Tag Archives: PlayStation 4

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!

SNK has announced Team Hero for KOF XV

SNK has released new screenshots as well as a new trailer for The King of Fighters XV, welcoming back Benimaru Nikaido.

The three playable characters, Benimaru Nikaido, Meitekun and Shun’ei have been revealed to be “Team Hero.”

You can check out the trailer, screenshots, more information on “Team Hero” below;

Benimaru Nikaido – Born into a rich family and raised by his Japanese father and American mother, this shooting star takes fighting to a shocking level. His slender frame enhances his electrostatics and his chiseled legs (built from years of shoot boxing) allow him to land kicks that hit like bolts of lightning. During this tournament, Benimaru’s friend and rival, Kyo Kusanagi, forces him into a position where he must watch over Shun’ei and Meitenkun.

Shun’ei – Though young, Shun’ei is a master manipulator of illusions. Shortly after mysterious hands form around his body and he is disowned by his parents, Shun’ei falls under the wing of legendary martial arts master Tung Fu Rue, the likes of which teaches him how to come to grips with his new-found powers. Following the defeat of a strange being known as Verse, Shun’ei continues his training in an effort to better control his powers. He enters the tournament with his friend Meitenkun to further push his abilities to the limit.

Meitenkun – With pillow in hand, this sleepy young fighter is a master of the hidden martial arts technique Hyakkyokuminminken, or Eight Extremities Slumber Fist. He considers his mentor Tung Fu Rue and fellow disciple/best friend Shun’ei his family. Many think Meitenkun is Tung’s secret weapon, as the extent of his explosive power and technique is a mystery to all.

The King of Fighter XV will release in 2021, platforms have not been announced.

NCG Review – Persona 5 Royal

I remember the teaser trailer: the same cast, but a new female character? Would the game get a release with a female protagonist like Person 3? Would Yuusuke finally be my partner in romance?!  Most of us were likely pretty disappointed to find out that the re-release of Persona 5 would not include a female protagonist, but instead, a new character for your team.

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I can see why a female protagonist would not work out for a variety of reasons; the entire story would need to be overhauled and that may have been more work than the team wanted. For example, the Kamoshida arc just would not work with a female protagonist because his character would address the female protagonist differently. Kamoshida would need a complete overhaul and the initial bonds between characters would not make sense. However, that is purely my personal opinion.

The real question is, would it be worth it to pick up the game just to have a new character on your team?

Story

For those new to the series, Persona 5 follows the Protagonist and his group of friends as they infiltrate Palaces (places of an individuals distorted desire) and force corrupted people to have a change of heart – confess to their bad deeds. The player maintains a regular life, going to school, taking exams, working part time, etc. (basically, however you want to play) while infiltrating palaces after school.

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Persona 5 Royal switches up the story quite a bit. The new character appears in the beginning and her role in the game starts to reveal itself. For the most part, the core of the story is the initial release of P5, but there is a variety of additions on the side. If you played the game before, you will be able to identify where the story goes off track to fit the characters in. If you are new to the game, you would not be able to tell the difference.

Fortunately, the female character is not the only new character in the game. We also have a chance to meet Jose, the white haired robot-boy who resides in the Thieves Den and Mementos as well as some other faces.

Gameplay

I will be honest; I was not interested in picking up Persona 5 Royal because I was not up for playing the game again. My first play through took me 1 year and 100+ hours before beating the game, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to fit this into my schedule (I really do wish I had that sort of time to dedicate to games!) However, the new features added to the game are worth another play through.

P5 Royal has eliminated many things that I found downright annoying in the first game. For starters, when a Shadow is defeated, I can skip the entire results screen animation. My original play through, I mashed X in hope that the game would just go… a little bit faster… Although commentary from Morgana can really get on my nerves, it is now helpful when it comes to bargaining with Shadows. I usually went in not knowing which way to respond. Morgana gives you a hint to the temperament of a Shadow so you can better guess how to get them to join your team – without resorting to one of the various walkthroughs. I also hated the limitations Morgana had on your actions at night. Rather than only being able to sleep after visiting a Palace/Mementos, the protagonist has options that expand the character skills in the cafe before going to sleep. This is helpful when it comes to building skills since visiting a Palace/Mementos is basically your activity for the entire day in the original version.

