Feb 182013
 

monsterhunter3ultimatelogo

If you’ve been visiting our site for any length of time, you know that I was pretty much obsessed with Monster Hunter 3 for Wii. After putting well over 100 hours into the game, my poor decrepit launch day Wii gave up the ghost and I didn’t have the heart to start fresh.

Since then, I (along with other North American Monster Hunter fans) have been chomping at the bit for a new game. Finally, that wait is over!  Capcom announced that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will be hitting North American stores for the Wii U and 3DS March 19th. The tons of new monsters, new areas to explore, new weapons and armor were enough to get my adrenaline flowing, but add to the fact you can transfer your save file back and forth between the Wii U and the 3DS and I am in LOVE with this game over a month before its release date. Despite the fact that we’ve just recently posted some details,  we really just wanted an excuse to post some cool screens and a video.

Check out a couple of my favorite screen shots from the game and a video below! Also, check back with us later this month when we will have our impressions of the demos up!

monster-hunter-3-ultimate-wii-u-screenshot-10

 

Monster-Hunter-3-Ultimate-Screenshot-1

 

mh3-1-610x343

 

 

Jan 252013
 

mh3_ultimate_logo_rgb_whiteback

This may be old news for a lot of you, but late is better than never, right? Capcom recently announced some more details concerning it’s upcoming action adventure game, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate  for Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS. This game is one of the first for Wii U that will allow cross platform play between its 3DS counterpart; meaning you can transfer your save file from the Wii U to the 3DS and play your same game on the go, and vice versa.

If you aren’t familiar with the Monster Hunter series, it pits players against fearsome monsters and gives them the opportunity to upgrade their equipment with materials obtained from these monsters. A demo hits the eShop for both systems on February 21st. The game’s retail release date follows soon after on March 22nd.

If you are as excited about this game as we are, you will probably enjoy looking at the pile of screenshots below.

Nov 012012
 

When I fist approached Ragnarok Odyssey, I was expecting a game derivative of Monster Hunter, but with more anime-themed silliness. I was afraid, because as much as I like to admire Monster Hunter from afar, I am super terrible at it and my initial eagerness at the beginning of each game quickly turns to discouraged sadness after the first big dinosaur monster stomps me to death. Much to my chagrin, Ragnarok Odyssey turned out to be much more in line with the likes of Phantasy Star Online with a slight touch of Monster Hunter, which is much more appetizing to me both because PSO was a game in which I was much less terrible. Continue reading »

Jan 242012
 

Nestled in the center of Tokyo’s bustling Shinjuku district is Cap Bar, Capcom’s new joint venture with karaoke chain Pasela. It’ll have game kiosks, merchandise, and a Capcom-themed food and drink menu. Here are the teaser photos of the menu release by Cap Bar, my favorite being the Resident Evil ‘Brain Cake’.

Horrifying? Yes. Tasty? Maybe. Awesome? You’re damn right.

Cap Bar opens in Tokyo on January 25th.

via Joystiq

Apr 072011
 

The 3DS, Nintendo’s “next-generation” handheld has arrived, and has generated enough hype to power at least two Marvel Vs Capcom tournaments. Over in RoboAwesome territory, three of our kickass RoboStaffers have spent the last week or so with the handheld, and would like to share their thoughts on the device with the gaming community, as well as list a few anticipated titles.

David – The 3DS is out and it’s pretty dang awesome. I’ve been really enjoying everything about it. I’m most amazed at how much I’ve been playing with it without playing Pilotwings, which is a great game by the way. All of the AR Games are really good, Face Raiders is incredibly addicting, and the Mii Plaza games are pretty fun as well. I just wish the Mii Plaza games would let you play with Miis from friends instead of only StreetPass Miis. It seems really strange to collect all of your friends and then not be able to do anything with them. I would love to play the Mii RPG more but the buy-able Miis really don’t help much at all. Maybe if I carry it with me in downtown Chicago I might get a few Miis but in my little neighborhood, it’s pretty slim pickings. The 3D effect works great and all the pack in software is fun. The charge cradle pretty much cures all the battery problems I was worried about. Now I just have to wait until the 3DS Store update so I can start downloading. I think it’ll be a lot more convenient for the DSiWare games I’ve missed and there’s a few Game Boy classics I wouldn’t mind having.

