Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax! – An October (Non) Surprise From Sega


 

You don’t have to be a fan of the Dengeki Bunko light novels or any of the anime associated with them to appreciate Sega’s upcoming PS3 and Vita exclusive Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax!, headed your way on October 6. Developers Ecole Software and French Bread have cooked up a great looking, fast paced 2D fighter with nice 3D backdrops and some wild “Climax Moves” that can decimate your opponents when pulled off.

The game’s roster includes characters from the following DB light novel series:

A Certain Magical Index
Accel World
Black Bullet
DURARARA!!
Oreimo
Ro-Kyu-Bu!
Shakugan no Shana
STRIKE THE BLOOD
Sword Art Online
The Irregular at Magic High School
Toradora!

Plus assist characters from these DB series:

Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan
Boogiepop and Others
Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
Golden Time
Kino’s Travels
Spice and Wolf
The Devil is a Part-Timer!
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

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The game will be available at retail in a limited launch edition that comes packed with a CD soundtrack. As far as I can tell, digital copies of the game won’t net players that freebie. So you may want to pre-order this one or take a chance that your local game shop has ordered a few extra copies so you don’t miss out on that bonus.

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While I’m not the best fighting game player out there (understatement of the decade, folks), I do appreciate awesome art and animation when and wherever I see it. So this one on the list to check out in full review form.

Yakuza 5 Update: Still Waiting For A Date, Discount For The Early Birds

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Y5_wallpaper_01_1920x10801If you got rid of your PS3 when you got your PS4, you may want it back for at least one more exclusive of note. General Director Toshihiro Nagoshi and Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama are back with two more in-depth “making of” videos for Sega’s upcoming western release of Yakuza 5. Despite its age (the Japanese version shipped back in 2012), the game looks quite spectacular on the aging PS3 hardware and is finally coming to North America later this year as a digital only PSN release.

While the game may be well-aged to some out there, according to the press release it’s looking to be the most feature-packed English version of any in the series:

Yakuza 5 features more mini-games than previous titles, a modified battle system as well as enhanced customizations and interactions in the signature hostess bars of the franchise. In addition to these features, Yakuza 5 also introduces “Another Drama” which is a series of side stories that focus on each protagonist in-depth and are separate from the main story of the game.

 

In addition, Sega is making a tempting offer to those who pre-order the game with a 15% discount off the $39.99 price plus the free Yakuza 5 XMB theme below:

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You’d think Nagoshi and Yokoyama should be singing “We Built This City” at this point, but instead they just happily chat more about the game and what players can expect:

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It’s great to see Sega keeping the Yakuza flame going despite the lengthy wait between releases. Hopefully fans will be on board with the digital-only version and snap it up once it’s released.

Dark Souls III Hands-On: Reliable And Improved, Yet Death’s Still Got The Edge

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The nice list of changes and improvements to Dark Souls III may fool some players into believing the series has gone soft in its third installment. However, FromSoftware and the assorted AI enemies out for your digital scalp will be laughing at those who take this upcoming PC, PS4 and Xbox one game lightly. While the game adds new charge attack and block-breaking moves to the already fine repertoire, all that really means is expert Souls players will have some new skills to make shorter work of certain enemies and new players will need to learn this isn’t a straight-up hack and slash game at all. The demo shown at Bandai Namco’s NYC event was thrilling and a ton of deadly fun to play.
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3D Gunstar Heroes Out Now on Nintendo 3DS: “Blast Processing,” Indeed

Gunstar Heroes 3D (9) 


 

3D Gunstar Heroes logoFor those of you who’ve never played it, Gunstar Heroes is quite simply one of the best 16-bit games ever made, period. Japanese developer Treasure made itself a household name among gamers with this 1993 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis release that seemed to use every bit of processing power the console had and then some.

While the game has popped up in a few newer console ports over time, it seems that the 3DS just may have the “definitive” version thanks to Sega’s remaster team, M2. Here’s a fun extra credit read from the Sega Blog on how tricky it was to get the game up and running on the handheld in stereoscopic 3D. The plot is nuts if you try to make total sense of it, but you won’t be playing this for the story. It’s a total run ‘n gun with killer boss fights, a “board game” level that’s worth an entire game in itself under the right developer, and a great soundtrack that drives the action from beginning to end.

