Cue mass Zestiria: Namco’s countdown ended today with the announcement of Tales of Zestiria, a new PS3 entry in the RPG series. The reveal trailer was shown during a Namco Bandai livestream (captured by Kagayaki Channel), then smiley series creator Hideo Baba divulged a little of what to expect from the newest Tales game.
As both Siliconera and Gematsu report, dragons will play a big part in the story, hence the logo and the fiery end to the trailer. According to Gematsu, the game is set in Glynnwood, a continent being fought over by the Highland Kingdom and Laurence Empire. Both factions, however, live in fear and worship of the mysterious Family of Heaven, whose supernatural power shapes the world.
As for the characters, so far it’s a case of brains and brawn. The brown-haired fellow in the cape is Slay, a moral, intelligent type, while the blonde knight is Alicia.
“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,” said Baba in a Namco Europe press release, indicating the game will head west as well to Japan.
Details are a bit on the sparse side for now, but more are set to surface in the next issue of Famitsu. We may also learn more from next weekend’s Jump Festa 2014 expo in Tokyo.
On November 3, 1957, under leader Nikita Khrushchev, the USSR launched Sputnik 2 into Earth’s orbit with Laika the dog on board. Laika was not expected to survive the mission and she died of overheating hours after takeoff.
This is where Minicore Studios begins The Sun at Night - by imagining a scenario where Laika doesn’t die. Instead, she returns to Earth with robotic enhancements – including speech – and joins the fight against Soviet forces, which have conquered the world using a mysterious energy source.
Some people don’t like this premise. They’re not upset about seeing an animal harmed in a digital world, they don’t mind that the true story behind the game is kind of upsetting, and they’re fine with the suspension of disbelief required to play as a talking robotic animal who crash-lands on Earth. They don’t like how Soviets are portrayed in The Sun at Night – and they want Minicore to know.
Of all the comments that Minicore receives on The Sun at Night‘s websites and email, 5 – 8 percent are from upset Russian nationals, non-Russian Communists or Neo-Stalinists who believe the game paints Soviets in an unjust light, studio founder John Warren tells me.
“[They've] decided, after being given very little information about the game’s premise, that it’s a very pro-USA, anti-communism kind of narrative – which it really isn’t,” Warren says. “I mean, the Western countries like Britain and the US don’t even really factor into the narrative at all. The game itself isn’t really an indictment of any one political ideology or anything like that. At the end of the day, it’s still a sci-fi platformer about a robot space dog.”
Included with the free download is Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, while the five other episodes are available for purchase. Players can buy all episodes for $19. Like with other free-to-play games, various other in-app purchases are also available.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga originally launched in 2007 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and PC. The game follows the events of all six films, with 120 characters to unlock along the way like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, Han Solo, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
For the iOS version, designed for iPhone and iPad, players can swipe their fingers to use the Force and to fight in a Lightsaber duel–for or against the Empire.
A murdered art gallery owner, a helmeted assassin, and a missing painting. It’s just another beautiful day in Paris, and for George Stobbart and Nico Collard, a brand-new case to be solved. After a seven-year hiatus and a successful Kickstarter campaign, the best-selling Broken Sword series has reemerged. Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse ushers the return of the franchise’s protagonists, along with a host of favorites.
It has been quite a while since George and Nico have joined up to solve a case, and in that stretch of time, the two seem to have pursued their own ventures: George has become an agent for an insurance company, and Nico is continuing her career as a globetrotting journalist. But a tragedy strikes, leaving a man murdered for a painting that was worth considerably less than others in the gallery. Since it was George’s company that insured the showcase, he feels obligated to uncover the reason behind the theft and find out what makes this painting important enough to kill for. The crime-solving duo are soon reunited and thrust into a murderous conspiracy, armed only with George’s astute problem-solving skills and Nico’s feminine charm and sharp wit.
The story weaves a smart, fascinating, and often humorous tale. George and Nico’s latest adventure is fraught with murder, sabotage, and a seedy love affair, with just enough room for an ex-Russian mobster and an assassin or two to be thrown into the mix. You switch between the two characters as they follow a trail that has them trekking through France and London chasing down leads. As you progress, the plot begins to revolve around an age-old conflict between Gnostic and Dominican Christians, and at its epicenter is the painting: La Malediccio. The painting hides more secrets than what can be seen on the surface, and may be the key to an impending epidemic that threatens all life.
Broken Sword 5 follows the series’ roots as a point-and-click adventure; you use the mouse cursor to control movement as well as to manipulate objects in an area, speak with people, or use items in your inventory to solve a puzzle. Like in many games in the genre, you pick up items and bits of evidence and store them. You use evidence to drag the truth out of people or suspects, while other items, even the most miniscule, such as a paper clip, 1970s cologne, or nail clippers, can be used or combined to solve puzzles down the line.
The order in which you procure these items is up to you. At times, you may only have a few clues, leaving you to scour the environment for more evidence necessary to drag information out of your target. Typically, all the evidence required to move the plot along is in your vicinity, if not already on hand. Any and all items in your inventory can be used in a conversation, sometimes to humorous results.
