Posted by Ben at 15:59
NISA (Nippon Ichi Software America) have announced that they'll be brining visual novel Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters to Europe in 2015.

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters originally launched in Japan on PS3 and Vita, I'm not sure if both will be getting European versions, I suspect we might just get the Vita version.

Also, the trailer below doesn't really show much, hopefully we get something with a bit more gameplay soon

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Sep 19
Posted by Duane at 03:12

In a culture, or indeed a commercial world, where we are encourged to rush through and devour everything we can possibly consume before moving onto the next big thing, the Disgaea series is something of a breath of fresh air. Here we have a series, that since its first release ten years ago has admittedly spawned 5 games (plus re-releases of those titles on various platforms, just as we see here) but at no point do you feel rushed to get to the games "end". Alot of that is admittedly down to just how much Nippon Ichi pack into these games, and whilst the basic concept of the series has never changed, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited is a very, very different beast to the PlayStation 2's Disgaea: Hour of Darkness.

Here is a series that, if you just try and follow its tale, is deceptively light-hearted and wears that on its sleeve. Characters bicker, squabble and one in particular is obsessed with sardines, although in typical Disgaea fashion, this is deceptive as the tale also covers corruption within government and (as mentioned in the games title) keeping promises. Fans of the series can expect the usual moments of ridiculousness, Prinnies having their moment, back-stabbing, OTT character personalities and just enough cameo's to put a smile on your face.

All of that is great, its what we expect from Disgaea dn Nippon Ichi, and thankfully its all tied to the same systems we've grown to love over the years. We're still operating within the same grid based SRPG genre, Geomods still appear as does the item world. There have been some changes made though, the Assembly system has been altered somewhat, you can still persuade them to your side or annihilate them, however NIS has including an online component where the assembly could feature members from other peoples games (and indeed you can pick a character to send out into the infrastructure to appear in other peoples games), this, for me at least, plants a seed in the mind of wanting to try and at least bribe those characters, in the hope that someone, somewhere does the same with yours and you can reap the rewards.

Other new features include being able to create your own pirate ship to send out into the wider world and invade other players' Item Worlds and a level editor to play around in. All with stuff that gradually appears as you sink more and more time into Disgaea 4. The biggest alteration, for me at least, is the way in which you unlock abilities. Previously you would earnt hem as you levelled up and became more powerful, however now you're forced to purchase skills and they aren't cheap, this can make progression feel a little laboured at times and can ultimately force you into grinding previous levels or trying to survive the item world a little longer than you would like as Mr Gency Exits are rarer than ever, this also comes into play when the game throws a difficulty spike at you, by now this feels like its a pretty traditional addition to the franchise, but it doesn't stop it being annoying when it happens to you.

Thats only really the games minor point, the games art style looks (unsurprisingly) stunning on the Vita and the manner in which this sort of game is easy to pick up and put down again really suits the system well, I've seen some complaints that there is no in-battle save/checkpoint system for if you want to close the game and boot something else up, but I'm of the belief that that isn't needed in the slightest and is more of a fault of the hardware than the software (after all the PSPGo allowed for multiple titles being run at once). So, if you're looking for a game that you can seriously sink your teeth into and are happy with a fairly slow pace (rather than the typical AAA juggernaut that we're forced to play on the home consoles), Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited is fairly close to perfection within its genre.

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Sep 19
Posted by Ben at 02:03

Reviewing a demo isnít really the point of these kind of articles, but itís a little hard not to with the Smash Bros 3DS demo. It gives you a pretty good idea of how Smash Bros is going to play on the 3DS, but then limits you in so many ways that you donít really get a taste of how it all works

Smash Bros is a simple game, thatís not to say there isnít depth there, and even from the small roster of characters available here itís pretty clear. Every character has a quirk to them, you might like playing as Link but hate playing as Megaman, itís about finding characters who suit how you want to play, and if the last game was anything to go by, theyíre probably in there somewhere.

The layout of the 3DS was a bit of a problem for me, I didnít really want to be using the circle pad, as good as it is for most games itís not really suited to a fighter, but holding the 3DS in a way that makes the d-pad feel Ďrightí for sustained periods isnít really a goer. While weíre talking about the 3DS itself, youíve got to factor in the screen size. Iím using an old launch 3DS, so perhaps this is less of an issue with the XL, but I found the action to be a bit small, particularly if I was playing as Pikachu. It made me pine for one of those magnifying glass attachments I had for the Game Gear and Neo Geo Pocket, which was a nice touch of nostalgia but might be telling.

The action is limited to 3 player rather than the usual 4 player. Itís not why you come to Smash Bros, itís not hectic enough, which might actually be deliberate, a way to ease people in without overwhelming them. Thereís also no online, and while I get that itís a demo, a feature light taste, itís a taste I think people need. If you want to convince people of the concept, then give them the proof, not having online means people will wonder how well it works and how well itís implemented. Once the demo is more readily available then local play might become an option for some, it certainly seems like it could be a good way to play.

Itís a shame the demo is so light because Smash Bros certainly does work on the 3DS. Controls are fairly uncomplicated, with some sort of tutorial setup thereís no reason new people couldnít get to grips with it. The game is fast, punchy, and smooth, at least in 3 player, against the computer, offline...
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Posted by Ben at 05:47
Not that we're giving away tickets or anything, you can pay for yourselves, I'm not made of money.

