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Found 31 results

  1. Known for his work creating the Dragon Ball franchise, artist Akira Toriyama's iconic designs take the spotlight in the latest Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age trailer. The famed artist's signature designs have given life to the Dragon Quest series since its origins in 1986. This fall, the latest entry in the Dragon Quest series will finally see a worldwide release. In a recent statement issued in the Dragon Quest 30th ~ And Now Towards a New Legend ~ TV special and translated by Crunchyroll, Toriyama addressed his work on the Dragon Quest series: Really, if I had known that it would still be going on after 30 years, I don't think I would have taken the job! Honestly, if I had known how long it would last, I would have politely declined. I'm not good at doing the same thing over and over again. Designing characters for Dragon Quest is fun but difficult work. Nowadays, there are a lot of people working on the series, and all of the ones responsible for designing characters are good and serious people, so I don't have to do as many designs. I'm personally not terribly interested in designing wholesome characters, so I don't have many variations to offer. [...] But don't worry. I've undertaken this work with the full principle of my being, and so this time with Dragon Quest 11, I'm also endeavoring to design with all of my might. It will be a little while still before it's ready to be released into the world, but please look forward to it. Take a look at Toriyama's designs in motion in the latest Dragon Quest XI trailer. The eleventh entry in the mainline Dragon Quest series, Dragon Quest XI, much like its sister RPG series Final Fantasy, serves as a standalone experience. It tells the story of a young man who learns that he might be the reincarnation of a hero who saved the world from the forces of darkness in ages past, forces which once again seem poised to invade the lands of Lotozetasia. In an effort to learn more, he departs to the capital to learn more of the ancient hero and his own potential future. Unfortunately, the king seems to have other plans for would-be heroes.... From there, the story takes off with all of the flourishes one might expect from a seasoned JRPG. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age releases for PS4 on September 4. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Known for his work creating the Dragon Ball franchise, artist Akira Toriyama's iconic designs take the spotlight in the latest Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age trailer. The famed artist's signature designs have given life to the Dragon Quest series since its origins in 1986. This fall, the latest entry in the Dragon Quest series will finally see a worldwide release. In a recent statement issued in the Dragon Quest 30th ~ And Now Towards a New Legend ~ TV special and translated by Crunchyroll, Toriyama addressed his work on the Dragon Quest series: Really, if I had known that it would still be going on after 30 years, I don't think I would have taken the job! Honestly, if I had known how long it would last, I would have politely declined. I'm not good at doing the same thing over and over again. Designing characters for Dragon Quest is fun but difficult work. Nowadays, there are a lot of people working on the series, and all of the ones responsible for designing characters are good and serious people, so I don't have to do as many designs. I'm personally not terribly interested in designing wholesome characters, so I don't have many variations to offer. [...] But don't worry. I've undertaken this work with the full principle of my being, and so this time with Dragon Quest 11, I'm also endeavoring to design with all of my might. It will be a little while still before it's ready to be released into the world, but please look forward to it. Take a look at Toriyama's designs in motion in the latest Dragon Quest XI trailer. The eleventh entry in the mainline Dragon Quest series, Dragon Quest XI, much like its sister RPG series Final Fantasy, serves as a standalone experience. It tells the story of a young man who learns that he might be the reincarnation of a hero who saved the world from the forces of darkness in ages past, forces which once again seem poised to invade the lands of Lotozetasia. In an effort to learn more, he departs to the capital to learn more of the ancient hero and his own potential future. Unfortunately, the king seems to have other plans for would-be heroes.... From there, the story takes off with all of the flourishes one might expect from a seasoned JRPG. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age releases for PS4 on September 4. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. Continuing the trend of porting retro RPGs to mobile, Square Enix unexpectedly released the 2006 PSP remake of the classic Valkyrie Profile today on iOS and Android. The company had been teasing a Valkyrie-related release for 2018, but no information was available on it until today. Originally a PlayStation 1 exclusive, Valkyrie Profile follows the exploits of Lenneth, a Valkyrie in service to Odin and Freya. The godly duo assign Lenneth the task of obtaining and training powerful souls, Einherjar, for the coming of the final battle Ragnarok. Across a series of chapters, Lenneth travels the world of Midgard reaping souls and helping them make peace with their former lives so they can move on and focus on the coming apocalypse. Along the way, Lenneth becomes entangled in a variety of divine conflicts involving sorcery, elves, necromancers, and the Norse pantheon. The 2006 PSP release offers some higher quality audio and scraps the original animated opening and cutscenes in favor of reworked CG versions of those scenes. The portable version was based off of the Japanese version, which released a year before the North American release of Valkyrie Profile. That means that some of the tweaks that were present in the original version were lost, such as the ability to alter the entire party's armor instead of just active party members. However, additional scenes from the North American release made it into the remastered version. The mobile version has only a few minor tweaks to adapt it for new platforms. The most welcome of these being auto-save and the ability to save anywhere. There's also an auto-battle feature if you don't want to actually play the game. Unfortunately, Square Enix has also decided to add booster packs for sale on top of the $16 (soon to be $18) price of the base game, which... yeah, that's not great. All told, there's about $21-$28 (depending on how you bundle them) of these additional things in the base game that allow players to earn triple EXP, halve the cost of in-game items, heal instantly after fights, be immune to status ailments, and more. Each of those abilities cost about $4 on their own. There has been some poor reception recently of Square Enix's mobile offerings, so tread carefully.
