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Bandai Namco

Pre-order Sword Art Online: Lost Song on Vita for only £24.99

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Bandai Namco, PS Vita games, Rice Digital, Sword Art Online: Lost Song, Voucher codes

Pre-order Sword Art Online: Lost Song on Vita for only £24.99

Due out in just a few days, using the voucher code above means you can get hold of the Vita version for the lowest price available. While I found Hollow Fragment to be rather disappointing, word is that things have improved for Lost Song thanks to revamped combat system. Players can also fly around this time, as the game is set in fairy-based ALFhelm Online. I suspect die-hard fans will enjoy more adventures with Kirito and the gang, I just hope it finally matches the potential of the series it is based on.

 

Details of Dark Souls III Collector's Editions leaked

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
News
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Collector's Edition, Dark Souls III

Details of Dark Souls III Collector's Editions leaked

We're still four months away from Dark Souls III making us suffer anew, but news has emerged on two of the collector's editions that will be available to buy. Both versions will come with a host of physical extras, although you might want to "prepare to spend" if you want either of them, should the currency conversion prove correct.

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Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3: Full Burst on PC falls to just £3.97

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Fighting Games, Funstock Digital, PC games

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3: Full Burst on PC falls to just £3.97

While fans of the long-running anime / manga series might get a kick out of thing one, we found it to be somewhat lacking when we reviewed it last year. Still, if you held off this long to try out 'complete' edition of Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (with all its additional swimsuit costume glory) it's certainly worth a look for under a fiver. On top of that, you'll be saving over a tenner over the next cheapest deal as well. Thanks to Buzz for the heads-up!

Be sure to check out our Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3: Full Burst review for more details.

Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment Review | One Switch too far?

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Games reviews, PS4 games, RPGs, Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment

Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment Review | One Switch too far?

As someone who binged their way through Season 1 of the anime on Netflix recently, I’ve been craving more Sword Art Online. The tale of Kirito, fighting for survival in the online worlds whilst trying to save those closest to him, resonated with me far more than I was expecting (despite the second arc getting a little... weird… in parts.) It was enjoyable, emotional, and filled with great action sequences. Yet, the idea of a game made me nervous. Could the combat of the show – where players become their avatars in a VR simulation – truly translate to an input system of analog sticks and shoulder buttons? Perhaps more importantly, could a game successfully build upon the story and characters in the virtual world of Aincrad?

While newcomers are provided with a brief story catch-up to get up to speed, the truth is that Re: Hollow Fragment is a game for existing fans of SAO. However, fans should realise that this is a “what if” scenario instead of a continuation of the existing storyline, as the game diverges from the end of the first story arc in Aincrad. **Sword Art Online spoiler warning** Instead of finding freedom after defeating Heathcliff on floor 74, Kirito and the remaining players remain trapped in Sword Art Online. Their new goal is to clear the remaining 25 floors of Aincrad in hopes of truly escaping the game. Meanwhile, Kirito also discovers a mysterious new zone called the Hollow Area. Providing new challenges to best and weapons to earn, it acts as a new subplot for players to explore.

Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment Review | One Switch too far?

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Chomp your way through this week's Humble Bandai Namco Bundle from only 67p

Author:
BuzzDuraband
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Humble Bundle, Steam

Chomp your way through this week's Humble Bandai Namco Bundle from only 67p

PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+ All You Can Eat Edition for only 67p? I don't really care what else is in the bundle. I am sold!

This week's Humble Bundle is brought to us from Bandai Namco. Three tiers with the usual Humble setup.

Pay What You Want

Pay more than the average of $6.15 to unlock!

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F1 2015 Launch Impressions | Racing like a champion is playing with my EGO

Author:
BuzzDuraband
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Codemasters, F1 2015, PC games, PS4 games, Racing Games, Xbox One Games

F1 2015 Launch Impressions | Racing like a champion is playing with my EGO

F1 2015 launches tomorrow four weeks after its intended initial release date of June. It must be quite easy for any franchise to start churning out the same old product every year given that the majority would only require a small upgrade in the graphical department and maybe a few changes to active rosters 'set: driver> Lewis Hamilton = Mercedes'.

