What transpired this week has been nothing short of chaotic and, personally, further enlightening of how I feel about the state of affairs regarding the gaming community and gaming journalism. As I write this, I’m still afraid of the repercussions that might be imposed on me, my staff, and everything we’ve worked on since 2011. So much so that I’m even afraid to name names. I’m not even tagging this article with the terms that it should be tagged in. Never before have I seen a single article be enough to take an entire website offline, and self-hosted no less. I expressed my concerns when this whole thing started blowing up, and that’s exactly what happened. Thankfully, the site has returned, but I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to see everything you worked on disappear because of something you said on a single article. This is the kind of thing the SOPA fiasco warned us about, where criticism and reporting, even at its most objective, would simply be wiped away because the subject(s) didn’t like what was being said.
I’ve been kicking this thought around from time to time, wondering to myself if the Brawler genre truly died. It was one of the grand staples of the 90s arcade scene with games like Final Fight, Streets of Rage, the D&D brawlers, and Double Dragon. In the jump to 3D, these games stuck around, but didn’t quite have the lasting appeal of its predecessors. Games like Die Hard Arcade and Fighting Force tried to fill the void, but it looked like the genre was on its way out. Or at least that’s that some in the media and community had proclaimed when less and less of these types of games were being released both at home and in the arcades. When games like The Warriors and Viewtiful Joe were released in the early and mid 2000s, some would even say that these games had revitalized the genre. But was there anything to really revive? Simple answer really: No. In fact, the genre was alive and well, it just took on a different name.
Shit just got real with Dragon’s Crown. A new update has been released for Dragon’s Crown, and this is a pretty significant update. First the Level Cap. Originally, the level cap was 99 on Infernal Mode. Now players can play the game in Ultimate Mode, which lifts the level cap to 255. On top of this, a new dungeon called the Tower of Mirages has been added. It’s a dungeon of randomly generated rooms and has, I’m not kidding, tens of thousands of levels. Looks like my Amazon Twerka’s gonna have a lot more twerkin’ to do before I declare her adventure complete (I just started on Infernal Mode). Ultimate Mode becomes available only if you beat the 9th floor of the Labyrinth of Chaos.
On top of this comes a few more gameplay improvements. Now when you attack enemies, you can see a damage total instead a bunch of numbers popping up. If you have a save file with the story complete, you can now play as other characters and skip straight to the Talisman quest. Also, if you completed quest as your main character, you don’t have to do the guild quests again as the others (so now I can rock the Sorceress without dreading doing those quests over, like the solo challenges…). And finally, if you’re still having trouble seeing your characters in the midst of all the chaos, you can now toggle character transparency for when they overlap.
So get out there and get crackin’ on that new level cap. And remember, this update is free.
Remember that mode in Double Dragon on the NES that allowed to to fight against your pals as either Billy or Jimmy? If you do, then this should be a pleasant surprise for you. It’s been confirmed via Famitsu (translated by Siliconera) that Dragon’s Crown will have a Player vs. Player mode in it where you can duke it our with others either locally or online. The article doesn’t state what kinds of matches are possible beyond a 4-player battle royale, but I’d imagine that other kinds would still be possible, like 2 vs. 2, handicap matches, etc. Since it’s possible to play as the same characters in the regular mode, I’m assuming the same can be done here.
Want a reason to have the Sorceress narrate your journey like it’s sponsored by Vodafone? Well you might be in luck. Atlus has confirmed that for the first month of Dragon’s Crown’s release, the Character Narration voice pack will be free. With this voice pack, the character you pick for your journey will narrate the story instead of the regular narrator. Not quite sure which parts have narration, but a good guess would be when you enter a dungeon and the narrator tells the stories pertaining to that dungeon.
This will apply for all six playable characters. It’s unknown what language the voice pack will be.
After the month is over, the DLC will cost $1.99
Yes! Booyah! Go baby go! Woooooo! USA! USA! USA!
