Tag Archive

Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition Misses 2018, Coming In January

Posted on September 10, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

If you’re a “Tales of” fan like myself you’re probably really looking forward to the upcoming HD Remaster, Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition. Bandai Namco never officially gave ToV: Definitive Edition a solid release date in the west when it revealed the game at Xbox’s E3 presentation this past June.  Many fans and even some retailers expected the game to drop sometime this November but it appears the publisher had other plans for Yuri, Estelle, Rapede and Karol for their current generation debut.

The gang’s going to get back together for their 10th anniversary when Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition releases worldwide on January 11th on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and digital only on Windows PC.

RPGSite.net had a run-down of features for the game that looks like it comes from the official press release:


  • A Beloved Tale Returns — The tale of a young hero on a quest for justice that captivated Tales fans returns to Xbox and makes its way for the first time to PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam!
  • Everything in One Edition! — Dive into the definitive version of this game with updated full HD graphics, brand-new music tracks, exciting mini-games, bosses, and a collection of unreleased costume DLC!
  • The Party Grows Stronger! — Yuri sets sail on his adventure with Estelle, a young noble woman; Karol; a boy in pursuit of a guild to call his own; Rita, an eccentric scholar; Raven, a laid-back archer; Judith, a mysterious dragoon; and Repede, a pipe-smoking dog… and now two more playable characters join the fray!
  • Patty Fleur, a cheerful and tough young pirate girl in search of treasure, adventure… and her forgotten memories.
  • Flynn Scifo, Yuri’s best friend and an Imperial Knight, now joins the rest on their journey!
  • Fight with Flair! — Assemble your favorite team and enjoy exciting real-time battles with all new Mystic Artes and skills!

Alongside the release date, Namco Bandai also revealed that the Definitive Edition will be receiving a special Steel Book physical edition. The case features the loyal woofer Rapede on the front cover and the backside features every “Tales of” fan’s favorite doggo striking quite a few poses.  In 2009 Bandai released a similar physical Steel Book edition that included a separate soundtrack CD. No word yet on what extras will be included in the 2019 special edition, but you can be sure I’ll write about it as soon as I do.

[Header Image Credit: Youtube]


God of War (2018) | Review

Posted on May 8, 2018 by Meghan Kass

Games like God of War are becoming something of a dying breed. Many major AAA games are trying to be increasingly open with their worlds, with games becoming more of a sandbox and less about story and developing characters. That is not to say there are zero story driven more linear games to play, but it appears AAA publishers are finding those games less appealing to back than more open / only only experiences. It is refreshing then, that Sony has seen fit to help bring us a brand new entry in the God of War franchise.  This new era for the series not only brings us back to the hack and slash gameplay we know and love from the series, but also improves upon it along with its puzzles and story.

God of War brings us into the world of Norse mythology and out of Kratos’ comfort zone of Greek mythology. After successfully taking vengeance on the Olympian Gods, Kratos has decided to settle down in Midgard with his son. Atreus is the son of Kratos’ second wife, Faye. After her death, Atreus and Kratos begin to journey to the top of the highest peak in the nine realms to spread her ashes at her request. It is then that we truly begin our hero’s journey as Kratos and Atreus must deal with monsters, angry Norse gods as well as their own personal issues that could either bring them closer together or tear them apart.

The story is some of the strongest in the series, if not the overall strongest in the franchise’s 13 year history. Kratos’ tale has never been more emotional and heart warming as he only desires safety and normality for himself and his son. He does what he can to prepare his son for the world, while protecting him when he can. Their relationship has its ups and downs throughout the main story and you feel each peak and valley the entire way. While I wish Atreus had been written better as a character, a part of me still desired to see the boy safe and unharmed throughout the game. Even at Atreus’ worst prepubescent arrogance, I still wanted both him and Kratos to succeed in their journey and come through stronger as characters.

God of War brings back the hack and slash gameplay  of the previous seven games and even improves on it with major changes, almost as if the systems had been rebuilt from the ground up. No longer is Kratos wielding the Blades of Chaos, but now carries a battle axe called the Leviathan Axe. This axe not only returns to you in the style of Thor’s Hammer, Mjolnir (appropriate for the setting of the game) but assists you in puzzles with the added element of freezing certain objects in place. You will need this if you want to get past certain puzzles in the game or certain challenging enemy encounterss.  You can also obtain new abilities and skills for yourself and Atreus by using a currency called Hacksilver to for the duo’s forward progression.

You also get the addition of runes that can upgrade your axe with. This allows you to customize gameplay to your liking more than previous games depending on your play style. You can go for faster, light attacks or heavy and slower ones if you prefer. You also have a new shiny shield in this game as well to mix things up with. You can use it to defend and parry much like the Golden Fleece in previous games. One of the series staples, quick time events, are still present but they play out slightly differently than previous games with two meters, stun and health, that will change during events.