Most anticipated games: Kid Icarus: Uprising, Cave Story 3DS, Mario Kart 3DS

Lucas – When we touched on the 3DS a little in our last podcast, I said that I didn’t really care much for the idea of playing games in 3D. I still don’t, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thoroughly enjoying my shiny new handheld. Sure, the 3D looks damned cool and is a wonderful novelty the first time you power the system on, but most of the time I turn the slider all the way down when I’m gaming. Am I getting less enjoyment out of my games as a result? I doubt it. Having a portable version of Super Street Fighter IV is cool. Said version being frame-accurate and shockingly close to the console versions visually is amazing. The only hindrance is my shameful saltiness stemming from losing to chumps online that are clearly mashing the shortcut buttons. Thankfully that doesn’t happen too often. The AR games are also a lot of fun, especially seeing reactions from my friends and coworkers after getting them to try it out. The only complaint I really have about the system is the cumbersome position of the stylus.

Most anticipated games: Cave Story, Paper Mario, Rocket Slime 3, Using AR game graffiti and photo features on passed out fools at parties

Jessie-In this day and age, we are often treated to so much hype that nothing can ever truly achieve the greatness as we are led to believe something might be. Well this time the hype is for real. Right out of the box Nintendo has given us a new portable device that is fun just like it is. It also has some incredible potential. I did not pick up any launch titles and I can hardly put it down. The 3D camera is awe inspiring. When I got it, my friends and I just sat in my car taking pictures and marveled at the insane 3D. From there I jumped into Face Raiders which is just a blast to play. Then onto the AR games, which blew my freaking mind. I mean, come on! I was able to take pictures of Link pulling rupees out of my cat’s stomach! Street Pass might just be the gem in the dark, with its ability to link to other systems as you pass by, giving you heroes to use in the built in simple RPG, Find Mii. Of course meeting fellow 3DS-ers has the opportunity to unlock much more fun. The handheld is just all around fun! There’s no way around it. There are however some minor details that bug me. The stylus is in an awkward position. The pictures can be a little grainy without perfect light. Is the 3DS worth the $250 price tag? HELL YES!

Most Anticipated games/applications-More AR cards! Web Browser, Netflix, Megaman Legends 3, Rocket Slime 3, Paper Mario, Monster Hunter(rumored), Hopefully they add a chat function for friends.

Feb 102011
 

One last check to see if I have everything I will need including the tools to gather things in the field. My weapon is at maximum sharpness. I creep along in the thick jungle trying not to be heard. Unfortunately, a twig snaps under my feet and it sees me. A giant dragon roars as I charge toward my prey. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I love Monster Hunter. That’s why when I heard Square-Enix was making a game very similar to that franchise, I was a little excited.

Perhaps too excited. Just spend a few minutes with this game and you can tell right away how closely it resembles Monster Hunter. General speaking, both of the games have the same concept: kill monsters, gather things from the dead monsters, make new weapons and armor, use new weapons and armor to kill bigger monsters, get better stuff to make better weapons and armor, gather stuff in the field, have a series of timed quests telling you to either gather stuff or kill stuff and so on. Both games do this, but I will try to only talk about one of these games.

The game in question is Lord of Arcana. At the beginning there is the usual decent quality cut scene to get you drooling. You then start a new game where you are immediately very powerful with the best weapons and armor. That is where you get to see a very familiar layout. There’s a health bar at the top, and a mini map that’s broken into numbered segments off to the side. You then get to murder some happy-go-lucky enemies that are basically standing there doing nothing to show you how to play. After this, you fight a tame boss and are quickly stripped of all that bad ass. I gotta say, this approach to games has always left a sour taste in my mouth. Getting a taste of being almighty and powerful only to be weakened just seems silly. Maybe its an advertisement of what you can become, but to me it makes the climb to that state much more lacking. I prefer starting out weak and actually building my character. That way when something gets better, I notice. Instead, you keep coming back saying “well this is better, but I still can’t summon Bahamut.”

