“Tales of Zestiria” announced by Namco for worldwide release on PS3, The Walking Dead Season 2 “Ep 1 – All That Remains” to be released soon and New PS4 Firmware availabe for update

Next core installment in the “Tales” franchise announced by Namco Bandai for global release: “Tales of Zestiria”

 

 

Official announcement logo for Namco's newest "Tales Of.." title

Official announcement logo for Namco’s newest “Tales Of..” title

 

 

It’s official, Namco Bandai has unleashed what will start the hype machine for the next Tales RPG game, titled “Tales of Zestiria” being released exclusively for the PS3. This announcement is significant in that it marks the first time a “Tales Of..”  title has been simultaneously announced for release in both the East and the Wast. While no official release date has been made available to coincide with the press release, I can only assume that with Tales of Symphonia HD and Tales of Xillia 2 coming to NA in 2014, I can theorize that this new title will be available by sometime in 2015. This is the next main installment in the series and it’s announcement and eventual release will commemorates the 20th anniversary for the Tales Of.. franchise which will occur in 2015. Here is a direct quote from Hideo Baba, producer of the Tales series via a press release:

“Over the past few years the Tales Of team has taken great strides to strengthen our relationship with players across North America and Europe, To respond to their love and support I am honored to open a new chapter of the Tales Of series together with Japanese and overseas fans.”

Tales of Zestiria is being developed exclusively for the PS3 and will be released in Japan with a western localization to follow soon after.

 

 

The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 1 “All That Remains” to be released soon

 

TellTale Game’s hit episodic series based on the comic of the same name, “The Walking Dead”, has a new trailer to accompany the imminent release of the first episode of Season 2 entitled “All That Remains”. Season 2 picks up where Season 1 left off, and puts the player in control of everyone’s favorite little post-apocalyptic zombie survivor, Clementine. This should definitely be interesting, as most players found themselves being very protective over little Clementine, trying to retain some of her child-like innocence from a world overrun by zombies and without any trace of humanity and civilization. Now playing as her, how will players navigate and brave the harsh reality she now must face on her own? “All That Remains” will be released digitally for PlayStation 3, XBox 360, PC and iOS. Check out the trailer below:

 

Sony officially releases Firmware Update v1.52 for PlayStation 4

Sony has officially released a new firmware update for it’s newest console, the PlayStation 4. Firmware revision 1.52 became available December 11th and while no new features have been added to the OS or UI,  it seems several reports have surfaced that some features of the PS4’s sharing capabilities have had reduced loading/downloading/uploading times. Sony maintains this is purely a “stability and security” update, but if you have noticed any reduced lag in the performance of your PS4’s OS or sharing features, please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

 

 

Atlus announces new Persona titles incl. Persona 5, New Tales of Xillia 2 NA trailer, Shiny Days Visual Novel coming to the West and School Days HQ review posted

Four new Persona titles announced, including the next main installment in the franchise: Persona 5 exclusively for PS3

I ❤ Atlus. They are by far my favorite publisher, outside of Sony. They are a small bunch, but they localize some of the best titles from Japan for the west. This generation alone they have brought a new installment in the SMT series for the 3DS as well as Persona 4 Golden (PS Vita), Demon Souls (PS3), Dragon’s Crown (PS3), Catherine and their recently released 2D Anime arcade fighter for the PS3 AquaPazza. The Persona franchise has gained a huge following thanks to it’s mix of modern Japanese influenced locales and catchy J-pop techno, diverse characters and unique social link system.  If you have yet to try any of the titles I would recommend starting with Persona 3 FES, Persona 3 Portable or P4Golden.

So with the flurry of new Persona announcements, the one that gets my blood boiling the most is the next installment in the core franchise, aptly entitled Persona 5. Not much as known, although Atlus Japan released a teaser trailer which you can check out below. Persona 5 will keep the high school social theme, with each main character experiencing their own personal real-life problems along with the dark world of fighting demons/shadows/whatever. P5 will come exclusively to the PS3 in Winter of 2014, so with any hope Atlus will release it in the West soon after.

