There are few times in my life anymore when I am following the Japanese life of a video game. Between the rise of Western developers, and the lack of “big” titles that don’t make it to these shores anymore, following a game as it makes its way through the Land of the Rising Sun seems a bit silly. Plus, it is often the case now Japanese titles come out day and date with the Western versions, at least here in the United States. I think Europe still gets shafted to some degree, and I think games don’t even come out anymore in Australia. But in any case, if a game is worth playing, it often comes out here in the United States. However, that seemed to almost not be the case for Bravely Default, it was believed that it would remain a game staying on Eastern shores, Square Enix not wanting to translate it and publish it outside Japan. The case for this choice was obvious; JRPG’s were not as big in America as the SNES/PS1 days, and the western gamers tended to gravitate to titles with more action in it. Bravely Default is a game firmly rooted in a style of RPG that isn’t so commonly played anymore, at least out here. However, it seems the demand for the game was high, and Nintendo agreed to take over publishing duties for territories outside Japan. With this system in place, North America finally got Bravely Default in February of 2014, and it was worth the wait. Continue Reading
The Playstation Network is home to a lot of old games. If you look at the PS1 Classics section of the Network store, you can find a plethora of Dora the Explorer titles. But past these timeless classics, you can find other passable titles like Final Fantasy VII and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. However, it is often like Sony forgets this section of their digital store even exists. This is very upsetting as there are legitimately great titles sitting in the store, for great prices. Adding even more value to this store is that a ton of these games work on the PS Vita, which make even the most base-level, fine in 1996, but busted-ass in 2014 3D graphics look good with the ultra-sharp screen.
Occasionally, someone at Sony will drunkenly stumble into the PS1 section of their store, and decide they should do something with it. This weekend is such a time it seems. PSN is having what is frankly a great Flash Sale, with many PS1 games, and a few smaller PS3 titles being discounted to 99 cents, whether you have PS Plus or not. I can personally see myself picking up Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, Tekken 2, and Virtua Fighter 2. The RPG’s on this list I actually already own, and I was never into Dino Crisis. However, the list is great all around, but this sale is short lived (ends on Monday, July 14, 3PM Eastern), so hop on your PS3 and/or Vita and get some great games for next to nothing.
Source: Playstation Blog
People often ask me how I like my Vita. More people don’t ask me what I think of my Vita. I find however, that whether or not someone asks me for my opinion on the Playstation Vita, I am giving my opinion of it. I love my Vita. I think it is a fantastic system with a library that is small on its own, but is actually really large if you take into account the extras. It plays PSP games, it plays PS1 games, and it has a lot of great games on its own. What I think gets you the most value in this system though, is the types of games you see in the available library. My PSP got a lot of play not because of the short, quirky games; which were fun, don’t get me wrong. The Japanese-style RPG’s are where the real value is on Sony handhelds. My PSP was a JRPG machine, and my Vita has quickly turned into that as well. Between the PS1 Classics, which include Final Fantasy V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, as well as other venerable series such as Breath of Fire, and the PSP library, which has things like Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions and Persona 3 Portable, the Vita has thousands of gaming hours available in the back catalog alone, often times for cheap.
Despite the massive amount of gaming choices available for the intrepid RPG gamer on the Vita, there are some glaring holes in what is otherwise a stellar library, especially from the PS2 era. While a few of these games are old titles that really have no reason to not be available on the Vita, some are more modern titles that while great on their native systems, would feel a lot better on Sony’s powerful portable. I know at times there would be a great deal of work needed to even think of getting the game on the Vita, but I don’t care. This is a wish-list. Continue Reading
Cliff Bleszinski left Epic Games in 2012, claiming he was retiring from making games. Although he no doubt has the financial stability that could maintain retiring at 37 years of age, it appears the desire to create has returned in force. Although this is no surprise, considering he already talked about coming back to game development last December, to see him officially announce on Twitter that he will be showing off new stuff in the next week is very welcome.
Don’t hold your breath for him to return to Epic however. He has said that he would love to open his own studio in the past, and has a very specific vision for this project. It will be a first-person shooter, Cliff said on the Pointless Podcast back in late 2013. He also stated that it will feel old, “It will be a PC experience that will hearken back to a certain type of game that we cut our teeth on.” He also stated he does not want to do a scripted sequence ever again, and has already let us know it won’t feel like the more modern, Call of Duty type games, instead feeling more like the Unreal style of gameplay he is known for. In the same podcast, he is quoted as saying, “A lot of these kids playing Call of Duty- I don’t think they know what a proper arena shooter is.”
Last year, Valve hosted the DOTA2 International Tournament. It was a big deal, with a big prize pool of 2.9 million dollars. This year makes the last look like chump change though. Thanks to the crowdfunding effort based in The Compendium, an item for DOTA2 which anyone can buy, the prize pool for The International 2014 has grown to over 10 million dollars. Let us stop and think about this for a moment. The prize pool for a video game is 10 million dollars. That is actually more than The Masters Golf Tournament, according to USA Today.
If you look at the DOTA2 site, you will see for right now there are no more stretch goals for the crowdfunding portion of the prize pool. However, I would not be surprised to see Valve add more, trying to add to the already insane amount up for grabs in what has quickly become to most lucrative video game tournament in history. If you’re into watching the tournament, it may actually behoove you to go get The Compendium if you haven’t yet. For 10 dollars, you get the chance to make predictions on matches, and earn points, getting rewards for your own DOTA2 account along the way. Plus on top of that, $2.50 of your 10 dollar payment goes on top of the huge prize pool. Let’s help it climb even higher.
Source: DOTA2 Site
Satoru Iwata is not going anywhere. As Mario Kart 8 passes the 2 million units sold mark, The Annual Shareholders Meeting has decided to remain confident in its President going forward, despite slow Wii U sales and his health issues. Not able to actually attend the meeting in person due to his health concerns, Iwata said, “I have no choice but to miss the company’s very important activity, the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, to be held this month. As the president of the company, I regret that I cannot attend the meeting.”
He goes on to say that he is prioritizing his medical treatment so he can return as soon as possible. So for the time being, do not expect any big shakeups at Nintendo, and for them to continue chugging along with the Wii U. With the strong showing they put on at E3 however, that may not be the bad thing it was a year ago.
I don’t know why this is. Do I just own all the games Steam commonly puts up on these major sales? Maybe, I do have a lot of games, and Valve tends to recycle the games that come up on sale a lot it seems. Besides that however, I do see many games come up I do not own, and at very good prices. However, unlike years past I am not opening my wallet to remember the CVC number on my debit card on a near constant basis. I actually just checked my Steam history. The only two purchases I have made for this entire thing thus far has been Spelunky, and the soundtrack for Transistor, which I just bought. So really I have spent about seven dollars on the Steam Sale (I actually only paid 3.80 for the Transistor soundtrack due to me selling my spare Steam cards on the Marketplace), which is a paltry amount compared to seasonal sales past. So why am I not opening the wallet up, ready to fork piles of money over to Gabe’s waiting maw? I think the answer is that I have finally reached something of a critical mass when it comes to what I am allowing myself to purchase and own. Continue Reading