Thanks to Xseed Games still dropping DLC for Valhalla Knights 3 on PSN and me deciding to try out a bunch of it. I have not yet gotten around to polishing off the review I’m almost done with. Then they go an release Ys: Memories of Celceta and I’m suddenly seeing the rest of my year gone with the wind once I get around to picking this game up. THANKS, guys! No, really. It’s not like I have anything better to do than to prove that the Vita isn’t dead as some say (or hell, dead at all!), and it’s always a pleasure to play a new JRPG that’s actually an old JRPG redone with some spiffy new visuals and even more fun gameplay than the original. That said, as I keep stressing… someone REALLY needs to create a means of stopping or slowing down time so that I can enjoy more of the games I buy and play. Anyway, you should add this one to your library if you haven’t already – I’ll get out a review in a bit…
EDIT! Guess what, kids? The game is now part of the big, big Steam Autumn Sale and is a WHOPPING 50% OFF unitl December 3, 2013! That’s right, a measly $12.49 gets you the game all patched up and ready to go! Woo-hoo!
Hoo-ray! I think I’m the ONLY one that doesn’t mind the game’s non-adjustable resolution (*the main thing some still want to whine about who may not think the patch fixes EVERYTHING), but as someone who plays primarily console titles (well, there’s about a 70-30 mix), no controller support was a big pain in the wrists and lower for me. Anyway, the list of changes is HERE, so if you’ve been on the fence about this one, it should at least be easier to control if you’re coming from a console background. NOTE: You’ll need an official wired Xbox 360 controller for best results. I guess a wireless pad will also work, but I used my wired controller so I don’t need to recharge or replace any batteries. Also, this is currently only for the Steam version, but I’d gather a gog.com patch is also incoming.
Oh, Frabulous Joy Or Whatever, Department: Can I get an “FK in the Coffee!” in the house (to go, light and sweet)?!! According to the fine folks at GamingBolt, Swery 65 says he was working on a sequel to Deadly Premonition during the time he was coming up with what’s turned into the Xbox One exclusive, D4. Granted, this is only noted at the end of a sentence, there’s no HUGE reveal of info about how far along that work went and the interview is 99.9% about D4 (and a good read), so don’t look too much at that 2014 calendar and start rubbing your hands for a release date on that DP follow-up.
The interview also COMFIRMS that D4 is an Xbox One exclusive (argh!), not a DP sequel or related in any way and will contain a load of “Easter Eggs” and other elements to give it more replay value. So now that that’s settled, I guess some Swery fans will be dropping five large to get an Xbox One JUST to play this game. I’m a huge fan of the man’s body of work, but I may be passing this game up entirely unless there’s a price drop on that console and that game comes complete on a disc at some point in the future. To date, it’s the ONLY reason I’m remotely interested in Microsoft’s new
service console, as I don’t play online “bro” shooters, have ZERO interest in sports and have plenty of movies that I can watch on cable in a MUCH better quality than any streamed content. Your own mileage may vary, of course…
Winter 2014 in this case probably doesn’t mean between January and March of next year, folks. If anything, Atlus is smart as hell for getting the team working on this to do so on the old hardware simply because they know it so well and can make this the best-looking Persona game to date if they choose to go all out on the visuals.
And speaking of visuals, that image from the Japanese website (currently the sole piece of art available) is pretty striking, isn’t it? That said, I’m not going to be stupid here and speculate what it means other than to say that given the previous games were about high-school age kids discovering they’re endowed with special powers and need to save the world before it ends in some insanely dramatic manner while also going through the motions of daily life, classwork and homework should still present a major story point throughout the game.
Eh, we’ll see what’s what over the next year – there’s plenty of time for Atlus to drop loads of updates before the game is ready to ship out…
Now, about those OTHER Persona games… read on for my take, if you dare…
Veteran developer Techland has been making some phenomenal-looking games for a number of years for consoles and PC, but Dying Light looks to be their best work to date. This mere 40 seconds of a recent tech demo shows off some pretty stellar lighting effects, a bit of a zombie problem and hopefully some nice hiding spots as I understand that when the sun drops from the sky, those undead get fierce and harder to put down. Which is why I’ll prefer to stay home and play the game as opposed to popping my head and body out the door to pick up a quart of 2% and some cat food, only to get jumped by some undead in the process. Heck, I don’t even own a cat! “Good Night Good Luck”, indeed… MY slogan would be “Hide and Sleep”…
I actually got another mighty chuckle going when Hideo Kojima showed that trailer above at the PlayStation 4 launch in NYC last week. I’d been thinking for a few months now it would be wonderful if any developer or publisher who had a key launch or other title for the original PlayStation did something like a remake with all-new visuals, but of course, Kojima goes and has his team get retro in the weirdest manner possible. Hey, it works for me, being a fan of Metal Gear Solid and all. But I know that some younger gamers saw this trailer and nearly spit up their Red Bull because they’ve yet to experience the glory that was (and is) the original MGS. Granted, that Fox Engine is pretty mighty at doing outstandingly realistic visuals on the PS3, PC and other platforms, so there’s no doubt that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes will do well when it lands in a few places (retail and digital) at some point OK< Spring 2014). Yeah, yeah… David HAyter has been replaced by Keifer Sutherland as the voice (and face) of Snake, but I think I'm one of the few who shed a tear and moved on quickly. I have more urgent things to think about besides who's being paid to portray an iconic character – I just want the game to be memorable and really well written.
