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Monday, September 1, 2014

Persona 5 - Teaser (Coming to PlayStation 4!)

For anyone who stayed up last night till early morning to watch the PlayStation stage show, then you were able to see something a lot of gamers have been waiting for for a long time; the first real teaser for Persona 5. As for those of you who missed it, well, don't worry! We've got you covered! Check out the new teaser below:

While this teaser didn't show off any gameplay, it did give everyone a better look at what they could expect from the next entry in the series. From what we've seen, the game will feature a new main character, it will take place in Shibuya, and not only will it be released on the PlayStation 3--but on the PlayStation 4 as well. As for the story and gameplay, not much is currently known. However, according to an interview with series director Katsura Hashino, the game will be about facing the hardships of modern day society. Each character will be restricted by the rules set for them, and will have to face these "chains" (hence the prisoner theme we've been seeing). The game is also said to be much more personal, and it will leave players inspired to take on their own challenges in everyday life. Persona 5 will still take place in a high school setting, but due to the new themes and tone, it will be different from Persona 3 and Persona 4.

For more on Persona 5, feel free to check back soon for updates.

Friday, August 29, 2014

New Nintendo 3DS will have Exclusive Games, including Xenoblade Chronicles

In our previous article we discussed the new Nintendo 3DS Model, but what we failed to mention is, it is much more than just a new model. If you're already the owner of a 3DS, then we're sorry to say that its possible many future titles will not be playable unless you upgrade. Due to the New 3DS's improved CPU, developers are now able to push their games a bit farther, and do things they were previously unable to (while making use of the new buttons as well).

If you're a fan of Xenoblade Chronicles, then you may be both happy and sad to hear that the original Xenoblade Chronicles will be making its way to the new 3DS. The game features a massive open world, with hundreds of side quests, hundreds of npcs, a day and night cycle, and tons of equipment and customization options, and because of these things the original 3DS simply couldn't handle it. The console wasn't strong enough due to it having a weaker CPU than the Wii, but thanks to the new 3DS, this is no longer an issue. On top of that the built in right nub (which acts as a second circle pad) allows for camera control, while keeping the other buttons free for a wide verity of actions as well. In short, the game is built specifically for the new 3DS, and it will not be the last to do so.

Nintendo has already confirmed that more games are in the works which will only work on the new 3DS. While no details were given over what these games are, they did make it clear that this will be a long term thing. Despite the new 3DS being a 3DS, it seems as if Nintendo will be treating it like a new console, and as time goes on more and more developers will support it. In other words, if you want to keep playing Nintendo games, you may one day have to upgrade to the next model.

Although this is the first time a Nintendo handheld has had a major upgrade, it isn't the first time where owning a newer model unlocked extra features. The Nintendo DSi was the first handheld to access a digital store (which eventually evolved into the eShop), and owning a DSi also opened up camera based features in a select few DS games. Meanwhile on the other side of the market, Sony also did a similar thing with their PSP. The newer models of the PSP had more built in RAM, and that in return allowed for some games to do a bit more. While this never really impacted the west, in Japan games such as Final Fantasy Type-0 had restricted features if you didn't have a newer model (in Type-0's case, it was online multiplayer). Still none of these other models actually stopped players from getting new games, nor did they force you to upgrade to them. That's the sort of thing you expect from a mobile device, not a handheld game console.

Introducing the New Nintendo 3DS

Like the DS, GBA, and GBC/GB line before it, the Nintendo 3DS has already had a few different models. The console has already received multiple colors and special editions, a larger "XL" version, and a "2D" version called the "2DS." For some this may seem like enough, but Nintendo isn't quite ready to call it quits.

Meet the new Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL! While at first glance it may seem to be similar to the originals, it has some new key features which fans have been asking for for years. On the right side of the console is a mini "nub" which acts as a right analog stick/circle pad, and on the back is a second set of triggers. Previously gamers would have had to buy the "Circle Pad Pro" add on to gain these extra buttons, but not too many people cared for it. It made the 3DS bulky, and caused the screen to be off center when you held it in your hands.

On top of the addition of the new buttons, the new 3DS also has a built in NFC reader (similar to the Wii U's controller) which allows players to make use of the upcoming Amiibo figures, an 3D, and a stronger CPU which allows for faster system operations (such as browsing the eShop, using Mii Verse, etc). Nintendo will also be releasing sliding covers for the new 3DS which will allow you to change its color and style.

As of right now the new models are scheduled for release in Japan October of next year.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Azure Striker Gunvolt Out Tomorrow - Why Mega Man Fans should care

With everyone still up in arms about Inafune's new "Mega Man" (Mighty No 9), the world seems to forget that Beck isn't the only new blue hero in town... Or maybe the world just doesn't know?

The History:

After Inafune left Capcom and Mega Man Legends 3 was canceled, fans lost hope for the series. Capcom's last release was a fan game crossover between Mega Man and Street Fighter, while all of their "official" releases were nothing more than mobile ports of older titles. Nothing new has gone into the works, and Capcom continues to avoid the subject of the series' future. Sure they've commented a few times stating that Mega Man isn't dead, but they never have anything to back their statements up. Instead, they offer version after version of Street Fighter 4. So, when Inafune announced that he'd be making his own "Mega Man" it isn't that shocking that fans flocked to it. The game reached all of its goals on Kickstarter, and even an animated series has gone into the works. To put it simply, the project is already a huge success, and fans can't wait to get their hands on it. The only thing though... The Mega Man series really isn't that "clear cut." Sure Mighty No 9 may be the new Mega Man, but what about the others?

