Tag Archives: Sega

NCG Review – Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight (PS4, PSVITA)

Not going to lie, I played the pants off of Persona 4: Dancing all Night.  I went as far as getting all the trophies and buying all the DLC.  Now, Persona 3 is definitely my favorite in the series, with Persona 5 coming in at 2nd so I was ecstatic when I heard they were also making a music game for those titles!  Did the games live up to my expectations?

Story

What I loved about Persona 4: Dancing all Night was the story.  It was as though it was a side story  that brought the team back together again after the adventure was over.  Not to mention the introduction of new characters, Kanami Mashita and the idol group Kanamin Kitchen was a nice touch. Sure, the dialogue and plot were kind of cheesy, but it gave you a goal and a new mission; dance your butt off to satisfy the shadows!  Something about the tone of the story combined with the remixed soundtrack made the game a fun experience: there was a theme, there was a resolution!P5D 1.png

Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight didn’t quite live up to that expectation.  The team has been taken to the Velvet Room for a competition but no cast members will remember what has happened in the Velvet Room when they wake up which makes this story null and void to the series.  It’s not a supplement, just an extra game.  There is also no variance in story for either title; the story for each game is essentially the same, just with a different set of characters. This simplifies the game, but at the same time the plot for the two titles doesn’t feel, in any way, compelling.  Sure, a dancing game doesn’t really need a plot, but I thought it was an aspect that made Persona 4: Dancing all Night stand out and I was hoping to see again with Persona 3 and Persona 5.  I really wanted to see what creators could come up with for each cast…P3D 1.png

The story is not essential to enjoying the game.  I just thought it would have been a nice touch to include a unique story that pertained to each cast, similar to P4: DAN.

Gameplay

If you played Persona 4: Dancing all Night, then picking up Persona 3 and Persona 5 will be a piece of cake.  Game play is simple in that you have icons that move outward from the middle and you need to push the corresponding button(s) on the left side, the right side, or both at the right time. You can get a “Perfect”, “Great”, “Good”, or “Miss” based on how accurate you hit the notes. Notes are the same as P4: single note, double note, hold, and scratch.  Persona 3 and 5 have added an additional double-tap note which is easy enough to pick up.

What I forgot about the Persona dancing games is the pacing is not as fast as other music games. Notes do not feel like they’re flying at you at inhuman speeds.  For me, this was difficult to keep up with since I am not used to actually watching the notes crawl into place; I use my gamer sense and mash accordingly.  To compensate, I added a modifier which speeds up the notes.  Slower notes movement is an aspect that might be fun to players who love the Persona series, but aren’t too big into music games and who do not play them regularly.P5D 3

Since there is not a central story to either games, you gain your unlockables and modifiers through social links.  In order to unlock social links you need to play the game.  There are a lot of fun ways to unlock social links, for example, wearing different accessories and costumes, or getting a certain number of combos.

Playing through the social links wasn’t my favorite part of the game, but it did bring me back to my favorite characters.  Persona 3 is my favorite game in the series, so seeing my favorite characters was a lot of fun.  I forgot how much I loved Elizabeth’s (or “Elle-P”‘s) quirky personality!  And although sitting through each social link could be boring at times (the dialogue is extremely cheesy!) I was rewarded with a variety of items and modifiers.unnamed.png

Like the previous entry, you can change the game by adding modifiers.  Some modifiers will help you in the game, or make it more challenging.  Helping modifiers subtract from your final score, and challenges will add to your score.

The criteria that determines whether or not your passed a song is very unclear.  P3 & P5 play similar to P4 in that you need to get the crowd excited, but it’s hard to determine if you are.  Maybe I am still salty, but I had nearly a full combo and missed (not hit it too late/too early) 2 notes toward the end of the song and did not clear it! I played the same song again, with weaker combos and hit rates, and passed the song…P5D 2.png

The overall game play is very fun for both titles.  The downside: both games are EXACTLY THE SAME.  This is down to the modifiers and social link criteria.

Audio

I’ll be pretty honest and come out and say that I am not a big fan of any Persona sound track.  Persona 4 was a lot of fun for me because of the remixes.  I jumped right into Persona 5 since it was the latest and freshest in my mind, but I just could not get into any of the tracks.  Jumping into Persona 3, though, was much funner since the audio tracks have a more up-beat music game sound to it.