  4. Continuing the trend of porting retro RPGs to mobile, Square Enix unexpectedly released the 2006 PSP remake of the classic Valkyrie Profile today on iOS and Android. The company had been teasing a Valkyrie-related release for 2018, but no information was available on it until today. Originally a PlayStation 1 exclusive, Valkyrie Profile follows the exploits of Lenneth, a Valkyrie in service to Odin and Freya. The godly duo assign Lenneth the task of obtaining and training powerful souls, Einherjar, for the coming of the final battle Ragnarok. Across a series of chapters, Lenneth travels the world of Midgard reaping souls and helping them make peace with their former lives so they can move on and focus on the coming apocalypse. Along the way, Lenneth becomes entangled in a variety of divine conflicts involving sorcery, elves, necromancers, and the Norse pantheon. The 2006 PSP release offers some higher quality audio and scraps the original animated opening and cutscenes in favor of reworked CG versions of those scenes. The portable version was based off of the Japanese version, which released a year before the North American release of Valkyrie Profile. That means that some of the tweaks that were present in the original version were lost, such as the ability to alter the entire party's armor instead of just active party members. However, additional scenes from the North American release made it into the remastered version. The mobile version has only a few minor tweaks to adapt it for new platforms. The most welcome of these being auto-save and the ability to save anywhere. There's also an auto-battle feature if you don't want to actually play the game. Unfortunately, Square Enix has also decided to add booster packs for sale on top of the $16 (soon to be $18) price of the base game, which... yeah, that's not great. All told, there's about $21-$28 (depending on how you bundle them) of these additional things in the base game that allow players to earn triple EXP, halve the cost of in-game items, heal instantly after fights, be immune to status ailments, and more. Each of those abilities cost about $4 on their own. There has been some poor reception recently of Square Enix's mobile offerings, so tread carefully. View full article
  5. Following the massive success of Threes in 2014, which some argue is one of the finest puzzle games of all-time, designer Asher Vollmer put together Sirvo Studios, a small development studio aiming to make something a bit bigger in scope than the modest Threes. That something turned out to be Guildlings, a game about which there were precious few details. We covered those breadcrumbs last March, but now we have some more substantial information to share. Guildlings will follow the adventures of Coda, a young, homeschooled kid who contracts a powerful curse from a mysterious smartphone. Coda will have to recruit friends gifted with magic, the titular Guildlings, and embark on a road trip to lift the curse and save the realm of Worldaria. Sirvo based the magic in Worldaria on the strength of the emotions felt by the magic wielder. If the one casting magic doesn't feel right, then the magic isn't right. This means that players will need to be attentive to the different emotional states of their allies while trying to solve the problems plaguing the land. Picking the right conflict and dialogue options to keep Coda's friends in the best frame of mind to tackle a given problem certainly sounds interesting. It's a system that encourages empathy and creativity, with multiple solutions to many of the problems Guildlings sets before the player. If the basic story pitch sounds like a setup for an old-school JRPG, well... Sirvo has said that it drew a lot of inspiration from the genre to create Guildlings. Specifically, it's designed to be a cross between that classic gaming genre and the more modern incarnation of adventure games with branching story paths and silly puzzle solutions. The studio is well aware that many people might reflexively recoil from an RPG designed for mobile from the ground up. However, they want to assure players that Guildlings isn't a snoozy grindfest or a facade of charm hiding manipulative design to milk microtransactions. Instead, Sirvo has chosen to release several episodes of Guildlings to help keep the focus of the RPG squarely on its charming world and narrative. While traditional JRPG fighting doesn't seem to be highlighted in the trailer, Sirvo has opted to go non-traditional. Instead of a combat system that has only been built around the idea of fighting until one side or the other has perished, the devs crafted something a bit more flexible. How it works will probably require some hands-on time to fully understand, but essentially each encounter has a set number of turns represented by pages. Those turns can have different actions for your Guildlings to take that include reducing the number of turns for the encounter, protecting characters, or altering the final outcome of the encounter. Sirvo believes that this system can be applied to a wide variety of conflicts that range from a traditional fight to battling a horrendous stench, or staying awake through a boring story told at a fancy dinner. How well it will work in practice remains to be seen, but anything that might be able to freshen up an old-as-dirt genre mechanic is worth paying attention to in my book. So, yeah, I'm really looking forward to this delightful-looking game that mixes the shenanigans of a modern road trip with swords and sorcery. Take a bit of Harry Potter, a smidgen of Earthbound, a pinch of Sorcery!, and a dollop of wonderment taken straight from Hayao Miyazaki. Mix it all up with whatever creative energy and game design chops Sirvo has been cooking with up until this point and you've got Guildlings. No release date has been announced yet, but expect to see the title's initial release by late summer or early fall of this year for iOS and Android devices. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  6. Following the massive success of Threes in 2014, which some argue is one of the finest puzzle games of all-time, designer Asher Vollmer put together Sirvo Studios, a small development studio aiming to make something a bit bigger in scope than the modest Threes. That something turned out to be Guildlings, a game about which there were precious few details. We covered those breadcrumbs last March, but now we have some more substantial information to share. Guildlings will follow the adventures of Coda, a young, homeschooled kid who contracts a powerful curse from a mysterious smartphone. Coda will have to recruit friends gifted with magic, the titular Guildlings, and embark on a road trip to lift the curse and save the realm of Worldaria. Sirvo based the magic in Worldaria on the strength of the emotions felt by the magic wielder. If the one casting magic doesn't feel right, then the magic isn't right. This means that players will need to be attentive to the different emotional states of their allies while trying to solve the problems plaguing the land. Picking the right conflict and dialogue options