Nioh alpha demo

Apr 27
Posted by Duane at 12:55

Team Ninja/Tecmo Koei have released a demo of their attempt to take on the "Souls" series of games and I had a play of it earlier today.



I'm not entirely sold on it if I'm being honest, much like the publishers attempts to grab fans of the Monster Hunter games, Nioh appears to feel rather bland and lacks of the oppression of the series its trying to emulate. There's a feudal/Samurai Japan feel to it, as is usually the case with games by this publisher and that all feels authentic enough, so fans of the style of games from Tecmo Koei wont be left dissappointed.

However, the game doesnt seem to make you feel like you're in danger, even though its probably just as unapproachable as FROM Softwares mega hit. If you watch my video below you may notice that its far too easy to leave yourself open to attack and the punishment for expelling your stamina (or Ki) makes you incredibly vulnerable, but the quick nature of button inputs required for you to perform combo's makes it far too easy to make one attack too many, add to this that both the weapons I tried (and I admit I didn't make it particularly far...) felt rather weightless.

Thats not to say that there aren't positives, the key one for me is the inclusion of stances, which opens up a variety of ways to approach each weapon set and have their own combo's. Anyway, check me being absolutely atrocious at Nioh below:

Show/hide video

0 comments / permalink

Apr
26
Posted by Ben at 02:06
James posted a story last night about Sega-owned Atlus breaking ties with NIS America and how this affects Europe, well there's a bit of an addendum to that

Atlus ending their relationship with NIS America is bad news for Bitparade on a couple of levels, but chiefly because we're all fans of Japanese games. The kind of games both NISA and Atlus tend to put out, that not happening doesn't bode well for people who share our gaming tastes. Hopefully we're worrying about nothing.

Anyway, the reason I'm posting; John Hardin, Atlus PR, has confirmed that this transition won't affect Odin Sphere Leifthrasir EU release
0 comments / permalink


 
 
Get Me A Cuppa
Edition
Apr 26
Posted by Duane at 01:56

My gaming time over the past seven days has been a bit sporadic, even so I've mostly been giving my playthrough of Final Fantasy VII my attention. I hadn't touched it in a couple of weeks but have now returned and have been streaming my progress (yes thats 3 seperate links.



Im refusing to revert to using any kind of guide for this, I do actually own the original Brady Games guide and having played through the majority on the PlayStation more than once, I've decided to see how much I can remember, its surprising the information the brain can retain, especially mine with all the background chaos thats normally going on whilst I play games. So remembering which notes to press to play Tifa's piano in Nibelheim or the locations of the clues for the safe in Shinra Mansion came as a complete shock. Still didnt stop me forgetting to add Yuffie to my party, and in one of those videos you will see me spend some time in a forest in the hope that she will appear.
0 comments / permalink


 
 
Aegis of Earth
Gameplay Video
Apr 26
Posted by Ben at 01:48

I've put a fair few hours in to Aegis of Earth Protonovus Assault to get to where I am in this video, but I still feel like I'm not even half way through. I'm probably not even close, so going in to too much detail as to the quality of the game probably isn't the best idea, I'll save that for the eventual review, but it's certainly not a bad game

Aegis of Earth Protonovus Assault is a tower defence game of sorts. You place units between missions, level them up by spending or destroying crystals, encouraging new migrants (which will no doubt upset the #Brexit lot) by doing well in strikes. Then, once you're set go and commence a strike, killing enemies, possibly a boss if you're "lucky", earning more crystals and gold along the way.

Your city if split in to 4 rings, you spin them and the camera to face approaching enemies, ideally lining up similar units to gain a power boost. And that's pretty much it, I'll go in to more detail in the review, but Aegis of Earth has managed so far to keep a simple premise interesting

Show/hide video

0 comments / permalink

Apr
25
Posted by James at 13:29
Looks like we're back to where we started as far as European releases for Atlus USA games go.

Speaking with trade magazine MCV, NIS America CEO Takuro Yamashita confirmed that the publishing arm recently cut its ties with Atlus USA, also hinting at its dissatisfaction from how Atlus USA would treat NIS America as a second class citizen when picking which games it would be given the license to publish.