Each game has around 25 songs, and follow the same pattern where you play four songs with individual characters, and then get either an animated song, or group song. This pattern follows until the end, where you get the concert rendition and then the “final” group dance song where all characters are dancing in the video.

When it comes down to picking which game has the better audio list, it comes down to preference.  For me, it was hands down P3 with the pop remixes of the original sound track.

Graphics

I played P4 on my Vita so the transition to PS4 was much welcomed.  The graphics have been enhanced and there’s an increase in the frame rate for all 3 entries.  You may need to adjust your TV settings and calibrate the buttons to ensure there is no lag.P3D 2

Verdict

Pros:  The game is addicting, easy to pick up, and revisits the cast from P3 and P5 titles. When playing you feel compelled to challenge yourself to see if you can get a King Crazy combo or beat your previous score.

Since the story is simplified, you don’t have to sit through a story plot that may or may not be interesting to you.

While you can unlock social links and get more items, it’s not really a requirement to go through them.  You can play through the songs as normal.  Social links are only relevant if you like modifying your characters and unlocking items.P3D 3

The sound tracks are unique to each game and you can play through some really awesome remixes of your favorite songs from each title.

Cons:  P3 and P5 are basically the same game.  Same plot, same way to unlock things, and to be honest, some of the dance moves even looked the same.  They’re basically the same game with 2 different skins and playlists.  Maybe this isn’t a con, but a gripe since I was hoping to view these as two separate entries.unnamed(1)

I rate Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight an 8 out of 10.

I don’t like how both titles are basically the same game.  If you want to save money, you’re better off picking your preferred cast and picking up that title.  But despite the sameness, the overall game play and game structure is still a lot of fun and worth the price tag (for a single game).  There is a lot more to the game than just dancing and you’ll enjoy going back down memory lane when you hear your favorite jam.Score

Have you picked up either of these titles yet? What did you think? Which is your favorite Persona game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

NCG Review: Yakuza Kiwami 2 (PS4)

NCG Review: Yakuza Kiwami 2 (PS4) by Dark_laharl

Well then, it’s been a while since I have reviewed a game but I am back with Yakuza Kiwami 2 the remake of Yakuza 2! So for starters a confession, I’ve never played a Yakuza game before. I have seen trailers and .gifs about it but before now I did not know anything about the franchise but now I want to play them all!  I will have to wait for the remakes to come out before I go up to Yakuza 6 (if I can wait that long).

Story (No Spoilers)

I will not spoil the story for you (even though this is a remake of a game that came out 10 years ago!) All I will tell you about it is that it’s very involved, there are a lot of characters that are introduced in a sort of rapid fire method that it’s hard to keep up. This could be my own fault for not having played these games before so it isn’t a bad thing really, certainly not a reason to not play it. The story did keep me hooked, I wanted to know what Kiryu was going to do next, what is the solution!? This game is not dubbed and it does not have an option to change the language to English, the only reason this is a little bit bad is because it is hard to enjoy the beautiful graphics during cut scenes. This leads me to the next category.

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Graphics

The graphics are a big upgrade from the original (duh! The original was on the PS2!) The game uses the Dragon Engine that was used in Yakuza 6, so it is the most advanced at this time. You can really see the upgrade in the cut scenes; the minor facial details of the characters are very noticeable, from the wrinkles of an old man to the pores and freckles of some of the ladies. Though the graphics are awesome there is no 4K setting for this game – a little bit of a missed opportunity now that we have PS4 Pro. Additionally, the frames are set at 30 FPS, a lot of people see this as a negative but honestly it’s only bad in this game now and then, and personally after a while this doesn’t even bother me.

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Gameplay

The gameplay of Yakuza really helped keep me hooked, the side quests were varied enough that none of them really felt repetitive. I enjoyed playing the arcades, playing golf, there is even a little RTS game in there that is kind of like tower defense. The fighting in the game kind of reminds me of Shenmue 2 (remember that game?) there are lots of moves that you can learn, and “heat moves” that are basically extra brutal moves and not so brutal: throwing guys into water, or crotch first into a pole and all the way to stabbing a guy in the gut then kneeing the knife further into the gut (ouch!) There is plenty in Yakuza Kiwami 2 to do, so you will not be bored while playing it.

Overall I highly recommend Yakuza Kiwami 2, it is fun, the story is great and the upgraded graphics drag you into the title. I can’t wait to see if Kiwami 3 will be made, but I suppose I wouldn’t mind playing it on the PS3, I just hope the graphics difference will not be a turn off! What do you guys think? Will you pick this game up? Did you the original? Let us know in the comments!

