Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ain't no trailer like a Grand Kingdom trailer.


Oh man.  This trailer - which simply highlights the four classes we got to play in the beta earlier this month - hypes me so much for Grand Kingdom, mostly by virtue of all the skills you couldn't unlock in the beta, and a ton of enemies I've never seen before.  Hypes me to the point that I was like "isn't there other new stuff coming out in June?  Oh right - Mirror's Edge - but I'm sorry, the shadow cast by a 2D hand-drawn turn-based tactical RPG with robust customization and online components is long indeed.

Well hey there, Gorgeous.

What's a Euopean-exclusive SKU like you doin' in a North American country like this?


Thank goodness for Amazon.co.uk.

Oh man. Joe Mad made some Darkest Dungeon fan art.

You remember Joe Madureira, right?  Made a career drawing comics, founded Vigil Games of Darksiders awesomeness, now working on the Battle Chasers game?  Well...


Awesome.  Click to enhugen!

Oh and speaking of fan art here's one for Severed that popped up today.



I really like it!  But maybe it's mean to post anyone's art after Joe Mad Does Darkest Dungeon.  That's like showing your game's trailer riiight after the No Man's Sky reveal.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Chamberlain & Chance 24

...will not be seen today because if we had recorded over the weekend, or last week, the episode could not have contained grand tales of Chamberlain teaching those whippersnappers at Combo Breaker what, precisely, occurs when youth and skill are set upon by age and treachery.

We'll record tomorrow (wiiiith Alex!) and get it up as soon as we can - pinkie swear!

Akiba's Beat announced for Vita!

Also PS4 but who cares?

Wewww!

So here's what we know.  This


and this.


Which is to say, we know nothing - except the title Akiba's Beat and the platform - Vita.

Now, there's a bit we can infer, here.  Acquire's Akiba's Beat is very likely a sequel to Acquire's Akiba's Trip titles - the second game (Akiba's Trip 2) was localized in 2014.  A fun, silly, utterly charming and skirting-across-lewd pretty-much-open-world adventure-brawler, I kind of loved the game that came to the west as Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed. 


The two images at top are all we have to go on at the moment - and the absence of the word 'sTrip from the title.  Between the image and the title, Acquire's next Akiba might be a more-ambitious, less tongue-in-cheek affair, without the goofy stripping mechanics of the series' past.  It's described by Acquire as an action-RPG, though - so likely there will be more robust character development than the 'sTrip titles, which gave you a ton of customization that was almost uniformly aesthetic (combat style was based solely on your chosen weapon).

A teaser site with a 72-hour countdown timer has appeared, so we'll know more in three days.  In the meantime, I'm going to go right ahead and start hoping for a localization, 'cause 'sTrip 2 was a helluva good time.


Street Figher V: Ibuki reveal trailer.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

I guess folks are being... less than kind to the No Man's Sky team.

What with the delay and all.




Seriously?




I guess I forget about how rich and full my life is until we're reminded that there are people who will threaten physical harm over shit like this.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm passionate - but the extent of my vitriol towards publishers and developers tends to max out at the "fuck you" level.  Which I try to make a funny "fuck you" anyway.

Like with Spongebob or somethin'.


This week's Fuck You goes out to Deep Silver, who couldn't be bothered to put both Dead Island games on the Dead Island Definitive Edition disc for PS4!

Fuck you, Deep Silver!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

I haven't been paying much attention to Overwatch on the blog.


But it's been impossible to ignore, elsewhere.  Everywhere I go is Overwatch this and Overwatch that - which must be what Chamberlain feels like when a Souls game happens - and often happens when a new Call of Duty or Halo Whatever launches, but this time I found myself actually starting to give a shit.

Perhaps this is the result of Acti-Blizzard's phenomenal media campaign - all those cool little mini-movies and comics and trailers.

I ended up watching some reviews (saddened that Easy Allies' review hadn't been put out, at the time), I watched some character tips videos (for some reason I'm leaning towards Mercy, if I were to play), and today Kayla and I went to Best Buy to check out getting me a new phone.  My current phone likes to disable its own ability to turn on, once in a while, which I disapprove of - but the cell phone agent guy at Best Buy couldn't get me a plan that was as reasonable as my current plan, so I said forget that and picked up a charging cable for my Vita(s).  Lord knows those'll be hard to find, one day.

