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

 

 

[UPDATE 8/25] Sony PS4 Official Launch Date Announced, Vita Price cut looming and new videos, reviews posted

Sony's Next-Generation Console, the PlayStation 4 has a confirmed official launch date for NA and EU: November 15th and November 29th, respectively.

Sony’s Next-Generation Console, the PlayStation 4 has a confirmed official launch date for NA and EU: November 15th and November 29th, respectively.

Well it’s official, you foaming-at-the-mouth, can’t get enough news Next-Gen Gaming bastards: Sony will launch it’s next-gen console, the PlayStation 4 on November 15 in North America and in Europe November 29th. SCE Chief Executive Andrew House made the announcement at this year’s GamesComm, a annual game expo and fair taking place in Germany, Europe to be precise. Also announced is that soon the PlayStation Vita will drop to a lower price point from $249 down to $199 (I’ve been advocating for this for quite some time, and if the Vita is incorporated into the PS4 as much as Sony has defined it to be, it will be a must-have companion piece for hardcore gamers. Not to mention that the Vita has it’s own catalog of games, around 150 I believe, so that will instantly add value to your PS4 collection since the Vita itself has Vita-specific and exclusive games designed for the maligned handheld. House also mentioned that the PS4 console will be available in 32 countries worldwide during the holiday season.

Compare this to Microsoft Xbox One console launch, which still doesn’t have a set launch date and won’t be completely rolled out until next year in many other territories.

Sony also livecast their GameComm’s conference via the internet while Microsoft held their conference to a select few in the gaming press behind closed doors. Sony also reiterated their strong support for smaller, independent-based developers by reveling in the PS4 exclusive and non-exclusive content offered via the indie developers showcased at the GamesComm expo available through Sony’s various gaming distribution channels, such as the PlayStation Network. 

A Review of the classic MetalSlug X for the PSOne has been posted along with various exclusive gameplay videos AND the unboxing of Tales of Xillia Limited Edition for PS3

HiddenDefiniton is not just PS3 and current-console centric, but we also like to indulge in gaming’s past, reminding us of how far we have come, how fun these games still are and being nostalgic for nostalgia’s sake. The PS3 is really a wonderful piece of hardware, playing not only current-gen games but PSOne classics, where it all started. Earlier PS3 units even had the H/W capable to play PS2 games, then later to reduce cost PS2 games were played under the aura of software emulation. However, Sony has since removed the PS2 backwards-compatibility citing that they kept their newest platform restricted to a price-barrier which was not competitive. So the PS2 back-compatibility features were axed in favor of a lower price point. Now the remnants of Sony’s early PS3 backwards-compatible units are considered a rare find and usually cost upward of 200-300 dollars depending on the type of PS2 capabilities and other features that have since been removed from the early brethren of PS3 units. Sony has a consistent knack for castrating it’s features from early models of their consoles and H/W from future models to make them more affordable, although I wish they could find a balance between both. Typically, if you find a used PS3 that contains four front USB ports and a flip-cover on the front of the unit for Micro-SD storage-type cards, these are usually the units that contain the much sought-after PS2 backwards compatibility. However, it should be noted that ALL PS3 units still support PSOne games, a great feature since the PSOne has a huge library of excellent games yet to be converted into a digital format for Sony’s PSN storefront. I took the time this past weekend to play through a SNK-PSOne Classic: Metal Slug X. A straight arcade port with all the bells and whistles one would expect from an arcade port. I also took it upon myself to record gameplay video borrowing my friends HD Camcorder, with droll commentary of course! It’s all included in the review of Metal Slug X. I hope you enjoy a stroll down memory lane of this fun, yet mindless 2D Contra-like shooter as I shall be doing more of these classic retro reviews when time permits. Enjoy! Click on the following link to view my review and watch exclusive gameplay video of Metal Slug X:

https://hiddendefinition.wordpress.com/about/metal-slug-x-review-psone/

Released during the glory years of the PSOne, this classic arcade port from AgeTec includes quite literally a blast from the past as developer  SNK includes everything more from the arcade port, including cooperative mayhem.

Released during the glory years of the PSOne, this classic arcade port from AgeTec includes quite literally a blast from the past as developer SNK includes everything and more from the arcade port, including cooperative mayhem.

The Last of US DLC to be announced sometime in August, more new game purchases and pre-orders

Naughty Dog won’t rule out Joel and OR Ellie in a single-player story-based campaign DLC and also says that Multiplayer DLC will be announced in the near future as well

Joel and Ellie’s tumultuous journey across post-pandemic North America may be over, but developer Naughty Dog won’t rule out any future DLC packs that could include the characters in a side-story apart from the main single-player campaign. There are dozens of opportunities for interesting stories to be told here about the games many supporting characters such as:

