Friday, 4 April 2014

News: Kyotou Guild App

Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia have released a smart phone app, Kyoutou Guild, which player can use to enlist help whilst player games such as Soul Sacrifice Delta.
It is already available on the Google Play Store and an iOS version is due out any day. A Vita app is also on its way in the Spring.

News: FFXIV Ps4 Beta 2nd Phase Live

Square Enix have opened up the Ps4 Beta for Final Fantasy 14 for its second phase. It's live now and runs until 9am on 7th April,  and uses live game servers! Yes, that means you can partake in some hoarding with users on PC & Ps3

News: Persona Q Gameplay Trailer

In the latest trailer from Atlus, we get to see how combat system in Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth will play out. With numerous stories previously on aspects of Q that will borrowed from the Etrian Odyssey series, such as dungeon mapping and F.O.E. enemies, for example - Its good to finally see how the gameplay is shaping up.

News: Record of Agarest War: Zero PC release

We've known for a while that Ghostlight are to bring Record of Agarest War: Zero to PC via Steam after an announcement earlier in the year. Earlier today, they announced a release date for the game. Agarest: Generations of War Zero will be available on April 17th, and will cost $19.99/£14.99. The game is currently available for pre-order on Steam with a 20% discount till release. You can look forward to the PC version including support for mouse and keyboard controls, Steam achievements to name a couple of additions.

News: Hyperdimension Neptunia: PP release date

Its not often we get idol games in the west, so imagine the surprise when NISa announced they were localising an idol simulation game. The game in question turned out to be Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection, a title in the series no one expected to see a release for here. The game has you managing CPUs from the Neptunia series as they battle the popular idol group MOB-48. Its your job to teach Neptune, Noire, Blanc, and Vert how to sing and dance for idol shows as you manage the lights & camera angles for the CPU performances on stage. Hyperdimension Neptunia: Production Perfection has now been given a date for release, and will be available both physical & digital, on June 3rd in the US and EU on June 6th.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Review: Rain (PS3)

What makes a good story? This is a question which has been thrown around the world of gaming for many years now. In the past we have accepted that games hold a basic story which, in some cases, did not to be there at all. In recent times though, games have become like movies in delivery stories to audiences. Some are grand scale adventure hits and some are subtle. These subtle ones are the ones which, personally, leave the lasting impression. These are stories which bring certain emotions to the surface and whether these are happy or sad, it does not matter as they mean something to you personally. The PSN exclusive rain, fits nicely into this category.

Review: JoJo`s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 オールスターバトル)

Hey everyone my name is SteelBallJack, self-proclaimed king of ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 aka JoJo`s Bizarre Adventure, I am obsessed with the manga (in Japanese) and I have an immense knowledge of anything related to JoJo ( so please ask me anything).
Why am I telling you this?
Well I will be reviewing the ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 オールスターバトル (JoJo`s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle) game for the Playstation 3! It has been out for over 8 months now but I have busy so this is why I am doing the review now.
So anyhow let`s make this easy and go for review based on components of the game, I love my JoJo but I am not entirely biased and will show my dis-concerns the game has shown me.

News: Information & Trailer for SOMA

Amnesia developers, Frictional Games, have released a new trailer for SOMA & a (US) Playstation Blog post detailing some information for the game:

News: Drakengard 3 Collectors Edition for the EU

A  European collector’s edition, available exclusively from Square Enix’s online store and the SE boutique for France, of Drakengard 3 will be made available for those looking to sample something physical for the games digital release. Set to cost €69.99/£59.99 & limited to only 2,000 copies, Its one that's sure to be snapped up quickly. The Collectors Edition contains :

News: New Details for Toukiden Kyoku

As confirmed in the latest issue of Famitsu, Toukiden Kyoku is currently in development and due out later this year in Japan.
This PS Vita & PSP title is an upgraded version of the original game.  What we will be getting is more story. new demons, new equipment and other bonuses.  Sounds all exciting for Toukiden fans.  To top this off Famitsu has released a preview today including the first set of screen shots.

The new section of story takes place three months after the original.  After the previous events, the citizens of Utakata Village are finally living at peace but an unknown beast has emerged in the lands and is ready for a new battle!  As well as the new demons (up to twice as many), there is also a new NPC, Koyomi, who carries a new Naginata weapon.

So, are you ready for battle again?

News: Harvest December set to be localised

In Japan, the Nintendo 3DS has been getting a series of visual novels called the Harvest December series of late. Three of the 13 chapters announced have been released so far (Harvest December, Boundaries in January and Lovely March) Circle Entertainment have been looking into localising the series for a while, with its Original release on PC faring well before porting to the Nintendo 3DS versions. Earlier in the week, Circle tweeted that they’ve managed to find a translator to work on their series. They stated: “The good news is we received some contacts from translator, if everything are fine we can expecting December Series (ENG version) soon.” Translation work on the games has yet to begin though, but at least with this announcement it looks to be starting soon.

