Pronounced GIF:
 
 
Nier: Automata

Mar 26
Posted by Ben at 11:12

We haven't, and probably won't, given a lot of coverage to Nier: Automata. I personally have too much on my plate to review it, and we're more than a little behind the curve at this point

That said, there's no reason why we can't use it to launch a new feature we're trying out called Pronounced GIF. This may all turn out to be too much trouble than it's worth, and our apologies if you're on a data cap and we post nothing but these from now on, but here's a gif from NieR: Automata

If you are on the homepage and can't see the gif, click the permalink button to the bottom right
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Mar
25
Posted by Mark at 16:26
In a suprising act of openness for the firm, Nintendo's US QA/localisation/marketing team Treehouse have launched a blog, which can be seen here.

Right now, there's only two posts- one from Bill Trinen, and another from Nate, who wrote the English script for Paper Mario.

While this is a welcome- if unusual- development from Nintendo, it still puts them well behind the social media presence of Sony and Microsoft- and considering a number of recent decisions from the company haven't been met with universal praise, this will be an interesting one to watch.


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Mar
23
Posted by Ben at 17:17
I'm a little surprised there hasn't been a Wonder Girl before if I'm honest, it seems like something that would have been added along the way. Anyway, DotEmu have addressed the lack of female character in Wonder Boy by letting you play as Wonder Girl

Wonder Girl will be playable in the new HD Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, plus also the retro inspired version. There's a trailer below that shows her, and Monster Boy, in action

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War Never
Changes
Mar 22
Posted by Ben at 17:36

This post kind of leads on to a future post, but I need to write this one first. It's also inspired by a conversation with a 20 year old, so as Mark has already pointed out, it's basically just a man reacting to the encroachment of age.

The 20 year old, for whatever reason because I've never really spoken to him about games before, decided to tell me that he was going to buy a PS2. I asked him why, he said he's always had a soft spot for the PS2 because it was his first console, back when he was 4.

Fuck all 20 year olds.

That started a thought worm tunnelling through my brain, one that resurfaced a few days later on a completely different tangent. All of a sudden I remembered the start of this generation. I know fanboyism is never going away, I know the launch of a console brings out the worst of people, but it was like people had never seen a new console before. I remember the conversations around it, I may even have started (possibly even finished) a God Mode On post about it, that the reason it felt like people's first new console generation is because it was, for many people, their first new console generation. If at 11 years old, rather than the hand me down consoles you've been putting up with/grateful for in the past, you're finally able to pick your console of choice for christmas or your birthday. If you get a 360 at launch, you're then 20 years old before the PS4 launches.

it got me thinking about my console history, and the sheer number of consoles that have come and gone over the years, particularly in the 1990s.Without checking, and sporadically including handhelds to make my point look a bit better, off the top of my head; The Master System 2 (included because it was an important release here in the UK), the Mega Drive, Snes, Neo Geo, Amiga CD 32, Atari Jaguar, Atari Lynx, Game Gear, Mega CD, 32X, CDi, PS1, N64, Saturn, Neo Geo Pocket, and of course, the Sega Dreamcast. Iím missing some, loads probably, but Iím fairly sure all of those came out during the 1990s. If you compare that to the 12 years since the Xbox 360 released; The aforementioned Xbox 360, the PS3, the Wii, the 3DS, the Vita, the WiiU, the PS4, and the Xbox One. You can throw in a couple of forgettable Android machines like the Gamestick, there was also the Gizmondo, OnLive if that counts. Itís no comparison really.

Thereís probably multiple causes for this shrinking of the market, in terms of choice at least. Costs and budgets have risen, I think thatís probably the obvious one, but I think the biggest reason is that the divergent videogame market of the 1980s began to converge in the 1990s. Home computers died out in favour of the unified Windows PC platform, those companies choosing instead to enter the console race, which is fine, both Microsoft and Sony have shown late entrants can succeed, and itís probably worth remembering the PS1, Sonyís entrant in to the console market, prior to launch wasnít initially looked at much differently from the likes of the Atari Jaguar, so many consoles had we seen fall by the wayside.

So when it struck me, and many others, how odd peopleís reaction to the launch of this generation had been, how it seemed like theyíd never experienced a good old-fashioned console war before, itís because they probably hadnít. The 20 year old I mentioned, granted he apparently mainly plays on PC, will have played on his PS2 from the age of 4, then presumably got a 360 for Christmas, aged 10 or 11 (main present of course), then nothing. Heís a kid, or was at least, he was in no position to buy a 2nd or third console, whatever console he had he would have had to stick with.