Overall, 2018’s reboot is a top notch entry in the long running the God of War series. This game shows maturity, improvement in game-play, as well as introducing a set of a relatable characters and it all still remains, most importantly,  fun. It is refreshing to see a narrative driven, more linear game like God of War, released during the glut of AAA open world sandboxes that fill have filled up the release calendar lately. I highly recommend this game and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.



Black Desert Online Celebrates Second North American Anniversary

Posted on March 5, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Kakao Games announced that they are making the 2nd anniversary of the launch of Black Desert Online in North America with a special “apreciation gift” for all players on March 7th. This free gift will enable players to claim a free boss level weapon and accessory – so there’s some sought after loot being given out to mark the occasion. Subscribers, Buy to Play and even Trial Account players are eligible for the appreciation gift, so if you want to get it on this freebie make sure to sign up for Black Desert Online before Wednesday.

The March 7th game update also includes a brand new UI and Mini-map (which honestly was one of my biggest complaints when I tried it out back in January 2017). New skills will also be added for all playable classes with this next patch in addition to the Spanish localization going live.

In the past 24 months over 3 million people have purchased Black Desert Online and actively play the game. With its focus on swift action based combat, eschewing the traditional character leveling system for one based off of the gear your character equips and the often talked about flexible character creator – BDO has certainly found a niche for itself among the other MMO offerings out there.

Alongside the trailer you can see embedded above and all of the news surrounding the free anniversary gifts, the dev team also released a series of info-graphics that depict some interesting facts about the EU and NA region. While North America has a larger population than Europe, North Americans spend significantly more time in BDO when expressed as total playtime in years across the region. While NA has the lead in playtime, EU has the lead in mounts with significantly more horses than the actual player population. In North America there are literally tens of thousands of characters who haven’t collected their first mount.


Miitopia | Review

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Meghan Kass

Since the beginning of story telling, tales have been told about brave warriors combating and defeating the forces of evil. From Greek myths to comic book heroes, the concept of heroes banding together has been done in many different ways, inspiring the audience’s imagination and creating fantasies of themselves as one of those brave heroes. As video games grew and matured as a medium, people could now go from simply hearing, seeing or reading stories of brave heroes to playing the brave hero and feeling closer and closer to that feeling of saving the world from evil. Now, it is up to you to create and cast the warriors and even the great evil with your Miis with Nintendo’s newest game, Miitopia.

Miitopia is all about the fun of putting your friends or favorite characters from fiction into the roles of the damsels, kings and warriors and seeing them all interact. Are you mad at someone at work or school? Let them take the role of the Dark Lord and let out your aggression through your Mii. Want to see if your one true pairing from your favorite TV show will make it? This game allows you to play it out and see if a relationship build. This game’s main appeal is its whimsical, humorous atmosphere and customization. I spent hours amused doing quests for some of my favorite actors, characters and friends and seeing how my friend’s Miis interacted. It is charming, cute and endearing and a great use of the Mii system. I also enjoyed seeing how  creative the Miis on the Mii network were. Some were sculpted beautifully and really represented their character well. It also makes interesting use of amiibos by allowing for different items to customize your Mii character with. If you have your Tomodachi save files, you can also transfer character data to this game.

The actual gameplay of Miitopia is simple enough. You obtain a quest, watch your character walk through different locations and if you encounter an enemy sent by the Dark Lord you must defeat them in a turn based style combat. Your goal is to rescue innocent people’s faces from the Dark Lord and return the world to how it was before the Dark Lord caused mischief. It is simple to learn and very light hearted. Your relationship with your fellow party members affects the battle in different ways as well. If you are fighting with a party member, they might inconvenience you out of spite and the better your relationship with your party, the more bonuses you get and the more help they offer. You build these relationships in battle, on the road through random events or at the inns you find where you can also eat and buy new gear.

This is also the issue with Miitopia. It is very repetitive and can get a little tiresome after the first few hours. The ability to learn other classes and abilities keeps the game from being so boring I wanted to stop, but there still is not much to the actual gameplay. Unless you like customization and the novelty of seeing an avatar of your friends or favorite characters in funny situations, this game probably will not have enough to keep you interested for long. The abilities aren’t any more unique from other RPGs and the story is not very nuanced or original either.

Overall, this is a whimsical game with a lot of fun to offer as far as customization and silly situations, but beyond that, there is not much more to it. Have some laughs, see if you can make your favorite characters fall in love and defeat the evil Dark Lord, if this sounds appealing then you will want to pick this game up, but maybe wait for a sale.


