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Archive for April, 2012

Gravity Rush Gets Preorder Bonuses

Thinking about buying Gravity Rush on the PSN? You might want to reconsider. Gravity Rush will be hitting stores on June 12. Participating retailers will be offering exclusive content if you pre-order it. This is rather disappointing news as I just recently convinced my self to go full digital with the PS Vita. Nonetheless, my copy has been pre-ordered.

Along with your copy you’ll receive the Military DLC Pack featuring two extra side missions, two new challenge missions and a military-themed costume for Kat, the protagonist. You won’t be able to access the two extra missions until you have completed Episode 17 of the main story. As for the two challenge missions, they won’t be accessible until you’ve completed Episode 8 and 11 of the main game.

Japan received other packs of DLC. Each pack consists of one costume, two side missions and three challenge missions. The DLC packs that haven’t been reported coming to other territories that Japan recently received are the Cat Suite Pack, School Uniform Pack, and Maid Costume Pack. Let’s all cross our fingers and hope we get to witness them all.

Oh, and is it too late to ask for Kat to appear in this so-called “PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale” game? Make it happen, Sony.

Categories: News Tags: , , ,

Not So New Anymore

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when Nintendo announced New Super Mario Bros. 2 during its Nintendo Direct presentation last week. I knew another New Super Mario game was inevitable (given the remarkable success of the previous titles), but like many others, I had assumed the upcoming Wii U iteration (which was confirmed to be based on last year’s New Super Mario Bros. Mii demo) would fill that role. I did not expect the company would be developing a second one simultaneously (let alone releasing both of them in the same year), which is why the news came more as a shock to me than as a pleasant surprise.

That being said, my disappointment is born out of much deeper concerns than the one I mentioned above, which is why I’d like to take this opportunity to explain some of the reasons I’m not particularly excited about New Super Mario Bros. 2. You’ll find that none of them has anything to do with the actual quality of the game (as I have no doubt it will ultimately be fun), but rather with its implications for the series (and the state of Nintendo as a whole).

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Milking a Series

Jordan couldn’t have picked a better time to write his article about his issues with finishing games and blaming sequels as part of the problem. Recently, as Jordan was working on his article, I was thinking about sequels and what bothered me about them and what I enjoyed about them. When I saw Jordan’s article, I figured it was fated for me to share what was on my mind. There are some games out there that I completely agree are draining a series by releasing so many sequels, and a perfect example is Assassin’s Creed.

The best part of Assassin’s Creed is the story. Not Desmond’s story exactly; I couldn’t find the time to care about his side of things, but exploring during the Crusades time period as well as the Renaissance was fascinating. I loved exploring historic monuments, characters, and reading about them. The first Assassin’s Creed was a brutal experience; it was very slow-paced, with not a lot of action going on. The story, however, was very interesting, good enough to want to actually endure the drowsy gameplay. Assassin’s Creed 2 was a different experience. It continued the great story and the experience of discovering the unknown, but the gameplay received a much-needed improvement, which quickened the pace of the overall game (an improvement that made me experience what it feels like to get my first Platinum Trophy, which I had to share because I only have about 2 or 3 of them).

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Finishing Games: My Problem and My Rant

I don’t know what it is lately, but I’m having a whole lot of trouble playing and finishing games. I’ve found myself either just not finishing them at all or rushing through them, not because I’m enjoying it, but rather because I want it to end. It started back in the holiday season of 2011. I was playing blockbuster hits like Gears of War 3, Uncharted 3, and Modern Warfare 3. Gears of War 3 was so difficult for me to finish. I was simply worn out on the story and the world that I could barely force myself to play. This is sad because I loved the others so dearly.  Then there was Uncharted 3. The third installment of one of the best franchises I’ve ever played. Amazing storytelling and some of the best set pieces ever found in games. Once again though, I got about half way through, and began to fade. I mean, I found myself practically falling asleep while playing. Boredom was sinking in. I finished the game, but felt as though I miserably forced myself to get through it. Then the annual Call of Duty came out. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m truly addicted to COD multiplayer. This game, however, was different. Once again I couldn’t get nearly as into it as years past.

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A Trip Down TCG Lane

Like every child who grew up during the height of Pokémon’s popularity, I was very big into the Pokémon Trading Card Game. I was never particularly interested in playing the card game, though; my obsession was in collecting them. Every few weeks my sister and I would pool our allowances together and beg our dad to take us to the local comic book shop, spending what little money we had on the latest packs and figurines from Japan.

Of course, we eventually outgrew this phase of our lives, but for nostalgia’s sake (and to give my sister an excuse to procrastinate on her term paper), she and I went to another comic book shop (the one we had frequented so often in our childhood had, sadly, closed its doors many years ago) this weekend and purchased a few new packs of cards. It had been well over a decade since we’d last done anything of the sort, but standing there amongst the comic books and other assorted nerdery, it was hard not to think back to those carefree days of when the franchise was still new and exciting. This was a way for us to relive our youth, if only for a brief moment.

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PlayStation Vita Review

You know, it’s funny, I was under the impression that this year would be quiet. I guess with all the good releases last year, I didn’t have time to think about 2012. Now that we are here, I can’t help but think how good the start of this New Year has been for me, what with a nice new piece of hardware as well as some great software. I’ll discuss the hardware here; you’ll be able to read my impressions on the software soon after.

The PlayStation Vita… Oh, how I thought of you ever since I got my hands on a PSP. The PSP did not bode well with me. The same XMB Media Bar as the PS3, one analog stick, pretty decent size along with a pretty hefty weight, and often graphics equal to the PS One. Do graphics matter? Yeah, I’d say so. Maybe I should say visuals impress me. Saying graphics might make one think I’m impressed with only realistic graphics; in truth, I’m impressed with anything that looks visually impressive, from realistic to cel-shaded. You can say I like my games as I like my women: attractive…  Yeah… I said that… (That’s not to say visuals are all that matters; I just include it as a factor, which can make a game sometimes better or not.)

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Categories: Reviews Tags: , , ,

Back in Black (and White)

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Pokémon, so you can imagine how excited I was when Game Freak announced a pair of direct sequels to Pokémon Black and White instead of the typical “third” version we were all expecting. Not only did this buck the release pattern the series had been following since its debut, but it hinted at bigger changes still in store for the aging franchise.

With so many potential directions the games could take (and so little information on them), I went ahead and compiled a round table of predictions for Black 2 and White 2. Of course, all of that hard work was invalidated the moment CoroCoro hit newsstands and revealed the first concrete details about the pair, but I hope you’ll give our predictions a look (preferably before reading the CoroCoro information) nonetheless! If anything, it’ll be amusing to see just how wrong we (well, mostly me) all were.