For those who do not know, the Mega Man series isn't quite like others out there. For example, when someone mentions a game such as "The Legend of Zelda," what do you think? Chances are you'll think of an adventure game where you run through dungeons, explore a world, get cool equipment, and make your way through a story. Well, guess what? Mega Man has that too, and it's called Mega Man Legends (Or Rockman DASH if you're in Japan). Unlike most games out there, the Mega Man series is actually more than one series. While the classic games were platformers where you ran through stages and got new powers from fighting bosses (just as we see in Mighty No 9), the other are quite a bit different.

Mega Man X was the second series to be released, and was the first to make use of the (at the time) new Super Nintendo. While it kept its platforming roots, it sped up the gameplay by adding a dash move, the ability to wall climb, and by adding in the ability to charge up special weapons for different effects. The game was a bit more challenging than the classics, the story was much darker, and it even featured a brand new cast of characters. As time went on, Mega Man X went down its own path away from the classics, and eventually allowed you to play as the swordsman Zero, as well as the mysterious "Axl" who could transform into the enemies he killed. This series became much more action oriented than the originals, and gained a strong following of its own.

During the course of the Mega Man X series, another series emerged once again. While the second spin off was an action adventure game (Legends), the third was called Mega Man Zero and it followed in line of the X games. This time around the story focused on Zero, and took place even farther into the dark future of the timeline. With Zero the art style switched to a bit more realistic one, stages became more open, light RPG elements were introduced (with weapons that leveled up with use, and upgrades/skills/abilities to find and use), and the action was brought up a notch as well. The series only lasted for four games on the Game Boy Advance, but once it ended it evolved yet again.

Mega Man ZX was the follow up to the Zero series, and this time it featured human characters who could barrow the powers of heroes from the past. While the game did follow in the footsteps of Zero (more so than Zero compared to X), the ability to change your armor and fighting style on the fly greatly enhanced the gameplay, and the new open world found in the first game (not it's sequel "ZX Advent") changed how the game progressed in general. Once again, just as Zero and X before it, the game gained its own fanbase, and the ending of ZX Advent just left wanting more. Like the classic Mega Man series, X series, and Legends, the ZX series just sort of ended without any real conclusion, and fans had no choice but to wait for Capcom to make their next move... Which to this day has never happened.

Besides the action line of games, there was also the Battle Network series which was a "card based" action RPG. Just like the Zero games, Battle Network was a series found on the Game Boy Advance, and it too gained popularity both in the west and Japan. Not only did it spark a long running anime series, but it had a toy line, and produced a few spin off titles of its own. Once it ended it too moved onto the DS in the form of the Star Force series, but that's all besides the point, and has nothing to do with the point of this article; Azure Striker Gunvolt.

Azure Striker:

What a lot of people don't realize is that along with the "reboot" of Mega Man comes a reboot of the Zero and ZX series as well. Azure Striker Gunvolt is the first entry in what may become a long running series (depending on sales of course). Created by Inafune and the team behind the Zero and ZX games, it is what one would call a true spiritual successor.

Azure Striker releases tomorrow in the west as a Nintendo 3DS/2DS eShop exclusive. The game is only 15 bucks, but it is a full fledged title. Following in the line of ZX, the game features the same art style, the freedom to select the order you take on different stages, the ability to dash and wall kick off of walls returns, and the RPG elements make their way back in with enhancements as well. For anyone who has played Zero or ZX, you will feel right at home with this one, but at the same time you'll find it to be quite a bit different as well.

The game's story focuses around a young boy with psychic electric based powers, and that plays a key role in the gameplay. As you progress through the game you'll unlock new skills and abilities (which you can equip or unequip to suit your needs), but the basics of his attacks comes down to this. You'll shoot your gun to do light damage and tag enemies, and then you'll unleash your electric powers which deal damage to said target until your energy bar is empty and you have to recharge (which takes less than a second). With a combo score at the top of the screen, the game pushes you to combo kill as much as possible as you speed through the stages to get the best score. Just like with the Zero games, the game can be seemingly easy at first, but if you want to ace the stages, it requires a great amount of skill.

On top of the Mega Man Zero/ZX styled Gunvolt, a second free game comes along with it for a limited time. "Mighty Gunvolt" is a crossover between three different games the developers have worked on, with the two main ones being Gunvolt and Mighty No 9. This eShop game is none other than a classic 8-bit style game where you can play as, well, Gunvolt and Beck. It is a full throw back to the NES days of Mega Man, and is sure to please fans.

So, there you have it. Just when you thought Mighty No 9 was the Mega Man revival, this game comes along to show that there is more. Now, we ask you, if you're a Mega Man fan or Zero/ZX fan, help spread the word! Unlike Mighty No 9 (which everyone knows), this game gets little to no promotion, and most may not even know its origins. It's your job to let them know!

For more information, check out the official website below:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pokken Tournament, Pokemon Fighting Game, Announced for Japanese Arcades

Today, The Pokemon Company has announced a partnership with Namco Bandai. Of all things, they have announced a Pokemon fighting game called Pokken Tournament. The developers, as Masaaki Hoshino, SoulCalibur producer put it, includes "our best developers, we made the best graphics, and created the best action game, so please! Please look forward to this!"

The trailer shows off something that seems slightly realistic and yet, outlandish. The gameplay certainly seems reminicent of Tekken, yet with Pokemon moves thrown in, and at the very end, we even get a glimpse of MegaLucario.

Pokken Tournament will be released in Japanese arcades at some point in 2015. No word yet on any console or Western release.