Anyway, if you have a 3DS, BUY THIS GAME. If you’re thinking about getting a 3DS, see that last sentence. Hopefully Sega has plans to get this on the Wii U as well as an HD version at some point as it’s a total no-brainer that this is a game that really benefits from a larger screen. We’ll see if that ever happens (it would be nice, Sega), but for now, this one’s a must-buy that still packs quite a few wallops.

Gunstar Heroes 3D Gunstar Heroes 3D (1) Gunstar Heroes 3D (2) Gunstar Heroes 3D (3) Gunstar Heroes 3D (4) Gunstar Heroes 3D (5) Gunstar Heroes 3D (6) Gunstar Heroes 3D (7) Gunstar Heroes 3D (8)

 

Stella Glow: You Can Tune A Piano, But Can You Tune A Witch?


 

Stella Glow 3DSOh, the mighty (and lousy) puns I came up with for this new 3DS game! Atlus is bringing over Imageepoch’s Stella Glow, a JRPG where you’ll need to “tune” witches in order to use their song magic powers against assorted creatures. It seems as if the tuning process and deep heart elements lift some of play mechanics from the Ar Tonelico series, but if you loved those games on the PS2 and PS3 and happen to own a 3DS, you’ll be in absolute heaven. Witch means you’ll be waiting for this around the holidays when it ships out in North America.

I see there’s a Fire Witch in the game and the game description I got notes that there are five witches total to tune. Which makes me pun-der if there’s a Sand Witch to tune at some point. I’m not sure if the tuning leads to any romance angles, but if so, would that mean if your character decide to settle down with one of them, they can say “I Married A Witch” at some point? If there’s a kid from that union and it’s a boy you can call him Son of a Witch? Which witch wishes willingly for waterproof watches? Do witches even wear watches? I have not a clue. But I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir: This Remake’s Not Plain Vanillaware At All


 

Atlus and Vanillaware are teaming up to bring a very beefed-up HD version of 2007’s PlayStation 2 classic action game/RPG hybrid Odin Sphere out for the PS4, PS3 and Vita sometime in 2016. Take a gander at this gorgeous key art and set those calendars for whenever the game ships out next year:

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Atlus has even made this upcoming release an educational experience in at least one way. Leifthrasir is pronounced “LAYV-thra-sheer,” and that weird-looking “d” in the poster above isn’t a “d” at all, but a thorn þ, meaning you’ve learned something useful and Nordic today! Hmmm. hopefully that weird letter turns out alright in the actual post.

Change the Fate of the World When the End of Days Draws Near in Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

The Perfected HD Project from ATLUS and Vanillaware Remakes the 2007 Original

IRVINE, Calif. – July 23, 2015 – Vanillaware, the team behind the hit side-scrolling title Dragon’s Crown is working on a new authentic HD project with ATLUS to recreate and perfect Odin Sphere – the 2D action RPG with Norse Mythology roots. Told in five tales from the perspectives of five unique protagonists, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir expresses the original game with glorious HD graphics in Vanillaware’s renowned style, expanded worlds with new monsters, fully voiced story scenes, and a fine-tuned refreshing combat and RPG system to perfect the gameplay. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir will be available as a physical and digital release for the PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita in 2016 in North America.

You probably want some screenshots to ogle that feature some of that new HD art, correct? Well then, here you go:

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Lovely. I now have at least ONE game I can look forward to at some point in 2016 and thankfully it’s supporting old and newer Sony consoles.

Onechanbara Z2 Chaos Now On Sale: Let’s Get Physical (But Digital Is Okay, Too)


 

Onechanbara Z2 Chaos screenLet’s get this out of the way. You’re NOT buying Onechanbara Z2 Chaos because it’s anything close to AAA quality “Game of the Year” material. Nope, you’re buying because you’re a guy or gal who really like SUPER offbeat action games from Japan featuring under-dressed but overpowered ladies slicing and dicing hordes of undead creatures and creeps. That and the game is also pretty darn hilarious because it’s so intentionally over the top while being extremely accessible to about anyone who picks up a controller and wants to take it for a spin. XSEED Games has two versions of the game out today; a digital download for $39.99 that includes the game and rather sassy “Strawberries and Banana” DLC “costumes”.

