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Found 8 results

  1. Jonathan Higgins

    Fantasy Life 2 is a Mobile Game, Skipping 3DS

    Remember when I hyped Level-5 Vision 2015 event because they promised news of a new Fantasy Life game? The presentation took place this morning, and sure enough: Fantasy Life 2: Two Moons And The Village of God is a thing. Unfortunately, it's not headed for the 3DS like the original game. Seems it will be exclusive to mobile devices! The game both similar and different from its predecessor. It's different insofar as the story focuses more on village-building, like a Sim game. You can collect villagers, and you'll have plenty of room to build things. It's similar in that...characters from the first game return, and the fields and world outside the village are the exact same as the first game, except on smartphone devices. Fantasy Life 2: Two Moons And The Village of God is headed to Japan this summer. It's visually familiar, and features some of the same locales and characters, but its new Sim-like premise is what warrants this new game, new platform, and new direction. Source: Siliconera Are you happy or sad about the Fantasy Life 2 reveal? Be sure to let us know!
  2. Jonathan Higgins

    Review: Fantasy Life

    Developer: Level-5, 1-UP Studio Publisher: Nintendo Platforms: 3DS Release Date: October 24, 2014 ESRB: E 10+ Official Site When I opened up my package containing Fantasy Life for Nintendo 3DS, Bayonetta 2 was tucked right underneath it, as part of the same shipment. Just weeks prior, I“d picked up Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, and just a few weeks later comes the Holiday 2014 deluge of titles featuring everything from Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire to Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, and even other life simulation games like Story of Seasons. Determined to give the game a fair chance, I started things off, got a Life, and dredged through a lengthy tutorial. During my first few hours with the game, I decided it was middling at best; I was ready to let it wash out to sea among the wave of new releases seemingly destined to overshadow it. But... now that I“ve spent just under twenty five hours with the game, let me say—Life has a way of proving you wrong sometimes. And I“m going to spend the next little while hopefully convincing some of you to change your tune, if you have doubts about what Fantasy Life has to offer. While the pedigree of Yoshitaka Amano (known for his designs from Final Fantasy VI, among other games) and Nobuo Uematsu (renowned Final Fantasy composer) may be enough to pique your interest, there“s certainly more to the game than what“s on the surface level. Fantasy Life takes place in the world of Reveria, where the player—a fledging young boy or girl—must take up a Life for himself or herself and go on a carefree, whimsical adventure to find out what Life has to offer. And there are twelve different Lives to lead: Four are combat-based, like Mercenary and Wizard. Three focus on gathering, like Miner and Woodcutter. And five feature crafting, like Alchemist and Blacksmith. Regardless of the one the player chooses, the story plays out the same. And my goodness, does the game“s tutorial make it seem like the pacing slows to a crawl there in the beginning. But if you“re willing to look past the monotony of the first two hours or so, you start to realize that things pick up a little bit. The world of Reveria starts to grow on you! The graphics and designs of the world as a whole and the things (whether townspeople or gruesome beast) that populate it show off a unique charm that fans of Amano will pick up on over time. In terms of its design sense, imagine a world whose environments are as refreshing as Final Fantasy IX or Ni No Kuni (also from Level-5). Everything is colorful, and whether we“re talking in-game scenery or the beautifully hand-drawn cutscenes, it“s all immersive and whimsical. The soundtrack isn't necessarily Uematsu at his best, but all the music absolutely suits the world. And none of it felt dull or repetitive. I played through the entire main story as a Paladin, and stuck with that Life until I Mastered it. But the way I played through the game isn“t necessarily the set, correct way. After the initial tutorial, the player is given the option to change to whatever Life he or she chooses on a whim. You can skip the meaty introductory tutorial for each Life and build multiple