The Making of Mind Zero #1: Aksys Games, All Is Forgiven!

 
Or: Yeah, I paid full price for Magus and Yeah, I laughed more than I thought I was going to. That wasn’t a good thing, by the way. Anyway, it looks as if Aksys will redeem itself with this upcoming Vita exclusive, Mind Zero. Thankfully, it happens to be a dungeon crawler that actually looks pretty decent and I still have enough respect for Aksys to give them another chance. Of course, this could be another Beyond the Abyss (eek!), but I don’t think so, as it has more the look and tone of a Shin Megami Tensei game if anything. Well, we shall see soon, as this one ships out digitally and to retail May 28, 2014.

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Tales of Hearts R: Your Vita Will Want You To Get This (Or Else)…

 
Now, I haven’t yet heard of any cases where someone’s Vita attempted to do them bodily harm, but I’d gather if anyone who does own one of Sony’s handhelds who considers him or herself a JRPG fan somehow doesn’t pick Tales of Hearts R up, there’s going to be trouble on the home front. If you don’t pre-order this or snap it up on launch day (or within the first week or so), you’ll be in the bath or shower and hear a noise close by… it’ll be your Vita trying to leap into the tub to literally give you the shock of your life. Hey, it COULD happen, you know.

Hearts_R_logo_RGB Animation1_OP_en Animation2_Kor obtains Soma_en Animation3_Kor meets Kohaku_en Battle2_Cross Chase Charge_en Battle3_Mystic Arte Cut-in_en Battle4_Mystic Arte executed_en Battle5_Spiria Drive_en Event1_Kor Obtains Soma_en Event2_Kor meets Kohaku_en Event4_Spiria Nexus_en

Kohaku Hearts Kor Meteor

Granted, Hideo Baba and Tales Studio wouldn’t make a game that’s deliberately going to harm someone, but you know your Vita has a mind of its own sometimes. That would explain the games you buy on a few occasions, I’d gather… anyway, this winter, you’d best remember to get some Tales action up in the house or else…

Demon Gaze Out Now: My Vita Is Glaring At My Wallet (And It Has A Studded Club)…

Demon Gaze Out Now Hokay, let’s keep this SIMPLE. Got a Vita? GOOD. Go click on that picture and BUY THIS GAME. I’m keeping this short because you need as much time to play Demon Gaze as possible and less of me telly you why. Get it? Got it? GOOD. Now, go dive in for a spell and pop back in to thank me later…

Surprise! Tales of Heart R Vita-Bound This Winter!

 
Well, now. This is great news for Vita owners, fans of Namco Bandai’s long-running Tales series and anyone who just wants a great JRPG to take on the go. Having met Hideo Baba, Producer on the Tales series a few times over the years, I can safely report that he’s just as happy, proud and easygoing about his work as he is in that video above. It’s cool to see a guy who knows his fans and wants to get them the games he makes whenever possible (and it’s certainly not easy to do at all in terms of “just translate and ship it!” like some fans think). So anyway, yeah – a new Tales game and the first one exclusively for the Vita in North America coming this winter and that’s one more reason for my cold-hating butt to stay the heck indoors!

Tomodachi Life: Nintendo Goes Nuts, But In the Best Possible Manner…

 
Even if this is some sort of odd saving roll by Nintendo, Tomodachi Life looks like one of those great and crazy Japanese games that will have a wide appeal outside the usual suspects (Nintendo-only fans who swear by everything the company does and think they can do no wrong). This one’s got a nice “social” element to it, but I do hope there’s a way to play solo for those folks who don’t want to deal with that element. Anyway, this oddball combination of The Sims, Second Life and Animal Crossing should be a bit hit on the 3DS, but it might have been cooler to also see this as a Wii U game or at least have elements shared between the two systems as it’s not the 3DS that needs more great and quirky first-party titles. Eh, we’ll see what happens, of course. I predict a nice chunk of folks playing this with each other for quite some time. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to try and un-see Mr. Iwata singing in that bathtub and a few other things in that video. Yeesh.

Super Smash Bros. Direct: System Seller To Some, System Savior To Others…

 
While I think The Wii U and 3DS versions of Super Smash Bros. will do incredibly well, I’d bet a solid five cents that those numbers won’t be as huge as some are thinking. Granted, it’s been a while since a new SSB was released, but I’m thinking this, like Mario Kart 8, will appeal mostly to the already system-owning Nintendo fans more than it will anyone who’s yet to buy a Wii U or 3DS just to play it. Sure, I’m reading comments on boards from people waiting to buy a Wii U “just for this game”, but I take those with a whopping grain of salt, as if you’re a Nintendo nut, you probably already have a Wii U and are in the holding pattern loop waiting for more first party games to drop. Granted, there WILL be people snapping up a Wii U just for this one and MK8, but those numbers probably won’t be as massive as even Nintendo wishes them to be.