And here’s about 13 minutes of the game with no chunky Snake to ogle. enjoy!
It’s the brilliant writing, folks… but the excellent stylized visuals (done in the style of the award winning comic) aren’t bad at all. 2012′s best game by many accounts is coming back from the undead as a complete package with the 400 Days DLC and some nice bonuses and yes indeed, although I have the disc version AND the PSN downloads, I’ll be picking this GOTY edition up simply out of habit (well, that and I haven’t yet gotten the 400 Days content update since my PS3 currently isn’t connected to PSN). Trust me, if you haven’t played this yet and know someone with a PC, PS3 or Xbox 360 who doesn’t yet have this one, get it for them (well, make sure they’re 18 or over first!) and stick around to watch them play. Bet you’re sucked in right from the opening moments and you stick around to see what happens and who makes it through those chapters in one piece (or close to one piece)…
Hey! Stop that whining that you don’t own one of those fancy new online tethered “Maybe she no-a work out of the box! for a few reasons” new consoles, kids! You can play BOTH of these new titles on what you already own and be happy (and definitely happier if you kept that PS3 around if your PS4 is blue-light bricking itself up the living room), so I say GET HAPPY!
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! is out NOW on the “old” Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Wayforward Technologies (the current KINGS of modern retro gaming on many fronts. RESPECT!). Old-school top-down action RPG action. Kinda like Gauntlet, but kinda NOT like Gauntlet (there’s no coin drop on you TV and the game isn’t like Gauntlet once you play it). One to four players. Sort of has drop in-drop out co-op play (so your friends can faint at the sight of a boss and you can keep going, darn them!). Rated E10+ (but most of you AT fans are much older than 10+, I bet). Yeah, you need this one yesterday, I say.
Young Justice Legacy is also out NOW for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS and PC (via Steam). New developer Freedom Factory takes a page from the still hugely popular Marvel Ultimate Alliance games with this fun one to three player action RPG that takes place between Seasons 1 and 2 of the seemingly now defunct cartoon series. Sure, the stylized visuals aren’t screaming 2013 at you, but this is one of those games that works if you love the fast-paced super-heroic stuff and aren’t overly judgmental about every game being a showpiece of visual techniques. From my playtime with a demo, solo play can be tough in some spots if you’re careless and rush into fights, so grab a friend or two and a couple of extra controllers (have your friends bring theirs, I say) and get the fist to face action going.
Yeah, you’ll need to invite them over as this (and Adventure Time) don’t have any online modes (not sure about the Steam version, but it’s good that I DON’T KNOW! – yet). Good, I say – people need to play MORE together in the same room because it makes them be MORE social. How so? Hey, if you have to bathe for company and maybe clean up a little… THAT’S making yourself MORE social. Get it? Got it? GOOD. Now go hit the pavement for some exercise and retail therapy. Class dismissed!
If any studio is going to master this new hardware first, my money is on Criterion and Ghost Games and their Need For Speed games. Granted, Need For Speed Rivals is a purely arcade-like game experience and racing fans who want more in the way of total car customization and more racing viewpoints will gripe a bit about the game as they usually do with other racers. Me, I’ll just be jamming on the gas, sliding through turns and causing all sorts of mayhem while enjoying the scenery and trying to wreck as little as possible. This one’s on current and next-gen consoles (not the Wii U, though – sorry!), so pick one and GO, I say. Online or off, it’s bound to be a blast.
Alright, it’s a given: CUTE ROBOTS SELL CONSOLES. And SUPER-cute virtual robots you can play with and/or kick around the room? When the audience goes “D’aaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!” more than five times a minute? Yeah, there’s Christmas in a box for Sony right there.
Okay, despite my occasional cranky side acting up from time to time, I’ll have to admit that Jimmy Fallon always gets me excited about gaming despite me having a longer history with them than he has. Granted, it’s his great enthusiasm for the medium and NOT his play style (that tends to lean towards the “Boy, do I suck at these games but I’m having FUN!” although he did beat Ice-T at that Pong variant) that’s hard to fake. And yep, game companies love him, Conan and anyone else they can get a console and controller to. Of course, none of them love ME, but that’s more my fault than theirs at the end of the day. Oh well, we’re workin’ on it… we’re workin’ on it. I’m thinking of writing a fake e-book (not really) called “How To Get The Respect You Deserve Without Being A Total Ass or Total Suck-Up” but we’ll say no more about that unless we want to be called a total ass. Or a total suck-up. Not too good at either of those, but I can swing both ways once I take some lessons. Is the Learning Annex still open here in NYC?