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.
A new Dragon Ball Z brawler has finally been announced, sans release date, but what’s been seen is quite exciting.
Let me preface this by saying that I am a huge DBZ fan. Huge. Absolutely massive. I’ve been watching the show since I was five, and even as an older male, when it should be a ripe target for my practiced snark and cynicism, I can’t help but love it.
And I love video games. And video games about Dragon Ball Z are a particular delicacy, especially since they tend to be halfway-decent. A fan boy will endure a lot to play his favorite show, but Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, waaaaay back on the early PS2, is considered one of the first reasonably fun anime games to come here. And its “threequel”, Budokai 3, is actually considered to be a really good game. So was its successor trilogy, the Tenkaichi series, with Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 being my favorite DBZ game of all time, and a personal fave for its great music, fun combat and ungodly amounts of content. Continue reading →
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, Darkstalkersartist 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.
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.
Fresh off releasing Kat and Emmet for Playstation All-Stars, Sony has revealed two new characters for their take on the Party Fighter genre. First up is the main villain of the God of War series and and king of the gods, Zeus. He’s being set as a hard-hitting character, dishing out large, one-hit moves that send his opponents back and yields much buildup of his meter. His level 1 super is a standard, short-range move that can take out more than one character if timed correctly. His level 2 makes him levitate, following up with an attack that’ll KO his opponents. His level 3 turns him gargantuan, moving to the background (a la God of War III) and punching out his foes in one hit. The God of War series is the first one in PSAS to have two different characters (if you don’t count Evil Cole), i.e. there’s now a hero and a villain from a game. This opens the doors for more villains (or even sidekicks) from already represented series to come in. Could we be seeing Baron Praxis next?
One of two outcomes had to happen, and it looks like my gut was right. Atlus has released the original Playstation version of Persona 2 Eternal Punishment on PSN, finally making every Persona game much more possible to collect. Persona 2 Eternal Punishment was released late in the PS1’s lifecycle, and as such became a rather obscure title in the Persona series (and damn expensive as well). It wasn’t until games like Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, Digital Devil Saga, and Persona 3 brought the game into the limelight. Another odd thing about this entry was that it was actually the second game in the Persona 2 duality, probably confusing players when events of the first entry, Innocent Sin, would be recounted somewhat. However given the way things end up by the end of Innocent Sin, you’d probably be able to play the game anyway without too much being spoiled. Regardless, players would finally be able to play P2: IS on the PSP many years later.
Eternal Punishment would get the enhanced port treatment Innocent Sin got last year on the PSP. However many wondered if it was going to get localized considering the status of the PSP in the U.S. and the release of the Vita. Two things were going to happen to this game: it gets localized and released, albeit without the sweet packaging Persona 1 and Innocent Sin got, or the PS1 version got released on PSN, costing considerably less than localizing the PSP version. And it looks like they took option two. No word yet if the PSP version will get localized anyway, but it looks like a done deal and this will be the only way we play the game. Besides, at least the original PS1 game’s localization wasn’t as idiotic as the PS1 version of Persona 1.
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.
New cutscene and gameplay footage has been released for Platinum Games’s hack n’ slash title Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. The trailer showcases protagonist Raiden under control of his “Jack The Ripper” persona during a corporate raid in Colorado. This persona has been hinted at in previous Metal Gear Solid titles as Jack was a child soldier made to fight during the Liberian Civil War under the wing of Solidus Snake. The former was injected with nanomachines by the Patriots but repressed his memories of his horrific childhood. Once Raiden remembers he starts to suffer with self pity but finds redemption in his wife and child during Guns of The Patriots. His “other self,” lying dormant, surfaces during Rising and is a critical factor of his actions and mindset later in the game.
System: Ps2,PS3/Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment/Developer: Team ICO/Players: 1/Initial Release Date: 10-18-05
Over time, you see something in videogame development that turns the tide. Suddenly everyone wants to ride that wave. Then we get used to it, almost to the point of conditioning. Everyone expects a game to have a feature. Think two genres, the Hack n Slash, and the Platformer. In the hack n slash, you expect huge waves of enemies, crazy combos, and some riddles you might solve. Now think about platformers. You expect crazy level design, tricky jumps, and a spin attack. These have become essentials to their respective genres. And then Shadow of the Colossus comes in and dares us to change our perception of these genres. Defying the usual conventions of game design, it dared to do away with a few essentials to drive forth its minimalist approach and to engage the player in a way that hasn’t been since in a long time. How did it work out?
What do you get when you mix the visuals of Studio Ghibli with the expertise of Level 5? Ni No Kuni of course! With HD powering the vision, this cel-shaded RPG aims to be the most beautiful and vibrant games around. Prota and Suikoinfinity played this game, so let’s see what they have to say.