stats and characteristics as you see fit throughout the game. Or you can stick with one Life throughout the game, and switch to another after you“ve Mastered its challenges. After spending almost twenty hours in a combat-based class, switching to Miner felt more natural than I thought it would. A lot of the game“s overall mechanics don“t necessarily change, even though one“s Life is never set in stone. Whether I“m tackling a powerful foe as a Paladin, or a powerful... chunk of rock as a Miner, the various themes of the game, and the ambiance of adventure, are always consistent. I knew Fantasy Life was growing on me after a while, but I still had this sort of internal struggle trying to decide whether the game was just decent, or if it had qualities that could let it stand on its own instead of being drowned by its contemporaries. One of those good qualities has to do with the fact that the game lets you move at your own pace. Want to spend twenty hours building your perfect home (with all its furnishings and the like) as a woodcutter instead of going through the main story? You“re free to do so, and the game won“t ever penalize you for it. The quests of your Butterfly companion (which aren't really demanding, mind you) are required to advance the main story and open up the world of Reveria to you, but it“s not as though the world will end if you take your time with Life. Want to go through Life with friends instead of doing it all alone? You“re free to do that too, as the game has online and local multiplayer that“s available not long after the dreaded beginning tutorial. It“s more than a little hidden, but once you get the ball rolling, everything is pretty seamless. You could choose to participate in Ally Mode, which broadcasts your achievements to your friends, who you must go into a menu and individually select...and hardly anyone will have this feature turned on because it“s not done for you automatically. Or you could get in on some Multiplayer, when you and a buddy probably do a lot of talking offline before agreeing to jump online together. Companionship is definitely there. But it“s not as seamless as it should be, for a game that could benefit from going through Life together. Still, the aspect of Fantasy Life that impressed me the most is the care, attention and humor given to its script in North America. The story may not be some epic adventure that“s destined to change your life forever. But its sense of humor is definitely there... and will surely appeal to the handful of you who have found my constant allusions, puns about Life, and the like entertaining so far. It“s so cheesy, I think it belongs in Wisconsin. Absolutely awful figurative language and puns like the one I just told are littered throughout the script, and will hit you when you least expect them to as you advance through the game“s main story. I found myself chuckling for some of the beginning, and almost rolling on the floor laughing by the end. Fantasy Life expects you to embrace some of its tropes, and absolutely turns others on their heads. The script and story are fun and phenomenal—far more than icing on the cake for me. At the end of the day, because of its charm, I can confidently say I was wrong about Fantasy Life. If you“re expecting it to be lost at sea among this year“s other heavy-hitting releases, it very well could be. But I hope those of you on the fence about Fantasy Life give it a chance in due time. The tale of Reveria may be one of the most charming adventures I“ve experienced this year. Life as that game presents it has definitely left a positive mark on me at the end of the day, instead of taking its toll. Pros: + Phenomenal script, absolutely dripping with absurd humor and attention to detail that will appeal to all ages. + Move at whatever pace you like; this is definitely a game that can last forever if you let it. + Very charming environments and characters, well-suited to a fantasy story. Cons: - The beginning tutorial feels so slow that it might leave a good handful unwilling to give it a chance in the beginning. Some bits of the game seem a little too slow. - Things like Multiplayer, StreetPass functionality and more exist, but they're a little buried. They're not nearly as seamless as they could be, either. Overall Score: 8 (out of 10) Great Fantasy Life may be one of the most charming adventures you'll experience this year. Disclosure: This game was reviewed via a copy purchased personally by the author
  3. Marcus Estrada

