Guilty Gear XX AC Plus is one of those fighters that many gamers gush over, but very few have played. Since the fall of 1998 and the dawn of the “anime fighter,” the Guilty Gear series has set a standard for deep and engaging combat that don’t involve Capcom characters. You’ve likely heard gamers talk about the series’ flashy fast- paced action and incredibly steep learning curve, but don’t let it sway you from jumping into the fray. If you missed Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus for Xbox 360 or PS3 (or any of the other games in the series), this newly updated and re-balanced PlayStation Vita game is a great place to start.
Nostalgia is all the rage in gaming these days. In the midst of massive, multi-million dollar shooters and sports games dominating the industry, the smaller indie market has blossomed. It’s in this route that downloadable titles have resurrected an entire dimension and genre from beyond the 8-bit grave.
Side-scrollers were the lifeblood of the industry, but when the third dimension became prevalent in the PlayStation era, the 2D side -croller all but faded into our Tanooki suit-colored glasses of nostalgia. Our favorite 2D sidescrolling heroes like Mario, Rayman, and Simon Belmont went 3D and rarely, if ever, looked back. It seemed like we’d never experience that perilous feeling of timing a jump perfectly like only the 2D sides-croller can deliver.
But this recent generation has seen the 2D side-scroller rise from the ashes of its former glory into a new Golden Age lead by great titles such as Limbo, OutLand and Rayman Origins (my GOTY of 2011) and most recently, Drinkbox Studios’ PSN-exclusive title, Guacamelee!.
Monster Hunter excels in its sense of teamwork and community, much like Phantasy Star Online for the Dreamcast over a decade ago. It combines the 4-players-only community aspect of Phantasy Star Online with the challenge of Demon’s/Dark Souls and the complexity and choice of Capcom’s own Street Fighter. It’s hard for me to be objective about this game. I love it, and encourage anyone curious to give it a chance.
2013 can boldly claim the crown of the most bizarre year in gaming history. 1UP was shuttered, LucasArts is no more, THQ went bye bye, and there’s a seemingly weekly controversy involving gender inequality, or questionable journalistic integrity. Still, there are plenty of positives, too! Namely, the handful of new players leaping into the unsteady waters that is video game hardware.
The PlayStation 4 and upcoming Xbox 360 successor are grabbing headlines and keeping the rumor mill churning, but the OUYA, Razor Edge, and Nvidia Shield look to snag a portion of the industry’s multi-billion dollar industry. These, however, aren’t your typical video game devices that require you to connect to a big screen and plop in a game. This trio represents new takes on gaming — takes that are unlike any others currently on the market.
One never knows how any piece of gaming hardware will pan out — who would’ve thought that the Wii would fly as high as it did? — but we can certainly speculate.
2013 has already proven quite the year for the 3DS. Who could have guessed that Nintendo’s handheld would have the most exciting software library of any console this year? It’s only the first quarter, but the platform already hosts Fire Emblem: Awakening, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, with more games on the way (some of which are titles we covered in part one of our look at the 3DS onslaught).
In part two, we turn an eye toward the rest of the year. First, we’ll run through the titles that will most likely get localized given the overall popularity of their brands. The last two, however, are up in the air despite how interesting they look. Put up enough of a ballyhoo on Twitter and publishers may change their mind.
As PC gaming becomes increasingly popular thanks to games like League of Legend, services like Steam, and the platform’s overall convenience, PC peripheral/accessory/component manufacturers have stronger presence at gaming conventions. Nvidia had a strong showing at this years PAX East with a prodigious booth that featured lots of gaming goodness. Gamers could sample their favorite games at their highest graphical fidelity thanks to the Geforce Titan (more on that beautiful beast in a bit), or give Nvidia’s new portable Shield handheld a whirl. Nvidia took us on a booth tour where we latched onto the Shield for hands-on impressions.
BOSTON — Yacht Club Games is an indie development house which carries a moniker that brings to mind country clubs, well-to-dos, and sweaters tied around shoulders, but its Captain, Sean Velasco, doesn’t look the part. Decked out in a hoodie, face-framing glasses, and semi-wild hair, he looks very much like an indie rocker star. He is.
It has been an incredibly rough year for you, Vita. You’ve only sold a little over 2 million units, while your angry neighbor across the street, 3DS, sold almost 20 million units since its release. But that’s okay! You’ve got things it doesn’t. Like a half a gig o’ RAM, and a 5-inch OLED screen, and technically 4G capabilities! Don’t let anyone put you down! You’re one of a kind, kid.
To say Sony’s PlayStation Vita has a had a tumultuous first year would be putting it mildly. By some estimates, Sony has sold only two million units of the fledgling handheld worldwide. To put that figure in perspective, Sony would have to sell roughly five times the current number of Vitas in order to match lifetime sales of Sega’s ill-fated Dreamcast (and the Dreamcast was certainly not available for five years).
It took a long time for the Nintendo 3DS to gain some steam. When it bowed in early 2011, a steep $250 price tag with little to offer besides upgraded N64 game inspired little confidence in the 3D-capable handheld. After a dramatic price slash, fumbling from the competition and a few standout titles in Super Mario 3D Land, Kid Icarus: Uprising and Crimson Shroud, Nintendo managed a complete turnaround. Now in early 2013, the 3DS is geared to have the best-looking lineup of any hardware this year. Goes to show, you shouldn’t write off struggling endeavors immediately. Hear that, Vita? There’s hope for you yet!