Category Archives: Reviews

Ys: the Art Book Review (UDON Entertainment)

The Ys series made its first appearance in 1987 and captured the hearts of many gamers throughout the years with its sequels. One constant in the Ys saga has always been its tremendous attention to its art design and for many years, fans had no single place to view the art in one physical outlet. That changed last year with the release of Ys: the Art Book in Japan and now UDON Entertainment has translated the book and has released it in English for the many western Ys fans to enjoy!

This fantastic art book contains materials featured in about 25 years of Ys games! From the recent Ys: Memories of Celceta and all the way back to the original Ys, this book almost has it all! While the book is a little light on content from the earlier games, there is plenty of art from the many re-releases of the games in the series; so readers won’t get too upset. Dialing in on the looks of the artwork, its amazing stuff. Incredibly detailed and noble illustrations of the many characters we’ve seen in the series seemingly jump right of the pages. Even if you’ve only played a single Ys game, the book is worth checking out just to experience the artwork of the other games.

This 280 page book is printed on glossy paper, which helps show off the artwork better then anything you could find on the internet.The binding of the book is very secure and doesn’t give off the feeling that pages will start falling out of it. UDON certainly took themselves to task to make sure this was a quality release and it shows. If you’re a Ys fan and you haven’t already picked up the Japanese version of this book, this is a must have for sure.

Release date: March 19th (Comic stores) Late March/April (Book Stores)
Price (U.S.): $44.99
ISBN: 1-927925-01-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-927925-01-0
Format: Softcover
Page Count: 280, Color
Size: 8.25″ x 11.75″

Find a comic store near you | Buy at Amazon.com | Buy at Barnes & Noble

Preview: Ys: The Art Book (UDON)

One of the latest books from UDON Entertainment is Ys: The Art Book! UDON Entertainment has provided us with a review copy and we will be posting the full review on March 26th on www.gamerlogic.net!

ys_the_art_bookCelebrating over 25 years of Ys, the flagship series of Japanese RPG publisher Nihon Falcom! Ys: The Art Book collects the fantastic artwork of more than a dozen titles in the Ys franchise, from the original game all the way up to the brand new Ys: Memories of Celceta. Includes pinups, character designs, rare concept art, and more!

With an expansive world, intricate history and gorgeous anime-influenced design, the world of Ys is made to be explored! Ys: The Art Bookdoes just that, bringing fans of the game detailed illustrations of the characters, story, setting and more, as developed during the lifetime of this iconic RPG franchise. UDON has worked closely with North American Ys Publisher/Distributor XSEED to create a thorough and accurate tribute to this magnificent series. No fan of Japanese video games or the RPG genre should be without this stellar collection!

Of particular interest to series fans will be rare, little-known illustrations which were created for the Japanese retail market. These amazing pin-up pieces really capture the energy and personality of Ys’ vivid cast of characters… Fans and artists alike will love the retrospective nature of this collection, which showcases the evolution of the Ys art style across 25 years of Japanese RPG innovation!

The Ys RPG series has been released on various gaming platforms including PC, Super Nintendo, Playstations 2, PSP, Nintendo DS, Steam, and more… It has legions of devoted fans from around the world, and UDON is thrilled to help bring them this fantastic tome.

Release date: March 19th (Comic stores) Late March/April (Book Stores)
Price (U.S.): $44.99
ISBN: 1-927925-01-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-927925-01-0
Format: Softcover
Page Count: 280, Color
Size: 8.25″ x 11.75″

Find a comic store near you | Buy at Amazon.com | Buy at Barnes & Noble

Titanfall makes my blood pump!

I’m sprinting like a mad man from building to building, attempting to secure a hard point for my team that’s only 150 meters or so away. Gunfire, explosions and screams can be heard from every angle as I realize I’ve thrown myself into sudden warzone, but it’s too late to turn back now. I quickly drop from the rooftops and jump wall to wall on opposite buildings to keep up my pace as well as making myself harder to hit in case the enemy has spotted me. Seconds later, I’m flying midair into the entrance of the hard point and engage my cloaking device;  but I quickly realize some bad news: there’s 3 human controlled pilots defending this hard point and most likely they have some AI controlled solders in the building as well. When I land from this jump, I’ll be surrounded instantly!