 

 

Also announced was a Persona rhythm/dance game for the Vita, a new Persona fighting game for PS3 and the first installment of the Persona franchise on the 3DS, titled Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth.  Here’s the teaser trailer for Persona Q (courtesy of Up All Night Gaming):

 

 

Winter 2014 can’t come soon enough. <3333 Persona

 

Tales of Xillia 2 NA “Pocketwatch” Trailer released by Namco Bandai

The “Tales Of” series is a well regarded RPG institution, right along with the Final Fantasy franchise. Namco Bandai has been busy busy, with Tales of Xillia released this year to critical acclaim and now the sequel, which was announced for US release recently has a teaser trailer which looks quite intriguing. Tales of Xillia 2 is scheduled to be released sometime in 2014 exclusively for the PS3. Namco has also recently launched a teaser site for a brand new installment of “Tales” coming to PS3 or PS4 . Nothing is known about this mystery Tales title yet as the website is mostly a tribute to previous PSOne Tales installations. Check out the website by clicking on the link below:

http://next.tales-ch.jp/

 

To tide you over, here is the official “Pocketwatch” trailer for Xillia 2:

 

JAST USA bringing Shiny Days Visual Novel to the west and School Days HQ reviewed

 

Originally released in 2012, PC Publisher JAST USA has a extensive catalog of localized VN's for sale. In cooperation with the Sekai Project and Shiny Days developer 0verflow, JAST will hopefully be announcing a release date soon.

Originally released in 2012, “Shiny Days” is a successive off shoot follow-up to the “School Days” VN. PC Publisher JAST USA has a extensive catalog of localized VN’s for sale, including the English collectors edition for School Days HQ. In cooperation with the Sekai Project and Shiny Days developer Overflow, JAST will hopefully be announcing a release date for the latest “Days” installment soon.

You may as well file this under awesome obscurity, since most console gamers will have no idea what a Visual Novel is unless you live or are from Japan. The quickest way to define a VN game is a point-and-click type of adventure presented through beautifully drawn computer-imagery, typically using still pictures and anime to tell a non-linear story. A VN may begin as a passive experience to setup the story, but eventually you will be faced with a bevy of choices to select from that branches the story into many different outcomes. Just like console games, VN’s fall into different genres, such as Dating-sims, Romance, Fantasy RPGS, Adventure, Comedic and Science-fiction. While technically most VN’s are presented the same, the substance varies greatly from genre to genre. Dating and Romance VN’s have a penchant for containing graphic sexual scenes, and these Visual Novels fall into their own category dubbed “eroge” (a Japanese novel consisting of erotic imagery and gaemeplay). While some games contain nothing but hyper-sexual scantily-clad anime girls with amorous feelings towards the protagonist (AKA you the player), others are more tender and involve romantic pursuits. Shiny Days and School Days HQ are the latter, games where your choice creates your own story about high school love and while they do contain sexual imagery, most of it is not gratuitous and used to enhance the context of the story that you choose.

Shiny Days is a quasi-sequel to the original School Days, featuring old and new cast members. I was ecstatic to learn that JAST USA is publishing the game in the west because I fell in love with the School Days universe after my first playthru. Subsequent playthru’s followed and I am now more enamored with the “Days” universe and it’s diverse cast of characters. While no official release date has been announced for the English PC port, I hope that Shiny Days will find it’s way to my desktop within the next 2 years. Until then, check out my review of  “School Days HQ” from the following link (or by clicking on School Days under the Reviews tab):

https://hiddendefinition.wordpress.com/about/school-days-hq-review-pc/

And for the uninitiated, head over to JAST USA website to check out their catalog of various Visual Novels, including a nice physical collectors edition of School Days HQ:

http://www.jastusa.com