Saturday, February 13, 2016

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus gets a smaller release window.

XSEED dropped a new localization blog post this week for Senran Kagura: Estival Versus - otherwise known as the sequel to The Way-Fun Brawler I'm More Than A Bit Embarrassed Of.  The update focuses mostly on the work that went in to localizing the items for the limited Endless Summer Edition of the game, along with which DLC items and characters will be available in the localization.

Answer: most of them, including the totally-fucking-badass elder Shinobi Rin and Daidōji, who will be free at launch, the totally-adorable Shopgirl, and the Dead or Alive characters.  The west will not get the Ikki Tousen tie-in characters (what the heck is Ikki Tousen?), 'cause XSEED couldn't get the license.  The most-interesting part is that - after slipping from a planned Fall/Winter 2015 release - we can expect to finally have Estival Versus on our Vitas and PS4s in mid-March.

That's like a month away!  Woo!

Borderlands 2 on Vita is four bucks right now.

The last western triple-A for Vita can be yours this weekend for the low-low-price of less-than-five dollars, during the PlayStation Network's Valentine's Day sale.  Also of note are Battlefield 4 (PS4) for twelve bucks, Far Cry 4 (PS4) for eighteen, Resogun (PS4, PS3, Vita cross-buy) for six, Double Dragon Neon (PS3) for two, and Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus (Vita) for sixteen.

Leonardo gets the first character-specific trailer for Platinum's TMNT.

This MP4 is only 6MB.

Wow. That is so much easier than fucking around with HTML-5.  And it works on phones.  Sorta.

Anyway, there's a lot of reasons to love the presentation in the Naruto Shippuden series, but none - I think - better than CyberConnect 2's absolute mastery of animation.  Their key frames are all on point, obviously, but motion and speed are communicated here with almost-abstract, and then completely-abstract splatters of color.  Observe these five frames from the above footage.

This is what we see after Sakura punches Kakashi so hard that he goes flying across the battlefield and she begins running to catch up.  I've dropped a nearly-identical frame from the middle of the sequence, below - but you get the idea.

Her torso is still, clearly, Sakura - but her legs have become a blur. This is the key frame before the snap.  In the next frame...

...the snap begins, all definition disappears, and she's now a blob of speedy color.

By the sixth frame, Sakura exists only as a streak of color - her blond hair, red hairband, pale green vest and navy arms only informing the smear of speed she creates across the image.

CyberConnect 2 at work.


This GIF is only 320x180.

But it's also like 9MB so I'm putting it behind a page break.

Some Fallout 4 factions know how to get your attention.


Oh my, Deacon.  Never have I seen you so empowered.


Remember what you're fighting for out there!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gaming news - 2015 02 11.

Losta' little things, today...

Quantum Break (featuring dimensional rifts) will launch April 5th on Xbox One and PC.  Here's a live-action trailer I refuse to watch because live-action video game trailers are deeply offensive to me, as a rule.

The Witness is declared "empty" and "uninterested in players" in this Wired article that suggests everything Chamberlain and I assumed about the game is true.

Tactical mini-powerhouse Frozen Synapse is getting a sequel, and it'll be open-world, weirdly enough.

Deep Silver (publisher of Dead Island) apparently has a game called Dead Island: Retro Revenge in the works.  How hard are they kicking themselves for parting ways with Techland?  (So hard.)

Ubi also put out a financial press release today that promises we'll see Watch Dogs 2 (ew), For Honor (hm!), Ghost Recon: Wildlands (eh) and South Park: The Fractured But Whole (woo!) by the end of fiscal 2016 (see: March 31, 2017).

Titanfall 2 is almost-definitely coming out this year, magic will be involved, it'll have an actual campaign and will be multiplatform.

Destiny is getting a sequel in 2017, and a "large new expansion" in 2016.

The super-endearing Knights and Bikes is "confirmed for PS4" despite not yet being, y'know, successfully Kickstarted yet.

Oh and Fallout 4 DLC is on the way, Battlefield Hardline DLC is on the way, and Scalebound and Gears of War 4 are coming to PC.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I call this piece "Welcome Home."

And it's not even a megabyte!  Proud, I say.  Proud.

After a particularly stressful day, at the end of last week, I couldn't hack slamming myself against NecroDancer's still-mysterious challenge.  As a good, proper Roguelike, a huge part of the experience is having no idea why or how enemies or objects are dangerous until they kill you, and while I wanted something mean and meaningful, I didn't want to feel so... challenged, I suppose.

