MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death Gallery

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Be careful what you wish for, especially when you wish for something saucy like “anime gals in a DUNGEON… with mecha!, Mwa-ha-ha-haaaaa!” and you’re not very specific beyond that. *POOF* Your wish is Idea Factory International‘s command (*whipcrack!*) with the upcoming Vita game MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death, coming to PlayStation Vita September 13 (North America) and the 16th in Europe.

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IF, Compile Heart, and Makaiichibankan’s deviously deep dungeon crawler looks to captivate and challenge JRPG fans with its cute cast and no doubt challenging turn-based combat that should please those who liked similar gal-centric JRPGs or even mixed party titles. Here’s a gallery full of game trailers and screens to ogle along with some info about what to expect continuing right below the jump.

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SHINESS: The Lightning Kingdom Gallery

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French developer Enigami has been hard at work on its Action/RPG SHINESS: The Lightning Kingdom for about three years now and with publisher Focus Home Interactive set to bring the game to eager PC, PS4 and Xbox One owners later this year, it’s time to take a look at it in one big video and image gallery. Here’s the most recent gameplay trailer, or more precisely, a story trailer presented at Gamescom 2016:


 

More action abounds in this earlier gameplay trailer:


 

But, wait… there’s more! Continue reading

Metal Gear Survive: A Hideous Nojima Game Coming in 2017

Once again, I fell asleep with my laptop on, a VERY bad thing to do. I popped up my fuzzy head to turn it off, but something told me to go poke at facebook and see what was up before I drifted back off to sleep. Oh… my. This is the second thing that caught my eye (ow!):


(thanks, IGN!) 

Oh. Hell. No. Nope. NEIN. Or in the immortal word of one very dead Sith lord:

(Thanks, CineWeekly!) 

Look. I’m not trying to say the game WILL be awful and YES, judging something by sight alone and not by playing it is ALWAYS 100% wrong. That said, Konami’s way off base treatment of Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima is the sole reason this video has so many dislikes on YouTube. Adding insult to injury, Kojima Productions’ versatile Fox Engine is being used to develop the new game. Yeah, it’s Konami’s property and I’m sure Kojima’s contract stated this somewhere in the fine print. But no Kojima involvement on a Metal Gear game is simply Konami pulling the wool over its own eyes and pretending we won’t notice.

(Thanks, Cinema Source!) 

Sorry, Konami. Even if this zombie-filled multiplayer mash-up is better than the Left 4 Dead games, it won’t win you back the respect of Metal Gear fans, people who love game history (making the beautiful, horrifyingly perfect P.T. vanish forever was one of the most spiteful business decisions next to whatever happened with Kojima) or anyone else who knows you’re trying very hard to show that you’re still relevant as an actual video game company.

Thanks for trying, though. PC, PS4, and Xbox One owners who don’t care and just want a(nother) good-looking shooteminnaface zombie game will eat this one up in 2017. The rest of us justifiable cranky souls will more than likely sit this dance out.

Axiom Verge Wii U: September 1 Is The Day It Comes “Home”

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Excellent. I’m literally buried in stuff to-day (one shelf of games fell over earlier!) but you all go and read THIS post by Tom Happ and then smile a lot if you haven’t seen or played Axiom Verge yet. Excellent. Back in a bit – I’m up to my nose hairs in work (and have a pile of games to get back up, to boot!)

-GW

Monster Boy And The Cursed Kingdom Gamescom 2016 Trailer: The Boy’s A Beast (Well, A Few Of Them)

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Well, wow. The Game Atelier has been busy and quiet for a bit, but there’s the reason why above. Monster Boy And The Cursed Kingdom is looking even more phenomenal and according to publisher FDG Entertainment, will be coming to PS4 and Xbox One first, followed by PC and possibly, a Nintendo console (according to NintendoLife). No speculation here on that latter point, but at least two versions of this one will be played here at DAF HQ.

-GW

VALLEY Narrative Trailer: Turning Over A New L.E.A.F. Soon


 

With Blue Isle Studios‘ upcoming action/exploration game VALLEY under two weeks away, the strategy of the developer revealing their new game within a short time before it’s available could work for it quite well. Getting gamers to hold out a bit on a day one buy and wait for reviews might pay off in making this an “evergreen” title in the long run, particularly the jaded types out thee who follow games for years and complain about anything and everything as much as possible.

What I’ve seen so far intrigues the hell out of me. But by not getting every drip of development info or wasting time poking around on message boards in Jadedgamerville, I’m more likely to be pleasantly surprised by the end result. Now, will that surprise be good or bad? I’m not telling (well, I have NO clue, kids!), but I can say it’s going to at least be positive on the visuals and constructive critically on the gameplay if there are issues. We shall see. For now, all is right in this game world as far as I can see. VALLEY lands on PC, PS4, and Xbox One August 24, 2016.


 

-GW

PAC-MAN Championship Edition 2 Hands-On: PAC-ing Plenty of Heat, And Soon


 

Pac-Man CE2_game-boxBandai Namco has kept Pac-Man relevant for decades in all sorts of games, but that speedy yellow dot-gobbler is always best when things are simplest. PAC-MAN Championship Edition 2 does an excellent job at blending old and new gameplay elements that allow classic fans to dive in and play while giving newbies an actual fighting chance to keep up on the scoring front.

Some hands-on time at the company’s recent NYC event revealed a game that’s faster and more frantic than the first installment, adding new modes, fixing up a few things and overall, making for a guaranteed thrill ride experience that’s going to be hard to put down.

