Friday, 6 December 2013

Review: Zone Of The Enders HD Collection (Ps3)

After hearing of a patch to fix this HD collections problems was released back in August (And finding it for a measly £7) I decided to bite the bullet and finally give the HD collection a try. Ive cleared both games previously on Ps2, but the stories of a botched remaster, especially with how ZOE 2 was butchered, kept me away. SO has it improved?

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Info: Persona 4 - Dancing All Night

Before I post up some tidbits on this game Ive come across theres something I gotta say, Im not like most poeple within the industry - I dont hold aloft Persona 4 as the pinnacle of JRPG's and no matter how hard you try to convince me otherwise, I still believe that Persona 3 was a better game in almost every way based upon the same template (Persona 4 Arena was an average 2D fighter at best, sorry) I guess the easing up of the difficulty & dropping the Shin Megami Tensei tag allowed the game to reach more of a mass market appeal than its superior predecessor in Persona 3 (That statement only doesn't apply if you speak to Remy here it seems) Ive been tasked with covering this simply because rythmn games are my forte so ill no doubt be purchasing it in the future, especially with it being noted that the Project Diva developer is working on the title. Just dont be expecting me to be gushing like the mainstream gaming press have been doing since this was announced....

Managed to bump into a story reveal that may interest -
The plot is set the summer after the Yasonaba case, and follows Rise, who has returned to the city to focus on her career as a dancing idol. It all gets a bit ‘The Ring’ however, as a strange website has been found circulating the public. It includes a video that, when watched, transports the viewer to “The Other Side.” Naturally it happens to Rise, and she finds herself in the other plane, which she realises is actually called the “Mayonaka Stage.” There, she finds that a junior idol team called “Kanamin Kitchen” are being held prisoner, so Yu Narukami and pals form a team to investigate and save the day. Yu Narukami is the protagonist assisting Rise, while a third character Kanami Mashita is one of the kidnapped junior idols.

The game is set to include over 30 tracks of new music and arranged Persona 4 tunes. Confirmed songs so far are “Pursuing My True Self,” “Heaven,” “Reach Out to the Truth,” (Winner! Favourite Persona 4 track) “Time to Make Nistory,” and “True Story.” Japanese musicians Tetsuya Komuro and Daisuke Asakura have teamed with Atlus to pen the score. I wonder if anything from Persona 3 will make it over? Then again I doubt it due to 3 having a different 'vibe' but hopefully some will arrive via DLC at least. All will no doubt be revealed closer to the titles fall 2014 estimated release date for Japan.

In case you missed it, heres the launch trailer -

and a few screenshots -

Info: Project Diva F/f 2nd

The game is set to have a similar play style to its predecessor, as is always the case with this series as the gameplay continues to be refined as opposed to overhauled. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd, releasing on both the Ps3 & Vita in Japan on March 6th 2014 (Western release still TBC) features new songs, as well as returning songs from previous games (Two Faced Lovers is confirmed to rapturous applause from myself. One of my favourite Miku songs. Follow this link if You've yet to hear it - Two Faced Lovers) New modules will also be piped into the game for all the new songs while the HUD and UI will now be customisable by the player with at least 20 different skins for you to choose from. Even with the gameplay mechanics being the same as previous entries, there are still additions. Sliding touchscreen notes, and double scratch notes are added, although how these will work on the Ps3 without a touchscreen/touchpad is to be seen. No doubt a similar system will be employed as with Project Diva F on Ps3. In addition, you can now simultaneously equip up to 3 different challenge and help items during gameplay, although to be truthful Ive never used these when playing Project Diva F so I don't know what that's going to entail. Till more info is available, sit back and enjoy the promotional trailer -

And maybe a few of the latest screenshots floating around the Internet -

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Screenshots: Hyper Goddess Faith Noire: Extreme God Black Heart

Hyperdimension Neptunia spin-off Hyper Goddess Faith Noire: Extreme God Black Heart (how awesomely Japanese is that title?) is due to bring a different take on Compile Heart's unusually popular franchise to the PlayStation Vita, expected to release on 29th May in Japan. Still no word on a western release as of yet but with PP making its way here Im going to go with this one more than likely recieving a localisation. Instead of the traditional turn-based combat the game is known for, with this being developed by Sting (the studio behind a number of Atlus-published SRPGs like Gungnir and Yggdra Union) we are looking at an SRPG along the lines of Disgaea or ZHP with regards to gameplay. Yes, the rumoured ChiBi style has become reality. To be honest I had doubts myself over the style, but it has grown on me (especially with the news of Persona Q using the same style) and I guess it helps with seperating the game from the main series due to it being a spin-off. Plus, how Kawaii! is ChiBi Neptune!? Till some more news comes our way, here's some screenshots to feast your eyes on (New characters also shown!) There is also a trailer but it features no gameplay so I havent included it on this article but its easily found if you paste the game's title into search on Youtube for those that are curious.

