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…

About these ads

Beating The Devil (Again) In Preparation For Beating The Devil (Again)…

Diablo III_PS3 So, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is coming to consoles soon and I’ve been going back to the PlayStation 3 version of DIII in order to gain a few more Paragon levels (I’m only at 26 currently) as well as a few more items I’ve been wanting to drop from defeated monsters or find in a chest somewhere. It’s been a slower than usual process thanks to me needing to complete a bunch of other games and get reviews posted, something that’s taking a bit longer than usual because I prefer to play games until I’ve seen pretty much everything. That and some games require patches that need downloading because what’s shipped isn’t quite where it needed to be for a retail product (something that annoys me to no end in most cases) and I’m not always able to download patches unless it’s from a wi-fi spot I can lug a laptop or portable system to.

Anyway, I was explaining the whole Diablo thing to a friend who doesn’t grasp the rinse and repeat nature of the series and wonders what the appeal is. Of course, I had to ask him if he was a sports fan (he is) and noted that every sport is about repetition and randomness and I could see the light bulb go off above his head before I completed my thought. The lure of games like this is simple: Beat down monsters, collect loot, sell off or transform bad loot into cash or better loot, rinse and repeat. Beautiful cut scenes and booming voice acting aside, Diablo games aren’t known for their “compelling” stories at all. That said, other than Earth Defense Force 2025, I’ve probably logged more time with DIII than any other game this year and the Reaper of Souls expansion is going to add many more hours to that total. Although, I’ll be taking my time with that one because there are games shipping out around that time or before that I actually want to finish before ROS eats up my remaining free time.

Back in a bit – writing this post has given me the urge to go to hell for a bit and shake things up to see what happens. I can use another Manticore and a few Hellfire Ring parts too (yup, only DIII players will understand my madness)…

Shadow of Mordor Story Trailer: The Bright Lord’s Kind Of An OK Guy, Huh?

“And there will be no joy in Mordor… Mighty Crazy has struck out!” Well, okay, my feeble attempt at humor is based on me having a loooooong and boring day here fiddling with my PCs and clearing out stuff from some hard drives. But it had to be done and done it has been. Except for one computer here I’m wanting to beat with a baseball bat because it finally needs replacing after many years of service. But that’s neither here nor there, folks. This Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor update is brought to you from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, home of fine video games in the LEGO, Batman and Lord of the Rings franchises (among others). Hey, I’m not getting a dime for this post from them at all, folks – I’m just writing what’s rolling off the top of my head because my eyes are half closed right about now. Oh, I’ll be alright after a decent night’s rest. See you all tomorrow!

SDCC 2014: Little Orbit’s Got A Pair Of Nice Surprises For Gamers Soon…

As a fan of last year’s Adventure Time game (released by D3Publisher of America), I’m happy to see that this year’s installment, Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom is going to be closer in spirit to a Legend of Zelda game as opposed to a Gauntlet and Diablo-inspired chase & chop. Sure, I’ll miss playing as Marilese and some of the other characters, but as long as this new game delivers the goods, I’m not complaining at all. This one’s coming sometime in the fall for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC (via Steam) and Nintendo 3DS.

As for Falling Skies: The Game? Color me surprised and impressed. Sure, it’s basically a reworked version of the XCOM reboot from a few years back, but this is actually a good thing because I’d imagine the only other options were a boring run & gun game or some type of MMO that only a tiny percentage of people would actually play. While this one’s only coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360, I’m betting that it gets bought and played by gamers who like turn-based strategy who don’t mind maybe discovering a show they haven’t seen yet as well. This one’s out PS3, Xbox 360 and PC (via Steam) on September 24, 2014.

Alien Isolation: “Crew Expendable”? Not In This Video, Folks!

Alien_Isolation_Crew_ExpendableWhile the internet still rages on about whether or not the adding the cast of the original ALIEN to this new game as paid DLC currently only available as a pre-order bonus, it’s good to see the old(er) cast here reminiscing for a bit about things old and new. I like how Harry Dean Stanton didn’t realize that 35 years had passed since the film was released (hey, sometimes an actor who’s appeared in so many films tends to not recall every single role he’s done and when he did them) and it’s clearly sounding like the dev team didn’t go the lazy route and just take voice samples from the first movie and drop them in where needed. The again, as Tom Skerritt notes: “It’s what you don’t see…”, meaning these missions add to the original film’s story, filling in a few gaps. Hopefully, fans of the film will more likely be a lot more pleased whether or not they like the idea of pre-paying for that DLC and Sega will decide to release both missions as a single download not too long after the game ships out so we all can enjoy them.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Behind the Scenes #1: On Performance and Polish.