Itís a phenomenon thatís going to get worse I think. The next few years doesnít seem like it will include a new handheld from Sony, it might, theyíve done stupider stuff, but not many. In fact we might not even see a 3DS successor from Nintendo, they seem to want to keep the 3DS plodding along for as long as they can, the Vita does still get the odd game too, Iím fine with that, I like both handhelds and am not itching for a new one, but I think we will need at least one sooner rather than later. The model for both Sony and Microsoft seems to be giving their current consoles a shot in the arm. Iím not against that model, I like my PS4 Pro, it sort of feels like the console the PS4 should have been in the first place, and I can see many baulking at the thought of buying another one of the same, but it does seem to suggest weíre in for a long generation. Itís feasible that this could be the longest generation yet, and weíll have another generation that doesnít know what theyíre doing when the console war starts again

Header Image: HERE
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Mar
21
Posted by Ben at 15:49
I never got around to Radiant Historia on the Nintendo DS, the few people I knew who had raved about it and told me I'd love it, but it soon became a bit of a nightmare to find for a decent price. Good news then, Atlus have announced that they're going to be brining a remake of Radiant Historia to the 3DS

The remake will be called Radiant Historia Perfect Chronology and, assuming it gets an English translation, should allow people like me who missed the game first time a chance to play it. For those who played the original version, Radiant Historia Perfect Chronology will boast an extra scenario to play through
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Danganronpa 1 2 Reload
Video Review
Mar 18
Posted by Ben at 19:02

Ok, before we start, the below video contains scenes from the first case of Danganronpa 2. It does include spoilers, including the first victim, plus a couple of solutions to some of the arguments during the trial. So, just a heads up if you're going in to Danganronpa 1 2 Reload blind and don't want anything spoiler

Which is fair enough, it's the investigations and trials that make the Danganronpa games, so you really should try to avoid spoilers where possible. I will say that the video doesn't reveal too much else, it certainly doesn't reveal the killer. But it serves to highlight the problem with doing video coverage of a game like Danganronpa 1 2 Reload, there's a lot to cover, and an awful lot of it is key to the story

The video takes a look at how the investigations work, then a couple of the mini-games from the trials, aside from milling about and killing time with the other students, that's kind of what Danganronpa is. It's very good though, it's hard not to get hooked in to the story once it gets going

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Mar
18
Posted by Ben at 18:18
I really liked Lost Dimension on the Vita. It's got it's problems, but it's a decent modern strategy Jrpg that nothing like enough people played. Good news then, thanks to Ghostlight Lost Dimension is getting a second chance with an upcoming PC release

Lost Dimension kind of mixes Dangonronpa's idea of a traitor amongst your group, with a trial of sorts to work out who it is. The problem I had with that mechanic, while an interesting idea, because the traitor is "randomly" selected, there's no motivation in place for them to do it, something Danganronpa mostly got right.

Anyway, I really liked it for the free-moving rpg combat, which you can see in the video I made no one watched, posted below. Lost Dimension is coming to Steam later this year

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Mar
17
Posted by Ben at 15:21
2Dark, the isometric horror from the creators of the legendary Alone in the Dark is out now

2Dark is available both physically and digitally on the PS4 and Xbone One, and also available on Steam, priced at £34.99 for the physical edition (which includes a few extras like an artbook, a cd, and a steelbook) and £18.99 for the PC version

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Danganronpa
1 2 Reload
Mar 16
Posted by Ben at 18:09

For the uninitiated, Danganronpa 1 2 Reload is the PS4 port of the two mainline Vita Danganronpa games. In terms of how they play, youíre kind of looking at a visual novel, with some friendship building a la Persona, then some Phoenix Wright style investigation and trying to prove who the culprit is. If it seems like Iím rushing through the explanation itís because weíve got a bit to get through, and Iíd wager if youíre searching the internet for reviews of Danganronpa 1 2 Reload, youíve probably encountered the series before.

