Monday, March 17, 2014

Deadrock Divide, MonkeyPaw Quicklooks, and a check-in  


Book: just got word from my publisher that the release date of my new book Speaking In Forked Tongues has been pushed back just a hair. The original release was 3/25, but it’s now 4/11. I’ll have more news on it as it comes, but for those of you interested, mark it on your calendars!


Games: For a little change of pace tonight, I’ve got some brief coverage of two titles from @MonkeyPawGames. They’ve been bringing Japanese titles over to the US PSN store, and although they’re not doing any translation, it’s still neat to see some of these. Both of these were covered by Paul Stuart, a new writer with us over at @Gamecritics, so thanks to Paul for the evaluations!

Tomba 2

As a tremendous supporter of the original Tomba PSN classic, I was eager to stroll down memory lane for its sequel. There’s something ridiculously engaging about a peculiar pink haired caveman with an affinity for defeating evil pigs.

While certain titles can overcome language barriers, Tomba 2 is unfortunately not one of them.
Unlike its predecessor, Tomba 2 is very menu heavy, with literally every interaction requiring some grasp of Japanese-based menu selection. I tried my darndest to overcome this obstacle but failed miserably.  A shame, as the game appeared a significant graphical leap over the original.

Hopefully the English version previously released in 1999 will appear sooner rather than later.

Wolf Fang

Although Wolf Fang is also in Japanese, it fares better than Tomba 2 in that it’s a little clearer in execution. To best describe Wolf Fang, it’s a videogame version of the ‘giant robot’ genre so prominent in Japanese anime.

While trying to read between the Japanese lines, one can select a uniquely configured mech and Oceania battle location, each featuring an end of stage big boss. Combat occurs while piloting the selected mech. After taking significant damage you’re forced to eject and go it alone, a single puny person against the Western Hemisphere. Gather enough people, however, and it’s robot time once more. I think. I couldn’t perfectly decipher the nuances of this mechanic sans context.

Time to learn Japanese, Stuart-san.

Resembling other sidescrollers of the PS1 era, Wolf Fang is certainly no walk in the park. Expect to die often, reset in mech form. Controls, however, are fairly tight in both human and mech modes, thus – while frustrating at times due to difficulty – it’s arguably never unfair.

Once again, thanks to Paul Stuart for the quick looks.


Previews: Recently, I took a quick trip to @BootsnakeGames to take a look at their upcoming title, Deadrock Divide

Although there's not a lot of info on it right now, what I was seeing looked really positive. Essentially, it seems to marry elements of XCOM and FTL. Considering how popular and well-received those titles were, it seems as though these guys are drawing from good sources of inspiration.

The game is still quite early and I wasn't able to do a hands-on, but the brief walk-through they were kind enough to share with me showed an in-game economy between miners in space, and the ability to customize ground troops and ships while navigating through the universe. Basically, you fly around and trade for goods, and then when boarding another ship, being boarded, or landing in a given area, it switches to XCOM style tactics. More info on this one as it comes, but it seems to be one to watch out for. 

Also, you might want to check out their previous game, Containment: The Zombie Puzzler. It was one of my favorite titles of the year when it came out, and it definitely didn't receive as much love as it deserved. In a nutshell, it's a match-three with zombies, featuring a light storyline and environmental interactions. Fantastic stuff.


Games: Oh, so what have I actually been playing? Good question. 

At the moment, I am pretty much consumed with Dark Souls II. I think I'm somewhere around 30 or 35 hours, taking my time to comb the areas thoroughly, and farming certain sections when I get the opportunity. Progress is still coming quite steady, and I've been enjoying all of the different areas so far. This is pretty much the best possible sequel I couldn't have asked for, so I'm trying not to rush through it.

Since every moment of console time is going to Souls II right now, the only other thing I'm dipping into is (what else?) Marvel Puzzle Quest. The developers have made a lot of cool, interesting changes and there's still quite a bit of content to chew on there. I played it maniacally for about the first three months, but it's finally starting to loosen its hold on me a bit. I still play daily, but it's not the feverish obsession that it was. I'm probably in a healthier place with it right now.
This is also probably a good time to do a quick Monster Hunter check-in. The wife has been progressing through Freedom Unite on the Vita at a good clip. I wasn't sure how much assistance she would need in order to get rolling, but she's needed very little. The big issue was that I knew she was a little disappointed that the Switch Axe wasn't in the game, but she's been getting in the Long Sword groove quickly, and I've been quite impressed at her accomplishments so far. At the moment, I think she's trying to clear the Tigrex, and she's just about got it down. For being the first big difficulty wall in the game, she's definitely up to the challenge. 