Now when are Compile Heart going to be doing Ultimate Goddess Fury Blanc: Extreme Hammer White Heart!??

Monday, 2 December 2013

Review: One Piece Romance Dawn

Ahoy! Welcome aboard my One Piece: Romance Dawn 3DS review my Nakama!.

First thing is that it's designed for fans of One Piece and not people looking to get into the series. Starring up and coming Pirate King Monkey D Luffy and his band of Strawhats. The game covers the manga series from the Romance Dawn arc all the way up to the Marineford arc. 

Promoted as the first RPG of One Piece this was first released as a PSP game and how now been re-released on the 3DS seeing it's first release in Europe!.

I have been eagerly awaiting this title being a huge fan of RPG games and a big fan of One Piece. After spending a weekend and putting close to 10 hours into this game here are my first impressions.


The character models are average, they look like the anime counterparts and up to where I am, they are wearing the original costumes. 

There is no 3D in this game, it is disabled. As someone who rarely uses 3D (so far it's only been Mario and Zelda iv used it on) this doesn't bother me too much. It was released at a lower price but it is a little disappointing how it's not using the main feature of the 3DS.

Cutscenes have been few and far between, they did create a fresh one for the game and it was very pleasant to look at. The issue is with the lack of them it shows the game up and also you have little idea of what's going on. What you have instead is static scenes similar to the Tales of Skit sequences only less dynamic. 
Another issue to point out is that the text doesn't always properly fit the text bubble! This may be a font issue but in 2013 this shouldn't be happening with a release from the likes of Namco-Bandai 

The level art work is all consistent with the manga/anime, not so much the side islands where it is just a generic theme.


Being an RPG Romance Dawn employs the use of several common RPG conventions. A turn based battle system, equipment equipping, stats, item creation, exploring and dungeon crawling & last but not least party members.

Anime/Manga games in the past have translated well to the RPG format. For example Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans & Naruto: Path of The Ninja. Unfortunately this isn't one of those cases this seems like a lazy cash in and a waste of the One Piece licence. 

Firstly the exploration is hampered by the fact the levels are boring and lack any distractions apart from walking forward. Samey hallways would cause huge confusion if it wasn't for the mini map on the touch screen.
Combat is unfortunately also fairly average, featuring a weaker version of the battle system used in Final Fantasy X. Careful use of SP results in different combos depending on what button you press, after a few battles you'll pick it up quite fast, which is fortunate as the tutorial is just a few walls of text during load screens.
Little additions such as group attacks and bounce damage help to spur you on, but much like this game all over it's a minor distraction for much bigger things.

Customising the Strawhats is quite refreshing. Once you have hit the grind hard enough or been lucky enough to find for example a pirate wristband, you can equip a character with it and it becomes visible on them. This doesn't work for all items but is a nice little feature often overlooked. 
Item creation is pretty bog standard stuff, find a blueprint, find enough materials then create item, over and over again. 

No hub areas mean you'll be jumping from dungeon to dungeon with little downtime. Side missions appear as extra islands around Islands already established in the series, more often than not an area you have been to before with enemies you have beaten before. Worth a visit for a grind but nothing spectacular which is unfortunate when you'd even accept a fetch quest. 

Final Word

Overall I am very let down by this product. As a One Piece and RPG fan I wanted nothing more than for this to be at the very least a good game.
What lies before me is a lazy product with very few redeemable features which I'm playing purely based off the licence it's built around. It is an average One Piece game shown up by the recent Koei offerings and as an RPG it flounders. 

If you are a One Piece fan add a point to the score I give as you may find some enjoyment reliving the Strawhats adventures (not all of them Skypeia and Sabaody have been cut!). But over all this does nothing new for RPGs and certainly would be a terrible way for up and coming fans to experience the wonder of One Piece, if you are after an RPG fix there are a lot more places you should stop before here!


Review by Andi. Supplied by Andi. 
Published by Namco-Bandai, released 29/11/13