In Preparation For Valkyria Chronicles 2’s Release

July 18, 2010

In case you didn’t know, I am a huge Valkyria Chronicles fanboy. I loved everything about the game (except its lack of trophies… Where’s my trophy patch Sega?). It was one of those games that completely drew me into its world, and all other games that came out at the time were put on the back burner. Simply put, I played the crap out of Valkyria Chronicles. Maxing out all my troop types, trying to get all the medals, and just replaying it for the heck of it even if I knew what was going to happen and how to briskly defeat a level. It just didn’t matter, everything about this game resonated with me.

The reason I bring up this nearly two year old game is because I can’t wait for the sequel, Valkyria Chronicles 2 which arrives on August 31st. In preparation for what could very well be my game of the year, like the original was when it released, I started playing through Valkyria Chronicles again. Even two years later, and many many games later, it still has the same magical grasp on me. Which is great, but also reminds me of how much I wanted the sequel to be on the PS3 instead of the PSP (personal preference). Sadly my PS3 died on me, so I’ll have to wait to finish this play-through but I still plan on beating it again before the sequel releases.

I also decided to watch the anime again, and actually finish watching the series this time. I was originally trying to keep up with it as they were being subbed, but that stopped as I got caught up in playing more games instead of watching anime, movies, or tv. However, I’m really glad I decided to go back and watch the series (26 episodes).

The anime isn’t scene for scene the same as the game, but it still has the same spirit which is probably the most important thing. At first I wasn’t overly happy about some of the characters looks in the anime, or even the fact that it didn’t look exactly like the Canvas engine used in the game. This mild hangup, quickly became a non-factor and I came to fully embrace it for what it is. It is just a slightly different take on the events of the game, but is essentially the same story. You will recognize the characters, the weapons, tanks, places, and scenarios. It was great seeing the battles and relationship play out through the course of the anime. It hit all the important emotional notes of the game, which still elicited the same emotions I felt when playing the game. Anyway, I could ramble on but I will simply say that if you are a fan of the game you really should watch the series. If you aren’t a fan, but like anime, I’d still say it is worth a watch. You can watch the whole series over at AnimeCrazy.net.

Thankfully Valkyria Chronicles 2 will be in my eager hands shortly, at which time I  should probably expect to completely ignore all other games and just get sucked into the next chapter of this great franchise. Of course I will review VC2 when I’m done with it, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say if you liked the first one you should probably just go ahead a pick up the sequel. If VC2 gets enough support hopefully we will see the series return to the PS3 or whatever Sony console is on the market when it releases. Also, if you haven’t played the first game and you own a PS3 then there is something wrong with you. Drop what you are doing, order it online, or go out and pick yourself up a copy right now. You won’t be disappointed.

Advertisements

Dead Space 2 Prequel Announced

July 18, 2010

EA has announced a downloadable prequel to Dead Space 2, called Dead Space Ignition. This extension of Dead Space 2 will be a mix of motion comic and game. Which sounds like an interesting tie-in for a franchise I am a huge fan of.

In the lead up to the original Dead Space EA released a serious of very well done motion comics on both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. An example of these (episode zero) is at the top of this post. I really enjoyed these comics, as they added to the story and mythos of the Dead Space fiction. Which is actually very interesting, especially for a game. It isn’t just about shooting necromorphs, although that is still a lot of fun. The same author will be returning to work on Ignition.

It sounds like it will mostly be a choose your own adventure style game, but will have some hacking mini-games mixed in. I doubt we’ll be playing as Isaac, or following him in Ignition. Most likely we will be following a person or people that live on the Sprawl, the giant space station that is the setting for Dead Space 2. Hopefully it will give us information about how the necromorphs got there, and give us even more insight into the twisted religion know as Unitology which is a very important part of the world of Dead Space.

EA hasn’t given us a price, but I’m hoping it is very reasonable considering it is mostly a promotional game and to be honest I’m not too sure how much actual game will be in it. Also, the comics for the first game were free. Ignition will actually give you in-game items and even an exclusive suit. Dead Space Ignition will release sometime in the fall of 2010, which should leave you enough time to see all four endings and get ready for Dead Space 2 which releases on January 25, 2011.

Rumor: New Tales of Games Coming To The PS3 This Year & PSP Later

July 12, 2010

Lets get this straight from the beginning. This is a rumor, and one I can’t verify.However, I figured I’d write about it mainly because I’m still waiting for the PS3 version of Tales of Vesperia to come to North America. However, if this rumor is true then maybe I can just forget about Vesperia altogether.