Then, at the checkout, I asked the girl behind the counter to get Overwatch out of the cage.  I imagine playing it, right now, will kinda' be like playing Team Fortress 2 on the ground floor back in the day.  I love the character designs, I love how mechanically different they all seem to be, how tactically interesting, and maybe I'll have time this weekend to give it a spin.

In other news I saw a little comic thing on Twitter yesterday that I just had to retweet, if only to rib Alex a little bit.


Ooh Paranautical Activity comes to PlayStation on the 31st!

'Course we've heard that shit before, but maybe this time it's true!


Friday, May 27, 2016

Holy crap Squenix is localizing Dragon Quest Builders on Vita.

Now, given Square Enix's pretty much blatant refusal to localize... well, anything for Vita (most horrendously I Am Setsuna), this is astounding.



"October" is as narrow as the release date gets, and it's digital-only on Vita (physical + digital on PS4) - but still!  A Squenix game on Vita yay!

Oh I suppose I should mention - Builders is like Dragon Quest x Minecraft.  So like imagine Minecraft but with better graphics and actual quests and shit.  See?  Here's some gameplay:



The scan lines and such is because it's off-screen recording.  Someone like pointed their phone at a Vita playing the game.

No Man's Sky delayed to August 9th in NA.

August 10th in Europe, August 12th in the UK.

Siiigh...

Moon Hunters comes to PS4 on July 12th!

Cool!  I'm pretty hyped for an endless-yet-brief pixel art action-RPG!  On Vita!  


But of course, today's announcement only mentions the PS4 version - which often ends up meaning the Vita version will just never happen.  So, naturally, folks have been asking in the PlayStation blog comments - no response.

So they asked on Kitfox Games' Facebook page.  "Can't announce a release date for Vita," is the reply.  So they ask if it's even still coming to Vita.  No response.


And so folks are askin' on Twitter.  "We get it, you can't give a release date for Vita - is it still coming to Vita, though?"

Same shit.




Siiigh.

Damnit. Steamworld Heist delayed on PlayStation.

By one week.  Comin' June 7th.

Personally, I'm horrified by this news.  Now that I'm not pickin' up Dead Island Definitive Edition next week, I was quite pleased to have Heist to look forward to on my Vita (as if I didn't already have a huge Vita backlog going on - but Heist is one of my most-anticipated games of the year, so whatever).  And now I'm just like awww gotta' wait 'till the week before E3.


But Image & Form seem like a bunch of nice, earnest devs and I actually really like the amount of humor in their post on this matter, so I'm just gonna' repost the whole thing, complete with the GIF they used.

"Howdy, everyone! We’ve got somewhat sad news to share with you today. But fear not, it’s not the end of the world!

SteamWorld Heist has been delayed on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita for roughly one week. The new target release dates are June 7th for North America and June 8th for Europe and Australia.

The reasons for the delay are related to publishing, localisation and quality assurance. We basically encountered a few scattered problems with the PlayStation versions that we have to fix before releasing the game. If you want more info, feel free to ask me directly in the comment section. The extra week will hopefully give us enough time to fix these issues.

We’re working closely together with the fantastic people over at Sony to get the game out as fast as possible. Thanks for being patient with us!
There, there… Everything will be alright.

The silver lining: AKA “reasons why the delay isn’t all that bad”:
  1. You’ll get an even better version of SteamWorld Heist when it hits PlayStation. Lame excuse, I know, but it’s true!
  2. You have a few more days to clear your backlog and/or your clutter (I’m looking at you, messy wardrobe!).
  3. You’ll have another week to pre-order the game for a nice discount if you’re in Europe or Australia.
  4. You can finally get around to watching Game of Thrones, or another show you’ve been putting off watching for ages.
  5. You can practice speedrunning SteamWorld Dig. The current world record is 22 minutes and 57 seconds (crazy!). Think you can beat that?"
-source-

Aw Image & Form.  I can't stay sad at you.

Absolver - an online action combat RPG. Huh.


Huh.



Huh.


