Ratchet & Clank PS4: Insomniac’s Got A Killer Game, But…


 

Well, now. I wasn’t at all a fan of the idea of a CG movie featuring these characters so the tagline “The Game Based On The Movie Based On The Game” made me cringe before I finished reading it. Nevertheless, all it took was one look at that trailer and later, the gameplay video below to change my mind. Mostly. Granted, Rainmaker Animation is certainly a talented group of folks and based on that E3 trailer from last year, they’ve certainly captured the spirit of the characters. Interestingly enough, pre-orders for the game are already being taken on a few sites despite not even the developer knowing what the price point will be.


 

That said, the big question is do we really need a movie at all? Insomniac Games is doing its best work on the PS4 to date with this remake/reboot, so there’s no question that will sell like hotcakes next year. But I don’t think the non-interactive movie will be as interesting to some gamers who don’t like sitting on their cans for an hour forty five or whatever NOT holding a controller in their hot little hands. Hell, people complain about cut scenes in games if they run over two minutes long. So having what amounts to an extended advertisement for the new game (and the PS4) may be seen as overkill to a bunch of folks who might skip paying for a ticket in favor of not so legally viewing the film once someone puts it online.

Eh, we’ll see what happens. I’m betting the critics who aren’t into games at all won’t get this much other than to lay praise on Rainmaker’s animation and storytelling. But what do I know? I’m the nut who wants a full on Disruptor remake. For the Vita. Yikes!

Preview: The Deadly Tower of Monsters Looks Like A Nice Place to Visit


 

Atlus and developer ACE team are going to make some of us well-aged “B” movie fans really happy soon. The Deadly Tower of Monsters is coming to PC and PlayStation 4 soon and it looks like a total camp classic that captures the weird spirit of plenty of well-aged flicks that made for some fun weekends in front of the tube way back when. I’m gathering the humor will be lost on the more jaded gamers of today or those expecting new games to all look the same with super-shiny realism all over the place.

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Nope, you’re not getting that here at all. TDToM seems to be presented from a mostly isometric perspective so comparisons to something like Diablo III or Gauntlet will no doubt be made by some. I’m liking the wires on that rocket above, the intentionally choppy stop-motion dinosaur and the super-colorful graphics while hoping there’s an optional black and white mode in the mix somewhere.

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As I won’t be at E3 this year, I’m not going to be getting any hands-on time with the game (boo!). But I’ll keep an ear to the ground and keep an eye peeled for videos of gameplay because this one sure looks like something I’d play to death and beyond. Now, if only it was coming to more consoles. But I guess we’ll see what happens if it does well enough to expand onto more systems. As usual… we shall see.

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Xseed’s E3 Lineup: Bugs, Babes, Brains, and Booms

XSEED E3 2015
 

We are excited to announce a wide breadth of titles that will be showcased at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2015.

Newly revealed games include The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel for PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®Vita, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair for PlayStation®4, SENRAN KAGURA ESTIVAL VERSUS for PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®Vita, and Return to PopoloCrois: A STORY OF SEASONS Fairytale for the Nintendo 3DS™.

We will also showcase the previously announced titles SENRAN KAGURA 2: Deep Crimson for Nintendo 3DS™, Onechanbara Z2: Chaos for PlayStation®4, Corpse Party: Blood Drive for PlayStation®Vita, and Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space for PlayStation®Vita.

Well, it sure looks as if Xseed Games is going for the early (but entirely made up by me) award of “Most Stupidly Cool Japanese Games coming to the West Sooner Than You’d Think” as they reveal their excellent E3 lineup. My brain is busy calculating how much time I’ll be spending in those EDF games (which deceptively hide hundreds of hours of play time in their initially simple run & shoot gameplay). Xseed really loves you so it seems most of these will be getting physical retail releases as well as digital. Excellent. I like my library handy so I can show off cover art or rap someone on the forehead with that plastic case if they make fun of what I play.

Anyway, color me giddy (again) and thanks (again) Xseed. You guys all rock (again!)

