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.

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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…

E3 2014: Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley – Not The Only Thing Natsume Showed This Year, But…

Alphadia Genesis Wii UYou wouldn’t know this by looking at their North American YouTube page. Now, I’m not singling Natsume out for anything mean here at all, folks. They’re a solid but much smaller publisher than some of the bigger and busier ones who show stuff at E3 and to me, that’s precisely why they NEED more updates on their main video page. Granted, they DO have a nice social presence on facebook with a page that’s updated fairly frequently. however, not everyone has or wants a facebook account and YouTube works quite well as far as letting potential customers see what’s coming (despite the pain in the butt that is Google+ hampering some basic functionality there).

Anyway, as I’ve been trumpeting, Alphadia Genesis is also coming (a port of an iOS and Android JRPG) and I posted about the rest of their lineup before the big show. Hey, I just want to see the little guys succeed, so if I can generate some thrills and hits for Natsume and their cool lineup of upcoming and already available games, I’m doing my job here.

Not Quite “Retro” Review Rerun: Raze’s Hell

As I noted a little while back, from time to time I’ll be re-running some of my old (and long as hell, sorry!) reviews from a few dead sites I wrote for with no updates, but corrections and edits where necessary. Here’s one for a favorite Xbox game that still holds up almost ten years later as a great (albeit somewhat gory) gem you may have missed. Enjoy!

Raze's Hell CoverAh, the mentality of the American gamer. Whenever a bargain game shows up on store shelves, only the bravest of the brave (or those cheap bastards like me who’re unwilling to pay full price for a name title) pony up the pocket change for most of these cheapies and figure “Well, it’s a budget game, but I need my fix!” as they go home, close their eyes and think of England (you’ll only get that joke if you’re older than 30 or are a bit of a history buff).

It turns out that some of these games are good, some are really good, and a rare few are of the “Wait… THIS cost twenty bucks?!” caliber. Majesco‘s new release, Raze’s Hell fits snugly into the latter category, and if you’re looking for a game that’s going to grab you by the short hairs and pull hard while smacking both your funny bones, disco down to your nearest game shop and bring a few friends with you- you‘re in for a treat… Continue reading

E3 2014: The Order: 1886 Trailer: Ready at Dawn, Making Themselves A Household Name With Certainty…

9071605272_c2f2d83d8d_bYou can very safely say that a new console REALLY doesn’t get games worth upgrading for until it’s second year as developers ease into learning the hardware and Ready at Dawn’s upcoming The Order: 1886 is shining proof of that. Amazing looking cutscenes flow into what’s looking like solid gameplay, the intriguing mix of alternate past with future tech and of course, familiar action-heavy gameplay all make this one look like a winner as well as a system mover for Sony when it’s finally released on February 20, 2015.

E3 2014: Grim Fandango is Coming BACK? Commence The Room Running Around And Joy Squealing!

 
Wow. Like a good deal of old adventure game fans, I believe 1998′s Grim Fandango is one of the best games ever made in that genre. It’s been one of those most requested titles on sites that carry well-aged classic games and abandonware, but thanks to all sorts of copyright and other issues, the ONLY way to get this legally was to shell out a premium for a disc version and hope a newer PC could run it. Now, thanks to Double Fine Studios and 2 Player Productions and some wrangling with Disney on the rights front and Sony on the money front, it’s coming back as a complete remake for the PlayStation 4 and Vita with the possibility of other platforms later. Yep, this news got me yelping and spinning in my chair for a bit, so the meter has been set to “whenever it’s done!” and the wait begins for more info. This one’s a legend that I think more people have claimed to play than have actually played it (or they just never paid a dime for theirs), so it will be interesting to see how well this one does once it’s complete. I say it’ll be a big hit because everything great said about it is true and then some. I can’t wait…