"Our gameplay system is based on choosing one of four stances, defined by your orientation towards your enemy, and it allows intense real-time melee combat with endless fluid combos." 
Huh.


"On your travels, you’ll learn different martial art schools, each with specific tactical moves and unique attacks." 
Oooh.


"Choose your combat style, pick your weapon, and edit your attack set in the Combat Deck to create your unique fighting style."
-source-
Uh.

That makes me think of this.  Which makes me think


Coming to PC "and consoles" in 2017 - so prolly PS4 and One. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Oh sweet Yomawari is getting a physical release in NA!


Important bits:

  • Physical release!
  • Launches October 25th
  • It comes with htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary on the Vita cart!  
  • It'll have a special edition with a soundtrack and two art books!
Fuckyeah!  Thank you. NIS America!

Whelp, now I'm not buying the Dead Island Definitive Edition.


And I was this close, man.  This close.  I just found out last week that the Definitive Edition is, in fact, being handled by (beloved developer) Techland, and not (hateful publisher) Deep Silver.  That swayed me!  Well, that and my love for Dead Island and its sequel, Riptide.

But today news dropped that, on PS4, the disc only has the original Dead Island on it.  Dead Island Riptide is only included as a download code.

Why? Well, publisher Deep Silver says it's because
"PS4 discs don't support multiple games, so there Riptide comes as a download code."
Isn't that crazy?  You can't have multiple games on a single PS4 disc!


 I had no idea it was such an impossibility - and neither did Naughty Dog, I guess!


And why didn't someone tell 2K before they released The Handsome Collection?  Someone shoulda' warned them!


And why didn't anyone let Deep Silver know?  Deep Silver, publisher of Metro Redux, with two games on one PS4 disc, and...

...waaaait a minute.  Wait a minute that makes no fucking sense at all.  Deep Silver, publisher of Metro Redux and the Dead Island Definitive Edition, explain this shit to me please.
"We could've worded that better."
-source-
You're goddamned right you could've.  Explain, please.
 "You need a separate menu, you can't just put two games on disc the same way as on XB1."
-source-
Yeah.  Okay, that's not uncommon to have to open up a collection as if it were one game, and then select the game you want to launch from a simple menu.

So, Deep Silver, hateful publisher, you're telling me that Dead Island Definitive Edition is not a definitive on-the-disc collection of the Dead Island games on PS4 because you couldn't be fucked to make a menu?

Okay.  Fair enough.  Hate you more.

Byebye now.

IGN went hands on with The Last Guardian.

The important bit: still coming in 2016.  They've got new footage and new screens, but if you wanna' keep the surprises to a minimum, I would suggest not hitting this link (New Gameplay Details, Coming in 2016) or this link (The Last Guardian - The Shocking Truth About Trico).

Damnit, I'm buying another figure.

I still haven't set up my second Detolf yet!  I haven't even filled up the first one!  I haven't taken Nendo Venom Snake and Nendo Raiden and Nendo Vader out of their boxes!  And yet...


Why?  What could prompt me to order another figure that won't come out for another six months after pretty much abandoning the hobby?  Well... Momohime.

Now, readers will know, I already have Momohime.  Momohime, the Samurai princess from Vanillaware's Muramasa: The Demon Blade, was the first Japanese figure I ever bought, wayyy back in the ancient times.  2013.

This is Alter's Momohime, which was released wayyy back in 2010.


Note the near-flatness of the eye colors, the simplicity of the hilt of her sword, the generally-matte coloring.  All that being said, I love this figure.  This is my favorite figure, and I have one or two figures.

This is 2017's Alter Momohime 'Oironaoshi.'


Note the slight bump in detail on her hairpiece, the softer shading on the eyes (more evocative of Vanillaware artist George Kamitani's style), the golden sword guard and the slight sheen - they're calling it a "pearl coating" - to her kimono.

Oironaoshi means "changing clothes," basically, and it's not uncommon for figures to get recolored variants - but the recolors are often huge changes from the original.  For example, there's the original Samurai from 7th Dragon 2020 and the recolor variant.  Totally different.

Not Momohime.  Almost all the colors (except that of the sword's hilt and handle) are essentially identical, but in the recolor, everything is simultaneously softer and sharper.