to keep Coda's friends in the best frame of mind to tackle a given problem certainly sounds interesting. It's a system that encourages empathy and creativity, with multiple solutions to many of the problems Guildlings sets before the player. If the basic story pitch sounds like a setup for an old-school JRPG, well... Sirvo has said that it drew a lot of inspiration from the genre to create Guildlings. Specifically, it's designed to be a cross between that classic gaming genre and the more modern incarnation of adventure games with branching story paths and silly puzzle solutions. The studio is well aware that many people might reflexively recoil from an RPG designed for mobile from the ground up. However, they want to assure players that Guildlings isn't a snoozy grindfest or a facade of charm hiding manipulative design to milk microtransactions. Instead, Sirvo has chosen to release several episodes of Guildlings to help keep the focus of the RPG squarely on its charming world and narrative. While traditional JRPG fighting doesn't seem to be highlighted in the trailer, Sirvo has opted to go non-traditional. Instead of a combat system that has only been built around the idea of fighting until one side or the other has perished, the devs crafted something a bit more flexible. How it works will probably require some hands-on time to fully understand, but essentially each encounter has a set number of turns represented by pages. Those turns can have different actions for your Guildlings to take that include reducing the number of turns for the encounter, protecting characters, or altering the final outcome of the encounter. Sirvo believes that this system can be applied to a wide variety of conflicts that range from a traditional fight to battling a horrendous stench, or staying awake through a boring story told at a fancy dinner. How well it will work in practice remains to be seen, but anything that might be able to freshen up an old-as-dirt genre mechanic is worth paying attention to in my book. So, yeah, I'm really looking forward to this delightful-looking game that mixes the shenanigans of a modern road trip with swords and sorcery. Take a bit of Harry Potter, a smidgen of Earthbound, a pinch of Sorcery!, and a dollop of wonderment taken straight from Hayao Miyazaki. Mix it all up with whatever creative energy and game design chops Sirvo has been cooking with up until this point and you've got Guildlings. No release date has been announced yet, but expect to see the title's initial release by late summer or early fall of this year for iOS and Android devices. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  7. The Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series stands as one of the most popular JRPG series these days. The series typically focuses on mild-mannered high school students who lead double lives as wielders of powerful entities known as personas. Persona 5 proved to be one of the most popular games of 2017, so it is no surprise that fans have been creating art and projects based off of the series. One of those fans, James Austin, created a flexible set of rules to govern a creative tabletop roleplaying campaign. Currently the game sits at version 0.2, meaning that there are still a number of alterations planned for Shin Megami Tensei: Persona The Tabletop RPG. As it stands now, the rules cover character creation, persona creation, character progression, a basic compendium of skills, combat, status ailments, items, an overview of downtime activity examples, examples of how "the other world" works, detailing social links, and some ideas about how to expand the game in interesting ways. It's not comprehensive, occasionally filling gaps in its contents by suggesting players refer to the Persona wiki pages. However, One of the interesting aspects of the rule set is how flexible it seems to be. Many tabletops can fall into the trap of rule complexity equating compelling gameplay. Not so in James Austin's adaptation of Persona. The entire system relies on the rolls of six-sided die, a break from your typical d12 or d20-based games. Keeping it simple opens the game up to newcomers to tabletop roleplaying in general while encouraging players to go bananas with their created characters and game masters to go as big and as crazy as they can manage with where they want to take the fiction of Persona. Overall, it seems to be a fairly light RPG system that a creative group could really turn into something interesting. Austin has set up a Tumblr where he plans to post updates to the game as he continues developing the idea. You can download version 0.2 and the character sheets for free. A printer-friendly version is available for people who still rely on pen and paper for their tabletop fix. He also welcomes feedback to help improve the ongoing development of the unofficial tabletop adaptation of Persona. View full article
  8. The Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series stands as one of the most popular JRPG series these days. The series typically focuses on mild-mannered high school students who lead double lives as wielders of powerful entities known as personas. Persona 5 proved to be one of the most popular games of 2017, so it is no surprise that fans have been creating art and projects based off of the series. One of those fans, James Austin, created a flexible set of rules to govern a creative tabletop roleplaying campaign. Currently the game sits at version 0.2, meaning that there are still a number of alterations planned for Shin Megami Tensei: Persona The Tabletop RPG. As it stands now, the rules cover character creation, persona creation, character progression, a basic compendium of skills, combat, status ailments, items, an overview of downtime activity examples, examples of how "the other world" works, detailing social links, and some ideas about how to expand the game in interesting ways. It's not comprehensive, occasionally filling gaps in its contents by suggesting players refer to the Persona wiki pages. However, One of the interesting aspects of the rule set is how flexible it seems to be. Many tabletops can fall into the trap of rule complexity equating compelling gameplay. Not so in James Austin's adaptation of Persona. The entire system relies on the rolls of six-sided die, a break from your typical d12 or d20-based games. Keeping it simple opens the game up to newcomers to tabletop roleplaying in general while encouraging players to go bananas with their created characters and game masters to go as big and as crazy as they can manage with where they want to take the fiction of Persona. Overall, it seems to be a fairly light RPG system that a creative group could really turn into something interesting. Austin has set up a Tumblr where he plans to post updates to the game as he continues developing the idea. You can download version 0.2 and the character sheets for free. A printer-friendly version is available for people who still rely on pen and paper for their tabletop fix. He also welcomes feedback to help improve the ongoing development of the unofficial tabletop adaptation of Persona.
