Saturday, 1 March 2014

Review: Earth Defense Force 2025 (Ps3/Xbox360)

 "Come on you apes, You wanna live forever!"

We've waited a while in the west for this localisation. 6 months after the Japanese release, the bug menace finally hits our shores. With numerous websites offloading the review to folks who have no vested interest in the series, things have looked grim so far. so how about a review from a long-time fan of the series to balance things out a little and give you the real low-down on how 2025 compares to its peers in the field. Would you Like to know more? Then read on. 

Friday, 28 February 2014

Review : Toukiden Age of demons

Toukiden is the new hunting game of Tecmo Koei. Toukiden is trying to fill the enormous gap left by Monster hunter. The reception of the game can be described as success since it was met with critical and audience acclaim with strong numbers to back it up.For over a millennium the slayers have battled oni from the shadows of history. Since the awakening eight years ago, however the Oni appeared in such high numbers they almost captured every corner of the world. Thanks to the slayers who fought hard they achieved to push back the Oni. However, the price they had to pay was enormous. The only lands free of Oni are the midlands. Furthermore, The Oni are in great numbers and the slayers have a hard time giving the Oni resistance. However, there is hope since a new slayer has arisen. You and the other slayers are the only one who can keep the Oni at bay and prevent them from consuming the world.
Toukiden beginning was straightforward as I like it. When I booted up the game I was dropped right into action. A giant monster emerged from the flames, or as they are referred in the game and in Japanese folklore – Oni. The giant beast had no problem with me and punched me so hard I flew like a ragdoll through the air.  When you play this game for the first time you think the weapon movements are a tad basic but the more I played the game the more I understand the combat is so much deeper. The first thought I had after discovering this was; you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The game starts with you choosing a character, after this you are given the choice of seven weapons; a long sword, dual swords, spear , gauntlets, chain and sickle or a bow.  They each have their own special attack but on the beginning it feels limited. However, when you start training with the head of the slayers you will be given enough tips to expand your weapon movements. Each weapon has a rapid attack, heavy or basic attack.
Like monster hunter you can harvest materials by hunting Oni. If you have invested enough in hunting you can buy better versions or create better weapons or armor. I recommend you to hunt a lot since you can only get the best equipment by gathering materials. The thing i liked about the forging of another weapons and armor in this game that it isn't as hard as i expected. You do have to invest time in it but it's no grinding hours and hours to get that special equipment.
The first thing you notice when you boot up the game it’s a very pretty game. I can assure you this is one of the prettiest vita games I have ever seen. I can be called in the same breath as killzone mercenary, Muramasa rebirth and tear away. The environments look very varied with typical Japanese village’s and wildlife. This game is pretty and I noticed myself just running around to observe the beauty a little longer. You will travel the same way as you do in Monster Hunter from area to area searching for you to devour the Oni before they devour you.

The best part has yet to come.  Here is where the game starts to be more interesting than it looks. Again don’t judge a book by its cover. Mitama are ancient warrior souls who were consumed by the Oni after being slayed by them. The Mitama are being released when you defeat the Oni that consumed them. This past ancient warrior souls will come to your aid in your quest to defeat the Oni and cleanse them from this world. This Mitama will help you by increasing stats. You do this by letting the Mitama posses your weapons. The thrill is that the Mitama will be a reason to invest many hours in the game to collect them all. There are around 200 Mitama's in the game. 
Buttonmashing isn’t recommended. The lower class Oni isn’t difficult to surpass but the higher class Oni will give you a hard time. When you buttonmash I can assure you will not survive for long. To defeat higher class Oni you have to observe their movement. In the demo I fought the manhunter Oni. The manhunter Oni is a large spider with a head of a lion. At first he thought he wasn’t that strong but then he unleashed its sickle-shaped claws and nearly killed me. Luckily, I dodged at the right time. In the battle I noticed I could cut of its body parts.  This is the best way to defeat the Oni since it can’t use that body part anymore. However,  the slayer has to perform the rite of purification without doing this the miasma still exists and the Oni can simply regrow his limbs. This really positively surprised me because I didn’t knew what hit me when the Oni regrown his limb.
The game offers a same mechanic as Soul sacrifice with the ability of the eye of thruth. With the eye of truth the slayers can check the health of the Oni and its remaining limbs (If you haven’t cut them off by then)The thing I was most exicted about is Utakata Village. In the village you have your own home where you can change  your equipment. The village offers us a blacksmith who can create armors, a merchant who buys your items you horded in  your missions , a secret altar with an Oni begging for haku which you will be rewarded … and it is been said there is a hot spring. Why am I so excited by this? Because I noticed I got fatigued by Soul sacrifice because there wasn’t a moment to do something else then hunting monsters. Finally, the multiplayer is fun! I have played this game a couple of time online and i can say it all works fine. However, the are some negatives. It baffles me that there wasn't a way to invite a friend in a lobby. The thing you can do is to use the search function. However, even after using this function i couldn't find my friends lobby.  