So I started up a new game with Don't Starve: Console Edition on my PS4, turned off the Reign of Giants DLC, and set about wandering the world.  I found an edge and ran along it, fleshing out my map, finding a lovely little grassland with a few Beefalo lazily grazing, with a crossroads nestled between two wormholes that spat me out in very different corners of the map.

Satisfied, I set up camp and began searching for swampland, to obtain a few reeds.  Then, armed with all the necessities, I assembled a birdcage, caught a crow, and imprisoned it.

There.  It took me about three in-game days, and I can survive forever, now.

But part of the lure and romance of Roguelikes is their mystery - the staggering number of things that I'm aware of not knowing - and the awareness that this thing can be bent over it's bass-blasting woofer to have its rhythmically-perfect booty spanked most sharp.  So Crypt of the NecroDancer keeps calling me back.

Let's talk for a moment about structure.  There are four levels (that I can discern).  Each level consists of three to four little randomly-generated dungeons to explore and survive, and then a boss fight.  Each dungeon's (time) duration is tied to the length of its associated track - and you can't spend a second longer than the song takes.  If you haven't made it to the stairs to descend to the next floor, a trapdoor opens beneath you and - no harm, no foul - you plummet to the next dungeon or boss.

If you listen to the podcast, you'll know that one of the (many, many) things I adore about Galak-Z is how it has compacted an entire adventure game's satisfying loop of exploration, discovery, power-ups, meaningful choice and slick action into tight, hour-long excursions.  Because each song is two minutes and thirty seconds to three minutes and ten seconds long, each entire run through a level of NecroDancer will take you between ten and fifteen minutes.

Once you wield the awesome knowledge of its denizens, once you're kitted out a bit and really bopping along to the soundtrack, it is amazing.  When you're hopping around a stone golem just beating the crap out of him because you know how he'll want to lead this dance, kicking ass and lashing out with a +2 Spear of Awesome this way and that, Crypt of the NecroDancer is as tense and tactically satisfying as any great action game.

While I don't flatly adore NecroDancer the same way I do Don't Starve or Galak-Z (so far), it's quickly attained "excellent" status.  It's up there.  It's up there with Nuclear Throne and Rogue Legacy.  I'm actually really looking forward to being done blogging for the night so I can get back to it - but that's not what I got up to last night...

Last night, Kayla and I ran some errands - visited my Dad in the hospital - and hit EB Games to pick up my Dying Light: Enhanced Edition preorder.  While there, I debated Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, and I have to admit, I cracked.  Bought it.  It was literally ninety bucks, Canadian.

It's making me re-consider Street Fighter V next week, to be honest.  Just for funding purposes.

Sorry, Chamberlain.  But we'll see!  I'm feeling insanely self-indulgent lately, so that'll probably happen either way.

Anyway, I got home last night with three - count 'em three hot new PS4 games - and for some reason I cannot explain, the one that I fired into the PS4 was Gravity Rush.

Gravity Rush's opening is very linear.  It's frustrating, as a (passionate) fan and advocate of the game to have to wade through so much stuff with a leash around my neck when I am just dyyying to point the reticle at the sky and whooosh!  Fly!

But wade through I did.  I got through the tutorial, saved that ungrateful family's house, met the Useless Cop Guy, repaired the fountain of the puking turtle, puking frog and pissing boy, grabbed the chair, grabbed the desk, fought the enemies, grabbed the bed and assembled my homestead and finally was able to save the game.

Then I snuggled my lady and went to sleep.  And man I'd love to spend some time in Dying Light Enhanced Edition.  Man, I'd love to see just how hot the graphics are in Naruto 4.  But there are things to take care of and precious lives to tend to, and be there for.  So I'm going to go stretch out with a loved one and play some NecroDancer on my Vita.

Which, all things considered, is a pretty divine way to spend an evening.

Yayyy Dex is coming to like, every platform.

Except those Nintendo ones.  Specifically, it's already out on PC, it'll land on PS4 and One in Q1 2016 and "the PS Vita version will follow."  Hot damn, that's good enough for me!

Metacritic's got it at 62, but Steam users put it at 80% positive.

The Flame and the Flood launches Feb 24th.

On PC, Mac and... Xbox One!  I am officially super-jelly.

You might remember The Flame in the Flood from its Kickstarter, or from the very positive coverage and previews it got last year.  Short version: a lovely, atmospheric river-rafting Roguelike with a charming southern twang...

Oh, Xbox One also gets (last year's PS4 standout) Rocket League on the 17th.