This has two effects: Firstly Atlus USA will no longer distribute NISA's titles in North America; NISA will have to look for a new distribution partner. Secondly, and this is the obvious one, NIS America will not be publishing Atlus USA's games in Europe.

This has profound implications for us. Before late 2012, Atlus USA would seek out publishers on a game-by-game basis for European release.

This had all sorts of knock-on implications, since these games would have to fit around other publishers' priorities. This resulted in either long delays (Devil Survivor 2) or no release at all (Trauma Team) depending on the game and whether a publisher wanted to pick it up.

When NIS America struck a deal with Atlus to publish its games in Europe this all changed. NIS America have a comparatively low overhead to other publishers, also distributing its games via Reef Entertainment. So any Atlus release - big or small - would potentially be profitable for it to release in the region.

So we started seeing all sorts of games we didn't once receive before, from speedy releases of the likes of Persona Q and Persona 4: Dancing all Night to more obscure titles like Stella Glow and Lost Dimension even seeing a release at all. To say this was a massive improvement is an understatement.

That's all gone now. So we've gone from guaranteed releases of all Atlus USA games to the chasm of uncertainty we had before.

This is what I feared when Sega of America and Atlus USA finished unifying their publishing activities earlier this year.

While it meant great news for North America - as a publisher, Sega of America are stronger than ever, bringing in Atlus USA's localisation and publishing expertise - I had a feeling Sega would try and regain control of what have become its own releases in Europe.

Indeed, if the responsibility has now shifted to Sega of Europe we're likely going to miss out on a lot of smaller titles. Case in point: While Sega of Europe were quick to announce release dates for Valkyria Chronicles on PS4 and Yakuza 0, they've remained silent on Sega 3D Classics Archives (their own heritage!), Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X and 7th Dragon III.

So the future really depends on what Sega intends to do with European releases for Atlus USA titles. If it's all moving internally to Sega of Europe, then expect only the biggest titles - like Persona 5 - to make it over here.

But if Sega of America and Atlus USA are willing to step in and find a low cost way for Sega of Europe to get the smaller titles out the door like they did with NIS America, then we might have reason to remain hopeful again.
0 comments / permalink


 
 
MXGP2

Apr 25
Posted by Duane at 08:12

Funny story, I don't think I was supposed to be reviewing MXGP2, our promotional copy arrived at my address but had Ben's name on it. Regardless, I'm the resident racing game fan so it made more sense for me to keep hold of it rather than forward it on to our resident Beam-em up player. That being said, I don't tend to get on very well with motorcycles in video games, I think the last motorcycle racing game I was any good at was a Ricky Carmichael game on the original PlayStation, which despite being of a similar racing discipline was a very different type of racing game.


MXGP2 then, if the name didn't give it away, is the latest motorcycle racing title from Italian developers Milestone (whom over the years have covered a huge variety of racing disciplines) and carries the official MXGP licenses, featuring over 60 individual bikes from key manufacturers such as KTM and Suzuki over two different racing classifications. Your key focus will be the games career mode wherein you create your own rider, partake in races and gradually earn enough money to improve your bike, customise your kit and improve your chances of winning races.

You see MXGP2 isn't like most other racing games, you probably wont be winning races from the off as your competitors will have far better bikes than you, so its all about grinding out results over a period of time, which will rub some players up the wrong way (its that or I was absolutely woeful at the game), I personally didn't mind this as it ties in well with the simulation focus that the game has. The core element of the game, riding the bike, takes an incredible amount of input that I've not experienced in any other racing game as you tend to control your rider rather than the bike, shift your weight backwards and forwards to find that extra bit of grip, riding the clutch to keep revs high as you exit corners and learning the optimal angle for taking off of jumps at in order that you land in a manner that you don't lose too much speed, its incredibly taxing and requires ,pre attention than the current highest profile motorcycle game Driveclub Bikes (which itself covers a different style of bike).