Once you’re stripped of your might you pick your starting weapon. Of course, this doesn’t make sense, because you have to choose AGAIN when you get into the game. I swear, literally, you make the character, choose your weapon, and then get transported to the town. Then you get access to all five weapons in the bank. Seems like a meaningless step. Oh well, at least I can finally get into some action. I begin to wonder what the starting armor will look like. Boy, was I in for a disappointment. As I equipped it, I almost vomited a little. Apparently these “Slayers” like to wear black coats and ties along with a black cape. Am I about to kill a giant monster or go out to a dinner party? Might as well give me a top hat at least.

Wandering around the town you see all the things you’d expect to see in a game such as this. Blacksmiths, alchemists, and annoying NPCs that make fun of you. Of course you can’t do anything with them yet until after you down your first boss. They don’t tell you that though. You start on your first quest to kill some goblins. You get teleported into a jungle type area, ready to finally get some decent action and none of that tutorial BS. An interesting mechanic in this game that is unique is that the fighting doesn’t happen right then. You have to initiate combat with the enemy and it takes you to a separate area that is more often than not suddenly clear of all the landscape you were just standing near. Getting the first hit to initiate battle gives you an advantage such as increase your attack or decrease their defense. If they get the first hit, you suffer similar penalties. I engage the goblin and the battle starts. The goblin is just standing there. So I pretty much do as you would expect and murder his face. While the initiating of combat is an interesting take on the fights, it really makes things dull. In a much similar game, you fight everything in real time, which gives you a chance to fully use your environment. Lord of Arcana just puts you in a barren arena.

I did a few more of these very easy quests. I gathered all the things I could, which appeared as glowing green cylinders on the ground. I kinda missed using a bug net or a mining pick. Gathering stuff seemed very random to me. I never had a clue as to what I would be gathering from one of these nodes. I kept trying to use these items but none of the crafting people would respond to me. Fine, I’ll just go kill more things.

Finally a quest to kill a big majestic beast of the wild. Well, in this case it was a dude made of lava and brimstone. While fighting him, I notice a few things. His actions are very robotic. It was as if he had no bearings on where I was unless I was near him. Then he would just flail his arms or do some sort of weird explosion type attack that was pretty much unavoidable. There was little to no strategy in beating him. Just run in, stab stab, run away. He never adapted to me or actually went after me. It was kind of puzzling to be honest. His AI was just downright terrible. I hate to bring it up again, but the bosses in Monster Hunter part are very responsive to the player, for the most part. They know where you are. They come after you. If you try and get too cocky, they will make you pay. These things can outsmart you.

I obtained some rare things from the boss and then all the crafters wanted to be my friend. The game pretty much keeps up like this. Constant grinding to get better stuff. As I’d fight new monsters they were in one of these two categories. Stand there and let me bash your skull in, or as soon as you get close I do terrible things you can never block and you will prolly need several potions. None of the monsters looked very exciting either. Most of the monster graphics were very ugly and just horrid to be honest.

My biggest complaint during my time with the game were the controls. Really, if they had switched the shoulder buttons it could have been much more tolerable. I would notice hand cramping about thirty minutes in. Fighting never felt fluid. If you tried to do a properly timed combo move it seemed like you could never pull it off. However, if you just wildly mashed the buttons with no real rhythm then you’d easily pull off the combo. You would think if they were going to obviously take the formula of a successful game they could at least use the same controls.

Even in all of that, there were some ideas in this game that were interesting. Coup De Grace in battles are like a finishing move. They do get repetitive, but the idea of slamming monsters into the ground making them explode into bits is pretty neat. The boss fights usually include a QTE(Quick Time event) called Melee Duel. These are pretty neat animation wise, but its your typical “Press X to live” stuff. You are also armed with magic which is pretty nice. Eventually you get Ultimate spells, which are summons that do large amounts of damage. Those are pretty neat too. Your character would gain experience points too and level up which increased stats and hit points. Also, the music reminded me of Final Fantasy XII, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Lord of Arcana

ProsThe music is decent. There's plenty of content.
ConsHand cramping controls, Poor AI, Poor monster design, fighting isn't fluid at all. dull arena combat vs the bosses.
VerdictIn this era, there aren't very many original ideas out there. Everything is being called a *clone* and all that jazz. The trick to pulling off a game that resembles something that is already successful, make sure to put your own stamp on it. Then, make sure you don't screw up the stuff that is already proven to work. Lord of Arcana did put their own stamp on the genre, but then they ruined all the stuff that didn't need messing with. I would find this game very hard to suggest to someone unless they'd never played a Monster Hunter title. Perhaps as an entry point into the genre, but even then they'd be better off just playing the real deal.
Rating
55%
Jan 262011
 

I love the Monster Hunter games. I really don’t know many people who don’t. It has become apparent with the upcoming releases of Lord of Arcana and God Eater that the Monster Hunter style gameplay has become it’s own sub-genre. With Monster Hunter be so fulfilling, one would think that another in that sub-genre would be as good, right?

