Hands On: Ninja Gaiden 3

Yesterday brought the release of Team Ninja’s Ninja Gaiden 3, an event that for this podcaster that was an anticipated day.  I set aside Street Fighter X Tekken and Mass Effect 3 for a night to break out what I had hopes for being the next great iteration of one of my favorite modern-day franchises.  Knowing that Team Ninja and Koei were intentionally changing the direction of the series, I tried to walk into the experience with the most open mind that I possibly could, and what I was met with were a series of confusing design decisions. [Read more…]

3 Hours with Hunted: The Demon’s Forge

As a general rule of thumb, most weeks I spend time in email threads with a group of people discussing video games.  In response to questions about my impressions of Bethesda’s newly published title, developed by inXile, I had written the following content.  It seems silly not to open that up to the public, so hit the jump to see a slightly edited version of my impressions from roughly 3 hours of time spent with Hunted: The Demon’s Forge: [Read more…]

4 Immediately Apparent Improvements to Rock Band 3 for the Average Player

Rock Band 3 hit shelves in North America yesterday, and for months leading up to now, the vast majority of talk surrounding it has been in the revolutionary improvements Harmonix has made to the pro-level instrumentation and game modes.  Realistically speaking, these are only going to appeal to a small portion of the fist-pumping audience that plays these games.  A large number of music genre gamers are people content to play the medium difficulty of any given instrument and may be wondering just what the big deal is about Rock Band 3.  Well to partially answer that question, here’s 4 incredible improvements made to the Rock Band platform that are immediately apparent after a mere 2 hours of offline play that don’t require yet another battery-sucking plastic peripheral: [Read more…]

45 Minutes of Resonance of Fate

Box Art - PS3

Box Art - Ps3

I started Resonance of Fate last night, a PS3/360, steam-punk, gun-based JRPG published by Sega, and got 45 minutes in.  That is to say, I saw the opening [extremely confusing and vague] cut scene, walked around a town some, and played through the SIXTEEN battle tutorials one of which I had to look up online how to do because it didn’t explain it well enough.

First impressions?  Well, if you like complexity, you’re going to love this game.  Just based on all the stuff you can do in a battle, you’re likely to love the mechanics.  For as complex and “real time” as the battles are, one great shining point is that the controls are not complex at all.  I’m going to outline the battle stuff here, partially because nothing I’ve seen online has but mostly because I think that writing it all out may help me wrap my head around all of it:

Simple mechanics
3 characters in battle, you get them from the get go (no idea if they change or swap or whatever). There’s HP, no MP, and a “reverse” ATB gauge that works similar to Valkyria Chronicles in that regard.  Once you start a character’s turn, you run, do actions, etc. and that winds down their stamina gauge.  When all characters have [Read more…]