Source [Siliconera] [Twitter]

News: Kirby Triple Deluxe Trailer & Pink/White 2DS announced

Nintendo have released a new trailer for the upcoming release of Kirby Triple Deluxe. The trailer showcases the vast array of abilities at the disposal of Kirby for his latest adventure. Kirby Triple Deluxe will see a release on the 3DS and is due in the US on May 2nd, with the EU set to follow a couple of weeks later on the 16th.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

News: Mugen Souls Z Screenshots

NISa have dropped several new screenshots of Mugen Souls Z onto the internet. The Ps3 RPG sequel from Compile Heart is said to follow the escapades of Syrma, a goddess who meets the original Mugen Souls‘ Chou-Chou just after the end of the first game’s events. Syrma is out to stop an ancient threat to her world that has recently awakened. Notable features mentioned so far of billions of points of damage, player level caps of 9,999 & giant mecha leave us tantalised a little at whats in store. The release is due in the west on May 20th in America and May 23rd in the EU.

Screenshots available [Here]

Source [Gematsu]

Review: Deception IV: Blood Ties (Vita)

It has been since the year 2000 since we got the last Deception guys, time to pack up. Deception: IV Blood Ties, announced at the Tokyo Game Show in 2013, released in February of this year, localised on March 25th for North America and March 28th for Europe. Fans of the Deception series have treated well by Tecmo Koei. Blood Ties stays true to the series and brings forth fun new ways to decapitate your foes.

Review: Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z (Ps3)

"Zombies Ate My Ninjas" 

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is the collective brain child between Team Ninja, Com-Cept & Spark Unlimited, A spin off game set in the the universe of Ninja Gaiden/Dead Or Alive. With alot of people already saying the series has died since the original director Itagaki has left, we will find out if that is the truth and this is just it's shuffling corpse.

First & foremost I have to stress the fact that this IS NOT A NINJA GAIDEN GAME!, as mentioned several times by core staff on the project, Team Ninja & Tecmo Koei several times this is a game set in the NG universe but isn't strictly a NG game. 

Review - Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! (PS3)

They Really Don't

Adventure Time follows the adventures of Fin and Jake as they explore the vast world of Ooo. They come across bizarre creatures and fulfill epic quests. The world created is deep with content and the background story written is amazing. This alone should be enough to create an epic adventure game. But, as many TV and Movie adaptations have proved, the players are once again left short.
What we were left with is a poor, over complicated dungeon crawler which you will leave you scratching your head and wishing for a lot more.

News: Dynasty Warriors 8 comparison Trailer

With the release of DW8 Xtreme Legends/Complete edition due this Friday in the EU for Ps3, Ps4 & PSVita, Tecmo Koei have released a comparison trailer showing the differences between the two console versions in particular. While many people gloss over the improvements on the ps4 release, claiming it looks the same just running at 1080p, those long time veterans of the series like myself can notice some glaring improvements. Aside from the obvious bump in resolution/detail & framerate, the lighting seems to have been tweaked to offer a more realistic hue to proceedings with a metallic shader implemented for armour & weapons to give them a much more realistic look as well. Polygon count is upped - offering better character modelling, longer draw distance and a higher on screen enemy count that improves on the good work laid down with the Ps3 version of DW8. That's not the end of the improvements, judging by this trailer at least, but we're not Digital Foundry after all so I'll end it there

Which version will you be looking to acquire when the trio launches on the 4th April?

Source [PushSquare] [Youtube]

News: Conception 2 - Feene

With Conception II only a couple of weeks away, we have been introduced to the final heroine.  This weekend heroine is Feene.
As you can see from her giant shield, she is the games best defender. With a no-nonsense attitude and a love for photography will she be your choice?

Conception 2 : Children of the Seven Star is due out in the US on April 15th and Q2 2014 in the EU for both the Vita & 3DS.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

News: Liberation Maiden SIN

In this weeks Famistu it has been revealed that Liberation Maiden SIN is heading to the PS Vita.

The title was first released last December on the Playsation 3 in Japan only. Again, the visual novel will release only in Japan on July 31st. It will be a liane both digital and physically, with a limited edition planed. 

There are apparently new features included compare to the PS3 version but no details have be revealed yet. 

