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Found 1,042 results

  1. Developer: Soft Circle French Bread Publisher: Aksys Games Platform: PS4, PS3, and PS Vita Release Date: February 8, 2018 ESRB: T for Teen Clearly, the Japanese developer French Bread has given up any attempt at a coherent title with their newest fighting game rerelease, Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late(st). In spite of its self-inflicted and unfortunate naming choice, the newest Under Night In-Birth iteration remains steadfast as a fighting game gem amongst some pretty fierce competition. It is just a shame that it is highly likely to be buried by the recent Dragon Ball FighterZ (for a multitude of reasons) and possibly even redundant due to many serious fans having already imported this version of the series half a year ago. Those who are still curious as to what Under Night's second console release has to offer may notice its handful of new bells and whistles as it tries to justify its additional retail price tag. I would define the original PS3 release of Under Night In-Birth as having no unnecessary frills, yet also quite entertaining, and that it was only really held back by simply not explaining its nuanced fighting game system mechanics (such as "Chain Shift", "Veil off", and the likes). The lack of tutorials would essentially force one who wanted to give the prior game a fair shot to dig into online guides or wikis to understand the gameplay systems. This is no longer the case with Exe: Late(st) with many, many tutorials that are willing to teach in a very beginner-friendly manner, which range from simply moving around or looking at the health bar to going as deep as explaining concepts like "fuzzy guarding" in high-level play. It is a rather dry text dump based approach compared to Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator's tutorial but the in-game insight is more than welcome nonetheless. It is all well and good that they added tutorials; however, features beyond that should be more enticing for returning players, such as new playable characters and modes. In addition to adding much-needed re-balancing from the prior game (Seth and Chaos are finally viable competitively!), the four new playable characters themselves are all quite enjoyable and generally easy to pick up & play like the rest of the roster. Some are straightforward enough, like Enkidu, who is a close ranged fighter with various parrying skills to Phonon who keeps foes at bay with long-range whipping abilities. The more intriguing newcomers design-wise, however, are Mika -- who is a deceptively mobile fighter despite wielding two huge gauntlets -- and the lady Wagner, who has a fiery and hyper aggressive playstyle that is similar to her presence in the main story. Speaking of which, the newly added story mode may just be the worst part of the whole game. One could tell that the storytelling was not particularly noteworthy in the arcade mode of the earlier release; having an exhausting ten hour-plus visual novel story mode could not do this game fewer favors. As someone who tolerated the extensive visual novel narratives in various Blazblue games, it says a lot about just how dull and uneventful the Chronicles story mode in EXE Late(st) ends up being. At best, players will see some halfway interesting backstory regarding the playable cast. Yet, the far more prevalent theme is that it'll likely bore them out of their mind with incredibly mundane and redundant exposition that can stretch the course of five minutes into feeling like several hours. The worst part about the storytelling is that there is very little resembling a central narrative as whole making it feel that much more pointless to endure. The rest of the gameplay mode feature set is a matter of taking the good with the bad. For example, the "Mission" mode is neat in that it has players be able to learn actual viable bread & butter combos to more advanced techniques. Then there is the training mode which, despite being a total user interface nightmare, allows somewhat granular options in finding out which actions can easily be countered. The Network features remain to be much more mixed, however. In addition to being close to dead in terms of online presence (one of many reasons why the release date timing was unfortunate...), the online netcode itself is kind of dodgy and bare bones. There are the standard lobbies and ranked matchmaking, sure, but good luck finding fellow opponents or matches without noticeable lag. Under Night In-Birth EXE: Late(st) makes for a tricky recommendation in the modern fighting game climate. It's a criminally overlooked, and surprisingly approachable fighting game series though I find myself quite conflicted in how underwhelming Exe: Late(st) is as a re-release. The story mode is downright awful and whatever potential for longevity it has is sapped away by a weak online interface and an even worse release date timing thanks to the recent Dragon Ball FighterZ. What is left are a few neat additions such as the four entertaining new characters and the smart training mode options, as well as the solace in that would-be fans no longer have to go out of their to import the title, but little else. Pros + Rock solid fighting game fundamentals that is surprisingly approachable in terms of controls + The four new playable characters are diverse and entertaining + Nice tutorials and training mode options Cons - Utterly boring visual novel story mode - Wonky versus netcode with the online presence of a ghost town -Interface and UI is clumsy Overall Score: 7 (out of 10) Good Under Night In-Birth EXE: Late(st) is stuck in the unfortunate position of being a really good fighter that is held back by an underwhelming overall re-release and terrible release date timing. But for those willing to accept Under Night In-Birth EXE: Late(st) as the diamond in the rough that it is should still have fun playing it. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable PS4 code provided by the publisher.