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Battles have been modified to encourage you to use the baton pass. I never used this feature in my first play through because the button to trade off was not so easily accessible. And even if it was, I did not have much motivation to use it. And bullet usage! I never used my gun because ammo ran out too fast and it was basically, pointless.  Bullets re-load and you’re no longer wandering through the palaces ammo-less.

The game has also added special Shadows that act like bombs. Defeat them and they explode, damaging the surrounding Shadows. The battles are strategic, but also too easy.

The Velvet room also has an additional challenge mode. The protagonist and team battle personas for prizes, aiming to get a high score for more in game item swag.

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The Thieves Den is a side location to kill time. You can view videos and other achievements. This part is not that exciting, but the part I do like is playing Tycoon. Tycoon is a card game you can play with the other characters. So far, I have spent an absurd amount of time trying to master the game.  The more you progress, more things get added to the Thieves Den.

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The new character, Jose, mentioned above also adds more to Mementos. Reflecting back, there were many things I did not care for in the original release. The additions bring us back and add a little more to the tedium. I did not enjoy going through Mementos. The collector in me needed to unlock all sections of the map for hidden treasures, grind for cash, and level up, but the player side just wanted the story to progress. Jose brings more activities to Mementos by asking the protagonist to collect flowers. X amount of flowers will buy special items and each of the items are definitely worthwhile! SP replenishers help when you want to grind through a castle.

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More characters means more social links means more side stories and more persona types to unlock which means there are new skills you can use throughout the game! P5: Royal gives you so much new content that while you are comfortable with the interface and know what you need to do, the game still feels “new”.

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Audio/Graphics

I cannot say I have noticed much difference in audio in and graphics. The game, overall, maintains its attractive style, snazzy UI, and P5 soundtrack.

Verdict

Pros: There is so much new content to the game; it is worth going back, going down old routes, but also visiting new ones. P5 Royal removes all of the mechanics that felt tedious and annoying from the original release, making a second play through (or even a first play through) more enjoyable.

Cons: Some of the new additions to the game do not really do anything. I like the addition of Jose and the Thieves Den, but his role does not really do much. It’s the same game, but with more things added to it.  If you’re not a huge fan, a second play through may not be desired.

I would rate this a 9/10. At its core, Persona 5 is a fantastic game. It was still fun to play, all of the things I hated, mechanic wise, were removed, and you get another chance to play through the game and make different decisions!

Score

Have you picked up P5 Royal? Do you plan to? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

NCG Review – AI: Somnium Files (Switch, PC, PS4)

Basic Info

“The mind never lies…

In a near-future Tokyo, Special Agent Kaname Date is on the case of a mysterious serial killer. Date must investigate crime scenes as well as dreams on the hunt for clues. From the mind of Kotaro Uchikoshi (Zero Escape series director), with character design by the Yusuke Kozaki (NO MORE HEROES, Fire Emblem series), a thrilling neo-noir detective adventure is about to unfold.”

TITLE AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES
RELEASE DATE Digital (PSN, NSW, STEAM): September 17, 2019
Retail (PS4, NSW) : September 24, 2019
PLATFORM(S) PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch™, Steam® (PC)
PRICE Standard Edition: $59.99/ €59.99

Special Agent Edition: $89.99/ €99.99

PLAYER(S) 1 player
GENRE Adventure
WEBSITE http://spike-chunsoft.com/ai | Steam Store
RATING ESRB: M/ PEGI: 18 / USK: 16
LANGUAGE(S) English/Traditional Chinese text, Japanese audio/English audio
DEVELOPER Spike Chunsoft, Co., Ltd.
COPYRIGHT ©Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Licensed to and Published by Spike Chunsoft, Inc.

Story

A woman’s body is found with multiple stab wounds and missing her left eye.  She is bound to a merry-go-round in a long abandon amusement park. When the main character, Kaname Date, arrives he immediately recognizes the woman. Shoko Nadami, the ex-wife of his close friend and mother to the young girl he is housing.