This game is another gem for the Playstation vita. The game has an interesting story which isn't common with hunting games. It's refreshing to see a variety in the weapons department. Every weapon feels different and will keep things fresh. Furthermore, the game is a real eye catcher the environments are beautiful to look at and the characters are very detailed. This game can be called in the same sentence as killzone and Muramasa rebirth. The limb cutting and the introduction of Mitama are refreshing and will keep you stay playing this game.   My opinion is that every hunting fan should get this game because this game is the closest thing you will get on the Playstation vita. 


 一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八/00 

Lightning Returns Review

Lightning Returns. Final Fantasy XIII-3 

"Go Greased Lightning, You're burning up the quarter mile" 

Lightning Returns, the third & final part of the Final Fantasy XIII series. Originally set to have another 2 games which have gone onto see life as Final Fantasy Type 0 & Final Fantasy XV this was to be an ambitious series by Square-Enix. 
First of was Final Fantasy XIII, it's a title that separates FF fans to this day. It changed alot of conventions such as villages & complicated dungeons, instead it went more linear and more cinematic. It had a decent battle system & Sahz as a really likeable character but apart from that it didn't do much right & took 30 hours for any kind of exploration to arise. 

Final Fantasy XIII-2 released a few years after and set out to right the wrongs of XIII. Featuring small towns, a multitude of NPCs & alot more exploration than the previous title it should of done just that. A plot involving time travel, few likeable characters, a pokemon style party member and just general confusion set on this game making it good but still far from the lofty heights this once great series held. 

So here we are with S-E's third and final attempt at making Final Fantasy XIII something prestigious and loved like their previous titles, can they do it? lets find out!.

First lets look into the story of LR (will be called this from now forth) & see where we are at. 
Starts off with a really impressive introduction cutscene and tutorial but it's not till around the 40/50 minute mark till we see or hear anything as to what exactly what we are doing & why. 
Lighting is God's chosen, she is the saviour. Chaos has covered and corrupted the world so bad that God deems it fit to give it a wipe so to speak. Naturally God needs souls to bring his new paradise to life and has enlisted the likes of Lightning & Hope to reap souls for the new land. Lightning has initially 5 days to offer souls to God, reach a certain amount of souls & you get a little bit longer. Striking a deal with the almighty if you can get enough souls to keep the world going 13 days, your sister Serah will be brought back to life in God's new paradise. 
To complicate matters there are 4 "Major" souls Lightning is sent after, someone of great power who feels conflicted and boarding on Chaos awaits Lightning and redemption!. 

As good as it sounds unfortunately parts of the story seem very skimmed over & rushed, there are some really fantastic bits which will impress anyone who has been with us since XIII. Due to the time based nature of the game it seems like there wasn't enough time to fully flesh out the world and some of it's characters mostly relying on what you can remember about them from previous games. 

 While we are on this subject i'll go over the time limit, It's a bugger!. You have 6am till 6am to get any main quest or side quest done. Time goes by quite quickly but you do have several time saving abilities to help out such as teleporting and freezing time for a limited amount of time. This is all well and good but some areas only open at certain times, the same with side quests. This requires you to have an excellent mind for time management otherwise you'll end up missing side quests and panicking about the main ones. Little personal note i'm terribly OCD in regards to side quests so this game had me worrying constantly! 

The battle system is brilliant, rather than choosing an attack on a menu you have it mapped to a button, press the button do the attack!. This is a first for the main series and it works brilliantly for a game with a 1 person party mostly, While you feel amazing blocking at the right times and hitting enough moves to Stagger an enemy there are also a few issues. The main one being camera, you can't alter it and it does seem to be out to impede your progess especially when you are fighting more than one monster. This brings me to the other issue, fighting multiple monsters is a nightmare. Dodgy camera and a finicky target toggle button make it horrid to fight more than one enemy at a time and could of used a few tweeks to get you by, for example camera movement and the game freezing when you need to switch target. 

The synergy system is what fuels this, basically it's a powerful form of dress up. You pick a costume and it's has different attributes, you then equip it a weapon and shield. Then you have to map commands to the buttons, some costumes already come with one locked ability e.g Attack or Quick Fire. You then have to decide what you'll be using this load out for and equip it to suit. Complicated at first but once you get to grips with it you can make a beast of a load out, think a more advanced  Dress Sphere system from X-2.

Other changes to usual FF is healing, during the game you can only carry 6 items at any one time. This wouldn't be an issue but there is no healing magic. Well there is Cureaga but that consumes 3 E.P and that is a hard to come by commodity (built up via by quests and battles) and you should be using it to help with quests. This forces you to be on the defence alot & always carry enough gold, there are several shops you can stop by & eat or drink, This fully heals you so it's a little god send. 