In a mad dash to secure a hard point. (Screenshot from PC Version)

In a mad dash to secure a hard point. (Screenshot from PC Version)

Or so I thought!  I realize in a microsecond that these pilots haven’t seen me and before I even touch the ground I jump kick the first pilot in the face, breaking his neck instantly. The second pilot turns around in a state of panic and begins to fire at me, but at that point I’ve already loaded half a clip into his body, putting him down before he can do any real damage. Pilot #3 attempts to take me down with a melee attack, but because I’m still cloaked and kicking ass like Jason Bourne; I slip behind him and break his neck.  With all the pilots in this room now nothing but corpses,  I move forward killing the remaining AI oppression in the building and secure the hard point.  At this point, all I can think of was how epic the last few minutes were and then another realization hit me: I haven’t felt my blood pump like this in excitement for a first person shooter in a long time and Titanfall is giving it to me almost every match!

In the thick of battle. (Screenshot from PC version)

In the thick of battle. (Screenshot from PC version)

Titanfall is the first game I’ve had the opportunity to test the Xbox 360 game pad vs the Xbox One game pad and honestly, the differences between the two are so minimal that you’ll forget that the shoulder buttons on the Xbox One controller feel slightly different in minutes. I had no problem putting a bullet in pilots on both the PC and console platform with a console controller which is a vast improvement from my experiences with Battlefield 4 when playing it on the PC compared to its console brother. The layout is pretty cookie cutter to most first person shooters, Call of Duty being the best example.

Melee combat is a blast to perform due to the parkour  mechanics in the game.

Melee combat is a blast to perform due to the parkour mechanics in the game. (Screenshot from Xbox One version)

Titanfall looks sharp, giving a great presentation that a large scale war is happening around you; even if the game is only being played by 12 actual players. Graphic performance on the Xbox One is solid, but the PC version walks out the winner in terms of faster frame rates and better looking textures. If you don’t own a powerful PC though, the Xbox One version will still give you just as much game play as its PC big brother.

Comparing the performance and graphics to the PC and Xbox One versions of Titanfall.

Battling on the PC version of Titanfall.

Another battle, this time on the Xbox One platform.

I had a blast playing Titanfall and I’m excited to see what the full game will offer when its released on March 11th. After experiencing the game a few months ago I was pretty much sold on it and after experiencing it again in beta format, I was completely sold on it. For Xbox One owners, this is certainly the game to own for the system and its one that will give players tons of enjoyment.

 

 

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Review (PS VITA)

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc could quite possible be the best the description of what would happen if Capcom’s Ace Attorney series and Atlas’ Persona series got together and had offspring. This revamped title that originally was released for the PSP by Spike Chunsoft/NIS America has been translated and brought over to the PS VITA with upgraded visuals, additional features and English voice acting for the North American release.

Prepare yourself for a very different high school experience!

Prepare yourself for a very different high school experience!

Danganronpa sets the player in a high school called Hope’s Peak, where only select students are invited to attend based on their certain elite talents. The player will take the role as Makoto Naegi, who along with 15 other students quickly discover that there are being held hostage in this school by some evil mastermind.  If the student graduates from the school, they’re entitled to leave; but there’s a catch: To graduate means murdering a fellow student and not getting caught after doing it. Despite the students claim that they will not murder each other for the entertainment of the headmaster of the school, bodies slowly start piling up and the trust between class mates begins to fade.

Meet your headmaster: Monokuma!

Meet your headmaster: Monokuma!

The game itself presents a variety of different mechanics. Moving throughout the school is done in a first person prospective very similar to the original Persona on the PlayStation. Using the on screen curser or by using the touch screen of the PS VITA interacts with the environment and other students in the high school furthering the story or increasing the amount of closeness with another student. While skipping the interaction with the students can be done, doing so will rob you of various skills that will help you during the court room scenes. Much like Ace Attorney, when a body drops you must investigate the murder scene and try to figure the means, motive and opportunity of what happened to prove whodunit! The gathered information will then be presented at a class trial where you must decide who performed the evil deed. Get it right and the murderer is punished with a horrific death. Get it wrong and you and your fellow students will all die at once, leaving the murderer to graduate.

