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Found 64 results

  1. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2013: Hands-On With Killer is Dead

    Suda 51 is a name that became known in the West primarily after the release of the stylish and gory Killer7 on GameCube and PS2. The cel-shaded graphics were used to great effect in the geopolitical thriller and made an impression on many, including myself. Ever since then, I“ve been happy to play other Grasshopper Manufacture games but have never felt the way I did as with that first foray into Suda-ness. Killer is Dead doesn“t bring back that old feeling, but it seems far more like his older style than other, more recent diversions, such as the No More Heroes series. In the game, you play as Mondo Zappa, an assassin, who spends most of the game slicing things up. Despite his handsome appearance, he also seems to be rather hit or miss with wooing women. The demo I played was specifically tailored to give a good taste of one chapter in Killer is Dead. Starting off on the level, I am immediately surrounded by enemies and must kill them all with my katana. This works very smoothly and there didn“t seem to be any issue with simple button mashing. Of course, you can also dodge which I found very useful as well. Enemies seem to always make you aware of their incoming strikes, making it easy to duck away at the last moment. I was also able to harness some special abilities which took the form of Zappa either performing extra gory kills or professional wrestling moves. Yes, Suda“s love for suited men and wrestling moves are still present. Fights as a whole were very frantic and at times were hard to comprehend. This has often been the case with his more recent work though, where blood and gore complicate the visuals beyond recognition. Of course, even when they're impossible to discern, the graphics are still incredibly stylish. A slight bit of the story was shown as well, which focused around some sort of monstrosity that murdered a young woman for her “perfect” ears. This seems like a very Suda style storytelling device and one which many Western players appeared confounded by. It“s definitely weird, of course, and the rest of the story is probably far stranger. Of course, without context we can only speculate as to how odd it is. After that, I fought a boss who was pretty easy enough to take down without fear of death. My experience on PS3 was just fine, but the 360 dev kit situated next to me was not. People who played that version were forced to deal with color bars on the screen, crashes, and moments where the game would simply not restart. I“m not sure why the 360 version is in such a poor state right now, but owners of both systems may be wary about where they purchase in case all these problems aren“t cleared up before release. Playing Killer is Dead was fun, even if it tired my hands out from the copious swordplay required. This is a good thing, though, considering the recent Lollipop Chainsaw almost felt like a step backward in regards to modern, speedy attack controls. Judging from the story showcased, it“s safe to say that Killer is Dead will satisfy a specific audience when it launches this August.
  2. Marcus Estrada

    Pandora's Tower Finally Arrives on April 16th

    Ah yes, Pandora's Tower... This is the last of the trio of games that Operation Rainfall banded together under to decry their collective lack of Western release. Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story have already made it out so that leaves only this game left. In early March, XSEED Games announced the title for April. Today they've sent out word of the release date. Pandora's Tower will be available on April 16th, which is only a few weeks away. The RPG was developed in Japan by Ganbarion and Nintendo. When it finally hits stores it'll hit shelves at the price of $40. Of course, Pandora's Tower is also a Wii exclusive and seemingly one of the few upcoming - if not last - games worth buying. Those interested in taking a peek at the gameplay can do so with the trailer XSEED released today: http://youtu.be/R6QNM_5zucE
  3. Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys Origin were the first Ys titles to grace Steam last year. It was XSEED Games' first foray onto Steam as well. Since then, they have been fairly silent on the PC front until today. Now Ys I & II Chronicles+ is set to join the digital storefront. Not only is this collection a way to play the first two games, but it also has a handful of PC-specific features. The games are aiming to please both new players as well as fans by having many ways to customize the experience. If you want to listen to the original 80s soundtrack then you can, although a modernized one is also included. Similarly, you can change the art style, turn pixel smoothing on or off, or play in widescreen mode. Since the game is on Steam there are also Achievements. Other modern conveniences are also included such as Steam cloud support and leaderboards. The Nihon Falcom developed title is set to arrive on Valentine's Day. Ys I & II Chronicles+ will cost $15 but if you pre-order it before February 14th you can nab it a tad cheaper at $12.74. Check out the official trailer to get a feel for Ys: http://youtu.be/12U_Xc50-qg
  4. Marcus Estrada

