Tuesday, June 22, 2010

RPGs of the Week: Puzzling Edition

Not much time this morning. I'm in the middle of an office move and time (and internet connection) are sort of all over the place.

Anyway, here are the RPGs coming out this week (June 21 - 26, 2010):

North America
Puzzle Quest 2 - Infinite Interactive, D3 - Nintendo DS

Monster Hunter Frontier - Capcom - Xbox 360
Totori no Atelier: Arland no Renkinjutsushi 2 - Gust - PlayStation 3

Demon's Souls - FromSoftware, Namco Bandai - PlayStation 3

Puzzle Quest 2 looks sweet. Liked the first one, so I may consider trying out the sequel eventually.

Anything on your radar?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

E3 10: Nintendo to Release Dragon Quest IX Next Month

As previously reported, Nintendo has assumed publishing duties of Square Enix's huge-in-Japan casual MMO, Dragon Quest IX.

While NOA president, Reggie Fils-Aime, talked up DQIX's multiplayer push, the North American version, unfortunately, will lose a lot of the online functionality of the Japanese original, limiting online multiplay to only 3 people at a time.

Also announced with the title was the inclusion of a 'tag mode' which allows gamers with their DS in sleep mode to search for friends also connected.

Dragon Quest IX will be available on Nintendo DS on July 11, 2010 in North America.

E3 10: Nintendo Reveals Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

During their currently ongoing press conference, Nintendo took a moment to introduce their new DS RPG, the revival of their Golden Sun franchise.

Now named Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, the game is not a remake of the original, but a new story taking place generations after the previous game. The telekinetic-type abilities from the original returns, but will be handled via the DS touch screen. The battles remain turn-based, but weren't expanded on any further.

Either way, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn will be available for Nintendo DS sometime this holiday season.

E3 10: Nintendo Reveals Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Nintendo, the second of the Big 3, has just kicked off their E3 press conference, starting with one of their most anticipated upcoming titles, new Legend of Zelda.

Titled Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the title will require Wii Motion Plus, and use 'intuitive' motions to control all the tools and abilities, including the sword and shield, which will work with 1:1 motion on the wiimote and nunchuck, respectively.

Unfortunately, not much was revealed about the story, and Miyamoto, citing some development hold ups, said the game will not hit its target release this year.

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be available for Nintendo Wii sometime next year.

E3 10: Phantasy Star Portable 2 gets a Pointless Trailer

A video game trailer, in my opinion, should do
at least one of the following three things, if not all of them:

-Give me an introduction to a game's story
-Show me what to expect from gameplay
-Get me excited for its release

This Phantasy Star Portable 2 trailer does none of these things. You can watch it anyway though, if you have a couple of minutes you don't know what to do with.

Phantasy Star Portable 2 will be available for PSP sometime this year in North America.

E3 10: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Trailer for the Discerning RPG Fan

I know I shouldn't, but I can't help rolling my eyes every time a new Kingdom Hearts thing happens. I've tried to understand why these games are popular, but I simply can't figure it out. Sure, I love Disney characters and Final Fantasy characters as much as the next guy, but a world where Mickey Mouse is the epitome of badass is simply an idea I cannot get behind.

Regardless, Square Enix knows how to make money, and if selling you Mickey Mouse vs. Final Fantasy will do it, well they will pile it on. Cue Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep for the PSP, due out this fall for gullible, I mean discerning gamers everywhere.

Really, though, Kingdom Hearts is definitive proof of why Square, once my most favourite RPG developer, is now among my least favourites.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep will be available September 12, 2010 in North America and Europe.

E3 10: Hunted Still May or May Not be an RPG, Gets a Trailer

Bethesda and inXile's upcoming Hunted: The Demon's Forge is a game that looks like it might be an RPG, but it also looks like it might not be an RPG. I still can't tell. Some sites say it will be an action-RPG, while others claim it will be a straight-up action title.

Either way, I've included the trailer in the post, because whether its workings are indeed RPG or not, it certainly has a sort of RPG appeal that some action-RPG fans may appreciate.

Hunted: The Demon's Forge will be available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, though it still has no solid release date.

Monday, June 14, 2010

E3 10: Fable III gets a Release Date

Well, Microsoft's E3 presser just wrapped up, and though there wasn't much in the way of new reveals, Lionhead's upcoming Fable III did get a new trailer and an October release date.