It is supposedly confirmed, in a leaked radio interview, that a new Tales game will be coming to the PS3 in Japan in fall 2010. This game will be called Tales of Unitia, and be exclusive to the PS3. This would make much more sense than another 360 exclusive Tales game seeing how the PS3 port easily out sold the original 360 version. Of course there was no word on if it would be available outside of Japan, but I’ll hold out hope.

Along with the Tales of Unitia announcement, there was also mention of a PSP Tales game. There was no full title or release date for the PSP title.

Hopefully we will get a real confirmation and more information about these new Tales games very soon. Maybe we’ll get to see more of these games as the 2010 Tokyo Game Show approaches.

Dead Space 2 E3 Footage & PS3 Exclusive Content

July 10, 2010

At E3 this year, EA didn’t disappoint me and many other gamers as well with their footage of Dead Space 2. They showed off two impressive demos, one of which is was shown off during Sony’s E3 press event since there was a special Sony exclusive announcement. I’ll get to that later on, but lets first talk about the trailers (seen above).

First off you’ll notice that Dead Space 2 is looking great and still has an amazing atmosphere like the first game. Necromorphs are still looking exceptionally nasty and being creepy as ever. Jumping out of grates, busting through walls, and coming out of the shadows in an all out effort to kill you.

The trailers show off several new necromorphs, some of which we’ve seen in screens before. We finally got to see the small child-like necromorphs that will swarm you since they travel in packs. It looks like you’ll have to use your stasis ability for crowd control against these guys or you’ll b quickly overwhelmed. In the trailers we also got to see some returning necromorphs and two new rather large ones as well. The first large one attacks Isaac, the main character of Dead Space 2, in a church of Unitology and starts to drag him away. Like in the first game, you’ll have to shoot some weak spots to make it drop you and retreat. If you’ve played the first game, you’ll know how stressful this can be. As you can’t easily shoot and aim while you are being dragged or held upside down. It really makes you feel the desperation of the situation.

The second even larger necromorph is in the second trailer. It is much more aggressive and brutish than the one in the church. It is going all out to kill you. It destroys the area you are in and forces Isaac to run for his life. In doing so you enter a chase scene, where you have to use your stasis ability to open doors in front of you.

This chase leads you to a more open room with a view of the sprawl, which is immediately obstructed by some type of ship that is firing on you from outside. The rain of bullets break the windows, which in turn breaks the seal of the room you are in. This causes everything to be sucked out the window. Isaac struggles to not get sucked out, but the large necromorph that was chasing you comes into the room and is pulled out into space, bringing Isaac with it. The demo shortly ends after this, with Isaac fighting the large necromorph in Zero G. It was very action packed and frantic.

All of this just looks amazing. It looks like Visceral Games is keeping all the good stuff that made the original Dead Space so great while adding enough to make it a worthy sequel. You won’t be only in hallways, as you are not stuck to a space ship this time. Instead you are on a colony, known as the Sprawl. Besides the much larger world, there will be some new guns in Dead Space 2. The one shown in the first trailer is a javelin gun, which pins enemies against objects and walls… Always fun.

Visceral also mentioned that there will be a much stronger emphasis on the Unitologists actions, plan, and religion in this game. Which brings up something else very interesting in these trailers. That ship that is firing on you must be operated by humans. So this means there will be human enemies as well as necromorphs in Dead Space 2. I’m guessing these will be tied to the church of Unitology, seeing how they believe the necromorphs are a good thing and Isaac is trying to exterminate them.

Oh, and don’t forget about that Sony exclusive announcement. After the demo at Sony’s conference EA announced that Dead Space Extraction will be coming out with Dead Space 2 for the PS3 in a limited edition of the game. It will be on the single blu-ray disc, and free. Meaning the limited edition will be your standard $60, but you’ll be getting two games for that price. It will be an HD port, with trophy support, of the previously Wii exclusive game. I know this might not be the biggest announcement ever, but it was a big deal to me. I’ve always wanted to play Extraction, but never got around to it. I didn’t have  a Wii when it came out, and then decided to hold out once rumors of it making its way to the PS3 starting to surface. So I’m glad I waited it out, as I will get it in HD, with trophies, and for free! It will be a PS3 exclusive for now, but I’m sure it will turn up on both the PlayStation Store and Xbox Marketplace for a price.