  9. Over a decade after its release on the Nintendo DS, the quirky JRPG The World Ends with You makes its way onto Nintendo's flagship console. The remastered game will be fully titled, The World Ends with You -Final Remix- and offers a slew of improvements over the DS cult classic. For the uninitiated, The World Ends with You tells the story of a teenage boy who becomes trapped in an insidious game that threatens to erase him from existence. Other players become both allies and enemies as they all race to win the game and avoid a fate worse than death. Relying on a unique rhythm combat system, The World Ends with You has stuck with fans for years. Visual improvements are apparent in the trailer, but perhaps the most interesting addition will be a "new scenario" for players to dig into. Nintendo was a bit vague on exactly what that new scenario might entail. Perhaps the expanded content might hint at a possible sequel to The World Ends with You, something that both the fans and the original creators have been wanting for quite some time. The appearance of characters from the game within Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance in 2012 helped to keep the hope alive. The World Ends with You -Final Remix- will release sometime this year for the Nintendo Switch. View full article
  10. Over a decade after its release on the Nintendo DS, the quirky JRPG The World Ends with You makes its way onto Nintendo's flagship console. The remastered game will be fully titled, The World Ends with You -Final Remix- and offers a slew of improvements over the DS cult classic. For the uninitiated, The World Ends with You tells the story of a teenage boy who becomes trapped in an insidious game that threatens to erase him from existence. Other players become both allies and enemies as they all race to win the game and avoid a fate worse than death. Relying on a unique rhythm combat system, The World Ends with You has stuck with fans for years. Visual improvements are apparent in the trailer, but perhaps the most interesting addition will be a "new scenario" for players to dig into. Nintendo was a bit vague on exactly what that new scenario might entail. Perhaps the expanded content might hint at a possible sequel to The World Ends with You, something that both the fans and the original creators have been wanting for quite some time. The appearance of characters from the game within Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance in 2012 helped to keep the hope alive. The World Ends with You -Final Remix- will release sometime this year for the Nintendo Switch.
  11. The Valkyria Chronicles series returns next year with its fourth mainline entry coming to PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. While that might throw off some fans of the first Valkyria Chronicles that released for the PlayStation 3 back in 2008, Valkyria Chronicles 2 and 3 were only ever released for the PlayStation Portable. That means that by the time Valkyria Chronicles 4 releases, it will have been a decade since a mainline game from the franchise has appeared on consoles. It should be noted that Valkyria Chronicles has been considered the core series while titles like the recent Valkyria Revolution and Valkyria Chronicles D are spin-offs of the franchise. The signature watercolor look of the series returns along with its World War II-inspired political turmoil, weaponry, and drama. Players will join the ranks of Squad E as they undertake a desperate mission to capture the enemy's capital and bring the war to an end. Losses in war will bring heartbreak, test friendships, and determine the fate of the war. Of course, Squad E will also have their encounters with the mysterious and powerful Valkyria. Sega has teased that other mysteries will be introduced in this entry, too. In addition to a new engine built specifically to help better render the watercolor aesthetic of the series, Valkyria Chronicles 4 offers the next iteration of its unique mash-up of real-time and turn-based combat. One part strategy, one part third-person shooter, and one part RPG, the revamped system offers a new class, the grenadier, battleship support, a last stand opportunity for soldiers near death, and larger maps than were possible on the consoles of the previous generation. Valkyria Chronicles 4 releases sometime in 2018 for PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.
