Archives for : May2013

MonkeyPaw Games Announce Class of Heroes II Releasing June 4th on PlayStation®Network

North America will be able to download the fully localized J-RPG dungeon crawler sequel soon for $24.99

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Hokkaido, Japan – May 21st, 2013 – MonkeyPaw Games, Inc. in partnership with GAIJINWORKS, LLC today announced that import J-RPG Class of Heroes II will be making its North American debut June 4th on PlayStation®Network for $24.99. The newly localized digital release, playable on the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system and PlayStation®Vita system via PlayStation®Network, will also mark the first time that North American gamers will be able to play the addictive dungeon crawler sequel, boasting significant gameplay tweaks and improvements over the original.

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Class of Heroes II will please fans of dungeon crawlers with over 140 challenging quests, 100+ dungeon maps, crazy monster hordes, branching storylines and endings, as well as hundreds of equipment and skill combinations for beefing up soon-to-be hero students. The refined J-RPG will feature numerous hours of strategic gameplay making Class of Heroes II a deep experience with plenty of replay value.

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“We’re extremely excited to release this addicting sequel for more reasons than the obvious localization enhancements” said Ray Almeda, Marketing & PR Manager at MonkeyPaw Games. “Class of Heroes II is just one of many J-RPGs that deserve to be played by more gamers around the world and we hope, for the hardcore fans, that other companies realize that these kinds of opportunities are also possible.”

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New gameplay trailers of Class of Heroes II can be found at the following links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qltiSQJ0cFs – Beginning of game
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy9RIUo6a5o – Opening sequence
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06t4nvvBqJs – Sample easy quest (mild spoilers)

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New gameplay screenshots can be downloaded above. More details on Class of Heroes 2 are also available at www.classofheroes.com and www.monkeypawgames.com

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For more information on these MonkeyPaw Games products as well as tips and tricks on each of our titles, please visit www.monkeypawgames.com or contact the MonkeyPaw Games Public Relations team at media@monkeypawgames.com.

About MonkeyPaw Games
MonkeyPaw Games, Inc. is a digital distribution-focused videogame publishing firm that specializes in bridging Japanese and Western markets. MonkeyPaw Games has introduced numerous true Japanese imports to Western and European markets, including Gaia Seed, Sonic Wings Special, and Cho Aniki, as well as classic PlayStation titles such as Tomba, Alundra and the Arc the Lad series of games. MonkeyPaw Games revitalizes these Japanese experiences for the PlayStation®Network. MonkeyPaw Games maintains offices in San Jose, California and Hokkaido, Japan. For more information on all MonkeyPaw Games products, please visit www.monkeypawgames.com or follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/monkeypawgames.

About GAIJINWORKS
GAIJINWORKS was founded by Victor Ireland after spending more than 15 years as President of console game publisher Working Designs, where he innovated deluxe packaging, special premiums, pack-in soundtracks and game documentaries for their highly rated RPG products. Many of the practices he innovated have become standard in the RPG segment and console games in general. GAIJINWORKS is focused on continuing a tradition of fan-service for game fans in both the digital and physical media markets. GAIJINWORKS can be contacted at www.gaijinworks.com.

“PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Look for a review shortly after release!

Metro: Last Light: PS3 Game Review

Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: A4
Purchase here!

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What they say: It is the year 2034.Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above. But rather than stand united, the station-cities of the Metro are locked in a struggle for the ultimate power, a doomsday device from the military vaults of D6. A civil war is stirring that could wipe humanity from the face of the earth forever. As Artyom, burdened by guilt but driven by hope, you hold the key to our survival – the last light in our darkest hour. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above. But rather than stand united, the station-cities of the Metro are locked in a struggle for the ultimate power, a doomsday device from the military vaults of D6. A civil war is stirring that could wipe humanity from the face of the earth forever. As Artyom, burdened by guilt but driven by hope, you hold the key to our survival – the last light in our darkest hour.

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What I say: I really enjoyed Metro 2033 upon its release a couple of years ago. Dark and full of atmosphere, the game scratched an itch I didn’t even know I had at the time. I played it through twice to get both endings and then kind of forgot about it. That is until Metro: Last Light was announced. Then I remembered my enjoyment of the first game and become very excited for this sequel. The Metro is a hard place it has to be to even survive an entire company imploding. But luckily it made the journey over to new publisher Deep Silver just fine.