  2. UPDATE: According to Polygon, Sony provided a comment clarifying that only two PS4 games will be offered for free in 2019. It was only a matter of time before this happened but today PlayStation finally announced that it will be dropping PlayStation 3 and PS Vita titles from the monthly PlayStation Plus free game lineup in 2019. Both platforms have continually seen an audience decline ever since the PlayStation 4 launched and neither can be widely bought at retail stores now either. However, the good news is that you'll still retain the ability to download any PS3 and PS Vita games that you've already gotten for free through the PlayStation Plus service. With PlayStation Plus pivoting to PS4-only games, the real question is whether the selection will expand from the current two free games to encompass the other four empty game slots that will be left vacant by PS3 and PS Vita or whether we'll only get two games from 2019 on. The official post on The PlayStation Blog doesn't give any indication, so we'll have to wait and see, though it's a good bet Sony doesn't feel the need to offer so many free games now since the PS4 is (and has been) selling like hotcakes for some time. Source: PlayStation Blog What are your thoughts on PlayStation dropping PS3 and PS Vita games from PlayStation Plus?
  3. Sony just revealed the Playstation Plus lineup for June, giving you some new games to play while you wait for all the awesome new games that will be shown at E3. Here's the full lineup: Killing Floor 2, PS4 Life is Strange, PS4 Abyss Odyssey, PS3 WRC 5: World Rally Championship, PS3 Neon Chrome, PS Vita (crossbuy with PS4) Spy Chameleon, PS Vita (crossbuy on PS4) Killing Floor 2 and Life Be Strange are the obvious standouts here. I haven't played either one (I've had Life is Strange on Steam forever and still haven't gotten around to it...) but compared to the rest of the lineup they're relatively big-name games. Abyss Odyssey is pretty cool, though it's a shame it's not cross-buy with the enhanced PS4 version. Spy Chameleon is kinda fun, I dunno anything about WRC or Neon Chrome though. Anyway, what do you all think about the lineup? If nothing else maybe we could all get together for some Killing Floor 2 matches sometime.
  4. barrel

    Review: Guilty Gear Xrd: REV 2

    Developer: Arc System Works Publisher: Aksys Games Platform: PC, PS4, and PS3 Release Date: May 26, 2017 ESRB: T for Teen Note: This review is based on the PS4 version of the game It is hard to be proud of a beautiful series' 3D resurrection in Gear Gear Xrd-SIGN- when it is already so eager follow in the shallow re-release footsteps that plagued Gear Gear X2 for nearly ten years. Despite somewhat feeling like what the original release should've been at launch last year's rocking Gear Gear Xrd: Revelator generally earned its place as a bombastic fighting game follow-up. That game had it all: a fully-featured sequel story mode (that gets surprisingly good), five entirely new characters, smartly revamped gameplay systems and online, and essentially the best tutorial in a fighting game ever. This year's annual follow-up in Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 has, well, two new characters and feels like a premium balance patch for the most part. Now, I'm not going to lie. I genuinely adore Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2's two new playable characters. Baiken and Answer feel right at home with the already wonderful diverse character cast and now brings the current total to 25. The fan-favorite Rurouni Kenshin inspired and one-armed lady samurai Baiken finally makes a return in Xrd's gorgeous 3D art style. Retaining familiar skills like randomly kicking a tatami mat into the air, grabbing foes from afar with a weird mechanical claw, and even her signature parry-focused mechanic are there as well as a few others. Baiken does seem simplified compared to her 2D counterpart, especially her combos, but she remains quite enjoyable to play and her rejiggered parry mechanic still feels very execution heavy to use effectively. Oddly enough, despite myself and many others begging to see Baiken in Xrd for years (which she should've been there day one), my favorite of the two new characters to play is actually that of the businessman ninja: Answer. While if it easy to shrug him off when we already have a ninja as cool as Chipp Zanuff fulfilling that role, Answer has a lot of intriguing tricks to his gameplay arsenal. In one moment Answer is tossing business cards, and in the next he's doing Naruto styled ninpo shenanigans mid-air, all while trying to maintain an important phone call in the midst of battle. Best of all -- he has a Ninja Gaiden styled Izuna Drop too, so that's awesome There really is not a whole lot new aside from those two (very fun to play) new characters, however. Everything else included comes across as very subtle gameplay refinements more than anything else. Don't get me wrong, if you haven't played the previous iteration Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator, Rev 2 is absolutely worth one's time and may arguably be the best 2D styled fighter this console generation. As a retail follow-up to Revelator, however, it is quite lacking as an overall package. For returning players from Revelator it can certainly come off as a $20 DLC pack with two new characters (or $40 if one is getting the disc version to replace it) and character re-balancing. Sure, some characters have new abilities, like Faust has extra items to toss or Ramlethal gets two added sword skills, but most of the cast has seen very few significant balance changes (Both my boys Slayer and Potemkin got almost no