Slightly surprisingly, although I guess it shouldn't be given there's already multiple books about the game, there's a film out soon all about Football Manager

Titiled 'An Alternative Reality: The Football Manager Documentary', it will "examine the gameís enduring appeal and how it has seeped into and influenced the culture of the worldís favourite game".

While a documentary about a game half the world dismiss as a spreadsheet might seem an ill fit, any one who has played the game will know it inspires some good stories and definitely gets people talking

An Alternative Reality: The Football Manager Documentary is getting a cinema release, but only for 1 day, Tuesday 7th October, and only in selected cinemas (MyVue cinemas)

Birmingham Star City
Bristol Cribbs
Bury the Rock
Cheshire Oaks
Edinburgh Omni
Glasgow Fort
Leeds Light
Manchester Lowry
Westfield White City
Westfield Stratford

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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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Sep 07
Posted by Ben at 14:10

If you look above this sentence, just above the header image, youíll see the words ĎPlaystation 3 Reviewí. I want you to remember that because this is very much a review of the PS3 version of Risen 3. Iíve no experience with the PC or 360 versions, Iíve no idea how well they run or play, all I know if that the Playstation 3 version is a mess.

Thereís probably some universal truths, like I donít think Risen 3 does a good job of setting you up for whatís ahead or filling in the blanks of whatís gone before. You start off in an Ďepicí pirate battle fighting against an undead pirate, youíre not told who he is, at least not really, or why heís important. You arenít really even told who you are. Once you get in to the core game itself the mechanics arenít particularly well explained either. It seems like thereís no benefit to sleeping, or if there is itís passed me by at least. Even the combat, extraordinarily simple, leaves you with a sense that youíre missing something, as itís just the wrong side of difficult. Youíre presented with magic spells early on, but many hours in to the game I still donít have a regular enough source of magic to want to waste using them, and the shadow swords Iíve equipped seem to do absolutely nothing.

While the game doesnít exactly judder along as a framey mess, Iím sure itís not running at 30fps. Thereís something sluggish about the control, a real problem in combat. The parrying and dodging could really bring something to Risenís combat, but because you simply donít have time between seeing an incoming attack and having your input recognised and acted upon itís useless, better to just hammer the roll button until an enemy has finished its attack chain then land a few shots of your own.

The game will just freeze as you enter a new area and it autosaves, itís not just a momentary thing either, weíre talking 2-3 seconds every time. Even when you manually save, you wait for it to start and finish saving, then it tells you to hit O to go back, which you do and more often than not it just sits there. The draw distance is Dreamcast era, the smoke effects not out of place on the PS1. Oddly thereís skulls and the like laying around that can be kicked about, which just seems out of place, incidental physics in a game that feels creakingly ancient. Character models are poor, and when a character who isnít the focus creeps in to shot theyíre downgraded to look like blurry jpgs (think the people who stand at the side of the track in old rally games and youíre not far off). Itís not an exaggeration to say that I canít think of a worse looking game Iíve had to review than Risen 3 on the PS3, relatively speaking.

The missions are not exactly inspired either. Generally itís just walking to a point and fighting some creatures, heading to a point, talking to someone, then coming back, at best youíll probably have to steal something. Some of them are set up pretty well though, and the script isnít without its moments.

I feel bad completely writing off Risen 3 because Iím sure a lot of the problems Iíve had with it wouldnít be there in the PC version. That said I will adamantly state that if you want to play Risen 3 you should not play the PS3 version, itís really not worth your time or your money. That all being said, I didnít despise the game, Iím not sure I ever had fun at any point during my play through, in fact it was mostly hard work, but I didnít hate it. Which is why Iím a little reticent with the score, itís a terrible game in every way except the gameplay, which is so-so. If youíre desperate for a janky-euro-adventure then Iíd say Bound By Flames might be a better bet, and that was hardly a classic
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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 14:20
and the last post of our JRPG news blitz, and probably the biggest, is that Persona 5 is coming to PS4.

There's actually 3 parts to this news, the first is that the game, as already said, is coming to PS4 as well as PS3. The second is that the game had been scheduled for the end of 2014 but is now down as 2015. And third, there's a new teaser below

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Posted by Ben at 14:14
In the 2nd of our 3 news stories about JRPG series we like, Dragon Quest is coming to Playstation 3 and PS4. Well, sort of anyway, it's not going to be a traditional Dragon Quest game, nor a Dragon Quest Monsters game, instead it's something more akin to a Musou game.

Called Dragon Quest Heroes, it's been described as an action-rpg, and not a Musou game, but watching the trailer below, you can certainly see the similarities

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Posted by Ben at 13:38
Spoilers for the Bitparade 'Game Of The Year' article 4 months from now, thanks to it's release in Europe this year, Ys Memories of Celceta is probably going to be in it*.

So, it's safe to say that we'd be fairly interested in a new Ys game, especially one that's just been announced for the Ps4 and PS Vita

Well that's a coincidence, Sony today announced that a new Ys game from Falcom is heading to the Vita and PS4 in Japan in 2015. Hopefully, as the last few have got a release in the west either on steam or Vita, we'll get it too, and hopefully without too much of a wait.

More details as we find out more

*It's behind etrian Odyssey Millennium Girl, which is unlikely to be shifted from No.1 tbh
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