However, that doesn't seem to be the case with F1 2015, which introduces a whole new Formula One experience built entirely from the ground up for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Running on the new EGO Engine, it looks absolutely gorgeous.

After spending the past couple of days experiencing F1 2015 on the Playstation 4, I feel confident enough to start sharing my first impressions of this year's instalment.

F1 2015 Launch Impressions | Racing like a champion is playing with my EGO

I, like I imagine many players of the F1 franchise, went into this game as I had with all the F1 games right back up to 2011, with the mindset that 2015 would be the year I can finally crack those chicanes and exit those corners as only the champions know how to. I'm not the worst at F1 games; its just unfortunate that I'm not the best either. Could I take pole position this time?

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The Hyper Japan Festival hits London this weekend - tickets still available!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Hyper Japan Festival

The Hyper Japan Festival hits London this weekend - tickets still available!

Pay attention, fans of Japanese culture, music, animation, gaming, fashion, cuisine and cosplay, because the Hyper Japan Festival is taking place this weekend at the London O2. With loads of exhibitors, meet & greets and events lined up, it's set to be a seriously impressive expo.

Early bird tickets are no longer available (we did warn you!) but you can still purchase day or weekend tickets at a reasonable £13-18 per head.

As a gaming site, however, we need to point out that Bandai Namco are pulling out all the stops with an enormous showing for their JRPG and anime lineup. Here's what to expect!

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J-Stars Victory VS+ Review | The Ultimate Anime Crossover

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Action Games, Bandai Namco, Editor's Choice, J-Stars Victory VS+, PS Vita games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Spike Chunsoft

J-Stars Victory VS+ is the ultimate anime and manga crossover.

Where else can Shonen Jump royalty fight with or against each other in pitched combat? Where else can Monkey D. Luffy gomu gomu no bazooka Ichigo Kurosaki through a brick wall while Gintoki Sataka drives his moped straight into Vegeta? Where else can Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo and Koro-sensei gang up against Boa Hancock as Kenshiro winds up his Hundred Crack Fist?

Nowhere. J-Stars Victory VS+ is a real treat for Shonen Jump fans featuring dozens of characters both famous and obscure, but just as importantly, it's a fun and technically accomplished brawler too.

J-Stars Victory VS+ Review | The Ultimate Anime Crossover

No matter what mode you play, and we'll get to that later, J-Stars Victory VS+ is based around madcap 2-on-2 battles in deliciously destructible 3D arenas.

You'll assemble a 2-man team from a giddying roster of manga greats, including fighters from One Piece (my personal favourite), Naruto Shippuden, Bleach, Hunter X Hunter, Assassination Classroom, Fist Of The North Star, Dragon Ball, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Chinyūki -Tarō to Yukai na Nakama-tachi, Dr. Slump, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Saint Seiya, Medaka Box, Toriko and loads more besides. Each team also gets to pick a support character that acts as a powerful special attack with a lengthy cooldown.

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Project CARS Review | Sunshine After The Rain

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Bandai Namco, PC games, Project CARS, PS4 games, Racing Games, Slightly Mad Studios, Xbox One Games

Project CARS Review | Sunshine After The Rain

There's a reason why "CARS" is capitalised. Project CARS is all about the love of cars, the joy of driving them, and it couldn't give a damn about anything else.

While other developers love cramming the most vehicles and the biggest bloated feature sets into their games, Slightly Mad Studios have been obsessed with getting everything absolutely right. The result is a true track special: a lean racer that's all muscle, no fat, designed to let you get into a selection of superbly-realised racing machines as quickly as possible without grind, unlocks and frippery.

Perhaps more importantly, it also brings excitement and soul to the simulation genre thanks to its reliance on real drivers, not raw data. Following months of delays and setbacks, the finished product is the sunshine after the rain... which coincidentally is also one of the most beautiful weather effects it has to offer.