changes at all despite being extremely low ranked competitively). That said, it is kind of neat that one can change between the balance changes in Revelator and Rev 2 at any time though if one is so inclined. While this update approach is not entirely uncalled for for Arc System Works standards -- as they are notorious for character DLC being sold at $8 a piece -- it can still feel quite thin especially for how few single player additions were added as well. What new single player content it does include does not really help Rev 2's case either. Former characters that didn't have arcade mode-like "Character episodes" now have them as well the two newcomers but they generally add so little story-wise beyond teasing at least one more familiar Guilty Gear X2 face (which will highly likely be DLC or appear in yet another future version). The most substantial piece of storytelling is in the "After Story A" chapter which, while decent, takes less than 20 minutes to complete following the main story (though, it's safe to assume there will be more to come based on naming alone). Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 is Arc System Works's most obvious attempt of a retail cash grab under the Guilty Gear Xrd name. As tempting as it is to praise an already great fighter that brings just enough excuses to play it once more -- like two awesome and very fun new characters. It is difficult to not feel somewhat shortchanged following right after last year's iteration when Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 is willing to offer so little that is genuinely fresh as a whole. If one hasn't played Guilty Gear Xrd in any form, this is technically the most complete version to date with a budgeted retail price of $40. If you have, well, Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 does not make any real strides to impress beyond satisfying die hard Guilty Gear fans that are willing to pay for what is basically $20 DLC pack with balance changes and two new characters. Pros + Wonderfully diverse list of playable fighters with both Xrd newcomers, Baiken and Answer, being awesome additions + Still the best looking 2D fighter on the market + Neat refinements to the online lobby interface Cons - Pretty thin single player additions with only a few new character episodes and a brief "After Story" chapter - Is kind of difficult to look at it as anything more than a $20 dlc pack for two characters if one is coming off of Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator - Danger time is still a bad mechanic - Some baffling balance changes (or lack thereof) Overall Score: 6 (out of 10) Decent As great of a fighter as Gear Gear Xrd has become Gear Gear Xrd: Rev 2 makes a paltry argument as a re-release for anyone less than serious fans Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable PS4 code provided by the publisher.
  5. Sony has revealed next month's lineup of free games for PS Plus members, and, well, just have a look for yourself and decide if you're excited! Full lineup: Tales from the Borderlands, PS4 Abzu, PS4 Blood Knights, PS3 Port Royale 3: Pirates and Merchants, PS3 Laser Disco Defenders, PS Vita (Cross Buy with PS4) Type:Rider, PS Vita (Cross Buy on PS4) So, from me, Tales from the Borderlands is hilarious and worth playing even if you know nothing about the Borderlands series, so that's a big plus for next month's selection. Of course it was also on sale for like $3 a while back so anyone interested probably already has it now. I know Abzu will be interesting to some people, so I'll leave my personal feelings on it aside. Blood Knights is an okay-ish hack 'n slash and I don't really know anything about the other games, so it doesn't seem like an amazing month but I guess it's not the worst month ever either. What do you all think?
  6. If you're a PS Now subscriber, you're about to have a lot less ways to access the service in the near future. Sony announced today that on August 15, 2017, PS Now will be discontinued on every device except for PS4 and PC. This includes: PlayStation 3 PlayStation Vita PlayStation TV All 2013, 2014, 2015 Sony Bravia TV models All Sony Blu-ray player models All Samsung TV models Additionally, all 2016 models of Sony Bravia TVs will be discontinued on April 1, 2017. It's currently unclear why those models are being discontinued before earlier ones. The move to drop support for these devices is due to Sony wanting to focus their efforts to further develop and improve the user experience on PS4 and PC, which they believe will put them in the best position to grow the service further. Also of note -- PS Now cloud game saves can be accessed on PS4 and PC, in case you were previously using one of the devices being discontinued, so that's good to hear. Source: PlayStation Blog What are your thoughts on PS Now dropping support for everything except PS4 and PC?
  7. This month's flash sale is live, and unlike most of the recent ones it doesn't have a particular focus on genre or style or anything. Just a selection of various games for under $10. https://store.playstation.com/#!/en-us/flash-sale/cid=STORE-MSF77008-FLASHSALEWEBLP Check it out and see if anything stands out! For me, I'll probably buy Catlateral Damage since it hasn't been more than 50% off on Steam and it's been out there longer than PS4, so this might be as cheap as it gets for a while. I might also buy The Last Blade 2 or something just to push my total over the $5 minimum. Also, Sony is doing a PSN promo this month where if you spend over $100 before the end of the month you get $15 credit back, so if you're spending a lot this month anyway this might help give you a push.
