Sega issued an exciting announcement today. The company officially revealed Valkyria Chronicles 4 and gave it a release window of Spring 2018. Also revealed was that the highly anticipated RPG is making its way to the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
The Next Step In The Adventure
The fourth installment of the series is set in the same timeline as the previous entries, taking place in 1935 with a World War II inspired battle taking place between the Atlantic Federation and the Autocratic Eastern Imperial Alliance. In a press release from Sega they offered more insight into the story behind Valkyria Chronicles 4, “Although the Federation struggles valiantly against the Empire’s forces, the relentless imperial military machine threatens to consume them. With victory slipping away, the Federation executes Operation Northern Cross: a last-ditch attempt to capture the imperial capital and end the war. Commander Claude Wallace and his loyal childhood friends in Squad E are sent to fight for the desperate operation’s success, but they will have to endure harsh bone-chilling elements, waves of imperial soldiers, and the terrifying Valkyria… and unravel a grave truth that will shake them to the core.”
Valkyria Chronicles 4 keeps the same tactical RPG style the previous entries are famous for. Combat is handled in the game’s strange blend of turn-based strategy, RPG, and third-person shooting. A new class is also being added to the game currently known as The Grenadier along with more battleship support options. The developers are still keeping their unique art style in the game that is inspired by water color paintings.
The long-term composer for the series, Hitoshi Sakimoto, will be returning to make the soundtrack for the game. Sega also released a teaser website for the game to help build hype, but as of now, there isn’t much content to be found.
This is an exciting announcement for anyone that has followed this long-running series since 2008. As we draw closer to Spring of next year, more details are sure to be released so be sure to keep checking back with GigamaxGames.com for all the latest in gaming news and industry updates.
Dynasty Warriors 9 Coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC
The developer behind Dynasty Warriors 9, Koei Tecmo, announced which platforms will be receiving the upcoming installment of this long running franchise. Everyone assumed the game would appear on PlayStation 4 as usual but the developer confirmed the game would also be playable on Xbox One and PC via Steam.
Dynasty Warriors 9 marks the next main game in the series of high intensity action combat games set in the East. Humongous battles and hack-and-slash combat still lie at the core of the series but this time around the developers are trying something new. A new approach to level design is being taken. Instead of only navigating battlefields, players will be able to travel across a sprawling open world set in China. Fans will get to roam the Great Wall, wander bamboo forests, and climb snowy mountain tops.
Image Source: http://bit.ly/2vwsHvL
Who Doesn’t Like New Stuff?
Also new to the series are a few tweaks to the tried and true combat system so familiar to fans. A new twist to the combo system has been implemented that involves hits adapting to the enemy’s state and polishing them off with an intense finishing blow. Players will also be able to interact with the world around them thanks to a context sensitive action system. Scale mountains with a grappling hook, smash a pot against someone’s head, or ignite an oil barrel and throw it at enemies. These are all options the new system opens up.
Image Source: http://bit.ly/2vwsHvL
A release date has yet to be set for Dynasty Warriors 9 but plenty of games from the studio will precede it. Warriors All-Stars will hit the PS4 and PC on August 29th as well as the second Nintendo spinoff, Fire Emblem Warrior, which will release on the Switch sometime this fall. We here at Gigamax are huge fans of the Dynasty Warriors series so we will be sure to keep a close eye on the upcoming installments. Be sure to keep checking back for more information!
Final Fantasy XIV is an amazing MMORPG that has captured the hearts (and wallets) of many players around the world. This game has a pretty hardcore fan base that would love to see it played by as many people as possible. If things go as planed, fans will soon see this experience on two more consoles.
The Inside Scoop
In a recent interview with gaming publication, Kotaku, the game’s director, Naoki Yoshida, stated that “would love for as many players to be on FFXIV as possible” and continued by saying “conversations have been had with Phil Spencer of Microsoft, and the upper management teams of Nintendo.” (http://bit.ly/2tBoW50) Although if this were to happen, Yoshida has one condition that may be the biggest hurdle.
Yoshida confirmed in the interview that if the game were to be made available on both consoles that they must has cross platform play. He stated that the reason this has to happen is because many companies don’t realize how consistent updates and the way servers are maintained and operated for MMO’s go into how the game runs. “Those can become a hurdle when we consider operating FFXIV for an extended period of time,” he said. “So when I talk to those first-party companies, I ask them, ‘Do you have the capability to prepare for that, do you have the resolve that you’re going to make sure to take responsibility and take care of those, do you have that willingness?’
