New Raven’s Cry Trailer: Rough Seas Can’t Dampen My Desire To Give This One A Shot…

 

Okay, so the sound mix is way off balance and sure, it’s not looking as stunning as other games coming out this late for last-gen systems, but I’m still going to play TopWare Interactive’s Raven’s Cry when it’s released. Veteran developer Reality Pump Studios has been working on this game for a while, so I’m curious to see the final result for a few reasons. It’s probably one of the last open world games on the PS3 and Xbox 360, it’s not another fantasy RPG, and while the pirate theme has been done to death and some consider that last Assassin’s Creed game the be-all, end-all game in this sub-genre, it’s just nice to root for the “little” guy every now and then, I say. Besides, rough edges aside, there’s something about a European-made RPG that commands attention and respect. Well, at least I think so…

Raven’s Cry lands on PC, Mac, PS3/PS4 and Xbox 360 on October 14, 2014.

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Diablo III: Reaper of Souls UEE: A Reminder That It’s Nice To Share…

Now, I intend to play this one completely solo just because I prefer the challenge of going it alone (and Okay, because I have a crappy home connection), but it’s great to see Blizzard championing couch co-op for this expansion. Remember, console owners get Diablo III included with this expansion, so it’s a great deal no matter which system you buy it for. Of course, the more powerful PS4 will get the better looking version of the game, allegedly with some other options not available to PS3 owners, but we’ll see about that in a few days, right? Actually, I’ll probably wait until I complete a few reviews in progress before I even decide to touch this one. I have the feeling that once I fire this one up, I won’t be coming up for air any time soon…

Gamescom 2014: The Witcher 3 Leaves Yet Another Winning Impression…

 

Well, this almost 16 minutes of gameplay footage is sure going to be helping sell The Witcher 3 to PC, PS4 and Xbox One owners (or make one buy a new console or upgrade a PC to run this gorgeous open world RPG… but, wait… what’s this? The Xbox One collector’s edition is getting (noooo!) extra stuff NOT in the other editions? Ruh-roh. Hmmmm… well, it’s just physical versions of the “Gwent” card decks so you can play that game (which is in ALL versions of the game) outside of the game space with like-minded friends and a cloth map of the game world.

 

Hmmm… I should be upset at this, but I know the internet fanboys will take care of that for me. It doesn’t affect the main game at all, so it’s not that big a deal. However, I can see some of the people cheering CDPR for stating that every version of the game would get the same content taking that a wee bit too literally and asking for Gwent decks for every version of the game. Of course, the company can just sell those decks separately at some point (and should if Gwent becomes popular enough to warrant making a lot more real decks).

 

Edit: I see that the whiners are in full rage on YouTube and a few message boards already! The developer did promise that TWC’s content on the game disc or via download would be the same, but it seems that didn’t extend to physical goodies at all, which as noted above, I really don’t have an issue with at all. I’m gathering they’ll stick to their guns despite the cranky types online saying they’ll cancel their pre-orders and I hope they do, but also reiterate that the ACTUAL game EVERY person is buying will be 100% the same across all platforms. Those cards and that map seem to be a bonus wrangled out by Microsoft, which seems to be looking to buy gamer love these days by getting them things they pay a lot for…

WHAT Summer Drought? This Week’s LOADED With RPG Madness!

 

Yikes. Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed is out (PS3 and PS Vita! BUY IT!), as is Disgaea 4: A Promised Revisited (PS Vita, BUY IT). Next week (all arriving on the 19th!), it’s Tales of Xillia 2 (PS3, BUY IT!), Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (PS Vita, BUY IT!) and the summer/fall/winter/forever eating madness that is Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition (PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One, BUY IT!).

 

Finally, the close of the month (well, August 26) brings in DLC for Dark Souls II in the form of the Crown of the Old Iron King content (PC, PS3, Xbox 360, BUY IT!) and Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 (PS Vita – the jury is out, but it does look cute!). If you like your RPGs a bit more (well, a LOT more) European, Risen 3: Titan Lords (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) and Sacred 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) are out NOW, and while the reviews aren’t “stellar” for either game, I’m gathering both will find their niche among more open-minded RPG fans.

 

Well, now that your wallet is gasping for air and you’re curled up in a fetal position wishing you had more time to PLAY all those games, I’ll consider my work here done as I bid you adieu (for now)…

Gamescom 2014: Dragon Age: Inquisition Trailer & Screens: More To Whet Your Appetite, Yet Keep You Starving…

Well, there goes my fall and probably winter, I’m gathering. At this point, BioWare has a lot of people following every bit of ink (digital or otherwise) scribbled about Dragon Age: Inquisition, but these days, I only write too much about a game if I’m worried it’s not going to find an audience. DA:I has a built-in fan base that’s going to dive into it no matter what anyone says about it, and I have nothing bad to say at all. Other than I wish every bit of content was on a disc and there wasn’t DLC to worry about at all. I’ve been saying that a lot about all games, so fear not EA or BioWare – I’m not picking on you folks for that. It’s just a poke I take at every company that hasn’t yet realized that not everyone likes this practice or can get to that content they’ve paid for that’s on the disc or locked away as a download unless one buys into it. Options are always better to have than mandates and this game world needs to be one that anyone who can play the game should be able to fully explore.