    Level 5's Guild 02 Games Heading West

    Guild 01 was an interesting idea that spawned games such as Aero Porter and Liberation Maiden on the 3DS eShop. Unlike in Japan, the games were sold separately instead of as a collection, but many here still found them appealing. Back in March, some trademarks were discovered that pointed to the possibility of Guild 02 also being brought over. Today it was announced by Level 5 that, yes, their Guild 02 games are set to hit North America and Europe. What games are included?: Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale Bugs vs. Tanks! The Starship Damrey Of note, Bugs vs. Tanks was designed by Kenji Inafune. These games are likely to be sold separately as with the previous set. Those who would like to get into this Guild business should check out the eShop as Guild 01 games are currently discounted.
  4. While Knight Chronicles first hit western PS3's in 2010. Then the sequel came a year later and even included a copy of first game as well. Despite a small fandom, the RPG series still subsisted and maintained an online multiplayer community. As with other games that use an external server, the servers are finally being shut down. On June 18th SCEA is set to turn them off for both games, meaning all multiplayer features are to henceforth be inaccessible Of course, single player play will still work, but without any online integration. The same is true of the sequel, although that announcement came straight from D3 Publisher instead of Sony. Fans of both games should go and put in time with co-op missions before the servers are gone for good. Every so often, gamers can make enough fuss about a game to keep the servers alive longer (like Demon's Souls) but that is unlikely to be the case here. Did you play White Knight Chronicles I or II?
  5. Number 905

    Review: Crimson Shroud

    Developer: Level 5 Publisher: Level 5 Platform: 3DS eShop Release Date: December 13, 2012 ESRB: T for Teen One of the most disturbing trends in video games recently is the increasing homogenization among titles. Looking to get a larger audience, better sales, and a higher Metacritic ranking, games are becoming increasingly similar, with developers shoehorning in features to appeal to some mythical audience that may not even exist. Despite this trend, there are still games that go their own way to court niche audiences and there is no shortage of such games in the RPG genre. Crimson Shroud is such a game, adding an old-school spin to the genre by bringing the mechanics and aesthetic of tabletop RPGs to the 3DS. The biggest selling point for Crimson Shroud is the tabletop influence. Most prominently, many skills depend on dice rolls to determine potency and success chance, with the ability to add your own dice to the standard rolls should you need to make sure a skill succeeds. It“s a fun gimmick, especially since you use the touchscreen or circle pad to roll the dice around. Even if the mechanics behind them are a simple random number generator, it adds a nice level of interaction that makes you feel more involved in the combat. Unlike most RPGs, there are no levels or stat progression in the game, with battles only granting items and, from certain story battles, new skills. Instead, your party“s“ strength and main skills come from equipment, which can be raised in level if you have multiples of the same item. Mechanics aren“t the only thing influenced by the tabletop, though. The entirety of Crimson Shroud“s art style is based on those games. The room setups, while nice, are simple and reminiscent of what you might see from a particularly ambitious dungeon master. Instead of active portraits and models, all the characters and monsters in the game are stationary statues. You won“t see mouths moving to simulate chatter, but the figures are so detailed that they even include bases. It“s a love-it-or-leave-it aesthetic, but it“s definitely unique and something I particularly enjoyed. Unfortunately, there“s some quirky design at work. There“s a specific part of the game that is not well thought out to the point where it can be frustrating. You“ll eventually be required to find an item to progress, though the nature of the item can only be inferred. Sadly, how you get the item isn“t hinted at. Basically, you need to get an item from a specific encounter. Sounds simple, but it only gets dropped from a certain reinforcement unit which can randomly spawn if you kill a certain enemy type in the initial encounter. The item itself is a random drop, so there are multiple layers of chance standing in the way of progression. It may sound like whining, but given that battles can take several minutes and Crimson Shroud is only a few hours long, it can easily take up a good chunk of your playtime. Personally, about half of my playtime was spent trying to get this item. If you manage to get it your first time, you might not even know it“s an issue. Not everyone will be that fortunate, though. Although the main game isn“t very long, those enamoured with the game can find a bulk of content through the new game+ mode. As you“d expect from the feature, you can load up a cleared game save to play through again with all of your items from the first playthrough and a higher difficulty. In addition to this, there are more areas open to explore, new enemies, and a different, though not necessarily better, ending. You can also skip previously viewed scenes, allowing you to get to the meat of new game+ without getting bogged down by what you“ve already seen. Crimson Shroud is definitely not a game without flaws. The decision to channel the tabletop RPG genre isn“t something that will appeal to everyone and going so far as to extend that approach to the character design may leave some feeling that the game is lacking in presentation. Making story progression based on a random drop from a random enemy is a poor puzzle in a game that has such long battles and such a short story. Still, for those that can get behind the tabletop aesthetic, Crimson Shroud is definitely a fun diversion. Those that get particularly captivated by it can find plenty of content in the new game+ mode and get their money“s worth out of the title. Love it or hate it, Crimson Shroud is definitely a unique experience. Pros: + Deep new game+ mode + Detailed, tabletop aesthetic + Dice rolls add a layer of interactivity to combat Cons: - Aesthetic not for everyone - Poor puzzle design - Short Overall Score: 6.5 (Out of 10) Decent It isn“t long or without frustration, but Crimson Shroud“s unique approach is worth checking out for those looking for something new.
  6. Number 905

