Demo Report – Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan

Demo Report Etrian Odyssey IV
I love milkshakes.

I know they’re not necessarily the healthiest treat option available to me, so I try not to drink them too often. However, when I get my hands on one, I am relentless and guzzle it up, usually to the point that my wife has to tell me to stop making disgusting sounds as I suck the straw like an addict trying to get just one last tiny hit from his crack pipe.

The Etrian Odyssey IV demo is kind of like that.

I have tasted every last bit of what it has to offer and am starving for more. Atlus was generous to provide such a meaty demo, but in a sense, they were also a little cruel. If anyone takes the time needed to build a party of adventurers, traverse through and map out every square inch of the available labyrinths, level up their characters to the max that is allotted in the demo, and complete all offered quests, they are going to find it very hard to wait a couple more weeks to continue their journey into all that Etrian Odyssey IV has to offer.

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Review – The Cave

Review The Cave
A sentient cave awaits those that seek to fulfill their greatest desires, which for the purposes of Ron Gilbert’s collaboration with Double Fine, attracts seven individuals for players to choose from. Actually one of those is two people, so I guess that would be eight, but anyway…

Stirring memories of 1987′s Maniac Mansion, players will assemble a party of three from the cast before embarking into the dark bowels of The Cave. But where that same choice in Maniac Mansion offered the potential for different endings, choosing your party here instead determines the areas players will encounter during their journey.

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The View From Primordia

Review Primordia
The world did not come to an end last Friday, but odds are that one day, our species will be wiped off the face of the planet, and we will be survived by naught but the machines we made. That reminds me – Gamesugar wishes you and yours a merry Christmas and the happiest of new years!

Anyway, Primordia is an old-school point and click adventure game that imagines such a scenario, wherein robots of various levels of technological sophistication exist in a post-human society where man takes the role of divine creator whose existence is disputed.

What truths will be revealed in this land of rust and light about the time before robot?

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Demo Report – Rayman Legends

Demo Report Rayman Legends
Ubisoft’s demo for the Wii U exclusive Rayman Legends has finally arrived via the eShop – I suspect if you’re a Wii U owner you’re all over that, and if not, you should be.

The short demo offers access to three separate stages, which serves up three distinct flavors of play evolving from last year’s multiplatform rebirth powered by Ubisoft’s sexy little engine that can – so long as can involves making the screen pop with organic flow and crazed character creations.

While Toad Story serves up a more traditional Rayman platforming area, Teensies in Trouble introduces players to the idea of using the gamepad to aid the on-screen character, which in single-player mode is controlled by AI, with the player moving platforms, slicing ropes, and tickling large enemies to pave the way forward.

The entire demo is stolen by Castle Rock in the end though, which takes the speed run formula of Origins and creates a rock themed slide through a stage where the rhythm of the music syncs to the actions on screen. There’s the strangest bit of Muppets vibe to the play of this stage, and aside from telling you that it left me grinning like an idiot, it might be entirely easier to offer up video, which you can catch below.

Of course, you could also boot up ye olde Wii U and sample the offering for yourself – and then, like come back and let me know what you think.

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Welcome to the Jungle

Review Tokyo Jungle

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A fresh litter of calico kittens play atop the deserted shops of Shibuya, soon abandoning the safety to follow the lead of their most curious sibling into the rainy streets below. The pack quickly tests their claws and teeth against the helpless chickens and pigs that scatter in panic at the sudden emergence of the newly born predators.

Though the kittens will quickly grow larger from the feast, the never-ending red pangs of hunger and scarcity of prey will drive the pack from the shops of their youth toward the broken streets of Shibuya Station. The young cats push forward while claiming the stray rabbits and chicks seeking shelter in the patches of forest slowly reclaiming the land through cracking cement and decaying automobiles.

Marking their territory along the way, the cats could easily choose to settle into their nest atop the train tracks and relinquish the fight for survival to a new generation. But youthful exuberance and curiosity causes them to follow their pack leader further in the search for new prey and territory to conquer. And as the swarm reaches Dogenzaka, the prey becomes dangerously scarce, changing the balance of this struggle as they encounter a cougar seeking to feed the same need.

Despite their numbers, several of the cats immediately fall to the wild swipes of this predator. Though two escape down a narrow alley, the beat of hunger pounds in rhythm with falling health to see them surrender to the scavengers overhead as they lay down in the street and lose their bid for rule over the Tokyo Jungle.

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And Now A Post About Boxart…

The Last of Us
With the recent dismay of many to the boxart for next year’s Bioshock Infinite, and Irrational’s Ken Levine making the case that such visual concerns are a marketing tool for garnering the interest of those unfamiliar with a game versus those already invested, I’m going to go sideways and give a nod to the cover for Naughty Dog’s upcoming post-apocalyptic tale, The Last of Us, which recently cemented its exclusive PlayStation 3 release date as May 7th, 2013.

Levine certainly isn’t wrong that the cover for any product is a critical marketing window to consumers, a key opportunity to make a statement about the product.

While The Last of Us doesn’t feature the rare punch to the face marketing pitch I might normally champion as a gamer, the image has grabbed me instead for its subtle message about the comprehension of the subject matter it aims to create a convincing world from for its characters, so much so that I feel the need to spew a few words exploring just how it does so below.

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Review – Trine 2: Director’s Cut

Review Trine 2 Directors Cut
I recently became the proud owner of a Wii U, and while it is unexpectedly fun to roam the Miiverse and draw semi-relevant doodles in various game communities, it should not be overlooked that the Wii U is also a gaming console.

The Wii U’s eShop had a strong line of downloadable titles at its launch, and Trine 2: Director’s Cut is among the strongest.

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