The puzzles in Broken Sword 5 are not too strenuous. Most of the time you already have everything in your inventory needed to complete a puzzle; otherwise, a quick hunt around the area yields what you need. The game plays a musical note when you’re making progress in a puzzle or in your interrogation, cluing you in on when you’re on the right path. The plot doesn’t advance until you find every item or piece of evidence in the area, press the right series of switches, or receive an answer to all questions available. But if you do find yourself stumped, there’s an optional hint system. The first hint or two gently nudge you in the right direction. If you still come up empty, the final hint presents the puzzle’s full solution.
The various settings are designed with colorful, hand-painted graphics, and the cel-shaded characters blend effortlessly into the gorgeous scenic backdrops. Though Broken Sword 5 is aesthetically pleasing, it’s hard not to notice the stiff and somewhat primitive animations, which are distracting compared to the game’s overall beauty. Broken Sword 5′s rich and vibrant world is complemented by characters who are interesting, entertaining, and often hilarious. The subtle nuances of their personalities shine through every conversation, and a great vocal cast makes each character believable and memorable.
George and Nico’s latest adventure is fraught with murder, sabotage, and a seedy love affair.
Some of the standout characters include the returning Sergeant Moue, who plays lapdog to the bumbling Inspector Navet. There is also a stereotypically snooty Frenchman who stands guard at an empty cafe while quoting philosophical advice. Also starring are a lecherous art critic and a young man who needs presentation advice for his mobile shop of trinkets and collectibles. The many varied and unique characters reinforce the depth of the game’s narrative, and the two protagonists demonstrate a particular chemistry that makes their longtime history feel convincing.
You are provided with an in-game map, but Broken Sword 5 keeps aimless wandering down to a minimum. There was never a moment when I stared at the map screen not knowing my next destination. Even when you choose the wrong direction, the game comes up with a reason for you to turn back and try the opposite route. Some adventure game fans may be turned off by the linear focus, but I felt the design allowed the narrative to move with a strong pace and clear direction.
Just how deep the rabbit hole goes is the one mystery Broken Sword 5 doesn’t shed light on. After about six hours, the game abruptly ends just as things start heating up for our stalwart heroes, leaving more lingering questions and theories than hard answers. The game is the first episode of a two-part adventure, meaning we won’t get to the bottom of the conspiracy until sometime early next year.
Smart, occasionally funny, and immediately charming, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse is easy to recommend based on its strong narrative, memorable characters, and artistic merit. The game is a vibrant return to form for the series, and should easily please the series’ and point-and-click adventure game fans alike. The answers to the most pivotal questions remain on the horizon, but it’s still good to see George and Nico back in action–they have been missed.
Good news: Namco Bandai has confirmed that Tales of Zestiria will be coming to North America and Europe!
Our original story is below.
Today, at a special event in Japan, Namco Bandai revealed an all-new Tales game. It’s called Tales of Zestiria, and it’s coming to PlayStation 3, presumably in 2014. Only a Japanese release has been confirmed so far; we’re still awaiting word on if and when Tales of Zestiria will also be released in the west.
The 1080P HDification of Lionhead’s original Fable, known as Fable Anniversary in its evolved state, will arrive on February 4,6 and 7 in North America, Asia and Europe, respectively. The game is planned for Xbox 360.
As enticement to revisit Albion and the previous console generation, the game will include a “Launch Day Weapons & Outfits Pack.” The highlight in there is “a lute weapon,” because next to a keyblade, nothing else could sound more ridiculously glorious.
The protracted demise of Blockbuster UK ends with all 91 remaining stores closing on December 16, and 808 employees losing their jobs as a result. Administrators at Moorfields Corporate Recovery were unable to find a buyer for the high street rental chain.
“We really did try our best to find a buyer, but that, unfortunately hasn’t proved possible,” said joint administrator Nick O’Reilly when speaking to the BBC.
After rapid success towards the end of the 1980s, Blockbuster expanded to the UK through the purchase of rental chain Ritz. It became the country’s leading provider of video and game rentals, its expansion continuing into the early 2000s via the acquisition of UK retail chain Gamestation. However, Blockbuster began to lag behind the online innovations of competitors like Netflix, eventually leading to its US arm shutting up shop completely as announced last month.
The company’s UK arm twice entered administration (a.k.a bankruptcy) this year, with its 500 stores whittled down to just 91. The now confirmed loss of Blockbuster underlines what’s been a difficult two years or so for UK games retail, with leading high street outlets GAME and HMV struggling to stay afloat in the economic recession.
The iOS version of the game features improved graphics and draw distance, plus three different control schemes including support for made-for-iOS controllers on iOS 7. You can even create your own custom playlist on your iDevice and load it into GTA: San Andreas‘s “Mixtape” radio station.
Rockstar is currently working on versions for Windows Phone (coming next week), Android and Kindle Fire. The iOS app, which runs on iPad 2, iPhone 4S and above, is priced at $7.