Fallout 4: It’s Going To Be The Bomb (As The Kids Say)


 

Fallout 4 CasesWell, I knew Bethesda was working on it for a while so I may be one of the few people who didn’t lose his or her mind when that Fallout 4 trailer dropped. More will be revealed at E3 and that most likely means there will be live gameplay to see and screens to pore over. I like that our hero (or heroine if you choose to play as a female) may have an actual voice this time out and I hope there are a few voice options in that character creation screen. While the trailer is made up of in-game footage trying to even guess anything about the story through the trailer is a fool’s errand. Naturally, the internet is going ga-ga over over-speculation about everything in that video. I prefer to keep what remains of my sanity and stay quiet until my paws are wrapped around a controller.

I’m gathering the release date will be a shocker, as there are placeholder pre-order and retailer tabs on the official site already that will probably go live during or after E3. I’m betting Bethsoft wants to get as many people who want this as possible to grab their wallets and get with the early spending spree. Given that their press conference is quite long and has the return of former G4TV stars Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb as hosts, I’d say a lot of gamer wallet (and other bits) draining will be happening once all is said and done. That said, I don’t think an new single player entry in The Elder Scrolls series will be announced this year. Why? Because that’s too much to take for some folks (myself included) and time travel hasn’t been invented just yet so we can play all these games and go back to normal without missing a beat.

Besides, Bethesda REALLY wants you to be playing The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Zenimax did work a hell of a long time on it and I hear it’s not bad at all for an always online game experience.

SOMA Gameplay: While You Were Sleeping, Frictional’s Been Busy


 

The more I see of SOMA, the more I want to play it and hear about others playing it. This slow-burner of a sci-fi horror game from Frictional Games looks fantastic and as you can see, has atmosphere to burn in spades. I do love that the game builds up to what’s in this 12+ minute video and will most likely leave viewers interested in the game wanting to grab it just to see how everything falls into place. It seems that players will be in for an excellent blend of adventure game search and use, environmental hazards and one pretty oddball opinionated machine. Iie arigato, Mr. Roboto! Yikes. Anyway, SOMA is out September 22 on PC and PS4.

XSEED Brings EDF 2 Stateside (Those Bugs Don’t Stand A Chance!)


 

Here’s one way to end a crappy month plus: some EXCELLENT news from XSEED Games. They’re localizing Sandlot’s Earth Defense Forces 2 Portable V2 for the US and retitling it Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space. Okay, the title is somewhat (and intentionally) cheesy, recalling the 50’s aci-fi flicks that inspired the Japanese development team. But for those of us who’ve been fans of the EDF series since its 2003 debut, seeing the game finally arrive in English means many things.

For one, no more begging non-Japanese action game fans to “give it a try” because they’re fearful of any text they can’t read or navigate the controls without worrying. Granted, the games are dirt simple to play and anyone who can hold a Vita can dive right in. But between the radio chatter, menus, weapon and mission descriptions I’ve had to tell a few friends not to fret over, I can recommend the US version as an instant BUY. Second, while the story isn’t anything “special”, the fact that EDF 2 has a London map (where the game starts and has a few missions) before proceeding to Japan has made me want to see a complete script localization to see how the aliens ended up there first. Also, as things get bleaker for humanity as the locations get more destroyed, some of that radio chatter seems to be pretty bleak. In previous EDF games, there’s been a doom-like tone as the final dregs of soldiers take their last stands and say some farewells. You can’t make that campy… or CAN you?

Anyway, this one isn’t out until the fall, but I’ll be keeping an eyeball on it for sure.

The Witcher 3 Now Available: Some of You Won’t Be Seen For Weeks


 

Or you’ll be seen in all your usual places but your minds will be elsewhere because you’ve been running around adventuring as Geralt in CD Projekt RED’s long-awaited open world masterpiece. If those glowing review scores are any indication, this one’s going to be keeping some folks busy for months between the main game and the upcoming DLC packs. I’d bet a nickel that more than a few people who’ve been holding out or saving up for something to play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed make the big plunge (and hopefully see that there are a load of other games out there worth a buy in the process). ames like this are what keep me playing after all this time. You can take all those not an actual sport “eSports” titles, MOBAs and about 80% of every mobile or “social” game and stick them in a slow boat to Mars. None of those will ever best any game with a good solid story and characters you feel are part of a living, breathing fantasy world. Someone give CD Projekt RED a medal for keeping the flame alive already.