Project CARS Review | Sunshine After The Rain

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Project CARS Launch Impressions | Forget Unlocks & Grind: It's About The Love Of Cars

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bandai Namco, PC games, Project CARS, PS4 games, Slightly Mad Studios, Xbox One Games

Project CARS Launch Impressions | Forget Unlocks & Grind: It's About The Love Of Cars

Project CARS is out today in the UK. This isn't a review.

Having covered this crowd-funded British racing sim from inception to hands-on previews and through the delays, I still need a little more time to fully test the multiplayer before slapping on a score. We only received a review copy the other day and these things take time. What I can tell you, though, is that Slightly Mad Studios have accomplished something really rather impressive.

It's almost a middle ground between the sterile science of Gran Turismo and Forza's irrepressible love of cars, a blend of simulation and soul. However, instead of instead of setting out  to please everyone, Project CARS is a thoroughbred designed to cater specifically for diehard petrolheads. There's not an inch of fat on it, no bumf or unnecessary filler. Just 65 sumptuously realised cars, impeccable handling, terrifying dynamic weather effects and lighting that will take your breath away.

Project CARS Launch Impressions | Forget Unlocks & Grind: It's About The Love Of Cars

A beautiful thing, but perhaps not for everyone.

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PREVIEW | J-Stars Victory VS+ is a right royal anime rumble - and a crossover for the ages

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Games previews, J-Stars Victory VS+, PS Vita games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Shonen Jump, Spike Chunsoft

PREVIEW | J-Stars Victory VS+ is a right royal anime rumble - and a crossover for the ages

J-Stars Victory VS+ is one hell of a crossover. Starring a huge cast of Shonen Jump manga and anime royalty, it's custom-designed to answer some age old fan questions in utterly insane two-on-two bouts. Who would win in a fight: Monkey D. Luffy or Naruto? The cast of Bleach or the Saiyan of Dragon Ball? What would happen if Toriko and Assassination Classroom fought to the bitter end?

The answer depends entirely on your skills as you smash foes through buildings and brawl across expansive 3D stages with the same superhuman abilities we love from their respective series, putting the Kamehameha up against the Hokuto Hundred Crack Fist. Though originally released exclusively in Japan, us Western otaku will finally be able to get involved with J-Stars Victory VS+, which is set to release this summer on PS4, PS3 and PS Vita.

Now that I've sampled the latest PS4 build, I'm happy to that that it's coming along nicely... and also thrilled that Fist Of The North Star's long-suffering Kenshiro should finally star in a game that's worth a damn!

PREVIEW | J-Stars Victory VS+ is a right royal anime rumble - and a crossover for the ages

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PREVIEW | We're a bit worried about Godzilla: The Game

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Game previews, Godzilla, PS3 games, PS4 games

PREVIEW | We're a bit worried about Godzilla: The Game

A Godzilla game doesn't have to do much to impress us. We just need to stomp around as a massive monster, smash cities to pieces, wipe out some puny humans and brawl with fellow Kaiju in apocalyptic showdowns. In fairness, Bandai Namco's upcoming tie-in will let us do exactly that.

Based on the spirit of the Japanese originals as opposed to the 2014 film, Godzilla puts us in direct control of Godzilla or any of his big stompy ilk, from Mothra to King Ghidorah and Space Godzilla, and throws us straight into a fully-destructible town. As towers crumble around you and helicopters buzz about like gnats, it's a little like playing Earth Defence Force in reverse.

PREVIEW | We're a bit worried about Godzilla: The Game

However, based on what I played at a recent hands-on preview opportunity, Godzilla is on a worrying trajectory. Whereas Earth Defence Force is a masterpiece disguised as a 'so bad it's good' B-movie, Godzilla is currently so bad it's just... bad... and seems to be asking for a very ambitious amount of money considering its gameplay and production values.

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PREVIEW | F1 2015 has a new engine and is ready to compete

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Codemasters Racing, F1 2015, Games previews, PC games, PS4 games, Racing Games, Xbox One Games

PREVIEW | F1 2015 has a new engine and is ready to compete

F1 2015 has emerged from the pits gleaming and ready to race. Sporting a brand new engine, it's rebuilt from the ground up, both in terms of visuals, content, handling, AI and presentation.

