Friday, June 22, 2012

June 2012 News #2

 

Rainbow Moon, the PS3 downloadable SRPG, will be available on July 10 in NA. According to this article, random encounters are optional, and the enemy AI might be smarter than usual. I'm still wondering what the ranking tab on the official web site is for. It might just be one of those nonsensical rankings that tell you how much time a player has invested in a game and little else. On the other hand, the Rainbow Moon developers did create Soldner X which is a decent shoot em up, so maybe some of that will carry over.
 
Fire Emblem: Awakening for 3DS is arriving in NA sometime in 2013 with DLC separate. No, they're not putting it on the cart for NA gamers.




Namco-Bandai has announced SD Gundam G Generation Overworld for PSP. It features lots of Gundam series and some new gameplay features. Official site here.

Another day, another X-Com: Enemy Unknown developer interview. Notable quote: "We love the idea of a cover-based system, using flanking, line of sight, angles on the enemies, that's more of the decision being made, as opposed to [different shot types]."

New details on Tales of the World Tactics Union. PSP/Vita port anyone?

New Project X Zone trailer from the recent Nintendo Direct. Once again, this game promises to be more about the battle mini-games than the tactical combat.

The developers of Legends of War: Patton's Campaign for PSP are apparently partnering with Slitherine Games to publish a retail and digital port/remake to PC, PS3, X360, and Vita. That seems like a pretty ambitious publishing move and I wouldn't be surprised if it went digital only and cut some of the systems. Pocket Tactics reported back in April that Field of Glory is getting an iPad/Android port and Battle Academy is getting an Android port, in addition to Panzer Corps for iPad.

Great Big War Game, the iOS sequel to Great Little War Game has a new trailer. Release date in "very early July".

Valkyria Chronicles 3 translation project. Nothing released yet, but it looks promising.

New Frozen Synapse for iPad trailer. Not surprisingly, it looks a lot like the PC version.

Kadokawa Games announced a PSP SRPG called Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere Portable. It looks like a low budget/low quality fanservice game, so don't expect much attention to be paid to it.

My review of Dragon's Dogma is up on extremegamer.ca.

I've finished Gungnir and I thought it was a good tactics game with enough variety for most player skill levels. It's fast paced, balanced, strategic, not too RNG heavy, and has lots of variety. The UI could use some improvement, but I think it holds up pretty well even for advanced players. If you like grinding and easy difficulty, you can play on Basic difficulty and do some grinding to raise your stats, or if you like a challenge, try Nightmare mode and aim for a high score/rank. Most impressively to me, most of the game mechanics and strategic depth works well together and there's little or nothing that sticks out to me as meaningless or "tacked on".

I've noticed a lot of hits to Tactical Insights searching for Gungnir. Here are some links if you're interested:

Gungnir guide on Gamefaqs. This is a fairly well done guide that explains most of the mechanics and has some useful info.

Gamefaqs Gungnir forum.You'll find tons of useful info and advice here.

Looking for the digital version of the Gungnir instruction manual? Find it here.

Gungnir walkthrough on youtube.

I'll have a review of Gungnir up on extremegamer.ca soon.

Friday, June 15, 2012

June 2012 News and Commentary


Some interesting Skulls of the Shogun news. The PC version will only be available on Windows 8. I'll be writing a new preview soon.

More game coverage of X-Com: Enemy Unknown. It's all over gaming coverage sites.

Aksys Games officially announces their localization of Ragnarok Tactics. You can preorder Ragnarok Tactics at Amazon.com for $30. I'm liking the discount prices on these localized PSP tactics games.

Auro: A turn-based, cross-platform tactics game on Kickstarter

Pocket Tactics review of iOS tactics game Warlords Classic HD. I just discovered Pocket Tactics recently and it's a good resource for all manner of portable strategy games, not just on the tactical level.

TouchArcade review of iOS tactics game LostStar Tactics.

