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Nintendo Announces “New” 3DS

And so far it looks like a winner! This new model will be sporting 4 shoulder buttons, an additional thumbstick/circle pad, a microSD card slot, an auto-adjusting backlight, face tracking software that will allow the 3D effect to be seen at multiple angles, the game slot was moved to the bottom to prevent accidental ejection, the system is lighter, has more battery life, supposedly larger screens, and a more powerful CPU.

Nintendo has stated that they will be releasing exclusive games for the “new” 3DS, the first of which will be Xenoblade Chronicles…a port of the critically acclaimed Wii title. A representative has commented that the system is due to release in NA in 2015.

There are a ton of pics and gifs floating around of the new unit, I just grabbed a few of the good ones to give an overall idea of the new system.

Transistor for the PS4

Transistor_art

So this game I’ve been wanting to play for a couple of months went on sale this week. Down about $6 from its normal price of $20. I’ve heard good things, and it’s developed by SuperGiant…the same team who made Bastion. Well, I’ve been playing it pretty steadily and so far I am blown away by the presentation. Believe it or not the music is the best of many good things about this game. Most of the songs include vocals from Ashley Barrett, and are just…absolutely bone chilling. The in-game soundtrack has undoubtedly justified my purchase single-handedly.

What’s more is that the rest of the game is just as good! It’s about a 6-8 hour game, and it’s the perfect themepark indie experience. Transistor features a unique battle system that manages to blend real-time and turn-based combat seamlessly. The futuristic sci-fi art style is a welcome change.

If you have a PS4 I strongly urge you to pick this one up, as far as indie games goes, Transistor borders Journey-level excellence.

Check out the soundtrack here!

Dragon Ball…Smash?!

Check out this tool-assisted video of Fox vs. Falco in Super Smash Bros. Brawl! 

Source: YouTube

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment First Impressions

So Hollow Fragment seems to be the love child between a Dating Simulator and a Phantasy Star game. The game world is massive, and is clearly going to take me at least 30 hours to clear the main campaign. I’ve heard rumors that the “real” game doesn’t start until you finish the campaign. From what I can tell, the rumor is true….as there are a few menu items that are locked on the main menu.

Fans of the show will be delighted to know that characters from SAO, ALO, and GGO have all made their way into this game. You are allowed to take a partner with you during your adventures, and there are quite a few to choose from. You are even allowed to partner with a few random characters of which Kirito has no relationship with. One of the things I found to be odd was that you can modify Kirito’s appearance and even change his name…but during dialogue and cutscenes, his appearance and name reverts to default.

Combat is fun and fast-paced. You will auto-attack an enemy once you engage them, but you can also choose to attack manually by using a small portion of your burst gauge. Combo’s are also maintained with use of the burst gauge, as well as dodging. You can “switch” just like in the show, which is a way of getting rid of your aggro so monsters will stop attacking you. Your partner will occasionally ask you to do a specific action and they will retaliate with their own, which makes playing with the computer ally enjoyable. You are able to equip different weapon types, ranging anywhere from daggers to spears. Each weapon type has its own skill set that you can unlock by both using the weapon in combat and using acquired skill points.

The game auto saves every time you move to a different map, which is nice, seeing how you get a gameover if either you or your partner falls in combat. The game world is divided into three parts – You have the main city hub where you can talk to other players, recruit them for your party, buy gear and upgrades, as well as just relax. – There are 25 floors you have to clear before you can finish the campaign. You start on the 75th floor and make your way up. – There is also the hollow area, where monsters are much higher in level and there is an abundance of high-level equipment to be found.

After the initial tutorials, the game doesn’t really force you to do anything you don’t want to. The dialogue can all be skipped by holding the L button, and you are free to choose whether or not you want to clear floors or explore the hollow area. The dialogue never really seems to be related to the game, so I find myself constantly skipping a large portion of it. That’s where the Dating Sim factors in…I could do without it. The game makes up for it with its inclusion of multiplayer. While I’ve yet to try my hand at it, I believe that you can play with up to three other human players.

So far I am impressed with the game, they’ve done an excellent job of reproducing the anime and VRMMO world found in Sword Art Online. Gameplay controls are tight and responsive, and the computer AI is pretty decent. While the game does tend to bombard you with a little too much information at times, once you start to get the hang of things, you’ll find that there is more than enough to keep you busy for a long time. My only real disappointment with the game thus far is the Dating Sim portions. I don’t really like that all of the female characters are vying for Kirito’s attention and (essentially) romance. Not necessarily a detriment to the game, but if you are like me, you’ll find yourself fast-forwarding through enough dialogue to be considered a small novel.

