Category: Gaming

Does Square Enix Need To Make a FFXIII-3

With the last batch of DLC for Final Fantasy XIII-2 released just a few days ago, a lot of major questions have emerged regarding the future of the XIII universe. The director originally stated in response to the controversial “to be continued..” at the end of FFXIII-2, that a sequel to the game is not guaranteed and that the message at the end of the credits was both an encouragement for players to unlock the other paradox endings, as well as play the consistently released DLC. However, the Requiem of a Goddess DLC, which basically explains to you what happened to Lightning while Serah and Noel were busy “saving the world”, has an ending that may in fact bring closure to the series. The ending of the DLC shows us why Lightning appears in a crystal stasis at the end of the game, and how she will preserve Serah’s memory in indestructible crystal for an eternity in the hope that it will guide Serah’s soul back to her someday.

However, in a secret ending of the DLC, we find that she does in fact wake up (I guess an eternity isn’t too long in the Final Fantasy universe) in what appears to be A Dying World, a playable part of FFXIII-2 that Noel resides from. If Lightning is waking up in this barren world it means one of two things. The first is that Square Enix is simply showing us how bad the world has gotten after the chaos of Vallhalla was released, and doesn’t plan to go any further. The alternative could be that the world she is waking up to still has hope, and that Lightning may take a major role in saving it in XIII-3. I personally vote for the latter idea.

The DLC also brought resolution to Serah’s death, something that the ending of the game did not. Lightning is torn apart by the guilt of setting Serah down this path, but Serah herself shows up and explains to Lightning that it wasn’t her fault, that she chose it. Serah continued to go on, knowing that each step would bring her closer to death. We see a very emotional goodbye scene between Lightning and Serah, and the leading cause for Lightning’s following decision.

It’s really hard to say how Square Enix could advance from this point. In a sense, they have brought the series to a close, just in a very dark and lonely way. When I witnessed the XIII-2 ending back in February, I was pretty outraged. I demanded that this horrible downward spiral of a closure on the last two games be met with some sort of equilibrium in a XIII-3. But now that I’ve experienced this DLC, I really don’t think it’s that necessary. My main anger towards the ending of XIII-2, with its abrupt and unresolving events, has mostly been compromised by this DLC’s bittersweet ending. Does Square Enix need a FFXIII-3? No, it does not. Although I’ve loved most of the characters in the FFXIII universe, and would enjoy another game, I think it’s safe to say goodbye, and look on to better Final Fantasy titles out there to be released.

This is how Activision is Justifying Selling the Angry Birds Collection for $39.99

For any of you who missed it, you have not seen the last of Angry Birds. It was announced a while back that the games were going to be coming to the 3DS, as well as consoles in the form of a collection including Angry Birds, Angry Birds Rio, and Angry Birds Seasons. Now, if you think about it, buying all three Angry Birds games offered on mobile devices, including all the DLC, would run you about $10 give or take. That being said, on what grounds does Activation justify selling this collection for $29.99 on the 3DS and $39.99 on the PS3 and Xbox 360? Here’s how.

Basically, Activision is basing their price on how much “extra” content the collection will have. First off, each and every level has been remastered in stunning HD graphics. It will also have 19 original levels that have never been seen before (though it’s not much when compared to the 700+ levels that already exist). On top of all those improvements to gameplay, the collection will also have artwork, new cinematics (that replace the pretty simple animations), surround sound, Move/Kinect support, 3D support, achievements, and plenty of unlockables like never before seen artwork. Not to mention the fact that instead of having all three games across three different iPod applications (which are so hard to open separately…like seriously, thank you Activision for not making me open separate applications to play these games), you can have all those birds in one convenient place. That’s pretty much all they have on the matter.

Sorry Activision, you don’t have me sold on this one just yet. Let’s take a look at why these “extra” things don’t make the game worth any extra money. First of all, why do you need to play Angry Birds in HD? I mean, the graphics are already simple enough that even in HD, nothing is really gained. The iPod versions had no troubles graphically that I noticed, so HD isn’t really a selling point in this case. Secondly, as I stated above, including that the game will have 19 new levels doesn’t make much of a difference either. How about instead of buying this and getting 19 new levels, I just buy a full new game for $39.99? I could most likely get a fairly recent one for that much. Lastly, can we just take a second to realize that this “collection” doesn’t even have every single Angry Birds game on it? I mean, why would they not include Angry Birds Space? If they had done that, I would consider paying like…$15 for it (on a good day).