    Killer is Dead Heading West Via XSEED

    For a long time, there was barely anything known about Suda51's upcoming project by the name is Killer is Dead. Then, just recently, it saw a piece in Famitsu which shared new images, plot elements, and even a trailer. As the game will be out in Japan in just a few months it seems like the marketing crunch is happening right now. However, one thing that was unknown was who might be bringing the game to US and when. Soon after, it was found that XSEED Games was sitting on newly purchased domain names that pointed heavily towards the game. Today XSEED announced what fans were already expecting: they are the US publishers of Killer is Dead. President and CEO of XSEED Games, Shinichi Suzuki, said he "personally selected" this title to be brought to the US market. There is certainly no release date but that isn't surprising given the fact it doesn't even have one in Japan either. However, just like Japan's release time frame of "summer 2013", XSEED has also tagged their version to be released during the summer season as well. Killer is Dead will be heading to both 360 and PS3. Are you interested in Suda51's upcoming Killer is Dead now that it is confirmed for US release?
  5. We might be seeing some news soon regarding Killer is Dead's North American localization. For now, though, we just have some registered web domains to go off of. Sometime last week, publisher XSEED registered three domains that sound like they're related to the Suda51/Grashopper Manufacture game: killerisdead-game.com, killandlove.com, and loveandkill.com. XSEED nabbed the publishing rights to Pandora's Tower recently and also brought us The Last Story. They've come up a bit from publishing just niche games! The publishing company has simply replied with “Xseed Games cannot confirm that they are publishing Killer is Dead in North America.†so far. What do you think about XSEED publishing Killer is Dead in North America?
  6. Marcus Estrada

    The Last Story is XSEED's Biggest Hit

    The Last Story, along with Xenoblade, was a game that many wanted to play. Although Wii systems have offered up a handful of games for the more hardcore gaming audience, as of late it has been lacking. Because of this, it seemed like The Last Story would be the last big release on the console. XSEED launched the game in a Limited Edition format in August. That release of the game with an included art book, special box, and pre-order bonus of soundtrack managed to be a big hit for the publisher. Executive Vice President of XSEED Games, Ken Berry, said this today: “The Last Story has been an amazing title for XSEED Games and it has become our most successful title to date. This is a must have title for RPG fans, and we“re looking forward to more players discovering the magic that lies in Lazulis Island.” In the case of this game it definitely seems that XSEED's decision to publish it in North America and with a special edition helped tremendously. However, if you've looked for the game lately you may have noticed that the Limited Edition is sold out. Also announced was the fact that more copies are now being shipped to retailers. They are "standard" editions which means you won't get the special box or art book, but it will also be a cheaper version. The new copies of The Last Story will retail for $40. Have you played The Last Story already? Did you expect it to be the most successful game XSEED has published?
  7. Marcus Estrada

    Review: Orgarhythm

    Developer: Nielo/AQUIRE Corp. Publisher: XSEED Games Platform: PSN (Vita) Release Date: October 23, 2012 ESRB: E10+ Have you become tired by the world of music games which, until recently, has been creating lots of similar titles? It“s fun to use plastic guitars or dance mats to hit buttons at the right time but after awhile you begin to wonder if there are other ways that music games can be created. We“ve seen some creative rhythm games coming out lately and it seems that another has just shown up for the Vita. Orgarhythm is about as strange as its name, but also a neat little experience. The name Orgarhythm does little to explain what the game is about, so let“s give that a shot. In it, you play as the God of Light who is hoping to take down the God of Darkness, his own brother. In order to do this, you must work your way through level after level with troops of warriors ready to do your bidding. How does this manage to become a rhythm game? Well, it“s all due to the way that the troops are controlled. To issue orders to your team, you must go through a series of screen touches. First, you will be required to touch the God, which means it is time to start issuing instructions. Then, hit the marker for which troops you wish to command. There are three colors, each of which has its own benefit or problem facing against other colors. After selecting the proper group, it is then time to choose what you want them to be doing. They can be sent off to simply engage in close combat, use arrows, or do other special features like lob giant boulders. Finally, you draw a line to designate where the characters should head to engage in battle. At the start, this whole method of gameplay is kind of confusing. It“s not particularly hard to recognize that the three troops' strengths/weaknesses play out like rock, paper, scissors, but that doesn“t mean you“ll be prepared. This is due to the fact that you are purely commanding troops. The God of Light himself is always walking along a set path, which means you must be ready to fight continuously and without much time to stop and think. Thankfully, the buttons you must touch on screen always remain in the same spots so you will never end up scrambling to find them. One other thing that makes battles hard at the start is that the game hinges leveling up on how well you are able to hit buttons along with the beat. Each level has its own music playing, and you are meant to carry out commands by pressing as the beat hits. It isn“t particularly hard in theory, but when you“re stressing out about a new wave of enemies coming close, you may find yourself screwing up a fair bit. This takes some time to get used to, but eventually it manages to become second nature. Once it is, you“ll be able to reap all the benefits of perfectly-timed presses with more troop level ups. Of course, if you“re missing hits a lot, then troops will level down. Although Orgarhythm isn“t easy, it does at least offer some aid to those who may not be great at the game. There are two difficulties for each level at the start, one for casual players and one for more advanced types. Also, once in a song, if you are bad at hitting notes the music will simplify itself down to make it easier to hear the beats. The only problem with that though is unskilled players won“t be able to enjoy the soundtrack fully as they won“t be able to hear it as it“s meant to be heard! There is no practice mode, but hearing the song stripped down to basics should aid confused players a bit. Beyond your small army of multi-colored beings, there are also a few more tricks up the God of Light“s sleeve. For one, he has access to four main support skills. These are able to increase defense of your team, or heal them up, and a few other things. There is also a special attack which he may launch after having done enough support moves. Using the attack means that every enemy around will get struck. It is rarely something you“ll find yourself needing, but support skills definitely are a big help. The heal in particular is fantastic since the God himself has no other means of protection aside from his team. There are twelve levels in all, which each have their own boss enemy at the end. These encounters require you to be able to use troops strategically, as well as fight quickly. Each boss has its own special features and some stages even have easier ways to take them down. One thing common between bosses is that they rarely are fighting alone. They tend to shoot out their own enemies to fight against yours, but you still must be able to hit the boss itself in between waves of smaller baddies. Once they get taken down, the stage ends and you are graded on your skill. Although there might not seem like so many levels overall, you might find them worth trying out in multiplayer. These two modes are co-op and versus, which act as you might expect. Unfortunately, both modes are based off of an ad hoc connection. Multiplayer is confined to “local” play, as opposed to online. Obviously this is fine if you have friends who are going to get together and play Orgarhythm on Vita, but this probably isn“t a common experience just yet. As such, I am unable to speak to how these modes play at this time. However, you can check out high score boards with players from everywhere. When it comes right down to it, the game feels kind of short, but if you“re really into it then it will probably offer a lot of replay value. XSEED also will be adding in DLC tracks and stages soon, but right now none are available. Orgarhythm definitely is a good mix between rhythm and RTS and is able to entertain for a handful of stages. If you are a fan of music games and own a Vita then this is definitely a game worth looking into, but expect that you will probably want to grab the DLC when its out to expand your experience. It is a strangely tough game to play at the start, but once you can finally wrap your mind around it (and speed up your thumb presses) then it becomes a fun, and hugely creative, musical adventure. Pros: + Nice variety of musical tracks, all of which are fun to listen to + Gameplay is simple to understand but tough to master + Creative boss designs and strategies to defeat them Cons: - Small amount of tracks for the $30 price - Multiplayer partners and opponents may be hard to find Overall Score: 7 (out of 10) Good Orgarhythm offers an interesting new experience to those used to “regular” rhythm and music games.
  8. Marcus Estrada

