Platform: PS Vita
Developer: Nihon Falcom Corporation
Are you sick and tired of JRPGs leading you by the nose from cutscene to cutscene? Do you hear the call of adventure, but crave the thrill of fast and fluid combat? Do you own a PlayStation Vita?
If you answered 'yes' on all counts, Ys: Memories Of Celceta probably deserves to make its way onto your shopping list. This ground-up remake of Ys 4 puts us into the well-worn boots of Adol Cristin, which are definitely made for walking. Having found himself in a frontier town on the edge of civilization with a convenient case of amnesia, the rakish explorer discovers that he lost his memories while mapping the legendary forest of Celceta, so teams up with an old friend and plunges back into the unknown. With little save a sword, a mercenary information dealer and a blank map for company, the scene is set for a genuine adventure.
Celceta is an enormous tract of land, an intricate and confusing labyrinth of glades, swamps, tunnels and ruins that's somewhat reminiscent of a massively expanded Monster Hunter title. Most JRPGs would immediately funnel you down a preset path, but Memories Of Celceta is cut from a different cloth, simply thrusting an empty map into your hands and suggesting, perhaps, that you ought to check over there when you have the time. Most of the game simply revolves around the satisfaction of filling this map in, of discovering new areas, new places, new faces and eventually piecing Adol's memory back together.
And romping through hordes of foes with one of the most responsive combat systems we've seen from the series yet, if not the entire sub-genre in recent years.Click here to read more...
At the original £10+ price tag this was a bit pricey, but the game's a steal right now for £2.99 with GMG giving you 50p credit back when your purchase it. There's at least ten hours of tropical islands to explore, enjoyable melee and ranged combat, and a moreish RPG grind to keep you foraging for new zombie-killing tools.
Thanks to Webhead at HotUkDeals.
The price of this one is being really stubborn, but it's currently a bit cheaper on the Vita than PS3. In some ways, the Vita version is better as you can use the touchscreen to pick up items and unlock doors, leaving you free to enjoy the excellent fantasy scrolling beat 'em up action. The RPG elements are fantastically deep too and the game's been patched recently to unlock an extra difficulty tier, which has ensured it's effectively glued the card flap shut on our Vita's again.
Thanks to theg at HotUkDeals.
EDIT: As Jon's just reminded me, PS Plus users still have until Xmas Eve to download this for FREE.
Dark Arisen is the name given to the huge expansion pack for Dragon's Dogma, but this disc also includes the full original game. Tesco are selling the game at over £6 less than the competition and this version is even cheaper than the original version. This game is huge and will last you ages, we'd advise spending time leveling up and finishing the main game before entering the Dark Arisen side of the game as things get a bit Dark Soulsish.
Thanks to bargain76 at HotUkDeals.
Developer: EKO Software
Publisher: 505 Games
Like any good zombie attack, you never see it coming and How to Survive will sink its teeth into your nights if you let your guard down while patiently awaiting the arrival of your shiny next-gen console.
EKO Software’s game is a top-down action-RPG that can be loosely compared with the likes of Diablo III or Dead Nation. After crash landing on a zombie-infested tropical island, you’ll need to scavenge for salvage and build weapons and armour to hold off the infected masses. The overall aim is to make a series of vehicle repairs via completing fetch quests. Ok, so not exactly a revolution of new ideas, but once How to Survive gets going, it’s hard to put down.
Combat is a mix of melee and improvised firearms. Everything must be built from scratch. From humble beginnings with a stick, you’ll go on to craft machetes, axes and spiked boomerangs. Melee attacks are assigned to RB, which isn’t ideal if I’m honest, as it can get uncomfortable after prolonged sessions. You can use basic swings or hold for a charged attack. If you stagger an enemy, you can initiate a grisly kill move, which usually pushes back nearby zombies too, giving you some essential breathing room.Click here to read more...
Dragon’s Crown is a fond throwback to classic side-scrolling beat ‘em ups like Streets of Rage, or more specifically, Golden Axe (you can totally ride dragons!). Stages involve going from left to right with a four-strong group consisting of knights, amazons, dwarves, elves, wizards or sorceresses. There's a boss with a health bar as wide as your TV at the end of each one too, with one of them being a clever nod to a certain Monty Python film. Sold yet?
You’re spoilt for choice, with six different character types to choose from. They’re ranked from beginner to expert, but to be honest you’ll be fine going with whichever takes your fancy from the start and you're allowed to have a few on the go at once.
There's been quite a bit of mild outcry (let's face it, it hasn't really been an uproar) over the female character design. And we can see why, those boobs are ridiculous and every time we see a female character in a story scene, they seem to be either borderline naked or lying in a ridiculously suggestive position.
Call it homage to classic art styles, call it immature character artists or call it pandering to a predominantly male audience. It's blatantly a case of all of the above. But does it deter from the gameplay? No. It's frequently so over the top it becomes quite amusing in a 'what were they thinking' or ‘why does that mermaid have a bum?' sort of way. You'll have seen worse in most pop music videos to be honest too. If anything, the muscular dwarve’s shorts concern us the most anyway.Click here to read more...