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Releasing digitally on Sept. 13th for $12.99 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC (via Steam), the game will “PAC”-in several modes for solo or competitive play, all featuring flashy, energetic visuals that riff on the classic arcade game flawlessly. During my ten minute session and plenty of minutes watching people dive in and play with the same “no way!” grins on their faces on a PS4 build, it was clear as a bell that the game would be a total smash when it drops next month. The non-stop action handles like a dream using the PS4 pad, so you don’t need to fret that the game needs an arcade stick. In fact, the game handles so well that I’d bet a nickel all those moms or dads who were PAC-MAN players that don’t play many modern games, but have a console or PC in the house for the kids just might get a bit scared their kids can now keep up with them in a competitive game.

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Time Attack and Adventure Mode offer up their own sets of challenges, and the while the very idea of tutorial stages to play a PAC-MAN game may seem horrifying to some stalwarts, what’s here works exceptionally well in getting everyone up to speed. New maze types and some massive boss battles in Adventure mode plus the crazy train Ghost Train stuff in the main mode will keep this one in play stacks even when the inevitable third installment arrives at some point. All I know is some of us will be taking a sick day or hoping for a rainy weekend after the game launches so we can have an excuse for staying home in our PJ’s grooving on a bit of CE2 action. Er, I’m speaking in CLEARLY hypothetical terms, of course.

Review: Assault Suit Leynos (PS4)

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Platform: PlayStation 4 (via PSN)

Developer: Dracue Software

Publisher: Rising Star Games
# of Players: 1

MSRP: $19.99

ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Official Site (JP)


 

As someone who fondly remembers Target Earth/Assault Suit Leynos on the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive, reading online about two years back that the game was being remade was quite a surprise. Dracue Software (Armored Hunter Gunhound EX) has brought the game back for the PS4 in fine form indeed, although Assault Suit Leynos isn’t without a few flaws. For fans of the classic or those gamers who want a taste of old-school gaming as an education in patience and learning how to play over more guided game experiences, this storied shooter will keep you busy from the beginning and coming back for more.


 

The game’s Arcade Mode expands the story of the original game, adding subtitled Japanese voice-overs and “cinematic” camera cuts to approaching danger to the mix. Even on the lowest difficulty setting, the game provides a hefty challenge. That Assault Suit is a heavy beast with an increasingly growing arsenal of weapons and while not the most nimble mech out there, it gets the job done. As in the original game, a regenerating life meter is your main buffer from an early demise, but it’s not any sort of invincibility guarantee. Enemies come at you pulling no punches in many forms from armor suited troops to gigantic spacecraft firing death from multiple weapons. The game’s levels vary in scale, but you’ll generally be attempting a few tasks from straight up blasting, escort missions, and yes, big boss battles. While unlimited continues make it possible to complete the game in a relatively short time, the true fans of this one KNOW this isn’t a game to play through ONCE and never touch again.

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Taxi Driver Turns 40: “A Real Rain” Returns to Theaters Internationally in August

(thanks, Park Circus!)
 

This is beautiful news. That said, I hope that “international” re-release means we’ll see this here in North America. This is one of those films I’ve wanted to see on the big screen in a nicer print than I’ve previously seen and this trailer sure looks spectacular. We shall see. In my opinion, this is a film that needs to be bucket listed if one considers him or herself a movie lover.

Review: ABZÛ

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Platform: PC (Steam) / Playstation 4 (PSN)

Developer: Giant Squid Studios

Publisher: 505 Games

# of Players: 1

MSRP: $19.99

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Official Site

ABZU logoWith so many indie games flooding the market these days worth checking out, a few of them have either dropped off my radar, are already on it but not out yet, or never landed there in the first place because keeping track of them all is a Herculean task with me as Sisyphus filling in for the duration. Giant Squid’s absolutely stunning ABZÛ fell into the first category partially thanks to me seeing who was behind it last year and thinking “Eh, it’s in good hands, so it doesn’t need me pushing it at all.”

Amusingly enough, that intentional ignorance worked out in my favor when I finally got to play the game last week when 505 Games bought it to NYC. I went in with no expectations other than thinking I’d get maybe an hour’s playtime in and enough impressions to write up a dandy hands-on post. A few hours later, I had to *force* myself to stop playing the game and make a graceful exit with my head filled with too many gorgeous images and a desire to see what the final two levels I’d left untouched held in store. Echoes of that Ecco the Dolphin on the Dreamcast and the underappreciated PS1 and PS3 Aquanaut’s Holiday games floated in my brain all the way back home, lasting until I got an email with review codes. Then, it was time to take a trip back under the sea and dream out loud again.

 

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An incredibly beautiful, masterfully crafted and about as great as it gets game experience, ABZÛ soars to some impressive visual and aural heights as it takes you to deep places you’d never thought you’d go outside watching a nature program. You can call it a “spiritual successor” to thatgamecompany’s Journey if you like, but the single player focus and grander sense of scale makes this even more personal. This ‘Voyage to the Bottom of the “See”‘ has to me, a more grounded and pure emotional impact because of its blend of realism and fantastic elements grab you right from the start as the game takes you on a thrilling yet paradoxically mostly relaxing ride that changes in tone a few times before it ends.

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As with Journey, it’s also a game that’s just great to watch someone play. Controls are simple, fluid and intuitive enough for anyone that can hold a controller (or use a keyboard and mouse on PC) can hop in and fully enjoy the entire game from start to finish. The replay value is also more than there as this is one of those games where you can hop into a map and actually have your character meditate serenely as assorted sea life does its circle of life thing all around you.

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