New Nintendo 2DS XL Announced

Nintendo has announced that it will be releasing an New XL version of its 2DS version of the New 3DS XL! It looks slick and nice, sort of like a regular New 3DS XL, but a little smoother.

Here I was thinking they might just get rid of the 3DS family in favor of the Switch. We will have to wait and see what happens though. Look for this new iteration towards the end of July.

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NCG Reviews Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds

 

I am not exactly new to Visual Novels or Otomate games, but Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds is the first title I have picked up in the Hakuoki series, so I can’t really compare and contrast to the previous entries of the series.  I have played a few visual novels before, so this round I came in with a bit more experience and was able to make the best of this game.  Once I figured out the pattern, I wasn’t able to put the game down.

About

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds will be released by Idea Factory May 16, 2017 for the PlayStation Vita/ PlayStation TV.  You can pre-order the special edition bundle for $72.99 or pick it up for the game for $39.99.

Story

You play as Chizuru Yukimura who travels from Edo to Kyoto in order to find her father. Your first day in Kyoto not fruitful and, to make matters worse, you’re attacked by a group of ronin!  If that wasn’t bad enough, you encounter the Shinsengumi.  Sure, they save your life, but they take you hostage and threaten to kill you because you accidentally stumbled on one of their secrets. And so your journey begins! Will you find out why your father disappeared? Who will you fall in love with at the Shinsengumi headquarters?

The story itself is fun to play through.  There’s a nice balance between action, historic drama, romance, and humor.  Depending on the choices you make within the game, the story can drastically change.  Core elements still remain the same. For example,the battles in Kyoto will still happen. How involved you are in each scenario depends on the choices you make throughout the game.  And of course, there’s no shortage on endings.

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Visual

While visual novels are hardly similar to triple A titles in graphics or game play, Kyoto Winds looks beautiful.  There are a variety of back drops that take you to different places the protagonist encounters. Action is portrayed very well with sword slashes and splatters of blood where necessary.  Another interesting plus is the lip flap, gestures, and expressions characters make.  While not on a huge scale of variety, it’s enough to bring the characters to life.  Of course, we all know the reason anyone really wants to pick up this game is the handsomely drawn men.  When you encounter intimate moments between the protagonist and the Shinsengumi men, you get a beautiful cut scene to emphasize the moment.

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Audio

The game has an amazing soundtrack and is used to create the tone of each scene ranging from cheerful to melancholic, and even utilizing silence where necessary.  All audio is based on the classic Japanese sound and puts you in mid/late 1860’s Kyoto; or at least our imaginings of it.  The only major sound effects are footsteps, blood spurts, the clash of swords, and some other minor effects here and there.  Sound effects are used to a minimum, but I appreciate it that way. I think I would have lost my mind if I heard a pouring sound effect each time tea was poured. Mostly because the sound makes me cringe (but that’s a personal problem).

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Game Play

If you have never played a visual novel before, you’re basically just pressing X until you are prompted to make a decision either regarding what to say or the next action you want to take. This is where the “Save” option is your best friend.  Saving every time a prompt comes up lets you go back and Load if you didn’t like the outcome of your choice.  There are plenty of save slots (99 of them!) so you can drop off and resume when and wherever you want to. Or, you can use the Quick Save option.  However, I prefer the old fashion method of saving since I like to jump around the story to check out all possible outcomes.

This title was incredibly fun because there are so many routes that you can take. The more you play, save, and go back the easier it is to find the paths you want to take. Normally, I pick up visual novels after all the walk-through’s have been put up, but not having the resources that lead me in the right direction made the experience that much better. Of course, I got about 3 bad endings but it helped me start to pick and choose the paths I wanted to take and where they would lead me. I have managed three good endings so far, working on my fourth.

Another enjoyable feature about the game is the quick read/auto read options.  They are available if you want to just sit back and read, or just skip through all the stuff you’ve already read before.  One plus about the game is that if you unlock a new scene, the game won’t let you fast forward through it.  This has kept me from passing through multiple scenes on accident and works for the player’s benefit.

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Verdict

PROS: Once you get a feel for the game, you really start to have fun with it. You can predict the actions you need to take to woo over the samurai of your choice, but it isn’t always easy.  The graphics are beautiful, the background music brings the story to life, and the overall story is so much fun.  This isn’t a game you can only play through once; you have to pick it up again, and again..  While the core story remains the same through each play through, there are so many side paths to take that the game feels new each time you encounter them.