Honestly, I don’t think that there is a single thing that Activision could do that could make me buy Angry Birds for $39.99 outside of literally giving me a giant slingshot with hand grenades, and lining up the Rovio employees for me to take aim at. Of course, maybe I am being too harsh. They did get all 3 Angry Birds applications in one easy place, making it so I don’t have to open each app individually to play each title.

Things to know about Rayman Legends

Reggie Fils-Aime and Nintendo redefined the term “launch window”. After announcing the November release of their Wii U system, they announced a pile of titles, many of which would be available launch day, and another lot that would be available within a four to six month launch window. I suppose that when you consider the life cycle

When Nintendo announced its Wii U launch-window line up, there were a few games that caught my eye and Rayman Legends was definitely one of them. Looking forward to it being an actual day-one launch title, I ran to my local game shop to put down my pre-order money. Alas, I was dismayed to hear that not only would Legends

Were you just ever so excited to pop in Rayman Legends into your brand new Wii U this November? Well, Ubisoft said not until Q1 2013. That’s right folks, you’ll have to wait two to three more months to play a new and improved Rayman Legends. According to Ubisoft, the game has be delayed to give developer more time to fine

Ubisoft has already announced that they would be showing off Rayman Legends at Gamescom 2012, so there’s no surprise at this “new” trailer. Calling the trailer new would be strange, considering it strongly resembles the E3 footage that was shown during Ubisoft’s panel. Anyways, the trailer focusses on the Wii U gamepad, which gives you access to the frog character.

At E3, we were introduced to one new character that was making an appearance in Rayman Legends. The frog thing, which is exclusive to the gamepad, seemed to add another element to the already exciting gameplay exhibited by Rayman Legends. Now they are introducing a character that is a little bit more “in your face” about her problems. Everyone say hello to

Wii U Hands-On Videos get Personal with the Wii U’s Most Popular Games We still don’t know when Nintendo is going to release the Wii U, so I guess all we have right now is videos. At an event in Montreal over the weekend, the kind folks over at Jeux Online managed to snag some videos of some of Wii U’s most popular games in action. These include Rayman Legends; Pikmin 3; Project P-100;

Rayman Legends Might Not Be A Wii U Exclusive Since the official E3 demo last week, Rayman Legends has been labeled specifically for Wii U, with no confirmation for other consoles. Considering the amount of Wii U specific technology (near field communication, touch-screen based multiplayer, etc) that the game is designed around, it seemed pretty clear that the game would be a Wii U exclusive. However, if you were

With another E3 come and gone, and the console war just beginning the final leg of this generation, the digital gauntlet has been thrown down and the future spending for the holiday season is secured. Here at GU, the past week was full of debates, potential dreams, maybe a bit too much cynicism, and of course, heavy speculation. To wrap

PS Vita: The Games So Far – Gaming Unwrapped

PlayStation Vita, which will be available this fall for $249 or $299 depending on the wireless connectivity of choice, is on its way. After being fully unveiled and named at this year’s E3, we are now left to wait. In the meantime, however, we can speculate. We’ve got a pretty good grasp on the hardware, or at least as good as that will get until it becomes available. We know the 3G service is coming from AT&T, which means we know it will be terrible. Finally, we know some games are coming out. We don’t have solid release dates for any of them, but quite a few were shown at E3, and here they are.

BioShock 

This will be available after launch, probably even in early 2012. According to creative director Ken Levine, it will be a unique title, not a port of previous games in the series.

Street Fighter X Tekken 

The cross universe fighting game from Capcom will easily be the best fighting game available this early in Vita’s life cycle. We know no more about this game than we do about its home console brethren.

