Saturday, 21 April 2012

Persona 4 finished! And Dead or Alive 5 Alpha thoughts

It's been a long time coming, but i can now safely say that i have finished Persona 4. Yup, i have. Let that sink in for a moment. It's taken me since it's US launch to complete. Why? I honestly don't know, but it has. And i take pride in the fact i finished it as well. I loved the final two dungeons, the feel, the style, everything. The final boss i failed on once, and that was down to that god damned worlds end. If i was smart enough, i'd have caught on to how to avoid any real damage from it sooner, but there we go. IT'S DONE. Now, as for my next title aim. I'm going to a series older than Persona 4, i'm going to .hack. By .Hack, i mean the 4 part game series released in Europe. I'm onto the third title, which i believe is outbreak, so i've got that and game 4 to finish, which i'll zoom ahead with now i have the chance. I can't even remember where i left off with it, which is rare since i normally can vaguely recall what was what. I may even restart all 4, who knows.

In other news, something i've been looking forward to since i saw that amazing trailer for it, and that is Dead or Alive 5. Since i got the Collectors for Ninja Gaiden 3, i got the premium edition of the alpha demo, so i was lucky enough to have 4 characters to latch onto and try out. My first thoughts with it before i started was, what would this charge move do? Would everyone just spam it? Would the camera from the dynamically changing stages cause havoc in the combat? And of course, how much do the characters feel like they should?

Now, i'm a bit of a veteran player with Dead or Alive 4, i played a good 2-3k odd matches in my time, peaked at A+ online, oh so nearly had S rank, so i can safely say i was pretty decent at the game. So i thought i'd approach this with that in mind. I'm not saying i'm going to be giving pro advise here or there, hah, i can honestly say i'm not that spectacular, but i'll give what thoughts i can to you all. Also, this is played on 360, so i will compare to DOA4 controls.

The controls are basically exactly as you are used to if you played DOA4, however the button we used to use for taunting(RB) is now used for your new charge style attack. You'll recognise this as the flashy move you see some of the characters use. Y is punch, B is kick, X is guard/counter, A is grab, you get the idea, nothing new. They also feel pretty tight, nothing feels too uncomfortable to use, this is also considering i use the 360 control, not an arcade stick. I've never used one for the game, and doubt i ever will.

Stages are very well built, ok you only get one to work with, but there is so much to them. bashing into a wall can cause cans/buckets to fall on you disrupting you mid-attack, making you vulnerable. It can happen to both of you as well though. Then you can hit into more destructive elements of the stage and fall victim to everything falling atop of you. Falling of the side two puts you into the attacker/defender situation. If you are the victim of the attack and have to hold onto the ledge, you are given the options of guarding, or dodging. Attackers get attack or grab. Attack beats dodge, Grab beats Guard. Kind of makes sense.Works very well too, and can lengthen a match if the defender successfully guards it. it does no more damage than you would expect from falling in one of the original stages. The camera during all this, needs a little work. I think it works well most of the time, but there is some issues here and there where i think it could do with focusing more on the characters than the destruction around them. Sure, it'll affect both players, but its maybe a little bit unnecessary. I can see what they where going for, however.

Now onto characters. I'll do a more indepth piece on all four available in another post, so i'll just cover them in general for now. Each character feels like they are themselves. By that i mean, they feel familiar. If you used to main Ayane all the time, then you can easily pick this up, start a match with her, and play with very little issue. They do also feel fresh. Some of the attributes for attacks feel a little different. Combos are a little easier to chain up, and can be lengthened if you get a well placed hit into certain sections of the stage.The combat feels like it flows fantastically well, though sometimes the controls feel a tad unresponsive, sluggish you could say. It is Alpha though, so these small things will probably get fine-tuned easily enough.

Finally, that charge move. Fear not, it isn't a game changer. In fact, i think it adds a new element of strategy i'm excited to muck about with. You are able to dodge and guard the move, as well as being able to hit your opponent out of it mid-charge. I should note though, that the chances are, each character will have different attributs allocated to their own unique charge move. Ayane felt to me like she had a grab for hers, so blocking was out of the question, but dodging was still a choice. Everything for this move falls into it being situational. You will probably want to try and get a well timed juggle in to use it, or perhaps get your opponent down on the ground and keep enough distance away so that they can't kick you on getting up. It's got a lot of possibilities attached to it. My only fear though, is how useful it'll be in high ranking matches. I don't see it being used often early days, but later on, i could see it used more. It's way to early to tell, but i'm gonna experiment more with it as i go on.