    Review: Liberation Maiden

    Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture Publisher: Level 5 Platform: 3DS eShop Release Date: Out Now ESRB: T for Teen If there“s one thing that Grasshopper Manufacture is known for, it“s games with crazy premises. Responsible for games such as Killer 7 and Lollipop Chainsaw, there“s good reason to expect the wildest. Surprisingly, Liberation Maiden serves up a more grounded premise. Rather than some insane, supernatural romp, Maiden is a shoot-“em-up where you pilot a robot suit and fight for your country. Despite the simple premise, Grasshopper“s made a solid game, even if it doesn“t quite feel like it“s theirs. Set 100 years in the future, the story concerns the rebellion of New Japan, led by President Shoko Ozora, against the world-conquering super nation Dominion. Piloting a state of the art mech, the Liberator “Kamui,†Shoko sets off the free New Japan from Dominion by purifying the land and reclaiming their resources. Although moderately interesting, it's a simple premise and it doesn“t develop much between missions. Unfortunately, it ends prematurely and leaves the plot hanging. The gameplay is simple as far as the genre goes with little precision required in both shooting and movement. Basic movement is handled with the circle pad while the L button is used for strafing and can be configured to be toggled or held. The rest of the controls are left to the touch screen. Kamui“s basic missiles are fired by sweeping across targets to lock on, scratching to charge, and then releasing to fire. The laser weapon simply fires based on where you touch. Tapping an icon in the top right of the screen switches your weapon and an icon in the top left launches a bomb after chaining enough kills. What“s challenging is knowing when to attack and when to dodge. Kamui“s attacks use Deflector Nodes, which also comprise the suit“s shield when inactive. This means that attacking for too long leaves you open to damage. Although the controls are technically solid, they aren“t without issues. The biggest issue is that there“s no option to switch handedness. The touchscreen movements required aren“t very precise, but left handed players should be aware that no concessions are made for them. It“s worth noting that your liberation of Japan will probably take under two hours. The replayability comes from meeting the conditions to unlock gallery items, replaying again at higher difficulties, and score attacks of the stages. There is no online leaderboard for this mode, though, so you“re left with trying to improve your personal best instead of competing with others. Accompanying the fast paced action, Liberation Maiden“s soundtrack delivers an impressive collection of songs that fit the thrill of combat. It“s disappointing that there isn“t a sound test mode included with the unlockables. The voice acting in the game is also very well done, even though the cast is comprised of a couple of actors. Visually, the animated cutscenes are well done and the in-game graphics are solid, though lacking in detail. The 3D effect is also average. Terrain and key buildings popping up nicely, but most of the cities remain fairly flat and uninteresting. Ultimately, Liberation Maiden fits how I feel about most of Grasshopper Manufacture“s games: nothing special but definitely fun to play. It“s not a game that will last you long unless you love self-improvement, but it“s a fun concept that is executed well and leaves you wanting more. Pros: + Fun and simple gameplay + Great soundtrack and voice acting + Involved multi-stage boss fights Cons - Anticlimactic ending - Low replayability - No left-handed control scheme Overall Score: 7 (Out of 10) Good It doesn“t last long, but Liberation Maiden is still a lot of fun despite the tiny package.
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