Prota: I played the boss battle section of the demo, so I got thrown into the fray without any real knowledge of the battle system. I have to admit, it was a little confusing at first, but I only have myself to blame for rushing into a boss fight. The combat felt like a mix of turn based and action RPGs mixed with Pokemon. Elemental attacks and weakness seem like they are going to play a pivotal role in taking down tougher enemies as most of my attack did little to injure the boss unless they were wind elemental. Knowing when to switch up your characters and their monsters also are important for managing your team and keeping everyone alive. I see a lot of potential in the battle system and, while some of the attacks seemed a little lackluster in the visual department, the gameplay felt top-notch.
Suikoinfinity: Ni no Kuni looks amazing! I couldn’t stop and admire the scenery for too long though because my goal was to rush to the end of the dungeon in the exploration demo and discover whether or not there was a boss to kill while learning the combat system. It was a race against time to the exit, so I tried avoiding battles as much as I could. Even though I had little time for experimenting, the combat system felt great, once the initial confusion subsided. I haven’t had my JRPG fix in a while, so this might do it when it releases!
Kratos is back and still ad angry as ever. However, we’re not here to see his anger. Instead, we’re here to see the multiplayer mode and to evaluate this mode has a chance of standing side-by-side with the single-player campaign.
Gesfrid: For the 1st time ever, SCE Santa Monica Studio has introduced a multiplayer feature for up to 8 players on the latest God of War game. In the beginning of the game, players can choose and customize their spartan warrior. The multiplayer game takes place on a desert. Players are on two teams of four where they will try to take control of the map so they can earn their rewards from the Gods. In the desert map, players will battle each other and go up against the giant Cyclops named Polyphemus in the background. The game offers a unique combat play-style and abilities in battle. Just like any other previous God of War game, players can use magic spells, select a variety of deadly weapons, open up chest to find orbs to heal your life or to upgrade your weapon up to a maximum level.
There is a mode called “Favor of the Gods”. In this mode, the 1st player to accumulate a target amount points will achieve victory. Points are earned by kills and is known as “Favor”. The Team can capture altars (which is quite similar to capture-the-flag) and they can also set up traps for opposing players. Another new control feature that was introduced is called “Escape and Heal” meaning you get to escape from opposing player grabbing you, then jump and heal yourself. Whoever captures the most gears and earn the most favor points, the Gods will award you with the spear of Olympus which will be used to annihilate Polyphemus and then the winning team will be able to gain it’s territory. However if the other team gain it’s territory, the giant cyclops will go back to its position and then the spear of Olympus will be lost. Overall, it is a very fun, great game so that millions of players can experience the new elements/features of God of War. Go forth in the name of Olympus!
Looks like Jet Set Radioain’t dead after all! SEGA has announced a new collection of games under the SEGA Heritage moniker. Think SEGA Vintage, but for more recent games. The first wave of this collection will include Jet Set Radio HD and will be available to on September 18th and 19th on PS3 and Xbox 360 respectively. PS Plus subscribers will get JSR one week early. Sega Saturn classic NiGHTS Into Dreams then makes loops and link in October. No specific date for that yet, but at least we know it’ll be within that month. Same goes for Sonic Adventure 2, the game some considered to be the last great 3D Sonic game before its decline (and somewhat revival with Sonic Generations). All three games will cost you $9.99 each. No word if they’re will be some sort of bundle price once SA2 is released, but there ya go.
Two trademarks, from two companies, for two hard to grasp games got renewed. First was The Last Guardian from Sony. The ever-tardy game from Team ICO had its trademark expire, making everyone fearful that the game was going to be cancelled. The fear was made worse when reports arose that Kenji Kaido, a Producer at Team ICO, had left Sony and the team. It the midst of all the fear and speculation, Sony reports that they had actually renewed their trademark the same day it expired. So there’s still hope yet for the game’s release.
The other trademark that got renewed was Skies of Arcadia. NeoGAF user Jcgamer60 unearthed a trademark renewal form from Trademarkia. The trademark was renewed on July 11, 2012. One would think that this would mark a Summer release. But today’s Labor Day, and nothing’s come out of it. Fall release perhaps? This high-flying sky-pirate RPG was first released on the Dreamcast to rave reviews and gamer praise. When the Dreamcast fell, it was was ported to the Gamecube as Skies of Arcadia Legends. Both times the game had a limited release (former because of the console’s abrupt end, latter because… well who knows). So many never really had a chance to play this game the two times it was released. I almost had a chance myself back then. The closest anyone had to play the game was in Valkyria Chronicles where Vyse and Aika were available to recruit into Squad 7. This might become the best chance for many (including me) for finally play this game and see what all the hubbub was about.