All posts by Andrew A. (Frost)

NCG Review – Guilty Gear -Strive- (PS4, PS5, and PC)

Title: Guilty Gear™ -Strive-
Release: June 11, 2021 (Deluxe and Ultimate Editions on June 8, 2021)*
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: Arc System Works
Genre: Fighting
Platforms: PlayStation®4, PlayStation®5, Steam® (PC)

Discover the Smell of the Game

Guilty Gear is a series known for its in depth combo system, unique heavy metal themed characters, and all around fast-pace game play. Two years after the last installment, Guilty Gear -Strive– was announced to the world and is introducing a slower-paced game play for new players to join the battle. Arc System Works showed off a trailer that stunned the Fighting Game Community back in Summer 2019 teasing the new addition to the series and fans were excited to get their hands on a new Guilty Gear title as the last game was fading out. Now, after two years, two open betas and a few delays –Strive– is finally here!

Presentation/ Visuals

Arc System Works is GODLIKE when it comes to pulling off unique visuals, simple menus, and an all around amazing presentation in the fighting game genre. Arc System work does not disappoint with Guilty Gear -Strive-. It’s simple and easy to navigate menus and lobbies in the immersive menus.

The graphics during game play are also stunning. In Battle, although there is so much going on with the character animation and battleground, it does not feel chaotic while playing a match. Despite the particle effects as well as the moving camera angles, the game looks amazing. In addition, the story mode looks like you are watching an anime with smooth frames and animation. All in all, the visuals are stunning from beginning to “EDGE”!

Story

The story of Guilty Gear -Strive- is just as incredible as the previous titles. Join Sol Badguy and the 15 unique characters to finish the story that was 20 years in the making with stunning graphics and English dubbed cut scenes. Or, in Japanese with subs if that’s more your style.

A few new characters are introduced and we have a final confrontation with The Man, the mastermind responsible for the destruction of the world. From start to finish, players will find themselves jumping into over 4 hours of straight cut scenes with no game play, and will instead be presented with a deep and unique story that will have players wanting more. The story is the usual Guilty Gear anime style plot line and doesn’t fall flat, the game also explains the plot and characters in the main menu under the GG World section, so if new players need to know what is going on . I really enjoyed the unique personalities of each character as the story progressed, and the dubbing was actually not that bad. Players will definitely enjoy the story and the -Strive-.

Audio

The OST is very different this time around. Instead of amazing metal instrumentals iconic to the Guilty Gear series, they’ve added vocal tracks to each characters theme. The tracks are not bad but they are very distracting when playing each match. I feel it lacks the creative “oomph” of previous OSTs, detracts from overall feel of the game, and deters from the heavy metal foundation Guilty Gear is known for. To an extent it does match the current title, but it’s not something I want to keep playing in the background or rock out to on car rides. The plus side? You have the ability to unlock tracks from past titles.

The audio of the story line, however, works well for the game. Both English and Japanese options are available and the dub fits each character and the overall feel of the game.

Gameplay

Ok, now to read about what really matters for the game: the mechanics and how good it feels. First, the game play is a lot slower than any Guilty Gear title that has come before it. This is both good and bad depending on how the development goes through the lifespan of the game.

Game play has taken a step backwards in order for the game to be more accessible to new players. Removing air combos and long combos altogether, the game wants players to learn how to do player match ups and to learn all of the simple mechanics to progress and get better at the game. One of the main mechanics of the game that will take new players to get use to is the Roman cancels, There are four types of Roman cancels: all are set for defensive, offensive, and recovery. The best way to learn these would be to do the mission modes where the game shows you how to do each one and when it will work best. The Roman Cancel is one of the main ways to make combos and, with the slower game play, make the player strategize how and when to use them to make combos work or to get out of sticky situations.

The next difference from other Guilty Gear titles is that the air dashes, that made older games so fast paced, does not exist in this game. The mechanic has changed to focus on neutral (players being in the state of no attack) game play. This makes the game feel more like Street Fighter but with a small twist. The game play is addicting and fun but it is missing the fast pace dodging and blocking that made Guilty Gear stand out compared to other titles.

What I can say is that the game is unique and I feel like the Fighting Game Community will make this game become more unique, as the developer intended. Both new and old players of the series will enjoy the accessibility of the game play.

