Friday, November 14, 2014

Taking a minute to catch my breath! And update!  


It's been aaaaaages since the last update... I hate going so long between posts, but it's been tough to find the time! Fortunately, I had a few minutes tonight, so let's get this puppy up to speed...


First up, here are some links you might have missed.

>Podcast Episode 119, featuring @Shoinan, @RichardNaik, @EddieInzauto and @ApricotSushi. Topics include Hatoful Boyfriend, Monster Hunter 4, the Oculus Rift, and a bunch of other stuff.

>@MikeSuskie's review of Sunset Overdrive 

>My review of Lords of the Fallen

>@JimB_85's review of Costume Quest 2 

>My review of Frozen Synapse Prime

>@MikeSuskie's review of Alien: Isolation

>@ApricotSushi's review of X-Blaze: Code Embryo


So, what else has been taking up my time? I'm glad you asked! 

Between editing reviews and doing all of the normal day-to-day stuff, I've been putting a lot of time into Persona Q: Shadows of the Labyrinth on 3DS. I mentioned it last time and I still haven't finished -- long game is long. 


Anyway, the review embargo doesn't drop until 11/20 (five days before release) so I still can't share any review-type thoughts, but as far as non-review impressions go,  it strikes me as a masterpiece born from a group of creators who are expert at their craft. It is immaculately polished, full of incredibly smart design choices, and a perfect interpretation of the source material.

...Basically, it's really, really f****** good.  Like, amazingly superb-good. 

I probably shouldn't say much more at this point, except to suggest that if you are at all a fan of Persona 3, Persona 4, or Etrian Odyssey, this is an absolute must-have. Don't say I didn't tell you so.


Otherwise, I've found myself spending a good amount of time with Freedom Wars on Vita. I had heard it described as a quasi-Monster Hunter, but after putting a couple of hours in, I don't think it feels very similar at all. There are big monsters and other such broad strokes to be sure, but the core is something else altogether. 


From the start, it grabbed me with an intense dedication to its concept that the player is a prisoner in a future dystopian state. All of the menus, the way the player unlocks options, the world design... it's all so focused and serious that I can't help but admire it. 

In terms of combat, it doesn't have the incredible tightness of MH (what does, really?) but it has a grappling hook that's quite fun to use, and a hybridized third-person action feel with a lot of PVP overtones.  It's a good dose of run-and-gun with some melee tossed in, and a bunch of grapple-here, grapple there. I dig it!

On the other hand, the game kneecaps itself hard at the beginning by making players slog through an interminable string of tedious story sequences and too much back-and-forthing in the overcomplicated hub world for no real purpose. It'd also a bit cryptic about how weapons and upgrades work, and a little more clarity overall wouldn't be unwelcome. 

Oh, and a PROTIP? I highly recommend switching to the Technical control scheme ASAP.

Anyway, despite the rocky start  it seems pretty neat so far... Good style, a cool world and motifs, and it feels different enough from MH to be its own thing without suffering from a comparison. It's early days yet, but I'm eager to see more. 

So Sony released a new firmware patch that should (should!) fix the save-data wiping that hit me in Skylanders: Trap Team. Gotta be honest, though... Despite being such a big Skylanders fan, I lost a lot of enthusiasm for the game after having my progress corrupted three separate times. 


I should really press on and get back into it, but I rarely ever replay games in general, so having to re-do the first half of the adventure has basically sucked all of the appeal out of it. I mean, and that's assuming the data won't be wiped again... I dunno. We'll see.


The @MarvelPuzzle train keeps right on rolling along. The newest addition to the cast is everyone's favorite shapeshifting mutant, Mystique. 


My own Mysti is still too low-level to be much use at the moment, but the buffed loaner character in the recent PVE event showed some great potential. I plan to max out Colossus and Blade first, but I'm guessing she's going to be a real killer once people start bringing her into play, full-strength. 


Yesterday, Valkyria Chronicles released for PC via digital download, and during its first 24 hours on sale blew all forecasts and predictions out of the water. The award-winning Strategy RPG, originally released in 2008 for PlayStation®3, forced its way to the top of the Steam download charts, beating a host of brand new games to reach number one. 

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fans for their support in the phenomenal success of this launch,” said John Clark, Senior Vice President of Commercial Publishing for SEGA Europe, “We’re also delighted at the response from the Steam community which indicates that newcomers to the series are finding it as enchanting and engaging as those who have played it before.” 

To see what  the critics are saying about Valkyria Chronicles for PC, have a look at PC Gamer’s in-depth analysis of the port here: 

For more information on Valkyria Chronicles, log on to


Indie developer Untame has unveiled two preorder bundles for their upcoming puzzle platformer Mushroom 11, which will release for PC, Mac, and Linux in early 2015. All preorder customers get immediate access to the game's first level, which until now has only been playable at gaming shows such as PAX and GDC. More details:

First conceived at NYU's 2012 Global Game Jam, Mushroom 11 is a game about destruction. In this unusual puzzle platformer, you guide an amorphous organism that can only move by destroying its own cells. Detached cells immediately regrow elsewhere on the creature, so you can expand and contract, change shape, and even split yourself freely while traveling through a desolate, post-apocalyptic world that tests your logic skills as well as your reflexes. Mushroom 11's cerebral gameplay is set to beautiful and electrifying tracks licensed from The Future Sound of London, the 1990s supergroup that arguably invented ambient music.

See how Mushroom 11 looks, sounds, and plays in this recent gameplay video:

Starting today, Mushroom 11 can be preordered for PC, Mac, or Linux.

Mushroom 11 is backed by Indie Fund and has been recognized as an IGF Excellence in Design finalist, an EGX Leftfield Collection pick, and a PAX 10 selection, among many other honors and nominations. Joystiq has characterized Mushroom 11 as "easy to play and hard to look away [from]," while Rock Paper Shotgun recently called it, "Fascinating, eerily beautiful ... one to watch very closely indeed."

To learn more about Mushroom 11 or join the mailing list for future game announcements, please visit


Frima today announced that couch co-op platformer Chariot is now available on Steam, following its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases earlier this fall. In Chariot, a princess and her fiancĂ© venture deep into the royal catacombs to find a final resting place worthy of His Majesty. Featuring stunning environments and a wealth of challenges along the ride, Chariot tests players’ wits and teamwork in order to survive their perilous journey. Chariot is a finalist for eight awards, including Game of the Year, at The Canadian Videogame Awards being held November 21.
Download Chariot for Steam here:
Prepare for your adventure with Chariot’s 
trailer, and view the developer diary for an inside look into the game’s creation.
In Chariot, players guide the King’s funeral casket through richly colored landscapes by using physics-based mechanics, such as swinging, riding, pulling and pushing. At times, you’re collecting jewels at high speeds down steep ramps, and a moment later, you’re carefully traversing treacherous cliffs. Alone or with a friend, Chariot offers the thrill ride of an afterlife!
Chariot is available for $14.99 on Steam, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with a Wii U release date to be revealed soon. On Steam, Chariot is optimized for controller use, but keyboard controls have also been implemented. Chariot’s mesmerizing soundtrack is also available for $3.99 or bundled with the game for $17.99.


What next?

You can also bookmark this post using your favorite bookmarking service:

Related Posts by Categories