  8. Venom

    PSN Flash Sale (8/19-8/22)

    Another month, another flash sale! https://store.playstation.com/#!/en-us/flash-sale/cid=STORE-MSF77008-FLASHSALEWEBLP Not really a ton of notable stuff, but there might be a few things worth checking out. The Final Fantasy PSOne Classics are cheaper than usual (70% off as opposed to the usual 50%) and the PS4 ports of Prototype 1 and 2 are the price they should have been at launch. Take a look at the list and let us know if you see anything you can't live without! I ended up buying Dark Cloud 2 and Chronicles of Teddy. I really wish Dark Cloud was in the sale since I've been wanting to replay it, maybe next month it'll pop up. I'd have probably gotten Final Fantasy Tactics if it was the PSP version, but oh well. I'm still somewhat tempted to get Wild Arms 3 so I may end up going back. I'm also tempted to get the GOTY version of Dragon Age: Inquisition, but I really don't want to have to download it. :\
  9. So today the PS+ lineup for August was revealed, and it's...different? Full lineup: Tricky Towers, PS4 Rebel Galaxy, PS4 Yakuza 5, PS3 Retro/Grade, PS3 Patapon 3, PS Vita Ultratron, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 Tricky Towers looks like some kinda crazy version of Tetris, so that could be fun, and I'll probably try Rebel Galaxy. My PS3 isn't working otherwise I'd give Yakuza 5 a shot too, but I have Retro/Grade on Steam already. I dunno anything about Patapon so I'll have to look that up, but Ultratron (which I also have on Steam) is pretty fun. Overall doesn't seem like a terrible lineup, but also nothing really stands out, besides maybe Yakuza 5 since it was one of the last big PS3 releases and isn't that old yet. Anyway, what do you think about August's PS+ games?
  10. Developer: Arc System Works Publisher: Aksys Games Platform: PS4 and PS3 Release Date: June 7, 2016 ESRB: T for Teen This review is based on the PS4 version of the game For almost an entire console generation the classic 2D fighting game series, Guilty Gear, was nowhere to be seen. Basically, after a merge between Sega and Sammy Corporation, the developer Arc System Works lost the rights to Guilty Gear entirely. To fill in the generational gap, Arc System Works even went so far as to create a spiritual successor to the series called Blazblue, which saw many iterations and spin-offs. Then, out of basically nowhere, Arc System Works managed to reclaim the rights to Guilty Gear and revitalized the series in a spectacular fashion with Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- in 2014. With a master craft approach to gorgeous 3D cel-shading, and many familiar gameplay systems, it was basically the perfect storm of feeling fresh and familiar at the same time. Of course, even with a rocking debut, the reinvigorated series continues with fighting game tradition and finds itself with an enhanced release by the name of Guilty Gear Xrd- Revelator-. As impressive as Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- was at reviving the series, and even as a fighter, it was also noticeably bare bones in most ways. Xrd basically debuted with only fifteen characters, used a rather standard fare approach to most modes, and had a mess of an online interface. Though I enjoyed my time with the original release, it was almost in spite of itself in some regards. The first significant improvement is boosting the -SIGN-'s default character roster of 15 to a current total of 22 in Revelator. Like -SIGN- before it, the entirely new playable characters are all welcome additions. New character Raven is one such example, who is an incredibly agile fighter that gets a masochistic burst of strength with the less health he has. Then there is the martial-artist Kum Haehyun where, as bizarre as a mechanical old man controlled by a young girl is, she has a more straightforward fighting style that relies on more traditional fighting game "link" inputs rather than "gatlings" like the rest of the cast. Most unique of all, however, and without a doubt my current favorite to play, is the tricky Jack-O. Jack-O“s core concept is built around Real Time Strategy gameplay mechanics in which she puts down miniature fortresses, which get stronger and also spawn mnay minions over time to overwhelm foes. The other added characters are certainly very enjoyable as well but not quite entirely new for different reasons. For instance, former DLC only members in -SIGN- (like the literal walking Guns N' Roses reference that was Elphelt Valentine to the overly-confident 2nd king Leo Whitefang) are still entertaining and no longer have the overpriced DLC stigma attached to them. However, the cooler additions are the returning, and formally 2D, fan-favorites Guilty Gear characters like the sky-pirate Johnny and Ki master/ greedy waitress Jam. The two not only look fantastic in Revelator's captivating aesthetic, but even retain their signature mechanics from their 2D days like Johnny's technical "glitter is gold" system (yes, a Led Zeplin