I am thou. Thou art I. From the sea of our souls come new games in the Persona series. That's right, the time has come for the Velvet Room to open once again, so dust off those Social Links and keep an eye out for blue butterflies - ATLUS' acclaimedPersona series is returning to North America with completely new games for this year and beyond. 

pqPersona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth (Fall 2014) -- You got Persona in my Etrian! You got Etrian in my Persona! Well, you're right on both counts. Persona Q is a cross-over for the Nintendo 3DS™ system that brings Persona 3 and 4 characters to the gameplay style of Etrian Odyssey. It also marks the first time the Persona franchise will be available on a Nintendo system. 
Characters from Persona 3 and 4 have been given a complete visual overhaul to match the Etrian style and plunged into an alternate world resembling Yasogami High School. Legend has it that listening to the end of the bell chimes of Yasogami High's clock tower causes people to die, and this time the bell tolls for the Investigation Team and the SEES. Trapped in an other-world filled with Shadows, the protagonists from Persona 3 and Persona 4 each have different events to follow, allowing the player to choose and experience two different plotlines. As both groups seek a way out of the labyrinth, they will run in to two new characters, Rei and Zen, who may hold the secret to this new mystery.

p4auPersona 4 Arena Ultimax (Fall 2014) -- Arc System Works is bringing the sequel to the award-winning tournament fighter Persona 4 Arena to the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® in 2014! A few days after the P-1 Grand Prix concludes in the first Arenatitle, the city of Inaba gets enveloped in a thick red fog and Mitsuru, Akihiko, Fuuka, and Aigis are shown as prisoners on the MidnightChannel. The Investigation Team from Persona 4 and former SEES fromPersona 3 must once again fight to their limits in the new P-1 Climax tournament to rescue them and finally uncover the true culprit behind the deadly tournaments. 
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will improve on the award-winning fighting game formula with battle-altering 1-hit special attacks and new characters, including Yukari Takeba and Junpei Iori from Persona 3 and a brand new character, Sho Minazuki. Not a lot is known about Sho other than his goofy nature and being an unstoppable force in both puns and combat. Two swords, two scars on his face, red hair and red mist in Inaba? Surely it can't be coincidence that he's standing in the way of the Investigation Team. And to make matters worse, it seems he can control a Persona...

p4danPersona 4: Dancing All Night (2015) -- Funky Student isn't funky enough to bust a move with Rise and the rest of the Persona 4 crew inPersona 4: Dancing All Night for the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system. The summer following the events in Persona 4sees Rise return to Inaba after spending the summer back in her old life as an idol. After hearing rumors about the Midnight Stage, she checks a certain website at midnight and sees a mysterious movie clip and, you guessed it, winds up on the "other side." Worse yet, she finds out her junior idol peers from the group Kanamin Kitchen are missing as well. She has no choice but to send an SOS to the Investigation Team to help rescue the missing idols. 
Not even Riddle-senpai could have seen this twist coming: Normal battle tactics don't work against the Shadows on the Midnight Stage, but dancing does! Rise, the Protagonist, and the rest of the Investigation Team will have to dance their way to victory. 30 pulse-thumping tracks make up the new Persona Sound in this rhythm-based action game. P4DAN is made in collaboration with Dingo Inc., the company behindHatsune Miku: Project DIVA (PlayStation®Portable). 

p5Persona 5 (2015) -- This is it. The big one. The latest true continuation of the award-winning Persona series will make its debut in North America on the PlayStation 3 in 2015. 
More details about the games and their launch timing will be revealed in the coming months. You can get all the latest by liking ATLUS on Facebook, following @AtlusUSA on Twitter, or subscribing to the ATLUSYouTube channel, and get updates by signing up to be part of theATLUS Faithful Newsletter.


Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. announced new details for METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES.  As launch day nears, KONAMI is releasing new details around one of the year’s most anticipated games.

First, it was revealed that those who purchase METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES early on will receive exclusive DLC for use within THE PHANTOM PAIN. The DLC will only be available in the first batch of the retail version and for a limited period of time for the digital version. The DLC provides players with additional resources for a Mother Base area that will be available in THE PHANTOM PAIN. Mother Base is introduced during the events of GROUND ZEROES and plays a central role in the forthcoming METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN. Unlocked through downloadable code, the added staff for Mother Base will give GROUND ZEROES players an edge when they take on THE PHANTOM PAIN.