Sony seems like a lost cause in terms of cross platform play. Recently, the company opted out of allowing both Minecraft and Rocket League to be played between the competing consoles. This follows the announcement at Microsoft’s E3 conference where they laid out plans to continue support for cross platform play between the Switch and PC players. Sony currently has no intentions to ever allow cross platform play and may never allow it to happen on their consoles.
Recently Square Enix debuted the most recent expansion for FF XIV, Stormblood and has made it clear that they are going to continue to support the game. Gigamax Games has recently become heavily invested in this game and will keep a close eye on any updates the developer releases so make sure to keep checking back for more.
Bandai Namco teased their new RPG, Code Vein last week with an animated teaser trailer. Following the video Japanese gaming publication, Famitsu released an article giving more details on the upcoming mystery project.
The teaser aptly titled, “Prepare to Dine”, was initially thought to be a reference to Bandai Namco’s previous RPG, Dark Souls. To many fans surprise Code Vein was revealed to be an entirely new IP. The “Dine” in the title refers to the player’s ability to control a super powered vampire that eats monsters to gain power.
The game is being developed by the same team that made the popular “God Eater” series. Bandai Namco is out to create a new “dramatic exploration hard action RPG,” for new consoles that is unrelated to the God Eater series.
All the Gory Details
The story behind Code Vein is fairly interesting, set in a dystopian future players will take control of vampires also known as Revenants. These vampire have figured out how to transcend humanity but unfortunately in the process they have lost their memories (very inconvenient). The teaser trailer showed off what happens to a Revenant who fails to consume blood, they become a giant monster called a “lost.”
For an unbeknownst reason, Revenants have been outcast from society and must live in an area known only as Vein. The vampires have to cooperate with each other to discover the mysteries of their world and maybe a way to escape. The game takes on a dungeon crawler feel with players entering caves with an AI buddy to help them out. These companions will help players overcome various challenges but not without the hero helping them out as well.
Players get to use a variety of special abilities along with a series of melee weapons to dispatch the lost. Short swords, great swords, spears and hammers will all be used to damage the enemy and when defeated, their power will be absorbed through the Revenant’s blood veil. This piece of armor takes the shape of an article of clothing and Revenants all have a different form of blood veil.
Code Vein certainly sounds like an exciting experience that we can’t wait to see more of. Don’t forget to keep checking back with Gigamax Games for more details on this awesome vampire RPG as they are made available!
Nier: Automata is a game to remember for more reasons than one. A strange story and unique gameplay, this DLC will turn it up a notch. Dubbed “3C3C1D119440927”, it’s turning heads with the introduction of new enemies. Players will be fighting the CEO of Square Enix and Platinum Games, Yosuke Matsuda and Kenichi Sato, respectively.
According to the Square Enix press release, the DLC for Playstation 4 and Windows PC will be available ‘soon’. A Japanese-language livestream aired on April 17th which announced a May 2nd release date and its cost, 1,500 yen. It’s not confirmed whether this will be the same for North America. The 1,500 yen is about $13 USD which hits at around a $15 price point. However, as of now the release date is still not confirmed for North America, but the price seems to be close.
Yosuke Matsuda and Kenichi Sato
Below is Yosuke Matsuda and Kenichi Sato fight. Interesting is the best word to describe this wacky encounter. If you haven’t seen much of Nier, this will look even more absurd.
Beyond the exciting new battles, the DLC introduces new challenges, costumes, gear and hair dye. The new costumes are a tribute to the first Nier. 2B gets a new look based on the outfit Kaine wars in the first game. 9S and A2 both get new costumes based on the first game’s protagonist. The multi-genre RPG is definitely a break from the norm, thrilling and unique, it keeps interest high throughout the story. Be sure to check back soon for coverage of ‘3C3C1D119440927’, it’s offer to have some surprises along the way.
Gamers curious about what Nier: Auutomata has to offer can watch the video below. The DLC is definitely eye catching, but the game might not be for everyone.
Nier: Automata brings a unique experience to to the 21st century gamer. The multi-genre RPG truly blew us away. Seamlessly switching between different game styles, the game stays fresh every step of the way. Staying interesting and exciting is something this game does very well.
