Articles tagged with nintendo

Posted by Ben at 14:14
Well, this trailer might have won me over a bit. I've only ever played the original Fatal Frame game, but I've a huge amount of respect for the series based on that one experience. They're very J-horror, and the mechanic of having to face your fear made Fatal Frame/Project Zero dread-inspiringly brilliant.

This new trailer for Fatal Frame 5 looks to not only nail the ghostly happenings, but also uses the WiiU gamepad exactly how you'd want

Let's hope Nintendo are desperate enough for content that this makes its way out of Japan

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Posted by Ben at 02:06
I've been looking forward to Shin Megami Tensei 4 for a while, as Europeans we've not had a lot of choice other than to look forward to it. Well good news, we get to look forward to it for a little longer as John Hardin, Atlus' PR Manager, has posted on Twitter that the European version is now delayed until October

I dare say the delay itself isn't an issue for most people, we've waited this long, more that it's gone from being up against Destiny, to being up against everything that isn't Destiny in October, we only have so much time

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Posted by Ben at 13:43
For some reason I thought this was old news, I think because I saw it on a retail site over the weekend.

Anyway, Fantasy Life, the 3DS RPG from Level 5, is getting a retail release on September 26th

In Fantasy Life you pick a job and play that role, for example playing as a miner, then play as a blacksmith, then a warrior, using the materials the miner found, crafted by the blacksmith to forge a weapon for the warrior.

The trailer is below, it looks like quite a charming little game

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Posted by Ben at 14:09
We've been waiting a while, but Atlus have confirmed that Shin Megami Tensei 4 will be coming to Europe in September.

There's no more exact date than that currently, but we do know it will cost £17.99 from the eshop (Ä20) as it's only available as a download. Hopefully this will be the Shin Megami game I actually manage to finish!

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Posted by Duane at 04:52
The highly anticipated (at least around these parts( 3DS spin-off for the Persona franchise, which combines the casts of both Persona 3 and Persona 4 has received a release date from Atlus.

The dungeon crawler will be available from November 25 2014, whilst it was previously confirmed that Europe will receive the game on November 28th. Atlus have also unveiled the games intro movie, which you can watch below.

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Jun 04
Posted by Ben at 17:26

A lot has been written about Microsoft's u-turn on the Kinect, and their u-turn on charging to access apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and Internet Explorer. Add to that the change to their Games with Gold program, and they've made a few shifts in direction recently, and there's been a lot written about all of them.

Let me get a couple of things out of the way early; yes I am adding to the noise, albeit a week or two late, and I think all these changes are good things. I'm not going to pretend that I'm any fan of the way Microsoft have gone about this generation, the DRM stuff was a farce, a history that has been rewritten and white washed by its supporters, and one I am a long way away from forgetting. I fell away from the 360 last generation, I'm fine with that, and it wasn't with any animosity. I liked Gears of War, but I didn't love it, and very few of their other exclusives really appealed to me. There was a time that the 360 was my HD console of choice, but with us generally getting PS3 copies of games to review, my lack of a Gold subscription, and the PS3 library fitting closer to my tastes (with the likes of Yakuza, Flower and Ni No Kuni), it was a natural drift from one console to another, in the same way I'd started the generation on the Wii, and ended it very much as a PC gamer.

Still, the always online requirement angered me, I've never liked the idea of apps being hidden behind Gold, and have made fun of the ancient, if good, selection for the Games With Gold program. The only one I was largely indifferent to was Kinect, but that's because my experience with it is quite limited, certainly the extended use I have had with it hasn't won me over, in so much as the voice stuff barely worked, nor did the gesture stuff at the OS level.But I want to be clear, I think all these changes are for the best, for gamers at least, I think that being able to drop the price of the Xbox One is a good thing for Microsoft, but they are now a less powerful PS4 thanks to their USP being removed with Kinect.