She just looks more like the original art.  Now I know, you may be thinkin'. "Chance you already fucking have the Momohime figure.  You don't need another Momohime figure."

And you're right.  But I also don't need a PS4 or a Vita, yet here we are.  This is happening.  Not least because last year my Momo fell and this tiny speck of paint chipped off the hair on her ponytail - you'd never notice it if I didn't point it out to you, and even I have trouble finding it sometimes - but it threw Momo's fragile mortality into stark relief.

I mean, she's my favorite figure.  As a responsible person, I gotta' have a backup.

Obviously.






You can order the oironaoshi variant of Alter's Momohime right now on AmiAmi, or wherever fine figures are sold - but I'm familiar with AmiAmi, so I'm stickin' with them.  You order now, and pay when the thing ships - this December.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Oh MY the console war got hot today.

Six teraflops!



If you're on the internet at all, you're probably aware of this already, but here's the short version:

Mutiple sources between Kotaku and Polygon say Microsoft is gonna' launch an Xbox One Slim this year and an Xbox One-Two (their words, not mine), codenamed Scorpio, will launch late in 2017.  Neither of these are shocking, but here's where it gets a little convoluted and a lot crazy.

  • It'll have a 2TB hard drive (nice!)
  • Microsoft is actively courting Oculus to join forces with Xbox, because...
  • The One-Two will be "technically capable of supporting the Oculus Rift."
  • All your Xbox One stuff will run on it. 
  • They weren't gonna' announce it this year, but because they think Sony's gonna' announce the Neo at E3, they've decided to announce the Slim and the One-Two at their conference in June.
  • The Xbox One-Two will be four times more powerful than the Xbox One. 
  • In other words, it'll push 6 teraflops, making it about 50% more powerful than Sony's rumored Neo. 
...and it doesn't sound like (Xbox head) Phil Spencer has much of a problem with today's rumor-explosion: 




Word is devs were briefed at a secret shindig last week.  And so, the stage is set. Microsoft is sick of multiplatform stuff playing better on the PS4, and they aim to fix it (if this is true.)   Also, if the Neo launches late this year or spring 2017, and it's underpowered, that counter-intuitively puts Sony in a much better place than Microsoft.  The Neo would have a year or nine-month head start - always a huge consideration - but more importantly, if it is weaker, that means it'll be wayyy cheaper.  And that's how you win a console war.

Either way, things are about to get hot.


Want a physical copy of Attack on Titan on Vita?

You could import the Asia version.




Hmmm...

Mighty No. 9 Masterclass trailer.



Huh.  I wonder how bad this trailer woulda' been without the voice "work."

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ooooh the Mirror's Edge launch trailer!

Mrowr.



Way to hype me.  As if I needed hyping.

A demo for Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is up on PSN!

In English!


PS4 only, but trust me when I say it runs and looks awesome on Vita.  Odin Sphere remade and refined with awesome combat and HD sprites for the new gen wooo!

Ahhh you gotta' love the E3 building-posters.


This appeared in L.A. today.  E3 is comin', baby!

Dragon's Crown is fifteen bucks right now.


It's just part of this week's general PS+ sale, but fifteen bucks!  Chance's favoritest game of all time on PS3 or Vita for just fifteen dollahs!

Now, I talked about it enough that you may well have ended up buying it well before this moment, but if I never got under your skin, permit me to try again.

(Reflections one year after launch.)

(Spoiler - it's Dragon's Crown.)

(The game's gender bias is real.)

(A very long review.)

FIFTEEN BUCKS!

(I kill dragons.)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan launch trailer.



Damnit, that looks fun.

Damnit, Kayla's playin' it right now.

Damnit, she says it's really fun.

Damnit!

Sega are retooling Valkyria: Azure Revolution based on demo feedback.


Reaction to the demo for Valkyria: Azure Revolution was been pretty... negative.  I just saw some footage of it and was like newp. To quote myself,
"What the hell was this game supposed to be before they slapped the Valkyria name on it?"
and
"It sure doesn't look very good or fun."
At the very least, it sure didn't look or play or seem like a Valkyria Chronicles title.  Specifically, it looked like a pretty mediocre action game (with lovely presentation), as opposed to a tactical, turn-based affair - which is what Valkyria Chronicles actually is.