 Battles in this game aren't what level you up as such, you get items, E.P & Money from the battles & battle experience to help you keep your skills top notch. Instead you level up by completing side quests, as you can imagine you will want to get as many of these done in the limited time you are given. They are given a star rating so you can see how hard the mission will be before you accept it. Some of the missions will last you quite a while & some even have you performing tasks over several days, some only unlock once you hit certain bits in the main quest and can be quite hard to pin down without being told or using a walkthrough. 

So back to the question in hand, is this worth of the Final Fantasy mantle, Unfortunately its not.
Despite being a really enjoyable title it's still lacking in several areas, some you can look beyond but not issues that have not only plagued the past few releases but that have been done better in titles 10 years older than this by the same company.
The cast are still really quite an unlike-able bunch, cliché ridden and two dimensional. Lightning being in my personal opinion the second worst Final Fantasy main character to note (1st goes to you Vaan), she is cold, boring and just seems to be an empty shell of someone that should be more interesting.
The story is still utter rubbish making little to no sense and seeming to come out of nowhere with a different feel altogether when compared to XIII.  I know the story tried a different direction in XIII-2 but that it's self was riddled with bad writing and inconsistencies, this just seems to continue the trend in a grander fashion. 
The battle system though brilliant is only suited to one on one combat and thus wouldn't be useful in party based Final Fantasy games and needs some major tweaking as it is.

Who Should Buy This? 

  • Fans of the previous XIII titles 
  • People wanting a fresh battle system 
  • People good at time management 
  • Fans of Majora's Mask & Final Fantasy in general 

Who Should Avoid This?

  • People who couldn't stand the XIII titles
  • Fans of turn based combat 
  • People wanting a likeable main & side cast 
  • OCD with side quests? forget about it! 


"The most enjoyable XIII title but still has several hallmarks of the XIII series. A flawed but playable adventure but doesn't redeem or further the series in any meaningful way" 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Review - Don't Starve (PS4)

Don't Forget to Pack a Sandwich

The world is a harsh place. It is full of danger, it is forgive and it has a kill or be killed mentality. Now take all these elements and place them into a game. What you end up with is Don’t Starve. A survival adventure game developed by indie studio Klei.

The game revolves are Wilson, a gentleman scientist, who is having no luck with a chemistry experiment. As he fails again, his radio starts talking to him and offers him “secret knowledge”. Once he agreed to this his head is filled with equations and diagrams. With this he builds a giant machine and the voice in the radio encourages him to pull the switch. A pair of arms emerges from the machine and drags him into a different world. You awaken with Maxwell (the antagonist) standing over you commenting on how you look and that you should find something to eat before night falls.

It gets very lonely at night
And this is where the adventure begins. You spawn in a random world holding nothing. As Maxwell said, you need to find food before night fall. In fact eating is really your only goal in this world. Sounds simple but this game is really unforgiving. Make one simple error and you could end up dead. Even after a couple of days, when you think you have worked out how to survive, a tall bird comes along to stop you just because you looked at their egg. You will quickly try to survive again though. You may only last a few days, or even one day, when you first try but after a few goes you will find yourself surviving into the double figures. It is all about trial and error. During one play through you might try one thing and fail miserably but you will not try it again next time. It may have a real steep learning curve but it emulates the art of survival very well. If you found yourself in this situation in real life, it would not be a walk in park. The only downfall of this is that if you do not push through the earlier days it can be quite boring. This is because in the early days you are just concentrating on getting to the end of the day and when you make it there you have to sit out the boring night section. Later on though (from day six onwards), the days are all about making yourself self-sufficient buy creating farms, forests, better cooking equipment etc. This is when you can start setting yourself daily or weekly goals.

Just collecting some poop!

There are no tutorials or goals. You have to work everything out yourself but most of it is common sense. It is very much how Hard core Minecraft would play out. An example is when you need to start making tools. The Pick and Axe require flint and twigs which can easily be picked by hand. Once you have these tools you are free to chop trees for logs and break boulders for various types of rocks and minerals. This sort of logic flows throughout the game but certain items have different tiers. It is similar to Terraria when only certain items can only be crafted at certain benches. In Don’t Starve you start at Tier 0 with items you can create by hands but then to advance further you will need to build a Science Machine then an Alchemy Engine. This sounds all straight forward but finding the raw materials to advance up the tiers can sometimes be a nightmare. You may be lucky and spawn a world which has all the items needed within a short walking distance and will only take a few days to create. Sometimes you find yourself into the 10 day without finding the materials you need. This frustration starts to fade when you are ready to build a base. When you have set the location for your base you can build your fire pit (like a campfire but only needs logs to start), farms for constant food production and equipment to made food better. You can even up-root bushes and grass to move them closer to your base. Basically at this point, survival comes down to whether you can micro manage yourself.

