Posted by Mark at 04:05
Ahead of our review of Type-Moon's entry into the Warriors-style hack-and-slash genre, here's the publisher's unboxing of the fancy-pants collector's edition:

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Yakuza 0
Gameplay Video
Jan 15
Posted by Ben at 16:55

We posted our written preview for Yakuza 0 the other day, and now I've managed to make enough progress to record the video accompaniment

As you can See Yakuza 0, while not exactly pushing the PS4, isn't a shoddy looking game. There's more to Yakuza 0 than we can show in the video, but you'll see a few fights, some of the side quests, hear me ramble on about stuff, do some shouting at other people's karaoke. You know, the usual stuff

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Posted by Ben at 13:00
By the looks of things these Neo Geo classics aren't going to be part of the Nintendo Switch's Virtual Console, rather they're digital downloads, part of the Hamster Arcade Archives previously seen on the PS3, PS4 and coming to the Xbox One

The Famitsu source isn't working for me, but NeoGaf have grabbed some of the details, and if Famitsu can be believed we'll be seeing King of Fighters 98, Metal Slug 3, World Heroes Perfect, Shock Troopers, and the rarely spotted (but fun) Waku Waku 7

We'll see on the timeline for this, and if we'll see them come over to the Western Switch eshops. It'll also be interesting to see if there'll be any online modes. It will also be interesting to see what the controller support for the Switch ends up being, because the Joy-Con looks a terrible controller for Neo Geo classics
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Posted by Ben at 12:19
I'm not sure what the other writers' opinion on the Switch line-up of games are, for me though it's worryingly barren. So much so I can't see why anyone would get one at launch.

It's pleasing then to see more games being announced for the system, and Arc System Works have announced that there's a BlazBlue game coming to the Switch

There's no details yet as to what exactly the Switch BlazBlue game will be, but if Arc System Works take a leaf out of Capcom's book it'll be a port of the original game or something.

We'll keep you updated when there's more revealed, but from the same source (Rice Digital) it's also been revealed that a sequel to Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers, a 3DS town simulation, called New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers is also on the way
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Posted by Ben at 01:33
Toby: The Secret Mine, the eerie puzzle platformer from developer Lukas Navratil is headed to both the Xbox One and WiiU soon, with the WiiU version set to release on January 19th

Headup Games are bringing Toby: The Secret Mine to the WiiU eShop, priced at £7,99 (9.99 in dollars and Euros). The XBox One version is priced the same, but release a day later, on January 20th (that's down to when the stores update I'd imagine)
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Yakuza 0
Jan 11
Posted by Ben at 12:55

The late Western release of Yakuza 0 may actually turn out to be a fortuitous for the series. Sega have tried a few times to find some traction for the Yakuza games in the west without much luck. The series undoubtedly has its fans, and they've generally been good games, but as the series has gone on its been harder and harder for new players to find a foothold. Yakuza 3 and 4 felt like too much canon had passed to be an entry, and while Yakuza 5ís addition to Playstation Plus will have undoubtedly put the series on people's radar, it was on the PS3 as people moved on.

Yakuza 0 then is the first time we've seen the series on the Playstation 4, and that it's a prequel, one that doesn't need a storied knowledge to get the most out of, it's a great time to jump in. That's not to say that a knowledge of the characters and world won't have benefits, knowing who Kazuma Kiryu is acts as a pretty good short hand for what to expect from the Yakuza games.The brutal, joyous closed area brawling the series is famous for. The game opens with a young Kiryu, still low on the pecking order in the Tojo clan, beating a guy senseless to collect a debt he owes. He's then walked around town by a friend, who takes the time to explain where Kiryu is going wrong as a Yakuza, he's a bit too brusque if you can believe!

It soon turns out Kiryuís victim has turned up dead, and the murder is being pinned on him. Yakuza 0 begins to reveal a complex story or betrayal, loyalty, and real estate land grabs. When the Yakuza series lands their straight faced stories they're fantastic, complex and interesting. Where Yakuza 0 diverges slightly from my previous experiences with the series is that the more ludicrous aspects of the game are introduced along side this, straight faced. It's sensible, it's what a good portion of the franchise are here for. So, while you're on your tour of Tokyo, learning how to be a better Yakuza, you're taken out for some karaoke (which is hilarious), and introduced to the fighting mini games and the leveling system.

Something that has changed is the levelling. Rather than gain experience through combat and side missions you instead earn stacks of cash from smacking people about. This money then buys items on the skill tree, be that new moves, extra damage or increased health, with specialists dotted around the map to teach you some moves. The introduction of these specialists is invariably hilarious, or at least so over the top itís cool.

Which, for the uninitiated is pretty much what youíve got to look forward to from Yakuza 0. It seemingly presents itís barmy side a bit more front and centre than in previous games, but that belies an interesting and well presented crime story. There are moments that will have you rolling with laughter, but equally some of the brutal combat will make you wince before snorting in delight. Thereís mini games and side quests a plenty, and a ton of sub stories to fill out the world.

Weíll see where it goes as we progress through the game, but so far Yakuza 0 is shaping up to be a great entry to the series.