That's a good thing too, because we had to bring out the Safety Car for F1 2014. "To be honest you're best off ignoring it and investigating next year's effort instead," we wrote in our review, criticising its recycled content and lousy GamePad controls. There was fun to be had with the right racing wheel, but it's clear that Codemasters had their work cut out.

Now that we've been able to get hands-on with "next year's effort," I'm delighted to report that F1 2015 is a very different beast. Though there's work to be done, it's clear that Codies are dead-set on finishing in pole position and are well on the way to doing just that.

PREVIEW | F1 2015 has a new engine and is ready to compete

Seeing as we're talking about a racing sim, it's only fitting that we start with the engine. F1 2015 is powered by EGO 3, which is brand new and built entirely from scratch. Every asset is therefore completely original, from the models and textures to the re-recorded engine sounds for each manufacturer and even the race engineer banter, which will now burst forth from your DualShock 4 if playing on PS4. Lighting and frame rate has been boosted across the board with PC and current-gen systems in mind. Booting up the Singapore circuit during a vicious midnight rainstorm, I was keen to put Codies' boasts to the test.

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PREVIEW | Project CARS' elusive Xbox One version has finally appeared - and we've played it

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bandai Namco, PC games, Project CARS, PS4 games, Racing Games, Slightly Mad Studios, Xbox One Games

PREVIEW | Project CARS' elusive Xbox One version has finally appeared - and we've played it

Project CARS has suffered its share of delays and setbacks over the last few months, but it's finally nearing the chequered flag. Slightly Mad Studios' anticipated racer is now locked down for May 8th on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, but even though we've attended plenty of preview events, we've never caught sight of the elusive Xbox One version, let alone tested it.

Until now. Bandai Namco brought the latest build along to Level-Up 2015, where we were able to put it through its paces.

The bad news is that Project CARS will only run at native 900p on Xbox One, but the good news is that it's still a very handsome and surprisingly scalable racer that's shaping up very nicely.

PREVIEW | Project CARS' elusive Xbox One version has finally appeared - and we've played it

Project CARS' handling, as ever, helps to set it apart from the pack. Painstakingly tweaked with input from real racing drivers including Nicholas Hamilton, Oliver James Webb and former Top Gear Stig Ben Collins, every car, track, surface and weather condition feels unique and exceptionally authentic. Thrashing about in a ridiculous supercharged Le Mans prototype feels delightfully nervy as you wrestle to keep control of a twitchy thoroughbred powered by a nuclear reactor, whereas a friendly little Focus RS can be chucked about like nobody's business. Every corner, every bump, has been tested by one of Slightly Mad's trained racing drivers and altered according to what they know happens based on their years of experience.

Though scalable and intuitive, the handling takes a little getting used to if you've been playing a lot of arcade racers, seeing as cars actually handle as they do in real life as opposed to just plugging raw data into the physics engine. The Xbox One's impulse triggers also help connect you to the road, while a quick jab of the D-Pad allows you to tab through some astonishingly comprehensive real-time metrics.

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PREVIEW | One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is the most fun you can have with your hat on

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Game previews, Omega Force, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, PC games, PS Vita games, PS3 games, PS4 games

PREVIEW | One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is the most fun you can have with your hat on

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is going to be fun. Properly, ridiculously, outrageously, magnificently good fun.

How could it not be? As we learned with Pirate Warriors 2, Eiichiro Oda's outlandish characters and the irrepressible personality of the series are a perfect fit for the glorious chaos of the Dynasty Warriors template, allowing us to pulverise hundreds of hapless goons with the same barmy attacks and superhuman abilities we love in the anime.

PREVIEW | One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is the most fun you can have with your hat on

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is going to push that fusion of personality and pulverisation even further on PC, PS3, PS Vita and PS4, adding both new fan-favourite characters, new mechanics, a new storyline and features into the formula while upping the ridiculous factor. Having tested the latest PS4 build and spoken to Executive Game Director Hisashi Koinuma, I can honestly tell you that it was the most fun I've had in ages.

