Developers: Namco Tales Studio
Publishers: Namco Bandai
As a child, particularly when it comes to those troublesome teenage years, you often find yourself looking forward, wishing you were a little older so that you could have more fun. But the formative years of one's life are important, even if they could be construed as lacking the opportunities afforded to the young adult generation.
It's an outlook that sits at the heart of Tales of Graces f, a Western release of (and considerable upgrade to) the Wii game that never quite made it out of Japan. You spend the best part of five hours toddling about with eleven year old Asbel Lhant and his childhood friends, disobeying parents with headstrong abandon, getting into scrapes and scraps, and trying to work around the limitations that have been set upon you as the young, childish heir to a provincial seat.
It's a ll a bit tedious at times, to be honest, but it's a hit that the Tales Studio take in order to further narrative immersion and impact later on in the story. You're constantly looking forward in those opening hours to a time when you'll be let off the leash (well, as much as you can be in a relatively linear JRPG), and if you can make it through Asbel - the childhood years, you're in for a treat later on.
Of course, many won't. It's nowhere near as frustratingly obtuse as FFXIII, and the combat system (we'll get to it) is far more engaging, but there are some towering cliches that will no doubt put of those who managed to make it through the cloying intro music video. There are classic character tropes such as the dethroned monarch, an idealistic hero and his underappreciated brother, a magical female powerhouse in the form of an amnesiac 14 year old, and a loud, kooky charming/irritating genki girl.Click here to read more...
2K Games have announced today that a free playable demo for Firaxis' XCOM: Enemy Unknown will be arriving on Steam posthaste.
You can get it here.Click here for pre-order and special edition details >>>
Telltale's critically acclaimed The Walking Dead series will reach its conclusion before December 4th, with Telltale confirming all five episodes will launch as a full game on disc (as with Back to the Future) that day for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
We're loving the crippling (and crippled) humanity presented in these adventure games, and here's what we said in our Walking Dead Ep. 3 review:
Telltale deliver a third chapter that somehow raises the stakes even further, with a truly dark episode that shocks, surprises, saddens, and still somehow makes us smile in places too. Utterly masterful interactive storytelling, and totally unmissable.
It's worth noting that this date is set for North America, with Telltale affirming that EU dates are still yet to be announced. [Twitter]
Not going to EGX this year? Well don't worry too much about that. Although the vast crowds and snaking queues shall surely be missed, the best features of the show always come in the form of the insightful developer sessions. This year, however, you can watch some of those without even leaving your sofa.Click here to read more...
Never been into MMOs? Yeah, neither was I, well, aside from the 18 months I lost to City of Heroes. I stayed strong for so long, eschewing the WOW wannabes. And then Guild Wars 2 came along and ruined it all by being amazing.
If you're still undecided on Guild Wars 2, then make sure you check out Carl's comprehensive episodic review, and check out this new video from ArenaNet which helpfully explains why their new game is a cut above the rest.Click here to read more...
Mark of the Ninja is coming to Steam! Though published on the Xbox 360 by Microsoft Studios on XBLA, it appears that not only is the much-rumoured PC move for MOTN coming to fruition, but that the fantastic stealth-'em-up will be arriving on Steam.Click here to read more...
EA Canada have dropped a new developer diary for FIFA 13 dealing with the revamped audio in the new game. Commentary has long been an issue in football games, but the dev team on FIFA 13 are looking to expand the audio with real-life reflections mid-match, sideline reports from concurrent matches, and a Final Score-esque results overview in the career mode menu.
The game drops tomorrow in the US, and this Friday over here.
Silly season kicks off with a bang, with no fewer than four new games in the top ten this week. Borderlands 2 rockets straight to number one, hotly followed by fellow newcomers F1 2012 and PES 2013. Previous incumbent Sleeping Dogs is down at #4, with another newbie - the excellent LittleBigPlanet Vita - coming in at 6th, the best perfermance from a Vita title since the consoel's launch.Click here for the full top ten >>>
GameSeek have currently got the lowest available pre-order price for the Wii U Basic Pack , going below the £240 mark to add a little spice to the pre-order wars for a limited time.
Unfortunately, the postage costs means it comes right back up to £246.98, though that's still a saving of a couple of pounds.
The Basic Pack will feature the following: White Wii U console with 8GB memory, white Game Pad, AC Adapters, HDMI Cable. No games, no Wii accessories, and no Pro Controller.
Thanks Alex R.
The PWNCAST returns! All hail to the PWNCAST! As you may or may not have released yesterday this season is going to be a little bit different. We'll still be running a regular podcast every Sunday where we discuss what we've been playing, wider gaming topics, loves, hates, pet peeves and joyous delights, but our critical shredding of the weekly news will now take place on Saturdays in the freshly relaunched Game Buzz.
Silly season is upon us, where blockbuster games start flying onto shelves left, right, and centre. This week we've been playing a lot of gorgeous-looking, multiplayer-friendly, loot-hoarding timesinks. Everyone was a little worried just a few months ago at how many titles had been pushed back into 2013. But fret not, dear listeners, we're in for a cracking Autumn.
Some of the things that get covered this week:
...and much, much more.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be quite a few instances of strong language.
Click the banner at the top to play the file, or right click and select 'Save Link As' to download the file onto your hard drive.
