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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Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Direct was Clear, Concise, and Alienated No One*

Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Direct presentation lasted just shy of 20 minutes, but what it managed to detail in such a small amount of time was pretty astounding. It’s clear that Nintendo now sees the once unheard of strategy role-playing series as a mainstay, and as long as you own a smart device, a 3DS, a New 3DS, or plan to purchase the Nintendo Switch, there will be new Fire Emblem content for you to enjoy in 2017 (and beyond).

Oh, and that asterisk in the title? That’s if you solely on a Wii U. Sorry doods.

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NX is Officially the Nintendo Switch. Thoughts?

It appears all of the rumors for the NX were true, as the hybrid home console-slash-portable handheld was officially unveiled today as the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo’s upcoming play-anywhere device seems all set to release in March 2017. Continue reading

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

Crawl Dungeons and Customize Robots in MeiQ: The Labyrinth of Death

Compile Heart and Idea Factory have been showing the PlayStation Vita lots of love lately, supporting the handheld with numerous games in the Neptunia series, as well as the otome (and one of this month’s PS Plus titles) Amnesia: Memories.

Their upcoming dungeon crawler RPG MeiQ: The Labyrinth of Death hits the Vita the 13th of this month, and it comes highly recommended after spending roughly five hours with it over Labor Day weekend.

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Capybara’s Below Delayed Indefinitely

Announced way back at E3 2013 during Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal event, Capybara Games’ pixely rogue-like Below has been seemingly stuck in delay hell ever since. Prior to today’s announcement, Below was scheduled to release at some point during the summer season, but now the game has been delayed indefinitely.

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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?