reference) to Jam's charge based Ki-style. Shockingly enough, Revelator is also a direct narrative sequel to -SIGN-. Now, I won't dance around how I found -SIGN-'s storytelling to be a rather dull tease of things to come. And frankly, I would've said the exact same for Revelator, which "ended" on an even more insulting cliffhanger... until the day 1 patch. Yes, it is hard to believe, but they literally added the 2nd half of the storytelling via a free day one patch, and it's far and away the best half. It is jarring how much better the 2nd part of the storytelling is in comparison (even the production values) actually, as it is thoroughly entertaining, bombastic, and surprisingly fulfilling throughout. Frankly, if the first half of the story mode was as consistent as the second half of Revelator's narrative, it could've easily become my go-to example for a fighting game story mode done right. Other than that, Revelator feels like an appreciated checklist of refinements and, weird fishing minigame aside, without so much as any real new modes. Character re-balancing is there as one would expect as well as a few mechanical and presentation tweaks. Such mechanical changes include being able to break from throws, the new Blitz attack, an added homing dash to dust moves, and the ability to power up special moves at the cost of a Burst. Better yet, If none of that previous sentence made any sense to you, well, don't worry, as the tutorials are quite helpful in Revelator and may very well be the most entertaining in a fighting game outright. First off, the standard tutorial is, dare I say it, actually kind of fun. The tutorial for Revelator is basically an obstacle course created by none other than Jack-O. To intentionally spice things up from normally regimented instructions in most fighters, Jack-O has the player do things like pop balloons to practice movement and also navigate around the terrain, as well as her minions, while hopefully teaching the player many fundamentals like attack links and blocking. There are even many helpful FAQs at the pause menu to also clarify many basics. Granted, while Guilty Gear Xrd-Revelator- is still a rather technical and hyper aggressive fighter at the end of the day, it's still great to see that it is willing to teach its' basic concepts in a fun fashion without being too daunting. Last, but certainly not least, for players who intend to play the title more actively (myself), will be happy to hear of the vast improvements added to the online multiplayer. Xrd arguably had some of the most poorly presented menus for online multiplayer, where basically setting up matches or picking your character was more cumbersome than not. Revelator, however, basically steals Persona 4 Arena Ultimax's arcade-like lobby system and feels far more inviting because of it. Players can seamlessly use any of the game's modes while being in the many regional lobbies to. And, just like in -SIGN-, the netcode is excellent and seems to be even better with Revelator. Perhaps the most unfortunate consequence that Guilty Gear Xrd- REVELATOR- has going against is that it feels like what Guilty Gear Gear Xrd Sign- should have been right out of the gate. On one hand, Revelator truly makes a lot of smart improvements and is still a great fighter. The new characters are a blast to play, the online multiplayer and accessibility options are fantastic, various mechanical changes are appreciated, and even the story mode (...2nd half) ends up being actually worthwhile. On the other hand, it is a harder sell at the full retail price because of the strong sense of familiarity without any real added modes and most other enhanced aspects being harder to appreciate through less trained fighting game fans eyes outside of the fun tutorial. At the end of the day, Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- makes much headway for both serious and completely new players, but those straddling the line will may find it to be too little and too soon. Pros + New characters are a lot of fun to play, Jack-0 in particular being incredibly unique + Great, and surprisingly approachable; tutorials with many useful tips + Excellent online netcode and lobby interface + Story mode becomes surprisingly entertaining Cons - Very little that is new in terms of modes -First half of the story mode is a real slog - Does not quite shake off the feeling of it basically being what Guilty Gear Xrd-SIGN- should have been Overall Score: 8 (out of 10) Great Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator much improves the nitty gritty details of its predecessor, from quite welcome additions to the playable cast, great online multiplayer and tutorials, and even storytelling. But, for those who were not already looking forward to its release, it will be harder to appreciate its existence with a less apparent sum total of enhancements that likely should have been part of its first debut Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable PS4 code provided by the publisher.