That said, with the 3DS version coming first this summer, it’s going to be a massive game launch and push for that handheld while poor Wii U only owners have to sit it out until the winter when that version ships. Granted, Nintendo also knows that many Wii U owners are 3DS owners (but it’s not a 1:1 ratio at all), so they get to make money twice selling two versions of the same game (although I’m betting there’s not a line of code shared between them in terms of visuals). Anyway, this video reveals a ton of stuff, so stick around for the whole thing, as there are a few minor surprises during the last third and at the end.

New Mario Kart 8 Gameplay Trailer: HD Does Make A Difference, Doesn’t It?

 
While a few previews I’ve perused say it’s more or less the same old Mario Kart in terms of gameplay, on the visual front at least, Nintendo has a killer game here. Now, I’m not a big fan of this series because I prefer more realistic looking racers and have been karted out for years thanks to too many sessions with older entries in this franchise. But it’s hard to ignore those shiny (finally) CG-quality visuals doing their thing (and how!). Granted, the Wii U needs more than one game to push its sales numbers up and this one will indeed sell to fans of the games and maybe even move a few folks to finally commit to purchasing the console. On the other hand, at the rate new first-party games are dropping on the console, Nintendo will need to hope this one blows the doors off anything else released in May just so sales are steady or at least massive within the first month. As always, we shall see, but I predict yet another “evergreen” for the company that sells for as long as they continue to make games for the console.

Demon Gaze Trailer #2: Come For The Dungeon Crawling. Stay Because You Can’t Get Out.

 

Ha and ha. Sure, Demon Gaze has a mapping system in play, but you and I all know that there’s that ONE person who’ll buy this who even with maps galore has the WORST sense of direction to the point that they can’t find their own socks to take off without a handy guide (LOOK DOWN. SEE FEET… and so forth and so on). Me, I love this old school influenced stuff (Wizardry, Ultima Underworld and Dungeon Master FTW!), so I’m all over this like a cheap suit. Wait, that old saying never made sense to me, but I’m using it NOW? Eh, it’s a crappy, rainy, nasty day out today and I’m in a kind of lazy mood (despite having a lot to do and doing some of it all at once), so you get what pops out of the brain oven, fully cooked or not. Anyway, happy times for Vita owners are coming soon and I can’t wait to play this one.

Titanfall Fanatics Get A New Booster That Does Double Duty…

Titanfall_3X4__openGot Titanfall? Good. You’ll probably LOVE this, then. The folks at 5-Hour Energy and Wal-Mart have teamed up to being you this exclusive Titanfall themed packaging for their Berry flavor which is available now for a limited time. Yes, I know some of you all night crowd gamers will surely be stocking up on those boxes just for the artwork and connection to the game, so this is a head up for you to snap them up and sock them away because once they’re gone.. they’re gone for good.

Now, how you GET to that Wal-Mart is all up to you, but I say leave the Titan at home, please. Not EVERYONE has the game and if you go clanking around in a big mech suit just to score s shelf full of that 5-HE, chances are you’ll be doing a LOT of explaining to the local police. Of course, you’re smart enough NOT to stomp on that prowler that rolls up on you when you’re on the way to or from your shopping trip, right?

I thought so…

Titanfall_Gameplay_6

Demon Gaze: NISA Brings More “No School Like the Old School” RPG Goodness to NA…

 

demon-gazeNice. As a longtime fan of classic PC RPGs such as Wizardry, Dungeon Master, Might & Magic and many (MANY) others, it’s always great to see this style of game making a comeback on consoles as well. Demon Gaze is headed exclusively to the PlayStation Vita stateside on April 22, 2014 and here’s the US teaser trailer (above) and the opening minutes of gameplay (below, thanks to YouTuber Dorarnae). I know some of you more stubborn CRPG players who like a specific (as in non-anime/manga) art style are hating the character designs here and nothing will ever change your minds on that front. Too bad, I say, as publisher Kadokawa games and developer Experience Inc. have done a neat thing with the opening sequence that made me grin because it’s not the usual thing you see when you fire up a game.

 
The game’s official website has gone live and has basic information on the game world, character creation, gameplay and a few other topics. This one’s on my list of April games to play, as I can see way too many hours spent grinding away with a perfect parry. Or a party that WILL be perfect once I stopped getting stomped by some boss somewhere. I’ve got my eye on you, Demon Gaze (staaaaaarrrrrrre)…