Hello! Welcome to the relaunching of Game Buzz as a weekly half-hour podcast centred round the week's news. Every Saturday we'll be aiming to provide plenty of comment-laden wafflings and lashings of opinionated banter as we dissect the hottest stories of the week. We'll still be broadcasting the PWNCAST on Sundays, though that will maintain a focus on games themselves, gaming culture, and broader topics.
For our inaugural Game Buzz podcast we take a look at the good Doctors Muzkya and Zeschuk and ask what now for BioWare; we look at BioWare's future projects and discuss the potential of the now-officially-unveiled Dragon Age III; we chat about the impending release of the PS3 Super Slim; and get a bit nervous about Halo 4's campaign.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.
Click the banner at the top to play the file, or right click and select 'Save Link As' to download the file onto your hard drive.
Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 | Wii | PSP | PS2
For those who remember the heyday of PES 3-5, these past few years have been tortuous. Not because, in that time, FIFA's star has risen and shone brighter than ever before, but rather because PES fell on seriously hard times, trying to find an identity on next gen consoles, and failing to make the most of the advances in technology. Whist improvements have certainly been made over the last couple of years (although too often patched into insignificance once again over the yearly lifespan), it's always been a case of almost...but when it came to delivering the verdict. This year, perhaps more than any before it, has seen those frustrations spill out, with very public statements from the PES Team, apologies for he lack of licensing, casting aspersions on the narrow-mindedness of gamers, and accusing EA Canada of theft - none of which was particularly helpful. We wondered if PES would ever get back on level terms.
Well, we can stop wondering now.
The worst thing about the last few years has been the way it affects our memories, making us question PES' ascendancy in the first place. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about PES 2013 is that it finally silences those voices looking to assail our nostalgia. PES 2013 is fiddly, unforgiving at times, often seemingly opaque and inaccessible, and its front end could really use a modern makeover. It's as quirky a game as you'd expect from the series, but with one key difference from the last handful of games: it is utterly sublime on the pitch.
You can play PES 2013 with all of the assists on and fire it up as a throwback to the simpler times of ISS, but even on the middling difficulty levels you'll get found out by an AI that has really been given a thorough sorting out, particularly in defence. Although goalkeepers are perhaps still a little more Heurelho Gomes rather than Gianluigi Buffon, everything else has been tightened up to ensure that every time you step onto the field, you face a different challenge.Click here to read more...
Square Enix and United Front Games have revealed some DLC goodies coming next month for Sleeping Dogs (find out why you need to play this game here), with a number of content packs for players to choose from, and a community-oriented download that will be completely free of charge.
There's story-based DLC incoming on, with an official reveal set for Comic-Con International on October 14th, but if you're a petrolhead or wanted some more cop-based missions, hit the jump for some downloadable goodness.Click here for full DLC details >>>
Capcom and Dontnod's intriguing sci-fi action title got a new walkthrough video at TGS, taking a closer look at the Combo Lab, a feature that will allow players to customise Nilin's fighting style to suit their own methods of gameplay. There are four combo slots, and four different types of "pressen" to augment your combos: regen, power, cooldown, and chain. There'll apparently be around 50,000 different combinations for the player to tinker with.
The game is out next May for PS3 and Xbox 360.Click here to read more...
CIA operative, Agent Huntley, spills the beans of Hoyt Volker and his extremely well trained bunch of private hire soldiers in the lastest Far Cry 3 video. Tasked with eliminating Volker and his goons, and busting his “depraved drug and human trafficking operations" wide open, the player must parachute in solo, without backup, and learn to survive in a jungle that really, really wants to kill you, shoot you, or eat you.
Far Cry 3 is out on November 30th for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360Click here to read more...
Developers: Subset Games
Publishers: Subset Games
It's not long after the Dealspwn Buzzard sets off on her maiden voyage, manned with a crew of three, that she encounters some difficulties. The final frontier is a dangerous place and, with a rebel horde on her tail, the Buzzard comes across a number of hostile scouting ships. One of them causes a hull breach and a savage fire in the medi bay even as the Buzzard's defence systems are taken offline. As I'm desperately trying to get more juice out off the engine to make ready for a jump to lightspeed, and Jon is feverishly trying to fix the shield generator, we are forced to flush Carl out of an airlock to save the ship from being consumed by fire. It's a tough decision that leaves us woefully under-staffed...but alive and still on course.
In FTL, though, no matter how many times you've played through the game, you never know what's around the next corner. The map indicates a distress signal coming from a nearby star system; we don't have the men to help out, but maybe, just maybe, there'll be something worth salvaging, or at least another hand on deck that we might add. Of course, in the words of Admiral Ackbar, it's a trap. The Mantis ship overruns our shields even as I dispatch Jon to the engine room to boost our chances of making a run for it. A missile attack damages the O2 systems, and I'm forced to abandon the helm to fix it before we both die. With salvation in sight, and the O2 fixed all that is required is to get back to the bridge and punch it.
Then the ring of a teleporter sounds, two soldiers beam onboard and finish me off swiftly. It's up to Jon to get the Buzzard out of here. Moments before a final blow, he makes the jump to the safety of a neighbouring system. Sadly, having proceeded to wreck the weapons systems and sensor array, the soldiers ambush him on the way to the medi bay, and his only reward for escape is a swift demise. The Buzzard is finished. Click here to read more...