  11. In today's GP Daily, an old classic returns, yet another Kickstarter game is put on hold, a beloved outlet dissolves, and new games come to the PlayStation Store. Check out the headlines below: Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate is coming to Vita this Summer These days it seems like the only time you see a Mystery Dungeon game in the West is when a new Pokemon Mystery Dungeon releases, but the roguelike series seems to be having somewhat of a revival thanks to last year's Etrian Mystery Dungeon from Atlus and Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon from Nintendo. Aksys must have taken notice of this because they recently announced that they'll bringing Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate to the PlayStation Vita in North America this Summer. The game is set to feature loads of items, monsters, epic quests, and Vita-exclusive dungeons, so if you're a Mystery Dungeon fan, keep an eye out for more info on this as Summer nears. Source: Press Release Final Fantasy Tactics Director's Unsung Story on Hold Remember Unsung Story? It was set to be Final Fantasy Tactics director Yasumi Matsuno's next big game, and it even had a successful Kickstarter. Alas, it appears that the game's developer Playdek has been having issues with development in the last few months, which has caused the company to have to put the game on hold to focus on more profitable ventures. This likely won't go over well with Kickstarter backers but Playdek cites the loss of several key personnel as one of the major reasons for this. Perhaps the game got too ambitious for its own good? In any case, Playdek isn't giving up on the game altogether, but there's no word on when they'll return to development on it either. Unfortunately, backers will have to wait and see what happens. Source: Kickstarter GameTrailers closes its doors In news that's a bit more sad, GameTrailers was suddenly shuttered yesterday. Even the staff apparently only found out hours before the announcement was official, which is pretty shocking to hear. The outlet has been one of the biggest resources for trailers and clips of video games in the last 15 years, and its staff and work is well-beloved, so it's a shame to see them go. Source: Twitter PlayStation Store Update 2/9/16 Like last week, there are some fairly big games debuting on the PlayStation Store today, not the least of which are Firewatch and Unravel. Check out the full list below: PS4 Arsland: The Warriors of Legend Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia Dying Light: The Following (Enhanced Edition) Firewatch Level 22 (out 2/11) Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime Mop: Operation Cleanup Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Rugby Challenge 3 (out 2/10) Siralim Unravel PS3 Arsland: The Warriors of Legend Level 22 (out 2/11) PS Vita Breath of Fire III Level 22 (out 2/11) Siralim We Are Doomed For a list of all the games on sale, check out the source link below. Source: PlayStation Blog Are you excited for a new Shiren the Wanderer? What are your thoughts on Unsung Story and GameTrailers? And will you buy anything new on PSN this week? Let us know below!
  12. Developer: Nihon Falcom Publisher: XSEED Games Platform: PS Vita, PS3 Release Date: December 22, 2015 ESRB: T for Teen To say it is surprising that not one -- but two -- The Legend of Heroes games got localized in 2015 is more than an understatement. It was a miracle in itself that extremely patient RPG fans of the original 2011 PSP release, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, got its nightmarishly hard-to-localize sequel, Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter, after a four-year wait from its original debut. But then XSEED managed to pleasantly surprise series fans even more by starting to localize Japan's most current trilogy to the series: Trails of Cold Steel (which I actually imported because of how convinced I was we wouldn't see it localized anytime soon). The point is, XSEED Games paved the path for Trails of Cold Steel despite all likely expectations. Trails of Cold Steel diverges from its The Legend of Heroes predecessors in a lot of ways. For one, it completely omits 2D sprite work in favor of complete 3D. Another key difference is the setting. Opposed to the mercenary-ish and on-the-road "Bracer" lifestyle that was featured in Trails in the Sky, Trails of Cold Steel often takes place in a military academy... that is basically a high school. It technically resides within the same world as Trails in the Sky (and the unlocalized Zero/Ao no Kiseki), however, both the main story and primary cast of Trails of Cold Steel are quite self-contained from previous games, minus a few noteworthy cameos here and there. The narrative itself starts off on the first day of school at the prestigious Thors Military Academy. Opposed to a normal first day of classes, the lead character Rean, and other distinctly red-uniformed individuals, are dropped into Class VII. Quite literally, as a brief introduction turns into a trial-by-fire and surprise trip through a monster-infested underground facility. After some begrudging alliances through the ordeal, and awkward introductions, the students learn that Class VII was made to test the combat aptitude of "ARCUS" units, and does not divide it members by social class or background. Though given the option to back out, Rean and the others decide stick around to see what Class VII has in store. The actual curriculum of Class VII tends to be divided between school life and the "field studies" to other towns and cities every month. As for the school life in Trails of Cold Steel, it's very reminiscent of titles like Persona 3 & 4, as it was clearly influenced by them. There are "bonds", which are basically P3/P4 social links, that flesh out party members in addition to progressing combat perk unlocks. Even beyond bonds, the great localization helps make the members of Class VII stand out throughout and become surprisingly likable in the long haul, though their early narrative moments may suggest otherwise. Rean can also do odd jobs for the student council that are basically sidequests within the town of Trista. The sidequests themselves tend to be nothing too special but there is an oddly homely sense of world-building that it creates for its denizens by doing unique, but minor tasks. Then there are field studies which are when the rest of the gameplay