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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Out this Month! - October 2015

It's been quite some time since my last post here, but with life and everything getting in the way it can be hard to find the time. Working full time, getting home late, and only having a few hours of free time really makes updating the blog a challenge at times -- and this month isn't going to help things one bit.

If you've been keeping up with games, then you would know that October is going to be quite a busy month for many of us. There are a handful of games releasing all throughout this month, and today is where it all really gets started.

Metal Gear Online (Today) -

Starting today, owners of Metal Gear Solid V on consoles (sorry PC owners) will be receiving the Metal Gear Online (MGO) update. This update will give you access to the 3rd entry in the MGO series, and for the first time in history an MGO game will become playable on Microsoft consoles. Although some of you may have played the game in the past, MGO3 builds upon what was previously set during MGS3 and MGS4's version, and updates it for what we have come to know and love from MGSV. The game features the new gameplay changes, new stages, and new gear and equipment to use. As always MGO is still a player vs player type game, but it's one that is quite unique. If you've never played MGO before or you are a returning fan, then maybe you should check this one out. (Not much of a reason not to if you already own MGSV after all.)

Uncharted Collection (10/9/2015) -

While it isn't Uncharted 4, the original three Uncharted games are now heading to the PlayStation 4 console. This collection of games takes players through Nathan Drake's main adventures (sorry, no Golden Abyss) which set up the story for Drake's final adventure. Returning fans will find themselves enjoying updated versions of their favorite series, while newcomers will finally get a chance to see for themselves what all the hype is about. Of course the series isn't for everyone, but new players should expect to find themselves in a world of action, adventure, and comedy. With a mix of platforming, stealth, and shooting, the Uncharted series is a unique blend of genres unlike anything else. (At least until the Tomb Raider reboot came along.)

Chibi Robo Zip Lash (10/13/2015) -

For you Nintendo 3DS owners, a new platforming game is on it's way! Chibi Robo Zip Lash is the newest entry in the Chibi Robo series, but like the other entries it isn't really a true sequel to the original on the GameCube. Instead of exploring a house, cleaning up after humans, and interacting with the toys that have magically coming to life -- this one is a platforming game. On one hand it isn't the game fans have been waiting for, but on the other it is a new original platformer which may be worth checking out. If anything though, the main draw of this game may actually be what comes in it's bundle -- an Amiibo Chibi Robo! If you're a fan of the series and have always wanted to own your own Robo, then that dream is finally about to become a reality (at least in some form).

Yoshi's Wooly World (10/16/2015) -

To go along with the new 3DS platformer, Yoshi also returns to the Wii U (at least in the US). Seen as a spritual successor to Yoshi's Story on the Nintendo 64 and Kirby's Epic Yarn on the Wii, Yoshi's Wooly World blends the unique yarn mechanics from Kirby with the classic Yoshi gameplay from Island and Story. Players will be running through 2D stages, turning enemies into yarn balls, and throwing them at others to both solve minor puzzles, defeat foes, and uncover secrets. It's a game some of you fans may have been waiting well over 15 years for, but it's a game that everyone can play and enjoy.

Tales of Zestiria (10/22/2015) -

Fans of the Tales of series will be happy to know that the latest entry is finally here! Tales of Zestiria is a fully 3D Tales of game, with a larger more open world, seamless field to battle transitions (rather than loading a battle arena, you stay on the map), and a play style that resembles what we've come to expect from Team Destiny (Tales of Graces f like battle system). The game is being released on the PS3, and PS4, but also for the first time in the series' history, it will be coming to the PC. If you're a fan of JRPGs, or someone who has wanted to try a Tales of game in the past, this one may be something you'll want to pick up. Sure it's a lot different from other Tales of games, but it is a game that is sure to hold it's own. (Of course not every Tales of fan may enjoy it's changes, but it's still worth giving it a chance.)

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (10/23/2015) -

Well, it is October so many of you should have seen this coming -- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate. The newest entry in this long running (yearly released) series takes players to London during the industrial revolution. For the first time players will take on the roles of a brother and sister duo, and be able to freely switch between them. On top of this, the game also features driveable horse and carraiges, and brand new tools and weapons (such as brass knuckles) to get your job done.

Halo 5: Guardians (10/27/2015) -

Perhaps one of the biggest releases this month, and one fans have been waiting for for years. Halo 5: Guardians is the newest entry in the Halo series, and the first to be released specifically for the new Xbox One. Featuring brand new gameplay elements (such as gun sights, and ledge climbing), Halo 5 greatly improves on what has been previously established, and it also features a brand new co-op mode with 4 unique characters in each stage. In short, this is the game Halo fans have been waiting for, and it is sure to be a must have on the Xbox One.

Of course this isn't everything coming out this month, but I'm sure most would agree that this is more than enough! (Get ready to spend hundreds of dollars and hours people.)

Monday, September 21, 2015

PlayStation 20th Anniversary Controller

Well a blast from the past came in the mail today, the 20th Anniversary edition PlayStation 4 controller! While it still has the PS4's design, this new controller uses the original colors, and PS icon from the first PlayStation. Really it is kind of hard to believe that the PS1 is 20 years old now, but I guess time flies when you're having fun!

I still remember the day when I first got a PlayStation... It was a Christmas present I got to open the night before, and I was so excited finally being able to play that Rugrats game I wanted so much. Of course I had played my uncle's PS1 many times prior, but he would never spend his cash on something like Rugrats (although, he watched it?). So yeah, I was stuck waiting for my own, and when that day finally came, everything changed. I spent so much time playing that thing, and many of my favorite games of all time were published on it. So many great memories, and so many great games.

