NIS America Makes NAtURAL DOCtRINE Look Insanely Hard, But That Won’t Keep Me Away…

Wow. Lots of dead adventurers in this rather amusing and slightly gamer grim trailer for the PS3/PS4/PS Vita game NAtURAL DOCtRINE, set for a September release. Kadokawa Games’ upcoming tactical RPG looks to test the skills of the best of the best and leave the bones of the rest to feed the vultures. Hey, maybe I should write copy for the backs of game packages or something? I sometimes have a way with words, I think. Or so people tell me from time to time. Hmmmm… wait. Lots of games aren’t coming in packages these days, so I guess I should stick to writing about games and keep my amusing talent to myself. Anyway, this one looks like a keeper AND a sleeper, so keep an eyeball peeled for it soon…

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Gamescom 2014: Hey, Sony! You Kind Of Forgot About The Vita, Huh?

Hmmm. Well, not entirely, but you’d be hard pressed to find anything said about the small wonder at that huge event today. Freedom Wars looks like fun and a big buy this year, but nothing else was shown at that big deal media briefing meaning anyone who wanted to buy into the handheld looking for a showing at the show was probably left wondering if Sony even HAS a portable system. It’s kind of lame in a way because the system out-powers the 3DS by quite a bit and runs in a lovely HD widescreen Nintendo hasn’t yet realized on any of their handheld systems. Of course, it’s ALL about games at the end of the day and while the Vita does indeed have a number of solid must-play titles, there’s been s distinct lack of promotion of some of the non first-party titles that get kicked onto PSN and overlooked within a few days to weeks… Continue reading

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment Hands-On: .hacking Away At A Fun Soon To Be Sleeper…

SAO_keyvisual_w_LogoI was a rather huge fan of the seven .hack games back in the day (well, it wasn’t THAT long ago), so getting the chance to go hands-on with Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment at Bandai Namco’s recent NYC event was a must. The two series are similar on the surface in that you play a character trapped in an (faux) online game’s deadly world and both are solo experiences with no actual online play modes.

The game will also include an HD version of the Japanese PSP-only Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment, meaning you’re getting two games for the price of one, a good deal in this age of consumers wanting more bang for their gaming buck. Of course, you’ll probably be wanting to know if the game isn any god, right? Well, let me soothe any potential fears and report that it’s all good (and hard) in this one so far… Continue reading

Review: Table Top Racing (PlayStation Vita)

TableTopRacing IconPlatform: PlayStation Vita

Developer: Playrise Digital

Publisher: Ripstone Games

# of Players: 1 (1 – 4 online)

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Score: A- (90%)

 

If there was ever a no-brainer purchase, it would have to be Table Top Racing, the former iOS racer now making a splash on the Vita as a better-looking and more polished product. Featuring speedy 60FPS gameplay, plenty of cars and customization options plus some nifty tracks and events, for a mere $7.99 you’re getting one of the best portable racers on the handheld. While all is peachy keen on the speed and accessibility front, perhaps a track editor of some sort and more control options would have made this one even better than it already is. Then again, as it is, it’s a fun and fast gem that needs no manual reading at all. Just pick up and play, pick up those power-ups and zoom your way to victory and new upgrades for your growing garage of cool little toy cars… Continue reading

Rollers of the Realm Teaser Trailer: Pinball & Wizards Combine In This Soon To Be Sleeper Hit…

ROTR 1I’ve been looking forward to Rollers of the Realm ever since it was a PC-only game from Phantom Compass (“and friends”), but now that’s it’s been snapped up by Atlus for a winter release, I’m eager to see how a larger gaming audience responds to it. Granted, I’m old and wise enough to know this isn’t the FIRST pinball-themed RPG at all, but it’s the one I’m betting more people will be talking about once they play it. I still have an early demo of the game from last year on my hard drive and go back to it often just so I can stave off my need to want the full version sooner than its release date.

