Review: Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls (PC)

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“Adventure… the new fragrance by Cloven Hind…”

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Prepare to get schooled skulled if you’re not ready.

For a while, from the 1980’s into the 1990’s, it seemed that the original Wizardry series was destined to last forever. But by 2001 that wasn’t the case as developer of what would be the final game in the series, Sir-Tech Canada went down for the count after the mostly excellent but flawed foray into the fully polygon arena with Wizardry 8. The company still supported the game until they finally vanished in 2003, and was never able to do a proper followup before they left the scene. There have been quite a large amount of games since then that have taken many elements the series pioneered, polished up the visuals and are basically Wizardry games with different titles as the end of the day.

Other titles in the series had danced on the edge with polygonal environments but 8’s was the first with both characters and maps presented this way. In the US, the series was slowly being forgotten despite some excellent ports to the Nintendo and Super Nintendo consoles, but in Japan, the series flourished on PC and consoles as a number of different developers tried their hands at making dozens of Wizardry games from console ports and original games to mobile and online-only titles with mostly good results. Which brings us to the game in question, which is quite good especially if you’re a fan of the classics. It’s got a few issues the keep it squarely in the past, but we’ll get to them below.

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Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls Makes My Day (Or is it Months?)

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So, a Steam review code arrived about 20 or so minutes ago and I’m dying to play it, but I need to post a few articles before I get to the game as I won’t get to posting if I start playing first. Yes, even though I went through this one on the PS3, I’m more than happy to fire it up again after a few years away because it’s like the security blanket of games for me and I want to see if I can get through it with no walkthroughs in sight. Granted, the turn-based nature of the game means I don’t need to worry about failing because I’m old and slow these days, and I recall a lot of the floors here by heart.

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The traps, however? Hmmm… not so much, although the rather random nature of the encounters will make the game a perfect storm if I get overwhelmed. It feels good to revisit this again, so come back around for impressions at some point.

-GW

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls PC Is Right Around The Corner

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Yes, I’m thrilled even though I played this on the PS3. Here’s the trailer (and yes. this will be played again on PC):

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is coming to Windows PC on January 15, 2020 via Steam and the Humble Store by Humble Bundle for $14.99, €14.99, and £12.99 with a 10% launch week discount! Go get it, I say.
-GW

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls Headed to PC

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It’s baaaaaaack (yes!)

Say, can we get a “Finally!” up in here? Anyway, according to the Wizardry Wikipedia page:

As of 2017, thirty-nine different spin-offs were released in Japan, with four of them also making their way to North America: Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land, Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls, Wizardry Online and Wizrogue: Labyrinth of Wizardry

That’s a lot of Wizardry games and if you’re one of those Sir-Tech missing purists who hasn’t touched a game in the series since the still fantastic Wizardry 8, I can safely say you’re missing out on a few games that, while they may look different than what you’re used to, do an excellent job of capturing the spirit and gameplay.

of the series. Personally, I’m psyched for this news because when my first PS3 was stolen, I lost ten years of game saves including about 120 hours of Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls along with the accompanying DLC. Although I ended up replacing the console and repurchasing the game and DLC for it, I’d been hoping this entry would have eventually made it to other consoles at this point. But hey, a PC version will do just fine for me, especially with the updated features and a solid price point that also includes the DLC.

It’s trailer time, already? Well, okay, here you go:

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is scheduled to release on May 29, 2019 for Windows PC via Steam and the Humble Store by Humble Bundle for $14.99, €14.99, and £12.99, with a launch week discount of 10%. I’m gathering system requirements will be low enough that pretty much anyone who wants to play this can do so.

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-GW

Xanadu Next: More N-Gaging Than The Phone Version, For Sure

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n-gage-xanadu_nextSo, Xanadu Next and I… have a little history. My first and only encounter with it was via the infamous Nokia N-Gage version that, while a bit janky, was still playable and a bit of fun once you got used to it. When I found out a few years later that not only was it initially a PC game in Japan, but a much better game overall, I was hoping to heck someone would get to work on a localization.

Thank you, Xseed Games and Marvelous USA! This should be interesting, as the things I liked about the portable game are getting a big boot and yes, the truncated/changed story is now here as it should be. November 3 is the release date and $19.99 on Steam, gog.com or the Humble Store is a fair enough bargain for a game I found entertaining as a squashed-down Diablo -like ARPG experience, which interestingly enough, the N-Gage had a few of during its life cycle. Most were actually pretty good, but that’s the subject of a whole different post you should bug me about one of these days if you’re intrigued.