Danganronpa is dripping with character. Even just in terms of looks, itís colourful, vibrant, the characters all have something about them, some caricature element to them. I was going to use the word Ďstylisedí but I thought that might sound like a negative, itís not, all the characters stand out, theyíre all unique, across both games, and they all look great. The setup too, youíre one of a number of extremely talented school kids, so talented that they attend a school that only the Ďultimatesí, the very, very best, can attend. Unfortunately the school has been taken over by a malevolent robot bear, and heís declared that the only way anyone is getting out of there is for them to kill one of their classmates and get away with it

Itís the narrative, or narratives, that make the Danganronpa games, the whole premise is buried in mystery, with hints and teases dangled long before the reveal. Each case is unique, and genuinely quite gripping once they get going. The prelude can be a little arduous, it takes hours before the game feels like itís begun, Danganronpa 2 in particular. I found myself wincing when a case would end, not at regret for what had gone on before, more that I knew the preamble before the next case begins in earnest was going to drag.

Yísee, while Danganronpaís characters and narrative are probably its strongest points, they might also be its weakest. I think it might be a case of things being lost in translation, but often the jokes not only fall flat, they just donít really make sense. I get why the games have so much down time, you have to spend time with the other characters to form attachments to them, not in gameplay terms, just that if youíre supposed to feel sad or betrayed by what happens throughout the story, thatís not going to happen if you havenít lived in the world. And truth is I liked most of the characters in both games, Ďmostí being the key word as thereís a few I started to loathe. Not because theyíre bad people, more that the bombastic, over-the-top nature of the characters often translates in to their personality quirks being laboured to the point of tedium. That character whoís really clumsy, theyíre going to fall over every scene, that guy whoís obsessed with hope and despair, you better believe heís going to mention it every time heís on screen. Itís a shame, but for Danganronpa, sometimes, less would be more.

The mini-games that make up the trials are a bit of a mixed bag too. Iím not sure Iíd say I liked any of them as such, certainly not loved, but some of them do serve a purpose. Countering arguments by shooting words or phrases with a bullet made from a contradicting statement, itís not without its problems but it works to bring some pace and panic to Danganronpa. Itís presented in a way that makes you feel bamboozled and shellshocked, not unlike your character. The problem with it, and I think this is more of an issue with the PS4 version than it was on the Vita (from memory), is that, thanks to the size of the screen youíre playing on, it can be a little hard to take in whatís on the screen. Aside from that though the games work perfectly fine on the larger screen, even with the loss of the touch controls

The games upscale well enough to the higher resolution. Itís rare you see anything that looks especially rough or blurry, but there are instances, particularly when the camera zooms in on objects. There were also instances where I managed to walk through environment, nothing broke, but itís the sort of thing you mention in a review. Likewise I saw a few instances of untranslated text, both times it was during explanations of the trial mini games, although I suspect it was duplicate text, certainly it wasnít anything I needed to know. I did find some of the mini-games confusing at first, and, in the arguments at least, it sometimes feels like you donít know where to begin, but they all

work despite the loss of the touch screen. If youíve never played a Danganronpa game before then let me assure you, theyíre kind of great. Theyíre exhilarating, gripping, especially the trials, thereís always something you didnít see coming and itís rare it feels like a cheap shot. They never really settle in to a rut, when when you know the pattern of throwaway story, free time, murder investigation, trial, theyíll still mix things up by throwing in something about the overarching plot. Thereís an awful lot of game here too, while I suspect playing both games back to back (neither are short games), youíre certainly getting your moneyís worth. I suspect most will be picking them up because they never got around to finishing both games on the Vita, certainly that was the case for myself and the rest of Bitparadeís writers, so let me assure you that both games still hold up despite their relative age. Danganronpa 1 2 Reload may get lost in this unusually busy Q1, but if you do pick it up you wonít be disappointed with it.
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Mar
14
Posted by Ben at 18:11
Atlus are clearly big fans of our Grandia Let's Play series as they've sent us a Let's Play video of their own, featuring Erika Harlacher playing some Persona 5

It goes without saying that this Persona 5 video is going to be a bit spoilery. It looks very early in, there's a tutorial explaining about being surrounded by enemies, so I'd guess maybe the first or second dungeon, but I know some people want to go in completely blind.

Erika Harlacher plays Ann Takamaki in Persona 5, and this dungeon seems to focus on her a bit. Again, to stress, don't watch the video is you don't want some scenes spoiled, but Persona 5 is looking pretty good.

On a related note, Atlus have also announced that Atlus have also made some PS4 themes and avatars available for free until the 21st March, so you've got a week to grab those

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