Ever Oasis | Review

Posted on August 2, 2017 by Meghan Kass

New from developer Grezzo and published by Nintendo, Ever Oasis joins the 3DS library to answer the age old question “what happens if you combine Monster Hunter with Animal Crossing?”. While this may not be a question players may not have thought to ask, Ever Oasis offers a fun, unique experience that people will be happy got answered.

The art style of Ever Oasis is very cute and colorful. The locations are beautiful and vast. The desert is a beautiful gold, shining color that changes colors throughout the day. The caves have beautiful dark blue and purple tones with bright colors splashed throughout depending on the items and materials you can collect. There is bright waters and flora in your Oasis and overall the palette is beautiful and the actual structures have beautiful shapes and designs that will definitely catch your eye and keep you exploring. The characters are in a super deformed, child like style and come in a variety of colors and fashions. From the seedlings to the merchant s to the Noots, you will not get bored of these characters whose personalities are just as unique as their designs. Overall, this is a very pretty game to look at.


Ever Oasis’ gameplay revolves around the idea of you maintaining your oasis and fighting enemies to keep the peace for your residents and keep everyone happy. Some of the people that come into your Oasis want to sell goods, some want to buy goods, and some want to help you in your journey of exploration and peace. Esna, your water spirit guide, will assist you and give you advice along the way, and there are friendly merchants who also will help give you helpful tips and even gear or potions. You decide who you need for a quest you want to go on and travel to various caves and locations to reach your goals. You will need different classes in your party to solve various puzzles that will roadblock you from completing your quest. These classes have skills that include being able to become a cannon ball, break boulders, fly above canyons and fit through small holes to get into a room that is locked. Part of the strategy is finding out who you will need. Completing quests not only helps you continue the story of your seedling and Esna and obtain more villagers, but exploring in general helps you obtain more materials and more materials means expanding your Oasis and creating a more lovely place for your residents Materials also are required to stock your merchant’s stores which mean more shoppers which make your merchant residents happy.

The Monster Hunter aspect comes in when you have to fight the Chaos and other various enemies. You will enter a battle and the fighting is in real time and use various buttons and combinations of buttons to execute attacks and target your enemy. You will need certain types of weapons that the enemy is weak against and collect materials they drop, much like Monster Hunter. You will sometimes need special materials for certain quests or items. The battle mechanics are not entirely new or revolutionary, but it is fun enough and pretty smooth in execution. If you have played Monster Hunter or a similar type of game you will pick this up pretty quickly and even if you haven’t, the mechanics are not hard to learn. It is the puzzle solving aspect of the gameplay that kept me more entertained than the battles in the end, but the battles were still well done.

Ever Oasis is a very charming, fun game with creative aesthetics, characters and filled with a lot of content to discover and explore. If you like Animal Crossing and like the gameplay of Monster Hunter you will find a fun combination in Ever Oasis. Get lost in the visuals, expand your Oasis and bring peace to a chaotic world on the 3DS.


North America Needs This Seiken Densetsu Collection

Posted on March 21, 2017 by Les Major

Growing up in the 90s, I had some amazing experiences on the SNES. Watching Terra pilot her MagiTek armor across the snowy plains toward Narshe. Traveling through time with a talking frog, a prehistoric warrior woman, and a robot from the future. Then there was that time I drew a sword from a waterfall and doomed an entire planet. Now that, that was a good time!

The first two games I’m referring to are Final Fantasy 6 and Chrono Trigger. The latter is Secret of Mana. One of my favorite games from my youth. What’s this? In Japan there’s going to be a Seiken Densetsu Collection featuring Final Fantasy Adventure for the Gameboy, Secret of Mana, and Seiken Densetsu 3 for the SNES on one cart for the Nintendo Switch?

News of this title was teased on Twitter yesterday:

This would be a wonderful addition to the Switch. Especially being able to play with both JoyCons like that? Make it happen SquareEnix! It would also be the first time Seiken Densetsu 3 was released in North America! Look at this beautiful box art.

There’s even a trailer available. Enjoy! Hopefully we’ll get this one in our markets as well.


The Intro To Torment: Tides of Numenera Has Me Hooked

Posted on February 6, 2017 by Les Major

Torment TON Title

In a pleasant surprise today, inXile provided me with an Early Access key to Torment: Tides of Numenera. I have to admit, it’s taking a LOT of willpower to not just get back into the game and ignore my regular duties. One kicker that is keeping me away is I don’t know if my early access save will carry over or not, so there is that at least. That and responsibility and all that good stuff of course.

