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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?

By otakuman5000 On 6 Jul, 2011 At 02:10 AM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 2 Comments

No GravatarThe latest RPG/dating sim from Red Entertainment and Compile Heart has landed in the USA, thanks to Aksys. Record of Agarest War Zero is the prequel to last year’s sleeper SRPG hit, which was available in a retail version on the 360 and online-only on PS3. This time around, both the PS3 and 360 versions are available at retail.

 

The world of Agarest is a world where the gods of darkness and light, and their human servants, are engaged in a never-ending war for control of the entire world. One day, Sieghart, a soldier for the Light Armies and the hero of the story, happens upon a young woman being pursued by the Dark Armies. Sieghart attacks her assailants, but is mortally wounded in the process. The young woman, whose name is Mimel, heals Sieghart, but in the process, transfers her immense magical powers to him, essentially making Sieghart a super hero for the Light Armies. Agarest War Zero follows the story of Sieghart, and later his son Leonis as they battle fierce monsters and fall in love with beautiful women.

 

The battle portions of the game will be familiar to anyone who’s played a grid-based SRPG such as Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea. You place your soldiers on the battle grid, and the battle plays out as you position your characters and launch attacks against enemies. Positioning is very important in Agarest War Zero. By positioning your characters in certain areas relative to each other, which can be determined by highlighting them on the battle screen, you can chain your characters’ attacks into devastating combo attacks as well as new attacks that can be only unlocked by mixing your characters’ attacks together. Be warned – like all SRPGs, the enemies have the same abilities as your party and will take advantage of their own combo attacks. Poor planning and execution can spell defeat. Agarest War Zero features one of the deeper SRPG engines out there. While the uninitiated will be intimidated away from this system, SRPG fans will have a great time with AW0’s battles. The only hitch is that the game’s controls may take some getting used to, even for SRPG veterans. The controls are not quite as intuitive  as those in the better-known SRPG series, and you may find yourself moving your characters to the wrong location or inadvertently cancelling moves before you get the hang of the controls.

 

 

In between battle scenes, the game’s story plays out in visual-novel sequences that feature animated talking anime portraits. Like all SRPGs, AW0 is heavy in political intrigue. However, one of the major elements of the game is Sieghart’s relationship with the women in his squadron. The dating sim element plays out in a similar fashion to the SMT: Persona games, or Sakura Wars,  of which Red Entertainment was one of the main designers. Sieghart’s responses to certain speech checks will affect the way his female companions feel about him. One response may raise one woman’s affection while inflaming another woman’s jealousy, lowering her affection. Ultimately, your choices of dialogue will affect which woman Sieghart chooses to marry, and therefore the attributes of his son, Leonis. The social links aspect of Agarest War Zero only allows for two generations instead of five as in the original game, however, in Agarest War Zero, these elements are much more detailed and expansive. Dialogue choices will affect the female characters’ overall dialogue as well as their choice of attire.

 

For those who completed the original Agarest War, Agarest War Zero allows you to import your completed saved data from the original game. This opens an “Door to the Future” mode where you can unlock characters from the original Agarest War for use in Agarest War Zero.

 

Other than the visual novels and the battle aspects, the game allows you to interact with towns, where events and shops abound. In the blacksmith shop, you can create more powerful weapons and armor using a fairly extensive crafting system. The Adventurer’s Guild allows you to craft new abilities and breed captured monsters. Occasionally towns will have “vacation periods” where you can build your social links or otherwise take a break from the grind.

 

Visually, Agarest War Zero is a mixed bag. The artistry definitely outshines the technical aspects. Agarest War Zero’s graphics are a low-resolution mix of 2-D sprites on 3-D backgrounds. While the sprites are fairly well-animated for what they are, they will still disappoint anyone looking for state-of-the-art visuals. The spell effects are not spectacular, but well done. Agarest War Zero features very detailed anime art that leans towards the “moe” style with regards to the women. The anime portraits in the visual novels are animated and change expressions.

 

The game’s sound is a much stronger point. Agarest War Zero’s soundtrack is very high-quality, if typical Japanese game fare, with suitably heroic tunes fitting the theme of the game.  Those who purchase the collector’s edition will no doubt want to copy the music on the CD to their iPods. Agarest War Zero is subtitled Japanese, which is the style generally preferred by anime fans, as Japanese voice-acting conventions generally don’t translate well into English. The only downside to the voice acting is that the characters make brief verbalization in Japanese during battles – but there are no subtitles in battles, so you won’t know what the characters are saying when they launch attacks or fall in battle.

 

 

Overall, I found Record of Agarest War Zero to be a very worthwhile and engaging experience. Fans of SRPGs as well as fans of the original game will enjoy Agarest War Zero greatly, as it improves on the depth and challenge of the original game, but will provide the same overall experience that they enjoyed from the first game. Although people who are already intimidated by SRPGs will be scared away by Agarest War Zero’s difficulty, the adventurous who are looking for an alternative to the summer AAA blockbusters should also look into this game.

By Shawn Wilson On 3 Aug, 2010 At 06:54 PM | Categorized As Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 1 Comment

No Gravatar…And He’s Smiling!

Shmup fans rejoice! The Xbox 360 port of DeathSmiles finally comes to North America. In fact, this is the first time in video game history that a CAVE developed shmup (or Shoot ‘Em Up game) has been released domestically on a console.

DeathSmiles is a classic 2D horizontal shoot-em-up that was released to Japanese arcades in late 2007. It was ported to the 360 in Japan early last year. Thankfully, AKSYS Games bought the North American publishing rights and released this gem to us…IN ENGLISH!

CAVE is mainly known for their “bullet hell” vertical shooters. This is only the 2nd time that CAVE has created a horizontal shooter. Their first being Progear developed for Capcom’s CPS2 arcade hardware in 2001.

DeathSmiles features a unique shmup feature in which you can shoot right or left at will. Typical shmups only allow you to shoot bullets directly in front of your character. With tons of enemies and bullets coming at you from both directions, this makes for an exciting and fun feature.

The first thing you’ll notice about DeathSmiles is how beautiful the 2D art is and the soundtrack is amazing as well. The 360 port also features many different game modes. The original Arcade mode is selectable as well as a graphic-enhanced Xbox 360 mode and a very fun arranged mode called 1.1 in which you have full control of your familiar with the right analog stick.

In each mode, you are given a choice between 4 girls. Each with their own unique “shot” and familiar. From there, you are able to choose your starting stage as well as it’s difficulty level. This is also another welcome feature to DeathSmiles. Making this an easy to pick up shooter for novices.

Different from the Japanese version, the North American version also includes the JP only DLC “Mega Black Label” modes on the disc at no extra charge. In MBL, a character named Sakura (previously only a boss) is selectable. MBL also features a new scoring system, new stage and extra difficulty level called “Lvl 999”. This is for hardcore shmup players only. Definitely not for the weak at heart.

An online co-op mode is available as well as leaderboards for each game mode. The leaderboards also allow you to upload and download the top players replays. Being able to download replays is essential in learning how the top players score high!

Oh, did I forget to mention the extras you get when you buy this game? Not only do you get a wonderful “shoot-em-up” developed by CAVE, you also get a Special Arranged Soundtrack CD and a beautiful faceplate only available with the North American version.

Hopefully this sells well enough and CAVE decides to have more of their games ported outside of Japan. If you are a fan of shmups and just 2D games in general, you owe yourself to pick this game up.