Monday, August 30, 2010

Sakura Wars VI for Wii

A new Sakura Wars entry may be announced in an upcoming Famitsu.  Sakura Wars is a hybrid dating sim/tactical SRPG, although it's mostly a dating sim.  Maybe with the recent Valkyria Chronicles releases, Sega will be more interested in fleshing out the tactical side of things.  Source: Siliconera

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Civilization V Demo Available on Launch Date

Want to try Civ V before you buy?  The demo will be available on launch day, Sept 21 2010. 
Civ V will definitely be one of the best tactical PC games released this year.  Unlike previous Civ games there's a greater emphasis on tactical combat and no silly unit stacking.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Super Robot Wars L (DS) revealed in Famitsu

In an unsurprising development, Famitsu's 'big SRPG reveal' turns out to be another Super Robot Taisen/Wars game.  It looks like it'll be your typical handheld SRW title with moderate to low difficulty.  But who knows, maybe they'll surprise me this time and add an Ex-Hard mode and skill points.  Here's a link to some promotional material scans at SRW Hotnews.  Release date is Nov 25, 2010.

Update: Official website is up.  Screens at Famitsu.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sega registers

Desperate for more Valkyria Chronicles?  Sega has just registered the domain, possibly in anticipation of the next entry in the series.  Valkyria Chronicles 2 for PSP is out Aug 31, 2010 so you'd better buy it if you want more entries in the series!  Source: Siliconera

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jagged Alliance 2: Reloaded announced.

Jagged Alliance fans have reason to cheer yet again as bitComposer seems intent on a full on revival of the series.  They've just announced a remake of Jagged Alliance 2 with "Reloaded" added to the title, set for a 2011 PC release.  New features include 3D graphics, a tutorial, rebalanced combat, and probably other new content.  Above you can see a comparison shot between the 3D remake and 2D original.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jagged Alliance Online announced.

bitComposer Games, who now own the license to Jagged Alliance, have announced Jagged Alliance Online.  No word whether it's a microtransaction or a monthly fee game.  Official website here.  bitComposer is also working on Jagged Alliance 3 with a 2011 release.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Popular SRPG reveal in next Famitsu.

Next week's Famitsu will have a reveal of a new entry in a popular SRPG series.  My guess is a new Super Robot Wars entry, possibly the new PS3 game which is rumored to be Super Robot Wars Z 2, or possibly Original Generations 3.  None of the other SRPG suspects seem likely.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Front Mission 3 coming to PSN, PSP

Square-Enix has announced they are bringing Front Mission 3 to PSP and PS3 via PSN, presumably to drum up hype for the forthcoming Front Mission Evolved.  For some strange reason it's only been announced for PAL territories so far.  Front Mission 3 is a classic SRPG with lots of content to play through and a ranking system, which is nice. Unfortunately like most Square tactics games it's easily broken by abusing a few overpowered skills like Pilot Eject, or Pilot Kill.. so uh, avoid those if you don't want to make a joke out of the game.  No word on a release date yet, although you can always hunt down the PS original.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Creator of X-Com Julian Gollop working on 3DS tactical launch title.

In the comments section of a Gamasutra article on X-Com, the creator and developer of X-Com Julian Gollop left a comment stating that "I am now working on a turn-based tactical RPG which will be a 3DS launch title. Thanks to 'Advance Wars', 'Fire Emblem' and 'Final Fantasy Tactics' it seems turn-based games are not totally dead - at least for Nintendo handhelds."  While I like to think that the DS, PSP, iPhone, and PC all have a healthy selection of turn based tactical games, it's good to hear that we'll have a quality 3DS tactical entry at launch with a veteran tactics developer behind it.

The title he is working on is likely the already announced Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Lead the Ghosts, since his Linkedin bio states he's working for Ubisoft.  That little bit of investigative work was done by a poster at NeoGAF, one of the best gaming forums on the net.

Sega planning Valkyria Chronicles II "Community BLiTZ"

Starting next week, Sega of America will be releasing a wave of new VC II media and giving away free stuff.  "Besides being able to find new info about the game each day, you’ll also be able to win a number of great prizes, including Valkyria Chronicles figurines, free DLC codes for the first game, and other rare merchandise!"

It seems to be a worthy sequel to the excellent Valkyria Chronicles, and they've balanced the game better this time.  There are no cheap and overpowered orders, scout rushes, or reloading for potential procs and unlikely hits this time around.  You can read my preview here.  Valkyria Chronicles II is being released on Aug 31 2010 in NA.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The War of Eustrath available for iPhone

The War of Eustrath, a tactical homage to Super Robot Taisen/Wars, is now available for iPhone in addition to iPad.  I'd been meaning to check this out but I was waiting for it to hit iPhone.  I'm pretty sure most people aren't going to be shelling out $500 just to play a tactics game on a giant touchpad, so being on the iPhone and iPod Touch is a big plus.