  12. The Valkyria Chronicles series returns next year with its fourth mainline entry coming to PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. While that might throw off some fans of the first Valkyria Chronicles that released for the PlayStation 3 back in 2008, Valkyria Chronicles 2 and 3 were only ever released for the PlayStation Portable. That means that by the time Valkyria Chronicles 4 releases, it will have been a decade since a mainline game from the franchise has appeared on consoles. It should be noted that Valkyria Chronicles has been considered the core series while titles like the recent Valkyria Revolution and Valkyria Chronicles D are spin-offs of the franchise. The signature watercolor look of the series returns along with its World War II-inspired political turmoil, weaponry, and drama. Players will join the ranks of Squad E as they undertake a desperate mission to capture the enemy's capital and bring the war to an end. Losses in war will bring heartbreak, test friendships, and determine the fate of the war. Of course, Squad E will also have their encounters with the mysterious and powerful Valkyria. Sega has teased that other mysteries will be introduced in this entry, too. In addition to a new engine built specifically to help better render the watercolor aesthetic of the series, Valkyria Chronicles 4 offers the next iteration of its unique mash-up of real-time and turn-based combat. One part strategy, one part third-person shooter, and one part RPG, the revamped system offers a new class, the grenadier, battleship support, a last stand opportunity for soldiers near death, and larger maps than were possible on the consoles of the previous generation. Valkyria Chronicles 4 releases sometime in 2018 for PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. View full article
  13. There’s something to be said for a well-built role-playing game -- even better if it’s one with a visually pleasing aesthetic that communicates everything it needs to. Too many RPGs these days find themselves buried under menus and woefully implemented combat mechanics, or repetitive dungeon-diving. Battle Chasers: Nightwar feels like the rare RPG to sidestep all the bluster and bulk for something entertaining and at least mildly fresh. Based on the original Battle Chasers comic by Joe Madureira (also known for his work on Uncanny X-Men) and developed by Airship Syndicate (comprised of former Darksiders developers), RPG fans of any stripe should get a kick out of this action-packed world. I got a hands-off demo of Battle Chasers at E3 2017, where the developer took time to show off the world and combat systems. Taking place an undetermined amount of time after the original Battle Chasers comic left off on a cliffhanger, players can create a team of three (from a total of six optional characters) to do battle with vicious creatures and loot randomly generated dungeons. There’s Garrison, a swordsman with a tragic past, Gully, a nine-year-old girl who inherited a pair of massive, magical boxing gloves after her father disappeared, Calibretto, the iron giant war golem with a heart of gold, and more. The first thing players might notice is that despite Battle Chasers decidedly JRPG-esque nature, it’s characters play off of old tropes for inventive combat and character building. Instead of the lumbering, mechanical Calibretto acting as the team’s tank, it’s Gully’s magic gloves that provide the massive damage, and Calibretto’s intrinsic ties to nature that provide healing spells. Though each dungeon will be randomly generated, players will have to strategize before ever stepping foot into one. Each dungeon has different difficulties to choose from, modifying the number of enemies, traps, and the layout you’ll find, but also affecting the size of its reward. Once inside, players navigate an isometric layout filled with beastmen, animated skeleton warriors, and worse. Players can give themselves an advantage by luring enemies into the dungeon’s ancient traps before battle, shaving off a few key health points. Once in battle, characters take turns dealing damage or casting spells, with a queue on the left hand side telling you who will go during the next several turns, all based on stats like speed and initiative. Characters share a single “overcharge” gauge that essentially acts as magic fuel for special attacks. This gauge can be accrued over time, and each character has three separate levels of overcharge attacks so you might want to save it for a boss or particularly rough group of enemies. Garrison can unleash a devastating series of sword strikes on a single enemy, for example, while Calibretto is focused on damaging multiple enemies with his massive chaingun arm. Each character will have unique abilities they can use only a set number of times to solve puzzles or advance deeper into a dungeon, such as Garrison’s dash move or Gully’s punch, which allows her to knock down walls hiding secret areas. Every step taken begins to feel like a measured one, weighed against risk versus reward dilemmas. Players can locate treasure chests with rare loot inside, or opt to teleport it deeper into the dungeon. You’ll have to find it again, and the loot will be twice as beneficial, but you’ll lose it if you die before reaching it. Rare gear can also only be crafted within certain dungeons, giving players another incentive to take a deep dive. Amidst all of this, Battle Chasers possesses a striking art style, and not just thanks to Madureira’s illustrations. Even as they’re awaiting their turn in battle, characters bob and weave with an animated feel that helps bring them to life in a way few RPGs of either hemisphere achieve. This is especially apparent during attacks, when the weight of each character can be felt in their motion. Calibretto, the hulking mass that he is, barrels down on enemies with a decimating right hook, smoke billowing behind his trail, and enemies bouncing back with appropriate force. Even enemies