Preview: The House in FataMorgana (PC)

This preview is based upon a trail version of the game that is still under development and is subject to change

After Posting up the story yesterday for the titles English demo release, I thought it may be a good idea to take a quick look at whats on offer. Considering the developers have been funding the localisation themselves lately, wouldn't it be nice to give the game a little more coverage in the west? Its not every day developers use the money from sales to fund a localisation elsewhere. Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of Visual Novels - but I do enjoy them when presented with a good story & interesting characters. So how will a dark & Gothic themed Visual Novel fare?

News: Famitsu review scores #1322

The latest Famitsu review scores are in :-

3rd Super Robot Wars Z: Jigoku-Hen (PS3) – 8/9/8/9 [34/40]
3rd Super Robot Wars Z: Jigoku-Hen (PSV) – 8/9/8/9 [34/40]
Crayon Shin-chan: Arashi o Yobu Kasukabe Eiga Stars! (3DS) – 8/8/8/8 [32/40]
Dream Club Gogo (PS3) – 7/8/8/8 [31/40]
Houkago Colorful * Step: Bunkabu! (PSP) – 6/7/6/6 [23/40]
Mato Kurenai Yuugekitai (PS3) – 7/8/8/8 -[31/40]
Mato Kurenai Yuugekitai (PSV) – 7/8/8/8 -[31/40]
Natural Doctrine (PS4) – 7/8/8/8 [31/40]
Natural Doctrine (PS3) – 7/8/8/8 [31/40]
Natural Doctrine (PSV) – 6/8/8/8 [30/40]
Penguin no Mondai+ Bakushou! Roulette Battle!! (3DS) – 4/7/7/6 [24/40]
We Without Wings (PS3) – 7/7/7/8 [29/40]
We Without Wings (PSV) – 7/7/7/8 [29/40]

The latest issue of Famitsu also makes mention of Toukiden Kyoku - an upgraded version of Toukiden that features new equipment, a new NPC character, firearm weapons, more armor and spirits, double the amount of demons, more special moves, and increased customization. Only announced for Japan at the moment. More on that soon.

Source [Gematsu]

Preview: Project Diva F 2nd JPN Demo (Ps3)

With the latest release in the ever awesome Project Diva rhythm game series seeing its latest iteration launch just last week in Japan, I thought it may be a good idea to check on the Japanese demo. So I put my drinks with Setsu at the Dream Club on hold and gave SEGA's 4 track demo a run through:

News: Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea Teaser

Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea has recieved a teaser video for one of the protagonists Shallistera aka Shallie, a 16 year old alchemist charged with the task of protecting a sacred alchemical relic. Shallotte, the other protagonist, doesn't seem to make her way into the teaser though. Maybe Gust will release a seperate teaser for her? Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea is still on track for its June 26th release in Japan for Ps3.

Source [Siliconera]

News: New One Piece Unlimited World Red Trailer

A new trailer for One Piece Unlimited World Red makes its way onto the internet and reveals new content that wasn’t in the original 3DS release. A new coliseum featuring the Corrida Coliseum has Luffy and Trafalgar Law from the Royal Seven Warlords of the Sea teaming up to defeat Donquixote Doflamingo. Law is only playable in Coliseum Mode though so wont feature during the rest of the game, whether he will appear in a non-playable manner is unknown

One Piece Unlimited World Red is set to release on Wii U, Ps3, and PSVita on June 12 in Japan. Banda Namco Games are to localise the title for the west for the same consoles + the 3DS in 2014.

Source [Siliconera]

Monday, 31 March 2014

News: Nikkei Trendy interview with Yosuke Matsuda

Square Enix, a company much loved for its 'Golden era' of JRPGs has been finding it a little tough of late as they've grown and become more 'international'. Square Enix president, Yosuke Matsuda, recently talked to Nikkei Trendy on the prospect of shifting the company’s focus back to JRPGs and their core audiences for the numerous franchises they work with

During the interview, Nikkei asked if Square Enix have any global titles for smartphones in the mix of all their upcoming new games.

Not just limited to games for smartphone or console, but we do have some global titles lined up,” Matsuda replied. “However, regardless of whether they’re for smartphone or console, there’s a difficult element to developing global titles, so we’ll be making them without focusing too much on the ‘global’ aspect.

For example, in the past, when we developed console games with a worldwide premise, we lost our focus, and not only did they end up being games that weren’t for the Japanese, but they ended up being incomplete titles that weren’t even fit for a global audience.” Matsuda continues, “On the other hand, there are games like the JRPG we made for the Japanese audience with the proper elements, Bravely Default, which ended up selling well all around the world.

Bravely Default wasn't published by SE in NA and EU, but Nintendo instead. In the US alone the game sold over 200,000 copies in its first few weeks on sale. Its a situation that left the producer, Tomoya Asano, surprised at how well the game had been recieved by critics & fans in the west. No doubt this was quickly brought to the attention of the management over at Square Enix...