Verdict

-Strive- is not what I expected, and after beta testing to where the game is at now, I can say I can accept the game of Guilty Gear -Strive- for what it is and I can see both fighting game players and causal players enjoy where the series is at. I give Guilty Gear -Strive- a 9 out of 10. The game is fun, addicting, the presentation is amazing, and the soundtrack is what a fan would want.

Be sure to pick up the title for PS4,PS5 or PC.

Review copy was provided from Arc System Work, and was written by two NCG Staff Members

Guilty Gear -Strive- Ultimate Edition Exclusive Bonus “Digital Soundtrack” Preview Trailer

Arc System Works has released a video introducing some of the tracks included on the Digital Soundtrack included with the Guilty Gear ™ -Strive-Ultimate Edition, showcasing the rock-influenced compositions of series creator Daisuke Ishiwatari.

The Digital Soundtrack consists of 55 tracks, with 40 background instrumental tracks and 15 vocal tracks, including the -Strive- theme song “Smell of the Game.”

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenged announced

Publisher Dotemu has announced a new brawler, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. This title seems to go back to the roots of the TMNT games, with the sprite work style and beat’em up/ brawler genre they were known for.

The game is set to release on console and PC at a later date

You can read more on the press release below, as well as check out the trailer;

Heroes in a Half Shell

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge features groundbreaking gameplay rooted in timeless classic brawling mechanics, brought to you by the beat ’em up experts at Dotemu (Streets of Rage 4) and Tribute Games. Bash your way through gorgeous pixel art environments and slay tons of hellacious enemies with your favorite Turtle, each with his own skills and moves – making each run unique! Choose a fighter, use radical combos to defeat your opponents and experience intense combats loaded with breathtaking action and outrageous ninja abilities. Stay sharp as you face off against Shredder and his faithful Foot Clan alone, or grab your best buds and play with up to four players simultaneously!

Turtle Boys Don’t Cut Shredder No Slack

With Bebop and Rocksteady assaulting Channel 6 and stealing super gnarly devices to support Krang and Shredder’s latest twisted plan, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge sees the Turtles battling across a righteous range of timeless Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles locations. From Manhattan and Coney Island, to city rooftops and dank sewers, help the fearsome foursome trounce Foot Soldiers, Triceraton Warriors, and Rock Troops all the way to Dimension X!

Turtle Power

Enjoy stunning full-color pixel art graphics and a vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vibe that will rock you straight back to the awesome 80s. Every character, vehicle, weapon, item, and background is directly inspired by the 1987 TV show, making you feel like you hopped into the television — with a dope mix of killer humor and action-packed adventures!

Key Features

  • Gnarly game design takes you back to the ’80s.
  • Beautiful full-color pixel art graphics.
  • Old-school gameplay enhanced with super-fresh mechanics.
  • Up to four players simultaneously.
  • Play with iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters and vehicles in diverse gameplay options.
  • Radical new story mode.
  • And totally more to come!

NCG REVIEW – SNK VS CAPCOM: THE MATCH OF THE MILLENNIUM (SWITCH)

This title was given to the NCG team for review purposes

OVERVIEW

Back in 1999, the handheld system the NeoGeo Pocket Color by SNK was released. SNK is known for their reputable arcade titles, sprite work, and addicting gameplay. SNK, at the time, released a number of ports and original titles for the handheld system. These title’s sold pretty well over seas, but did not gain much attraction in North America, which might be why many Westerners have never heard of the handheld, or even SNK VS CAPCOM: THE MATCH OF THE MILLENNIUM – a spin off title from the Capcom vs SNK Series, which was a big hit in the arcades.

SNK VS CAPCOM: THE MATCH OF THE MILLENNIUM had a lot of positive feedback from reviewers back when it was launched on the handheld, but we can see if it matches up to modern standards, if the game has aged well enough to meet the expectations of an audience new to the Fighting Game Community (FGC), and players that just enjoy old fighting game titles.

Presentation

When turning on SNK VS CAPCOM: THE MATCH OF THE MILLENNIUM players will be greeted to welcoming fists! The nostalgic presentation of classic SNK/CAPCOM fighting title screens of the mid to late 90’s, awesome animations, and sprite work immediate jumps out at the player. The title sequence has aged pretty well, and this is the same when it comes to actual gameplay. The animation of each fighter represents them well for a handheld from the era, and has not disappointed expectations for a re-release .