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CONS: I might be nit-picking. Yes, I guess I am nit picking.  And here I go:  Chizuru has to pretend to be a boy in order to stay with the Shinsengumi.  Only the captains know about her gender and to spare her from bad rumors so it is decided she must continue the facade.   Chizuru tries to hide her gender, however, sometimes it’s obvious to most characters around her.  Now, I don’t know Japanese, but I know enough about the language to understand what certain words imply.  I smacked my head multiple times when characters referred to her as “chan” upon first meeting her and then about five minutes later reveal that they knew she was a girl, and then my character is… surprised?  They knew five minutes ago, specifically calling you by the female honorific. I’m not sure if this is a translation issue, or writing from the developers end, or if I completely misinterpreted how –chan can be used.  If anyone has some insight, let me know.

I guess while I’m nit-picking, some translation of character paths are a little bit off.  “Okita” was accidentally referred to as “Okida”, and during Iba’s ending, there were a few places that didn’t make much sense.  But, not enough to ruin the context of the scene/story.

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Aside from my nit-picking, I think the only major con of this game is it can get repetitive.  If you get two bad endings, it’s pretty easy to feel disheartened and uninterested in the game.

 I had so much fun playing through the story and even though I got a bad endings I wasn’t so upset because the samurai action was so much fun.   The down side of the game is that it certainly can feel repetitive when you play it through for the nth time, but the fast read options make it easier to skip through so you can make it to the juicy parts.  Getting a good ending is somewhat difficult, but rewarding when you get them. Otomate fans, visual novel enthusiasts, and anyone who likes a good story should pick up this game.

Will you be picking up this title? Are you a fan of the Hakuoki series? Who is your favorite character?  Let me know in the comments!

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“Hover:Revolt of Gamers” is pure Jet Set Radio Nostalgia, and will be coming to Steam May 31

Inspired from hits like Jets Set Radio, and Mirrors edge, comes a new title from Midgar Studio and Fusty Game, Hover: Rovolt of Gamers. A title which takes players in a futuristic open-world  game full of amazing jumps and high speeds.

You can check out some main features, screenshots and trailer below.


Key Features

● An Amazing City: Hover City is a huge futuristic city full of colors. Its buildings offer breathtaking vertical playgrounds.

● Total Freedom: Explore the open-world city from its skyline to the underground while doing “parkour”, tricks and high-speed races.

● Build Your Team: Unlock 9 playable characters and improve their skills to create the

perfect team.

● Various Gameplay: The core action is based on nervous races and amazing tricks, but the game also offers many alternative ways to play from stealth missions to sport matches with friends.

● Choose Your Experience: Instantly switch from single player to multiplayer, whenever you want. Play in first or third-person, or activate the auto camera that mixes both and offers a dynamic experience.

● Create Your Own Challenges: Without leaving the game, use a very simple editor to create your own challenges playable in solo or multiplayer.

Hover: Revolt of Gamers is set to hit Steam on May 31 and consoles later on down the line.

Check out Five Minutes of Gameplay for Marvel vs Capcom Infinite

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite had a huge announcement yesterday, introducing some returning characters, new characters and a release date.

As of today, gameplay footage has hit the internet showing off five minutes of gameplay with the following characters:
Hawkeye and Hulk versus Thor and Strider Hiryu, Chris Redfield and Hulk versus Strider Hiryu and Ultron, Ultron and Chris versus Thor and Chun-Li, and Hulk and Chun-Li versus Hawkeye and Strider Hiryu.

You can check out the footage below or by clicking this link.
Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite is due out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 19.

Playstation Store Update April 25, 2017

Pre-orders

  • Human Fall Flat ($14.99)(out 5-9)
  • Prey ($59.99)(out 5-5)

PSVR Games

  • Bandit Six: Comnined Arms ($12.99)
  • OASIS GAMES HORROR VR BUNDLE ($19.99)
  • OASIS GAMES SHOOTER VR BUNDLE ($24.99)
  • Statik ($19.99)(free demo)
  • Symphony of the Machine ($19.99)
  • HeroCade ($14.99)
  • VR Invaders – Complete Edition ($17.99)

PS4 Games

  • ACA NEOGEO ART OF FIGHTING ($7.99)
  • Deathstate ($9.99)
  • Deformers ($29.99)
  • Digerati Bundle 3 Pack Part 2 ($27.99/PS+ $9.51)
  • DRAGON QUEST HEROES II™ Explorer’s Edition ($59.99)
  • Eventide: Slavic Fable ($9.99)
  • Farming Simulator 15: Complete Edition ($49.99)
  • Games of Glory (Free)
  • Outlast 2 ($29.99)
  • Marvel Heroes Omega – Avengers Founder’s Pack ($59.99)
  • Marvel Heroes Omega – Deadpool Founder’s Pack ($19.99)
  • Marvel Heroes Omega – Guardians of the Galaxy Founder’s Pack ($39.99)
  • Marvel Heroes Omega – Spider-Man Founder’s Pack ($19.99)
  • Marvel Heroes Omega – War Machine Founder’s Pack (PS+ Exclusive $16.99)
  • RTK13: Fame and Strategy Expansion Pack Bundle ($69.99)
  • Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment ($9.99)
  • Sniper Ghost warrior 3 Season pass Edition ($59.99)
  • Syberia 3 ($49.99)
  • Valhalla Hills – Definitive Edition ($39.99)
  • What Remains of Edith Finch ($19.99)