get in on the action, with monsters similar to Dark Souls’ mimics (beasts that impersonate treasure chests for a sneaky bite attack) lashing out their engorged tongues with wicked style. It’s unclear how closely Battle Chasers will stick to the original comic series’ lore. Developers at Airship Syndicate say the plot will follow the party’s adventures in a world being sucked dry of its mana. After being shot down from the sky by pirates, the group will have to adventure across a massive island, finding themselves roped into a war against an evil vampire lord bent on conquering the world. Battle Chasers certainly isn’t shying away from the cheese of its inspirations. Battle Chasers: Nightwar is due out October 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and the Nintendo Switch for $29.99. A Steam sale currently has the game listed at $26.99, though it’s unclear how long that will last. View full article
  14. There’s something to be said for a well-built role-playing game -- even better if it’s one with a visually pleasing aesthetic that communicates everything it needs to. Too many RPGs these days find themselves buried under menus and woefully implemented combat mechanics, or repetitive dungeon-diving. Battle Chasers: Nightwar feels like the rare RPG to sidestep all the bluster and bulk for something entertaining and at least mildly fresh. Based on the original Battle Chasers comic by Joe Madureira (also known for his work on Uncanny X-Men) and developed by Airship Syndicate (comprised of former Darksiders developers), RPG fans of any stripe should get a kick out of this action-packed world. I got a hands-off demo of Battle Chasers at E3 2017, where the developer took time to show off the world and combat systems. Taking place an undetermined amount of time after the original Battle Chasers comic left off on a cliffhanger, players can create a team of three (from a total of six optional characters) to do battle with vicious creatures and loot randomly generated dungeons. There’s Garrison, a swordsman with a tragic past, Gully, a nine-year-old girl who inherited a pair of massive, magical boxing gloves after her father disappeared, Calibretto, the iron giant war golem with a heart of gold, and more. The first thing players might notice is that despite Battle Chasers decidedly JRPG-esque nature, it’s characters play off of old tropes for inventive combat and character building. Instead of the lumbering, mechanical Calibretto acting as the team’s tank, it’s Gully’s magic gloves that provide the massive damage, and Calibretto’s intrinsic ties to nature that provide healing spells. Though each dungeon will be randomly generated, players will have to strategize before ever stepping foot into one. Each dungeon has different difficulties to choose from, modifying the number of enemies, traps, and the layout you’ll find, but also affecting the size of its reward. Once inside, players navigate an isometric layout filled with beastmen, animated skeleton warriors, and worse. Players can give themselves an advantage by luring enemies into the dungeon’s ancient traps before battle, shaving off a few key health points. Once in battle, characters take turns dealing damage or casting spells, with a queue on the left hand side telling you who will go during the next several turns, all based on stats like speed and initiative. Characters share a single “overcharge” gauge that essentially acts as magic fuel for special attacks. This gauge can be accrued over time, and each character has three separate levels of overcharge attacks so you might want to save it for a boss or particularly rough group of enemies. Garrison can unleash a devastating series of sword strikes on a single enemy, for example, while Calibretto is focused on damaging multiple enemies with his massive chaingun arm. Each character will have unique abilities they can use only a set number of times to solve puzzles or advance deeper into a dungeon, such as Garrison’s dash move or Gully’s punch, which allows her to knock down walls hiding secret areas. Every step taken begins to feel like a measured one, weighed against risk versus reward dilemmas. Players can locate treasure chests with rare loot inside, or opt to teleport it deeper into the dungeon. You’ll have to find it again, and the loot will be twice as beneficial, but you’ll lose it if you die before reaching it. Rare gear can also only be crafted within certain dungeons, giving players another incentive to take a deep dive. Amidst all of this, Battle Chasers possesses a striking art style, and not just thanks to Madureira’s illustrations. Even as they’re awaiting their turn in battle, characters bob and weave with an animated feel that helps bring them to life in a way few RPGs of either hemisphere achieve. This is especially apparent during attacks, when the weight of each character can be felt in their motion. Calibretto, the hulking mass that he is, barrels down on enemies with a decimating right hook, smoke billowing behind his trail, and enemies bouncing back with appropriate force. Even enemies get in on the action, with monsters similar to Dark Souls’ mimics (beasts that impersonate treasure chests for a sneaky bite attack) lashing out their engorged tongues with wicked style. It’s unclear how closely Battle Chasers will stick to the original comic series’ lore. Developers at Airship Syndicate say the plot will follow the party’s adventures in a world being sucked dry of its mana. After being shot down from the sky by pirates, the group will have to adventure across a massive island, finding themselves roped into a war against an evil vampire lord bent on conquering the world. Battle Chasers certainly isn’t shying away from the cheese of its inspirations. Battle Chasers: Nightwar is due out October 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and the Nintendo Switch for $29.99. A Steam sale currently has the game listed at $26.99, though it’s unclear how long that will last.