That does not mean there aren’t some flaws with the visuals for this port. The main gripe I had is that the game has a small aspect ratio, and the default borders that are supposed to replicate the Neo Geo Pocket Color. Sure you can take these off, and fix the aspect ratio, but I feel like they should of had it full screen to start with, especially since the Switch has such a large screen.

Sound

Not much to say other than the sound and music score is excellent for the title since it pulled music from a lot of SNK and Capcom titles in the form of chiptunes. Every hit feels good because of the SFX’s, and with that mixed with the music score. you can lose yourself to some familiar songs.

Gameplay

Gameplay is actually fluent and feels great for this title. It only offers two buttons, one for punch and one for kick, but the button response are fast. Best of all, the game has a tag team mechanic, which some veteran players will be accustomed to. With this mechanic, players can switch between two of the available characters from the SNK and Capcom games, just like the Marvel vs Capcom series, as well as a few unlockable characters.

Verdict

All in all the game has aged pretty well, everyone who enjoyed SNK and Capcom games will love the mashup. I recommend this title to anyone who has missed it when it was released, as well as anyone who is just a fan of the fighting game genre. My score for this port is an 8 out of 10, mainly because this title is not for everyone, but catered toward long-time fans.

SNK VS CAPCOM: THE MATCH OF THE MILLENNIUM is avaiable now for the Nintendo Switch.

Be sure to leave comments below and let us know what you think of the title, or if you will be adding this game to your collection.

Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack is Launching April 22, 2021

Publisher Koei Tecmo America has revealed Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack will be out this year for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC.

This trilogy will include Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX, Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey DX, and Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX.

You can check out the announcement trailer, screenshots and more info from press release below;

KOEI TECMO America and developer GUST Studios are proud to reveal the upcoming Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack, slated for launch on the Apr. 22, 2021 for the Nintendo Switch™ system, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, and Windows PC via Steam®.   The three games: Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX, Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey DX, and Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX, will come packed with a large amount of the previously released DLC for the titles, as well as all-new content for the DX versions — including a special digital artbook, photo modes, and the option to speed-up battles. This release also marks the first time that Atelier Sophie and Atelier Firis will be playable on the Nintendo Switch™, enabling players to enjoy these adventures at home or on the go. The Atelier Mysterious Trilogy will be available for purchase as individual titles or together in a specially priced Deluxe Pack containing all three games. 

The first title, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX, follows the adventures of young novice alchemist Sophie Neuenmuller, who discovers she is the owner of an enigmatic book imbued with a soul. This Mysterious Book seems to hold the secrets to the art of alchemy, and as Sophie experiments with alchemy throughout the story, she unravels the book’s forgotten memories and eventually sets out to uncover the strange tale of its origin. The DX version of this game includes a brand-new coming-of-age story for Sophie, as she struggles to step into the shoes of her late grandmother – the town’s reliable alchemist.  

Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey DX is the second entry in the ‘Mysterious’ saga, following the adventures of the enthusiastic Firis Mistlud and her loving older sister Liane Mistlud. The sisters have lived their entire lives in the isolated town of Ertona, where Firis uses her unique ability to see where material crystals are buried. By way of a fateful encounter, Firis learns of the Alchemy Exam and decides to take her first step into the outside world, setting off on a grand journey to become a certified alchemist and discover the mysteries that life has to offer! The DX version of the game adds four new vehicles and several exploration items to improve efficiency and speed, as well as seven new quests that lead to unlocking the powerful new foe Palmyra.  

The gripping conclusion to the MysteriousTrilogy, Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX, follows the tale of alchemist twins — the reserved but caring Lydie Marlen, and the eccentric and carefree Suelle Marlen. The young twins work alongside their father at the family atelier, but due to his inexperience in alchemy, they rarely see any customers. While working hard to hone their skills, the duo uncovers a mysterious looking painting, and as they reach out to investigate, the girls are drawn inside a world bountiful with rare materials perfect for alchemy! This fateful discovery is just the beginning of the twin’s adventure, leading them to their joint goal — to run the best atelier in the country! The DX version of the game introduces a new painting that connects Lydie and Suelle to the world of Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists. In order to help Lady Nelke develop the city, the twins will have to embark on new missions and fight against perilous new enemies!