The best thing about Torment is how it feels like an early 2000’s RPG, and that truly is a plus. Built on the tech that brought us Pillars of Eternity by Obsidian Entertainment, Torment takes on that air of mystery that makes it a worthy spiritual successor to the Planescape title of 1999. You feel like you’re in an alien world and despite being a game with combat mechanics, it feels more like an adventure game. Bits and pieces of memories come back to you as your character struggles to remember a past that may not even be their own. The game even begins by allowing you to react to some of these memories to craft your skills and class.

Having no understanding of the universe, and actually actively avoiding much news of Torment to have it be a very fresh experience, it was rewarding to go through the character creation process with horse blinders on. I just settled for what my decisions lead me to and accepted that my character was just what the intro gave me from my choices. In the end I had a curious individual, seemingly interested in psychic abilities and otherworldly creatures. She could read minds a little as well, giving glints into just what characters were feeling about what they said in conversations.

Considering that much like it’s spiritual predecessor the game is quite dialogue heavy so far, this was a preferred setup. Really it seems you can play the game to your liking from the limited posts I’ve read so far though. Torment feels original, and that’s the best part of it. Not knowing what the world around you is like makes the game interesting.

Otherwise it’s your typical Baldur’s Gate like setup with turn based combat. I haven’t gotten into the leveling system yet but you do seem to gain experience as you go, at least from what I read on some of my skills. If these sorts of titles interest you, Torment: Tides of Numenera is definitely a title to keep an eye on. The February 28th release date on Steam is coming up fast! With over four million dollars raised on Kickstarter to bring this title to life, you know fan expectation is high and eager. I’m very much delighted with what I’ve played so far!


Avernum Is An Incredible Retro Experience

Posted on January 15, 2017 by Les Major

Avernum 2 Cover

Somehow, as a long time PC gamer, I missed the Exile series. The original top down RPG Exile: Escape From The Pit was released in 1995! Like some of my friends, I’d just assumed that Avernum was a newer series that played off the old retro style of the 90s. In fact, it’s actual a product of that decade, revamped. The original Exile was remade into Avernum in 2000, and then again in 2012. I’m sure there are ways to get the classic version to run just fine, or perhaps it does already, but it’s great to see these titles being updated for current machines but still keeping the wonderful style that Spiderweb Software introduced in 1999 with Nethergate. They sort of have an Ultima appearance and that just adds to the charm.

Avernum 2 Inventory

I’ve been playing Avernum 2: Crystal Souls which doesn’t require playing through the original to enjoy. At first I thought it would just be an okay adventure to take, but now I’m completely hooked! The game has a very tabletop gaming aspect to it, including lots of narration text as you wander through the catacombs of the underworld. Avernum is a subterranean land that in a way brings back memories of Ultima Underworld. The setting also adds so much rich lore and interesting locations that it feels like a classic role playing adventure from source books I loved in the 90s. That feeling of leafing through campaign materials is there and it just draws you in even more. Avernum’s aesthetic feels like home.

Avernum 2 - Level Up

Best of all, I don’t find Avernum 2 to play clunky at all. Back in the day some classic games could be cumbersome. Instead, much of the Avernum setup just flows right along. You’re not scrounging around for items for example. You simply just press a button and you can see what is on the ground around your characters. All that loot and gear ready to be dropped into your inventory should you wish. Combat is straight forward but with a good feeling of tabletop action with a variety of options. The game even features choices so you can either attack that roving band of enemies, or let them wander by… for now. Lot alone more detailed decisions as well. It feels like a role playing session a lot of the time, and that’s what really keeps me playing.

Avernum 2 Rooms

Just today I loaded up the game during my morning coffee like I have lately. My cast of characters, the pre-made ones the game offers you at the start (but you can make your own), were standing outside of one of the main forts at the start of the game. I popped open my quest log and went down the list of tasks I could tackle. We’d already cleared out the brigands from a nearby town in a wonderful battle through their hold. That was filled with exploration and some goodies to find along the way that I still have equipped. So now what? Well, a race of humanoid cat people had built a stronghold to the east and I hadn’t bothered with that quest yet. Why not. To begin with, I had a map on me that indicated a hidden cave entrance and some word scrawled on the page. Exploring to the east I found a hidden passage to the cave, actually discovered by standing near it, and went inside to find another small but elaborate dungeon to explore. Various rooms, some goblin battles, and a triggered trap later, I found a gateway that required a special word to be spoken. Using the one scrawled on the map I was able to wander along into the fort of the cat people.