You learn to love the Touch Stones

In a generation where the survival games are big, Don’t Starve stands out because of some clever choices made whilst developing. The main one is the “Life Meters”. You have three meters; Life, Hunger and Sanity. All as important as each other but all count towards whether you survive or not. As the games says, starving is bad so as your hunger hits empty, your life starts going down rather quickly. The screen goes all red and the controller starts to vibrate adding a sense of urgency to the situation. A similar thing happens with your Sanity too. As you become more insane the screen starts to shake, you can hear whispers and shadow creatures start to appear. They are all harmless at first but when you sanity meter empties out, the creatures start to attack. And when your Life Meter is empty – Game Over. The art style of the game also makes it pop out against the rest. Minecraft and Terraria have an old school game feel, where Don’t Starve looks like something Tim Burton would dream up. It has very Gothic feel to it and this adds nicely to the feelings in which the game is trying to get across. The final feature is the most annoying and best feature. That is if you die, that is it (unless you activate the Touch Stones). So, if you have lasted for 50 days and die from a silly mistake, then that is it. You lose hours of game play but you will come out a better person.


Don’t Starve in general offers a very unique twist on the survival game but it is one which will always stick in your mind. Even after many hours of playing, it can still offer new discoveries which you may have missed during previous attempts. It can be very frustrating and requires time to master but if you are the sort of player who constantly like to push yourself to achieve move, then the replay value is huge. If on the other hand you get easily frustrated, then maybe give it a go – you might like it.


一 二 三 四 五 六 七/000  

The PS4 version was used for this review but Don't Starve is also available via Steam (PC)

Feature - What Makes Final Fantasy So Great?

The Fans Speak

Final Fantasy is a video game series which is now into its 27th year. It was the brain child of Hironobu Sakaguchi and is now owed by Square Enix (formally Squaresoft). It is hard to believe before the release of the first game, Squaresoft were a struggling company and the success of this title helped turn the company around. So, after this success, what happened next? Well Final Fantasy spawned into a multi-title series with the main title currently at XIV and many spin offs. It has sold over 100 million units, holds seven Guinness World Records in the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008 and has millions of fans. I myself was only introduced to the series about six years ago when I played Final Fantasy VII as my friend was shocked I had never played it. I had heard many things about this title before I played it, including the famous “Greatest Game of all Time”. I had a PSP at the time; PSOne games were supported, so I thought why not? No time like the present. After completing it, I could see why many people love this game, but I would not say it was the greatest of all time. Maybe when it first came out, you could claim this. It has a strong story, dramatic moments (you know which one I mean), interesting character development and a great battle system. But as much as I enjoyed this entry in the series, I find it hard to get drawn into the series as a whole. Apart from VII, I have only (fully) completed XIII. I have tried to play VIII, but could not get myself into the game. The only other I have tried is X, but “modern” gaming got in the way and has just been pushed farther and farther into my backlog. This will change in a month when I purchase the HD remake for my Vita and I can play it wherever I go. This personal issue of me not being able to find myself absorbed into the series got me thinking. Is there something I am missing? There are millions of fans of the series, there are so many releases or re-releases within that series and there must be something which keeps them loving this series. So I thought I would try a little social-experiment with this. Over various sites on the internet I asked Final Fantasy fans a set of questions.
Best/Worst game?
Best/Worst Character?
Best/Worst Summon?
High Point of Series?
Low Point of Series?
What one aspect of the series do you love the most?
Best Memory?
Worst Memory?
What is the longest time logged & what game was it?
These questions came to life after a lengthy discussion with my friend who is a huge fan of the Final Fantasy Series.

My aim is to find out what certain elements of the series keeps the fans coming back or is it just nostalgia keeping it together? Nostalgia is a powerful tool and is Square Enix using it to their advantage. Within each question I will share the most interesting answers and I will try to find a conclusion to it at the end. I hope you enjoying reading these responses as much as I did.

The Best Final Fantasy Game

This question causes the biggest divide within the Final Fantasy community. The divide seems to be at the point in which the series moved into the third dimension on the PS one. Obviously VII cropped up a few times, but there is a lot of praise for VI. I confronted my close friend about this and he can see why. It has a very strong story, characters you can relate too and a very good battle system. From what I have read, this is something which has been lost through time. But this I will get to later on. A few fans love the “newer” entries into the series – mainly X and XII. But knowing what is the favourite fantasy within the fans is not enough. There has to be a reason, so I added another question to try and find out more;

At what point in your life did you favourite title get released?

I only had a few answers to this question but a user named RR529 gave me the answer I was looking for;
“I know for a fact that nostalgia plays a large part in my love for my favorite (FFX, which was the first entry I played, at 12 or 13), I have no need to hide that. I remember reading an article on some RPG centric website, stating that JRPGs are kinda like the video game world's Young Adult Novels (you know, like Harry Potter & the like). They both generally center around the same underlying themes which generally resonate best with you when you're a teen, and thus you get a nostalgic connection with them (on a level you don't with other games/books) that cements the first two or three you experience as the pinnacle of their genre, because newer ones (and older ones) will never resonate with you as well as the first few.”
So, what is the best title? There is none, I know it sounds silly but it is really down to personal choice.