PS4 Add-on Content

  • 3on3 Freestyle PS+ April Bonus Pack (Free)
  • Deformners Strand pakc s9$2.99 and up to 19.99)
  • DRAGON BALL XENOVERSE 2 Dragon Ball Super Pack 3 ($9.99)
  • Games of Glory Soldi packs ($0.99 and up to $49.99)
  • Games of Glory All-Stars pack ($29.99)
  • LittleBigPlanet Little Nightmares Level Creator Kit ($2.99)
  • Marvel Heroes Omega Packs ($4.99 and up to $99.99)
  • Minecraft Glide Track Pack Season Pass ($9.99)
  • Minecraft Glide Beasts Track Pack ($2.99)
  • Persona 5 DLC (Free and up)
  • Pure Hold’em Poker 100% Hemp Card Deck ($1.99)(Out 4-20)
  • Ride 2 Free Bikes Pack 6 (Free)
  • RTK13 DLC (Free and up)
  • Sniper Elite 4 – Deathstorm part 2: Infiltration ($6.99)
  • Sniper Elite 4 – Urban Assault Expansion pack ($7.99)
  • Street Fighter V 2017 Capcom Pro Tour Pass ($24.99)
  • The Forgotten Land ($4.99)
  • The Walking Dead: A New Frontier – Episode 4 ($4.99)
  • Watch Dogs 2 Mega Pack ($19.99)

PS3 Add-on Content

  • LittleBigPlanet Little Nightmares Level Creator Kit ($2.99)
  • Minecraft Glide Track Pack Season Pass ($9.99)
  • Minecraft Glide Beasts Track Pack ($2.99)
  • Persona 5 DLC (Free and up)
  • World of Tanks Heavy Metal Hero FV305 Loaded Bundle ($46.99)
  • World of Tanks Heavy Metal Hero FV305 Ultimate Bundle ($52.99)

PS Vita Games

  • The Legend of Dark Witch ($9.99)
  • LittleBigPlanet Little Nightmares Level Creator Kit ($2.99)
  • WeatherNation (Free)

PlayStation Plus Specials

PlayStation 4

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – $29.99
  • Chivalry: Medieval Warfare Ultimate Edition – $8.99
  • Destiny: The Collection – $35.99
  • Destiny: The Taken King DLC – $9.99
  • Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition – $29.99
  • Dirt Rally – $17.99
  • Doom – $29.99
  • F1 2016 – $29.99
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – $9.99
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Collector’s Edition – $29.99
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward DLC – Price Not Shown
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Collector’s Edition DLC – Price Not Shown
  • Final Fantasy XIV Online – $20.99
  • Grand Theft Auto V – $35.99
  • Grand Theft Auto V + Great White Shark Cash Card – $45.59
  • Grand Theft Auto V + Megalodon Shark Cash Card – $67.99
  • Grand Theft Auto V + Whale Shark Cash Card – $49.49
  • Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator – $14.99
  • Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris – $4.99
  • Mortal Kombat XL – $23.99
  • NBA 2K17 – $35.99
  • NBA 2K17 Kobe Bryant Legend Edition Gold – $49.99
  • NBA 2K17 Legend Edition – $39.99
  • Paragon Epic Pack DLC – $29.99
  • Paragon Prime Pack DLC – $17.99
  • Rocket League – $11.99
  • Rocket League DLC: Aftershock, Back to the Future, Batman v Superman, Chaos Run, Esper, Marauder, Masamune, NBA Flag Pack, Proteus, Revenge of the Battle-Cars, Supersonic Fury, Triton, Vulcan – 40% off each
  • Skullgirls 2nd Encore – $4.99
  • Street Fighter V – $19.99
  • Street Fighter V Deluxe Edition – $39.99
  • Styx: Shards of Darkness – $39.99
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 3 – $7.49
  • Titanfall 2 Deluxe Edition – $39.99
  • Titanfall 2 – $29.99
  • Umbrella Corps – $7.49
  • Umbrella Corps Deluxe Edition – $9.99
  • Warhammer: The End Times Vermintide – $11.99
  • WWE 2K17 – $29.99
  • WWE 2K17 Digital Deluxe – $44.99

PlayStation Vita

  • Skullgirls 2nd Encore – $4.99

Tom Clancy Sale (Sale Price, PlayStation Plus Price)