Avernum 2 Map

I found myself enjoying the game so much I just had to share about it. You can wander into towns, explore them, read interesting descriptive text along the way to help paint the world of Avernum in your imagination, and even sell some of that loot you discovered. There are people to talk to, quests to undertake, and just so much to enjoy. I’ve only scratched the surface of Avernum 2 and I’ve fallen in love. I grew up playing games like Dark Sun: Shattered Lands and Avernum 2 brings back so much of that role playing experience that I adore. Even better, Avernum feels even more expansive with an overworld map and many areas to wander to. There are lots of games with 3D graphics and modern style, but there’s just something Avernum has that feels better. Even the artwork used when leveling up feels like something from RPG source books. Avernum gets it all right, and it should, it’s roots are in the 90s, and it’s grown into a beautiful series with many additional titles from Spiderweb Software using a similar engine.

There’s even a demo for Avadon: The Black Fortress on Steam. So don’t just take my word for it, give it a whirl. Spiderweb Software does have an official website if you’d prefer to buy from the creator and support these games directly.


Paper Mario: Color Splash | REVIEW

Posted on October 12, 2016 by Les Major

Color Splash Intro

Paper Mario Color Splash is a comical and nostalgic entry in the franchise that almost takes on a 90’s PC adventure game vibe. With less emphasis on RPG elements in this release it may feel awkward at first, but it’s a worthwhile journey to take. Some of the set pieces along the way really make for great additions to the story. Other reviewers have touched upon some of the great moments like the Pirate Ship and Haunted Inn.

Much of this content is decently lengthy and encourages exploration which really adds to that classic adventure game feel. I couldn’t decide if the game is actually hard and we just got lucky at times, or if exploration is done just right to keep you progressing. There has been the odd time I’d wandered about trying to figure out where to go next, but between quick searches online or stumbling across characters who point you in the right direction, the game has flowed well. Areas are split up in a Super Mario World style overworld map, as seen below, allowing you to go back and forth between different stages quickly.

Paper Mario Color Splash Map Screen

Really it’s the story to get into Color Splash for. Princess Peach has received a colorless Toad in the mail and she takes him to Mario. They set off to Prisma Island where the Toad had been mailed from to try and discover what is going on. Upon arrival they meet Huey, a talking paint can who is distraught that the port town is missing it’s Big Paint Stars. It quickly turns out Shy Guys are using straws to suck the paint out of Toads, flowers, the walls, everything! These colorless splotches can be filled in by Mario’s new paint hammer. You’ll use paint from the three primary colors, and get more paint from hammering various objects, to color in the world again.

This gimmick is actually pretty neat since it gets you exploring your surroundings more to try and get 100% in each area. Unfortunately the game doesn’t give you a big notification when you do get 100% of the spots in a level. Instead you’ll just have to check out your stats menu on the GamePad which isn’t open while walking about. Info like that and a more constant reminder of how many cards out of your maximum you have would have been helpful.

Cards are another thing altogether. As mentioned above, you don’t really have RPG elements in the game. Sure you battle it out like in most Paper Mario games, but you don’t level up or such. Instead, finding Big Paint Stars rewards with more HP and gives you an eventual advantage to one shot certain enemies outside of combat. At first the card system can feel cumbersome. You’ll get a display of cards for jumping, hammers, fire flowers, your typical attacks, on the GamePad. After selecting your attack you’ll paint it in if it isn’t already to power it up. Finally you’ll flick the cards at your TV with the stylus. Like with many Wii U interactions, this is a cool interface that feels unique. It just takes a bit to get used to. Battle cards aren’t complex. They just activate various moves and serve as your way to attack enemies.

Paper Mario Color Splash Battle

One tricky part however is making sure you have the right kind of cards on you and don’t just stack your deck with stuff that will get you stuck. I’ve had some challenging moments, but I haven’t had to reload because of battle cards. Thing cards are another story however. They are big attacks that you can use in combat, but they are also items you’d find in an adventure game to solve puzzles. One ability you’ll learn early on is to cut away parts of the environment. This can at times allow you to drop in one of these Thing cards to solve a puzzle. If the game is ever awkwardly bashing you over the head with a word that relates to one of your Thing card items, take that as a massive hint. There has been the rare time we got stuck this way. You do really need to put the breaks on in each area and explore around. You can also talk to Huey for hints as well by pressing up on the directional pad.

Those frustrating moments are few at least and most of the time the game does a good job in making you feel clever. The rare time you may tear an area apart only to figure out that if you just walk into the background and try to walk behind the scenery, you’ll find a ramp up to where you want to go however. It’s those moments I’ve felt incredibly lucky on. A decent number of times we’ve said, “That could have really drug out if we didn’t find that.” I don’t know if anyone has become stuck in any of those situations, but at times it just feels like we stumbled upon what we needed by chance.