Anyway, if you are a long time fan, or someone looking for a new controller -- this one just may be the one to buy. It would go great with that free PlayStation theme (complete with PS1 sounds).

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

World of Final Fantasy - The Pokemon of FF?

If you've been following the Final Fantasy series at all, then you may remember hearing about the game "World of Final Fantasy" at E3 this year. When it was first announced it caught a lot of people off guard with it's chibi style, and when the news came that it was aimed more at the younger audience a lot of people expressed mix feelings about it. So today I'm going to take the time to explain to you guys just what this game is -- or rather, explain to you what it is we currently know.

First of all, World of Final Fantasy isn't your typical FF, but it does barrow a lot of series elements that long time fans will know and love. While Square flat out stated that the game would be more for the younger crowd (or at least, be a game they hope more kids get into), it isn't a game just for them. Considering the game is filled with loads of fan service (including past heroes who act as summons), it has something both newcomers and long time fans will enjoy. But, how does this make it not your typical FF game you might ask? Well, that's where the main gameplay comes in.

Although WoFF is an RPG and uses the Active Time Battle system seen in past entries, it's a game that you might call Square-Enix's answer to the monster collecting genre. Rather than traveling the world, having party members join you, and doing everything else you typically would see in one of these games -- this one has a high focus on monster collecting, and battling. You explore, you fight icon monsters, you recruit the monsters into your party, and then take on more monsters and enemies. Of course we've seen similar systems to this in the past (for example in XIII-2 where your 3rd party member was a summoned monster), but this game takes it to a whole new level with it being the main focus. On top of that, characters can also switch from real life sized versions of themselves, and chibi versions, which can then be stacked on top of other characters to form towers to boost attacks (and gain other types of bonuses). This is where the battle system really differs from the rest of the series, but it does so while remaining true to the series -- at least, according to Square-Enix it does.

While not much is currently known about the story, Square has promised to give us a deep story as well. Sure it may not be as dark as some of the other entries, but at least we know that they won't stray too far away from what makes Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy.

Anyway, for more information, feel free to check out the official trailer from TGS 2015 below.

Gravity Rush and Gravity Rush 2 coming to PS4! - Is this a good or bad?

A few years ago I bought a game called "Gravity Rush," and as some of you may remember, I reviewed it for NGR. Back when it first came out I didn't own a Vita, but I knew that it was something I wanted to play, and the console itself wasn't completely out of my reach -- or rather, I knew I'd be getting it within a few weeks or so. Really this was the first time I had ever bought a game without owning the console to play it on, but looking back, I think I made the right choice.

As you may recall, I gave this game a pretty high score for my review, and it was also my first PlayStation game that I received a platinum trophy on. I had a lot of fun with the game's gravity mechanics, I was interested in the story, the cell shaded art style was a treat to look at, and the characters were all lovable. Sure, it wasn't the type of game everyone would like, but I personally had a lot of fun with it. It was an open world sandbox title that put a new twist on things, and when I finished it it only left me wanting more. So, the long wait for the sequel began.

Considering Gravity Rush was one of the Vita's main titles, most of us assumed that the sequel would also land on the Vita. I mean, the game was suited perfectly for the Vita and it's touch and motion controls (as you touched the screen with both thumbs to skate across the ground, or titled the system to better control your aim when flying through the air), and considering the first one was Vita exclusive there was really no reason to think otherwise. Well, it turns out we were wrong. Gravity Rush 2 has now been announced, and it is actually a PlayStation 4 exclusive.

Although Sony themselves mentioned that they wouldn't put anymore major first party titles on the Vita (which has mostly become a machine for JRPGs, niche titles, and visual novels now days), it's kind of shocking to see that Gravity Rush was included in this statement. Besides making the sequel for the PS4, the original game is also being brought to the home console so that newcomers can play it -- similar to what happened with the other Vita exclusive Tearaway. On one hand this is a good thing since it allows players to get into the series, but on the other, Vita fans are going to feel a bit ripped off.

Currently not much is really known about the sequel (besides the fact that old main characters return, the graphics have been updated, and there's new mechanics to the gravity system), but considering it's a game Vita fans have waited years for now, it is an understatement to say that many are currently disappointed. On one hand the stronger hardware will allow the developers to do more with this title, but on the other they are alienating their fans. Of course one could argue that all fans need to do is buy the PS4, but the reality is not everyone can currently do that. Really it's a strange move to make at this point as this is not the first time (nor the last) that something similar has happened. Just earlier this year Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (a remastered PSP game) came out on consoles rather than on the Vita, and that too upset many fans.

So anyway, putting all of that aside, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well it really depends on who you are. If you're a Vita owner who loved the first and currently do not own a PS4 -- then it's bad news. You're beloved game was just taken from you, and now who knows when you'll be able to play it. On the other hand, if you never got to play the series because it was on Vita, or if you loved the original and and own a PS4 -- this is now your chance to either get into the series for the first time, or return to it. The harsh reality is that the Vita is limiting compared to the PS4, and thanks to this change the developers are no longer bound by them limits. Moving to the PS4 will allow them to make the biggest (and possibly best) Gravity Rush yet, and that by no means is a bad thing. It's bad for those who can't play it, but great for the game itself. Either way, it's something a lot of us have waited for, and it is now finally becoming a reality!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Mirror's Edge Give Away

It's been awhile since we've done this, but, first come first serve! If you want a free copy of Mirror's Edge on PC, use the code below (just remember to remove the brackets from around them.):

Mirror’s Edge Steam: [4X2BZ] [67NNT] [6HEYI] Origin: [2BR9] [9P9B] [VM3J] [UGSQ] [EQAJ]