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

VGA 101: If Monday’s Still Kicking You Around, It Could Be Worse…

You could be some poor guard in or under Garuda Compound in Valhalla Knights 3. These poor saps never get a break at all, as you can see in these screens. Hell, no matter what day of the week it is, they’re going down hard and fast if your party is properly leveled and you’re in no mood to be trifled with.

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Ouch. But wait, there’s more… Continue reading

More Sage Advice From Valhalla Knights 3? Okay, Sure…

2014-01-22-133054Although I’ve completed Valhalla Knights 3 a little while back, I ended up snapping a bunch of screenshots for no other reason that I can use them for random posts like this. Anyway, guys (and some of you ladies out there), here’s more of Tina laying it down for you. She sounds as if she’s got a good head on her shoulders, right? Then again, I guess you can trust a half-dressed weapon shop clerk only so much…

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Review: Valhalla Knights 3

VK3_coverPlatform: PlayStation Vita

Developer: K2

Publisher: Xseed Games/Marvelous AQL

# of Players: 1 – 7

ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Official Site

Score: B- (75%)

2013-10-26-005227For some people, anything resembling sexual behavior in a video game seems to set them off ranting about things they don’t want to do (play the game in public or show it off to friends and family) or didn’t see at all thanks to overreacting and imposing arbitrary rules of the real world where it never needs to be. All I’ll say is this: if you can watch this music video without curling up into a ball in a corner and whining about it being too racy or sexist or prurient, you’re probably mature enough to play (and even enjoy) Valhalla Knights 3.

K2’s new Vita exclusive may not be the best looking game on Sony’s handheld and what’s here often feels a wee bit unfinished, needing actual interactivity in the environments in the form of destructible objects and structures that could be actually entered in some outdoor maps. While there are some amusing and dramatic moments to be found, the main plot could have also used a bit more spice, as it offers up some interesting ideas that don’t mature past a certain point…
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Ys: Memories of Celceta Launch Trailer: I’m Getting There, I’m Getting There…

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…

Valhalla Knights 3 Gets MORE New DLC. Game Definitely NOT Over!

VK3LCDLCWait, what? OK, I missed last week’s update thanks to me being buried in too many other games and other stuff, but it’s all good. So far I’m spending too much time playing this game and it seems Xseed Games NEVER wants me to stop. New content packs include last week’s “Good Cat Food” and “Foreigners No. 1” DLC that add some figurative (or is it literal) walking around money (every step gains gold!) and a new class to unlock and THIS week’s “Lady Clerks Set” and “Foreigners No. 2” that add a few new girls to the shops and another new class to learn once you beat the tough boss it gives you in the quest you’ll find at one of the guilds.

Xseed has more to come next week and most likely for the next few weeks, all of which are great for this action/RPG that’s much better than the reviews are saying. I’ve one of my own reviews to write (it’s about half done) that should help anyone on the fence decide if this one’s worth their gaming dollar (it is, but it’s not perfect and NOT for the kiddies). Alright, let me shut up here and get back to the game as once again… thing are getting innnnteresting in the story. Of course, there’s that VK3 Gold Edition Japan is getting that adds a lot of improvements and such that I hope to heck we see here at some point… but I’ll let Xseed take care of that when they need to and not say another peep until it’s a confirmed release here in the U.S. of A….

Your Life Lesson for the Day, Courtesy Valhalla Knights 3…

2013-11-10-163038For a game very unfairly labeled “misogynist” and a few other choice negative terms by some skittish reviewers who clearly don’t know the meaning of some of the big words they use, Valhalla Knights 3 sure has a few interesting side-quests and resolutions. Sure, the skimpy outfits and NSFW “Sexytime” mini-game with certain ladies in the game are there to please the more prurient otaku with itchy fingers and the old-school RPG level grinding isn’t for every taste. But dang it if Producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto and his team at K2 didn’t whip in a few oddball surprises that prove they’re not the sexist neanderthals some “journalists” think they are for making this game.

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Yeah, I’m still working on my review. I have a load of notes here and I think it’s going to be longer than I was initially thinking because warts and all, this one’s nowhere near as awful as some are saying. The Valhalla Knights series have never been known for the depth of its plots or stellar storytelling and VK3 continues that trend outside of some fun vignettes such as this one that aren’t tied to the main quest. That said, the main plot in the game does have its moments, but I’ll discuss some of those in my review…

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Granted, I’ll admit right now that the game is NOT for all tastes and I can see some taking offense at a few of the more salacious elements. Of course, it’s a free country, so it seems that a bunch of people who probably shouldn’t be playing this are doing so with varying degrees of disgust or shame because they can’t handle the content. It seems that the completely humorless, kids who convinced their parents or some other adult to buy this for them and are turned off by the lewd elements (hey, it IS a MATURE rated game, you little dummies!), or those expecting a pure porn experience (it’s most assuredly NOT that at all) are getting slapped in the head with confusion on a few fronts (as always when it comes to games that toss even the mildest forms of sexual themes into the mix).

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Ys: Memories of Celceta: The Vita Nets Another RPG Winner From Xseed Games

Ys StandardHa. Just as I’m starting up my Valhalla Knights 3 review (which I’m hoping will be a definitive one as it’s not filled with wrongheaded references to incorrect thought processes gone wild), my inbox is buzzing away and telling me that not only is there DLC for that game I need to download NOW, Xseed is also going to be shipping out Ys: Memories of Celceta for the PlayStation Vita on November 26, 2013.