Investigating the scene of the crime.

Investigating the scene of the crime.

The class trial presents several mini games that will pressure the suspect to confess and give the player new leads by bringing up witness testimonies. Other mini games will help force a confession by doing DDR style button presses in time with the music or playing a variant of hangman to discover additional clues. Finally, when the murderer has been cornered; the player will summarize the crime commented by putting together key moments of the crime in a comic strip. These make for plenty of variety in nailing the suspect and keep the player on their toes because they’ll never quite know what’s coming next. If you screw up, Danganronpa is pretty forgiving and will usually take you to the last part you messed up on.

Summarizing a murder...

Summarizing a murder…

This game is definitely one you will want to use headphones on. The soundtrack is well composed and will definitely remind players of something they would hear out of the Persona series. The English dub of the characters is well produced, though you will get occasionally annoyed with some of the quick audio quips that get used over and over again to bring some life to the story text.

On the promise of freedom, trust is a dying breed.

On the promise of freedom, trust is a dying breed.

After my 15 hour experience with the game, I still had plenty of items to unlock and even a resource gathering side story called “School Mode” that would add even more play time to this title. This was certainly a title I enjoyed playing and I’m glad to hear that the sequel will be coming to the U.S. in the fall! If you enjoy the Ace Attorney games, Persona or visual novels with a murder twist, this is worth checking out.

 

Next Gen Game Pads

With this launch of next generation consoles come new controllers. How does the latest gamepads feel for the Xbox One and Playstation 4? I take a look at both.

 

Dual Shock 4

The Dual Shock 4 is a definite upgrade from the Dual Shock 3. With the on board speaker, headset/microphone slot and re-designed thumb sticks; I easily prefer this over its older brother. The controller fits much nicer in the hands and it also controls first person shooter style games more accurately which I was never a fan of on the Dual Shock 3. Game developers are finally using the trigger buttons on a Dual Shock over the shoulder buttons now, which is another plus. I’m not in love with the touch pad on the device as it seems pretty imprecise on the games I tested on it. That could obviously change with future games, but it doesn’t seem like it could run a mile in the shoes of the Nintendo Wii U touch pad. Overall though, I’m very happy with using the new Dual Shock to play my PS4 Games on.

control

X-Box One Controller

I was pretty worried with the changes I saw on this controller initially, as the Xbox 360 controller is one of my favorites in terms of comfortable controllers for me. After receiving my controller, I’m happy to say that the designers did not screw this up. It holds more comfortably then the 360 controller does. The thumb sticks feel more refined, the trigger buttons feel very responsive and the face buttons feel just as good as they did on the previous system’s controller. The biggest improvement though is the D-Pad, which blows away the 360’s game pad easily. It clicks and it’s not abrasive like the last one was, hopefully making it easier to play Killer Instinct on. I can’t comment on how this all translates to game play yet though, as my XB1 won’t be here till Friday. In terms of drawbacks, I do not like the matte finish they elected to use for the controller as it looks like it will scratch up pretty easily. Still, my hands and I love this controller and can’t wait till the PC driver for it is available for it.

Which one takes the cake?

Since I can’t judge a winner on how these controllers compare when controlling game play just yet, I’m going to choose a winner in terms of comfort for now. Though the Dual Shock 4 is a fantastic upgrade for the PlayStation brand, I still have to give the nod to the XB1 controller. The left thumb stick being put immediately on the left end of the controller is what wins me over. As nice as the DS4 sticks feel, not having to do an extended stretch of your left thumb over to the left thumb stick  on the XB1 controller just feels more comfortable; leaving your fingers to grab the other buttons comfortably. That is a must for me if playing first person shooters. Overall, my hands just feel more comfortable with the XB1 controller; but that could change if it doesn’t respond as accurately as the DS4 does for game play.

So for now, the XB1 controller wins, but we’ll see if that stays true after next Friday!