Dead Space 2 was one of my favorite games at E3. I loved the first one, and I think it is a great universe. One that I have been looking forward to jumping back into it. Dead Space 2 will release on January 25, 201, so I’ll have to wait a bit. I think I am willing to do so, so they can polish what could be a game of the year contender for 2011.

The Last Story Trailer

July 10, 2010

Mistwalker has released the first trailer for their upcoming Wii exclusive action RPG The Last Story. It was announced early this year, with only a logo and then eventually some screens emerged in an issue of Famitsu. Besides that, not much else is really know about the title which is why this trailer (seen above) is very interesting.

If you know Japanese you may be able to glean some info about the story of the game from the new trailer. Sadly, I don’t. So sadly I can’t get any story or character info from the trailer. I can however take note of what seems to be an interesting gameplay system.

It appears that The Last Story will have an nice mix of combat styles. In the trailer you will notice what seems to be very familiar third-person action combat found in many action games and some action RPG’s. However, you will also notice that the game features some sort of cover mechanic and the ability to interact with objects in the world. You’ll notice the characters taking cover while projectiles are fired at them, and then even returning fire as one character leans out and takes a shot at an enemy with a crossbow. I wasn’t expecting this, and could make the game feel very different from other JRPG’s. You will also notice what seems to be a targeting system and what looks like some sort of special attacks, which for some reason reminded me of the combat found in White Knight Chronicles.

Overall it looks like The Last Story may be much more interesting than I originally expected. If all these different combat styles come together it could make for a very fun and interesting system. It is slated for an 2010 release in Japan and we should be getting word on a North America release date in the not so distant future.

Vanquish Gets A Release Date

July 9, 2010

Platinum Games’ upcoming over the top third-person shooter Vanquish has been given an official release date for both Japan and North America. It is set to release on October 19th in North America and October 21st in Japan.

Sega also announced that Vanquish will receive DLC at launch and in the future. The launch DLC will be free and come with the game. It will be a weapon pack that will include a Boost Machine Gun, Anti Armor Pistol, and a Laser Cannon. If you don’t get these at launch you will be able to download them later on the PlayStation Store or Xbox Marketplace for a price. Sega didn’t go into detail about the other DLC, but they did say it will not be free.

Vanquish is one of my most anticipated games for 2010. So it is nice to finally get a solid release date. It looks like a nice take on the third-person cover based shooter genre. Hopefully it will live up to my expectations.

New PS3 Ninokuni Trailer

July 7, 2010

Level-5 has officially announced that Ninokuni is coming to the PS3. They also released a new trailer (seen above) to show off the PS3 version of the game. As I posted before, the announcement was leaked in a recent issue of Famitus so this shouldn’t be a big surprise. Even if it isn’t a surprise, it is still very exciting. Especially when you see the new trailer as it looks gorgeous. Level-5 has done a great job of faithfully bringing Studio Ghibili’s animation over to game form. It looks really impressive, and makes me wish more games would go for a more animated look instead of trying to always strive for realism.

The trailer shows towns and what appears to be an open world, or at least a large map where you can run into free roaming monsters. When you get into battle, it looks like you’ll be summoning monsters to fight for you as well as casting spells. You’ll also notice that the PS3 trailer doesn’t have any of the drawing mechanic shown in the Nintendo DS trailer (seen here). This could have just not been shown, or they could be changing the game to fit better with the PS3’s controllers.

Whatever Level-5 decides to do I am really looking forward to this game. It has a vague release date of 2011 as of right now, but hopefully we’ll get more information at this year’s Tokyo Game Show in September.

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood E3 2010 Trailers

July 6, 2010

Ubisoft finally spilled the beans about Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood at this years E3. Letting us know what exactly makes up this new edition of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. They showed footage of both the single player and multiplayer aspects of the game.

Lets get the single player out of the way first (above). In the demo, you will see Ezio defending his villa using cannons that are located on the surrounding fortified walls. Ubisoft use this as an example of their promise of many different gameplay experiences that will make up Brotherhood. They also said they slightly changed the combat and added more horse combat. All of this sounds fine, but not sure it is enough to make it worth a purchase seeing as Assassin’s Creed 2 isn’t that old.

The multiplayer on the other hand (above), is what will probably bring people to this game more than the single player. Ubisoft demoed off one type of multiplayer mode, which was basically a predator and prey gameplay style. You are given a target and you must assassinate them to gain points. However, there is also someone stalking you this whole time as well. It sounds like you will want to blend in to the crowds as much as possible, as to not stand out. It also sounds like you will be able to have different load outs for the multiplayer, which could add a nice level of strategy to it. It looked fairly fun, but I think I’ll need to actually get my hands on it to see if it is really worth it or not.