elements usually come into play. Day to day Class VII gets a set of tasks to complete during their trip, somewhat similar to Rean's student council stuff, that range from investigation, simple monster slaying, or hearing out the woes of random citizens. Exposition may often be at the forefront of Trail of Cold Steel but the combat, character customization, heck, even the occasional mini game are rock solid. Much of the basic combat refines upon systems that were introduced in previous The Legend of Heroes titles, yet are frankly more enjoyable in Cold Steel. The turn-based combat is smart and relies on both positioning and learning to manipulate turn phases to one's advantage. The flexible "Orbament" system also returns and allows players to slot "quartz" skills to grant a character many different abilities and stat bonuses primarily in combat, and lends to fairly versatile party compositions. What unfortunately cripples Trails of Cold Steel the most is its pacing. Trails in the Sky fans likely know it comes with the territory for a series that loves its character development and world-building (going as far as to place multiple optional short novels to causally read about some of it). However, there is an unnecessary slowness for even that. As much as I like the writing, which is outright dense with personality, it can certainly feel unnecessarily long-winded in most contexts. There are plenty of main story scenes that have no problem with going at-length for casual character banter or in-depth about the current political landscape. Which would be fine if the overarching main story did not basically take more than half the game to kick in to actually justify it. The presentation also faces growing pains with this newest entry. Neither the environments or character models look particularly impressive. The characters models in particular are disappointing compared to their key concept art, with their stiff animations and awkward mouth flaps, making me wish me wish they took the Atelier Shalie route with models that complement it. Though, Falcom does tend to prefer being functional gameplay-wise over showing off visually, the Vita release in particular suffers from noticeable technical quirks. There is an occasionally erratic framerate that rears its ugly head when traversing certain towns and noticeable frequent load times for Vita. To go back to pacing, there is also an odd obsession with lengthy environment pans that bogs down the presentation too. As with Falcom tradition the soundtrack the JDK band whips up has some awesome rock battle themes, though admittedly, most other parts of the soundtrack don't particularly stand out. The more pleasant surprise about the audio is actually the surprisingly fitting English dub. It is honestly a shame that more of the game is not dubbed, because of how noticeably absent it is during certain story scenes (very likely because of budget). This is coming from someone whom often times turns off the dub outright in many Japanese RPGs. As numerous as its changes may be, Trails of Cold Steel certainly has the heart of recent The Legend of Heroes titles. The military academy setting did seem like a recipe for disappointment (and shameless pandering), but the charming script and surprisingly likable cast defy initial expectations over time. Unfortunately, at the same time, the unnecessarily slow pace for both its gameplay and storytelling, and occasional technical grievance on Vita, prevent Trails of Cold Steel from reaching greatness. Though it is a promising debut for Class VII, one can only hope that the upcoming sequel capitalizes upon what is built up so strongly in Trails of Cold Steel. Pros: + Well-written script and cast of characters that have a lot of personality + Good turn-based combat system with flexible mechanics + Lots of detail towards its world-building + Sweet battle themes and solid English dub Cons: - Pacing is very slow at times - Rather underwhelming 3D visuals overall - Occasional technical problems on Vita Overall Score: 7.5 (out of 10) Good Trails of Cold Steel is a promising debut for the newest The Legend of Heroes series from its characters and in-depth world, but remains just shy of greatness during the inconsistently paced path towards it. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable Vita code provided by the publisher
  13. Jason Clement

    PlayStation Plus Vote to Play Coming Soon

    Being a PlayStation Plus member certainly has its perks, such as being able to download a number of PSN titles each month for free. Unfortunately, members have never quite had a say as to what free games would appear for free — that is, until now. Sony has announced that an upcoming "Vote to Play" promotion will enable PS Plus members to vote for the game they want to see as a free PS Plus game in one of the upcoming monthly lineups. Of course, the game with the most votes will have that honor, and in the first promotion, players will be able to get the runner-ups for a discounted price. More details about this promotion are forthcoming, but it sounds like this will be an ongoing thing from now on, which is great to hear for PS Plus members. Source: PlayStation Blog Are you glad to hear that you'll be able to vote for a game to appear in future PS Plus lineups?
  14. TKtheknight

    Need Help: PS3 isn't reading discs

    Hey guys just wanted to ask for your guy's help on this. I was playing my PS3 earlier and was playing Medal of Honor: Warfighter. I was on the last level to finish the game and then the game froze. No prob just restart the system and load it back up right? Nope. That didn't work. My PS3 suddenly can't read discs. I put the disc in and the corner of the screen shows spinning circle indicating that it's trying to read. It goes on forever and nothing loads. I tested out other games to see if it's just the disc being scratched up or dirty. Same problem. I tried DVDs and Bluray movies and does the same thing. Is there any solution to fixing this? I don't have money to buy a new system or send it for repairs. I can play digital games though, but pretty pissed I deleted digital Ratchet and Clank All 4 One cuz I bought the disc version. I can't afford to buy PS+ membership anyways. Anyways please share any helpful tips, solutions, or whatever to help bring my PS3 back to life reading games. It's a used 2007 model with backwards compatibility Metal Gear 4 bundle. I want to play games. Thanks.