Dragon Age: Inquisition will be available November 18, 2014 for PC, PS3/PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I’d say you should most probably buy this one…

 

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Gamescom 2014: Why Tomb Raider As An Xbox One Exclusive Is A Lousy Move…

One: Tomb Raider got its start at a multiplatform game (PlayStation, Sega Saturn and PC), allowing many millions of gamers to see what original development team Core Design had created. While (very) dated by today’s standards, the innovation on a few technical fronts, a strong female lead character and the game paying homage to everything from Prince of Persia to the Indiana Jones movies made it an instant smash worldwide. Clamping the new game onto ONE system “forever” is to me, a mistake that’s going to result in lower sales for the new game unless there’s guarantee people will buy an Xbox One because of the new game. It’s likely in some cases, but I’d bet an old penny that any console sales are absolutely nowhere near what both Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider II did for PlayStation sales back when both games were released.

In my years in retail, there have been a handful of games I’ve seen people slap down money to buy a console for and the first three Tomb Raider games are on that list. Granted, TR III was a bit problematic on a few fronts (and how!), but crazy difficulty aside, it still sold systems… Continue reading

Dead Island 2 “Sunshine & Slaughter” Trailer: Not For The Squeamish (Unless Gore Makes You Giddy)…

Hey, I did warn you up there in the title, right. Last chance to hold out for a less violent post in 3… 2… (oops):

I kind of slipped and fell in a pool of blood (not my own, thankfully), but didn’t crack my own skull open because I fell on top of a freshly decapitated zombie. Ewww. Um… anyone know how to get some rather stinky blood and brains out of a pair of jeans and a T-shirt? Well, the shirt IS black, so I guess I can get away with tossing it in the laundry pile. As for the jeans? Well, they USED to be jet black many years ago, but have faded to a comfortable black/grey blend. I guess a new dye job is in the works for them once I put them through the wash with that T, huh? Anyway, Dead Island 2 is going to be a “lock up the kids!” game for sure, so you can get a head start on that NOW by finding a nice closet space for the little ones (make sure to measure them and add a few inches, as they’ll most likely grow a bit before the game is released).

Oddly enough, now I’m a bit hungry and even more interesting is I’m having gnocchi with a nice red wine/meat sauce for dinner. What can I say? I made that sauce last night and had no idea I’d be reminded of it while watching a bunch of undead get mutilated in a game trailer. Two more hours ’til dinner… shut up, stomach with that growling!

Project CARS Hands-On: Simple Sample Reveals Miles Of Depth…

ProjectCARS_PC_USA_f ProjectCARS_PS4_USA_f ProjectCARS_XONE_USA_fSure, it was a single course (Brands Hatch) and car to drive on that course, but the Project CARS demo running at Bandai Namco’s recent NYC event floored me on a few fronts.

ka01This super-popular initially thought headed for high-end PC-only racer is coming to next-gen consoles in November and (surprise!) is actually set for a Wii U appearance sometime in 2015. More on that later, as overhearing that news from Marketing Director Brian Hong hit me like a ton of bricks as someone was filming me play the demo for their website and I probably skidded off the track and hit something from the shock of that news… Continue reading

STYX: Master of Shadows Summer Trailer: Sneaking Up Soon, Wanting To Steal Your Wallet…

Styx and StonesCyanide Studios’ upcoming stealth/action game, STYX: Master of Shadows is looking pretty slick and I’d bet that one doesn’t need to have played the developer’s previous game Of Orcs & Men in order to hop into Styx’s boots and feel right at home. It’s too bad this one’s only for “next-gen” consoles and PC, as I know more people would have the chance to play it if it were kicking it “old school” on the PS3 and Xbox 360. But hey, that’s one way to get people to finally make the move, I suppose.

In any event, this certainly looks like Cyanide’s best work to date and I hope even the most jaded gamer out there gives this one some respect, as it’s too easy to fall into the “I never heard of it before, so it must be crap” trap I see scribbled about games all over the internet. Yuck. Styx needs to get stabby-stabby on those folks, I say. We’ll see what happens in November when the little guy sneaks into store shelves or a download queue near you…

Pier Solar & The Great Architects HD Trailer: The Return of Watermelon’s Modern Retro JRPG

I only own ONE copy of Pier Solar at the moment (one of the reissues with the Sega CD/CD soundtrack bonus), but that’s about to change soon when the fully revamped HD version of game FINALLY makes it to PC (for a few operating systems), Sega Dreamcast (!), PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Wii U (yes!) at some point this year. Or is it next year? It’s hard to say, but I’m sure it’ll be well worth the long wait in the end. The visuals certainly benefit from the transition, the new cut scenes also look great and yes, I’m betting the game is still as tough as it was when it was initially released. Anyway, the fine folks at Watermelon are to be commended for getting this new and shiny version out on pretty much anything that can play it as it needs to be played (on a large screen, of course). Nothing more to say here other than let the waiting begin!