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Archive for January, 2012

Final Fantasy VII Turns 15 Today

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Final Fantasy VII is 15-years-old today. It’s crazy to think it’s been that long since the game was released back in 1997, becoming one of Square Enix’s (then Squaresoft’s) most acclaimed works almost instantly. And while there have been rumors that the company could be saving a remake of the title for its 20th anniversary (which have been circulating since the hyped tech demo back at E3 2005), I’m sure I’m well in the minority here when I say this is something that should never happen. Why, you ask? Well, let me give you my top three reasons why I think this remake should never come to be.

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The Darkness 2 Demo Is Awesome

Yes, I’m writing an article about a demo, but it has to be said. It’s an awesome demo. Maybe I’m pulling the trigger on its awesomeness prematurely here. It is just a demo. It’s awesome though. Have I said it’s awesome? For all I know the full game may not be great, but I can’t see that being possible. The demo has actually done its job for once. It has gotten me overly excited for the full release. The demo gives you just enough action to understand the game, while leaving you begging for more. The amount of gore and violence is insanely satisfying and I can’t get enough of it. The smile it puts on my face is great, if not a little bit of a cause for concern (I’m not that into ripping off heads in the real world, or am I?). I’m not a big demo player, nor do I let them have any major effects on my purchasing choices, but this demo just caught me off guard. Being a big fan of the original Darkness, I came in excited for the sequel. A new developer and new voice for the main character though had me thinking of the possibility of a major letdown. Boy was I wrong.

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RPG Binge

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Hello, my name is Kevin, and I have a problem.

You see, no matter how many games I own, I continue to buy new ones. Constantly. This wouldn’t be so much an issue if I actually got around to playing all of them, but as it stands I think it’s safe to say the number of unfinished titles I have littering my room handily outnumbers the ones I’ve completed (or, for that matter, even started).

That’s why I’m resolving to use this blog as an impetus to make some headway through my massive backlog. I recently ordered Jade Empire and Dark Souls from that evil wonderful vendor, Amazon, and until they arrive I hope to finally complete some of the titles I never got around to finishing. First on the agenda will be Ico (which I began this past autumn when I purchased my PlayStation 3), and following that I’ll be making my way through The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Dragon Age: Origins, Jade Empire, Dragon Quest VI, and Dark Souls, in roughly that order. Of course, I’ll be posting some brief impressions of each title as I play it, which will hopefully impel me to see this little marathon run through to the end.

This RPG binge will likely last me all the way up to the release of Xenoblade Chronicles, which I’ll be covering more in-depth when it finally hits North American shores this April. And since my colleagues will also be playing the game, you can expect to read some of their impressions, too, giving you a nice range of perspectives on what is arguably the biggest (certainly in terms of scope) Wii title of the year. Of course, my commitments to Nintendojo (and any website I may be asked to contribute to) will delay when I can begin this marathon, but I’m hoping to start it within the first week of February.

Until then! *stocks up on potions*

PlayStation Vita 3G Monthly Plans Changed

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Earlier this month, Sony announced two different monthly plans for the 3G version of the PlayStation Vita. The 250MB for $14.99 still remains the same, but the 2GB plan for $24.99 has been replaced with a 3GB plan for $30.

Sony has previously stated that 3G owners will receive a free downloadable game. It is unclear if you will be able to choose from a list of games to download or if the game will be determined by Sony. My guess is the free game will be Little Deviants, a title that includes a range of mini-games that showcase all of the system’s innovative controls, including the front and rear touch pads, drag, tap, motion sensing functionality, and the rear camera.

However, the customers that will be buying the 3G version will more than likely be people who are dedicated to the PlayStation brand. If they want to reach out to these dedicated people, they will have to release more than a mini-game compilation as a free title. I’m not complaining — free is free — and Sony doesn’t have to hand out a free game, so if I choose to go with the 3G/WiFi version I’m happy to get a game for free. But if there are people like me, who are undecided on what version to purchase, a game such as Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational would make the 3G/Wi-Fi model seem more favorable.

