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I love classic style turn based RPGs. There is something about them that just takes me back to an older era and lets me enjoy myself without worrying about all new combat mechanics ( for the most part), and one company that makes this style of game still is KEMCO. I noted in my review of their game Revenant Saga that KEMCO had begun to move out of their paint by numbers approach to making RPGs. While the games they made are great, they had a problem of being formulaic and not deviating much. They were fun to play and lose yourself in for hours but eventually they all became the same. Revenant Saga brought some refreshing change and now Antiquia Lost pushes them further in that new direction.

Antiquia Lost follows a bit of the typical KEMCO formula but plays with it so much, that it becomes new. The game eschews the 3D battle screens KEMCO has been using lately, in favor of a classic 16 bit style battle screen. Its a nice touch and helps the general feeling of the game :making . I must also note that the visuals are surprisingly excellent on Switch, with the art looking sharper than in previous games. I must say though, that I am not happy about the miscrotransactions being in the console versions, as it feels like a step back from KEMCO’s work with consoles. Still they can be ignored, but locking some staples behind a paywall doesn’t feel right.

Antiquia Lost introduces new play mechanics as well, but keeps them grounded in their previous games and they don’t feel overwhelming. I do like that the way the characters interact is different, and using a different character is much more involved this time. The story of the game also immediately deviates from KEMCO’s normal pattern and I must commend them for that. Right away we are given an experience that uses what KEMCO utilized before, but doesn’t stay firmly in the past. Instead, Antiquia Lost takes what was done and uses those ideas to chart a new path, and it is a most excellent journey. It doesn’t overwhelm you and it is familiar enough while still being a fresh experience. Even with the flaw of microtransactions, I recommend it.

 

 

Disclaimer: A review key was provided by KEMCO

By Jonathan Balofsky On 23 Nov, 2017 At 03:27 PM | Categorized As News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The following was sent out

 

 

It has been 3 months since the launch of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and today we are happy to be sharing the final development diary in our 30 video series. In the diary we discuss how the Hellblade Independent AAA approach has turned from experiment into proven model, detailing key numbers from Hellblade’s launch:

  • Over 75k pre-orders across PC and PS4 before launch.
  • 250K units sold in the first week at $29.99.
  • Over $13m in revenue generated in 3 months.
  • 500k units sold in 3 months, which puts the project beyond breakeven and into profit. Our prediction was to be at this point in 6 months from release.
  • Development took 3 years and with an average team size of 20.
  • Game sold as digital-only.
  • About half the sales were on PC.

Some words from Tameem Antoniades, Co-founder and Chief Creative Ninja, on the success of Hellblade:

“The escalating stakes in the AAA retail publishing model has killed off countless independent studios like us, many smaller publishers, and is now straining even the largest of publishers.  This isn’t survival of the fittest but a routing of the creative base upon which this industry was built.

The future isn’t written and we don’t believe that the writing is on the wall.  AAA will always exist but we need strong alternatives as well.

Three years ago we announced our intention to find a way to do our best work outside of the AAA retail model and have openly documented the journey in our thirty development diaries.

The final step is to share our commercial model and digital sales data for the benefit of other developers.  The more data we have for alternative business models, the more developers can take informed commercial and creative risks.  For the benefit of our beloved medium, we’d like to encourage other developers to share their own data as well wherever possible.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us and made Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice a commercial and creative success.”

Hellblade Development Diary 30 can be seen here:https://youtu.be/sDvATt2VBxU

This is excellent news, and a great sign for the future of mid level game development. Have you bought the game yet?

 

Source: PR Email

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No one did arcade games like SNK with the Neo Geo. Everything with them was on a completely different level than the rest of the industry, with games that were both intense and fun. Sports games on the Neo Geo often took sports that didn’t seem like they would action packed and made it work, like with Neo Turf Masters. So imagine what they could do with Soccer/Football, a game known for its passionate fans.

Soccer Brawl was like an early predecessor to later games like Sega’s Soccer Slam and Super Mario Strikers/Mario Smash Football. It was less of a sports game, rather than an action game that used sports as basis for the action. The game is set in the future with soccer that is played with bionic people or cyborgs as the players. And with that description, how can this not be awesome?