The conventional wisdom is that these changes, that the Xbox One has gone from an always online, DRM heavy, always watching, always listening media hub, to a gaming machine that doesn't have proper media support anywhere except the States, is all down to competition. That we NEED competition. That a lack of competition is a very bad thing for the industry. I'm not sure that's true. People make the mistake of thinking that the competition we need is an equal one, 3 console manufacturers all taking roughly the same amount of market share. It's notable that no one has been making this case with the WiiU taking a beating, but let's ignore that for the minute. We had equal competition last generation, near enough anyway. The PS3 and the 360 will end their lives at around 80 million consoles sold, and that was for the best for everyone. Here's a list of notable things that sprung up last generation (ish). We have to pay for online access, on the Xbox apps were locked behind the Gold paywall, DLC became prevalent, on-disc dlc was commonplace. The RRP for games became £54.99, there's in-app purchases, there's in-app purchases in £54.99 price point games. There was Day 1 dlc, games released broken needing to be patched, there was day 1 patches. There was pre-order bonuses, retailer exclusive pre-order bonuses, 3rd party account systems, 3rd party account systems that would lock you out of your game if they had a problem with their servers (hello Uplay and Rockstar Social Club). Then you've got the topical, thanks to Nintendo of all companies, trend of online servers getting shutdown, meaning you can never play that game online again, and in some cases, just never be able to play it again at all.

So much for competition. You know what was a great generation, the PS2 generation. The PS2 wiped the floor with everything, I'd have to check but I think it's the best selling home console of all time, and still had a games being released for it this year in the UK (PES 2014). In the lifespan of the PS2 we had the Dreamcast, with its free online with a free web browser and online play, and a host of outstanding games. We had the Xbox, which for better or worse shaped the console landscape by bringing over more western PC style games. Then we had the Gamecube, just this week I saw a host of people declaring the Gamecube as a great machine with a host of great games that they couldn't wait to play if the Gamecube does come to the WiiU Virtual Console.

At the peak of equal competition between the console manufacturers Microsoft were about to take your ownership of your own retail games away from you. They forced Kinect and dumped the cost on consumers. They locked apps behind a paywall, and had only just made the faltering first steps at competing with the PS+ service. Microsoft taking a kicking was a good thing for the industry, a very good thing. That they've reversed just about every bad decision they made was down to consumers voting with their wallets against them in a huge way. Nintendo's scrambling, trying to make the WiiU worth buying and spark some vitality in to the 3DS is because they're desperate, then need to claw back consumers.

If you want a healthy games industry you want people fighting for their lives.
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Posted by Ben at 07:20
Fatal Frame or Project Zero, which is better SEO?

Gematsu have a bunch of Fatal Frame news, including that there's a film coming towards the end of the year, but most notably that Tecmo Koei and Nintendo are working on a new Project Zero/Fatal Frame game for the WiiU

It's not confirmed to be leaving Japan at this point, but the WiiU could really use the games so hopefully it's only a matter of time. It's also easy to see how the gamepad could be made good use of, something Nintendo said they needed to do more of
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Posted by Ben at 04:54
I believe it's out in America this week, but it's coming to European 3DS' and Vitas in May.

We don't have a more specific date yet, but given it's potentially less than a month away I'm sure it wont be long. There's a launch trailer below to get you in the mood

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Posted by Ben at 10:21
I feel a bit dirty posting this. Not for the reason you might think, the gratuitous nature of Senran Kagura Burst (on the contrary I've no problem with the odd bit of titillation), more that there's a fine line between videogame news and straight up promotion, and this might be crossing that line have the exclusive on a collectors edition of the 3DS brawler dubbed "Life and Hometown Edition"

In the special edition you get a copy of Senran Kagura Burst, a 3D poster, and sort of nice-until-you-take-a-second-look tshirt, and is priced at £49.99

Senran Kagura Burst is out on the 3DS on the 28th February.
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Feb 09
Posted by Ben at 12:55

With absolutely no chance of getting the review done in time for the European release of Bravely Default, we decided to wait for the American release, which we've just about got the review done for. There's also a companion video from last year if you want to watch that

Letís get straight to the mechanics of Bravely Default, because there are quite a few of them. Firstly the titular ĎBraveí and ĎDefaultí system, every turn you make costs 1 BP, a normal attack costs 1 and you get 1 back at the start of each new turn. Simple. If however you chose to Ďdefaultí it has 2 benefits, one is that you defend, resisting some damage, the other is that you bank the BP you didnít spend (with a limit of +3) to use later. Conversely when you go Ďbraveí it allows you to attack multiple times in one turn, however if you donít have BP banked youíll go in to debt and wont be able to attack until itís returned back to 0.