Well, here's the bullet-point news we got today from Azure Revolution's director, detailing the reaction to the demo.


  • The Battle Demo ver. 1.0 got about three times the amount of player feedback as they had expected.
  • There was plenty of harsh feedback.
  • The battle system will get a big change from the demo version. You’ll be able to see more detail on the official website, but it is more RPG-like now.
  • The battle in the demo version was a lot more on the action-side for an RPG, so you couldn’t strategize too well while playing, so a new action gauge has been added for allies and enemies.
  • The system will make it so that actions can be done when the gauge fills up.
  • It’s been changed so that a player can optionally stop time while using weapons and abilities.
  • Because it has the Valkyria name to its title, Ozawa felt that a more strategic kind of battle would be in demand. 
Let's highlight that bit. 
"Because it has the Valkyrie name to its title, Ozawa felt that a more strategic kind of battle would be in demand."
Well no shit, Sherlock.
  • That said, since you’ll be fighting with a unit, in order to properly use your allies allies he’s thinking of a way to customize their AI. They’re also adding a way to add direct commands.
  • The total number of party members has been changes from three to four members.
  • Field encounters have been removed.
  • The next demo is expected to be available sometime this summer.
Source: Siliconera. 



Now, much as I appreciate the thought that Sega appreciates the concept that a Valkyria game should be, y'know, a tactical RPG, what terrifies me is the thought that the next Valkyria game is going to be one of these abortive affairs that gets retooled so much throughout its gestation that it has no real core, no cohesiveness, and a bunch of half-baked systems that don't work out in the end. 

Then the game is shit. 

Then the game gets a shitty critical reception, and is purchased by no one, and then Sega turns around and says "a-doiii, nobody bought the last Valkyria game - we shouldn't make any more!"

"But Sir, maybe if we make a Valkyria game that's not shit..?"

"Nope!  The game's shit level is immaterial!  If a shit game with the Valkyria name on it can't move units, the Valkyria name is worthless!  Now Sonic - there's a name that can move units regardless of its shit level!"

"But Sir..."

"A-doiii!"

On the other hand, what if they fix everything and it turns out to be not-shit?  That'd be awesome!

The Hans Ferber Memorial Playlist.

My Dad died.

Thought I should let you know.

I gave the eulogy.  A lot of folks told me it was really good, so I'm hoping they weren't just being nice.  'Cause if there's an appropriate time to be nice to someone, it's at their Dad's funeral. My Mom said she wanted my Dad's music to be playing, and my little brother (who's been saddled with a bunch of legal obligations) seemed grateful when I told him I could put a USB together pretty easily.

And I suppose I've got a lot to say about my Dad (and did), but it's not really something I want to chat about, here.  I'll tell you this - I love Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix and Creedence Clearwater Revival because my Dad did.  And I'll tell you that whenever we were driving around and Phil Collins' In The Air Tonight came on the radio, he had this little ritual he did every time.

He would reach over for the window controls and roll up every window in the car, sealing the sound in, and keeping the noise from the street out.  He would reach over for the volume dial and slowwwly turn it up until the car was shaking from the bass and it was so loud it hurt your ears.  And the volume would stay there for the duration of the song.



I remember seeing an eight-track once in my life.  He was really excited to show it to me.   It was his old copy of Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild.





I probably sing, a bit, because my Dad did.  He didn't sing very well, I suppose, but when Bad To The Bone or Jimi's All Along The Watchtower came on, he would belt it out.



NO REASON TO GET EXCITED!!!

THE THIEF HE KINDLY SPOOOWK!

THERE ARE MAN-Y HERE A-MONG US!

WHO FEEL THAT LIFE IS BUT A JOOOWK!



BUT YOU AND I WE'VE BEEN THROUGH THAT


AND THIS IS NOT AHHH FAYYYTE!

SO LET US NOT TALK-UH FALLLSE-LY NOW. 

THE HOUR-AH'S GETTIN'-A LATE!

YEAH!!!

I'm not prepared to repost the eulogy, but here's my favorite part: 
"...what kindness there is in me comes from his example.  Hans Ferber taught me how to love well. The best parts of me are reflections of his goodness."
I miss you, Dad.  I always will.