Ahem… pardon my lack of professionalism (and constant fellating of Dragon’s Crown). So then, it’s confirmed that the artbook Japanese gamers get when they pre-order Dragon’s Crown will also be available for U.S. fans as well. Judging from the image above, it looks to be a soft cover if the the sort of “depth” of the spine is anything to go by.
Vanillaware games have been really deserving of an artbook, and and we’re finally getting one. Along with George Kamitani’s art and concepts, other popular artists have contributed to the book too with their interpretations of the Dragon’s Crown cast. They include Code of Princess artist Kinu Nishimura, Darkstalkers artist Akira Yasuda (aka Akiman), and Street Fighter/MvC veteran artist BENGUS.
In the midst of all the tasty hoopla surrounding Dragon’s Crown, I thought why don’t I go check out the website of the game I covered extensively since its UTV Ignition days. I already knew that the Japanese site was updated with new U.I. and enchanting music courtesy of Hitoshi Sakimoto. So I wondered if the North American site was still the same as we saw it when UTV was still publishing it. Lo and behold, they did give it the same facelift that the Japanese site had gotten, though it probably took long for them to change it. Last time I checked was around the release of the Sorceress trailer.
The release of Dragon’s Crown draws ever closer in Japan, so Atlus will be putting together videos detailing each of the individual characters players can choose from. Starting with the Fighter, he seems to be the go-to person if you want a balanced character with attacks and defense. That shield of his can protect allies who might be in harm’s way. Take for instance the scene in 0:27. The Fighter stands in front of the Sorceress (more on her after the break), blocking enemy attacks while she casts some magic against the enemy. Alongside some sick combos, Fighter also has some good crowd control in the form of a shoulder tackle. If things get to hectic, the fighter can tackle an enemy, sending them flying across the screen and away from him (and probably to another ally that can properly deal with it). Fighter’s also got an attack that’ll bring surrounding enemies to a crumple state, giving him some room to breathe.
The moment we laid eyes on Vanillaware’s upcoming Dragon’s Crown, we were absolutely floored by how beautifully detailed and stunningly animated the game was. Once again, Vanillaware’s expertise with 2D animation would be on full display, and this time in HD. With each trailer I posted here, I described to the best of my knowledge what I was seeing. And by best I meant “one the surface, what am I looking at.” However one art blogger, Richmond, took it one step further to analyze the various influences Dragon’s Crown had on display.
For his analysis, he watched the most recent trailer for the game (which now has an English version) Just to summarize a few of the many things he covers, much of what influences Dragon’s crown comes from Disney Cartoons, Greek mythology, sculpture, and architecture, Judeo-Christian motifs, Renaissance paintings, classic films, and Conan The Barbarian. He even analyzes things many might overlook, like an emblem on a knight, the parchment around the sword that’s stabbing a ghost knight, and even that other buxom sorceress. If you’re an art nut and/or wondering what makes this game tick, go on and read Richmond’s article over at Art-Eater. He’s also got something for you fighting game fans out there.
We’ve got two things to talk about today, and the first one is very serious. It was speculated (then revealed after recording) that the shooter at Sandy Hook, Adam Lanza, used first-person shooters like Call of Duty to train himself how to use a gun. Then again, the guy had a huge cache of guns in his basement and was quite nutso. Still, that didn’t stop the press from latching on to the videogame violence headline. This is what we’re here to talk about.
After that, talked bout PAX East game reveals. One of the biggest reveals was DuckTales Remastered. WayForward’s handling development, which makes us all the more giddy. What else at PAX East filled us with this kind of excitement? Well, you’ll have to load up part 2 after the break!
The Wired Fish Podcast is back baby! This time we’ve used Google+ Hangouts On-Air to record our podcasts from our homes. So if you ever wish to catch us live, do follow our Facebook and Tumblr page. It’ll be where we post links to where you can catch us live. So what are you seeing up here? Well it’s the official release of that live recording, all cleaned up with graphics, trailers, and some neato music for the credits sequence. It’s also audio-only, so we don’t appear on-screen. Hmm, we haven’t done that since the very first episode of the podcast back in 2011.