I hope this has been a little informative, when it comes to Dead or Alive, i can get a bit carried away, hah. But if you have any queries or want me to check something out in regards to DOA5 and the alpha, let me know and i'll check it out for you, and hopefully come up with a good answer for you. All i will say is, look forward to playing it, it's very nice so far.

Until next time.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Sega x Capcom x Namco Bandai 3DS game - first details

With the official site revealing more later today, famitsu have got the drop on the details for Capcom x Sega x Namco Bandais game for the 3DS: Project X Zone. They never gave us much in the way of details, however we now know that the game is a strategy RPG which has the characters in the game work in teams of two for the combat in the game, though how else the combat works, we are yet to see. The great people over at AndriaSang got the first list of characters shown off on famitsu released for all to see, which in their teams of two, looks like the following;

Ryu & Ken (Street Fighter 0), X and Zero (Mega Man), Demitri and Dante (Darkstalkers and Devil May Cry), Chris and Jill (Resident Evil)
Shinguji Sakura and Ogami Ichiro (Sakura Wars), Pai and Akira (Virtua Fighter), Kurt and Riela (Valkyria Chronicles), Ulala and Touma (Space Channel 5 and Shining Force EXA)
Namco Bandai
Sanger Somvold (Super Robot Wars), Jin and Ling Xiaoyu (Tekken), Kos-Mos and T-elos (Xenosaga), Yurie and Estel (Tales of Vesperia), Kaito and Black Rose (.hack)

They also got an interview with the teams working on the game over on their site too which maybe worth giving a quick read if you're interested in the title at all, as it details a couple of other small tid-bits in relation to the moves characters will have for example. This, you can of course read over on AndriaSang

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Capcoms Captivate 2012 - leaks + speculation

Captivate, Capcoms own style of press conferences/showing off of new titles and so on has been taking place recently, and has been set to finish as of today. Needless to say, this is when all the details start flying, but it came as a surprise that Sony leaked a good few pieces onto the web sooner than originally planned. So instead of waiting until we get all the details, i'll throw in what i know of the 3-4 that have been detailed so far. Let's get started

Resident Evil 6

The not-so-surprising surprise announcement back in January of the continuation for Resident Evil hit the ground running with a new trailer, which if you are fast enough, you can still watch over on ShopTo with a ton of story details. As a quick summary, Sherry Birkin and "Wesker Junior" are the third duo of Main characters in the story, as we all called ages ago, Chris looks weird, Ada seems to be one of the people running this new set of events going on, or so it seems. The Virus is now known as the C-Virus, and there is a lot to do with spawning things, clones and i dunno what. A lot takes place in china, leon and his partner fake their deaths at some point, and yeah. And before we forget, it actually changed the release date. We can now expect to see Resident Evil 6 on the 2nd of October this year. Quite a surprise, obviously they are further along in production than they had expected, and hopefully, this'll make up for the absolutely abysmal Operation Raccoon City released last month. I'm going to do a post later on resident evil speculation, since there is a lot you can cover with it, but i'll leave the details there for now.

Lost Planet 3

The biggest surprise, and i don't mean this in a good way, was Lost Planet 3. There is nothing much to see with the trailer, bar the fact that you may actually get a named protagonist this time round, whether it's any relation to the first game at all, who knows, but god, why are they making this? Consider it this way, Lost Planet 2 had absolutely terrible sales, it wasn't well received by anyone either, so why would capcom go and decide that this was a good investment? Surely this will only end with them making a loss? Or is there going to be a big game changer thrown in somewhere? I dunno, i'll wait for the full official embargo of details later on today.

If you want to see the trailer, you can find it here.

DmC - Devil May Cry

DmCs trailer showed very little in terms of combat, though it did at least show some, unlike the other two trailers released today. It more or less showed off the point of the TV show looking for Dante, and some demons. It has style, i won't deny it, but i still can't get used to the look of Dante. I just hope the gameplay makes up for it, and they can make the story at least link into him becoming the proper Dante.