Soccer Brawl is is a two-player game where your team is representing one of eight countries,. These countries are Germany, Japan, Brazil, The United States, Italy, Spain, England and South Korea. After selecting a team, you will then select one of two stadiums which will be a dome or an open field. Then you begin with a 5-on-5 match and the action gets intense. Forget all the rules for the game, because in this, there are no fouls and anything goes. This makes the game much closer to an intense brawler than you would expect.

Many cite Midway’s arcade sports games as being the games that defined what an arcade style sports game should be. Those people should look instead to SNK and games like this, because Soccer Brawl makes NBA Jam look tame in comparison. SNK threw out any pretense of realism and made it all about fun and action. This is a game that sadly hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Neo Turf Masters is well known ( deservedly so) and I cannot understand why Soccer Brawl doesn’t also get as much attention. Every modern sports game that uses arcade style action to differentiate itself ends up owing something to this game. I urge you all to check it out as it has just been released via Arcade Archives on modern systems. This is a damn good game, and one that I would love to see SNK revisit in the future.  It is too good to just be left in the past.

 

 

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Two things have stood out as key ingredients for a wonderful time in childhood, Comics and Lego. Both are tools of imagination and open the mind up to new possibilities we would not have considered before. This is why, despite many criticizing the Lego Adaptation Games, I love them immensely. They are a great take on the various media they adapt and often serve as a gateway series. The criticisms the games get often end up missing the point of the games. They are not meant to be pure adaptations, but celebrations that merge different methods to tell a tribute story.

Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 continues this tradition of merging different forms of creativity, and gives us a new world to explore that is once again a celebration of all things Marvel Comics. The first thing I must say is that the game is absolutely gorgeous. The visuals are well done and stand out so beautifully, creating a real comic book Lego feeling, which suits the setting perfectly. Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 brings in more characters from both the movies and the comics like Spider-Gwen and even makes some new ones, without giving spoilers, I was surprised to see some unique fusions of other characters.

Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 uses some new abilities, which are tied into the main storyline of the game. This time around, Kang The Conqueror is attacking not just the main universe but several universes and timelines. Taking inspiration from a certain other villain, he is capturing and taking cities  from these locations and merging them into his realm of Chronopolis in order to take over the world. However, this also means many heroes are there to fight back and try and stop him.

Chronopolis is a city of time which gives the player the ability to manipulate time and go to various locations and eras. You can travel to classic locations from the comics, and other media versions of Marvel Comics and this is a real treat for the fans. From going to the Noir universe, to a medieval era, there is something for every Marvel Comics fan here. This is also a great way to introduce younger players to the world of Marvel Comics, and I must say that this would be an excellent game for parents to play with their children. It is a game that will appeal to both generations and players of all kinds.

There is also a four-player competitive super hero battling mode in the game, which enables players to fight each other in battle arenas. This isn’t a main attraction for the game, but it is a great side mode and offers some great replay fun. In general the game has very few flaws, but I do feel that one issue is that the camera feels awkward at times, for me at least. This is not a deal breaker, but the camera, and in fact a few other minor control issues do pop up from time to time, along with an audio issue, but that is a lot more rare. Still, I do know these will be patched soon, and the game is one of the best in terms of design, but this is still something I have to mention.

Overall, I feel Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is one of the best Lego adaptation games ever done. It is a loving tribute to everything Marvel Comics, while also bringing some new ideas to the games overall. If you are a comic fan, or a parent of a young child, this is a must play. For those who just want a fun game, this is also a good choice to consider.

 

 

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Disclaimer: A review key was provided by the publisher.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Nov, 2017 At 08:57 PM | Categorized As News, News, News, NINTENDO, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Bloodstained: Ritual of The Night will be coming out sometime in 2018. Development seems to be nearing the end, and the developers are now asking for fan input on bonus lines and content they are interested in seeing. This is mainly in terms of Easter Eggs and such and not major changes.

They also noted they are accepting more than one submission, and all they ask is that the submissions be impressive to them.

They sent out the following tweet

Will you submit an idea?

 

We will have a review of Bloodstained: Ritual of The Night when the game launches in 2018 (Disclaimer: This author was a backer of the kickstarter)

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Nov, 2017 At 04:10 PM | Categorized As News, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Aksys Games has announced that Under Night In-Birth EXE:Late[ST] will be getting released in the west on PS4, PS3 and PS Vita in February 2018.