Even with all this footage and some of the info that came out of E3, I’m still not sure what to make of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. I really enjoyed Assassin’s Creed 2, so I should be pretty excited about this game but as it stands now I’m only mildly interested. Most of that interest comes from seeing what they do with the multiplayer and how it feels once I get a chance to play it. There will be a beta for the PS3, so hopefully I can get in on that to make up my mind. I’m also waiting to hear more about the single player aspect of the game. I’m hoping it doesn’t end up feeling like something that was cut from the first game to add on to the multiplayer in order make it feel like a full retail game.

Metal Gear Solid: Rising E3 2010 Trailer & Info

June 26, 2010

Metal Gear Solid: Rising was one of my most anticipated games of E3. Thankfully it did show up, but sadly only in the form of a trailer (seen above). The trailer is relatively short, but gives us enough information to get a good idea of what the game will be like.

The trailer reveals what seems to be the modus operandi of MGS Rising, “zan-datsu” or “cut and take’. In the trailer you will see Raiden recking a bunch of PMC soldiers and other in-game objects with his sword and cyborg ninja skills. Thankfully it appears to be more than just a mere hack and slash, as you can implement a slow motion technique similar to bullet time in other games to make some very precise cuts. Being able to target parts of enemies and then actually slice them apart as you wish could be a lot of fun. Besides cutting apart people it also seems like you will be able to cut apart in-game objects, such as cars, parts of buildings, watermelons, and who knows what else.

The most interesting part of this is the fact that we might be able to actually interact and change our surrounding environment in the game. In the trailer Raiden cuts down some pillars to cause the roof they support to collapse on some enemies. Hopefully this won’t be limited to only certain objects. If we are able do this as we please it could really allow for some creative ways to tackle situations.

I’m happy with this trailer, as we are finally seeing something about Rising. However, there are some things I would have liked to see in the trailer that are missing. I wish there were more hints to the story, locations, enemies, and other types of gameplay. Will we be using guns or some form of projectile weapon as well as Raiden’s sword? Or more importantly, what about stealth? I know this was the first trailer, so maybe I shouldn’t expect so much but I really just want to get a better idea of what this game is going to be like to play. Thankfully more info has come out since the trailer reveal at E3.

Most of this new info came out about Rising via some interviews done with the game’s producer Shigenobu Matsuyama and director Mineshi Kimura. They revealed that Raiden will be able to extract energy from enemy mechs and cyborgs. He will also be able to scavenge ammunition, health, and parts from fallen enemies. Which makes me wonder if there will some level of customization for Raiden’s weapons or cybernetics. They also touched on stealth gameplay, which will be returning but in much different form than what you are use to if you’ve played other MGS games. As Raiden, you will be much more speedy and agile. Raiden is more of a hunter than Snake was. Which to means you won’t feel as prone as Snake and will be confrontational than Snake was.

The most shocking thing to come out of interviews was that there will be some sort of online component in Rising. They didn’t say what it will be, as they aren’t even sure yet themselves. However, they did say they won’t make the game without online. To be honest this sounds rather forced. One may even say that they are doing this in a hope to cater to the growing crowd of online only players and more specifically the Xbox 360 users, which seem to require multiplayer in-order for a game to do well on that system. Anyway, I just don’t see how the games cutting mechanics would be fun against real people. In general I don’t like it when game developers feel the need to add on multiplayer, as it doesn’t always work well for all types of games. Who knows, maybe they’ll think of an interesting way to implement it and it will turn out to be a nice addition to the game.

Hopefully we will get to see a more in depth trailer, or a gameplay demo at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show which starts on september 16, 2010.

Ninokuni: The Another World Coming To The PS3!

June 23, 2010

Images of the new issue of Famitsu (seen here) show some very exciting news. It looks like Level 5 will be bringing their previously Nintendo DS exclusive action role-playing game Ninokuni: The Another World to the PS3, with enhanced visuals of course. This is so exciting because this game is being made in conjunction with Studio Ghibli. When it was originally announced Level 5 hinted that they were going to bring it to another platform, which I figured would either turn out to be a mobile version for Japan or a PSP version of the game. I am very surprised, and very happy to hear that it is coming to the PS3. From the only trailer of the game I know of (seen above), it looks like this game might need Sony’s Move controller as it looks like you will be drawing symbols to cast magic. Hopefully we will get better scans of the magazine and more info about the game sometime soon.