or take the harder road, learn Japanese and import that version from a nice import retailer like Play-Asia. Of course, by the time you’re through with those crash courses in the language the game will be out here in English. So yeah, go support Sega of America with a purchase because they don’t make a penny on anything you get directly from Japan or anywhere outside the U.S. of A., folks.

Yeah!

@E3, Sometimes The Treehouse Hides All The Cool Stuff

FFMoBW_screenshot3 


 

If you had the time and bandwidth this week you could have spend the better part of a few days watching Nintendo employees play a bunch of upcoming games at E3 that were part of their big puppet show press event. You also could have gotten to see at least one game not part of that family-friendly briefing that NEEDED to be given some mention outside the Treehouse Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is coming this year, but you’d never know this if you only watched the main event. Anyway, the trailer is above and some 25 minutes of gameplay from the Treehouse trio is below. Listen for the warnings about the game’s content and prepare to chuckle a bit as the gameplay is a bit over-described yet is still unsettling. “Wetness Gauge” and all the uses of the word “creepy” made me crack up, but the game looks nice and scary where it counts and it’s absolutely not for the kids.


 

Back to the Future: What’s Old Is New Game News @E3 2015

(thanks, magicalmotionmuseum!)
 

It’s a good news/bad news thing today. The good news: time travel DOES exist, ladies and gents. Final Fantasy VII is finally getting a remake for the PS4 and possibly PC. The Last Guardian is now a PS4 exclusive (as I predicted a while back) Shenmue 3 was announced yesterday evening at Sony’s E3 event as a surprising show-announced Kickstarter project for PS4 and was COMPLETELY funded in about twelve hours (breaking a Kickstarter record). Even King’s Quest and HITMAN are making comebacks (and sooner than you’d think).

Microsoft’s formerly forward-looking only Xbox One gets Xbox 360 backward compatibility and legendary developer Rare is releasing 30 of its classic arcade and console games for $30 in a crazy must-have bundle this August (exclusively for the console, of course). Between this and the return of DOOM, the acceptance of indie retro games as necessary for part of a console’s success and other interesting developments, it’s a huge win-win situation for gamers with a good deal of disposable income. And no, I didn’t forget Nintendo in all this. I’m just holding out for a separate post on their always nostalgic ways and means of getting loyal fans continually hooked in. Give me a bit of time on that as it’s still construction central here with more to come.

Now, the bad news: In reality time travel DOESN’T exist at all. With all those new games coming (and this post doesn’t count the VR games invasion happening soon), no one will actually any free time to play them all unless their Doctor has a certain “timey-wimey” prescription that allows them to have their fun and return to reality not having missed much sleep or even a day of work. Oh well…

Devil’s Third Update: Tomonobu Itagaki In… Breath of a Salesman


 

Tomonobu Itagaki’s Valhalla Game Studios has been busy getting its Wii U exclusive Devil’s Third ready for prime time and the game finally has a release date. Well, provided you’re in Japan (August 4, 2015) or Europe (August 28, 2015). I’d speculate that Nintendo of America will drop the North American date at E3 next week as well as show more gameplay footage, but we’ll see what’s what then. I have a feeling they’re translating that video above into English as it covers both the single and multiplayer modes as well as shows off how the gae has changed for the better since last year.

Devil's Third BG Art
 

In the video Itagaki goes from game creator to extolling the virtues of the upcoming title in his trademark manner. Even if you don’t speak Japanese it’s a compelling video because of the man’s rough voice and distinctive look he’s kept for ages. The very bloody M-rated action game is certainly not for all tastes but it’s good to see the Wii U getting another game that’s not another family-rated party fest. The console needs quirky, funky games like this to show it’s not an “underpowered kid’s toy” as I’ve heard it described at a certain game shop around here.


 

Granted, it’s tough to say exactly how many fans of this over the top action game actually own a Wii U. On the other hand, I’m betting fans of Bayonetta 2 will be all over this game because that was another Nintendo exclusive that’d drove a few gamers to take the plunge and buy a console because it was the only one the game appeared on.

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess : “It’s A Trap!” You’ll Fall For Over And Over

Deception IV_TNP

Okay, I’ll admit to being a bit behind in my beating quota. In other words, I still have yet to play Deception IV: Blood Ties on anything it’s been released on. As time, tide and games wait for no man, Tecmo Koei has made it known that there’s a follow-up coming in July for the PS3, PS4 and Vita called Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess. Fans of this long-running series which began on the original Playstation should be dancing around for joy while trying to avoid assorted traps and hazards in their own environments. For the uninitiated, here’s a live-action trailer with a tiny bit of the sinister yet intentionally silly gameplay at the end:


 

Now if only actual burglar alarms worked this efficiently. Although I’d bet the setup and resetting costs would be a wee bit costly.

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Konami Kills Silent Hills; P.T. Probably Gone For Good

P.T. RIPIf you own a PlayStation 4, love horror-related games and have yet to play P.T., get ready for a little shock. You only have a few hours before that title (which stands for Playable Teaser and was actually a concept demo for the Guillermo Del Toro/Hideo Kojima Silent Hills project that was to feature The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus as the lead) is probably gone forever.