Initially itís hard to see any real benefits to going in to debt just so you could attack multiple times in one turn, but itís actually very useful. If your team has taken a beating then having a character heal everyone while everyone else defends isnít a bad idea. If youíre up against a fairly weak enemy and want to get the fight done quickly then itís a good way to go as any debt is wiped at the end of the fight. I also found it a good tactic against enemies that could call in backup; try to wipe it out before it brought in its friends.

The mechanics donít end there either as thereís a Final Fantasy job system thatís hugely important. If you picked Black Mage as a character job then that job would level up in the same way your character does, leading to them learning new skills and being able to being able to cast higher level spells, your character stats would also be altered to suit the job type. You can also pick a secondary job, this doesnít level up but does give you access to the skills available to that jobs current level. So if you had Black Mage as your job with White Mage you could cast the dark magics of Fire , Thunder and Blizzards, but also the heal spells of the White mage.

And still thereís more. Thereís a perk system, as you level up a job it will reward you with passive skills, so not spells but instead maybe a 10% damage reduction from magic. Your character can pick and choose these traits from any of the jobs theyíve progressed in, initially you only have 1 point to spend, but eventually you have enough to feel the benefit of the system.

Thereís special moves, these are tied to the weapons rather than characters, so if you like one in particular (and how you earn it), then itís best to keep your characters with a certain weapon type. These special moves can also be modded with attributes earned from repairing Tizís village (on the bottom screen of the 3DS, weíll get to it later if thereís enough space on the internet), and can do things like boost subsequent attacks or restore some MP.

Somewhat controversial is the SP system, essentially a free turn that cuts in to the gameís timeline. So if you have a character that is perilously low on health, use an SP and restore their health, then the game will return back to what it was doing. The reason SP is controversial is because thereís 2 ways to earn it, put the 3DS in to sleep mode or you buy jars of it for real money. You do not need to worry, this isnít an EA ďyou really donít need to every use it if you donít want toĒ, this is an ďIím 60+ hours in to the game and havenít ever had to consider itĒ. You may well use SP but generally it will be on a particularly tough boss, and they come around rarely enough that youíll have probably got back up to the full allotment of 3 SP again. This is even more likely because to carry out repairs on Tizís village you need to leave the 3DS on (in sleep mode on in game) for time to pass. Repairing Tizís village gets you items, and requires people, these are found through street passes or connecting to the internet at save points.

Phew. So with all that out of the way is Bravely Default actually any good? Yes, yes itís very good. If you like old-style Final Fantasy type rpgs, which is a series Iíve never really taken to if IĎm honest, then youíll love it. Even if youíre just a fan of Jrpgs like me, it feels fresh enough to be one of the most interesting traditional Jrpgs in years. It sort of feels trite to follow an anthology about the various systems (I didnít even mention summoning) with a couple of short paragraphs about how good the game is, but it really is the systems that make Bravely Default what it is, it certainly isnít the story or the English voice acting.

So yeah, Bravely Default isnít perfect, the English cast arenít hideously bad, but the campy childishness of the performances, while fitting the character models well, doesnít really fit the tone, and creates a whinny, unlikable cast. Not that the story is especially hard hitting, thereís 4 elemental stones that bring balance to the world, you need to travel around the world and repair them. You do pay a visit to a war torn country, deal with child slaves, witness people feel the pressure of responsibility, and all of that carries slightly more weight in Japanese.

Thereís also the usual problems of random battles, they can get a bit tiresome. Itís true that you can alter their rate, which does at least make returning from dungeons easier, but still. Depending on what jobs you pick thereís also elements of the game youíll never really encounter, such as alchemy. Thereís also the argument the game length is a little on the long side, for instance Iíve heard thereís problems with the last chapter, but at 60+ hours Iíve not got that far yet.

Still though Bravely Default is a great example of the genre, without doubt one of the better and more interesting examples of the last few years. The 3D effect looks great, the locations are well drawn and varied, thereís plenty of scope for tactics and gameplay that changes as you progress.
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