Articles tagged with namco bandai

EGX 2017 Impressions:
Sony, Sega and (Ubi)Soft
Posted by Mark at 19:54

The Sony booth this year is the home of the Annual Update Games- specifically, FIFA and Call of Duty, with the more interesting games hidden behind them.

Notable also is the amount of space dedicated to Sony's desperate attempts to make Playstation VR a thing, including a massive VR helmet which makes the booth look like a Daft Punk tribute to Planet Of The Apes.

Like Nintendo's booth, it's full of titles that are already out, like expandalone Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Star Wars licence Battlefront II, inexplicable sequel Knack 2 and microtransaction shitfest Everybody's Golf. Some smaller new titles which were also there included Hob, which is a top-down-ish adventure game where you play as a guy with a massive hand, which he uses to solve puzzles in order to gradually unlock a tower by rotating bits of it.

I've not explained that very well. It does, however, look like what Knack was probably meant to, so there's that.

We saw Monster Hunter Stories on 3DS yesterday and today we say Monster Hunter World on PS4. A more 'curated' demo than its handheld counterpart, this does a much better job of explaining its mechanics and objectives- although this could also be related to the presence of Scoutflies, which effectively point out everything of vague interest to progressing through the mission.

The initial mission offered sees you trying to hunt a monster by first having some footprints drawn to your attention, then a scrape on the ground that the game nicely describes as "skidmarks", then another footprint and another until eventually the Scoutflies form a trail to follow to the monster. This is one of the new features added to make the game more accessible to people less familiar with the series, but it feels that it could turn the game into a box-checking exercise.

There was also Ni No Kuni II, which looks as pretty as you'd expect. The battle system can be a bit chaotic during boss fights, but it seems to work quite nicely in battles against smaller enemies in the world.

Also present was David Cage's new title Detroit: Become Human, which I didn't get the chance to watch today- although I did overhear one of the reps on the booth send one of the professional cosplayers they had manning the booth on their break by calling them over with 'Android, come here" and telling them to go into maintenance mode for thirty minutes.

Sony's recent push into phone-controlled games in the form of Playlink was represented by Frantics, by Affordable Space Adventures dev Knapnok. This is a series of motion-controlled party games, hosted by a slightly posh-talking fox, and controlled using the accelerometers in the phones- four top-of-the-line Sony devices, in the booth's case.

There were three games in my session, one where you have to avoid slipping off an ice platform by tilting the way you want to go, another where you fire yourself out of cannons so some (but not all) of you are on a platform, and another race game where before each race you secretly choose a player to have some modification to their vehicle which may or may not be helpful to them.

There was an interesting twist where, before the third game, the host 'called' one player's phone to give them a secret misison.

It's hard to fault the party games themselves, but the phone apps crashing exposed that each Playlink title needs its own individual app- Frantics ostensibly cannot be played using the app associated with That's You!, which has been out in the wild for some time- and that connecting your phone to your PS4 needs you to enter an IP address, which loses the immediacy of the browser-and-four-digit-code setup of the Jackbox games, and is a far cry from the apps-within-an-app world promised by xBox Smartglass.

Speaking of Far Cry, the Ubisoft booth next door housed the fifth game in the series. The short part of the game available focused around the obligatory Ubisoft Game tower, and charged the player with killing all the cultists around the base of it. A number of ways of achieving this was offered, from flinging in grenades to fighting them in the streets to sniping them from the top of the tower.

This, alongside stablemate Assassin's Creed: Origins which seems to have ditched parkour in favour of putting things really far away from one another and making you travel to them, were the first games to really show any seriously large queues- although Ubi made use of the extra space available to them, running lots of demo units and moving people through quickly.

Most of the booth, though, was some Mario + Rabbids demos sparsely dotted about in an almost empty space dominated by a massive fibreglass Rabbid Kong. (There was also South Park: The Fractured But Whole tucked away in a corner)

Sega, meanwhile, chose to showcase Sonic Forces, which looks like it's as good an extension on the Modern Sonic/Generations format as we're going to see. Three levels were on offer, including one of the mental genre-flip-flopping arrangements Colours perfected, a boss level, and a new 'Avatar' level where you put together disparate elements to create your own Original Character Do Not Steal and play as that. It also doesn't quite work, which I'm assuming is satire.

Last but not least, there was a few PCs running Total War: Warhammer II. Which was Total War: Warhammer II.

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Posted by Mark at 16:30
Namco Bandai have annouced the sad news that the man who both founded and gave the company its original name, Masaya Nakamura, has passed at the age of 91.

Nakamura founded the company in 1955 as Nakamura Manufacturing, making children's amusement park rides. Three years later, the company would change its name to Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company, later abbreviated to Namco.

It wouldn't be until 1978 that Namco would release its first videogame, Gee Bee, with the game that made the company famous, Pac-Man, following the year after.

The firm merged with Bandai in 2005, and in 2007 Nakamura was honoured with the "Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette" by the Japanese government.

Masaya Nakamura passed away on the 22nd of January.

Rest in peace.
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Posted by Mark at 16:02
...and that of one specific RTS.

Microsoft have approved three more XBox 360 games for Backwards Compatibility on XBox one, and those three are:

Halo Wars
The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match and
SoulCalibur II HD Online

If you bought these on 360 the first go around, they should be available for you to download or in the case of Halo Wars, drop into the disc tray. Alternatively, with the most recent update to the XBOne OS, you can buy them straight through your console.
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Posted by Mark at 15:59
This has come as a bit of a surprise, but Sega/Namco/Capcom crossover Project X Zone is getting a sequel.