PlayStation 4

  • Ghost Recon Wildlands Deluxe Edition – $58.09, $51.09
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands Gold Edition – $79.99, $69.99
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands – $50.99, $44.99
  • Rainbow Six Siege – $29.99, $24.99
  • Rainbow Six Siege Complete Edition – $69.99, $59.99
  • Rainbow Six Siege Year 2 Gold Edition – $55.99, $47.99
  • The Division – $29.99, $24.99
  • The Division and Rainbow Six Siege Bundle – $51.09, $41.99
  • The Division Gold Edition – $40.49, $31.49
  • The Division Season Pass – $23.99, $19.99

PlayStation 3

  • EndWar – $6.99, $4.99
  • Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 – $6.99, $4.99
  • Ghost Recon Future Soldier – $6.99, $4.99
  • Rainbow Six Vegas – $6.99, $4.99
  • Rainbow Six Vegas 2 – $6.99, $4.99
  • Splinter Cell Blacklist – $7.49, $5.99
  • Splinter Cell Blacklist Ultimate Edition – $9.99, $7.99
  • Splinter Cell Chaos Theory HD – $5.24, $3.74
  • Splinter Cell Double Agent – $6.99, $4.99
  • Splinter Cell HD – $5.24, $3.74
  • Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow HD – $5.24, $3.74

PlayStation Vita

  • EndWar (PSP) – $3.49, $2.49
  • Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (PSP) – $6.99, $4.99
  • Ghost Recon Predator (PSP) – $6.99, $4.99
  • Rainbow Six Vegas (PSP) – $6.99, $4.99
  • Splinter Cell Essentials (PSP) – $3.49, $2.49

New Release Deals (Sale Price, PS+ Price)

  • Digerati Bundle 3 Pack Part 2: Uncanny Valley, Vertical Drop Heroes HD, Slain Back from Hell (PS4) – $13.99, $9.51
  • Marvel Heroes Omega: War Machine Founder’s Pack (PS4) – $16.99 (PS+ exclusive)

Other Deals (Sale Price, PS+ Price)

  • 8DAYS (PS4) – $5.99, $5.49
  • AeternoBlade (PS4) – $7.49
  • AeternoBlade (PS Vita) – $4.49
  • Albedo: Eyes From Outer Space (PS4) – $4.49
  • Alien Shooter (PS4) – $3.19
  • Alien Shooter (PS3) – $3.19
  • Aqua Moto Racing Utopia (PS4) – $11.99
  • Cast of the Seven Godsends Redux (PS4) – $2.09
  • Crazy Strike Bowling EX (PS4) – $6.49
  • Dex (PS4, PS Vita) – $13.39, $11.99
  • Doodle God, Doodle Devil & Doodle Kingdom (PS4) – $5.99
  • Doodle God, Doodle Devil & Doodle Kingdom (PS3) – $5.99
  • Doodle God, Doodle Devil & Doodle Kingdom (PS Vita) – $5.99
  • EVE: Valkyrie (PSVR) – $29.99
  • EVE: Gunjack (PSVR) – $3.99
  • HoPiKo (PS4) – $3.49
  • Horse Racing 2016 (PS4) – $9.74
  • Late Shift (PS4) – $11.24, $9.99
  • Leave the Nest (PSVR) – $10.39 (PS+)
  • Mahjong World Contest (PS Vita) – $1.24
  • Pinball Arcade: Last Action Hero (PS4) – $4.49, $3.99
  • Pinball Arcade: Last Action Hero (PS3) – $4.49, $3.99
  • Pinball Arcade: Last Action Hero (PS Vita) – $4.49, $3.99
  • Pinball Arcade: Last Action Hero Pro (PS4) – $7.19, $6.39
  • Pinball Arcade: Last Action Hero Pro (PS3) – $7.19, $6.39
  • Pinball Arcade: Last Action Hero Pro (PS Vita) – $7.19, $6.39
  • Royal Defense (PS Vita) – $1.49
  • Semispheres (PS4) – $7.49, $6.69
  • Sublevel Zero Redux (PS4) – $13.99
  • Sword Coast Legends (PS4) – $6.99
  • VR Ping Pong (PSVR) – $10.49
  • Wanderjahr (PS4) – $7.49
  • Wanderjahr (PS Vita) – $4.99
  • Warhammer: The End Times Vermintide Digital Value Pack (PS4) – $39.99

Freebies

  • 3on3 FreeStyle: April PlayStation Plus Bonus Pack (PS4) – PS+ exclusive
  • Dark Souls III: Transitory Lands Theme (PS4)
  • Eventide: Slavic Fable Demo (PS4)
  • Games of Glory (PS4)
  • Persona 5 Swimsuit Set (PS4)
  • Persona 5 Swimsuit Set (PS3)
  • Portal Knights Demo (PS4)
  • Statik Demo (PSVR)
  • Vikings: Wolves of Midgard Demo (PS4)
  • WeatherNation (PS Vita)