  15. Dubbed a "completely new game" by the RPG developer/publisher, Antique Carnevale was unveiled to the public in a new trailer aimed at the Japanese market. What kind of a name is Antique Carnevale? What does it mean? No one knows! Very few details have been revealed about the real game that is really titled Antique Carnevale, quite possibly the most JRPG-ish title of all time. A Japanese language site has been set up that provides a few tantalizing details and promises more information in the coming weeks. The site currently contains information describing the game's prologue and a description of a character named Bernhard. Below you can find both of those sections as translated by Gematsu: Prologue Have you thought about the differences between “things” and “living things”? Or the differences between “dolls” and “people”? If you ask, people will easily answer as such: dolls are “not able to move on their own,” right? However, that is an invitation to the labyrinth. Is a person unable to move by their own will not a “doll”? Is a doll able to move by its own will not a “person”? The explorers who wander around in search of an exit will find themselves deeply lost… And then, one boy visits that labyrinth by himself… He will listen. To the cries left behind by the “people” that have decayed in the labyrinth. He will understand. The desires of the “dolls” captured in the labyrinth. To that young man who stands in the space between people and dolls… I pray. May the blessings of the people of origin be with him. Bernhard (voiced by Natsuki Hanae) The personification of the summons beast Wyvern. He regularly guards the town as the young commanding knight of the Valamion. He has a strong sense of justice, but hates rushing to conclusions, and is often censured by those around him. Under the orders of the president, he is currently searching for the strongest masters of the next generation. The Antique Carnevale site teases more information releases for characters on July 7, 10, 12, and 14. Square Enix plans to unveil additional information, likely platforms and release date/window, on July 18. What do you think about this new IP? From the brief trailer and the strangely subdued fanfare of the announcement it seems like this might be an IP headed to smartphones, 3DS, or Vita rather than a AAA release for consoles. Any theories as to what this game might be about from the cryptic information provided by the prologue description? View full article
  16. Dubbed a "completely new game" by the RPG developer/publisher, Antique Carnevale was unveiled to the public in a new trailer aimed at the Japanese market. What kind of a name is Antique Carnevale? What does it mean? No one knows! Very few details have been revealed about the real game that is really titled Antique Carnevale, quite possibly the most JRPG-ish title of all time. A Japanese language site has been set up that provides a few tantalizing details and promises more information in the coming weeks. The site currently contains information describing the game's prologue and a description of a character named Bernhard. Below you can find both of those sections as translated by Gematsu: Prologue Have you thought about the differences between “things” and “living things”? Or the differences between “dolls” and “people”? If you ask, people will easily answer as such: dolls are “not able to move on their own,” right? However, that is an invitation to the labyrinth. Is a person unable to move by their own will not a “doll”? Is a doll able to move by its own will not a “person”? The explorers who wander around in search of an exit will find themselves deeply lost… And then, one boy visits that labyrinth by himself… He will listen. To the cries left behind by the “people” that have decayed in the labyrinth. He will understand. The desires of the “dolls” captured in the labyrinth. To that young man who stands in the space between people and dolls… I pray. May the blessings of the people of origin be with him. Bernhard (voiced by Natsuki Hanae) The personification of the summons beast Wyvern. He regularly guards the town as the young commanding knight of the Valamion. He has a strong sense of justice, but hates rushing to conclusions, and is often censured by those around him. Under the orders of the president, he is currently searching for the strongest masters of the next generation. The Antique Carnevale site teases more information releases for characters on July 7, 10, 12, and 14. Square Enix plans to unveil additional information, likely platforms and release date/window, on July 18. What do you think about this new IP? From the brief trailer and the strangely subdued fanfare of the announcement it seems like this might be an IP headed to smartphones, 3DS, or Vita rather than a AAA release for consoles. Any theories as to what this game might be about from the cryptic information provided by the prologue description?
  17. ccesarano

    Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

    I'm curious if anyone else around here has been playing this. I can tell I'm nearing the end, with I'm guessing two chapters remaining. It has been a charming blast so far that has also been a bit refreshing. It should be noted that I've never played an SMT or Persona game before, but my understanding is that they're challenging dungeon-crawlers with an emphasis on exploiting enemy weaknesses. That's certainly the case here, but those weaknesses ultimately result in your team ganging up all at once on the enemies. So there's certainly a strategy to it, especially if you're comparing which attacks result in what teammates will use what abilities and tally which option results in the most exploits of a weakness or most resistances. If you have any familiarity with the Japanese idol industry then you'll instantly recognize the story as a fantasy of the life rather than a representation of it, but by focusing on show-business the game manages to stand out and feel like it's own unique thing. Incredibly anime in the most charming of ways with well-executed archetypes of characters. They feel deep enough for you to forget that you have encountered this character before in just about any other anime or JRPG of the last ten years. It's probably one of my favorite games of the year, if not my favorite so far. If you're interested in either anime or good JRPGs then this is a must-buy, no debate about it.
  18. For our tenth episode we cover the twelfth main entry in the Final Fantasy series. Though initially releasing to some of the best reviews of any Final Fantasy title, time has solidified XII's status as the black sheep of the series. Does its groundbreaking visuals, real-time battle system, and risky shake up of the Final Fantasy formula earn it a place as one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod Outro music: Final Fantasy XII 'The Winds of Inishmore' by Avaris (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01719) New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  19. For our tenth episode we cover the twelfth main entry in the Final Fantasy series. Though initially releasing to some of the best reviews of any Final Fantasy title, time has solidified XII's status as the black sheep of the series. Does its groundbreaking visuals, real-time battle system, and risky shake up of the Final Fantasy formula earn it a place as one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod Outro music: Final Fantasy XII 'The Winds of Inishmore' by Avaris (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01719) New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  20. Atlus has announced that the remake of Vanillaware's classic PlayStation 2 action RPG will be making its way to PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3 on June 7th. Inspired by Norse mythology, Odin Sphere tells the story of five characters as they cross paths amid kingdoms warring for power as the world teeters toward oblivion. Vanillaware has become known for their visually striking games and it will be a real treat to see how the remastered version looks in action. When it releases in June, certain retailers will include a 64-page softcover art book with the standard purchase of Odin Sphere. A limited Storybook Edition will be available for PlayStation 4 as well. The Storybook Edition, priced at $79.99, includes a hardcover version of the art book, a t-shirt, a metal case for the game, an art print, and unique outer packaging. This is one to keep an eye on if you own a Vita and are looking for quality games to add to your mobile library.
