Gaming

Review: “Tales of Phantasia” for iOS

Posted by: |

Review: “Tales of Phantasia” for iOS

The classic RPG Tales of Phantasia has long been revered by those in the know. Released for the Super Famicom in 1995, it boasted incredible graphics, a not particularly original but still entertaining story, and an innovative real-time battle system. Sadly, the original version never made it to the U.S.. Over time it built a following. In 2003 readers of the renowned Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu crowned it as the best Namco game of all time. Finally a port for the Game Boy Advance saw an American release in 2006. The port received mixed reviews.

Now the game has found its way onto the App Store – for free, no less, and longtime fans – and many such as myself who’ve never played it – were quite excited. But as it turns out, there’s nothing free about this game.

Read On

[Review] Insurgency

Posted by: |

[Review] Insurgency

In the fall of last year, I had the opportunity to do an extended preview of New World Interactive‘s Insurgencyand was, to put it mildly, not very impressed. Insurgency follows in the footsteps of a great heaping mass of cookie-cutter tactical class-based multi-player shooters, and did so with very little in the way of originality or appeal.

And so after four months of work, on Wednesday 22 January, New World Interactive released Insurgency into one of the most crowded and competitive markets in the industry. Does Insurgency have what it takes to make more than a fleeting impression?

In short, the answer is still a no, albeit a far less resounding no.

Read On

‘Gears’ franchise migrates… North?

Posted by: |

‘Gears’ franchise migrates… North?

Microsoft Studios announced its acquisition of the Gears of War franchise from Epic Studios, its original creators, today. This includes not only upcoming games that will be developed under the studio, but also the previous iterations of the series and all merchandise thereof.

The reigns for the development of future games in the franchise have been handed over to the Vancouver-based subsidiary studio of Microsoft, Black Tusk.

Read On

New MMO from SOE teased in Reddit AMA

Posted by: |

New MMO from SOE teased in Reddit AMA

The MMO world was abuzz on Friday after John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment, teased a new unannounced MMO from the team during an “Ask Me Anything” on the Everquest Next subreddit.

At first, Smedley sent out a heart attack to Star Wars fans after one response seemed to suggest a new game, perhaps even a sequel to the much-missed Star Wars Galaxies.

Read On

‘Resident Evil 4: Ultimate Edition’ Announced

Posted by: |

‘Resident Evil 4: Ultimate Edition’ Announced

Rejoice, those of you who traveled all the way from Raccoon City at the outbreak of the T Virus, to the rural village in Spain ravaged by Las Plagas! News has come at last from those on high at Capcom Studios: an ‘Ultimate Edition’ of Resident Evil 4 is coming soon to PC.

‘Resident Evil 4′ follows agent Leon S. Kennedy into the horrors of the small European town in order to save the president’s daughter, recently kidnapped. As he explores the town, the true story begins to unfold, revealing- among other things- a sinister cult, a new virus and a Napoleonic megalomaniac. The game was originally released in 2005, to critical acclaim across the board- heavily influencing the third-person shooter genre, it was also an incredible cross-platform success, being released for the PC, Nintendo Wii, Sony’s Playstation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360. A common contender in the Game of the Year awards at its release, it remains a fan favorite to this day.

Resident Evil fans can celebrate, then, with Capcom’s news. The ‘Ultimate Edition’ will be both a collection of content for hardcore fans of the fourth installment in the series, and a technological improvement over its original release. The PC release of the edition will see fans receive not only all previously released bonus content and a digital soundtrack with over 60 tracks, but also a digital art book with the game for early purchasers.

On the technological front, the Steam release will include support for Steam cloud save support, achievements, trading cards and global leaderboards- so you can check out exactly how much better you are with that Broken Butterfly than your friends! As well as these new features, the game will also run in HD at a beautiful 60 frames a second, for the first time.

So with the game releasing on Steam on February 28th, and early purchase already available, the only question remaining is- whaddaya buyin?

[State of Play] SteamBox/SteamOS

Posted by: |

[State of Play] SteamBox/SteamOS

The interactive entertainment industry is a funny thing. It’s long since moved past the birthing pangs, or the necessity of justifying its legitimacy to larger entertainment – having eclipsed both Hollywood and professional sports in gross dollars per annum – and it’s a rare youth indeed that wasn’t all different kinds of atwitter about the console war of late 2013. It’s a multi-million dollar industry that can bank on the fact that every single one of its core customers will display a virtually unlimited appetite and little in the way of restraint.

Late 2013 was a very exciting time for the interactive entertainment industry – the annual heavy-hitters like Call of Duty, NBA 2k, and FIFA released to boringly predictable record sales, accompanied by less-annual-but-no-less-predictable Battlefields and Need For Speeds. Real genius reared its nigh-unto-unheard-of head in titles like The Last of Us, Metro: Last Light, and Gone Home. 

Then the Next-Gen consoles released … but as the dust (and plastic baggies and shredded cardboard) cleared, the excitement dwindled and the shine worn off, we are left to wonder the same thing we always wonder this time of year: “Where are all the games I just paid $500 to play?”

Well, kid, they’re not out yet – you knew that was going to happen, and so did I. We all knew that was going to happen, but still we dropped close to half a thousand on that big, shiny Blue-or-Green box. And there’s nothing new till February.

No matter how many times you check, no matter how hard you look or wish or hope, nothing till February. Furthermore, both systems have a relatively lackluster year ahead, with some exceptional standouts like ThiefTitanfall and (maybe, just maybe, hope against hope maybe) Destiny. 

So, at home, bored, staring at a shiny new Next-Gen console? Don’t have anything to look forward to? Thankfully the industry you’ve chosen as your very own opiate to the masses has a tailor-made solution: The SteamBox!

Read On

Review: Broken Age – Act 1

Posted by: |

Review: Broken Age – Act 1

As a kid, the NES was my core gaming platform. Sadly, my parents really didn’t go for the 16-bit console era, but they did have this glorious tower that would become my new gaming platform, and cue the fabled green text of DOS on the PC.

I started with Flight Sims, but they were all LucasArts games, which of course led me to a genre still near and dear to my heart: Point and Click Adventures.

Fast forward about 20 years or so (frak, do I feel old) and the gaming world is experiencing a renaissance. Games are now funded through places like Kickstarter, and we’ve seen a revival of the point and click genre. Sadly though there was something missing from these point and click games, a sense of humor that’s not easily mimicked. I’m of course referring to Tim Schafer, who helped shape my odd style of humor.

That’s when a certain Kickstarter caught my attention, a game called Broken Age which not only promised an old school style Point and Click adventure, but came from Double Fine. Sold and sold, just like everyone else. The Kickstarter was funded almost instantaneously and went above the goal to a tune of 3million dollars.

Now part 1 has been released to the supporters of the Kickstarter. I was lucky enough to take this title for a spin this weekend. How does the game hold up? Is it like old times, does Broken Age break the mold? Or is it simply just a point and click?

Read On

“Final Fantasy Tactics” Creator Launches Kickstarter For New RPG

Posted by: |

“Final Fantasy Tactics” Creator Launches Kickstarter For New RPG

Yasumi Matsuno – creator of the classic video games Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre and Vagrant Story – has started a Kickstarter page with the company Playdek to fund a new RPG. Called Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians, the game is described as a “spiritual successor in a storied line of epic tactical RPGs designed by Yasumi Matsuno.”

Unsung 3

Read On