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In a ballsy move this sequel picks up from the “bad” ending of Metro 2033. This was pretty surprising and quite welcome as I felt, that from a story stand point, it was the better ending. Thinking the Dark Ones are eradicated, life goes on at the Metro until it is discovered that one Dark One remains and our hero Artyom is sent out to investigate. Naturally things go horribly wrong and thus begins our second excursion into the world of Metro. The game, taking place in a devastated Russia, does a fantastic job of world building. Everything looks sufficiently run down and gloomy. The lighting especially is very impressive, lending the right sense of menace where needed. The background characters are also very fleshed out for folks we will once see once through the game. It is very much worth your time to stop and listen to conversations as they can really give you an impressive level of background info. The fact that these conversations can be so important really makes the environment feel like a living, breathing world. It truly helps with the immersion.

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The story line is pretty dark and you are really able to get into Artyoms head. The choices and decisions you make do matter especially when it comes to which ending you receive. Like before there are two endings, and while a bit similar they are both worth seeing. I played through the game twice in order to see both and I’m glad I did since who knows which one will be canon in the next game.

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The game levels very a bit as you go from dark tunnels to topside, from being captured, to fighting mutant bugs that hate light and so on. The game can be played either using stealth or guns blazing depending on your play style. Both are equally valid. There is really a lot to like about this game from the gloomy graphics to the fantastic sound design. But alas there are some problems…

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While the game is very pretty, there is a great deal of screen tearing. It can really be quite distracting at times. Also of note is the very inconsistent AI you encounter. At times your enemies are right on top of you and one mistake can be your downfall, at other times you can run into a crowd and kill every soldier while the others just look on waiting for their turn. This more than anything took me out of the game as the “living breathing world” became a video game again. This was my biggest disappointment in the game.

Overall Metro: Last Light is a very good experience and while it is a bit easier than Metro 2033, I think it had a better story. The few flaws however kept it from being a great game.

Rating: 7/10

God Mode: PS3 Game Review

Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Old School Games

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What they say: Retro shooter action and RPG elements are combined in this new downloadable third-person shooter. God Mode combines non-linear gameplay, fast and frantic shooting, hordes of on-screen enemies, a fully functional online coop mode, and features visuals and gameplay that rival that of a full-priced boxed title. Matches rarely–if ever–play out the same, as dozens of in-game modifiers can significantly alter the gameplay on the fly. Characters are fully customizable, both in appearance and equipment, which continually evolve. Gold and experience are constantly accrued and used to unlock new and satisfying weaponry and unique powerful abilities, both of which can be further upgraded.

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What I say: Online co-op has become pretty damn important in the gaming world. It seems like every game offers it in some fashion. God Mode is one of those games that only succeeds in online co-op. Sure, there is a single player mode, but there’s not much to it. It plays just like a multiplayer match but with only you to fight off the never ending waves of demonic hordes. The game is obviously balanced for multiple players as you will get slaughtered repeatedly. The biggest omission in this regard is the complete lack of a splitscreen mode. As I have cried about repeatedly I have awful satellite internet. This is all ready bad news for online gaming unless it has excellent net code. Alas, this game does not. Even on a good connection the game sputters and lag abounds.

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But if it has a good story all that can be forgiven right? There is almost no story to speak of. There is a few seconds about your character being of Olympic descent or some such nonsense. The matches themselves are fun enough when things work right. You start off in a level, gather power ups, and then activate the level “Test of Faith” then it’s on! Waves of monsters arrive and you kill them, rinse, repeat.

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Graphically, the game looks good, the monsters all are menacing in their own ways but the lack of customization on your characters seems like a missed opportunity. As the game goes on you can upgrade your character, your weapons, and so on. However, this feels tacked on at best. There are only five levels and they get old quick. This game just screams “More DLC to come!” If you intend to play this online and your friends all buy it, then feel free to add a couple of points to my score. Otherwise, I was pretty blah about the whole thing, and I have concerns about the longevity of the games community.

Rating: 5/10

 

God Mode is available on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

 

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Dead Island: Riptide: Second Opinion PS3 Game Review

Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Techland
Purchase here!

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What they say: Dead Island Riptide is an open world Action Role-Playing game (RPG) in which players are tasked with surviving a viral based zombie outbreak isolated in a topical setting. The game is a follow-up to 2011′s original Dead Island game, and contains additional Survival-Horror gameplay mechanics and a first-person player perspective. Additional features include: New and returning characters, new vehicle types, levels and weather conditions, online multiplayer support including co-op, group defense tactics, and escalating melee and projectile weapon proficiencies. Special Edition Includes Alternate Character Skin, Pack of Weapon MODs,Digital Strategy Map.

