Friday, May 10, 2013
I haven't completed my own testimonial for Monster Hunter yet and I've got a few other things that need attending to first, so in the meantime, let's get back to the normal format… I'm sure @Nightdreamer will be happy, at least.
Games: So, my Soul Sacrifice (Vita) review went up, and it’s been… well, let’s just say, less than popular with the fans. Frankly, I thought it was mind-numbingly boring despite some great concepts, but I appear to be in the minority on this one. Your mileage may vary.
Moving on, I’ve heard absolutely no one talking about Black Rock Shooter: The Game, but it was just released by NIS America and it's currently available on the PSN store for $20. (designed for PSP, but compatible with Vita.) I just completed it yesterday, and I have to say, I had an absolute blast with it. It's a very small, focused game that feels perfect for playing on the go, and there are a lot of very smart design decisions on display.
Putting the anime story aside for the moment (which actually wasn't all that bad) the big hook that sold me was the combat system - the main character is anchored to the foreground while enemies populate the background. Before they attack, they flash, giving the player a chance to either block or dodge to the other side of the screen. In return, the player can use a standard weapon or one of many specials that can be assigned based on preference.
It's a little tough to describe, but once you get the hang of how the game operates during combat, it feels just wonderful to play... I found myself often in a groove and my fingers would pleasantly autopilot during each fight in a semi-flow state. I love, love, love this combat system.
The rest of the game is quite nice. The art direction is good, the streamlined nature of the core structure was smart, and there’s a good amount of replay since missions are quite short and there are different layers of objectives to complete for those who want to get their money's worth.
My full review is coming soon, but this tiny little project is definitely one of my favorite games of the year so far. Big thumbs up.
In other games news... well, I guess I don't have much to report. It's been a busy week, and apart from catching a few quests in Monster Hunter while I'm out and about, I haven't had a lot of time to play anything. Hopefully that's going to change next week... I'll be looking into Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, doing some quick hits on a couple of iOS titles, and I'm hoping to spend some time with Metro: Last Light as well.
Heads up - haven’t played Papo & Yo because you don’t have a PS3? No problem, it just hit Steam a little while ago. Here’s my review of this noteworthy, autobiographical experiment, and if you Steam stuff, then you should go play it yourself, posthaste.
For all the beautiful, intelligent Sherlock Holmes (by Frogwares) fans, check this video… If you’ve played the older titles, you will be STUNNED by the upgrade. Crimes & Punishments is looking goooood.
Oh, one last thing on the topic of games: I just got wind of Techland’s new title, Hellraid.
If they were putting their “A” team on this and their “B” team (or, uh, some interns) on Dead Island: Riptide, that would explain why it came out so poorly… Riptide aside, Hellraid is looking promising. I’ve got no info apart from what’s in this trailer, but I’m verrrry intrigued…
Events: The Independent Games Festival is coming to Seattle on June 8 from 10 AM to 5 PM, and it's a totally free event. There will be a number of big-name speakers giving talks, and lots of indie stuff to check out. If you're interested, you can register (again, for free) at this website.
Comics: I haven't talked about comics for while, probably because I haven't read any for a while... I had a semi-unfortunate situation happen at my local shop so I stopped buying for a bit, and I have to be totally honest -- after skipping my regular reads for a month or two, I found that I really didn't miss them all that much.
I think part of it is that there’s just a lot of mediocre comics out there, and another part is that comics these days (mediocre or otherwise) are pretty damned expensive.
I can remember going to the comic shop when I was a kid and picking up some books for fifty or seventy-five cents each. The average book I was reading these days is a lot closer to three or four dollars apiece, and when it only takes me five minutes (or less) to go through a single issue, that's not a very good ratio of dollars-to-entertainment.
Long story short, it’s too much money for not enough bang. I’ll still pick up some collections and read in bulk when there’s a good story to be had, but I think I’m done with the monthlies for now.