Valkyria Chronicles 4 will be coming to the West this fall

Sega has announced that Valkyria Chronicles 4 will be coming to the West this fall for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Here is the announcement trailer, screenshots and a quick overview of the title below.

 

Valkyria Chronicles 4 Features:
  • A Coming-of-Age Story in a Time of WarValkyria Chronicles 4 takes place in the same timeframe as the original Valkyria Chronicles, but focuses on a whole new cast of main characters. Players will take command of the eager, young Commander Claude Wallace, engineer/heavy weapons extraordinaire Riley Miller, hotheaded Darcsen Raz, ice-cold ace sniper Kai Schulen, and more. Together, they will experience the painful realities of war–but will the bonds of Squad E’s friendships survive the frozen battlefield?
  • The Next Generation “BLiTZ” Battle System – The part overhead turn-based strategy, part RPG, and part real-time 3rd person shooter “BLiTZ” battle system returns to the field. New features include an explosive new class called the Grenadier, numerous offensive/defensive battleship support options, chances for a unit to have a “Last Stand” action before death, and more. Plus, fight the imperial threat with more units on larger-scale maps than ever before.
  • CANVAS Aesthetics – The series’ signature hand-drawn visual style is back and overhauled for the newest generation. Inspired by watercolor compositions, the CANVAS Graphics Engine blends visual elements of reality and imagination to create an expressive world filled with colorful emotions. Watch the journey of Squad E unfold like an interactive painting!
  • The Return of a Legendary Composer – The illustrious Hitoshi Sakimoto, original composer of the Valkyria Chronicles series and countless other emotional epics, returns to provide a sweeping orchestral score for Valkyria Chronicles 4.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 will be available on PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch™, and Xbox One™ platforms in the Americas and Europe in Fall 2018.

Sega Genesis Classics will hit PS4, Xbox One, and PC May 29

Sega has announced that they will release Sega Genesis Classics (titled Sega Mega Drive Classics in Europe) for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC worldwide on May 29, assets published on the company’s press site reveal. It will include over 50 Sega Genesis titles.

The collection has over 50 retro classics to experience across every genre;arcade action, shooters, beat’m ups, puzzlers, old favourites and hidden gems, with a raft of modern features. These include online multiplayer, achievements, mirror modes, rewind and save states meaning players old and new should find revisiting these great games an absolute Sonic 3D Blast. Visit the product page for more details, http://www.megadriveclassics.com.

The physical edition will be available to pre-order from US and EMEA retailers very soon. It comes complete with a double sided Golden Axe™ and Streets of Rage™ poster, identical to the ones you will see in the game’s 90s inspired retro gamer’s bedroom, the hub through which players can access the entire collection. Details of digital pre-order will be available very soon.

As if that wasn’t enough to see retro fans through to The End of the Millennium, players of the SEGA Genesis Classics on Steam will also be treated to The Treasures of King Nole in the form of a huge free update to the feature set, giving it parity with the console launch when it releases on May 29, 2018.

  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Alien Soldier
  • Altered Beast
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Bio-Hazard Battle
  • Bonanza Bros.
  • Columns
  • Columns II
  • Comix Zone
  • Crack Down
  • Decap Attack
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Ecco: The Tides of Time
  • Ecco Jr.
  • ESWAT: City Under Siege
  • Eternal Champions
  • Fatal Labyrinth
  • Flicky
  • Gain Ground
  • Galaxy Force II
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe II
  • Golden Axe III
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Kid Chameleon
  • Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole
  • Light Crusader
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  • Ristar
  • Shadow Danger
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II
  • Shining in the Darkness
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Space Harrier II
  • Streets of Rage
  • Streets of Rage II
  • Streets of Rage 3
  • Super Thunder Blade
  • Sword of Vermillion
  • Vectorman
  • Vectorman 2
  • Virtua Fighter 2
  • Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
  • Wonder Boy in Monster World

Check out Sonic Mania’s Competition Mode

Sonic Mania is due out digitally for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on August 15 and with that, Sega has revealed the “Competition Mode” that will be featured in the title.
In Competition Mode, winners are determined by factors such as clear time, score, number of items acquired, number of rings acquired when clearing a level, and total number of rings acquired throughout the level. Players can adjust the rules of each match by adjusting items in the item boxes and number of rounds that take place.