With five alternative endings, replayability is high. The Gigamax Let’s Play for Nier: Automata covers the entire prologue, but expect many more videos in the near future. You’ll be able to see some crazy boss fights and even find some tips, tricks and secrets as Gigs and Mack progress through the story. This first section of the game offers a particularly great look at what makes Nier such a treasure.
Below, you will find the Nier: Automata playlist where the crew trucks through the first section of the game. Gigs has the controls for this attempt, and it’s his first time playing the multi-genre RPG so things get interesting. Thank you all so much for stopping by. Hope you enjoy!
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Attendees at this year’s Monaco Anime Game International Conferences got a real treat. The developer behind Kingdom Hearts 3 and the Final Fantasy VII remake, Tetsuya Nomura, showed some brand new screenshots of the highly anticipated titles.
Final Fantasy VII
The first couple of screenshots were taken from the upcoming remake of Final Fantasy VII. They are some awesome action shots of the series protagonist, Cloud in some sticky situations. The initial picture shown is of the hero taking cover behind a box as a Shinra soldier fires at him, presumably in the beginning moments of the game. The photo also highlights how radically different this game will be than the original. New to Final Fantasy VII is the action combat that is very reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts. Although veterans of the series will notice a battle timer that will surely impress old school fans.
The next screenshot of Final Fantasy VII was an action sequence showing Cloud and the gun arm wielding, Barrett, fighting off a spider tank. This is the first boss fight that players encountered in the original release and it couldn’t look more different. Square Enix has also recently revealed that the remake would be an episodic adventure so that every part of the game would be extremely detailed.
Kingdom Hearts 3
Finally, an image of Kingdom Hearts 3 was shown that did the unthinkable, increased the hype even further. In the screenshot the protagonist Sora is preparing to take on a new type of unnamed heartless. He is wearing some new flashy clothes and seems to be preparing some sort of spell to throw at the monster. Kingdom Hearts 3 is over 10 years in development and the hard work shows. The Unreal 4 Engine is a perfect fit for the game and makes the game look gorgeous.
Unfortunately no release date was announced for either game but hopefully it drops by the holiday season this year.
It’s been 12 years since the last core Kingdom Hearts game. Finally, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue feels like the last stepping stone before the third entry. 2.8 is another uprezzed collection much like Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 but misses out on not including a game from the main series. This time around players are given Dream Drop Distance (the 3DS game), Birth By Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage (a short section from the PSP game), and a collection of cutscenes from the mobile title Unchained x. While there is plenty of content, it is nowhere near as substantial as the prior remasters but manages to remain fun with what is delivered.
Developer Square Enix put a lot of work into making the old 3DS title, Dream Drop Distance work on the PS4. Playing the game feels way more comfortable on a Dualshock controller then it did on the clunky 3DS gamepad. The combat flow feels smoother and getting invested in the worlds is easier when you can see everything that’s going on. That being said, this is still an apparent 3DS port. Touch and motion controls were a big part of the title and they don’t always translate well to the PlayStation. The game also plays differently than a core Kingdom Hearts so newcomers beware,this is not a traditional Kingdom Hearts experience.
Sora and Riku: Dynamic Duo
Dream Drop Distance relies on a gimmick that has the player switch between controlling Sora and Riku. A drop meter is added underneath the health bar and when the automated timer runs out the player is forced to switch to whichever character they were not using. Seeing the two heroes stories develop simultaneously is entertaining, but the invasive drop system ruins the experience. Once the drop timer runs out, no matter where you are or what enemy is being fought the game force switches your character. I had too many instances of long boss encounters having to be restarted because of this new system. Also gone is the traditional buddy system. Sora no longer fights alongside famous Disney characters. New to the series is the spirit partner system that has players create pets based on the enemies you fight. Using these new partners, our heroes are able to utilize spirit link attacks that let Riku fuse and Sora combo attack with their respective monsters. These new abilities are fun to use but only add to the chaos of the combat system which sometimes feels a little too hectic.
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage
The next entry available to players is “Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage.” This snippet of the PSP game Birth By Sleep has been completely remastered in the Unreal 4 engine. The new style is a first glimpse into what Kingdom Hearts 3 is going to look and play like. The combat is fast and fluid and the story gives a good impression of what’s going on in the events right before the third core game. Aqua is an awesome hero and the new option to customize your character’s appearance is an entertaining distraction. The only downside to this experience is that it is not terribly long. I managed to complete 0.2 in 2 hours 45 minutes on normal difficulty, albeit without finding a ton of the secrets that the game has hidden. This small section of gameplay leaves you wanting so much more, but unfortunately that is still a ways off.