We were so lucky to have you.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Chamberlain & Chance 23: A long, long time ago...

...in a basement far, far away...


Episode twenty-threeee!

Chamberlain does that, I do this, and (beyond ShoutEngine) you can find the podcasts on iTunes!


Chamberlain and Chance - A long, long time ago


THIS WEEK!


  • Chamberlain puts Far Cry Primal to bed. 
  • The ending of Uncharted 4 really turned Chance around on Uncharted 4
  • DOOOOOOM
  • What's the first video game the boys ever played?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Game Diary - Uncharted 4.


After we finished recording the podcast last week, I hunkered down into the last six chapters of Uncharted 4, and once the credits rolled I found myself feeling very positive about it.  Far more positive than I'd suggested on the last episode.  I'm not prepared to spoil any significant part of the game - particularly the ending, obviously - but I will say that it was precisely what I wanted from the game, and the series.

Uncharted 4 is not as uniformly excellent as The Last of Us.  I stand by that.  A big part of that is the amount of time you spend with Young Nate - and it's not much - it functions as kind of a forced gameplay pacing beat.  If you just got out of a super-crazy shootout as Adult Nate, and Adult Nate is about to head directly in to another one, Naughty Dog will just throw you back in time for some platforming-and-or-stealth as a kid to break up the gameplay so it's not just all shooting, all the time.

They also serve to showcase that Nate's brother, Sam, is the worst babysitter evarrr.
"Hey little bro, let's do some freerunning like a hundred feet off the ground.
Get a move on, ya chicken!"

As a mechanic of gameplay pacing, it works great.  In terms of storytelling - which is one of Naughty Dog's greatest strengths - they're some of the weakest parts of the game.

Perhaps it's the limited amount of time we get to spend with Young Nate, but he's no Ellie.  He has little in the way of personality, and mostly functions as a sentient sponge that soaks up heavy-handed (for Naughty Dog) foreshadowing that clearly informs why he grew up to become a globe-trotting treasure hunter, generally, and specifically repeated suggestions that his desire to find Awesome Treasure 2016 will result in the death of him or his brother or someone else that we care about.

And it it heavily foreshadowed.


Now, it's worth noting that the only story work Uncharted 4 compares poorly against is The Last of Us.  Compared to the industry as a whole, it's still the top of the line - it's just that (a bit like Uncharted 3) when compared against what Naughty Dog can accomplish, and has in the past, it's not quite there.  In certain moments.  A weak actor here, a dishonest story beat there.  S'too bad.

But those are the prickly little moments that stand out, in hindsight.   Taken as a whole, it's almost more of a love letter to what Uncharted gave us before Naughty Dog moved on.  The storytelling is slowed right down, but that's really the only cue the game pulls from the studio's last game - elsewhere, it's pure Uncharted with a nice little addition here (the grappling hook is awesome), a nice little tweak there (the way it handles free climbing feels a lot more controlled and tacticle, now).


I don't know - can't be sure - what one would think of Uncharted 4 if they hadn't played the first few games.  I have to think you would have a slightly better impression of it than you would have of The Order: 1886 - it too is a rather linear, totally-story-driven shooter with absolutely gorgeous graphics, and little else.  There's a bit of platforming, of course, but it's no big thing.  It's not particularly fun platforming - and there's super-simple puzzles, here and there - but that's it.  It's a gorrrgeous linear story-driven third-person shooter.

As someone who has played the last three games, as someone who loves Elena and Nate and Sully, Uncharted 4 is a fitting sendoff.  The ending was so affecting and so strong that I actually turned right around and started up a NG+ on the famous Crushing difficulty.  And then I started enjoying those sections playing as Young Nate well more than I had the first time, because now everything that felt like foreshadowing the first time became pregnant with meaning on a second viewing - everything resonated with the power of that ending.

It's on Crushing, I think, that I'll really be able to come to a final opinion on Uncharted 4.  It's on Crushing that I discovered how insanely brilliant Drake's Deception was, years ago, and to me is the definitive experience of the game.  Of course, I didn't spend enough time on Uncharted 4's Crushing to beat it, because...


But that's for another day.