The unveiling of the North American game cover for Dragon's Crown puts the vibrant, watercolor-esque art style of renowned game artist and Vanillaware president George Kamitani on full display. Brave adventurers who pre-order the 2D multiplayer hack-and-slash beat 'em up will also receive the Dragon's Crown Artworks: a limited edition soft-cover art book.
The Artworks will be 64 pages of full-color illustrations from Dragon's Crown. This includes intricate drawings of the characters in the game, lush environment backgrounds, and descriptions from the artist himself. Also included in the art book will be commissioned illustrations of the Dragon's Crown universe from three prominent Japanese video game artists: Akira Yasuda (Akiman), Kinu Nishimura, and Gouda Cheese (BENGUS).
Dragon's Crown will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita systems for $49.99 and $39.99 respectively and is available for pre-orders now from major retailers. The game is not yet rated. More details about the game will be revealed in the future, with updates on the officialDragon's Crown website at: http://www.atlus.com/dragonscrown/
Cryptozoic Entertainment, developer and publisher of board and card games, has launched a Kickstarter to seek final polish funding for their upcoming project, titled HEX: Shards of Fate. Cryptozoic describes HEX: Shards of Fate as the world’s first Massively Multiplayer Online Trading Card Game. The Kickstarter project is now live at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cze/hex-mmo-trading-card-game, and includes an amazing tiered system of rewards for project backers.
A completely unique gaming experience, HEX: Shards of Fate was created from the ground up as a digital trading card game, free from the restrictions that come from being shackled to physical trading cards. HEX: Shards of Fate combines the amazing community and storytelling aspects of a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) with the compelling collectable and strategic game play of a trading card game (TCG) to create an entirely new gaming experience. Players will make their way through the dynamic MMO world featuring champions, dungeons, raids, and epic gear. Cards can be found while battling within the world or purchased in 15 card Booster Packs.
The magic of HEX: Shards of Fate comes from the digital nature of the game. Not only are player’s in-game avatars able to level up across a range of stats, but the cards themselves have unique attributes as well. Each card has a “double back” which reveals digital challenges and achievements for that card. Cards also have socketed slots for adding gems that fundamentally change how the card plays, allowing players to modify and individualize their collection to suit their play style, with billions of potential results.
Kickstarter supporters of HEX: Shards of Fate will be provided with a variety of unique collectable rewards including Beta invites for early access to the game. Depending on their pledge level, backers can receive exclusive cards only available through the Kickstarter campaign, customizable sleeves, starter sets, booster packs, in-game bonuses such as increased loot drops and special equipment, exclusive access to tournaments and much more. At the highest level, “Producer Tier” backers will receive executive producer credit, a vanity card and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create their own personalized trading card.
Cryptozoic’s goal is to have the beta begin in late summer 2013, including Player versus Player (PvP) gameplay, tournaments and the first set of collectable Booster Packs, along with single player arena battles and character modifications. In late fall, Cryptozoic will unleash HEX: Shards of Fate in its entirety, including dozens of Player versus Environment (PvE) dungeons with epic bosses, hundreds of Booster Pack cards and extensive customization elements for characters.
To learn more information about HEX: Shards of Fate and Cryptozoic’s vision, please visit the KIckstarter page athttp://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cze/hex-mmo-trading-card-game.
SGC, the Dallas-based gaming convention, is set to make its illustrious return to gaming culture June 21st - 23rd. THAT'S LESS THAN 50 DAYS AWAY!!!
Check out our Guest List! – including notable industry personalities like Adam Sessler, Jim Sterling, Lisa Foiles, The Angry Video Game Nerd, and more!!!
Have you seen our Vendor List?! – covering everything from apparel to good ol’ fashion games, we will host over 60 booths in a 20,000 square foot vending space.
What’s the Schedule looking like? – we have a ton of exciting panels, musical acts, and gaming tournaments scheduled for SGC!
We look forward to seeing you in June!
And in a new twist for the PR section, here are some trailers, presented without comment:
Saints Row IV – The PAX East Demo (multi)
After Earth (iOS)
Thunder Wolves (multi)
Resident Evil: Revelations – The WiiU special features