I won’t go into much detail about it, especially since I haven’t beat the game yet, but there is one personal frustration I have with this title. For years I’ve been waiting for the cast of Super Mario 2 USA to return. There’s even a mention of Wart by one of the Toads in this game. The Shy Guys are his minions! I’d love to see an expanded universe Mario game and this one really could have been it. I’ve poked around a bit online but haven’t seen any reference to Wart being in the game. There is a big cast from Super Mario 2 USA that added new dynamics to the flow of a Mario title. I’d love to see any of the bosses return. Really I’d love to see a return to SubCon itself. I’d just give up, but there is so much Mario 2 nostalgia in this game! I’ll be eagerly awaiting anything like this to ever be released.

Paper Mario Color Splash Paint Can

My personal obsession with an old Nintendo game from 1988 aside, Color Splash really does have a lot going for it. The story is interesting and keeps you playing. Various characters you meet along the way are fun, as are the areas you’ll explore. Many times the game did make us legitimately laugh out loud and it really has quality writing poured into it. Really the only awkward thing that makes the game drag a little is combat. It’s strange to say for a series that started with RPG routes, but I could have done with less combat and more adventure game content. There are times you’ll be referenced to return to a previous area and talk to someone there. I was more interested in that content than really doing much of the battling. It isn’t that the combat is bad. It’s more so that the game’s story is so fun that you just want to stomp or hammer the enemies out of the way to enjoy the content instead. At least I did. That and wandering the land trying to paint every last spot in each area.

Visually the game is absolutely beautiful! Color Splash uses the paper craft style that the series is known for and makes it cleaner than ever. When you actually look back to even just Thousand Year Door, the art style really stands out as even more realized. The world comes alive as you unfurl paper bridges, watch some of the scenery tremble with each hammer hit, and even as enemies and friends react like crumpled paper cutouts. The style looks great and the simplistic character animation is enhanced by the actual motion and turning of the paper cutouts they are painted on.

Paper Mario Color Splash Bloo Inn

Paper Mario Color Splash really is worthwhile. It has the feel of the series you’ve come to know and love in the story, with a new card combat system that while different doesn’t feel out of place. I usually love grinding for levels in RPG’s, so that’s probably why I’ve personally taken to the story more since that’s absent in this game. You are rewarded with more maximum paint after collecting hammers that drop after battle along with some coins, but I love the stats of previous releases. Again, that doesn’t devalue this title. It just makes it different.

You’ll find lots to enjoy in Color Splash. The game feels like a quality Nintendo product. Sure we can nitpick various elements about it, but they aren’t really that big of a deal. Besides Wart, I want 16 games featuring him for the 30th anniversary of Super Mario 2 in 2018 Nintendo! Combat and cutting out areas are the only main uses of the GamePad which keeps it from feeling overused. Looking down at your cards may feel cumbersome at first, but it’s something you get used to that isn’t overly intrusive. It’s a fun adventure and a good value for the lengthy time you’ll be spending on Prisma Island.

Color Splash Combat Thing


MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death Story Trailer

Posted on August 26, 2016 by Les Major

MeiQ Title

The latest Compile Heart title headed on PlayStation Vita received a new trailer today giving some insight into MeiQ’s story. This dungeon crawling RPG features first person exploration, sort of like Etrian Odyssey but with actual triggered event style turn based combat. It looks to be quite the adventure and if anything, those of us who aren’t Vita owners can probably look forward to this title eventually making it’s way onto Steam like most Idea Factory titles in recent memory.

MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death will be released on September 13th in North America and on the 16th in Europe.


Ray Gigant Holding Strong On Steam New Releases

Posted on August 13, 2016 by Les Major

Ray Gigant Battle

With titles like No Man’s Sky just being released this week, you’d figure it would be difficult to be anyone else. That’s not the case with Acttil Steam release of Ray Gigant which is still holding strong on the popular new releases list. Originally released for the PlayStation Vita, the game sees players tackling a visual novel story with dungeon crawling elements included. If that isn’t enough to grab your attention, the story feels like an interesting mix between Neon Genesis Evangelion (without the mecha) and almost a Percy Jackson vibe as you join with others who have powers given by a mysterious power known as Yorigami. Potentially you could even compare it to Pacific Rim with how the aliens just pop up and are classified. The characters are part of a school which seems to just be there to support these gifted individuals to fight back against these aliens who are called Gigants.

Combat in the game itself is turn based and the story itself plays out very well between the cast. At least the bit I’ve played so far doesn’t feel sluggish which I really appreciated for a more action based title. I’m really digging the feel of the story and clearly it’s piqued Steam users curiosity as well. That and the artwork is just beautiful! Both in battle and overall.

When you combine that with the fact that the game is 40% off until August 17th, it’s certainly a risk worth taking. The only complaint I’ve heard so far is so possibly some issues with the music not syncing up with the rhythm game section some battles have, but even that doesn’t seem to be a major issue. At $17.99 USD, it’s been a fun ride so far and I’ll be releasing a review in the coming future.