Personally, I’m super thrilled to see this on the Vita, as it’s most likely going to be one of those niche titles that gets bought because it’s so unlike anything on the handheld and even the purer pinball sims out there need to bow down a tiny bit at this blending of genres and how it all works so well. Anyway, back to waiting for some smoke signals or whatever Atlus will send up as far as preview or review code. I can wait a while, but I also don’t want to see this gem buried in the holiday crunch of AAA titles everyone always falls for…

The Making of Mind Zero #4: A Bit Late, But A Nice Reminder I Need To Get This One…

Hmmmm. I still need to pick up a copy of Aksys’ new Vita RPG Mind Zero and play it, but I’ve seen mostly mixed reviews, some of which seem to “get” the game and others that don’t. It seems it’s only superficially like the Persona games, but here’s a case where a quick read of the game description and features can make one who follows Atlus’ more popular series raise an eyebrow at the similarities. Ah well, we shall see, I guess. We shall see. My backlog is still insane and not going down thanks to a few more games I’m staring at in a few folders on the laptop or on my desk here. Well, no time for dawdling, I guess. Time to knock a few reviews out over the next week or two…

PSN Flash Sale MADNESS! Everything For A Buck? You’re Broke And You Didn’t Even Look Yet!

PSN FLASH SALE 

WOW. Well, you thought it was going to be a QUIET weekend, huh? Nope. Sony is running an absolutely crazy FLASH SALE on PSN with a bunch of PSOne Classics, PSP and PS3 digital downloads, all for 99 cents EACH. Yaaaaaaah! I had to seriously restrain myself to only buying Wild Arms and Wild Arms 2 before caving in and picking up Legend of Dragoon because I’ve never actually owned my own copy. I have the other two games here on disc, but now that I can take them on the road on my PSP or Vita, I’m happier about not having to stay home to play them (and reconnect the PSOne to the TV, dig out a memory card with the right save files and so forth and so on). Anyway, there are a LOAD of awesome titles up for grabs, no PS Plus account necessary or any other shenanigans. Just DEALS galore this weekend for anyone smart enough to pop onto PSN or SEN and poke around. So stopp reading this and go get some games!

E3 2014: Pavilion Extended Gameplay Trailer: Beautiful Iso-lation Incoming For PS4 and Vita

 
I can’t explain why I happen to love isometric viewpoint games other than to blame BioWare and their Infinity Engine role-playing games (plus others made with the engine by assorted developers), Troika’s flawed by deep Temple of Elemental Evil, Blizzard’s Diablo, a bunch of really well made adventure games like DreamForge’s Sanitarium and RA Images Daemonica among others. Anyway, Pavilion is right up my alley and developer Visiontrick Media has cooked up a pretty sharp looking potential time eater I need to take for a spin. There’s still no release date for this one, but I’m keeping an eye peeled. I’d have an ear to the ground, but whenever I do that, someone trips over my head (ouch)…

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.

E3 2014: Xseed Gets Nicely Nostalgic and Notoriously Naughty This Year…

 
So, it looks as if Harvest Moon is now Story of Seasons, at least because Natsume owns the name proper and this game, while in the same series, has to get a retitling. No worries there, as it’s the same gameplay and pretty much the same plot as the older games you may have played and loved. Just buy it when it comes out and you’ll forget all about the name change, I say.

 
Gamers who recall one of the Super Nintendo’s most devious and pesky rogue-like RPG’s will be pleased to know that Nihon Falcom’s masterpiece Brandish is BACK in remake form as a new(ish) PSP game called Brandish: The Dark Revenant. from that video above, I got a few chuckles because it reminded me of playing the old game on the SNES and hating it until I got the hang of things, then hating it some more because making progress was tough as nails even after you got used to the gameplay. The assorted deathtraps here will drive impatient players nuts plus tax, so may I recommend you tape that PSP or Vita wrist strap around your wrist if you buy this game? This way, if you decide get pissed off and actually throw that handheld, you don’t get to see it hit anything unless it whips around your wrist (ouch!).

 
Corpse Party is also coming back, this time as a PC game for those of you who missed the original indie version. don’t let those initially cute characters fool you one bit. This one’s a creepy horror tale with some blood and gore and a plot that WILL get up under your skin and writhe around like it means it. It’s not really a party at the end of the day, but corpses are indeed involved, so that title is half correct, ha and ha… Continue reading