Again, the trailer is found over here

Other than these three, not much else has been fired out. The patch for Street Fighter x Tekken is due out today, and that's about it. As soon as we get hit by the full details, i'll add them into another blog post later.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Gaming Updates + Watching anime again feels good.

So after a fairly slow start to my quest to completion, I'm set to finish Persona 4 tonight. For those wondering, i reached the final boss in the true ending route(i won't say anymore, i realise the anime is still to cover the true ending in an DVD/BD only episode releasing in August, so i'll stay silent), and gave it a bash. Needless to say, i now officially hate World's End followed by that Ghastly move, i forget it's name. It's a fantastically styled dungeon though, and the music very much suits the tone of the game now it's at its end. I've loved getting back into this, i really have. I literally blitzed the Magatsu dungeon in a few hours, completed all of december, and moved into the final day as well in about 7 hours total. I nearly forgot how long i'd been on it until i was bested by that evil final boss and soon realised it was hitting 2am. So i left the next attempt until i got home. Finding the time to finally kick back and get stuck into it again has been hard mind you, work throws more hours at me when i want to get stuff done, it's just my luck.

In other gaming stuff i've been doing. Since i don't get the time to focus on it just yet, i've played a fair bit of Torchlight since i got my new laptop. I started it a good while back, but never got really stuck into it since it can be a time sink and the gameplay is fairly repetitive, it is a diablo clone after all, but a very very good one at that. So when i can sneak in an hour or even less than that, i fire it up and complete a floor or two. Good fun overall, but i have one wee problem with it, the randomised loot. Normally, that'd never be a problem, but they have a fair few armor sets, equipment sets and so on throughout the game, and the chances of you actually getting a full set is slim because even that is fully randomised. I have to my name, 3 Midas Chains, 2 Gorgon gloves and 1 gorgon leggings as well as a ton of unique items. I wouldn't mind a full set of armor for my archer(currently dual wielding pistols), but at least the rest of the gear i have keeps me going.

Also, i finally started watching anime again! Quite Shocking in a way considering i hardly ever just sit down and watch something. But the new season has me interested again. I made a start on Uchuu Kyoudai, or Space Brothers as it is on Crunchyroll since it had caught my interest, and i'm fairly impressed. The show at first glance has this look as though it has fallen from the same tree as Planetes, another show i've been watching this week, but it's similarities are fewer and far between than you may expect. Of course, i'm only judging this off of one episode, it could easily start to have more as the series goes on, but at present, they both have some similar vibes, but are each their own shows. Space Brothers has a lot of humour too it, more than i expected. It's fairly light hearted too in many respects, which does compliment the humour aspect.
It's story focuses on two brothers who see what they think could be a UFO when they are kids, and this gives them their dream of going to outer space, the moon, and mars. The younger brother, Hibito gets his dream, but his older brother ends up unemployed and looking for a way to catch up and strive ahead. There is a few football(soccer)/sport references in this episode as well, Japans outting of the world cup, a win in baseball, and Zidane randomly headbutting another player. They are used fairly well too, and it makes me wonder if it'll be a kind of theme they may keep in check as the series goes on, since it certainly works. Again, i do look forward to this continuing, and hopefully, will get me writing a bit more on anime in this blog too.

The only other series i've watched recently is Gundam Age, which has been more of a catch-up than anything else. A lot of people where wondering if this series could live up to being a Gundam series, especially considering it being a little less dark compared to every other series, and it being animated by Level 5, who've always had that kid-like style to their art. It's been up and down, but i would definitely say it's a Gundam series, through and through. It takes a lot, and i do mean a LOT of stuff from both Mobile Suit Gundam(original series) and Gundam SEED, with so many references and influences in both arcs that it can be really hard not to notice them. It does beg the question, will we see that continue in to the third and final arc as well? I'd imagine we would, but what series would they reference? 00, Zeta, ZZ, Turn A, G, there is so many it can take from, it's just a case of what.

So that about wraps up my distractions for the week, if you have any recommendations on what anime for me to take a peak into this season other than Lupin III, Hyouka and Zetman, please let me know on here or on twitter, and i'll take a gander!