You mission? Solve the mysteries around this murder. Can you find the truth behind the incident and capture the killer?90

Throughout the game you play as Kaname Date.  With no memories from 6 years prior and missing his left eye, Kaname Date encounters Boss.  Boss helps Date get hired at the Metro Police as a detective in the Advanced Brain Investigation Squad (ABIS) and replaces his left eye with Aiba, an artificial intelligence directly wired to his brain.  Aiba, who has been with Date for 6 years, assists him with his work as a detective by providing him with instant information, x ray vision, the ability to see long distances, and predict actions that will get Date out of some sticky situations.   Aiba also acts as Date’s avatar when he needs to “Psync” into another person’s consciousness within Somnium (the subconscious world of another character).  Along with Aiba, Date investigates Shoko’s murder to find her killer.c00

There are many twists and turns as you meet new characters and learn their connection and/or involvement in the murder. One story line, based on your choices in Somnium, will play out in a completely different way compared to another route.  Some characters will live in one line, and some characters will die in another.  Can you make it to the “true” ending?

Gameplay

AI: Somnium Files is a mash-up of visual novel and puzzle game.  The basic story line carries core elements of a visual novel, however, rather than reading text on the screen you’re given an opportunity to interact with the room and characters around you. This is all presented to you in a limited way (your character cannot get up and walk around the room or explore new areas on your own), but you have the ability to look around you and take in the environment.01

In additional to visual-novel elements, you’ll be presented with the ability to “psync”.  The concept of this is diving into the sub consciousness of another character and unlock a repressed/hidden memory, which you will need to do in order to further your investigation.  During the Psync, you need to solve puzzles to find the secret hidden in a characters sub consciousness.  In order to solve the puzzle you interact, through Aiba, with the items in an area.  Unlike the limited presentation of the “investigation” aspect of the story, you can control Aiba and move her through the Somnium space.  How you interact with the objects is the key to unlocking the “mental blocks” put in place.  A Psync can only last for 6 minutes (game time), but each interaction you make with an object depletes the remaining time you have.  There are TIMIEs you can use which will decrease the amount of time spent on an action but there are also Negative TIMIEs which will increase the time for your next interaction.  Interactions with the objects are not obvious and you’ll end up burning through time to find the correct interaction.  Fortunately, you get 3 retries but sometimes finding the right order of interaction will take you more than 3 attempts.  There are some actions you perform that will have a Negative TIMIE in order to progress so on your next action so you need to figure out how to maximize the use of your time.10

How you complete the puzzles in Somnium determines the path of story.  Based on which “Mental locks” you open, the story will proceed down that path. Not every Somnium puzzle has separate paths, but ones that have two will lead you down a different story line.AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES_20190417131431

What really sets this game apart from similar titles is that you do not have to repeat the entire story to take a different path in the game.  Instead, you can go back to a “psync” and replay it. This increases the replay value and doesn’t make the game feel so tedious, which tends to happen with visual novels if you don’t know where and when to save.

Visuals/Graphics and Audio

Most visual novels can be very bland and fall flat when it comes to animation and graphics, however, the all dialogue of the game is voiced over which makes the story that much more engaging.  Characters are also animated when talking, moving their arms, making facial expressions and simple gestures, and this is a nice touch since it brings the characters to life.13

Verdict

Pros: Unlike most visual novels, the game doesn’t fall flat.  The story line itself is enough to keep the player intrigued and curious to know all the secrets of the game. Although frustrating at times, the puzzles are challenging.  You’re given hints on what you need to do, but finding the next action isn’t obvious. Although graphics aren’t “triple A” status, the animation and voice overs give enough to the player to bring the story to life.  While in Somnium, when performing an action, rather than the game telling you you’ve made a bad choice, the dialogue between the characters becomes ridiculous, either with Date and Aiba mocking each other or making jokes at Date’s expense.

Cons: The only real qualm I had with the game is the lack of opportunity to save before jumping into a Somnium puzzle.  Save points in games are incredibly important to me because I have to jump on and off of a game (hours of sit through game play? Not in my adult life!).  Sometimes a “Psync” will just start (it will be obvious when it does but almost unexpected) and I do not have the chance to save the game before jumping in.  You cannot save before or during a “psync” so I’m either stuck putting my game in “Sleep Mode” until I can play again, or hope that AutoSave will take me back where I left off.