Due to having split [the development mindset] according to regions around the world, we weren’t able to see this clearly up until now, but fans of JRPGs are really spread around the world,” emphasizes Matsuda. “Through the means of various networks, the latest information that is announced in Japan is instantaneously being spread across fans throughout the world. Whether it’s North America, Europe, or South America. There really isn’t much of a gap [in the relay of information].”

With that in mind, and all of the collective fans, there’s a sense of mass, which loses the image of a niche market,” continues Matsuda. “For the new games we’ll be developing from this point on, while this may sound a bit extreme, we’ve been talking about making them as heavy JRPGs. I believe that way, we can better focus on our target, which will also bring better results.”

If you focus too much on the global aspect, you might lose sight of who you’re actually making the game for,” explains Matsuda. “For example, if you look back at 2013, we’ve had some home console games made for a global audience that struggled.” “The development team for Hitman: Absolution really struggled in this regard. They implemented a vast amount of ‘elements for the mass’ instead of for the core fans, as a way to try getting as many new players possible. It was a strategy to gain mass appeal. However, what makes the Hitman series good is its appeal to core gamers, and many fans felt the lack of focus in that regard, which ended up making it struggle in sales.

 “So, as for the AAA titles we’re currently developing for series, we basically want to go back to their roots and focus on the core audience, while working hard on content that can have fans say things like ‘this is the Hitman, we know’. I believe that is the best way for our development studios to display their strengths.

So whats your take on this little interview? Square Enix taking a logical step? or is it just corporate talk? I guess we'll find out in the future

Source [Siliconera]

News: Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea character & story info

News continues to trickle out on the latest Atelier release, with Story & characters being recently described with a bunch of screenshots released to go along with it -

One girl wishes to have her dream come true.
One girl wishes to save her hometown.
Both their wishes will take them to the sea of dusk.

The water sources are going dry, the plants withering, and the animals are going hungry. The once blue sea became yellow sand and those living in the sea lost their homes.

Even so, the sunlight still continues to shine and there is still moisture on the ground, even if only a little. But it will dry up mercilessly. Slowly, but surely, it will certainly fade away. The world of dusk.

In a sea of gravel, the willpower of the people living here has died out. Still, the town of the oasis is shining brightly, and two young alchemists met there.

They make their modest livings through different means. And in doing so, they might conflict with each other and even sometimes get out of hand, but nonetheless, they will keep moving onward and 


Shallistera (Age: 16, Occupation: Boat Family Alchemist, Blood Type: A, Height: 155cm, CV: Kotori Koiwai) – The daughter of a ship family leader. Her family has continued to protect the ship since ancient alchemical times as a relic handed down from generation to generation. She is searching for a way to save a village on the verge of life and death in place of her father, stricken with an illness of his own, and seeks support in a faraway oasis town. She heads out with her sights set for the town of Strard.
Shallote Elminus (Age: 18, Occupation: Poor Subcontracting Alchemist, Blood Type: B, Height: 162cm, CV: Sumire Uesaka) – A young girl who runs a studio in place of her late father. She doesn’t have much aptitude nor experience, yielding little profit, and barely gets any work aside from subcontracting jobs. Because of this, she’s known as the “Wannabe Alchemist.” Although she hasn’t figured out how she’s going to realise her ambitions, she does her mixing from items she comes across everyday and manages to live her daily life fully in spite of her income. Without thinking too much of the consequences, she sometimes tends to go berserk.

The game will be continuing with the dual protagonist mechanic from the Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky release, but will also be adding in much larger fields for exploration and introducing a controllable camera. Refinements to the crafting system from Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky & a new Life Task system round off some of the improvements mentioned so far. A western localisation is still to be confirmed, but the title is expected to release in Japan on June 26th.

 In-Game screenshots available at [Gematsu] & [Siliconera

News: The House in Fata Morgana PC Demo released

Interested in Japanese Gothic visual novels? You may be pleased to know that work continues on The House in Fata Morgana for PC. The developers were hoping to throw all the profit made in Japan at funding the localisation of the game but less than expected sales threw a spanner in the works somewhat, which is odd for a game that's won awards. Localisation has continued though at a steady pace, with the developers actively seeking a source of funding to fully complete their work. As work quietly continues on a localisation, a demo has recently been released.

A demo consisting of 2 chapters is available to download & try for free, just be wary that it is 'in-progress' with its translation so there may be some oddities here n there. You can download the PC demo (HERE)

If a trailer & demo aren't enough, there's some screenshots available at [SIliconera]