In addition, anyone that purchases GROUND ZEROES will be able to unlock exclusive content within the game to carry-over to THE PHANTOM PAIN. Prisoners of war and VIPs rescued in GROUND ZEROS will be added to the Mother Base staff in THE PHANTOM PAIN, providing GROUND ZEROES players an early in-game advantage; character skins will also be able to be carried over.

METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES will also bring the game to life by featuring a second-screen iDROID app, which replicates Big Boss’ in-game communication/map device. Downloadable via iOS, Android and Xbox Smart Glass systems for FREE, the iDROID app syncs the main action to a secondary device. Users can call up maps, summon air support, or play any of the cassette tapes found throughout Camp Omega.

Last, KONAMI has also announced that it will offer both physical and digital versions of METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, for an SRP of $29.99. Bringing pricing in-line with the “current generation” price, KONAMI aims to provide as many people as possible an opportunity to experience Kojima Productions’ FOX Engine and the first installment in the two-part METAL GEAR SOLID V experience. METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES for PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft will remain at the SRP of $29.99 for retail and via download for SRP $19.99.

METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES will be available in retail stores nationwide and online beginning March 18, 2014


Piranha Bytes, the creators of acclaimed RPG titles Gothic and Risen, return to their origins with a new, classic RPG set to launch this year,  Risen 3: Titan Lords. Inthe third installment of the Risen franchise,  Risen 3: Titan Lords pulls players into a hand-crafted role-playing world full of rugged charm where every decision changes the course of the story and your fate, and the fate of the world, is up for the taking.  Risen 3: Titan Lords is set for releasein August 2014 for PC and consoles.
Once again, PiranhaBytes delivers enticingly lush and vivid worlds in  Risen 3: Titan Lords   , and true to their roots as leading European RPG developers gives fans the freedom to explore it. The world of  Risen 3: Titan Lords   promises to be diverse, authentic and full of life, providing the player with an authentic, classic RPG experience.


XSEED Games, the independent-minded console publishing brand of Marvelous USA, Inc., today announced that the company will be releasing the flashy, wild action RPG title, AKIBA’S TRIP: Undead & Undressed, on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system in summer 2014. Released as AKIBA’S TRIP 2 in Japan, the all new standalone story in AKIBA’S TRIP: Undead & Undressed takes players on an eclectic trip through Tokyo’s “Electric Town” electronics district in which they will battle vampire-like foes in over-the-top, highly stylized role-playing action.

 In AKIBA’S TRIP: Undead & Undressed, players work to repel a brooding malevolence that has suffused Tokyo’s popular electronics district, Akihabara (Akiba for short), which has been painstakingly remodeled in the game to resemble its real life counterpart. Akiba has been invaded by creatures known as “Synthisters” who prey on the otaku patrons of Akihabara like vampires, but feast on their will to live and energy to socialize rather than their blood. Only direct exposure to sunlight can destroy the Synthisters, and it’s up to players to ensure that that’s just what they get. If only it weren’t for those pesky clothes protecting them from the sun’s harmful rays…

 That’s where players come in. It’s their task to roam this sanctuary of anime and gaming fanatics, identify the outwardly human Synthisters with the help of a handy smartphone app, and then beat and pull at them until they’ve been relieved of their clothes, exposing them to sunlight and sending them to the netherworld. Everyday objects from baseball bats to comic books to motherboards can be used as weapons, and players can take their enemies’ unique clothing for their own personal use as well.

AKIBA’S TRIP: Undead & Undressed tells the story of a young man named Nanashi who was lured into a trap and transformed into one of the walking undead. Lucky enough to be spared the worst of his fate by the kiss of a mysterious Synthister hunter named Shizuku, Nanashi is sworn to rid Akihabara of the Synthister threat. Together with the rest of his companions in an organization unofficially dubbed the “Akiba Freedom Fighters,” Nanashi and Shizuku must uncover the truth behind the Synthister plague and save Akiba from being overrun by their kind. 

Developed in Japan by ACQUIRE and receiving a Gold Award by Famitsu upon its Japanese release, AKIBA’S TRIP: Undead & Undressed will be released in summer 2014 by XSEED Games in North America on the PlayStation®3 system and PS®Vita. XSEED Games will share more information in the coming months. This title has not yet been rated by theESRB.

For more information on XSEED Games products, please visit: Fans can also follow XSEED Games on Facebook and Twitter.