This also makes the deformable terrain an important feature. As you're riding around the ground beneath your wheels will compact and the behaviour of the circuit will change. However it only does this to a certain extent, and feels really inconsistent, what should be a key feature feels poorly realised and leads to the game feeling frustrating, as does the overly aggressive track boundaries and harsh punishments for cutting them. No one likes opponents cutting corners, but in MXGP2 there are some corners that you step ever so slightly out of the boundaries on and you're immediately punished by having your bike reset to the middle of the circuit (often further back then where you exited the corner) at a standing start with your competitors flying off into the distance. What's all the more frustrating is that this punishment is applied in an inconsistent manner, a number of times on a few circuits I was able to take aggressive short cuts on corners without any punishment whatsoever, which again, makes the entire race experience feel really frustrating. I'm not one for wanting to go out of the boundaries of a circuit, but when such harsh punishments are applied inconsistently it just annoys me.

Thing is, I really want to like MXGP2, I was really looking forward to playing a racing game that offered something different, a lot of the road bike based games cover similar circuits to a lot of the racing game that feature cars and all of those feature pretty much the same roster of cats to drive so a dirt bike game genuinely had me feeling enthusiastic about playing something a little different, and the technical mechanics of riding the bike are genuinely intriguing and challenging, but there's just so much about the overall quality of the whole experience to be gained from this game that I jut didn't want to sink anymore time into it than I felt I needed to have done to provide this review.
0 comments / permalink

Apr
25
Posted by Duane at 03:17
Rather alot of indie games have spent the past number of years appealing to gamers by using "retro" graphics, i.e. everything has used pixels for a long long time now, many claiming they're "8-bit" (even though their far too polished for that, and whilst I definetly grew up playing NES and Master System titles and then later SNES and Mega Drive, I truly got into gaming with the advent of polygon based games courtest of SEGA's Saturn and Sony's PlayStation.



So I'm kind of interested in "Back in 1995", a adventure/horror games by Throw the Warped Code Out, that is being released on Steam later this week, watch the trailer below and you may just agree with me that it has an air of Resident Evil about it (minus the zombies... thus far anyway).

Show/hide video

0 comments / permalink

Apr
25
Posted by Ben at 01:27
Not much use to the rest of us unless SNK Playmore decide to do a worldwide release, but King of Fighters 14 (KOFXIV if you will) will release in Japan on the 25th August according to Dengekionline

As you might have guess from the preamble, no solid news on a European or American release date for King of Fighters 14 yet, but we'll update when there is
0 comments / permalink

Apr
22
Posted by Ben at 02:05
Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault by Acquire Games is a kind of rotating tower defence meets visual novel. It's an interesting take on tower defence at least, a genre everyone seems to have looked away from in the last couple of years.

PQube have sent us over a PS4 code to review, which we'll be doing over the next few days (expect a video too), and while I've been playing it I've been thinking "this should really have a Vita version".

Well it turns out it does, Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault is out on PS4, PS3 and Vita. There's a trailer below to give you the gist, but as I said, there'll be a review in the next few days

Show/hide video

0 comments / permalink

Apr
21
Posted by Ben at 17:02
I can't say I know much about WOLFLAME, but it looks like the sort of shoot em up that used to fill the arcades when I was a kid. It's always good to see something like this on Steam, and Nyu Media and Astro Port have obliged

I've got to say, I've quite enjoyed the Astro Port stuff we've covered. Supercharged Robot Vulkaiser is so easy to like, while Armed Seven might be ever so slightly the better game

We'll have a review of WOLFLAME at some point in the next few days, but there's a trailer below and I can tell you WOLFLAME is currently £4.31 (usually £4.79) on Steam with Steam Cards and a Tate mode I might well rotate my monitor for.

Show/hide video

0 comments / permalink


Older posts
 
News & Blog

Reviews

RSS Feed Follow bitparade on Twitter

This week's events
Mon 25.04 
Tue 26.04 
Wed 27.04 
Thu 28.04 
Fri 29.04 
Sat 30.04 
Sun 01.05 

Editorials

Features

Latest forum threads

Recently updated games