Pokemon Black – As explained by Polygon

Pokemon Black

THE STORY OF POKÉMON BLACK

Pokémon Black — so an unnamed author says — starts as Pokémon Red and Blue do, with Professor Oak outlining the practice of capturing, training and battling Pokémon, and with the player character waking in their own bed. But where Red and Blue offer three starter Pokémon to new players — Charmander, Squirtle or Bulbasaur — Pokémon Black adds a fourth: GHOST.

POKÉMON BLACK’S PURPOSE IS TO MAKE YOU KILL, KILL AND KILL AGAIN

Should you select GHOST, you’ll find that unlike the other Pokémon, which start the game at level five, it is level one. Its attacks are different, too. Where Squirtle and friends begin the game with Normal-type moves such as tackle or growl, GHOST is only capable of one move, “curse.”

Battles are simple affairs for players who select GHOST. Opposition Pokémon are “too scared to move” against the creature. But stranger is what the ghoulish Pokémon’s single attack does to its enemies. Tiny Cartridge quotes the nameless author describing the effects:

“When the move ‘Curse’ was used in battle, the screen would cut to black. The cry of the defending Pokémon would be heard, but it was distorted, played at a much lower pitch than normal. The battle screen would then reappear, and the defending Pokémon would be gone. If used in a battle against a trainer, when the Pokéballs representing their Pokémon would appear in the corner, they would have one fewer Pokéball.”

Once all Pokéballs had been removed and the trainer defeated, players had one more selection: they could “run,” leaving the battle as normal, or use curse again. Use curse and the trainer would disappear. Return to that spot again in the future and their sprite would be replaced with a gravestone.

Pokemon Black

Much later, once you defeat the Elite Four, the game changes. The author describes the shift.

“A box appeared with the words ‘Many years later…’ It then cut to Lavender Tower. An old man was standing, looking at tombstones. You then realized this man was your character. The man moved at only half of your normal walking speed. You no longer had any Pokémon with you, not even GHOST, who up to this point had been impossible to remove from your party through depositing in the PC.”

Pokémon Black‘s post-game world is empty of people. The only signifier that they might’ve once existed is their tombstones, left on the ground where you cursed them. Eventually, you can head back to your home, in Pallet Town.

If you walk back to your house and step onto the tile you began the game on, the screen fades to black. The darkness lifts after a few seconds and Pokémon sprites begin scrolling past. Then trainers appear, Young Boys and Fishermen and Super Nerds materializing on screen for a moment before flashing past.

Every living thing, Pokémon and person, that you had cursed. You and GHOST killed them all.

STRANGER IS WHAT THE GHOULISH POKÉMON’S SINGLE ATTACK DOES TO ITS ENEMIES

Finally, GHOST appears again, this time on the other side of a trainer battle. As an old man you’re limited to one move — struggle — which chips away at your health until it’s down to almost nothing. Once low enough, GHOST uses curse one last time, aiming the attack at the player. The screen fades to black again. On rebooting the Game Boy, your save game is gone.

Source: Polygon

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment!

For those of you that don’t know, SAO: Hollow Fragment was released yesterday in NA. Did I sleep last night? I can’t remember. But I do remember how awesome this game was. I’ll be sure to post my first impressions once I wrap my head around some of the game mechanics. As of right now it’s looking to be the unofficial spiritual successor to the .hack// series games…and I’m loving every minute of it!

More to come!

-Bitrip

Square Enix Retro Pixel Art

Check out these characters from popular Square Enix games recreated in pixel art form!

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII

 

Final Fantasy IX

Final Fantasy IX

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger

 

Source: Daniel “Abysswolf” Oliver

Akiba’s Trip 2 First Impressions

I found my receipt! So I didn’t have any problems at all picking up Akiba’s Trip 2 last night. I almost missed work today playing all night. The game is so good!

Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed aka Akiba’s Trip 2 is an Action Roleplaying game that takes place in Akihabara Japan (pronounced ah-kee-ha-ba-ra). Visually, the locale shows striking similarities to New York City. Akihabara tries to create an atmosphere where game and anime worlds come to life. As such, the streets of Akihabara are covered with anime and manga icons, and cosplayers line the sidewalks handing out advertisements. It’s a video game fan’s dream come true.