So then, in this episode, we talked about the games we played. And remember, the format is different this season, so we may not stick to this topic for long. But we have a handy Timestamp of Contents after the break!
Atlus said that they’d divulge new info on Dragon’s Crown today, and they’ve done just that. They released a new trailer, showing off a slew of new characters that we haven’t seen before. After the flourish of player characters, we see what looks to be a king and a queen (or maybe an artisan and a queen?). Right after them is a knight with with a sword through his chest holding a scroll, a priest, and a rather burly knight (the same knight from the initial reveal). We see a different merchant this time around, probably from the same guild as the other one we saw before. We then see a burly Conan-The-Barbarian looking dude and a menacing woman afterwards. Enemies perhaps? Then we see a man from the eyes of someone holding out his hands, a woman draped in a white gown lounging, and a mouse dancing someone’s hand.
Previously on News Regarding Dragon’s Crown, Atlus took over publishing duties from UTV Ignition. They also started lending a hand in the actual development of the game. Since then, well not much else was known (outside of Atlus censoring the Amazon and the Sorceress in the U.S. side of the official website). The trailer itself is pretty short, but quite a few new things are shown. For starters, we see some new art for all the characters. We can also see what seems to be player indicators over each character’s head and damage output numbers for attacks. We also see some new locales not seen in the initial trailer, including a ruined tower that can be traversed from the inside and outside via magic carpet. Finally, we see more of that mysterious merchant-like person that followed the heroes in the previous trailer. This time, he’s accompanied by a fairy.
Many feared that the game was in trouble after reports surfaced that developer Vanillaware were having problems making both Grand Knights History and Dragon’s Crown at the same time. The troubles piled on after XSEED cancelled GKH‘s localization since Vanillaware would have to do the programming (XSEED lacks this), and they already had their hands full. Now that GKH is released in Japan, they can now focus on Dragon’s Crown development. Atlus is also reported to begin talking about the game this March. Screenshots from the trailer after the break.
A while ago I expressed concern over the fate of Ignition Entertainment and what Disney might do to the company now that it owns a commanding share of UTV, Ignition’s parent company. Well, two bits of info has surfaced. First the good news. Ignition has announced that it’ll be bringing over Magical Drop V. Magical Drop V is part of a long running puzzle game franchise by Data East. To the rest of you, you probably know of Magical Drop from this animated gif that’s circle around the internet for ages. But Magical Drop is a really fun game, fast paced, and really, really hard. No lie, computer opponents will kick your ass with cleats on. If you wanna try out Magical Drop, it’s available now on Wii’s Virtual Console and PSN.
And now for the slightly sad news. Someone by the name of Matt Donnelley had forwarded an email to IGN stating that Amazon had cancelled his preorder of Dragon’s Crown, stating that the game would “not be released by the supplier on the expected date. As a result, we cancelled them from your order and your credit card wasn’t charged.” Amazon proceeded to delist the game from their catalog. Just to make sure, IGN also checked Gamestop, and the game is no where to be found either. After the story was posted, an illustrator from Vanillaware tweeted that the game was still in development and to wait for an official release announcement. This delisting thing could mean that either something Ignition related might be happening, Vanillaware needs to delay the game a bit, or, like Xenoblade, Vanillaware/Ignition might choose one store to sell their game. For now, we wait.
Magical Drop V set for summer [Gamezone]
Uh-oh. Disney’s hungry, and it want to nibble on a bit of India. UTV is known for making TV shows and films in India. But to us, they’re the guys that own Ignition Entertainment, the publishers of Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Dragon’s Crown, and Deadly Premonition as well as the developers of El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. BBC reports that Disney saw the opportunity to increase their presence in India when they noticed that UTV had shares that they didn’t own, and seized a controlling portion of UTV. Once the acquisition is finished, Disney will delist UTV from the Bombay Stock Exchange. So far a brand name change is unknown. As for Ignition, this could be wither good or bad. Good because Disney could finance them after a rough 2011. Bad because Disney might either let them go to fend for themselves, or just shut them down, leaving the fate of PSV/PS3 game Dragon’s Crown‘s western release up in the air.