I also asked what game they would to be remade next, (just like X and X-2) and the answer tied nicely into their favourite title. But, the clear winner of that question was VII. It might happen.

Worst Final Fantasy Game 

Once again this is a mixed bag. I have had a few fans say the earlier ones, especially 2, were a chore to complete. But, putting that aside, the “winner” of this question is the 13th entry. I have played this one and I can sort of see why. For an RPG it is a very linear game and the characters are quite dull. Flaws aside, I personally thought the game had a strong story. It was slightly confusing sometimes and you can see where the writers tripped over their selves whilst telling the story, but it does manage to get the message across well by the end. For me a story sticks stronger than gameplay. It could have flawed gameplay, but if the story is strong it will pull me through. Best comment about how bad XIII is?
"Original Post : That reminds me, a friend let me borrow FFXIII. This'll be my first Final Fantasy

Reply : Your friend must secretly hate you."

The Best & Worst Character

Can You Name Them All?

This is a hard one for me to answer. There are several bad characters that come to mind right off the bat and that sounds like a slight against the series, but I really think the reason the bad characters stand out so much is because they stand in stark contrast to the plethora of good characters the series have put forth
There was no trend found in the responses so but I understand that the best character solely comes down to how much you can relate to them. This could be either from characteristics, scripting, just falling in love with them or just because they are mysterious. On the other hand, the worst character seems to be the complete opposite. Dull characters that do not progress the story in anyway what so ever and would not be missed if they were not present.

The Best & Worst Summon

From what I understand, the same summons can appear in different games. Saying that though, the choice of best summon usually goes hand in hand with the fans favourite entry in the series. But, I believe from the feedback I got, I was a vague with this question. How do you define the “best” summon? Is it usefulness, most used or just bad ass? From the answers I got back, it is a mixture of everything but Bahamut seems to be a favourite. Just look at him! I would not mess with him on a bad day!
"Most useful for me would go to Doomtrain from VIII, but it's not really my favorite. I feel like I'd pick my favorite for some really stupid reason like it being the cutest so let's just go with Yojimbo."

Not much to be said about the worst Summon but obviously it falls into the most useless ones. There was an interesting comment made about the summons in Final Fantasy V. The “Summon Job” is optional in the game, so you could make your way to the end without using a single one. This easily makes these summon the worst of all as they are not needed to beat the game. From the few I have played (not completed), I would find it very hard to beat them without the help of a Summon.

"For worst, dunno, maybe that one that turns enemies into items but never works."

What one aspect of the series do you love the most?

The fans have spoken and the thing that they love is ..

**Drumroll Please**

…the whole universe created within the Final Fantasy series. It is a well-crafted world full of many interesting races of characters and many tales, some yet to be told!

Best & Worst Memory

Each fan has their own favourite memory. It will either be a scene, a character or an event that takes place within the story. It could even be something amusing which happened whilst you were playing that said game. Whilst reading through the answers, I found one which was really touching. It is the sort of memory I have of other games from my early days of playing games;
"I think my best memories of the final fantasy series are with VIII and that's why I'm so fond of it. I remember staying home sick from school and playing it. I remember the race me and my sister had to beat it. I remember fighting over who could use the TV just so I could play it. I remember spending hours upon hours upon hours trying to find that gosh darn white SeeD ship. I just get this incredibly warm, familiar feeling when playing it."

If anyone, hand on heart, can tell me that you have never pulled a sick day just to complete a game, then you are lying to yourself. These are the memories video games should create.

And for the worst memory? This was either frustrating moments within the game or the dreaded losing of your save!

Longest Time Clocked

This question is just to find out how dedicated the fans are to the series and from what I have seen, no one puts less than 40hrs into a game!

"Probably XII. It's not my favorite, but when I was playing XII I was at a time in my life where I had all the time in the world and pretty much only 1 game to play -that being XII. I've logged about 800+ hours into the game all together as shameful as it is for me to admit that."

"over 100 something hours on FF 9 but I got everything!!!"

"80+ hours of FFVII, although I just let the game run sometimes."

"I'm pretty sure one of my save files on Final Fantasy VII is over 90 hours."

"60+ in FFV"

"around 150 hours on Final Fantasy XII. That game is humongous. It's also marvelous and needs a HD remaster."

"50 hours into Final Fantasy VII"

High & Low Point of the Series

I asked this question to see if the series is still as good as it always has been and if not, what point did it drop? The answer I got were spot on what I was after. For this question, I have gathered all the best responses as they themselves tell the story of the fans;

"High point of the series: 1997, also not coincidentally one of the highest points of gaming in general.
Low point of the series: December 17, 2009 - Present"

"High Point of the Series: SNES/PS1 Era
Low Point: Since FF13"

"High Point of Series - the SNES.
Low Point of Series – Now"

"High Point of Series: The 90s. Don't wanna be too nostalgia obsessed but...this is so true.
Low Point of Series: 2010."