They made the announcement via the tweet below.

 

 

Will you be getting this?

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In a move that excited some and made some cringe, Sega sent a press release announcing that Valkyria Chronicles 4 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Soldiers, strategists, and commanders–the call has come in from the front lines. It’s time to rejoin the fight! The beloved Valkyria
Chronicles series makes its grand return westward in 2018 with Valkyria Chronicles 4, a new mainline chapter in the saga for PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch(TM), and
Xbox One(TM).  Return to a continent ravaged by conflict with a familiar-yet-refined tactical RPG battle system, a vibrant and evocative art style that portrays a living canvas of watercolors, and a gripping World War II-inspired story full of momentous
triumphs, heartbreaking loss, and unexpected hope for the human spirit. It is the year 1935 EC…The continent of Europa is engulfed in the flames of the Second Europan War between the Atlantic Federation and the Autocratic Eastern Imperial Alliance. Although the Federation struggles valiantly against the Empire’s forces, the relentless imperial military machine threatens to consume them. With victory slipping away, the Federation executes Operation Northern Cross: a last-ditch attempt to capture the imperial
capital and end the war.
Commander Claude Wallace and his loyal childhood friends in Squad E are sent to fight for the desperate operation’s success, but they will have to endure harsh bone-chilling elements, waves of imperial soldiers, and the terrifying Valkyria…and unravel a grave truth that will shake them to the core. 

Valkyria Chronicles 4 Features:

* A Coming-of-Age Story in a Time of War – Valkyria Chronicles 4 takes place in the same timeframe as the original Valkyria Chronicles but focuses on a whole new cast of main characters. Players will take command of the eager, young Commander
Claude Wallace, engineer/heavy weapons extraordinaire Riley Miller, hotheaded Darcsen Raz, ice-cold ace sniper Kai Schulen, and more. Together, they will experience the
painful realities of war–but will the bonds of Squad E’s friendships survive the frozen battlefield? 
* The Next Generation “BLiTZ” Battle System – The part overhead turn-based strategy, part RPG, and part real-time 3rd person shooter “BLiTZ” battle system returns to the field. New features include an explosive new class called the Grenadier, numerous
offensive/defensive battleship support options, chances for a unit to have a “Last Stand” action before death, and more. Plus, fight the imperial threat with more units on larger-scale maps than ever before.
* CANVAS Aesthetics – The series’ signature hand-drawn visual style is back and overhauled for the newest generation. Inspired by watercolor compositions, the CANVAS
Graphics Engine blends visual elements of reality and imagination to create an expressive world filled with colorful emotions. Watch the journey of Squad E unfold like an interactive painting! 
* The Return of a Legendary Composer – The illustrious Hitoshi Sakimoto, original composer of the Valkyria Chronicles series and countless other emotional epics, returns to provide a sweeping orchestral soundtrack for the game.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 will be available on PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch(TM), and
Xbox One(TM) platforms in the Americas and Europe in 2018.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Nov, 2017 At 09:52 PM | Categorized As News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The King of Fighters XIV is not done yet.

SNK’s newest fighting game masterpiece will be bringing in a new DLC character and stage.  The character will be a Saudi Arabia-themed fighter and the stage will be a Masmak fort stage.

This DLC is the result of a contest held by the company Manga Productions in the Middle East to design a character and stage to appear in a fighting game. Over 300 entries were received from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and so on.

This new DLC will be coming soon but no date was given. It is great to see the world of fighting games getting even more international.

 

Source

By Jonathan Balofsky On 17 Nov, 2017 At 05:56 AM | Categorized As News, News, NINTENDO, PlayStation, ROG News | With 1 Comment

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Arc System Works has revealed three new characters for BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle. Yukiko Amagi from the persona series,, Gordeau from Under Night In-Birth and Azrael from BlazBlue.

 

See the trailer below.

 

The game is looking amazing and will be a must play next year!

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The quirky and off beat shoot em up Ice Cream Surfer will be coming to Switch, PS4 and PS Vita very soon. This was revealed by the developer on twitter.

 

Ice Cream Surfer is a unique shoot em up that is certainly different. Will you be checking this out?