Ghost Parade: If Ever There Was a Game Made for Halloween, It’s This One

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As soon as I saw Aksys Games‘ gorgeous looking game Ghost Parade (created by the fine folks at Indonesia’s Lentera Studio), I knew it was going to be something extremely cool and very Halloween themed with its mix of Tim Burton meets Vanillaware style artwork at the forefront. It’s also a peek into another culture, as Indonesian ghosts are the subject and yes, it’s a great thing to see some more of what’s scary overseas coming to US audiences. Granted, I’ve played a few games with some of that countries’ terrifying spirits or horror themes in them (DreadOut and My Lovely Daughter being the standouts), so this game is going to be right up my dark alley once I get to playing it.

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Love the art style here.

Here’s a look at the trailer. The game is out NOW for PC, PS4 and Switch and Aksys has run a nice digital comic on the game’s official site.

I hope this gets a wide enough audience, as I’d love to see Lentera become a household name among gamers here. As usual, we shall see.


Tokyo Xanadu eX+ PS4 LE: Falcom’s Box Of Fun Now Available

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If I had the room in my still too large game library and the funds to spare, I’d be all over this like a pack of piranhas chomping on some slow-moving tourists in a sinking canoe. Nihon Falcom’s critical darling Tokyo Xanadu eX+ has been on my backlog radar for a while now, but seeing this lovely looking Limited Edition made me want to go build a shelf and think about selling off a few things just to have  that nice big box to ogle when I’m not busy doing a hefty bit of dungeon crawling.


So, what’s in the box, you ask? Well, let’s see now…


Tokyo Xanadu eX+ Limited Edition includes:

Tokyo Xanadu eX+ PS4 game with additional game content – new side stories, characters, modes, dungeons, quests, and more!

9-inch Deluxe White Shroud Figure – top-quality, hyper-detailed poly-resin sculpture of the mysterious White Shroud character, fully assembled and painted, with detachable display base.

60-page Exclusive Art Collection – full-color book featuring over 300 of dazzling images of characters and settings plus important information on the world of Tokyo Xanadu.

Blade Card Game Deck – includes boxed set of 44 printed cards and 2-player rules, so you can take the Blade game into the real world!

CD Soundtrack – with 10 music tracks from the game, including the opening song “Seize the Day” (lyrics by Kyo Hifumi).

Collector’s Box – everything immaculately packed, including a separate printed carton for the White Shroud figure.

Note: If you already own the game on Steam, you’ll also get a free Japanese-language update (nice!), but the physical version shown above is only for PS4 owners. Go grab this from one of the retailers listed on the Aksys Games site and maybe be prepared to go build a shelf or move a few books around if you need to.


Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus: Somebody Bring Me a Bear!

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Chronicles of Teddy 2I’ll have to admit that the title Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus confused me for a bit because I thought it was the name of the playable hero and that character art above certainly doesn’t scream “Teddy” to me at all. In fact, that’s a girl named Tarrant and Teddy is actually her loyal plush bear.

Adding to the confusion was once I poked around the internet I found out that this game is the sequel to developer LookAtMyGame’s gorgeous-looking Finding Teddy, a PC and mobile point and click adventure where the title tells you what that game is actually about. In that game, a little girl’s stuffed toy is “kidnapped” into a strange fantasy world and she goes after it, facing off against assorted hazards along the way.


The sequel (which, amusingly enough is called Finding Teddy 2 on Steam) has Tarrant in a more action/RPG style of game with an entirely different (and still lovely) pixel art style and more familiar gameplay action/platform fans should love. Aksys Games will be publishing the game in North America for the PS4 and Wii U this fall as a digital-only release and if that trailer and all those positive Steam reviews are any indication, this one will be a must-play keeper.

At the very least, it’ll certainly make me forget all about paying full price for Magus back when it was released last year. Anyway, keep an eye on this one, folks.

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…

Mind Zero Update #3: A Kick In The Shin Megami Tensei Won’t Hurt (Much)…

Ah, ha-ha (again). Okay, I kid Aksys Games here (again!), but this upcoming PlayStation Vita exclusive coming from developer Zerodiv reminds me so much of the Shin Megami Tensei games that I’m not going to even be surprised if I see a review or two that makes note of this. Hey, as long as the story is good, I don’t care much about the gameplay as long as it’s not clumsy or forced. So far, this is looking nice and simple (which is good), but probably won’t be a cakewalk as the game progresses. Anyway, we’ll see soon enough, as the game is out NOW at a retailer near you (or on PSN, if you want it faster)…

Mind Zero Update #2: Persona-lly, I Like What I See Here…

MZ_PSVitaCoversheet11-1_22tpAs some of you gamers with good memories may be thinking, Aksys Games’ upcoming first-person dungeon crawler Mind Zero has a certain aesthetic working for it that makes it seem VERY familiar to a certain Shin Megami Tensei series of games. As in “Hey, this ALMOST looks like Persona or Persona 2, slightly weaker character art aside.