"The cutscene heavy modern ones just make me switch off completely."
From these few responses it seems that the SNES and PS one era seem to be when the series hit its peak and slowly declines to the present day (XIII).

After gathering all this information from the fans of the series it is very easy to see why they love it and get absorbed into the world. It is rich, vibrant series which drives player’s emotions and takes them to places they can only dream off. It reminds them of days gone by. They bring back memories, good or sad. It comes down to one word; nostalgia. It seems that the fans favourite game is connected to an event in their life and it will always remind them of that. So even if a newer entry in the series comes along and it is critically acclaimed, it will never be as important as the “one game”. Nostalgia is this series’ greatest ally and it’s even greater enemy.

In all the responses I received, I believe this one below sums up the entire series and what it means to the fans;

"I think the final fantasy series has always been really good with pushing the envelope by reinventing itself every game. There are always series staples, of course, but for the most part every game is different and offers a different experience and I think that's why final fantasy fans are so passionate about their favorite/least favorite games. It's also been good with creating an engaging storyline and has been a front runner for graphics in the RPG genre."
And for giggles, I share with you the best response I got;
"I don't love Final Fantasy. (Even though I love VI and IV). I do love Dragon Quest though."

[Sources: One, Two]

Dead Nation Ps4 confirmed

Speculation has been rife of late of a port to Ps4 of Housemarques twin stick zombie romp Dead Nation. It's now been confirmed as the Ps4's PS+ addition for March in the EU. Not much else is known about the port aside from the addition of the Road to Devastation DLC is included, so hopefully more light will be shed in time on the re-Release.

Tomb Raider & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons are the Ps3 releases with Pixeljunk Monsters being offered for the Vita. The PS+ refresh is due around the 5th March

Review: Knack (Ps4)

Well, With Desmond & myself acquiring the Ps4, Otaku Gamers UK has finally entered the Next-Gen warzone. Unfortunately though, it seems there isn't much in the way of Niche content on the console so far which means we'll have to look at whatever we can till things pick up on that front. Desmond recently brought us a review for Dont Starve, so now its my turn to pick something out. I'm gonna go with Knack, Sony Japan's Mark Cerny produced launch title that didn't favour too well with most websites (PushSquare's 7/10 seeming to buck the trend) as my first Ps4 review. Now the fanfare of the next-gen system launch is out of the way, how does it really fare?

News - Demon Gaze Details

Some new details have been released by NIS America for their upcoming title, Demon Gaze.  The title is coming to the PS Vita on April 22 in the US and April 25 for the Europeans.

The details have been shared through a new trailer and a collection of fresh screenshots. 
From the trailer you can see how the demons you capture will help you in battle and how the player can use each classes' special skill to aid them during battle.

The screenshots show some of the demons which will be encountered whilst in the dungeons. Also you can see some of the skills which your party members can use.

Demon Gaze's is an dungeon crawling RPG with game play split between the dungeons & building relationship with NPCs in a local inn.

Are you all ready for an epic dungeon crawl or just craving for a stuff drink & a chat?

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

News - Famitsu Issue 1317 Most Wanted

Thanks to the guys over at Gematsu we have this weeks top 30 most wanted.

Once again Persona 5 holds the top spot and Kingdom Hearts 3, which held 5th spot last week, has been replaced by Monstet Huntet 4 Ultimate. 

A few more switch around a have happened further down the list.  Smash Bros for the 3DS has jumped up a few places where the Wii U version has dropped down 8 places.  
It also looks like the Japanese are sick of waiting for Watch_Dogs! 