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-GW

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Meanwhile, in Japan: EDF 4.1 Keeps On With the Fun Stuff


 

Here’s something you don’t see every day in Japan: an extended game video entirely in English that seems made for western audiences. Then again given the popularity of Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair worldwide, it seems that D3Publisher there is smart enough to have this new video all ready for distribution wherever people are playing their game. Anyway, enjoy this slice of humor, EDF style and go pick this one already if you have a PS4. It’s one of the better (okay, BEST) bang for your buck titles on any console with well over 100 hours of play which can easily double or triple if you get pulled into online play with like-minded EDF troopers.

Capsule Reviews 2: A Few More Games? Okay, Let’s Go

More bite-sized review bits? Sure, why not?

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Onechanbara ZII Chaos (PS4, $49.99) – Budget game developer Tamsoft gets its sexy ladies onto the PS4 in a game that’s going to be loved and hated by gamers for a few reasons. While it has a super smooth 60fps frame rate, the cheesy music rocks somewhat firecely and the action is nearly non-stop (and supremely gory), it’s easy to see the easily ticked off whiny westerners losing their minds over the skimpy costumes and all-out fan service on display. Bikini, schoolgirl outfit and other fantasy femme tropes get trotted out (and that optional Banana Split pack bonus costume is too racy to show here), but the ladies are far from the helpless princess stereotype at all. Aya, Saki and the rest of the crew have been zombie killing for about a decade since their introduction on the PlayStation 2 and later Xbox 360 and Wii Onechanbara titles, so this one’s just their best looking adventure to date. While the game seems a tad on the short side, the reply value comes from unlocking outfits and having at stages again so you can better your score jut like arcade games of old. Then again, every Onechanbara game is pretty much the same: kill plenty of zombies before they kill your gal of choice and have a BIG grin on your face while doing so. Score: B (80%) 

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Review: Earth Defense Force 2 – Invaders From Planet Space

EDF 2 VitaPlatform: PlayStation Vita

Developer: SANDLOT

Publisher: Xseed Games

MSRP: $29.99

# of Players: 1 – 4

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

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Score: A- (90%)

As a longtime Earth Defense Force fan (since 2003’s Simple 2000 Series Vol. 31: The Chikyuu Boueigun, or Monster Attack in the UK), finally getting the chance to see the best game in the series finally arrive stateside and in its best incarnation to date is a great thing indeed. Granted, Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space may not convince some skeptics of how much of a must-buy title it is because at first glance it’s going to seem like less of a game than it actually turns out to be. But those of you who know the series who have yet to play this entry will be pleased to know that not only does it deliver the goods, it still holds up today as a stellar (and incredibly lengthy) game that packs in more action for $29.99 than bigger budgeted AAA titles that cost double the price. Continue reading

A Friendly Reminder Or Two From Xseed Games…

Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair ($49.99) is out NOW on the PlayStation 4.

Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space ($29.99) is out NOW on the Playstation Vita. Both are available at retail in physical packages at a game emporium near you or digitally via PSN if the outside world freaks you out.

That is all. You may now resume your otherwise mundane Friday, but remember – those gigantic bugs and massive alien invasion force aren’t going to stop themselves. The EDF needs YOU to fight the good fight. Er, unless you like living in a hole somewhere (that’s probably going to have a massive spider nest on top of it at some point sooner than later…

Earth Defense Force 4.1 Livestream: Bigger, Badder, Buggier (But That’s A Compliment)

EDF 4.1 home imageA little fun from Xseed Games as tomorrow is the BIG day PS4 owners in North America and EDF fans have been waiting for as Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair hits retail and digital (via PSN).

I’ll shut up now and let you watch the video before you bust down your own door in order to run to your favorite game emporium and snap up a copy of the game. And a PS4 because you should have one already. That recent price drop seems to be making Sony pretty happy as more folks make the move from PS3 to PS4 or just grab one for the first time for their entertainment purposes.

And if you’re a Vita owner, guess what? Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space is out tomorrow as well. Retail and digital, just like the above. Yeah, you need this game. Trust me – it’s a complete time eater and a solid action game in its own right. While different in tone (thus the campier titling), it’s a pretty hardcore game on the higher difficulty levels that should test the skills of the best gamers on the planet.  Inferno Mode will school you in the many ways of getting chomped on by big bugs, stomped on by giant robots and otherwise probed by assorted spaceships and other enemies is all I’ll say.