Thursday, November 22, 2012

Nov 2012 News #2

Big fan translation news. Fire Emblem: Heroes of Light and Shadow (DS) now has a complete English translation patch available. It's one of the best FEs and I highly recommend it.

The Valkyria Chronicles 3 (PSP) translation team have released some great progress screenshots. I'm guessing the patch will be released sometime in 2013.

2nd Super Robot Wars OG for PS3 got a score of 35/40 on Famitsu. Check out some translated details here. There will be more trailers before the 11/29 release. No details on whether there's a very hard difficulty mode available yet.

Check out Rui Castro's Facebook Tactics game group for some more tactics game news and info.

Some new iOS tactics games to check out:

Solarian Tactics. Looks very much like Hero Academy. I'm sure it has its differences, but it's hard to tell from the short trailer.

Battle Dungeon. It's a cross between a tactics game and a dungeon crawler. Looks interesting!

Cthulhu World Combat. Described as inspired by Advance Wars with some tweaks, and based on the mythology of H.P. Lovecraft. It currently has $24k out of its $300k kickstarter goal, so I doubt it's going to make its funding. Maybe they'll find an investor and make the game anyway?

Some new PC tactics games to check out:

Telepath Tactics. It has 6 player multiplayer, a single player campaign, and a nice map editor with modding support.

Just Tactics. Multiplayer focused tactics game with effect cards, reaction shots, and other neat features.

Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front is now in development. Slitherine Games has set up a forum where you can post your suggestions and feedback.

Finally, Slitherine Games is holding a holiday sale. Battle Academy, Field of Glory, and Panzer Corps can be had for $19.99 each. All good tactics games, although I'd recommend Battle Academy if I had to choose one.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ragnarok Tactics Impressions

I bought Ragnarok Tactics on the PSN for $25 (it's available on both the PSP and Vita). Not a bad price for a new release. It's your standard Final Fantasy Tactics/Tactics Ogre style SRPG with classes, skills, a branching plot line, lots of grinding and party building, etc. Combat seems more balanced than FFT/TO, but it's not very difficult to me. Overall it seems like a plain FFT/TO SRPG clone that isn't going to set the world on fire.

Combat speed is very slow as you can't skip any attack or skill animations, some of which take 5+ seconds. I wish I was kidding. The UI is similarly slow and unresponsive. Party management takes far too long due to delays between menus and UI lag (even with a data install). A single free battle can take up to 30 min just due to the slow combat speed and sluggish UI. It's too bad the combat speed and UI are so poor, as the combat itself seems decent. I just don't have the patience for such games anymore.

Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so, according to this thread.

"I know it's already been said but the battle pacing is just so slow. I wouldn't recommend it to someone unless they're really into SRPGs and Ragnarok Online."

"thats my only issue atm really, combat feels slow because its bogged down by too many animations"

"The default striking animation and subsequent popups are slow as **** and I just can't see myself playing through this."

What's interesting to me is that I feel that FFT/TO also have slow combat speed and some UI issues. So why are people criticizing Ragnarok Tactics for its slow combat speed, while FFT/TO tends to get a free pass? I asked that very question.

"No. Maybe FFT, but I've never experienced "slowness" in TO."

"FFT, yes that's why I have a hard time getting into it when I first started. I'm gonna parroted Sephi that TO never really felt slow to me."

So apparently FFT is slow, but TO isn't, even though I lost count of the times I had to sit through a 5 second animation as a unit in TO used an item or skill, or cast a spell. Strange how these guys think. If you're looking for more info or discussion about Ragnarok Tactics, check the gamefaqs board.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nov 2012 News #1

Hi all, time for some more tactics game news. The big news of the past few days has been Julian Gollop (creator of X-Com) announcing a sequel to one of his early tactics games called Chaos. Chaos is like an early version of multiplayer iOS titles like Hero Academy, except more complicated. You can check out Julian Gollop's twitter, or check out his blog with lots of details on the forthcoming Chaos sequel.

Turn based cover shooters seem to be appearing all over the place lately. Jagged Alliance Online is apparently out of testing. It's a microtransaction based browser game, but it's running on the 3D Unity browser plugin so it looks pretty good. Unlike the recent Jagged Alliance remakes, JA Online stays true to the original turn based games, complete with time units or action points. Similar to other free to play tactics games, you can theoretically unlock anything for free, it will just take you aeons of grinding repetitive missions to do it.

You can now download a lite version of Battle Academy for iOS, which is iOS speak for "extended demo".

I've been checking out this semi-tactics game Fallen Enchantress. It's more of a Heroes of Might and Magic style game where you spend most of your time walking around on an overworld map. Tactical fights are limited to small maps against a couple enemies. It seems like a pretty good strategy game, though. Thanks to Dehimos for pointing it out in an earlier comment.

Review of Panzer Corps: Afrika Corps.

Ragnarok Tactics English Launch Trailer. Ragnarok Tactics for PSP is available now.

First English trailer of Fire Emblem: Awakening.

Disgaea D2 screens and trailer.

2nd Super Robot Wars OG preview trailer #4. More extreme shouting and more lasers flying everywhere - what else could it be?

2nd Super Robot Wars OG scenario 1 teaser trailer. As you know I play tactics games for their combat and mechanics, and that's what I base my opinions on. I don't understand much or any of the plot of Japanese games. With that in mind, I was disappointed by this first scenario compared to 2nd SRW Z Hakai-hen and Saisei-hen's opening scenarios and Z2-2's prologue. I'm still looking forward to playing it, I just think they have done better and should have done better gameplay wise.

Unfortunately it's difficult to find a place to safely express a gameplay focused opinion on Super Robot Wars, as a lot of people play it for the plot/characters, and some of the more fanatical fanboys will attack anyone with even a slightly a negative or differing opinion. You would think this is a normal, respectable opinion, but you know how ridiculous internet fanboys can be.