Though its probably not worth mentioning here, Microsoft's star of the show, their new motion sensing gizmo, Kinect, while a pretty cool little piece of tech and something my wife would likely enjoy, is not exactly what I was hoping to see from the house of Xbox.

Obligatory sad face. :(

Fable III will be available for Xbox 360 on October 26, 2010 in North America (and presumably near that date in Europe).

E3 10: Here's Some Gameplay and a Release Date for Fallout: New Vegas

This is going to be short because E3 blogging and other work is busy.

I don't like Fallout. So, I don't care about Fallout: New Vegas. But other people might, so here is a new E3 trailer showing off some gameplay.

Also, the Bethesda has revealed that the game will hit PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on October 19, 2010 in North America, and on October 22, 2010 in Europe.


E3 10: Gameloft Announces Dragon Hunter: Alliance

I guess this is sort of a warm up for the rest of E3, but Gameloft, a smaller publisher, has revealed a new Gauntlet-style co-op action-RPG for PSN this morning, called Dragon Hunter: Alliance.

The trailer (embedded above for your viewing convenience) claims it to be 'The Ultimate Action RPG,' a claim which I can only assume is either highly delusional or a bald-faced lie, as Gauntlet-style games have been done to death (least of all by the Gauntlet series itself).

Gameloft's PR speak aside, however, if you were craving some co-op hack-n-slash on PSN, Dragon Hunter: Alliance may be worth keeping in mind.

[All Games Beta]

RPGs of the Week: E3 Means Nothing

So, E3 kicks off this week, tying up the world's game developers, marketers, reporters, bloggers, retailers, and pretty well everyone else involved in the industry. Thus, in keeping with tradition, there is really nothing worth mentioning hitting shelves this week, least of all RPGs.


I guess we'll just keep our fingers crossed that E3 is RPGtastic (if that's even a word).

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sword Machine E3 Predictions 2010

E3 unofficially kicks off a little earlier this year, with Microsoft's Natal conference starting on Sunday. Surely, there will be many game reveals, game demos, game release dates, game trailers, and other things that you might relate to games.

Though huge bald dudes in space armour is still the 'in' thing amongst 'hardcore' gamers, there are sure to be some RPG gems hidden in the rough. Below is my annual stab in the dark on what to expect/look for/hope for/complain about from E3 (ranked from most probable to least probable):

Nintendo announces Xenoblade, The Last Story, and the next Legend of Zelda for 2010 release.
In my opinion, Nintendo is definitely the show to watch this year. With double the time set aside for their conference, the above three titles already confirmed in the works, and no needless gimmick to waste their show on (see Natal and Move), Nintendo is poised to rock our RPG socks off this year with their first party offerings alone.

Fable III to get a 360+Natal bundle for launch
Regardless of whether you like jumping around your living room like a crazy person or not, Microsoft is making a big deal out of it with their new motion sensing tech. And while I think their target audience for Natal is not me, they will try to get me to buy it anyway by packaging with something I do care about.

Dragon Age II officially revealed, will have an action-based battle system
Dragon Age: Origins was great, even if it took a half a decade to develop. EA, though, is planning on getting its sequel out in a much more timely fashion, hinting heavily that it will be out early next year. And considering the original’s console success, I expect to see a much more controller friendly sequel, most likely boasting some sort of action-based, uh, action.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII to also release on Xbox 360
Wada kind of hinted at this, then retracted his hint. But seriously, Square Enix’s exclusive days are long past. Whether or not Versus will be announced this year or some other time remains to be seen, but it seems pretty obvious that it will happen eventually. I suppose the real question is, will it too remind me that Final Fantasy has lost its magic? …Probably.

Tales of Graces to be released this year in North America
I don’t know if Namdai will announce this, or if Nintendo will take the initiative, but with the JRPG love settling on the Wii this year, skipping this one would be a drastic oversight. Since the Tales of games are pretty fickle when it comes to getting localized, I can’t move this one any higher on the list in good conscience.

Square Enix announces Valkyrie Profile 3 for 360/PS3
Rumours of this one have been sneaking into the limelight every now and again, and with no formal tri-Ace project announced at the moment, it would seem the next obvious reveal. Whether we’ll see it go timed exclusive like SO4, or multiplat right out of the gate like EoE is anyone’s guess, but it will be on both HD consoles sooner or later.