Considering the original was, in Western territories at least, basically sent out to die a few short months after the similar and far more straight-laced Fire Emblem Awakening, this does feel unusual.

The character roster so far features characters from Yakuza, which will appeal to Ben, and some from Tales of Vesperia, which will please James.

It's due out in- *ahem*- Fall, with seemingly no European release date set as yet.
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Posted by Duane at 16:11
Namco used San Diego Comic Con 2014 to release the full teaser trailer for Tekken 7. Little is known about what changes will be made to the games systems at this point and the trailer is purely story based, promising to be the "conclusion of the Mishima saga".

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Posted by Duane at 10:40
The Vita's release release continues to go from strength to strength, despite what some would have you believe. This has been reported elsewhere for a little while now but I felt it was worth adding to here too.

Namco Bandai's Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment will see a European release on August 20th 2014. The Action-RPG with MMO stylings, based upon the anime and manga of the same name will also include the previous installment which was only ever available on PSP in Japan.

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment will be a digital only release, available from the PlayStation Store.
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Posted by Duane at 06:07
Namco Bandai have announced that the forthcoming One Piece Unlimited World Red will receive brand new content for European and Australasian territories.

< This content seems to come in the form of a coliseum that resembles the latest episodes of the animated series, that will also feature Trafalgar Law as a playable character.

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Posted by Duane at 07:56

Death is usually a punishment in games, however in From Software's "Souls" universe, its a learning experience. The series has become famous for its unapologetic difficulty and the fact that during your time with each instalment you will die quite alot. Hell, within moments of dieing for the first time, seeing the screen go black with that famous read text which reads "You Died" your console will greet you with a trophy that simply states "Welcome to Dark Souls", intimidating!

So worry not those of you who read the stuff about Dark Souls II being more accessible than its predecessors, its still bloody hard. One example being that its now easier to get over-run by a mob of enemies and much harder to draw their attention one at a time. Now there's a stronger balance of ranged and close combat opponents in any one area or mobs with shields and spears in closed in corridors. From Software have also tried to limit soul farming, so whilst you can still do multiple runs through any one area, the amount of times the enemies respawn once you have visited a bonfire is cut down to about ten by my count.

To balance the difficulty somewhat, and indeed make the game more accessible to new players, From Software have included a new Fast Travel system to zip between bonfires. There's no in-game charge to use this system and it allows you to head back to Mahjula (Dark Souls II's main hub area) to buy equipment, increase your characters stats or increase the size of your Etsus Flask using any Etsus Shards you find on your travels. Aside from that, it seems most of what makes Dark Souls II more accessible is that some elements are explained much better than they were previously, but other elements are still as vague as ever allowing for the player to experiment and possibly make mistakes that may or may not affect later stages of their playthrough. Theres more stuff in each area that you may find you have to return to at a later date, and the new Fast Travel system helps encourage you to do that. Now you can come to the conclusion that you're not quite sure what to do in one area, jump to a different location and chip away at that which may or may not lead to discovering items or NPC's that give you clues for you to return to a previous area and unlock more of the worlds hidden mysteries.

The way in which FROM Software has tried to find balance has really worked in Dark Souls II's favour, not least when you take into account the series' online play modes. Now its much easier to find people to co-op with, either because you need help or you just feel like helping others through areas you've already defeated (and thus get a few more Souls for doing so), theres also more worlds to invade, if that is indeed your thing, and now even more people can watch that Blood Stain ghost of you falling off that cliff that you really wish people couldn't witness.

Dark Souls II, however, isn't perfect. Certainly on the PlayStation 3 version we are reviewing there were some frame rate issues at times, especially noticable when you come from the darkened caves surrounding Mahjula and enter into the sunlit village. Its nothing particularly game breaking but it is there, this could also be the reason that the game looks really quite different from the initial trailers we were shown, not to mention the Network Beta that was available before Christmas. In this case the lighting is really stripped back, now darkened area's are much lighter than before, and whilst you can still just about make your way through some of these area's without a torch, the difference if you do take one with you (these, in typical Dark Souls fashion, are limited though so its all about resource management) the area's really do glow which reveals more area's that are stripped back such as the geometry of caves and settlements and the texture work. This indeed suggests to me that what FROM Software were working with would have been conceivable on a much smaller scale than what is on offer from Dark Souls II. But, I for one would rather sacrifice the visuals to the (still rather good) standard that they are in order for the frameate to stay at a more stable rate and so we can have the diversity and size of area's that are on offer here.

By and large, Dark Souls II is a step in the right direction for the series, its kept that punishing difficulty that it has become famed for, but also made some subtle changes in other area's just to make it so that it gives even the most inept rookie gets an appreciation for what the series are trying to do. In an era where big budget games are becoming ever reliant on "push X to advance", FROM Software's love of creating difficult games is a joy to behold.
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Posted by Duane at 12:28
Last one for today, I promise!

Some of you who have pre-ordered Dark Souls II may have started getting the game through the door as early as yesterday, upon booting the game up you may have been told that the game can't connect to the servers. Rest assure, Bandai Namco know of this and the servers will be available from the EU street date tomorrow.

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Posted by Duane at 12:11
Bandai Namco have announced that they will be releasing One Piece Unlimited World Red in Europe on PS3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS and WiiU at soem point this year.

Created by Eiichiro Oda, One Piece is hugely popular and a number of games based on the Manga and anime have made their way over to Europe in recent years. The game takes on an action style of gameplay, a bit of digging reveals that Tecmo Koei and Omega Force have been hard at work on the title and whilst I suspect it differs to the Pirate Warriors titles I imagine it'll have some similarities to the studio's other games.
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