  21. Atlus has announced that the remake of Vanillaware's classic PlayStation 2 action RPG will be making its way to PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3 on June 7th. Inspired by Norse mythology, Odin Sphere tells the story of five characters as they cross paths amid kingdoms warring for power as the world teeters toward oblivion. Vanillaware has become known for their visually striking games and it will be a real treat to see how the remastered version looks in action. When it releases in June, certain retailers will include a 64-page softcover art book with the standard purchase of Odin Sphere. A limited Storybook Edition will be available for PlayStation 4 as well. The Storybook Edition, priced at $79.99, includes a hardcover version of the art book, a t-shirt, a metal case for the game, an art print, and unique outer packaging. This is one to keep an eye on if you own a Vita and are looking for quality games to add to your mobile library. View full article
  22. The teaser site reported last week has finally gone live and a new Star Ocean is on its way to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. A trailer exploring the history of the franchise and teasing its future has also appeared and you can view it below: While the trailer doesn't tell us much beyond the title of the next game, a leak in Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, the prologue translated by Kotaku, offers more insight into what Star Ocean 5 will be about: Do the depths of space forbid peace for mankind— Centuries after leaving Earth, after a multitude of trials, with the creation and spread of the ‘Galactic Federation’, humanity was on the verge of unified order and peace. But the embers of conflict have begun to burn again. Over 6,000 light years from Earth, on the unsettled planet, ‘Faicreed.’ Just as so many times before, the waves of history begin from a remote planet. According to Gematsu, three characters were revealed in the Famitsu leak as well. The protagonist of Integrity and Faithlessness will be Fedel Camus, a defender of his village and specialized fencer. Miki Sorvesta is Fedel's childhood friend and has a sisterly affection for the hero. Finally, there is Lilia, a young girl who has lost her memories and emotions. Like previous entries in the Star Ocean series, combat will take place in real-time. Integrity and Faithlessness will offer seamless transitions into and out of battles. While Star Ocean 5 is coming to PlayStation 4, it has primarily been developed for PlayStation 3 and the PS4 version will be a port that may or may not take advantage of Share play features. No word yet on when we could expect to see Star Ocean 5 release in North America. Longtime fans will be happy to know that series developer tri-Ace is helming this next installment, so we can be reasonably sure that the project is in capable hands. View full article
  23. The teaser site reported last week has finally gone live and a new Star Ocean is on its way to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. A trailer exploring the history of the franchise and teasing its future has also appeared and you can view it below: While the trailer doesn't tell us much beyond the title of the next game, a leak in Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, the prologue translated by Kotaku, offers more insight into what Star Ocean 5 will be about: Do the depths of space forbid peace for mankind— Centuries after leaving Earth, after a multitude of trials, with the creation and spread of the ‘Galactic Federation’, humanity was on the verge of unified order and peace. But the embers of conflict have begun to burn again. Over 6,000 light years from Earth, on the unsettled planet, ‘Faicreed.’ Just as so many times before, the waves of history begin from a remote planet. According to Gematsu, three characters were revealed in the Famitsu leak as well. The protagonist of Integrity and Faithlessness will be Fedel Camus, a defender of his village and specialized fencer. Miki Sorvesta is Fedel's childhood friend and has a sisterly affection for the hero. Finally, there is Lilia, a young girl who has lost her memories and emotions. Like previous entries in the Star Ocean series, combat will take place in real-time. Integrity and Faithlessness will offer seamless transitions into and out of battles. While Star Ocean 5 is coming to PlayStation 4, it has primarily been developed for PlayStation 3 and the PS4 version will be a port that may or may not take advantage of Share play features. No word yet on when we could expect to see Star Ocean 5 release in North America. Longtime fans will be happy to know that series developer tri-Ace is helming this next installment, so we can be reasonably sure that the project is in capable hands.
  24. I don't know much about the Persona series except that people have been bugging me to play it for years, so I can't offer much insight into this particular trailer. All I can say is that the trailer really makes me want to play a chill, groovy JRPG. The funky trailer released today shows off cutscenes and gameplay, both in and out of battle. The trailer highlights what might be presumed to be the main character and three of his companions (one of which appears to be a magic cat?). We see them in combat, where they all wear masks of some sort, perhaps playing into a theme regarding personas? Atlus also demonstrates world traversal and how moving outside of combat will work. We also get glimpses of a medical supplier and a military arms dealer, which I presume are vendors that you can buy stuff from in-game. While Persona 5 will be hitting Japan soon, it is still scheduled for a 2015 North American release on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
  25. I don't know much about the Persona series except that people have been bugging me to play it for years, so I can't offer much insight into this particular trailer. All I can say is that the trailer really makes me want to play a chill, groovy JRPG. The funky trailer released today shows off cutscenes and gameplay, both in and out of battle. The trailer highlights what might be presumed to be the main character and three of his companions (one of which appears to be a magic cat?). We see them in combat, where they all wear masks of some sort, perhaps playing into a theme regarding personas? Atlus also demonstrates world traversal and how moving outside of combat will work. We also get glimpses of a medical supplier and a military arms dealer, which I presume are vendors that you can buy stuff from in-game. While Persona 5 will be hitting Japan soon, it is still scheduled for a 2015 North American release on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. View full article
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