It looks like the campaign has about 50 missions and a pretty involving plot.  Again very similar to Super Robot Wars with mechs beating eachother up and a similar weapon/pilot/special ability system going on.  Probably not a very difficult game but it looks like one of the better iPhone tactics games available.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More Tactics Ogre PSP screenshots.

Game-Watch has some new Tactics Ogre PSP screenshots up. There's also some class character art including the new rogue class. Aside from the facelift and new UI elements it doesn't look like the combat mechanics have changed much.  If you don't have a PSP and you're a tactics fan you should probably pick one up.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blue Roses gameplay footage.

Here's some footage of Blue Roses for PSP, developed by ex-Flight Plan staff, the now gone company responsible for the Summon Night series. This game is being published by NIS so there's a decent chance of a US release.

So what about the footage? It looks like your typical anime strategy game aimed at kids. One interesting bit is how you can choose three nearby allies to attack an enemy with, where the combat switches to a more traditional RPG format. Skills are chosen and timing based button prompts can be hit for extra effect. The UI and game speed seems to be sort of slow, unless there's some options to speed things up. It mostly reminds me of Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor with the tactical 3 on 3 format. Oh and if you can read on the map, "Free Battle" basically means grinding is available (oh joy).

Knights in the Nightmare PSP NA Trailer

Atlus has published a NA trailer for the PSP port of Knights in the Nightmare.  Looks great to me. I hated how tiny the fonts were in the DS version and it looks like the interface is more readable and less cluttered. And it's still a difficult game to get high scores on.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Valkyria Chronicles II Demo available on NA PSN

An English demo for Valkyria Chronicles II is going live today on PSN.  There are also apparently new decorations and characters coming to the NA version.  Look for the demo in today's PSN update.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Battlefield Academy released for PC

Battlefield Academy is now available for purchase.  It's a WEGO tactics game (both players move at the same time on a grid) with a comic book style take on WW2 combat.  It comes with a scenario editor and multiplayer features.  Looks like a fun wargame lite.  It doesn't look like there are multiple difficulty levels.

Rubik's Cube proved solvable in 20 turns

After 35 'CPU years' worth of computing power devoted to the problem, a perfect Rubik's Cube algorithm has been proven that can solve any position in 20 moves.  Wait, this isn't tactics news?  Well, other than the fact that there's no tactics video game news lately, it's actually highly related to the analytical, puzzle solving methodology of tactics games, including chess and other board games.  Eventually we'll be able to make a perfect chess AI that only loses the minimum probable amount given uncertainties about their opponents strategy.  Developers making strategy games can use efficient algorithms to determine the most efficient moves to solve their own content without guesswork or playtesting.  This is just another example of how computing is changing the nature of puzzle solving, by being smarter and faster than humans, of course.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fire Emblem Heroes of Light and Shadow Lunatic is hard.

I've compiled a few screenshots that show off how fun Lunatic difficulty mode is in Fire Emblem Heroes of Light and Shadow.  I've been hearing 'blah blah Nintendo hard this and that' for years, but screw that.  This is easily the most difficult game from Nintendo since Advance Wars Advance Campaign.  Most players won't even be able to clear the prologue, but if you do here's some of the fun that awaits.

1. Aggro traps.  These are large groups of linked enemies that refuse to budge until you get close enough, usually close enough for all or almost all of them to attack you.  You need a very strong tank/puller to survive these.  Keep in mind that Lunatic mode enemies will kill most of your party in 2 hits.

2. By about mid-game, every enemy has a forged weapon.  By late game, they have ridiculously powerful forged weapons, fully capped strength/speed stats, and a variety of slayer and killer weapons that can and will one shot party members.  But that's not enough.  The dragons and wyrms get 1-2 range attacks instead of 1 range.  You can't get a variety of helpful magic staves and items that make the game easier - they've been removed or replaced with basic healing items, or are inaccessible.

3. Huge reinforcement waves.  In Chapter 20 34 enemies will appear and charge you at once.  The game sometimes hits the 60 unit cap on the enemy side and just keeps pouring more units in.  And it loves springing reinforcement traps often, usually combined with aggro traps as stated above.

4. A ranking system exists that grades you based on speed, survival, and technique (not exactly sure what technique is).  Lunatic mode is only really a challenge if you try to get every recruit and possible item/chest in the game, let no party members die, and rush through the map to get the best score.

5. If that wasn't hard enough, clearing Lunatic mode unlocks Lunatic' Reverse mode, where enemies attack you first even when it's the Player Phase.

Still working on my guide for the game that you can find here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mecho Wars free today.

Have an iPhone or iPad? Want a free turn based tactics game, albeit a simple and easy one? You can get Mecho Wars for free today only. Click here to download Mecho Wars. Review here.  Mecho Wars is making its way to PSPMinis, DSiWare, and Wiiware sometime in the future, so you can consider this a free preview.