Review: The Alliance Alive (Nintendo 3DS)

 

There’s something warm and familiar about Cattle Call’s new RPG, The Alliance Alive that really pulled me in from the beginning. While not flawless, the game has the look and feel of one of those multi-disc original PlayStation JRPGs and while not quite an “epic” experience, it’s solid enough and certainly packs in enough characters in its massive maps while hitting pretty much all the bullet points it needs to that make it an overall decently nostalgic 3DS game. I’m a big fan of much of Cattle Call’s work since the quirky PS2 sleeper Tsugunai: Atonement, so seeing the familiar color palette and simple but intriguing battle system also had me smiling throughout.

Still, it’s also a case where you sort of wish the game was on a system that was a bit to a good deal more powerful. It’s not at all hard to imagine the developer making a Switch (or heck, PS4 or even a Vita) game with higher resolution art and even more detailed characters and environments. On the 2DS or 3DS, the game’s animations and numerous cut scenes are excellently handled. However, the large overworld maps tend to be a bit bland, there’s a bit of background pop-in and if you have a poor sense of direction, it’s a bit too easy to get lost unless you choose the option to be guided to and from certain story-related areas.

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Gurumin 3D: Priced, Themed – Now It Just Needs A Hot Date

gurumin-logoMore happy news for you 3DS owners out there: Mastiff has announced a release date, price point and bonus downloadable themes for Gurumin 3D. You may commence with the happy dancing if you so desire:

During PAX West we let press in on a couple of exclusive secrets that we are now ready to share with you. First, the price. We are happy to let you know that Gurumin 3D will be released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop for the shortcake-sweet price of $14.99. And second, at launch we will also be releasing multiple themes to decorate your 3DS with. One of these themes will be free with purchase! We’re still undecided which theme we’re including, but rest assured you’ll be getting one theme for free ninety-nine! ;D

As for those themes, I like this one the best:

gurumin-main-theme 

But Mastiff wants to hear from YOU about which of these others you prefer, preferably on their Facebook and Twitter pages:

gurumin-themes_too 

What? Did you say you wanted a handy video screenshot/art gallery combo? Okay. Here you go:

I think that’s it… well, that actual release date is still incoming, so that will be the next big news on the plate to watch for.

-GW

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Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure 3D: Join Thursday’s Twitter Chat!

gurumin-logo
 

Hey! Got some burning questions about the Nintendo 3DS version of Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure, coming soon to the handheld? Well, join the Gurumin 3D Live Twitter Chat this Thursday (3-5pm Pacific Time, or 6-8pm here in NYC) on the game’s Twitter page! If you’re asking “What’s Gurumin?”, well, thank me now for removing that stone off your head and getting you into the daylight!

Here you go:


 

While you’re cooking up those tasty questions for tomorrow, check out this blog post on the Gurumin Rocks site to find out a few cool nuggets on how the game’s battle system evolved during development. I’ll be sitting on this session at some point, but don’t mind me – I’ll just be taking a break from a really insane backlog, chilling with a cold drink watching the questions roll in.


 

And if you need to get Gurumin and don’t own a 3DS, you’re still in luck! If you own a PSP, Vita, or PS TV, or have an active Steam account, well… you know what to do, right?

Review: Citizens of Earth

Citizens of Earth BUY NOWPlatform: PlayStation Vita (also on PS4, PC, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS)

Developer: Eden Industries

Publisher: Atlus

# of Players: 1

ERSB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Official Site

 

Score: B+ (85%)

Fans of classic 90’s console RPGs should drop everything (as in, NOW) and grab Eden Industries’ Citizens of Earth for anything they can play it on. The game perfectly captures the spirit of the classic Super Nintendo game Earthbound while adding elements such as a more open world to explore 30+ party members to recruit and too many puns to keep track of. Not everything is flawless, however. A few typos, accumulated loading times and one pesky navigation glitch sometimes kick the good bits in the good bits. Nevertheless, this is one of those fun and funny games that can suck you in for hours at a time. Atlus wisely rescuing this failed crowd-funded game project and saw fit to publish it for a few platforms.

CoE_Screenshots-84-980x500In the game, You’re the Vice President of the World (!) and things are somewhat screwy in the post-election phase. Angry protesters are outside your home, there’s trouble at the local coffee shop and lots more wildness that requires your VP skills. You’ll need to round up and recruit citizens from all walks of life to aid you in your quest, so expect to meet up with a wide cast of odd and amusing party members as the game progresses. This isn’t any sort of emotional powerhouse storyline at all, so going in expecting weep-inducing cut scenes or “powerful” moments is a fool’s errand. On the other hand, if you like pun-heavy puns, goofy-looking enemies and creative uses of coffee, pastry and pharmaceuticals, you’ll love what’s here and then some… Continue reading

Now Playing: Citizens of Earth


 

I’ll have a full review up something this coming week, but Eden Industries’ indie RPG Citizens of Earth is so far, pretty awesome. They’ve captured the wackiness of certain 90’s Japanese RPGs (some familiar, some not so familiar) perfectly with a fun and amusing game that’s easy to hop into but challenging if you’re willing to crank up the difficulty. Anyway, that’s all for now,as I don’t want to spoil anything. The game may not have made its crowdfunding target, but Atlus picking it up and getting it out on a bunch of platforms (PC, PS4, PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U) via digital distribution was a pretty smart move on their part.