Onechanbara Z2 Chaos BS LE
 

Hey, both fruit are quite tasty and VERY good for you! Lots of vitamins and minerals and other good stuff like that there. So that LE has some nutritional and educational value. Get two!

If you want something to touch and show off (fear not, Aya, Saki and the other gals won’t chop your sweaty hands off), run like the wind to your nearest game emporium with $49.99 and get the yummy limited “Banana Split” edition shown above. That set nets you a soundtrack CD packed with almost 80 minutes of music from both this game and its Japan-only predecessor Onechanbara Z: Kagura, an 80-page softcover “Behind the Bikini” book loaded with artwork and back story from both games, and a code to download that aforementioned “Strawberries & Banana” premium DLC costume. Let’s see now: so far, Onechanbara Z2 Chaos is (according to me) nutritious, educational, “sassy”, and a few other things. That sounds like a buy to me. And probably XSEED Games as well.

Godzilla’s Here. You Can Run And Scream Now.

(Thanks, Bandai Namco Entertainment America!)
 

If you heard some very loud roaring and thunderous stomping noises this week around Tuesday or so, nope, that wasn’t Godzilla outside paying your town a visit. I was probable a bunch of kaiju fans tromping down to their nearest game emporium to pick up Godzilla for the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4. While the game comes highly recommended no matter which platform you own, PS4 users get the big fat bonus of playing as any monster in the game in any mode right from the start. Nice. Of course, if all that Sturm und Drang was actually weather related and you were stuck indoors watching lightning bolts fighting each other for scare-space, well aren’t you lucky you don’t like in a copper house?

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Anyway, yep. This one needs to be played. One more for the backlog!

Goodbye, Mr. Iwata

Iwata Notice
 

Not how I wanted to start or even end a day, but this sad news popped into my inbox a few hours back and will take time to fully sink in. Nope, I never met Mr. Iwata and neither did millions of people who enjoyed what he worked on and/or his informatively entertaining Nintendo Direct videos and Iwata Asks series of interviews with game creators. But I did play many games he was part of, from Balloon Fight, Alchahest, EarthBound, Animal Crossing and many more.

The man may be gone, but his many works and those who will continue to play them and pass them down to a new generation will last as long as the planet still spins. Hopefully we’ll see some sort of physical presence of his collected works from Nintendo at some point. While a huge convenience, this digital-mostly age has been pretty poor at making sure a pure legacy exists of many games outside the hands of the most dedicated collectors.

Anyway, you’ll be missed by many, sir.

Tales of Zestiria Trailer: Your October Surprise (Plus Tales Tax)


 

Bandai Namco Games is rolling out not one, but two Tales games between this year and next, one new and one old but new for PC gamers who may be interested in one of the earlier entries in the long-running franchise. Tales of Zestiria is coming to PS3, PS4 and PC on October 20, 2015. PC Gamers who hop on board the Steam pre-order train will have the opportunity to nab the upcoming HD port of Tales of Symphonia for FREE as a bonus tier item. This great deal may not convince some who only collect physical media to grab the game, but for those of you PS4 owners looking for a ton of swag, there’s as nice Collector’s Edition packed with the following:

TALES OF ZESTIRIA game for the PlayStation 4 system

Serialized premium box packaging

Exclusive SteelBook case

Chibi Kyun Chara figure set

DLC pack

TALES OF ZESTIRIA hardcover art book

Three TALES OF ZESTIRIA pixel-styled character key chains

TALES OF ZESTIRIA 40 minute “Dawn of the Shepherd” OVA anime Blu-ray disc

That’s a nice chunk of shelf space, I bet. I’ll post some pics of the set once I’m at a place with a better connection speed. Or you can just check out all the info on the official Tales Blog.