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Jan 04
Posted by Ben at 14:20

Event[0] on paper sounds a very known quantity, maybe it is, but it plays its hand pretty well. You find yourself marooned on a mysterious spaceship, the crew long dead, and your only company an A.I. youíre not entirely sure you can trust. Think 2001: A Space Odyssey crossed with Event Horizon, only without the obelisks, the gore, and Sam Neill. And you do need eyes to see. Event[0] is actually more playful than the comparisons it brings to mind, admittedly diphtheria is more playful than Event Horizon, but their rogue A.I. has a bit of personality, and the game itself is less horror focused than the likes of Soma or Routine.

Event[0] isnít an especially long game, which helps keep its aim focused. After an unexplained disaster befalls your ship youíre shot out in to space, drifting aimlessly, until you chance upon the Nautilus, an experimental ship from the 1980ís, equipped with a futuristic engine that allows rapid, deep space travel, and a lonely A.I. who wants you to destroy it. I wonít go any further in to the plot than that, for one thing because thereís not a lot else to it, superficially at least, secondly because discovering the rest is kind of the point of the game.

The star of the game is Kaizen, the A.I. whoíll help you make progress through the ship, so long as youíre nice to him at least. The selling point of Event[0] is that Kaizen can procedurally generate an abundance of dialogue, and will change how he reacts to you dependant on your dealings with him. If youíre friendly, laugh at his jokes, thank him for his help, heíll be nicer to you, obtuse, but friendly. Act the dick and heíll clam up and stop helping you. Itís an interesting idea, one it explores a little with the few other characters Event[0] features, but not one youíll likely experience the full breadth of in your time with the game. In fact itís something I wish theyíd focused on more, put in a few more moments where your instinct pushes you to behave in a way that betrays you, makes you shed your friendly demeanor for a while, or makes you grateful or warm to Kaizen

Given that your dealings with Kaizen are such a large part of the game I wish they were a bit better. Too often I found simple questions garnered unrelated answers. To me they were obvious questions that a lot of players would have, but the responses were that of a system that had picked up on a word , ignoring the context, and carried on a conversation we werenít having. Getting a straight answer is like pulling teeth, deliberate Iím sure, but still frustrating when you have to ask the same thing repeatedly to get a response that moves things on. Which is really what Kaizen is about, and what he should be better at. He did, sometimes, point me in the right direction, and Iíd always thank him for that, but quite often I was looking for hints outside the game to get me moving again. Not solutions, I wanted to discover things for myself, a strength of the game, but something to stop my standstill and get the game moving again.

Itís why I prefer the exploration aspect of the game I wish there was more of that, looking for clues around the environment, discovering things about the world and characters outside of Kaizenís grip. Truth be told itís indicative of Event[0]ís other problem, thereís not enough of it. I donít mind the length so much, itís around 2 hours long, with alternative endings if thatís something that interests you, itís more that itís not a very big world. You donít feel like youíre stuck in a huge space ship because you see so little of it. Maybe there just wouldnít be many usable rooms on a ship like this, but there really are only a handful of rooms, and only a few events to shake up your experience.

Credit elsewhere to Event[0] though, itís a good looking game. Walking around the Nautilus, youíre always pleasantly surprised by how good it looks. Thereíll be sparks, good quality textures, well designed objects, even slightly worrying dust particles floating around (I never did get an answer to what they were). The sound design is great too, from the clickety clackety keyboard to Kaizenís voice, the bleeps and bloops, and some of the ambient music, itís indicative of a very well put together game.

My only qualm really with Event[0] is how many times you run in to a wall with it. Maybe thatís the fun of it for some, maybe I suffered because I heard it was a short game and was there for the ride, rushing through it a little too quickly, and while Iíd like to give specific instances I can only talk around them rather than spoil an aspect of the puzzles for you. All in all though I enjoyed it, itís not a game that will stay with me forever, but it is one Iíd recommend people check out
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Posted by Ben at 15:53
Quick turnaround this. Only announced a week or so, Arc System Works have announced that Double Dragon IV will arrive on PS4 and Steam this month

We're looking at a US release on the 29th of January on PSN, and the 30th January for PC. I've asked if those dates will be the same for Europe, as I think Japan gets Double Dragon IV a couple of days later, I'll let you know

If you're wondering why you should care, Double Dragon IV takes it's cue from the old NES games, looking slightly better admittedly, and boasts a dev team that includes key members from the original games

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Posted by Ben at 15:28
Headup have announced some Xbox One ports too, which we'll get to, but the most notable thing is a new WiiU game, with Headup bringing the PC platformer Toby: The Secret Mine to Nintendo's not long for this world WiiU console

Headup are also bringing Toby: The Secret Mine to the Xbox One at the same time. They're also porting over Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic, which I'll admit to not knowing much about, and Trulon: The Shadow Engine, which I reviewed and quite enjoyed when it came to Steam.

All 3 games are due out in January and February
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Posted by Mark at 16:30
Dave have confirmed on Twitter that the highly successful panel show has been renewed for two more series.

Due to air next year, each series will contain ten episodes rather than the six the first series had, with team captains Sam and Steve both returning alongside hosts Dara and Ellie.

Comedy site Chortle has a few quotes from execs, if that's your bag.

There are currently no suggestions that Dexter Fletcher will be drafted in to ruin the third series.
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