Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Dark Souls Two, Of Orcs And Men, Super TIME Force, and Deception IV  


Podcast: I was recently turned onto a new podcast thanks to @Toupsi, and I've been loving it. It's called The Dark Souls Two, and it’s put on by a pair of guys who go into excruciating detail on each area of the game, while also infusing it with humor and personality. I've been eating these episodes up, and if you like the Souls games as much as I do, I'm guessing you'll find these examinations to be both informative and entertaining.

Games: It's been a pretty brutal work week so I haven't had a ton of time to play games, but I did put a few minutes into a couple of things. Mostly, I was trying to get further with Of Orcs and Men.

Although the combat needs work and the level design is pretty focused and linear, the characterization and story are great, and I'm absolutely in love with the dark tone and serious story. It’s rare you see humans portrayed as an evil force committing genocide, so taking on the role of a pair of “greenskins" fighting back is fresh perspective. For fans of very dark fantasy and unusual, well-written material, this is it.

Side note, I'm quite happy to say that one of the main characters, Styx the goblin, will be the star of his own upcoming game. After getting to know the characters in OOaM, I definitely want to spend more time with them, and I'm tickled to find out that I'll get the chance. Cheers to @Vod_Crack for the tip-off!

I've also played a bit with Super T.I.M.E. Force from Capy Games. Although I haven't had a chance to play much, I really like what I've seen so far.

Basically, the player has a small team of agents tackling various bad guys, but they also have a power that lets them rewind time and create clones of themselves. It's a little hard to describe and turns out to be more complicated than you might first expect, but once you understand how it works and everything clicks, it's great.

Once again, Capy proves that they’re one of the most reliable devs out there-- their games have all been fantastic, and they manage to find the fun in just about everything they do.

Portable-wise, I'm about halfway through Deception IV: Blood Ties on the Vita. 

I'm a Deception fan from way back and I've played all the games, but I was surprised to hear that it was getting a sequel. It's never been more than super-niche, so the fact that it hasn't been completely forgotten was amazing. That said, my enthusiasm dimmed a bit since it's basically unchanged except for a few minor tweaks here and there.  It looks better and controls better, but it hasn't taken any big steps forward. 

In one sense that’s fine because the core gameplay of trapping people to death in the service of Satan is pretty entertaining, but on the other hand, it seems like it's long past due to be revamped in terms of complexity and usability -- things like no mid-level saves and the inability to change your gear during a mission are real head-scratchers. It's an easy recommend for series fans (are there fans of this series?) but it seems like it’s missing huge opportunities for growth in a positive direction.


Ready to… FIGHT? Capcom today announced that the digital upgrade versions of Ultra Street Fighter IV will release across North America on June 3rd for PSN (PlayStation 3) and on June 4th from the Xbox Live Games Store (Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft). On August 5th, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 retail versions will be in stores, with the full digital bundle on PS3 available for download then too. Both the digital upgrade and full digital bundle for PC (Steam) will be out on August 8th.

Players who pre-order any version of Ultra Street Fighter IV at select retailers will receive the 2014 Challengers Costume Pack, consisting of alternate costumes for each of the five new characters for free. The five new costumes include: Jungle Elena, Medieval Hugo, Pirate Poison, Wizard Rolento and Gladiator Decapre. The pre-order program officially kicks off today, so be sure to check out the alternate costume character art and new trailer here! More information on the pre-order promotions will be available on the official Street Fighter website and on Capcom-Unity in the coming weeks.

In Ultra Street Fighter IV, Poison, Hugo, Elena, Rolento and Decapre join the fight, complete with new animations and their own unique play styles, bringing the final roster count to a massive 44 characters. Six new battle environments (including Pitstop 109, Cosmic Elevator, Half Pipe and more) provide a thrilling and colorful backdrop to the action. Direct fan feedback was gathered on all of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition’s original 39 characters and core system mechanics in order to achieve the most balanced Street Fighter ever. In addition to the action-packed new content and the finely-tuned rebalanced gameplay, the new version features a host of new features and modes that are sure to test even the most well traveled world warrior.

PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC owners of Super Street Fighter IV or Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition will be able to download Ultra Street Fighter IV as a $14.99 digital upgrade. The full digital bundle for PC is priced at $29.99 and PS3 users can download the full version of the game for $39.99. PS3 and Xbox 360 users can purchase the retail versions of the game for $39.99. Players who purchase the retail versions (PS3, Xbox 360) or full digital bundles (PS3, PC) will receive all previously released costumes for the series, making this the definitive version of Street Fighter IV!


NIS America is proud to announce that a new trailer and the updated English logo are now available for NAtURAL DOCtRINE. The game will receive both a digital and physical release in the North American and European markets for the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita systems in 2014! Developed as Kadokawa Game Studio's inaugural title, NAtURAL DOCtRINE is a challenging strategy RPG that features cross-play, cross-save, and stunning visuals. Strategy role-playing gamers be ready, as this title will truly test your ability to conquer the evils that lurk in the sprawling networks of mines and ruins in the areas surrounding the fortress city of Feste.

About the game:
Seasoned explorers and novices alike venture underground into dangerous caves to collect the coveted material known as Pluton. During your first trip down into the depths of one of these mines, you and your new explorer friends quickly realize that things may be more dire than you had imagined as you encounter a brand-new type of evil lurking below the surface. You and your newfound friends must strategically defeat these new difficult foes and warn the kingdom of their presence before it's too late.


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