You could even describe it as... "SUUUUUUPER!" But I won't. But it is, at least, so long if the preview build is a taster of things to come.

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One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 uses the power of the PS4 to double the number of on-screen enemies

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Bandai Namco, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, PC games, PS Vita games, PS3 games, PS4 games

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 uses the power of the PS4 to double the number of on-screen enemies

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is set to be fantastic fun. Having played it at Bandai Namco's Level-Up 2015 event last week, I can personally attest to the fact that its ridiculous combat, insane attacks, new gameplay features and anime-inspired visuals left a massive grin on my face. Stay tuned for our full preview later today.

It's coming to PC, PS3 and PS Vita, but Executive Game Director Hisashi Koinuma told me that they've been using the power of the PS4 for more than just shinier visuals when it comes to the current-gen console version.

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PREVIEW | Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is going to super-size the series

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bandai Namco, CyberConnect2, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, PC games, PS4 games, Xbox One Games

PREVIEW | Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is going to super-size the series

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is going to be huge.

I'm not spouting marketing blurb at you or fishing for a box quote here: it's literally enormous. As the first game in the series to launch on current-gen consoles, CyberConnect2 have decided to use the processing horsepower at their disposal for more than just prettier graphics, instead attempting to push the series' gameplay into a radical new direction.

On top of the blistering one-on-one brawls the franchise is famed for, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4's multi-stage battles will let us summon and control characters that are dozens if not hundreds of storeys tall, laying waste to entire forests and towering over the scenery as we take on similarly monstrous opponents in outrageous escalating anime showdowns. Having personally tested two demo builds at Bandai Namco's Level-Up Live preview event, I can confirm that they're on the right track.

PREVIEW | Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is going to super-size the series

Ever wanted to smash a Susano'o-infused Nine Tailed Fox into a mountain with the splintery fists of a massive wood golem? Now's your chance.

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Bandai Namco plans to get into the FPS and sports genres - expect announcements soon

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco plans to get into the FPS and sports genres - expect announcements soon

Last week I attended Bandai Namco's Level-Up 2015 preview event, which allowed me to get hands-on with a slew of upcoming titles on consoles and PC, in a variety of genres. Stay tuned for plenty of preview coverage over the next few days.

However, two genres -- first person shooting and sports -- were not represented at the event or in Bandai Namco's lineup as a whole.. but that's a gap they're keen to fill sooner rather than later.

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Dark Souls II: Scholar Of The First Sin Review | School Of Hard Knocks

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Dark Souls II: Scholar Of The First Sin, From Software, PC games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

Dark Souls II: Scholar Of The First Sin Review | School Of Hard Knocks

Dark Souls II: Scholar Of The First Sin is so much more than a remaster. Not only have From Software brought a masterpiece to current-gen consoles with a huge amount of content, significantly improved visuals and a delightful performance bump, but they've also radically rebalanced it to challenge veterans while giving newcomers a smooth new way into the fearsome franchise.

Be in no doubt: Dark Souls II is still a masterpiece, or more accurately Drangleic is.

Like all of From Software's recent wares, gameplay revolves around exploring and making sense of a truly astonishing three-dimensional space; an initially confusing yet delightfully interlinked series of corridors, zones and shortcuts. Unravelling this complex geometry is the core of the game, ferreting out its secrets and hidden passages while surviving its deadly inhabitants. Dark Souls II channels 8-bit game design by refusing to hold your hand, respecting your ability to experiment, learn from mistakes and collaborate with others, just like the brutally tough games we used to discuss at length in the playground.

Dark Souls II: Scholar Of The First Sin Review | School Of Hard Knocks

What makes Drangleic so memorable, however, is its mournful and sombre tone. Our character is drawn to its ruins like a moth to a flame, a cursed undead thrall seeking solace in a dying civilization. In stark contrast to so many games out there, it's quiet and even serene at times, evoking complex emotions as you wonder how so much gothic beauty could have been brought so low. Which is where Scholar Of The First Sin reveals the first of many major improvements: the visuals.

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