Review: Time and Eternity

Controversial game... but we loved it

Review: Project Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly

The greatest horror game ever hits the Wii

Review: Lollipop Chainsaw

Juliet's so hot right now

Review: Dragon's Dogma

There's not a spark of creativity in this wyrm

Review: Pandora's Tower

Tragic beauty

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Japan's games market shrinks by 16%; but it's no tale of woe

Some bad news for the Japanese games industry: For the first half of the year, it has shrunk by 16 per cent.

That kind of money dropping out of the market is never a good thing, but I will say this – it’s not a tale of woe either much of the shrink can be attributed to a massive natural disaster, after all, and by nature the effects of those are not permanent (indeed, economies tend to experience periods of growth after disasters as rebuilding initiatives pump money into the economy).

I believe the Japanese games industry, while going through a transformative period, is not “in trouble,” and there's a clear path to recovery. Here’s why:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: Zookeeper DX (iPad)

Zookeeper is a special game for me personally. It was one of the first Nintendo DS games I owned, way back when the console was new and there wasn’t much more, besides Mario and Polarium to play.

The difference between those other launch titles and this game was that this one was intensely social. The multiplayer, despite being a simple competitive match three game, was addictive. I’m talking two hour straight game play sessions addictive. Regular nights gaming until 2am was a great bonding experience with my various family members, and then again when I met my better half.

This game has no problem telling you when you've done poorly

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation (Nintendo DS/ 3DS)

Dragon Quest VI is unfortunately going to be overlooked in the Australian market – released just recently, it’s bound to be overshadowed by the hot new Nintendo 3DS, and high profile 3D remakes like Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.

It’s a huge pity because in many ways, this is the very highlight of the Dragon Quest series, with the most intelligent and nuanced plot. The remake, using the same visual engine that powered the Nintendo DS remakes of Dragon Quest IV and V, just adds charm to the already charming game.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sonic discounts hit European PlayStation Store and Xbox Live

Have you been lusting after recent Sonic titles, but couldn’t bring yourself to fork over the cash? Sega has two  limited-time offers for users of the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live in celebration of the hedgehog’s 20th anniversary.

The first deal applies to all Sonic titles and downloadable content, including Sonic and Sega All-Star Racing. Every item is discounted by up to 50 per cent, meaning now would be a good time to purchase the more expensive games.

The second offer is a new bundle called “Sonic the Hedgehog Anniversary”, featuring four of the blue blur’s outings for €17.99/£13.99/AU $27.99. The bundle expires on July 12th.

*Please note, this deal is for European and Australian users. Similar deals are likely to hit other regions relatively soon, though it remains to be seen.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thoughts: When can we expect a Final Fantasy VII remake?

At some stage, Square Enix will remake Final Fantasy VII. This is pretty much a given. It’s a smart company, and it realises how valuable a remake of one of its most popular titles ever.

The question is… when? Let’s take a look at Square Enix’ history with remakes and see if we can’t take an educated guess.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: White Knight Chronicles: Origins (PSP)

On the PlayStation 3, White Knight Chronicles was a poorly received mix between MMO and JRPG. The reception was unfair – the game featured a large traditional RPG world and a fairly standard (but enjoyable) battle system that looked much like something from a World of Warcraft clone. It was pretty, but many felt soulless, and its robust online play was largely overlooked.

White Knight Chronicles: Origins is a wholly new game with an entirely different development team. Handheld RPG specialists, Matrix Games, have this one in collaboration with Sony’s Japan Studio. And despite being a very, very limited RPG, Origins is an addictive little game that owes as much to Monster Hunter as traditional JRPGs.

This is an epic battle

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Final Fantasy gets strategic: Final Fantasy Type 0 preview

A recent issue of Famitsu has revealed a great deal about Final Fantasy Type 0 - and this strategy/ RPG hybrid looks really promising.

And not a weird hairdo in sight (images are Famitsu scans)

Friday, June 3, 2011

What Pokemon needs to regain its relevance

Pokemon is going nowhere. Though it has settled down from the lofty heights that saw tie-in movie releases into mainstream cinema and endless streams of toys and stuffed pikachus, it’s settled into a comfortable niche as a popular and well-supported JRPG. There’s still championships, and there’s still people investing hundreds of hours to EV tweak the ultimate team.

But Pokemon could still do better. It’s at a stage now where attracting new players is a challenge. Like long-running card games like Magic the Gathering, Pokemon’s hit a spot where it’s no longer welcoming to the uninitiated, and it no longer has the fuzzy innocence that initially drew people in way back in the Game Boy days.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The 3DS eShop launches in Japan

The 3DS’ eShop site has launched in Japan with a handful of games and the first Virtual Console Game Boy Games, and… well, it’s a whoops from us so far.



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