    Corpse Party Sequel Announced for PSN Release

    Corpse Party was one of the most surprising games to grace the PSP late in its life cyle. Originally created as a simple RPG Maker project, it then grew and was updated into a PSP version in Japan. Americans were then finally given the chance to play it via the PSN thanks to XSEED last year. Now, the PlayStation Blog has just posted that the sequel, Book of Shadows, will be coming out here. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows takes on a different style of gameplay from the first. Instead of looking like a top-down retro RPG, it is done with a first-person perspective. In this view you are given a point and click style interface which you can explore Heavenly Host Elementary through. It is said that this game even has a larger focus on dialogue and story than the first, enough so for the blog to mention it may feel visual novel-like at times. Book of Shadows will still be only a PSN release, although no price or date have been given so far. All we know is that it has a release date set for this Winter. If you have yet to play the original Corpse Party, then maybe now is the time. From tomorrow until November 6th the original game is going to be on sale for $10 (regularly priced at $20). Here are a handful of screenshots to give you an idea of what the game is like:
  9. If you've been waiting for the real time action RPG Ragnarok Odyssey on Vita then this news is sure to please. Today XSEED Games sent out a press release which announced the brand new "Mercenary Edition" of the game. It's not just a fancy name for a pack in soundtrack sampler either, as it gives a fair bit of content for the price. For $50, Ragnarok Odyssey Mercenary Edition will come packed with the expected soundtrack CD but also the Mercenary Guide which is a physical book comprised of game strategies and artwork. It also includes a pack of 10 random trading cards based on some of the 50 monsters from the game. If all 50 are available that'll create some real tension for collectors who want the whole set. The standard version of the game will cost $40, so the Mercenary Edition is just ten bucks more. If you're curious about Ragnarok Odyssey then it's worth noting that the game was developed by Grandia and Lunar series vets. It also happens to be based off the popular Ragnarok Online. Both versions of the game will be shipping out to retailers this October, although no specific date has been given yet. Here's a little trailer which was also released alongside the news: http://youtu.be/C3ttkwfTVkw
  10. XSEED is making the purchase of a copy of The Last Story more and more worthwhile. Last month, they first announced that all first print copies of the JRPG will be a special limited edition. This limited edition includes a 44-page softcover art book that comes in a custom outer box. Now, those who specifically pre-order will be getting another bonus. This pre-order gift is a soundtrack CD that features seven tracks by famed composer, Nobuo Uematsu, from The Last Story. The cover of the CD and slip are rather pretty, too! Confirmed retailers that will offer the pre-order bonus so far are Amazon, GameStop, and EB Games Canada. The long-awaited Mistwalker game will be available for purchase on its newly announced release date of August 14th. It's not too long now, folks! What do you think of this pre-order bonus for The Last Story? Will you be reserving a copy?