  1. How did Joel and his brother Tommy survive those first several years during the outbreak that repulsed Tommy so much he needed to find refuge away from his brother and join the FireFly militia?
  2. The story of Ellie and her friend Riley becoming infected, only to have Ellie discover her immunity?
  3. What happened to Marlene after she parted ways with Joel, Tess and Ellie to the University and how she and the rest of the militia sacrificed so much to move to a new, safer Hospital location?
  4. How the hell did that weird, pedophilia cannibal David rise to power within the group of Hunters?
  5. The story regarding Ish and his return to the mainland after being at sea for so long, only to find civilization had completely collapsed. He used his own unique survivalist skills to build a new “family” like society in the tunnels by the sewer…. what happened during the final days when their safety was compromised so that Ish and several others had to abandon the only safe haven they had?
  6. The remnants of one of the fallen Quarantine Zones banding together to fight back at the Military to gain control because of the food shortages etc… Then there’s the other side of the story…..
  7. The few soldiers that survived the uprising against the Hunters/Bandits in one of the Quarantine Zones and the female soldier that vowed revenge against her fallen comrades. This idea would certainly make use of A LOT of stealth and perhaps you would even have some advanced weaponry at your disposal because this character was military.
  8. Henry and Sam, how they managed to get stuck in the city crawling with Hunters and what tactics they used to survive without being caught.

These are just some of the ideas that have been rattling around across internet forums and some of my own personal ideas. Of course, with what I’ve come to understand so far there will be only ONE single-player DLC addition, the rest will be multiplayer. I have no objection to this as I love the multiplayer component to “The Last of Us” and some new maps, new game modes etc. would be a welcome addition! Also, as for the multiplayer DLC how about giving players new maps that cater to you fighting another squad smack dab in the middle of an area with infected? Having not only to worry about human opponents but a clicker or bloater bursting through the doors would make for some tense moments, yes? Or a new mode where  your team must survive against the infected while scavenging for parts for you clan (kind of like a horde mode, but with less emphasis on the horde and more emphasis on obtaining food and parts for your clan to thrive and survive). Anyways, are you listening Naughty Dog? I hope you’re taking notes!

It’s my Birthday and I’ll cry if I want to, CRY IF I WANT TO…. but instead I purchased Tales of Graces F and finalized my preorders for Tales of Xillia Limited Edition and Dragon’s Crown

So anyways, my Birfday is tomorrow and my dad took me out on a $100 game shopping spree. HOORAH FOR SHOPPING SPREES! Seeing how I had already put my preorders in for “Dragon’s Crown” and “Tales of Xillia Limited Edition“, I decided to pay for the rest of both games and pick up Tales of Graces F to familiarize myself with the series mechanics and gameplay style (because not EVERY JRPG is exactly the same). I was able to purchase “Tales of Graces F” for approximately $27 used with a “20 Percent Off Any Pre-Owned Game” coupon that GameStop sent out to me via an automated Happy Birthday email. Who says being a used game and physical disc whore doesn’t come with fringe benefits?

Purchased this weekend for my Birthday: "Tales of Graces F" is part of the "Tales..." series going all the way back to the PlayStation One era of RPGS. These games have become somewhat of an institution for modern-day RPGS because the "Tales" series has had so many console iterations. One of the few RPGS that can compare to the longevity of the Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Breath of Fire RPG's (although I'm still waiting for a PS3 version of a new Breath of Fire).

Purchased this weekend for my Birthday: “Tales of Graces F” is part of the “Tales…” series going all the way back to the PlayStation One era of RPGS. These games have become somewhat of an institution for modern-day RPGS because the “Tales” series has had so many console iterations. One of the few RPGS that can compare to the longevity of the Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Breath of Fire RPG’s (although I’m still waiting for a PS3 version of a new Breath of Fire).

Coming August 6th to both the PS3 and PS Vita exclusively, Dragon's Crown has already garnered critical acclaim to it's throwback style of 2D fantasy brawlers from the 16-bit and arcade era. Similar to Golden Axe in it's gameplay mechanics but with much more depth due to it's deep leveling system and stat management, Dragon's Crown is a rare gem developed by Vanillaware as a love letter to button-mashing, beat-em-ups from the 90's. With local 4-player and Network multiplay, this game will be a blast to brawl through. And the gorgeous 2D hand-drawn characters make this a must-buy for any retro gaming fan.

Coming August 6th to both the PS3 and PS Vita exclusively, Dragon’s Crown has already garnered critical acclaim thanks to it’s throwback style of 2D fantasy brawlers from the 16-bit console and arcade era. Similar to Golden Axe in it’s gameplay mechanics but with much more depth due to it’s deep leveling system and stat management, Dragon’s Crown is a rare gem developed by Vanillaware as a love letter to button-mashing, beat-em-ups from the 90’s. With local 4-player and Network multiplay, this game will be a blast to brawl through. And the gorgeous 2D hand-drawn characters make this a must-buy for any retro gaming fan.

Pictured Above: The voluptuous and ridiculously proportioned "Sorceress" character class. The beautiful hand-drawn visuals make this game a rarity amongst today's AAA blockbusters that focus on pushing polygon counts, facial realism and bigger explosions with better particle effects.

Pictured Above: The voluptuous and ridiculously proportioned “Sorceress” character class. The beautiful hand-drawn visuals make this game a rare stand-out title amongst today’s AAA blockbusters that focus on pushing polygon counts for realistic facial expressions, bigger explosions and better particle effects.