Hey, I have to ALWAYS give it up for Kaneko Kazuma’s outstanding and bizarre art style that defined many of the SMT games in the past). To swipe a quote from some old gaming magazine only a handful of people still remember, “RESPECT!”


I don’t mind the similarities at all, as those were (and still are) some pretty stellar game experiences and this gae does do a bunch of things differently. Still, if this one can capture a fraction of what made those game so memorable, I’d bet a nickel that Aksys and developer Zerodiv will have a new sleeper hit on their hands. The game is set to hit the Vita on May 27, 2014, so make sure to keep an eye out if this one strikes your fancy…

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The Making of Mind Zero #1: Aksys Games, All Is Forgiven!

Or: Yeah, I paid full price for Magus and Yeah, I laughed more than I thought I was going to. That wasn’t a good thing, by the way. Anyway, it looks as if Aksys will redeem itself with this upcoming Vita exclusive, Mind Zero. Thankfully, it happens to be a dungeon crawler that actually looks pretty decent and I still have enough respect for Aksys to give them another chance. Of course, this could be another Beyond the Abyss (eek!), but I don’t think so, as it has more the look and tone of a Shin Megami Tensei game if anything. Well, we shall see soon, as this one ships out digitally and to retail May 28, 2014.

Review: Magus

magus_PS3 (Large)Platform: PlayStation 3

Developer: Black Tower Studios/Aksys Games

Publisher: Aksys Games

# of Players:1

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

Score: D+

While playing through the comically wretched (in)excess that is Magus, I kept having flashbacks to the time the late, lamented 3DO’s internal studios were churning out games like Warriors of Might and Magic, Crusaders of Might and Magic, Shifters and most importantly, Godai: Elemental Force (one of the most laughably busted games ever made for the PS2). Magus reminded me of those games and more recent ones where any good intentions were waylaid by questionable execution that ended up sapping anything decent out of them, leaving a residue of fun smothered in layers of glaring badness.

Now, I love my bad games to death, but Magus gets a special place in my library for making me laugh out of confusion and unintentional humor at the same time. If Black Tower were trying for some sort of genre-bending parody they’ve succeeded royally. On the other hand, if this was a serious idea gone south for the duration that couldn’t be salvaged, it’s a bit head-shaking how this game got made this late in the PS3’s life cycle… Continue reading

Magus Teaser Trailer: Aksys Has a PS3 Surprise Up Its Sleeves For RPG Fans…

MagusCoverTentativeIn case you haven’t figured this out yet, “next-gen” kicking off with the releases of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One don’t mean that “last-gen” is dead at all by a long shot. Well, not for a while at least. Which is why it’s great to see new games being announced for those “old” systems that won’t be headed to stores until 2014. Aksys Games has one of these games, Magus, set to hit the PlayStation 3 on February 25, 2014.

A wee bit of internet poking about by yours truly reveals that this one’s from developer Black Tower with Aksys Games, runs on the versatile Unreal Engine tech and looks like an Action/RPG of some sort. It’s also a PS3 exclusive it seems and can be pre-ordered from Amazon if you like that teaser trailer above that really doesn’t tell much.

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While the game has a decidedly 2005 or so look to it in those screenshots above, I’m gathering these are early screens and not representative of the final game. That said, I like the “rustic” look to the visuals here, but hope things get polished up as far more details in the environments and the somewhat plain (and tiny!) GUI typeface. As to how it actually plays… I guess we’ll see. Aksys doesn’t exactly make NYC a stop on its press tours being a small publisher and all, but I trust them to not release a game that’s not somewhat enjoyable and interesting, “dated” visuals or not. We’ll see how this one is at some point – probably in a review down the road a piece. Stay tuned…

REALLY Quick Take: Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward

I finally got around to playing this excellent Vita sequel to a Nintendo DS and 3DS game (999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors) and I had to chuckle a bit because there are two ways to describe the game and as I’m busy with a ton of stuff, I’ll take the shorter route and potentially tick off some people who think this game is the greatest thing since sliced cheese bread. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it a lot, being a cranky old fan of point and click adventure games and all. But as I was finishing it up, I just so happened to be in the library last week and overhear two kids talking about the game and one of them offered up an unintentional ten word review that made me almost burst out laughing because Yahtzee with his awesome Zero Punctuation videos is supposed to be KING of the ten-word review. This kid nailed the game without even realizing he was doing a Yahtzee impression.

His take (and mine, if you have a short attention span and just want to know what the game is about or similar to) when his friend asked him about the game:

“It’s like SAW… but with anime characters and better writing.”

Yeah, that’s about right. Damn kids… I should have hired him on the spot, but I don’t think he was old enough. OK, so the game IS a bit more complex and cerebral than a SAW flick, but there are a few more than amusing parallels that if you describe the plots of the game and one of the movies, someone who knows one and not the other might get a little confused.