Some say Hitler shot himself in a bunker in Berlin in 1945. Others believe he fell to a sniper bullet two years earlier during a secret trip to North Africa. Or was it his double? Decide for yourself when you get your hands on Sniper Elite 3’s pre-order bonus “Hunt The Grey Wolf.”

Hitler, Allied code name “Grey Wolf”, and his double have embarked upon a clandestine trip to the Libyan port town of Tobruk in 1942. In order to prepare for this mission, and that crucial final shot, you must infiltrate the ancient streets and crumbling rooftops of the German-held town using stealth and distraction. Featuring an expansive open environment, and randomized target identities, journals and locations, no two playthroughs will be the same.  The question is – can you tell fact from fiction, the real target from the double?

You can pre-order Sniper Elite 3 at GameStop or other major retailers. The collector’s edition for  Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system features a limited edition ammo tin box, dossier, three exclusive ammo and weapon DLC packs, collectible playing cards, sniper shooting range target, dog tag and a bullet-shaped torch pen.

The latest chapter in the award winning series, Sniper Elite 3 takes players to the unforgiving yet exotic terrain of WWII’s North Africa conflict in a battle against a deadly new foe. Sniper Elite 3 will release at retail in North America on July 1, 2014 for Xbox One, Xbox360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 system and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. The game will also release digitally on July 1 for Xbox Live online entertainment network from Microsoft for Xbox One, Xbox360 and PlayStation®Network for both PlayStation®4 system and PlayStation®3 system. The PC version, which is being self-published by Rebellion, will release on June 27.


Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. has announced details of its upcoming extensive new DLC for CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW 2.

Entitled ‘Revelations’, the new content will be released on March 25 for Xbox Live Games on Demand and PlayStation®Network, and follows fan-favorite Alucard as exclusive new branches of the immersive storyline are uncovered. Alucard, the turned son of Gabriel, has shunned human life for many years, choosing to hunt only creatures of the night. The DLC takes place just before the apocalyptic events of CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW 2, where Alucard readies for his father’s return and the forthcoming battle against Satan. As the plot unfolds, it begins to reveal how the lone vampire is inextricably linked to his father’s fate.

‘Revelations’ takes place within the epic world seen in CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW 2. Playing as Alucard, gamers must discover the legendary vampire’s secrets, unearth the true extent of his involvement in Dracula’s story, and set in motion the events of CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW 2. The DLC expands the incredible story of the recently-released sequel, with the fate of the Belmont clan unveiled. Alucard has his own unique, powerful abilities, including use of the Glaciem and Igneas powers, in addition to vampiric abilities which allow him to transform into a wolf, a swarm of bats and even turn back time. Blood also fuels capabilities, as drinking the blood of enemies will intensify immortal powers.

CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW 2 is available now on the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox Live Games on Demand, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®Network, and Steam® for PC.  Its sumptuous 3D world and epic quest are now enhanced and extended with all-new locations, and the chance to experience familiar ones, via the ‘Revelations’ DLC available on March 25th for Xbox Live Games on Demand and PlayStation®Network.


Today, Genius Sonority, publisher of interactive software, is proud to announce the downloadable title, THE DENPA MEN 3: THE RISE OF DIGITOLL, for the Nintendo 3DS platform for release in the summer of 2014.

About The 'Denpa' Men 3: The Rise of Digitoll
THE 'DENPA' MEN 3 is the third game in the expansive RPG series where players catch and form parties with Denpa Men to conquer dungeons and explore a vast world. In the third iteration, the Denpa Men you are trying to capture can now fight back by throwing colored balls at you, but players have new weapons at their disposal such as an antenna to capture Denpa Men.

The Denpa Men are mysterious creatures who appear around radio waves. Find Wi-Fi signals or scan QR codes to find Denpa Men, and use the AR “Catch” feature of the Nintendo 3DS to make them part of your team. Each Denpa Man is unique in its appearance, stats, and abilities. The possibilities of their variations are limitless. It is also said that among them exists a very rare kind of Denpa Man.

Official THE 'DENPA' MEN 3 Trailer:

THE 'DENPA' MEN 2: Beyond the Waves eShop sale
In celebration of THE 'DENPA' MEN 3 coming to North America, we are proud to announce that THE 'DENPA' MEN 2: Beyond the Waves is going on sale for a limited time in North America & Europe: 3/6 ~ 3/13

A demo for THE 'DENPA' MEN 3 will be available in May. In addition to giving players a sneak peek of the game, it will allow them to transfer their progress to the full version upon release. Note that the demo version can only be booted up thirty times.