For the uninitiated, the game is a very heavily reworked/remade retelling of Ys IV (one of the few games in the popular Nihon Falcom RPG series not yet released in English until now) and features an enhanced party battle system from Ys SEVEN, along with the insanity of Boss Rush mode. Are your fingers prepared? They’d most surely better be is all I’ll say…

Ys Memories of Celceta CEAs usual, this one is getting the triple threat treatment of a physical retail and PlayStation Network digital release for $39.99 as well as a special Ys: Memories of Celceta Silver Anniversary Edition for $59.99. According to the press release, it’s definitely omake time for Ys fans with this one:

This Limited Edition contains a 3-CD collection of original and arranged music spanning the entire history of the franchise, a cloth map detailing the lands of Celceta, a logo-emblazoned compass, and ‘Adol’s Travel Journal’ containing 130 pages of adventuring strategies and artwork, all within an exclusive commemorative package.

Of course, that compass won’t help you navigate the game world on your Vita, but I think you’ll do just fine without it. Besides, you need TWO hands to use your Vita and if you wanted to be distracted by a second screen you’d be playing another system entirely, correct? Now, about Ys V and Ys V EXPERT… I’ll be definitely holding out hope that those get the remake treatment one fine day…

Short Takes: What You Should Be Playing This Week (Randomly, of Course)

Skylanders SWAP Force Wii USkylanders SWAP Force: HD quality visuals, jumping and all new customizable figures all for the first time on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U make this latest entry in Activision’s supremely successful yearly cash cow a huge must. Wii and 3DS owners don’t get HD graphics (obviously), but the core game is the same deal. In SWAP Force, the gameplay is even more addictive than ever (and yes, some of you adults will be sneaking in time when the kids are asleep or at school), the story longer and more interesting (in part thanks to the enthusiastic voice acting all around) and overall, this makes for both a great entry into the series as well as the latest installment that will have your wallet making faces at you whenever you yank out that cash or card to buy more figures. $74.99, pretty much anywhere that sells video games.

VK3_coverValhalla Knights 3: This new PlayStation Vita exclusive from Xseed Games looks to bring Japanese developer K2’s niche grind-heavy RPG series to the masses with the best looking (and possibly, playing) installment to date. The Vita seems to be the prefect platform for this combat-heavy game that now includes an optional segment that features a bit of NSFW visits to a sort of love hotel where players can er, “score” additional playable characters and gear if they partake in a series of racy mini-games. Given that the other entries in the series have been given Teen ratings, that M VK3 is sporting must mean you’ll want to keep this away from the kiddies. That’s no problem here, as any kid that comes near my Vita is pulling back a stump… with a lollipop stuck in it (hey, I’m NICE mean old guy)… $39.99 (retail and digital).

F1_2013_tinyF1 2013: Longtime fans of the actual motorsport have been a bit disgruntled these past few seasons thanks to the juggernaut crushing all under his speedy wheels that is three-time champ Sebastian Vettel. However, Codemasters is giving them a chance to beat the man at his own game, provided you’re sitting at home on your couch or in front of a high-end gaming PC setup. This year’s installment is even more gorgeous than ever, has some solid improvements (you can now save between events!) and that adjustable difficulty means even total newbies can actually make it around the track with some effort. While it’s definitely NOT for the NASCAR crowd of those expecting power-up and arcade-style gameplay, it does a decent enough job at breaking down the F1 experience that the Codies really don’t need to do more next year. Well, except add MORE Classic cars and courses, as the small amount this year is VERY welcome, but made me want to see what they could do with a few dozen more rides from the 70’s to 90’s (or perhaps earlier). $59.99,

The Wolf Among Us 3The Wolf Among Us: I’ve not read any of the Vertigo comics this first installment is based on, so it’s pretty obvious that my excitement about this game is lower than those who have. On the other hand, given that it’s coming from Telltale Games and is modeled on the success of the company’s hugely successful multi-platform hit The Walking Dead, this one’s a no-brainer as far as the usual “should I play this?” stuff some of you go through. Given that this chapter is a slower-paced mystery with gameplay that’s heavily Quick Time Event focused and what looks to be a growing cast of really interesting fairytale characters updated and placed in an alternate New York City setting, it’s certainly right up my adventure alley and Telltale is actually offering up a really cool deal for that $24.99 (PC or Mac) price tag. Once all the chapters are complete, PS3 and Xbox 360 owners will hopefully get a retail version as well (like The Walking Dead did), but we’ll have to see if Wii U and Vita owners get as lucky…

Valhalla Knights, Free Ahead of Vallhalla Knights 3? THANKS, Xseed Games!

VK_FREEWell, now… this is really cool news on an otherwise crappy shutdown filled day. TO celebrate the October 15 launch of Valhalla Knights 3, Xseed Games is giving fans a REAL treat in the form of a 100% FREE download of the first game in the series. Valhalla Knights is now available on PSN for nothing at all until October 21, 2013. In other words, if you’ve a PSP or Vita handy (it’ll work on either handheld) and a PlayStation Network account you can get downloading NOW and check out where it all began.And nope, you DON’T need a PlayStation Plus account to take advantage of this awesome freebie!

I’ve already played this one a few years ago, but it was the UK version and those saves aren’t compatible with the North American version. That comes into play here as I recently scored a bunch of used Memory Stick Duo cards and one card had a VK save file I couldn’t access. Now I can hop into those old saves and see if the former owner had a decent party setup (before overwriting them with my own saves, of course)…

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