Akiba dialogue

I don’t want to give away any of the plot, but the game combines two genres we don’t often see coming together here in the west. Visual Novel & Action RPG. It does so brilliantly, in fact it even gives the player choices during dialogue, allowing every player to shape and mold the story according to the choices they make.

For reasons I won’t explain, during combat your main goal is to strip your opponents clothing off of them! It’s a hilarious tactic that’s fleshed out incredibly well. You lower their clothing’s durability by attacking different parts of their outfit via the triangle, circle, and cross buttons. Once a piece of clothing is damaged enough, you can initiate a grapple to remove the item. You can pick up items your opponents drop, including clothing, weapons, and money.

Akiba dialogue 2

Exploring Akihabara is a pleasure as you can shop at most of the stores, and citizens lining the streets are full of dialogue and unique behavior. You often travel with a companion character who does their best to aid you. You can access your email and faux twitter accounts via smartphone. The game does a good job of making you feel like you are really living in Akihabara.

So far I love it, the production values are high, there are easter eggs hidden everywhere, and the characters are all unique enough to make me want to actually talk to them. The combat controls aren’t quite as tight as I would like, but they still manage to get the job done. Depending on how long the campaign is, and how many possible outcomes there are…I can see myself playing this game well into 60+ hours.

Eep! Post/Comment Likes are Turned Back On!!

Web

So I just realized, that in my constant tinkering with the webpage I managed to somehow turn off comment and post likes. They are now turned back on!! So please please please click on that button if you like a post! It brings me great joy to know which posts people like more than others. I can try to cater to what you guys like.

Thanks,
Bitrip

Gamestop Today, PSN Tomorrow

Akiba’s Trip 2 comes out today for the PS Vita. Despite my overwhelming excitement, I’m a little worried. Mainly because I pre-ordered the game at Gamestop…and can no longer find my receipt. See, I’ve mainly been purchasing digital games lately to fill up my 32gb memory card. I pre-ordered the game before I had the card, which is why I initially wanted a physical copy.

I have a feeling they aren’t going to let me swap for the digital version. Which is really sad because I actually had my receipt a week ago and went to the store to make the trade, and they couldn’t locate my pre-order at the time, since it was moved from another store that closed the week prior. I’m crossing my fingers, either way I’ll let you guys know how the game is later this week. :)

Rogue Legacy!

Rogue Legacy recently came out on the PS3 and PS Vita. While my first experience with the game was on the PC, I enjoyed it enough to want to try it out with a controller. I bought the game for Vita and must say, the game almost seems like it was designed for this platform.

$16 is a little steep for an indie platformer, but Rogue Legacy has more replay value than it initially seems. I’ve already put a good 12 or so hours into the game. It’s easy to learn, very difficult to master…and even a little humorous, at times.

Meh.com Seemed Like a Great Idea….

Until my purchase arrived in an unusuable state. Ok so here’s what happened: I have been in the market for a new television. My older tv was a 50″ LCD. Slightly too big and way too heavy. I made a conscious decision that I needed to find something smaller and lighter. LED it is!

Being the adventurous young man that I am, I will often include obscure companies in my consideration set when looking for a deal. As such, when I found this 40″ Magnavox for $180 at Meh.com I jumped right in. I was so excited…literally the deal of the century. Shipping was quick…unfortunately my package arrived broken. There was a gaping hole in both boxes surrounding the merchandise. Apparently someone dropped it at some point.

Whether it was the courier or the company that broke the tv, no one wanted to take the blame. I ended up having to send a not-so-nice email in order to get a refund! I’m pretty sure I am going to shy away from any company that isn’t owned by Amazon for the next few months…

I Finally Beat Fez!

Fez is an indie game that I’ve been playing for a while now. It is equally the best and creepiest platformer I’ve ever played. The controls are tight, the sound is amazing, the world-rotating “gimmick” is unique and fun to use. Overall I’d say the game is a 9/10. The only reason it doesn’t get a full 10/10 is because the difficulty of the New Game+ exceeds the imagination. I didn’t quite sign on for deciphering an alphabet, number, and hieroglyph-based system when I initially purchased this title. But did I do it? Yeah. Did it take forever? Yeah. Did I ultimately enjoy doing it? Yeah.

Images were even found hidden in the soundtrack audio. What could it possibly mean?!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/85a9hmfaiezis28/bSmFn3aZjs#/

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