Posted on July 27, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

Activision Publishing, Inc., in collaboration with Marvel Entertainment, is this week making the classic Super Hero action RPGs Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 available digitally on the PlayStation4 system and Xbox One for the first time, as well as once more on Windows PC via Steam. If you love marvel and generic beat em up RPG’s this is the game for you!

Personally I am a big fan of the fact that you can chose so many heroes from the Marvel World. Including some that Sony owns like the Fantastic 4 and Spiderman. You can litreally build your own team!

The pair of critically praised titles can be purchased separately for $39.99 each – or together in the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance Bundle for $59.99 Releasing today via PS store, Xbox Store, and Steam.

Featuring a cast of over 22 playable characters, the first Marvel: Ultimate Alliance lets players create their own teams of heroes from the Marvel Universe, or recreate their favorite existing ones, like the Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four and more. Experience a story starring more than 140 legendary characters, including Captain America, Spider-Man, Thor, Loki, Wolverine, Doctor Doom, Ultron and many others. Customize and upgrade these mighty squads of champions to unleash upon the single-player campaign, or in cooperative and competitive online and local multiplayer for up to four players.

Set within the climactic events of Marvel Comics’ Civil War story arc, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 throws players into the struggle for or against the infamous Superhuman Registration Act. The missions, challenges, and threats players face are affected by which side of the conflict they choose. Like its predecessor, the game lets players assemble and level up their own Marvel Universe dream teams from over 24 playable characters, each with specialized abilities that can be combined for amazing results. Play alone in single-player, or battle together in online and local co-op with up to four friends.


Forget Sports Managers, Here’s A Management RPG

Posted on June 15, 2016 by Renee Gittins

While I enjoy sports here and there, I never quite understood the draw of sports management games. Now that I’ve seen Epic Tavern, I can understand the appeal: recruit, manage and reap the rewards from your own heroes. Enjoy their victories, work against their failures and quirks. It just so happens that my heroes swing swords at dragons, not throw balls around.


Epic Tavern promises to “[combine] classic RPG elements with a unique combination of roster management and social simulation gameplay” as you run your tavern. As the tavernmaster, you must make many decisions, from the adventurers you recruit to the quests to send them on to the way your tavern looks and feels, and, of course, the number of pints you warm your heroes’ bellies with!


I am rather fond of the heroes tavern concept. One of my favorite board games is Red Dragon Inn, where you act as an adventure drinking, gambling and brawling within an inn. Thus Epic Tavern has thoroughly sparked my interest with its promise of humorous interactions, fun management, and diverse paths and results.

Fittingly, Epic Tavern is based in a land called Beor.

Fittingly, Epic Tavern is based in a land called Beor.

Though Epic Tavern is not available currently, it has a Kickstarter campaign that launched on May 25th and that will run through June 28th. It funded in its first week, and now 135% funded at $54,040, well above the $40k goal. Games on Kickstarter have been struggling more in the recent years than they did back in 2012 when any video game concept was funded instantly, so their early success is quite impressive.

The campaign is not doubt assisted by the fact that the team at Hyperkinetic Studios has a shining roster, with well-over a collective 100 years of experience in the game industry, including on titles such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Resistance: Retribution. Such experience helps garner the confidence of backers.

I am greatly looking forward to playing this silly game and gathering my own group of adventures with frothy pints of beer!


DLC releasing day and date with Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

Posted on May 14, 2016 by Jason Nason

The upcoming Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE game will launch on June 24th for the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo has announced that downloadable content (DLC) will be available on the same day!

Developed by Atlus, the role-playing game fuses strategic, turn-based combat with over-the-top, pop-culture style. You’ll be able to expand the game right away with new costumes and items via five DLC packs, available for purchase on Nintendo eShop.

Read More



Posted on April 29, 2016 by Kylie Trace

Lichdom: Battlemage is a fantasy first person shooter, developed by indie developers Xaviant. It came out in the summer of 2014 for PC, with ports for Xbox One and Playstation 4 recently. The game offers players a chance to play as a battlemage, a being capable of casting and crafting powerful magical spells in the heat of combat. Lichdom introduces you to a beautiful world powered by CryEngine3 that will leave you awestruck at the amazing scenery and spell effects. There’s also a very deep spell crafting system, based off of 8 elemental sigils (fire, ice, necromancy, etc) which can be combined together to create new types of magic. The game promises thousands of unique spells, each unique and distinct. So does Lichdom live up to its lofty goals?



Xaviant is an indie developer that started in 2014. I do feel that Lichdom is an impressive piece of art considering it’s their first game. They’re currently working on a new game called The Culling which is a Hunger Games style battle royale tournament and it looks very promising. Their games use CryEngine3 which has been used in the Farcry series of games. Lichdom is a very pretty game and in my opinion, the graphics really carry it. It’s worth checking out just based on the beautiful environments.