Atlus announces Persona 5 for 360/PS3
Atlus has been cautious about getting into HD games. Though their North American branch has been localizing the odd title, an Atlus-developed game has still evaded announcement to the point that some may conclude the company will sit HD out this gen. However, we know that Atlus has been hiring for a 360/PS3 project for a few years now. Is this the year the rip the curtain back and show us some HD RPG love? Will it be Persona 5? I hope the answer is a resounding ‘YES,’ but I suppose patience is a virtue.

New handheld Legend of Zelda to launch with 3DS this Autumn
Even though Microsoft and Sony are launching motion control projects this year, the real talk of the tech world is Nintendo’s mysterious new handheld. Reportedly boasting graphics to rival the Wii, and glasses-less 3D, Nintendo is aiming to take on Sony and Apple in one fell swoop. But what good is a handheld device without launch software? Perhaps a new Zelda title will help ease us all in.

Kingdom Hearts 3 announced for Wii
Square Enix has hinted that a new Kingdom Hearts reveal is in the stars for this year’s E3. Whether that is their already confirmed Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded for the DS, or something bigger is unknown, but if someone held a gun to my head and forced me to make financial decisions for the RPG giant, KH3 on the family-friendly Wii seems to make the most sense.

Microsoft announces Lost Odyssey II
Despite the long awaited release of Final Fantasy XIII earlier this year, Lost Odyssey is, in my opinion, still the best Final Fantasy since IX. If Microsoft would just kindly get to backing a sequel (of course with the cooperation of Mistwalker and feelplus), I would happily abandon the FF name all together. Don’t make me beg.

Well, there you have it. I'm hoping E3 doesn't disappoint this year. I'm honestly starting to get a complex about it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

RPGs of the Week: No Xenoblade for You! Edition

With less than a week before the E3 press conferences kick off, there's not much hitting shelves - especially not RPGs. But, for the import savvy, there may be something worth checking out...

Here are the RPGs hitting shelves this week (June 7 - 11, 2010):

North America

Fort Zombie – Kerberos, Cyberfront – PC
Xenoblade – Monolith, Nintendo – Nintendo Wii


Japan gets the indie zombie fighting RPG, Fort Zombie, alongside Monolith's latest swing at the Xeno- series with Xenoblade.

Unfortunately, North America and Europe are down for the count this week. :(

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Last Story's Heroes Get Names

While Monolith's Xenoblade has been getting a torrent of media attention, Nintendo's other Wii RPG project (and arguably way more intriguing game), The Last Story, has been only dripping small droplets of information here and there.

Finally, however, thanks to a scan from a recent issue of V Jump, The Last Story's hero and heroine have been named, along with some incredibly brief character descriptions, translated for your convenience below:

A mercenary that has come to Ruli Island, Elza longs to become a knight of position and influence.

The heroine of the story, clad in a white dress, a certain sense of nobility drifts from her.

Yeah, pretty short. But there you go.

The Last Story will be available for Nintendo Wii sometime this year in Japan.

RPGs of the Week: Against Protocol Edition

Sorry for my lengthy absence. Work has been pretty hellishly busy lately, and it doesn't appear to be getting better any time soon. :(

On the plus side, there really hasn't been much notable RPG news over the last couple of weeks (at least, I haven't thought so), but with E3 just around the corner, it's time to get back into the swing of things.

Anyway, check out all the new RPGs that are hitting shelves this first week of June (May 31 - June 5, 2010):

North America
Alpha Protocol – Obsidian, Sega – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Hexyz Force – Sting, Atlus – PSP

Growlanser (The Best) – Career Soft, Atlus – PSP
Persona (The Best) – Atlus – PSP
Tales of Vesperia (Platinum Collection) – Namco Bandai – Xbox 360

The Witcher Enhanced Edition (Platinum) – CD Projekt Red Studio, Atari – PC

While European gamers had their hands on Sega's Alpha Protocol last week, its just hitting shelves in North America this week. As a troubling aside, it seems to be receiving a fairly negative response from a lot of critics, and while I'm not in disagreement with them, I find it strange that everything most sites have disapproved of in AP are many of the same gripes I had with 2008's Fallout 3. Strange.

Anyways, Sting and Atlus' Hexyz Force is out this week for PSP as well in North America, while yet another reprint of The Witcher is gracing European PCs.

Meanwhile, Japan gets a few budget reprints of the Persona and Growlanser PSP remakes, and of the brilliant Tales of Vesperia.

Anything looking good to you this week?