I would rate this game an 8 out of 10.Score

Overall, I really enjoyed the story and even though the Somnium puzzles took me a few attempts, I found myself going back to unlock different story lines without much hesitation or feeling “too drained” to keep going.

Have you heard of this game? Will you pick up this title? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

NCG Review: The Caligula Effect: Overdose (Switch, PS4, PC)

Wanting to forget about the pain of our daily lives is something a majority of us are familiar with, after all, we spend countless hours glued to our phones mindlessly browsing through social media or playing games.  But what would happen if a sentient being created a world for us to live in and be forever happy? Would you want to live in this paradise?21.png

The Caligula Effect: Overdose takes us into the world of Mobius where the lines of fantasy and reality are blurred.  Will you want to live in Mobius?

Story

Created by the sentient vocaloid program, μ (Mu), Mobius is a place for people to forget about their everyday problems and re-live a blissful high school life.  In a setting where fantasy and reality are blurred, the “Go Home Club”, who have awaken to the falsehoods of Mobius, attempt to escape this false paradise.

To be honest, I wasn’t quite familiar with the premise of The Caligula Effect, but I had watched the first couple episodes of the anime and completely forgot about it.  After picking up the game I decided to revisit the anime series.14.png

I played the game for about 5 hours before jumping into the anime series, which was a decent amount of time spent on the game.  In many instances, I usually say the game is better since there is a lot of time to build the story, however, I hate to admit that the anime captures the emotional impact of the game in a clearer and more concise way.

While playing, I found it difficult to balance my interest in the story with the variety of game play elements.  When presented with story line topics, the game fell flat.  The characters want to escape Mobius, but in game there’s an overall apathy about actually trying to escape.  The characters don’t quite come off quite as strong in the video game.

Gameplay

What makes the Caligula Effect: Overdose stand out is the unique combat system.  Although battles are a turn-based, you have the option to customize your battle.  You can pick from your character skills and attack with a single character up to three times.  What’s really cool is that the game will go into a prediction mode and you can watch how the actions and battle moves will play out before you commit to them.  In addition to seeing how moves will play out, you have the option to adjust the timing of your moves.  You can adjust the timing of a hit to be delayed or for the character to attack sooner; it’s like crafting your own battle.  You can do this for each character on your team and strategize your attacks based on the character skills.  Of course, predictions are not 100% accurate and sometimes will not indicate when the opponent will be defeated.  You have to pay close attention and take some risks when designing your battle. Overall, this was an element I really enjoyed since it takes basic “turn based” game play to a different level.08.png

The Caligula Effect: Overdose is your basic RPG game so you have the options to complete missions and side quests.  Accessing side quests is a bit unique since it’s based on your relationship with NPCs.  All the students walking around are the people that inhabit Mobius.  Based on your social connections and reputation you can talk to them and learn about their problems and struggles.  When you reach a certain level of friendship you’ll learn more about what is troubling them and will have to help them resolve their issues. To take it a step further, you can access a sub menu called “LINE” and communicate with the friends you have made by sending texts.  However, the prompts are repetitive and even if you’ve already asked the question the prompt will reappear.  Responses are all generic and you can get the gist of the character personality, but there are so many characters to chat with it’s easy to get overwhelmed and bored with this function of the game.06.png

Audio

μ (Mu) is the creator of Mobius so it’s fitting to have her songs performing in the background.  It’s her music, after all, that influences the characters and keeps them brainwashed.  You get a really fun J-pop track playing throughout the level.  While the songs are all fun and catchy, I didn’t feel inclined to stay in a particular area too long since the chorus is on permanent loop throughout the level.

Verdict

Pros: The battle system is a lot of fun and the game offers a variety of game play elements to delve into.17.png

Cons: The story doesn’t hit quite as hard during game play.  After a while the music can start to irk your nerves.

Overall score:

I’d give it a 5.  It isn’t a must-have, but might be something worth picking up on sale. You might have a better time catching the anime instead.Score

Have you played this game? What did you think? Are you a fan of the anime?

Let me know in the comments!