  • 01/01. [PS3] Persona 5 (Atlus, Winter 2014) – 912 votes
  • 02/04. [PS3] Samurai Warriors 4 (Tecmo Koei, 03/20/14) – 662 votes
  • 03/03. [PS4] Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix, TBA) – 650 votes
  • 04/02. [Wii U] Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo, 05/29/14) – 641 votes
  • 05/11. [3DS] Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate(Capcom, Fall 2014) – 549 votes
  • 06/05. [PS4] Kingdom Hearts III (Square Enix, TBA) – 479 votes
  • 07/07. [3DS] Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth (Atlus, 06/05/14) – 466 votes
  • 08/12. [PS3] Tales of Zestiria (Namco Bandai, TBA) – 380 votes
  • 09/10. [PS3] The Evil Within (Bethesda Softworks, 2014) – 347 votes
  • 10/08. [PS3] 3rd Super Robot Wars Z Jigoku-Hen (Namco Bandai, 04/10/14) – 313 votes
  • 11/14. [3DS] New Love Plus+ (Konami, 03/27/14) – 312 votes
  • 12/26. [3DS] Bravely Second (Square Enix, TBA) – 311 votes
  • 13/06. [PS4] Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Konami, TBA) – 302 votes
  • 14/09. [Wii U] Hyrule Warriors (Tecmo Koei, 2014) – 274 votes
  • 15/17. [PS3] Dark Souls II (03/13/14) – 273 votes
  • 16/20. [3DS] Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (Nintendo, 2014) – 263 votes
  • 17/25. [3DS] Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson (Marvelous AQL, 08/07/14) – 262 votes
  • 18/23. [PS4] The Evil Within (Bethesda Softworks, 2014) – 249 votes
  • 19/21. [PS3] The Last Remnant (Square Enix, ganbatte) – 246 votes
  • 20/15. [3DS] Game Center CX 3-Chome no Arino (Namco Bandai, 03/20/14) – 240 votes
  • 21/13. [Wii U] Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Nintendo, 2014) – 217 votes
  • 22/18. [PSV] Freedom Wars (SCEJ, Summer 2014) – 216 votes
  • 23/28. [PSV] Soul Sacrifice Delta (SCEJ, 03/06/14) – 199 votes
  • 24/19. [PS4] Watch Dogs (Ubisoft, 2014) – 186 votes
  • 25/—. [3DS] Mario Party: Island Tour(Nintendo, 03/20/14) – 174 votes
  • 26/30. [PSV] Over My Dead Body 2(SCEJ, Summer 2014) – 157 votes
  • 27/—. [PS3] Ar no Surge (Gust, 03/06/14) – 148 votes
  • 28/—. [PSV] 3rd Super Robot Wars Z Jigoku-Hen (Namco Bandai, 04/10/14) – 142 votes
  • 29/—. [PS4] Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (Konami, TBA) – 141 votes
  • 30/—. [3DS] Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (Square Enix 04/24/14) – 138 votes
Editors Note: Many thanks to Gemastu for the list.  This post proved to be very popular last week, so this will become a weekly post here on OtakuGamers Uk

News - Arcana Heart 3: Love Max Release Date

Looks like Arcana Heart 3 is getting another release in Japan. The arcade title is being re-released on the PS3 and PS Vita on May 29th in Japan only.

In this update there will be new moves, rebalanced gameplay, improved background art, a survival mode and even a training mode. 

Apart from a polish, the game will also get a new story scenario called "After Story".  Both the original story and this new addition will have full voice overs. 

No word of if this title will be localized again.  

News - Famitsu Review Round Up

That time of week again readers. The latest Famitsu's reviews are in. 
Not as many as last week but Soul Sacrifice Delta has scored highly. 

  • Ar no Surge (PS3) – 8/9/8/7 [32/40]
  • Doraemon: Shin Nobita no Daimakyou Peko to 5-nin no Tankentai (3DS) – 7/7/7/6 [27/40]
  • Soul Sacrifice Delta (PSV) – 10/9/9/9 [37/40]

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The year of Persona

Today ATLUS opened the doors to the US bringing over 2 Persona titles in 2014 and 2 for 2015. No solid dates on any expect them over the coming months

Persona Q - 3DS 2014

Persona 4: Dancing all night 2015 PSVita

Persona 4: Arena Ultimax 2014 PS3/360

Persona 5 2015 Playstation 3


Tecmo Koei have just announced that Shin Gundam Musou will be releasing in Europe during Summer!

Re-titled Dynasty Warriors Gundam - Reborn, this title promises to be the best Gundam/Dynasty cross over yet! 

Watch this space for more details over the coming months 

Shin Megami Tensei IV news!

Over 10 months ago Nintendo announced via Nintendo Direct that Shin Megami Tensei IV would be releasing in Europe.

Since then when have heard nothing, we have seen the release of Etrian Odysessy IV, Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers & been given a release date for EO 1 Remake.

Nintendo & ATLUS have both been very quiet in regards to this title, up until now. A PR guy from ATLUS when asked about the title on Twitter replied saying that he can't answer questions as the title is still in negotiation. 

To go alongside this Sega Europe responded to a Tweet on the subject 

Could there be an announcement soon?.
My personal feelings are that with Sega buying ATLUS and building on it they may publish and translate SMT IV under the Sega Europe branch!

Here's hoping Otaku family! 

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Review

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers

"We are Samurai......We are Keyboard Cowboys"

Referred to for the rest of this review as Soul Hackers, originally launching in the late 90's on the Sega Saturn Soul Hackers was the latest in the Devil Summoner series & follow up to the original Devil Summoner. Later released on the Playstation & finally hit our shores in 2013 as a 3DS title. 

This is a spin off series from Shin Megami Tensei in the vein of Devil Survivor, Persona, Digital Devil Saga & Devil Children. As all good spin off's do this has similar elements to the main series but with it's own personal spin on things, returning demons, dark storyline & SMT's signature difficulty await players in this title. 

Set in the streets of Amani City you are a member of the Hacker group known only as "The Spookies". Your first act of cyber crime is to get yourself put into a beta for the online digital world Paragim X, this causes a huge chain of events including corrupt companies, sinister demons and all the usual cyber punk clichés.  
You have two worlds to explore in this game, Amani City & Paragim X, for fans of Cyber Punk ala Blade Runner, Shadow Run & Fifth Element the setting alone should interest you. It was a fresh setting for SMT & one I personally enjoyed, A dark futuristic city awaits you in the real world to explore. Paragim X is an online hub & a central aspect for the game, without spoiling anything you'll visit this place several times & it offers more surreal surroundings compared to Amani City. Unlike Amani City which is a world map you will be exploring Paragim X in first person mode. Paragim X features several NPCs to talk to, many areas to explore, a bank & a snazzy casino where even if you aren't a gambler you will want to be making a few visits to!. 