Overall Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is a welcomed addition to the series, but at the end of the experience it only leaves a desire to play the main games. This title is a treat for fans who need something to tide them over while waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3. Newcomers to the series will be left confused and should wait for the re releases of 1.5 and 2.5 on the current gen consoles before sinking money into 2.8. If you’d like a look into what the game looks and plays like, we have a Let’s Play at the bottom of the article that will give more insight into the game.
Final Fantasy XV’s opening screen makes the ambitious claim that it is designed for newcomers as well as veterans to the series. This open world RPG has been in development for 10 years so it is no surprise that developer Square Enix is trying to reach as many players as possible. It is obvious from the start that the developers put a lot of care and thought into the universe this time around. Attention to detail is one of the many praises I can offer to this game that quickly captivated me right after the intro.
The focal point of the story is the protagonist, Noctis and his group of misfit heroes as they set off on an epic journey to reclaim the throne from the evil kingdom of Niflheim. I immediately felt invested in this group of friends and their charmingly unique personalities. Each one of the party members feels like a living person, this is due to the constant dialogue and character building Square Enix carefully put into the game. The characters all have their quirks from Prompto’s love of Chocobo’s to Ignis’ skill for cooking. Your party will remark on what’s happening in the overworld on a moment to moment basis, even sidequests are ended with a conversation about the mission. Ironically enough Noctis may be the most bland of the group but his combat style certainly makes up for his lack of personality.
Combat is handled much differently in this Final Fantasy then it has been done in the past. In lieu of the typical strategic combat the series is known for, the developers have gone in a more action oriented direction. Purists will be happy to hear that if you’d like to play tactically that is still an option that can be turned on, this pauses combat in between hits and feels more like a classic Final Fantasy. Personally I had the flashy action combat on the entire time, making my experience feel similar to that of Kingdom Hearts. Each character has a unique fighting style and all of your teammates will interact during fights. Interactions can be as simple as shouting weaknesses or they can be high octane combo moves which inflict devastating damage. My one complaint about the action combat is that large groups of enemies can be very difficult to keep track of. A lot of unnecessary damage was taken due to my inability to see where my character was. This is only made more chaotic with your character’s insistence on teleporting from one side of the battlefield to the other with his warp ability.
The living open world adds a nice touch to the series and makes you feel like you are making a change to the kingdom. Sidequests litter the map and mini games are never too far away, leaving the player with a ton of distractions. In fact one of the biggest things I noticed about this iteration was how heavily inspired by western RPG’s it felt. Right from the start the map feels like something right out of The Witcher. This is certainly not a bad thing and the game is still very much a JRPG, but it is not hard to tell that modern RPG’s from the west have had an impact on the development team.
Traversing the open world is done mainly with your convertible, the Iron Regalia. This car serves as your trusty steed through the large expanses of the overworld map. Unfortunately this vehicle is only able to operate on paved streets while Chocobo’s or your feet are used for navigating off road areas. Eventually you get another mode of transportation that makes everything more convenient, but I won’t spoil that here. The Iron Regalia can become a tad monotonous after 20 hours of gameplay due to not being able fast travel all the time and some necessary drives can leave the player doing literally nothing for up to 10 minutes. This can be made a little more exciting by playing some of the CD’s that come loaded up in the car’s radio.
Music in the game fits in well with the rest of the series but it certainly doesn’t stand out as one of the better orchestras. Music queues can feel a little wonky at times but it does not take too much from the game. The car’s CD selection offers the choice of any soundtrack from the prior games or a couple of unique songs made specifically for the game by famous DJ’s like Afrojack. These songs feel a bit out of place but they are never forced on you, so it’s possible to pretend like they aren’t there. Overall when push comes to shove and the battle music kicks in, it does a great job of making the cool fights feel even more epic.
Final Fantasy XV does a lot to change up the series and in my opinion does it very successfully. With a cast of characters that is impossible not to get invested in, a battle system with very little shortcomings, a sprawling open world and enjoyable music this is one of the best Final Fantasy’s to date. This game goes above and beyond what I expected from it and truly immersed me in the world Square Enix made. I highly recommend this to any RPG/JRPG fans as this is a title that will definitely go down as a classic.