Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 2012 News

How's everyone enjoying their summer? Plenty of tactics game news this month. In fact, this blog post covers 14 different tactics games in the news this month. Don't listen to anyone who says the genre's dead!

Here are some reviews of the recently released Rainbow Moon for PS3 from Strategy Informer and Eurogamer. These sites are less likely to have newbies reviewing tactics games and thus less likely to give relatively simple games like Rainbow Moon awestruck raves. I haven't given it a try, but it seems a bit grindy and more of an exploration and dungeon crawl game than a traditional tactics game. Seems like a good beginners game.

More coverage of X-Com: Enemy Unknown. Here's another interview with one of the lead developers. Still hoping for the promised PC enhanced interface and "modability" mentioned earlier. Speaking of X-Com, here's some footage of Star Command, another iOS game trying to capture the glory days of X-Com (or at least X-Com nostalgia).

More previews of Skulls of the Shogun. This preview at Eurogamer is pretty good. I think Skulls will catch on with competitive players who like fast arcade style strategy action similar to Hero Academy or Frozen Synapse.

Speaking of Hero Academy, it's coming to PC and Steam on August 8, 2012 with the original fantasy cast replaced with the cast from Team Fortress 2. If anything, this tie-in will lead to a huge boost in sales by Team Fortress 2 hat collectors. I'm not sure but you'll probably be able to play as the original fantasy cast as well. Asynchronous multiplayer tactics games seem to be really catching on in the iOS market and it looks like that dominance is extending to the PC indie game scene very soon with Hero Academy PC and Skulls of the Shogun, not to mention all of Slitherine Games' more hardcore offerings.

Some various iOS reviews from Pocket Arcade, Touch Arcade, and Armchair General. Legion of the Damned, Outwitters, Battle Academy for iPad, and Aliens vs Humans.

Afrika Korps, the sequel/expansion to Panzer Corps, has a new trailer and release date - July 31, 2012 for the PC. If you like realistic, difficult, and complicated tactical wargames for manly grognards, look no further.

Lots of SD Gundam G Generation Overworld screenshots (1) (2) and a new trailer below. If you like SD Gundams smacking eachother around on a tactical grid, it doesn't get better than this. Look for it on 9/27/2012 for the PSP.

Project X Zone's release draws ever closer - it's arriving on 10/11/2012 for the region locked 3DS. I mention region lock because I still don't have a Japanese 3DS and I likely won't until there are quite a few import games worth playing on it. Here are some screenshots in addition to the below trailer.

The Tokyo Games Show is coming soon on 9/20/2012. Look forward to at least a little bit of tactics game news from the show. I'm thinking we'll see some Super Robot Wars news for sure, especially details on the upcoming 2nd OG for PS3, which is notable for being the first SRW game in 720p resolution.

Namco Bandai will be publishing Summon Night 5 for the PSP, release date TBA. Summon Night is a long running Japanese only SRPG series. It tends to be on the easier/grindy side of tactics games, and the cast is mostly children or teenagers, so it will probably catch on with the Disgaea/FFT/TO crowd. Or at least it would if it were ever localized. The developer of Summon Night 5 is Felistella, which is made up of former Flight Plan staff that worked on previous Summon Night games. Namco Bandai will also be re-publishing/porting Summon Night 1-4 on the PSP/Vita as downloadable titles, presumably to drum up new interest in the series. An official site for Summon Night 5 will open on 7/30/2012.

The sky is blue, grass is green, and Nippon Ichi is working on Disgaea 5, or planning on it. Not very surprising news, but we've got confirmation that they are working on it. I'm betting the max level will be so high, you'll need to express it in exponential notation.

Last but not least, here's a Frozen Synapse for iPad preview trailer:

On to gaming in science (some articles may be a few months old):

Robot Hand Beats You At Rock, Paper, Scissors 100% of the Time
Brain scans of people playing poker.
A computer that learns the rules of a game by watching you play.
Algorithm beats jigsaw-solving record.
Game of go: A complex network.
'Game-powered machine learning' opens door to Google for music.
In the brain, winning is everywhere.

On to what I've been up to:

Not a whole lot. I'm about midway through the Gungnir Nightmare *** playthrough. I've mostly lost interest as I get bored either spamming the RNG for safe ragnaroks or trying to get burn/poison to proc on a high HP boss. I'll probably pick up my Z2-2 2nd playthrough soon. Feel free to share what you've been playing, your tactics experiences, how much the recent Steam Sale owned your wallet, or how much you hate that I owned you on that one message board that one time.

I'd like to get a title image for Tactical Insights so if anyone would like to volunteer (or be paid a bit via paypal), please contact me.