12 Seconds of DOOM: More Than Enough to Wake the Dead


 

Yikes. As someone bored by the current state of the PFS genre, this SUPER teasy teaser for Bethesda’s upcoming DOOM reboot made something rattle inside me I haven’t felt in quite some time. Perhaps it was that blast of metal and the howling sound plus the way that creature was shaking as it lumbered forth, shoulder guns blazing away. Yeah, that was something I’d not want to see ambling my way if I were on my last box of shells and there were more waiting around a corner somewhere. Well, time to set my E3 sights on this one I guess. I’m NOT attending the show this year thanks to stuff happening at home (as in walls and ceiling needing to be replaced in a few rooms plus the ongoing roof repairs), but I’ll be keeping an eye on a bunch of titles like this because that’s the only thing that will keep me from going all Space Marine on those folks knocking stuff down just to put it all back together (and hopefully for some sort of good this time- the previous work has blown something terribly).

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess : “It’s A Trap!” You’ll Fall For Over And Over

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Okay, I’ll admit to being a bit behind in my beating quota. In other words, I still have yet to play Deception IV: Blood Ties on anything it’s been released on. As time, tide and games wait for no man, Tecmo Koei has made it known that there’s a follow-up coming in July for the PS3, PS4 and Vita called Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess. Fans of this long-running series which began on the original Playstation should be dancing around for joy while trying to avoid assorted traps and hazards in their own environments. For the uninitiated, here’s a live-action trailer with a tiny bit of the sinister yet intentionally silly gameplay at the end:


 

Now if only actual burglar alarms worked this efficiently. Although I’d bet the setup and resetting costs would be a wee bit costly.

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PONCHO Hands-On: A Beautiful Trip, 3 Layers of Parallax at a Time

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I saw screens of PONCHO a while back and bookmarked the page, but my recent computer woes knocked the game off my radar until the magical unicorn named David Bruno hit me over the head with some more screens and a preview code. If you have a Steam account, a PS4, Vita or Wii U, love platformers and puzzle games of any type and have an appreciation for all things “retro”… well, you need this game, period.


 

PONCHO is an open world puzzle game from Delve Interactive that features a cute robot (who just so happens to be wearing a poncho) who sets out to find his creator. Robots require that sort of closure, you know. What makes the game unique is not just the lovely sprite graphics and eye-popping color work, but the three layers of parallax scrolling Poncho can move through as he explores. While some online wags have made Fez comparisons, the games only share mascot-ready main characters and the ability to travel through environments in abnormal ways.

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Granted, there have been a handful of games where hopping back and forth between planes was key to gameplay. Treasure’s Yū Yū Hakusho: Makyō Tōitsusen for the Sega Mega Drive and Guardian Heroes on the Saturn used multiple planes for their gameplay and Cobra team’s Bastard!! Ankoku No Hakai Shin for the Super Famicom featured characters that needed to be rotated from foreground to background as a major part of the gameplay. That said, those were all fighting game variants while PONCHO is focused on exploration and puzzles of assorted varieties.


 

As you can see in the videos above, the game looks phenomenal and the transitions between layers is flawless. Some quick hands-on time reveals it’s got the looks and play going for it and fans of old school/new school blends will be smiling for as long as they have their hands on a controller. There’s a slower, more languid pace to PONCHO that’s welcome in this twitch-heavy gaming age, but those timed sections will certainly keep you on your toes. Anyway, I’ll shut up for now other than to say that Rising Star Games has another winner on its hands and PONCHO will be one for the ages when it all comes together for its June release. Back with more in a bit – I have a little robot calling me to play with it. Er, find its creator I mean!