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What I say: Zombies! Well there are certain things that just have to happen when dealing with zombies, let’s see how we did with this handy checklist…

1) Always important,  lots of zombies…check!
2) Lots and lots of body parts such as heads, arms, legs… check!
3) Lots and lots of blood…check!
4) Handle lots and lots of things laying around to cause above-mentioned decapitations and selective surgeries…check!

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Well, I think you get my point, if you’re a zombie fan like I am…oh yeah, you are going to love this game.I really can’t find anything wrong with this game that matters it plays great and everything is nicely done. I found it to be enjoyable and engaging and fun with friends…yes I have friends…stop laughing! But seriously guys the game plays well without taking itself so seriously that it becomes a chore. The storyline is good and moves along quickly enough to keep you engaged even if you have not played the first game like myself. The menus and interfaces are nicely laid out and the game gives you plenty of ways to build up weapons and characters.

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I played the online game with the venerable Dennis and we had fun of course. I’ve known Dennis for a long time and sometimes think he has some zombie blood?

Now the real serious and technical stuff! Graphics when we played online the game showed a little jitter.  It was not by any means what I would call bad.
And I would suspect that if a lot of people begin to see this in their game it will be addressed. As far as in game graphics and layout to me it was reminiscent of the Far Cry games, this to me is a plus as I found those games to be a lot of fun.

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This review is a hard one for me to write because I simply didn’t find much wrong. The only downside as far as I could see that is in my opinion there was an imbalance in the strengths and weaknesses of the playable characters. Even that is easily fixed, just  experiment, find the one you like and build their skill tree up…problem solved. I will definitely be spending more time in the game.

So in conclusion this game would be nearly perfect if you’re a zombie fan.
Honestly, you’ll love it!

 

Rating: 8/10

Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk: PS3 Game Review

Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Developer: Gust
Purchase here!

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What they say: The promise begins. After times of prosperity, people must endure the dusk. As another of period of dusk begins, in a region of the world where people are beginning to live humble lives once again… This land lacks the system of a governed nation, yet people live together, hand in hand. There, in an isolated workshop, lives a girl who makes a living by making medicine. This girl’s name is Ayesha. She used to live with her grandfather and younger sister, but after her grandfather passed away a few years ago, her sister also went missing. Now she is only left with her pet cow, and her solitude.

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What I say: I have loved the Atelier series since Atelier Rorona. All of the Atelier games are about various young female Alchemists in training trying to accomplish a goal within 3 years. This game follows that same structure. You play as Ayesha, a young girl who lives in a rural setting, and sells her Alchemy throughout the surrounding towns thanks to her friend who is a merchant, Ernie. Well Ayesha’s sister has been spirited away. Ayesha came to find out that her sister is still alive after a man told her she would have to go and use alchemy to save her, and of course you have 3 years to accomplish this.

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Atelier Ayesha, to me, didn’t seem as engaging as some of the others in the series. In Rorona, you were saving a workshop from being closed down, in Meruru you were trying to become an Alchemist as your father, the king, made you show him how you could use it to help the kingdom grow. This one was trying to find your sister who had been gone for 2 years.

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They did make a lot of changes this time. The characters they allowed for your party were a lot more loveable than normal, you could actually handle the first person to join unlike in the previous games where you would be like, “WHEN CAN I SWITCH HER OUT!” Then there were more towns to explore than the normal Atelier game. More save points, it wasn’t just at your workshop. They were at multiple towns, and if you played any other Atelier game, you would agree that is good thing since it saves days from traveling for no reason than to save. Then they made it easier to make money with a ton more side quests, and instead of going to someone for them, you go right to the client. Plus each place you went was different. The art style was a little different as well.

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It’s was pretty obvious that the makers of this assumed the player had played the previous games. There was a noticeable lack of explanation and tutorials. I mean really. And it seemed as if it was lacking just a tad in story direction. You would get down with something than ask yourself, “Okay, what do I do know?” It was kind of jarring at times to be quite honest.

Overall, I liked it but the changes didn’t really help the experience and in some ways I felt it took the series a step back.

Rating: 7/10

 

Atelier Ayesha is available as a retail release and is also on PSN.