 
Initially, I’d thought this was going to be one of those online only games or an expansion to The Lord of the Rings Online, so it got sent to the bottom of my list of games I was interested in this year. Well, as this years E3 revealed, I need to pay a lot more attention. Monolith Studios is making what looks to be a really cool action game using the Rings license for current and next-generation platforms that’s worth taking a longer look at, so here you go – the first of a few making of videos. Enjoy!

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!

Dragon Age: Inquisition Will Be Your “Dive In And Enjoy The Ride” Game For October, I’d Predict…

Dragon_03_WM_webHearing “Are there any questions?” after watching the Dragon Age Inquisition demo being played at EA’s media event a few days back made me laugh because after seeing the game in action, I just REALLY wanted to PLAY it myself and get any answers I needed. Clearly, BioWare was listening to player complaints about the series’ somewhat limited (albeit large) maps, so the demo was initially played on a map the size of Dragon Age Origins‘ entire game world. Additionally, while the demo was played in a set manner the two times I sat through it, I was also taking notes of all the little details such as plants and other things that could be gathered, the assorted wildlife that, save for one encounter, appeared in different numbers and places and a number of other changes small to large.

I was also thinking in terms of my own play style, how long it would take to merely get from one end of that even more massive and open map to the other. I tend to get easily distracted by off the beaten path areas, so I’m imagining taking a good deal more than a half hour to reach a simple mission objective or key story point. Thankfully, the new map and mapping system should set me straight if I ever get lost and the addition of mounts for the first time in the franchise means I can ride in and out of trouble (provided my poor horse or whatever other creature I end up with) isn’t stomped on or otherwise maimed in the process. Hmmm… that’s one question I actually SHOULD have asked. The new “be a leader” gameplay bits should be grand, as the game world will evolve according to the alliances and enemies you make. As with previous entries, everything you do will play some role in how the plot spools out, but this time the number of possible ripples outward from your actions are much greater… Continue reading

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Making of Episode 1: “If You’re Going to Shoot, SHOOT. Don’t Talk!”

 
Hey, Kids! Wanna know how video games are made? Well, this video doesn’t go into ALL the not so gory at all details, but it IS a fun watch if you’re intrigued. Gearbox Software seems to be a fun enough place to work, although some gamers with too much time on their hands and rickety soap boxes to stand on will give them eternal grief for at least two games they’ve worked on until the Earth rolls off its axis. Me, I just move forward and keep an eye on what they’re doing next. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel isn’t made entirely by the studio, but you know 2K Australia is using what Gearbox has created in this collaboration to whip up this spaced-out loot frenzy that happens to take place in the fun-tastic Borderlands universe.

Given that this one is only on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, I’m betting some of you are kind of ticked off that you traded in that “old” console in trade for a newer one, right? Oh well. Next time, don’t trade in or give away any system until you ONLY see budget games coming out for it. Or even better, NO games at all. That way you’re SURE there are no surprises coming down the pike…

Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unknown Star Trailer: Some Would Say It’s Music of the Stares…

Arnosurge logo

Ar nosurge home_bgNot a true “sequel” to the fan-favorite Ar Tonelico games on the PlayStation 2, Tecmo Koei’s upcoming Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unknown Star uses enough elements from those games and is set in the same universe, allowing fans of those games to dive right on in with relative ease. Interestingly enough, Ar nosurge is actually the sequel to a PlayStation Vita game never released outside Asia called Ciel nosurge, an episodic adventure/sim that had its first chapter released on a game card, another other nine DLC chapters since and twelve planned total chapters when all is said and done later this year.

Of course, the chances of Ciel nosurge coming out here are about zero, but big thanks go out to Tecmo Koei for getting Gust’s latest PS3 game out and localized relatively quickly. The Japanese version arrived in March there and North America and Europe will be getting English versions in September. As you can see on the official site, the “seven volumes” of screen shots as well as the the character and background art look quite lovely indeed. Granted, the game won’t be for all tastes what with its semi-dressed sort of machine-like ladies and certain sequences that will be easily misunderstood by those who judge content solely by game screens and not actually playing the game. Nonetheless, it’s great to see yet another JRPG that blends 2D and 3D art styles so well coming for Sony’s still strong “old” console. This one’s added to my “Shut Up & Play It!” list…