It’s time for Guacamelee! fans to return to fighting form as DrinkBox Studios today announces that it will bring its award-winning action-platformer to the PlayStation®4 system, the Xbox One all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, as well as the Wii U™ system from Nintendo. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition - which is among the first indie titles scheduled to launch via Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program for independent game developers on Xbox One - will feature a bevy of new content, including an extended story with new game areas, a new boss character, powerful new player abilities and many other enhancements.

New Features for the Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition Include:

·       Expanded Story: An expanded version of the game that includes DLC content from the original
·       New Game Areas: Players will ride boats through the Canal of Flowers to save a besieged fishing town, and avoid lava as they climb through the fiery Volcano
·       New Boss: Face off against The Trio of Death, a three-headed skeleton that lives in the Volcano, helping the evil Carlos Calaca build his skeleton armies
·       New Abilities: Maximize destruction with the powerful new INTENSO combat mode.  Plus: Chicken Bombs and Independent Dimension Swapping
·       New Enemies: Lethal new elite-class enemies that want to chokeslam luchadores to sleep
·       Support for multiple save slots  
·       Dual currency system that supports permanent item unlocks

As an added bonus, DrinkBox has released a brand new teaser trailer showing off some of Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition’s features, available at:

Set in and around a small village in Mexico, Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is an action-packed, 2D brawler/platformer that alternates between the worlds of the living and the dead. Inspired by Mexican folklore, players take control of a down-on-his luck wrestler named Juan Aguacate, as he fights through hordes of undead enemies and skeleton henchmen to stop the evil Carlos Calaca from gaining ultimate power by sacrificing the beautiful "El Presidente's Daughter”. The Xbox 360 version of Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is not yet rated by the ESRB. All other digital versions rated E10+. For rating information, please visit

For more information regarding Guacamelee! STCE please visit the game’s website, or DrinkBox Studios’ Facebook andTwitter pages.

Eye For Games' is proud to announce our upcoming art and interview book “The Art and Design of Video Games,” which will be available for pre-order starting Monday, February 24th.

Quick facts:
- The book will feature 25+ developers.
- Over 250 pages of content.
- Developers of all sizes and genres are featured.

Book details
“The Art and Design of Video Games”
Author: Eye For Games
Publisher: Galilee
Pages: 250+
Format: Hardcover

The art book will be available for a discounted price at starting Monday, February 24th.
Price: €35 / $48
This price includes taxes and international shipping and handling costs.


Midnight City, indie label of Majesco Entertainment Company(NASDAQ: COOL), an innovative provider of games for the mass market, has joined forces with two of the most well-known names in indie games. First up, Midnight City will publish Double Fine Productions’ first big sequel, Costume Quest 2, coming to PC and consoles. Next, Midnight City will bring The Fullbright Company’s award-winning Gone Home to consoles. Both titles are slated for digital release later this year.

In Double Fine’s triumphant return to Auburn Pines, our candy-crazed crusaders Wren and Reynold must once again protect Halloween from untold horrors, and grown-ups! Your favorite trick-or-treaters will come armed with a new batch of costumes they wear to transform into giant super powered fantasy Hallowarriors. Yeah, we totally just made that up. Fans of the original can look forward to a sweet upgraded battle system and a story that is unmistakably Double Fine.

The Fullbright Company’s runaway hit Gone Home is making the highly-anticipated move to console, bringing the explorative Greenbriar family experience to a whole new audience. Heralded as one of the best games of 2013, Gone Home extends an invitation into an ordinary family’s mysterious past as a young woman who discovers an empty house that's much more than it seems.

Costume Quest 2 and Gone Home join Midnight City’s growing roster of indie titles alongside handcrafted puzzler The Bridge, the infamous madness-inducing Slender: The Arrival, and innovative minimalist e-sport VIDEOBALL.

Check out the announcement trailers for both titles on the official Midnight City YouTube channel:
Follow Midnight City:
Twitter: @Midnight_City


We've been telling you about the Conception II package that's going to come with a CD soundtrack for a while now. And guess what! We actually have a sample of some of the music available for you to watch and listen right now, right here:

We would be remiss to not point out the sample soundtrack mix is an excellent music choice for  perusing the full website, which just launched today! Complete with character descriptions, back story, explanations of the game's combat systems and more, you can check out the full site here: 
Don't forget! The demo is coming on March 25, and pre-orders are guaranteed to receive the limited collector's edition! 


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