The story starts off with the protagonist experiencing a horrific run-in with a cult leader. Depending on whether you choose to be a boy or a girl, this individual proceeds to either kill your wife or kidnap your sister. After that, you find yourself waking in the presence of a mysterious old man who tells you that you are the dragon, a hero destined to save the world using powerful magic. Apparently, your destiny is to fix the wrongdoings of this same powerful cult, who, years ago, literally shattered the moon. Driven by revenge, you set out, fighting hordes upon hordes of evil cultists and demons to find the leader and put an end to their destruction. You will make your way through abandoned catacombs, scorching deserts, and eerie swamps, all the while collecting magical totems to make a variety of spells you will need to win this war.


I thought the magic in Lichdom sounded really cool when I heard that there were thousands of potential spells that you could craft. But for a good portion of the game I found the crafting system very complicated to use. They show you a short “video” consisting of 3 slides, and then just throw you into the spellcrafting system, which can be very confusing to new players. Luckily, there is an auto-magic crafting system that makes things a lot easier. There’s also a somewhat helpful guide on their steam community page. Lichdom’s magic can be fun, but be prepared to invest a lot of time in learning how it works.

Some of the spells really made me want to experiment. For example, I enjoyed playing with necromancy, a spell set that lets you turn fallen enemies into undead companions to fight for you. However, I always felt like I was going to ruin the specific effect my spell currently had if I upgraded it in any way. Further I learned that the extensive variety of spells I was promised were really just small stat tweaks to a number of base spells. I don’t think increasing the damage of a spell counts as an entirely new spell if the effect remains the same, but that’s what this game would like you to believe.


In battle, you can use three elemental sigils at a time. Each of these can can be used in three different ways – a projectile, a defensive blast that works with your shield, and an AoE that you can cast at a distance. You can also equip a magic shield that grants you different abilities depending on what the shield’s type is. Building a perfect blend of these sigils is tedious and requires lots of experimentation. Some spells combo well with others for cool effects. For example, when you kill an enemy marked with both corruption and necromancy, not only will you get a zombie to fight for you, but additionally a bunch of creepy bugs will fly out of them, attacking the closest enemy and causing lots of damage. Later on in the game you also gain access to combination magic, called synergies. These are the heaviest hitting spells in the game. They range from summoning a fire golem, to sending out a supernova in the middle of some unsuspecting cultists.

Usually I’m the type of gamer that likes a long campaign with lots of story. Lichdom: Battlemage certainly has that, but I felt that the game really drags on too long. While playing, I was constantly  asking myself, “Ok, is it going to be over soon?” and then it threw more at me. Unfortunately this game was so long that I almost gave up, but the little bit of story here and there was still interesting enough that I had to know how it ended. There’s not a lot of dialogue or story while playing through the levels and what little there is always ends with “Well, whatever, we’ll ask questions later – let’s just get this over with.” It also doesn’t help that every stage was incredibly linear and repetitive. If the environments for each stage weren’t so different from each other, I would have mistaken each stage for the one before.

You mostly fight the same handful of enemies throughout the game, with a few bigger monsters later on. However, these enemies do scale with you as you progress, which can be both challenging and fun. At the end of each level you face a magical boss. I found this to be the only real challenge in the game. When you beat a boss in Lichdom, you feel like you actually  accomplished something. The bosses make you strategize on how to take them down, whereas most other battles feel like just aimlessly firing projectiles to win. Actually, there’s not any aiming required in this game. You just shoot a projectile and it heads towards whatever enemy is closest in your field of view. There’s a lob projectile that works like a grenade but it’s not even that great.

I tried to power through this game but it ended up taking about 20 hours to complete. I was excited for the ending but after I finally beat the last boss, the game just ended with next to nothing explained. I was really disappointed because the game had convinced me that I would get my answers at the end – but when the credits started to roll I felt as if I had wasted my time.

Despite my criticism, Lichdom: Battlemage is not a bad game, especially since it was the developers first attempt. However I found myself bored throughout my playthrough, and that is less than ideal to me. I also felt misled by its promise of thousands of spells and disappointed by where the story ended, but as I mentioned, the graphics are very good and were the one thing that kept me hanging on for more. There was a particularly memorable environment with hot springs in a snowy forest that really showed what Xavient is capable of in terms of atmosphere and graphics. I wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone who isn’t a huge fantasy fps/rpg fan, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the developers bring to the table with their next title.



Get the latest articles and news from BrokenJoysticks and a selection of excellent articles from other sources.

Simply fill out the form below and you’ll be on your way to getting our upcoming newsletter.