I've revamped the recommended tactics game list with new screenshots, links, and commentary. I still have to do the import section, add more to the iOS section, and add more links, but it's looking a lot better now. I noticed it was the 2nd most frequently visited page on Tactical Insights next to the main list of tactics games, so I figured I'd give it a bit more attention. Take a look and give me your suggestions and thoughts.

Interestingly, one of the top google search queries leading to tbstactics.com for the past few months has been "advance wars 3ds". Unfortunately, reports were that Advance Wars: Days of Ruin did not do well in NA, and it was cancelled in Japan despite being already translated in Japanese. While Advance Wars 3DS is a possibility, I wouldn't hold my breath.

I'm now playing through Gungnir. It's about what I expected - somewhat obtuse game mechanics and above average difficulty even on the easiest mode. The lack of free battles and mid-battle saves will be a sore point for most casual gamers. I'm enjoying it, but it's definitely one of those niche tactics games that won't garner widespread acclaim. I'll be writing a review of Gungnir for extremegamer.ca. Speaking of which, if you like my reviews, check out the review for Trials Evolution.

I've held that the popularity and message board activity about a game is somewhat proportional to its sales. Of course, those with illogical axes to grind disagreed with me, but it turns out there's plenty of proof that I'm right. In this study, movie sales were directly proportional to the amount of relevant internet discussion and activity. This was one of the reasons I claimed Gungnir wouldn't sell as well as the forthcoming Growlanser for PSP which was announced for localization around the same time. It makes logical sense to me.

My second Super Robot Wars Z2-2 playthrough is currently on hold. Hopefully I won't forget everything about the game by the time I come back to it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

E3 2012 News


At E3 2012 we got more information on X-Com: Enemy Unknown. It's shaping up to be a decent tactics game, playing like a turn based cover shooter (think Operation Darkness or Front Mission). I like how each enemy type has its own unique AI and abilities, and the destructible environments are cool. I've given the devs some flak for some statements during interviews, but the game itself is looking decent to good. Here's some recent playthrough impressions from Game Informer. Of note, you can turn off the camera close ups (thank god) and the UI is reportedly fast paced and well designed (we'll see about that).


Fire Emblem 3DS announced for NA localization. Confirmation from the official Nintendo of America twitter.

 
Ragnarok: The Imperial Princess of Light and Dark for PSP is being localized by Aksys Games under the name Ragnarok Tactics. Pretty unexpected, but the game does play a lot like Tactics Ogre, so I suppose it's not a huge shock.

With E3 basically over, I'll go over some of the games I saw that I liked, aside from the obvious ones just mentioned: X-Com: Enemy Unknown, Ragnarok Tactics, and Fire Emblem 3DS. I'm not sure where all the E3 hate is coming from, because I don't see how any hardcore gamer could be upset with a list like this.

Arma III/DayZ: DayZ is a realistic survival mod with permadeath, PvP, and zombies. There's no point to the game other than survive and see what kind of situations you run into - maybe a bit like real life?

The Last of Us: Very cool looking survival game with lots of dynamic events during combat.

Watch Dogs: Open world sandbox game that features hacking everything from smart phones to city lights, cars, and trains. And of course, shooting people.

Metal Gear Rising Revengeance: Excellent 3D action game similar to Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, and Ninja Gaiden 1&2. Should be everything the awful Ninja Gaiden 3 wasn't.

Rayman Legends: Sequel/remake to one of the best 2D platformers in recent memory. I probably won't play it though as I have no plans to buy a Wii U.

Hokuto Musou 2: Totally corny but awesome 3D brawler set in the post-apocalyptic martial arts world of Hokuto no Ken. This will definitely be a guilty pleasure.

Did I miss anything? Let me know!

Finally, there are a few tactics game sales this weekend: Battle Academy from Slitherine Games is on sale for $19.99, and the Elven Legacy Collection is on sale on Steam for $7.49. I still highly recommend Elven Legacy to experienced tactics game players.