Granted, if you despise digital games, you’ll be missing out on some grand fun. Hopefully, some of the die-hard physical-only/mostly collectors will break that ban and give this game some love. Back in a few with that review…

Review: Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom

Adventure Time TSOTNK PS3Platform: PS3/PC

Developer: WayForward Technologies

Publisher: Little Orbit

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Official Site

 

Score: A- (90%)

In the Nameless Kingdom, there’s a huge shop early on that “sells” nothing but the clay vases Finn been smashing to bits in that first dungeon you went through that opens the game. Finn can’t actually BUY a vase at all as far as I can tell. He can only lift one up to carry around and eventually try to leave with it. Or he can smash as many as he can with a weapon or just throw that lifted vase to the ground, breaking it. The only thing that happens when he does any of those things is an alarm goes off and a timer starts ticking down. Fifteen seconds later, a guard from the castle grabs Finn and then he’s outside the shop. When you go back inside, the clerk/owner scolds you a little and that’s that. Well, that is until later in the game when you discover a way to really get that guy’s attention by busting every jar at once. Such is the weird world of Adventure Time.

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But that one event and its oddball randomness yet familiar to the show sameness is neither here nor there. The third time’s the charm (and how!) for WayForward Technologies with Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom being the best of the three games they’ve made to date with Finn and company. This latest title is clearly influenced by Nintendo’s older games in The Legend of Zelda franchise to the point that it feels like a really spectacular mod that happens to be Adventure Time related. It’s also a surprisingly tough game, or not so surprisingly tough if you’re well versed in how this style of game should be played. There’s no hand-holding here, you learn what needs to be done by observing the environment and enemies while paying attention to (and using) what’s in your inventory. You’ll very likely get stuck in spots, but the game has enough hidden stuff and offbeat side quests that make up for the vagueness it often bashes you on the head with…

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Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom Goes for the Gold!

Adventure Time TSotNKDeveloper WayForward Technologies is finally all done with Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom, sending the game off on its merry way to be cleaned and pressed and ready for its November 18 launch on the PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Nintendo 3DS.

How will it stack up to previous Adventure Time games? Ooo, I bet Finn or Jake know… but aren’t telling a single THING because they want you all to be kept in sus-pense until the game drops into retail and onto a digital delivery site near you. Personally, I’m a fan of both the developer and the show, so I’ll play this any way ’til Sunday just for laughs. WayForward rarely disappoints with its games, so I’m going in with half a smile on my face just to give the experience some extra, um… sus-pense!. Say, you look like you’re starving – have some screenshots:

BananaHurl FinnBananaFireAntsShelby Hack IceKing&Finn SlumberPrincess SPWolf

Um… okay. You didn’t HAVE to eat them all at once, greedy! Well, back in a bit with some impressions, then.

Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom Screenshot Update: Looking Legend of-ary!

Jake&Fairy Little Orbit may have gotten off to a small start back in January 2010, but the publisher is sure making some waves lately among some gamers. Its recent acquisition of developer Vicious Cycle (and their VERY versatile Vicious Engine) means LO now has a studio that can crank out good looking and highly playable licensed and (hopefully) original games for consoles and PC in a decent amount of time. Nice. And speaking of nice, here are a handful of screens from Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom, coming to PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS in November.

JakeApes2 JakeFairyClap JakeFinnFlamboShelby JakeOrgan StarchyFinn Jake&FinnatRest

Based on these new screens and the older game info I’ve cobbled up, this latest AT game looks to be more of a Legend of Zelda-type top down experience and not the Gauntlet-inspired solo play or couch co-op fun of the last game, Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know!. Keep an eye on this one, folks – I smell a sleeper coming a few months down the road…

Resident Evil HD & Resident Evil Revelations 2: Capcom Serves Up Two Dishes To The Ungrateful Masses…


 

Wow. If I was working in Capcom PR and had a thin skin (which, by the way is a LOUSY thing for anyone working in PR to have), I’d be chugging Pepto all day and taking an aspirin ever four hours for my heart. You’d think that the company was out running a steamroller over baskets of puppies or something if you read some of the many inane comments on YouTube and plenty of websites about both the HD remaster of the former GameCube-only Resident Evil remake from 2002 and the concept video for (as in too EARLY to have actual gameplay footage from) Resident Evil Revelations 2. I, for one will be getting both games upon their respective releases because I know that the former hasn’t been on any other console platform to date and it’s a truly great game. As for RER 2, I liked the first one quite a bit, so this one’s going to be added to the “watch and BUY!’ list.

It’s THAT simple for me. I’m not silly enough to yell and scream about unrelated games, DLC from unrelated games, and so forth and so on. These announcements are about the games in question and Capcom just wants to show them off and know what you think about them, not listen to bitch-fest central about Monster Hunter, Mega Man, Street Fighter or worse, INCORRECT comments about this HD version Resident Evil being the same as the 1996 original or just a straightforward “port” of the GameCube game.


 

Eh, I shouldn’t be surprised at all at this reaction, as the company seems to attract some of the more passionate but woefully ignorant fans in gaming. Sure, they’ve made mistakes over the years, but some people need to just grow up and not continue to slam them on EVERY call they make these days.

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.