Super Stardust Delta 

Have you played Super Stardust HD? If you haven’t, go use your Welcome Back offer from Sony to get it on your PS3. For free. Its awesome. Bringing it to the Vita and adding tilt and touch controls should make this game, already perfect for portable platforms, a must-have.

Hot Shots Golf Next 

The cartoony golf series, already a favorite on PSP, comes to Vita with upgraded graphics and touch controls. If you like Hot Shots Golf, you will like this. If you don’t, move along.
Virtua Tennis 4

What would a Sony hardware release be without an accompanying Virtua tennis game? Like Hot Shots Golf, you should already know whether or not you want this.

Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja

There is just about nothing to be known about this game yet, and it was barely even mentioned by Sony at E3. Expect more details soon

BlazBlue Continuum Shift

An updated port of the existing title, and expected to be available at launch. The developer is considering using the rear touchpad for “something,” but hopefully they’ll leave well enough alone.
Gravity

A puzzle game in which the main character can decide at any point which direction is down.

ModNation Racers

Customiable kart racing comes to Vita. Should be perfect for the portable platform assuming track creation and customization is well executed.

Ruin

A Diablo-esque dungeon crawler with a cloud saving feature that allows you to pick up and play on either your Vita or your PS3 at home.

LittleBigPlanet

Sackthings on the go. Much like ModNation, it all comes down to the execution of the customization features.

Harley Quinn’s Revenge Review

Harley Quinn’s Revenge isn’t the DLC that gamers need, but the one that they deserve.

Rarely does a downloadable expansion satisfy the way Harley Quinn’s Revenge does. Not only is it a well-constructed narrative, it throws players into a fresh cowl to boot (outside of challenge mode at least). By having players take on the role of Robin instead of Batman for much of the expansion, Rocksteady was able to continue the story right where Arkham City ended without it feeling rehashed. The Boy Wonder keeps the gameplay fresh by presenting the player with new combat moves and ways to solve puzzles. This makes the DLC feel new and familiar all at the same time.

Don’t underestimate Robin. While Tim Drake may be considered a lowly sidekick, he can still kick some low life backside with the best of ’em. Utilizing his bo staff as a battering ram and his grapple hook to zip kick the baddies, Robin’s fighting style feels inherently different from that of Batman’s.

Story-wise, the expansion picks up just a few weeks after the events of Arkham City. Harley Quinn has become madder than the man in the top hat since losing her beloved Mr. J and has managed to lure in and capture the Caped Crusader. Enter Robin. The sidekick extraordinaire, disturbed by Batman’s disappearance, heads to Arkham City to save his mentor. While attempting to save Batman, there’s a continual sense of desperation in the air. Time is running out and lives are on the line – namely, Bruce Wayne’s. The story is enough to draw players in and keep them hooked, but ends rather abruptly and could have used a bit more fleshing out in the closing. Especially in the department regarding Batman’s psyche.

Throughout the course of the story players learn that Batman has been secluded since the deaths of Talia Al Ghul and the Joker. What’s most disturbing about this is that the expansion makes it seem like Batman not only blames himself for Joker’s death, but has actually been mourning the loss of his archenemy. Unfortunately, it’s never fully expanded. Much like their fighting styles, those closest to Batman find it better to move around the topic instead of attacking it head on. Still, this is more than forgivable. The ‘saving Batman’ narrative is front and center for this expansion and by only hinting at Batman’s deepening misery, Rocksteady has left open their options for further additions; whether it be another DLC, a new game, or a comic.

The missions and enemies throughout Harley Quinn’s Revenge feel like a condensed version of Arkham City and that’s not a bad thing. Think of it as a sampler platter for Arkham City. Players get to experience a bit of everything that made the main game such a success. There are new puzzles to be solved, timers to be beaten, shadows to be skulked, and, of course, mobs of enemies to be pummeled. The expansion is a blast to play from beginning to end and never gets old. Granted, it’s only two hours long but it’s so much fun that it warrants more than a single play-through.

Harley Quinn’s Revenge is one DLC that no Batfan should miss out on. For it’s low price and lasting appeal, this is a DLC that stands cowl and cape above the rest. Needless to say, this expansion is no joke.