The PlayStation Vita will be out in North American on February 22. The Wi-Fi version will retail for $249.99, while the 3G/Wi-Fi version will be $299.99. You have the option to use Wi-Fi with the 3G version, or you can purchase a monthly data plan, as mentioned above, which will be $14.99 for 250MB or $30 for 3G. There is no contract commitment required.

Resident Evil Roundup

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Earlier this week, a viral video of a woman frantically speaking Chinese was released onto the Internet. It was speculated to be a teaser for Resident Evil 6, leading some to believe that the game will be set in China. Along with the video came the website nohopeleft.com, which features various photos from around the world with the words “No Hope Left” and the date 19.01.12 spray-painted onto buildings.

It was later confirmed by Capcom that this is indeed related to Resident Evil 6. The game will be arriving on November 20 for the PS3 and Xbox 360, with the PC release following soon after. The game will feature both single-player as well as co-op. Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield have been confirmed to be playable; however, there is a third mystery man in the trailer that seems to also play an important role in the game.

Taking place ten years after the Raccoon City incident, Resident Evil 6 begins with the President of the United States about to reveal the truth behind the incident to the world. By the President’s side is his personal friend and Raccoon City survivor, Leon S. Kennedy, but when the venue suffers a bioterrorist attack, Leon is forced to face a President transformed beyond recognition and make the hardest decision of his life. Meanwhile, Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance member Chris Redfield arrives in China to deal with a bioterrorism attack there.

Still not satisfied with Resident Evil news? Nintendo had announced in the past that it will be releasing demos for its 3DS platform, and to kick these off is the demo for Resident Evil: Revelations, which will be launching in North America on February 7. Be careful, though — you can only play the demo 30 times. Who plays demos anywhere near that many times? Still, I can’t help but wonder how strange it is to put a limit to begin with.

And if that isn’t enough for you, you can always check out Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City, which is being co-developed by Slant Six (which has released three SOCOM games under Sony Computer Entertainment of America) and Capcom. The game is set to be released on March 20 in North America and March 23 in Europe.

Bastion Impressions

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

In preparation for my upcoming essay on Bastion (and to help me gather my thoughts on the title), I will be posting some of my preliminary impressions of the game. You may notice that this post will be more akin to a series of notes than to a formal preview, so I apologize in advance if it appears to be disjointed. I hope it proves to be an interesting read nonetheless!

What strikes me most about Bastion, a title I had only vaguely heard about thanks to the critical acclaim it had garnered, was not its unique visual style (though that is certainly beautiful in its own right), but rather its soundtrack. From the outset, the music displays a clear western influence reminiscent of something like Trigun (and the dusty timbre of the narrator’s voice only reinforces this comparison). This was surprising considering the game’s art does nothing to evoke this imagery, but it adds a unique feel to the adventure and helps differentiate it from any other title I’ve played. What’s even more impressive is how beautiful each piece is, from the guitar-driven title theme to the haunting melody posted below, making it one of my favorite game soundtracks of the past year.

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DLC Coming to Sumioni: Demon Arts

January 15, 2012 Leave a comment

The 2D ink-themed action-platformer, Sumioni: Demon Arts, will be seeing downloadable content further down the line, the first of which will be a free update that adds a ranking mode to the game. In this mode you’ll be able to upload your clear time and damage amounts, which will determine your rank based on how little damage you sustain throughout a stage. Acquire Corp., the team behind Sumioni, is expected to be working on the title past release day and is looking into further possible downloadable content such as extra stages.

For those of you left in the dark, Sumioni is at heart a 2D platformer. Drawing similarities to Okami, its graphical aesthetic is reminiscent of Japanese sumi-e (ink and brush) artwork. Just by the use of your fingertips, you have the power to use ink, fire, and water as well as summon enormous, godly familiars. If you run out of ink you must furiously rub the back panel to refill your supply, leaving you vulnerable to attack.

The objective of Sumioni is to save the Light Princess. When you clear a stage, you’ll receive a star ranking based off of your clear time and accrued damage. Your path through the story will branch off based upon this ranking and will ultimately reveal one of the game’s multiple endings. Sumioni: Demon Arts is being developed by Acquire Corp. and will be released on the PS Vita in North America through XSEED Games.

Source: Andriasang