Konami has canceled the project entirely and will be yanking the demo off the PlayStation Network on Wednesday the 29th. The company still plans to keep creating games in the long running Silent Hill series in the future, but the loss of this demo comes as yet another blow to fans of Mr. Kojima’s work. This latest business decision comes not too long after both Kojima and Kojima Studios’ name were removed from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain after still unrevealed disagreements between the creator and company. Both his name and his studio’s name were also chopped from the P.T. demo site in Japan and it seems that once the free demo is gone, it’ll not even be available to download even if it’s been placed in one’s PS4 queue for play at some point in the future.

P.T. Title Screen 7780S (Custom) 

As a bit of a gaming historian and big (but sometimes easily rattled) horror fan, this irks me to no end as well as shows how lousy digital distribution really is in terms of preserving content. Pulling a game demo may not seem like a big deal to many of you and it’s not really a huge deal at the end of the day. That said, given that P.T. showed off more creativity and genuinely freaky scares than some completed games, not having the demo around to show off in the future doesn’t bode well for any other demo or full game deemed disposable by companies who want to erase the past. Foo. Hopefully Konami will reconsider and at some point make the demo available at some point down the road. However, given the company’s kicking Kojima to the curb so abruptly after decades of service (no matter the reason, it’s a shame how things seem to be ending), it’s a bad sign of things to come if other games deemed doomed get dropped on the chopping block.

Anyway, if indeed the demo does disappear forever, there’s always YouTube for watching videos of people playing it. Konami’s official P.T. clips on its Japanese channel seem to be already gone, which is annoying because there were some reaction videos featuring gamers and non-gamers that were flat out hilarious. Oh well. Life goes on… but with a little less great scary as hell stuff to share with like-minded folks.

What a shame.

Star Wars Battlefront Trailer: Yes, The Force Is Strong With This One

 

SW Battlefront EndorWell, it looks as if some of you holding out on getting that fancy gaming PC or new gaming console may want to consider upgrading if you’re wanting a new Battlefront to play in. While this isn’t actual gameplay footage (“not actual , this Star Wars Battlefront trailer uses the in-game engine to spectacular effect and shows how developer DICE intends to bring the look and feel of classic Star Wars to the masses this November 17. PS4, Xbox One and Windows PC via EA’s Origin service only on this one, meaning you old console owners are going to have to make some new friends or finally retire your old beasts to a closet somewhere.

This one’s going to be huge. HOW huge? Well…

SW Battlefront Art BIG

 

Is that huge enough for you? I thought so.

EDF 4.1 Update: Japan Gets It While We Still Wait Patiently


 

Holy cats. While there still no localization news about Earth Defense Forces 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair, the game has been out in Japan since April 2 and is getting played to death over in Japan by some lucky gamers who’ve been dropping some truly incredible videos of the game in action on YouTube. Sure, it’s not packing the best visuals when unfairly compared to more polished games for these new-gen consoles or PC. But developer Sandlot clearly knows how to set the tone for some massive scale battles. Wow. Hey, it’s sure cheaper than buying a bunch of toys and wondering where to to store them all, I say. That said if there’s ever a sequel to Pacific Rim and someone wants a tie-in game, I think I know who should get the call.

EDF 4.1 Import Update: Better Bug Blasting, But Still No News For Western Fans


 

All the small to large improvements are making Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair an absolute must for series fans worldwide, but there’s still no big news about the game outside of the Asian market. I’m hoping that this doesn’t mean this PS4 exclusive is being forgotten for a US and European release, but let’s see what happens as E3 approaches. Granted, this IS a niche title from small but very talented developer Sandlot that hasn’t blown away those gamers who expect every new title they play to be the best-looking and easiest to hop into game experience. EDF games tend to be simple on one hand, but packed with confounding quirks on the other. This new video from D3Publisher addresses some of the issues as it points out some of the changes implemented by the dev team. Changes I hope we EDF fans get to see HERE at some point. I’d guess that’s all up to Bandai Namco these days, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that whomever gets the publishing rights gets some news out sooner than later.

Ember Update: N-Fusion’s Late Baby Gets Bigger and Better


 

EMBER logoYes, Ember was supposed to be out last fall, but as CEO and creative director Jeff Birns explained at 505 Games recent NYC event, the team at N-Fusion has been a bit busy making things even better. The game looked fantastic when I first saw it, but it’s even more gorgeously detailed and as noted in my previous article, the best-looking isometric RPG on any device. Many new areas have been added, older areas have gotten changes and parts that needed work have indeed been worked on. Ten years of work and a proprietary engine that won’t quit go a long way in realizing a dream, is all I’ll say about the art and vast, carefully detailed open world players will get to explore.

I’ll even go out on a limb to say it definitely gives some PC role-playing games of any era a run for their money. Apple clearly has an exclusive to be proud of (the Steam version will most likely be released at some point after the iOS version), but how do you market such an amazing game on a device where most of its games really haven’t been marketed to the masses like AAA console games are?

Ember Screen 1 (Custom)

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