Friday, September 20, 2013

Book News, Sexy Pod, Puppeteer, Lost Planet 3 and Etrian Untold  

Book: I tweeted about this last week, but this is the first time I’m posting this news here at the blog, and it seems a little more real as I’m doing so…
After many ups and downs and a ridiculously extended delay (which was totally my own fault) I’m happy to announce that my upcoming Urban Fantasy book, Speaking In Forked Tongues¸ will be available for purchase on March 25, 2014.

I know many of you have been asking about how or when you can buy it, and I’m sure that at least a couple of you were starting to think that it was never going to happen, but the final draft has been sent in to the publisher. Although the cover art still needs to happen, everything else is locked into place and it feels good to know that a hard date is in sight.

More info to come!


Podcast: The latest @Gamecritics Podcast is now up!  In this episode, the topic is… sex!  Guest panelist Samantha Allen (@CousinDangereux) joins us to talk about the games that got it right, the games that got it wrong, and how we want to see games handle it in the future.  The answer: with both hands.


Games: Just wrapped up my review for Sony’s Puppeteer a couple of days ago…  It hadn’t received much coverage before release and I honestly didn’t know what it was even about.  I thought it was some sort of Move game (and I guess it is, although you can actually just use controllers) but it’s basically a platformer starring a puppet-boy who lost his head. 

The whole thing is set up as though it’s being performed on stage in the presentation is quite charming at first.  I have to say that I got tired of it pretty quickly, though…  Once past the first hour or two, it started to feel like a big missed opportunity.

Look for the complete coverage soon, but as of right now I wouldn’t really recommend it.

On the other side of the spectrum, something that I would recommend is Lost Planet 3.  My review for that is also in the can, although it hasn’t gone live yet.

I have to say, LP3 has been one of the biggest surprises for me this year.  Not only is the true nature of the game radically different than anything that has been in the previous two, the story-heavy, character-heavy qualities that I think this are so great are essentially impossible to communicate through a demo or with quick impressions. 

I’ve seen a lot of reviews out there that really don’t get what’s happening in it, and that’s a true shame.  With all of the titles out there offering fast, twitchy action, it’s really disappointing to see so many writers knock it for not being another shooter when it’s obviously going for something really different. 

It’s easily one of my favorites this year, and I would definitely recommend it to those looking for something very grounded and human, and also to those who don’t mind game structures which don’t follow the “I need an explosion every 12 seconds” school of design.

Otherwise, I’ve been putting time into Etrian Odyssey Untold: Millennium Girl on 3DS, and I’m hoping to have that review ready to go when the embargo drops on the 23rd.

People who read this blog will know that I’m a huge fan of the Etrian series, and although they do skew pretty hardcore, the developers have made many concessions in the last couple of entries to make sure that there are easy points of entry for those interested in the structure but not the difficulty.

Although at this point I still feel like Etrian Odyssey 4 is the absolute high point overall, Millennium Girl has been a great experience.  Essentially, it’s a remake of the first EO, although it’s far from a standard touch-up.  In addition to redesigned dungeons, redrawn graphics, a new class, a new element to the combat system and a few other tweaks, it’s the first Etrian to offer a full-blown story mode.

In this mode, the game has hand-drawn animated cutscenes, more dialogue than has ever been previously included, and five distinct characters for the player to use.  Each one has their own preset name, skill set and personality, and the party is loaded with skills that make surviving the dungeons a lot easier than it might be for someone unfamiliar with EO.  While it definitely feels weird to have a pre-made party, Millennium Girl is still delivering the goods that I love so much.   

It’s going to be available on the eShop and there's a demo up right now (the save data even carries over into the full game!) but collectors will want to make sure and pick up a physical copy since it comes loaded with a design book and a seven-song soundtrack. Y'know... Atlus.


Capcom is very pleased to be able to confirm that Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies will be available in North America and Europe as a digital download for the Nintendo 3DS system in the Nintendo eShop on October 24th priced at $29.99 / €24.99.

Courtroom hero Phoenix Wright returns. The much loved gameplay and features from previous titles in the series are for the first time in stunning 3D, bringing the trials to life and putting players directly in the heart of the action. Players will need to investigate crime scenes to uncover clues before heading to court and presenting evidence, challenge witnesses and unravel the truth behind each of the cases.  Joining Phoenix is young Attorney Apollo Justice and new Associate Attorney Athena Cykes, whose unique ability to psychoanalyse witnesses’ emotions introduces a brand new element to proceedings.

The Western release of the title will also receive the costume pack and additional episode, Turnabout Return, currently available for the Japanese release. We’ll have more details to share on this DLC soon.


Get your spook on early!  The suspense horror title DEADLY PREMONITION and stylish action title KILLER IS DEAD are now both available for digital download! At a suggested retail price of $19.99 and $49.99 respectively, you'll find them on the Games on Demand service of Microsoft's Xbox 360 games and entertainment system!

Previously released in 2010, DEADLY PREMONITION quickly became a cult hit, striking a chord with fans of open-world, non-linear play and quirky narratives. KILLER IS DEAD, the latest title from KADOKAWA GAMES and game creator Goichi Suda (aka SUDA51) and his GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE studio, brings the surreal and ultra-violent tale of Mondo Zappa to life with stylish cel-shaded visuals.


Portland, Ore. - Families and video game fans from around the Northwest can look forward to the eighth-annual Portland Retro Gaming Expo (PRGE) on October 5-6, 2013. It will be the event's second year in the 60,000 square foot 'Hall C' of the Oregon Convention Center. PRGE will feature a massive arcade section which has been coined the 'Supercade.' Nearly 20,000 square feet of floor space will be set aside for attendees to play hundreds of classic arcade, console, and pinball games. The arcade is being presented in partnership with Portland's landmark arcade, Ground Kontrol.

PRGE is a family friendly, all-ages event made up of three areas: the Supercade video game arcade, speakers and programming, and the exhibitor marketplace. The pop culture convention draws a wide cross section of fans eager to hear PRGE's panel programming, meet other gaming fans and, of course, play video games.

The exhibitor marketplace is the largest and most popular part of the convention with more than 60 vendors selling classic games, consoles, memorabilia and art from over 30 years of video game history.

One of the highlights of the show will be a customized Donkey Kong arcade machine in which Mario is kidnapped by Donkey Kong and it's his girlfriend Pauline who does the rescuing. Other highlights include  ppearances by video gaming celebrities, a live video game collectibles auction and several video game tournaments - including the Tetris World Championships - that are open to the public. More information about guest activities at the convention will be announced in the future.

Passes can be purchased online or at the door. Pre-sale tickets allow attendees to get into the event one hour early on Saturday, October 5. Vendor space is still available and PRGE continues to solicit arcade and pinball game owners to volunteer their games for the event. Visit for more
information. For tickets or information on the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, visit


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