The story is a little bit of a slower burner I must admit, this is a 90's RPG & as such is at a lower speed than some of the newer RPG titles (Hey we can't all go Ys speed can we!). It doesn't really kick in till around the 6/7 hour mark and then has a few pacing issues throughout, early SMT wasn't exactly the pinnacle of story telling and was more focused on Dungeon Crawling. Unfortunately Soul Hackers never quite sets it's own identity in this aspect & often feels like the confused cousin from the future who has some good ideas but has written them backwards on the bathroom mirror. 
Another thing I feel the need to point out is that people coming from Persona 3 & 4 will almost instantly feel a dislike towards to lack of character building & interaction. Despite being part of a team "The Spookies" only seem to crop up every now & again and for the most part are unforgettable and useless. You spend most of your time battling demons alongside female counterpart Nemissa. Nemissa is a demon spirit who has taken control of your childhood friend Hitomi, conflicting personalties leading to awkward scenarios & a general feeling that she knows more than she lets on should help drive the story till the Devil Summoner arc kicks in. 

Dungeon crawling in this title is in the vein of classic SMT, a first person perspective. This wasn't really an issue when the game originally launched but since it's been done so much better (Etrian Odyssey) & to a point hinders the game. Bland areas & questionable maps await young Devil Summoners, these once again pick up especially the more "out there" maps in Paragim X. 
Battling is also done in an FPS view, you don't see your party just portraits of them & a few attack animations ala scratch across the screen or a gun shot. 
Your party will usually consist of MC (main character) Nemissa, Front Demon & any support you choose, like previous SMT you pick up demons through Negotiation. What this means is instead of just battling you have to talk to demons & get them to join you through often confusing and questionable conversation. 
You will pick it up eventually and it will become second nature but for newcomers it can seem daunting not knowing what to say or offer to a demon willing to join your party, or infact if the demon is even recruit-able.

Summoning demons makes your party stronger but at a price, MAG. MAG is a second currency you pick up during battles and from chests, it constantly depletes in regards to which demons you have summoned. Every demon has a price (Cue Million Dollar Man) not only when you first summon them but also as you explore the world with them ready to go. The key is managing your MAG so you have the best party available but not running on fumes, this is because some stores only accept MAG currency!. Fortunately it's bountiful in battles and there is a way of exchanging money to MAG & visa versa. 
Demons in this have various natures, unlike Pokemon where it just affects how they grow this affects how they act. Some demons will listen to you regardless, others only accept certain commands & some will just leave you in the dark and refuse to listen one bit, during my recent playthrough I lost ALOT of MAG due to a demon constantly using "Self Destruct" which while effective wasn't needed and cost me a fair bit to revive him. The key is always having a back up plan, learning the behaviour of the demons & fusing up problem children into stronger more receptive tools of destruction.  

With this releasing on the 3DS ATLUS saw fit to include a few extras to help sweeten the pot & possibly apologise for us getting the game significantly later than any other region. The first notable thing is the 3D in the cutscenes, not brilliant but a nice little extra, I should point out these cutscenes are PSX era so don't expect wonders from them. A nifty anime intro with some brilliant animation when you turn the game on. The ability to "hack" the game, this means you can make the game easier, turn saving anywhere on, instantly unlock maps & generally tailor the game to suit you!. Finally they added new Demons, a street pass distraction where you can use coins to evolve a demon which further unlocks more to summon & a couple of Post Game dungeons. 

So the key question after all of this is, Is this game actually any good?. To answer truthfully and honestly, it's better than average. It's one of the weaker releases from SMT & suffers an identity crisis early on & never quite redeems it's self. It's heavily dated & thus feels dated and clunky, the difficulty is a turn off for most & alot of people playing it will becoming from Persona and may not quite be expecting this type of game. For die hard RPG fans & enthusiasts of SMT I would recommend this title, on the 3DS in the PAL region you only have this & Overclocked which is an amazing title. If you like darker games with high difficulty & a Cyber Punk setting this one is for you, just don't expect Persona 3 FES levels of mainstream brilliance. 

Who Should Buy This? 

  • Old School RPG fans
  • SMT Enthusiasts 
  • People looking for a challenge 
  • Fans of Cyber punk

Who Should Avoid? 

  • People looking for the next Persona
  • People looking for a modern RPG
  • Those who lack patience
  • Someone who doesn't deal well with Insta Death/high difficulty 


"Enjoyable but dated classic RPG, One of the weaker SMT releases but highly playable & loveable under some tough layers"