Toukiden 2 Carry-Over Demo Available Now on PS4 & Vita

I never got around to playing the original Toukiden on the PlayStation Vita, but Toukiden: Kiwami was my obsession on PS4. Essentially acting as PlayStation’s answer to Monster Hunter’s newfound Nintendo exclusivity, Toukiden is a multi-player “hunting” game where you and your friends slay demons, craft gear, and fuse the souls of legendary figures to your vast array of weapons for a variety of spells and bonuses.

Toukiden’s sequel, aptly titled Toukiden 2, is set to release in North America on March 21st (24th in Europe) for both PS4 and Vita.

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Let’s Discuss the World of Final Fantasy Demo, Shall We?

Set to release on October 25th for the PlayStation 4 and Vita handheld, World of Final Fantasy saw its first playable demo on both consoles earlier today (EDIT: The Vita version doesn’t actually release until Friday. Sorry!). Without focusing on any form of storytelling, the “dungeon demo” instead walks the player through the game’s various particulars, like combat, stacking, Champions, and so forth.

I just spent about an hour or so with the PlayStation 4 version, so let me tell you a little bit about my adventure! Continue reading

Metroid Prime: Federation Force – Blast Ball Mode Gets Free Demo. It’s Not Good.

The 3DS Metroid that nobody asked for, Federation Force, received a free demo today for its 3-on-3 Rocket League mode, Blast Ball. And it’s not good.

Similar to Rocket League, two teams of three compete to sink a large glowing ball in to the opposing team’s goal. There’s also the option to play with 5 AI-controlled opponents offline. Unlike Rocket League, however, it’s not very fun. At all.

Blast Ball has a few things working against it, starting with the control scheme. In order to stay locked on to the ball, you have to keep your finger on the L trigger — this, combined with manual aiming via the R trigger (due to the original 3DS’s lack of a 2nd analog stick), makes moving the ball quite the nuisance. The controls became uncomfortable for me well before the end of my first match, so I can’t imagine playing it for any extended period of time.

The rest of the face buttons are used to dodge, activate power-ups (like faster movement speed), and fire your arm cannon in both rapid fire and charged shot flavors. You can use the bottom screen to shout a selection of generic quips to your teammates, like “nice shot!”, or view your current power-up, but that’s really all there is to it.

Although Blast Ball is just an optional side-mode, it’s safe to assume the given control scheme will reflect how uncomfortable it’s going to be playing the campaign.

The gameplay itself is also quite unfortunate. My main complaint is that shooting is your only form of offense AND defense, since getting hit by the ball can kill you. Your arm cannon is limited by an overheat meter, meaning you either use your shots to move the ball toward the opposing goal, or save them in order to sway its momentum away from your own. That sounds fine in theory, but the motion of the ball is unpredictable. In the few matches I played, playing defense boiled down to an uninteresting game of spray-and-pray bullet firing or sacrificing myself to the ball gods in order to prevent a goal.

Imagine if soccer (or futbol, depending on your region) replaced its traditional ball with a cannonball instead. Now also imagine that goalies explode whenever they block a shot, and their only defense against the cannonball is a straw and a handful of spitballs. Sounds entertaining, as long as you yourself aren’t the one playing it. And therein lies the problem.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force’s Blast Ball mode just isn’t fun.

It borrows heavily from Rocket League, but removes everything that made it enjoyable: the chaos, the adrenaline rush of zooming downfield and launching yourself in an attempt to score a goal, the communication between teammates, and just about every other reason it received numerous Game of the Year awards.

I’ll admit that when Nintendo announced a new Metroid and Federation Force is what they came up with, I was furious. Metroid has been given the shaft since Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and it deserved better than a seemingly half-assed multi-player game in which four players who aren’t Samus revisit planets from the series’ history. But as a long time fan of the series, I wanted to see it for myself in order to give it a fair chance. Blast Ball has done nothing to sway my opinion.

I know that Blast Ball isn’t the only mode available in Federation Force, as the core game is a four-player co-op campaign with nearly 60 missions, but it was enough for me to stay clear when it releases the day before my birthday on August 19th. And if my Twitter feed is anything to go by, I’m not the only person put off.

If you’re interested in experiencing it for yourself, the demo will remain free for everyone to play until “early September,” according to the PR e-mail I received from Nintendo this morning.

Have you checked it out yet? If so, what are your thoughts? How do you see it faring when it releases next month?

 

Friendly Reminder: King of Fighters XIV Demo Hits NA PSN Today

SNK’s King of Fighters XIV isn’t coming stateside until August 23rd, but those of us that want an early taste can download a free demo starting tomorrow that packs quite the punch.

As a long-time fan of the series, I’ve been hesitant toward KOF XIV purely based on its ugly screenshots and seemingly half-hearted attempt at transitioning from a once beautiful 2D sprite fighter to the JRPG-style 3D realm. After watching Street Fighter V EVO 2016 pro LI Joe stream the demo earlier today though, I’m 100% sold. It’s smooth as silk and he had nothing but great things to say about it.

So what’s in the demo?

You’ll have 7 fighters (of the game’s massive roster of 50) to choose from:

  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Iori Yagami
  • Mai Shiranui
  • Sylvie
  • King of Dinosaurs
  • Shun’Ei
  • Nelson

You can brush up on your skills in the game’s tutorial training mode and battle against local friends or the CPU AI in 1v1 or traditional 3v3 versus matches. Yes, local friends. The game doesn’t come out for over another month, so I highly doubt there’s working netcode right now. We’ll just have to deal with old school local versus for now, but the demo should be more than enough to sway your opinion if you’re on the fence.

Oh, and there’s a free dynamic theme included with the demo. So yeah.

If you need to see more King of Fighters XIV prior to the demo’s launch, why not watch the EVO 2016 Top 8? It’s pretty nuts what these people were able to come up with on a single day’s practice.

Interested? I can’t wait.

E3 Nintendo Experience Experienced in Glen Burnie, MD.

The tall bald MF'er is my roommate.

The tall bald MF’er is my roommate.

It was asses to elbows yesterday at the local Best Buy while my roommate and his girlfriend made their way to check out the latest E3 demos from Nintendo. Sadly, I won’t be going until Saturday, but here is a bit of a heads up for anyone else venturing to Best Buy this weekend, courtesy of the roommate.

He said he got there 2 hours early and they were already doing signups. Best Buy only has one console in our Baltimore location that everyone has to share. You sign up for which game you want to play and get 7 minutes to play it with or without friends. For instance, you can sign up for Mario Kart 8 and sign up your friends as additional players. Your friend can do the same for you, signing up for Super Mario 3D World and putting you down as an additional player.

All of the free giveaways were also gone pretty quick. Foam Luigi hats were gone within minutes of opening the box, as were a majority of the Year of Luigi coins and Mario Kart 8 checkered flags. I’m hoping I can snag some of this on Saturday, but if it was that crowded on a Wednesday, I can only imagine how busy it’s going to be.

It ended up taking so long that my buddy decided to spectate and check out the games as other people played them, giving high praise to the overall quality of Mario Kart 8 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, but was not so impressed by Super Mario 3D World. If I can actually get my hands on the demo this Saturday, I’ll be sure to write up as much detail as I can.