Thanks to Syzable at HotUkDeals.
Here's the latest batch of character gameplay videos for the upcoming side-scrolling beat em' up / action RPG hybrid, Dragon's Crown, for the PS3 and Vita. The Amazon warrior makes the previously-revealed top-heavy Sorceress look like a nun, with an outfit seemingly made of string. Questionable art direction aside, the game is looking like an old-school riot to play.Click here to read more...
Soul Sacrifice may not be a true system-seller, but as far as handheld games go, Keiji Inafune's deadly monster-hunting title is a deep and involving experience when you take it online. Teaming up to bring enormous bosses to their knees while deciding whether to spare or murder your erstwhile allies at a moment's notice is a uniquely engaging proposition, and one that deserves to attract a hardcore following over the coming months.
However, as Brendan explains in our 7/10 Soul Sacrifice review, it's also rather difficult to get into and requires a huge amount of investment to fully appreciate. To this end, dear Sorceror, I've compiled a list of ten hints, tricks and tactics that will help you survive in this vicious demonic world. If this is child's play to you, be sure to drop in some sage advice in the comments!
Soul Sacrifice offers a truly staggering wealth of attack skills, healing abilities, summons and buffs to equip, and you'll likely discover a fair few powerful spells that can be leant on for ridiculous damage. However, one of the game's unique quirks is that each spell's usage is strictly limited, meaning that it's actually possible to run out of attacks in the longer battles if you don't sacrifice smaller enemies and abuse the rare renewal shrines.Click here to read more...
Format: PS Vita
Developer: SCE Japan Studio
This is our concluding part of our Soul Sacrifice review. If you’d like to catch up on the basic game mechanics and the single player experience, you can read Part 1 here. Ok, up to date? This could go either way right? The remainder of my review is going to focus on the online multiplayer side of the game.
A range of options allows you to set up public or password protected games with invites via the Vita’s messaging system being a simple if slightly clunky affair. You can label your room to give other players an indication of which chapters you’re playing and if you prefer saving or sacrificing bosses. There were a healthy number of players online during the launch weekend, meaning I never had to wait long for players to join. Although it’s often worth waiting until you have a full group of four to take on some of the boss battles.
The lobby screen shows other player’s levels, giving you an indication on how choices may go when saving/sacrificing. Unless you’re hosting you can only see a brief description of the currently selected quest, if you are hosting though you have the advantage of choosing the quest and being able to see what loot is awarded upon completion.Click here to read more...
Format: PS Vita
Developer: SCE Japan Studio
Monster Hunter is a handheld system seller. That’s a fact, particularly in Japan. Yet we’ve only heard the slightest of rumours about the mega-series bringing its giant-chasing exploits to Sony’s underperforming handheld.
We don’t know if it’s a case of Sony not being able to agree a deal with Capcom, but until that champagne spraying day arises, Soul Sacrifice is here to carry the burden and an hefty amount of expectation in the face of the Vita’s barren landscape of recent or future releases.
The story begins with you waking up in an underworld jail with a talking book that insists on reliving the tale of a sorcerer and his road to infamy. You play as a character in the book as you read each chapter. The fleshy tome is essentially a menu system where you select missions or edit your skills and so on. The voice acting from the book and the narrator are coma-inducingly poor and the various stories that are mixed together as you play different mission strands while trying to straddle the difficulty curve are ultimate fantasy fan fiction dross.
The book uses the touchscreen (optional) to flick through pages, but it’s a cumbersome mess requiring too many touches, especially when you want to replay missions to XP grind or look at the mission rewards list to top up on certain items. But what of the missions themselves?Click here to read more...
Torchlight II does the business if you're a fan of action RPGs. In fact, it's easily one of the best ever made. Putting Diablo III to shame with massive heaps of content, LAN options and a huge new editor, this sensational effort from ex-Blizzard staffers warranted a perfect score last year, and can be yours for six quid (£1 dearer than Gamefly's spring voucher code deal, we admit).
Forget Diablo III, Torchlight II rocked our world late last year, showing the big studios how dungeon crawlers should be. Jon gave the game full marks in his review, praising the deep but accessible hack n' slash combat, engaging visuals and a huge exploreable world. At £14.99 it was great value and now it's at its lowest price yet, under a fiver, we couldn't recommend it more.
Thanks to Jas10 at HotUkDeals.
With ShopTo’s stock currently on back order, it means the price gap opens up even more thanks to this offer from Green Man Gaming. Overall, it means there is a saving of over £3 compared to the next cheapest retailer with stock.
While not without its faults (of which there are a few) DragDog provides a combat system that feels satisfying to control, and plays host to a huge open world in which there are many things to slay. At £15, it’s hard to argue with the price or the value for money here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and stop Jon and Matt from singing the menu music again... Thanks to Sheogorath @ HUKD!
Fancy a more action-heavy approach to your RPGs? Well take a look at the colourful world of Amalur. The setting lacks originality if you're familiar to the genre, but the combat more than makes up for it. The game is absolutely huge and it's well supported with DLC too if you need more questing. Check out Jon's review for a full rundown.