  15. barrel

    Review: Lost Dimension

    Developer: Lancarse Publisher: Atlus USA Platform: Vita, PS3 Release Date: July 28, 2015 ESRB: T for Teen This review is based on the Vita version of the game "Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer". And, in Lost Dimension's case, they are rather close to being one in the same. Etrian Odyssey developer Lancarse has decided to take a detour from their frequent dungeon crawling expeditions with their newest property Lost Dimension. Having some novel concepts like a traitor mechanic for both narrative and gameplay (as well as Shin Megami Tensei and Etrian Odyssey pedigree for its development), it seems predestined for good things. Yet, it is certainly possible that a gifted staff can be betrayed by their own ambitions, and Lost Dimension may be the result of just that. The setting starts off with a bang, quite literally, when the self-proclaimed mastermind called "The End" declares a nuclear doom upon the entire world after 13 days. So, a special unit known as "SEALED," each imbued with different psychokinetic "gifts", attempt to assassinate The End. The assassin ends in failure, however, and thus leaves the group stuck in a mysterious tower referred to as the "Pillar." The End then tells the group that if they want to reach him they have to climb to the top of the tower while also being mindful that there is a mysterious traitor in their ranks. Treachery or not, the group has to work together through the course of its many Strategy-RPG battles. As an SRPG, Lost Dimension is actually surprisingly decent. Each character brings several different strategic options and there is a strong emphasis on working together through many confrontations due to follow-up attacks. One character may be able to teleport through the terrain to attack behind an enemy while another character can essentially copy another ally's skills, along with any heals/buffs they receive, bringing versatility to party formations. It is also rather encouraged to use different team formations to help fully utilize the main character Sho's precognition skill, which I'll get into later. Where the SRPG formation sort of dismantles is how it is presented. Frankly, Lost Dimension is not a good-looking title on PS3 or Vita for its 3D visuals in particular. Animations are rather stiff and hardly complement their anime character portraits while the framerate dips quite low both in and out of combat. In battles specifically it also has a similar problem as Code Name: S.T.E.A.M does in which enemy attack phases last a bit too long even if they aren't in your peripheral vision. Not only that, but a bit too much of the combat's strategy involves clumping your allies in groups to do lengthy attack chains. The gameplay is mechanically solid, but its lack of polish is certainly apparent as well. Far more interesting than the aesthetic is Lost Dimension's traitor system. Every playthrough of Lost Dimension is basically randomized with who will betray the party. What isn't random is how you determine and react to the traitor(s). At the end of each section of the Pillar The End forces the group to choose who to outright "erase" the existence of in order to proceed. There is no elaborate courtroom scene like you'd see in something like Ace Attorney or Danganronpa, guiding you to the correct solution, these Judgement rooms are concise and decided by majority vote. Right or wrong, someone is going to die the further you climb up (and it'll make sure of it due to some mean auto-saving.) and hopefully it ends up being the traitor. So, how do you go about correctly determining the traitor then? Well, that's where Sho's precognition ability comes into play. After each battle, Sho hears distorted voices which gives a lead on a possible traitor in that group (encouraging the use of different members). Sho can then affirm for sure in a strange, but limited in use, minigame called "Deep Vision" which weeds out the suspect. However, Sho alone is not enough even if he does find out, so he also needs to be on good terms with fellow party members to influence their votes in Judgment Rooms. This is done generally by chatting with party members or simply working together in follow-up attacks, which will then in turn have them ask Sho on who he think the traitor is or isn't at certain random points. As interesting as many aspects of Lost Dimension are conceptually most of them don't feel fully realized. This issue is most apparent with its storytelling. Many characters and the conversations around them are not very interesting to the point where it is sort of hard to get attached to a good majority of the cast. Figuring out the traitor doesn't require any real deduction skills either, it is just a situation of having a minigame basically give you the answer. Lost Dimension also buries its storytelling in a "true ending" matter, wanting you to do at least two playthroughs to get it, and even if you do obtain it it is not exactly worth an 2nd run for it. Lost Dimension is generally better than the sum of its parts but one can't help but feel like its potential is underutilized throughout. Lost Dimension is a clear example of taking an interesting premise and running with it the entire game. But, in that same stride, it doesn't quite flesh out the other aspects around it because of its lack of hindsight and polish. Lost Dimension serves well enough as a strategy-RPG but your investment in what it has to offer overall is almost entirely based how sold you are on its intriguing, but not fully realized, traitor concept. Pros + Strategic turn-based combat system with a strong emphasis on teamwork + The concept of a traitor amongst the party brings a fairly fascinating take on how the storytelling and gameplay are presented Cons - Rough, unattractive visuals - Many of the characters and the conversations with them are not very interesting - Enemy attack phases are too slow Overall Score: 6 (out of 10) Decent Lost Dimension wraps itself around its intriguing concept but loses sight on several portions that would support it to the fullest. It serves as a solid foundation but can't help but leave those who play it feeling somewhat under-served by the end of it. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable Vita code provided by the publisher.
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