Well, that is what I was hoping for and so far I’m not sure it can. As you start it gives you the usual story update telling you about gods and kings and all that mess. I just wanna go screw up some giant monsters with kick ass weapons! I get into the game and it already breaks my heart. It does something I wish games would get out of the habit of doing. It pretty much throws you into the game at max level with all the best gear. You learn how to play the game as a god among men. Then as you finish the tutorial you are stripped down to nothing. Why do you have to give us the best part at the beginning and then make us suck? Is that your way of saying “one day you can be this cool!” Not a very good carrot on a stick. I prefer to start as a schmuck and work my way to the top. That way upgrades feel like upgrades.

You are put in a hub where you get all the quests and at some point create weapons and armor. They give you loner equip which is a cape, a black vest, a neck tie, and jeans. Yeah, you read that right. The level designs are bland as are the enemies. The bosses are frustrating, but not in a challenging way. The controls aren’t that great as I had to stop playing after an hour because my hand was cramping. Damn me for wanting to use all the abilities I had. Guess I should think twice about trying to dodge.

That’s not to say everything is bad. You get magic, finishing moves, and eventually Summons which seem like a neat Idea. There are also QTE (quick time events) during boss fights that kind of mix up the combat.

The jury is still out, but they are already beaten down with evidence. Hopefully a surprise witness will show up and save this title from the death penalty.

Jan 082011
 

In Japan, people like two things. They like tentacle rape and killing giant monsters. Well, I’m sure they like other things but whose making a list? Square Enix is bringing giant monster killing to the small screen via Lord of Arcana for PSP. Watching the video I can’t help but think it reminds me of Monster Hunter. It does look like it might be different enough and filled with that Square Enix love to make it a fun title. With over 80 missions, several different weapons, and multiplayer this is one you might want to keep an eye on. It releases on 1/25/2011 so until then you can watch this trailer.

Nov 222010
 

Fanboys are an interesting species. There are good ones and bad ones. Typically the bad ones have many varied ways of putting down your favorite games. They always want to show you up, make you feel inferior, prove in some crazy way that what they like is better than anything you could ever like, thus they, as a person, are much better than you could ever even dream of being. One shining example is how they tend to over simplify the games you like in order to make you feel silly for liking something so shallow and beneath them. This is clearly a ridiculous tactic, but I am relatively sure everyone has experienced this and recognize that it is by far one the most annoying.

I figured that today I would take some games that many people enjoy, myself included, and over simplify them and let you guess which games I am talking about. Then you too can see just how scathing this fanboy tactic is.

All you do in this game is jump on stuff and break blocks with your head or fist.
This one should be super easy, as it pretty much sums up most Super Mario games.

In this game, all you do is go into a dungeon, find some new piece of equipment that allows you beat said dungeon, then go into another dungeon to do the same thing several times.
Did you guess Legend of Zelda? You’d be right!

Watch a cutscene, sneak sneak sneak sneak, watch another cutscene involving some crazy conspiracy theory, sneak sneak sneak, the president is a robot! sneak sneak sneak SNAAAAAAAKE!
Ok, I kind of gave that game away, but its Metal Gear Solid.

Click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click.
You could pick various games on PC, but I’d like to think this simplification goes especially well with the Diablo games.

Watch a cutscene, fight some monsters, watch a cutscene, fight some monsters, watch a cutscene.
This could probably go for several different RPGs.

Go into a room and shoot a bunch of stuff. Go into another room and do the same thing.
This could go for pretty much every FPS. Mix in some “hide behind stuff and shoot from cover” and you get Gears of War or the several other games that take that formula.

Kill giant monsters to make weapons and armor out of their bones, then kill more monsters to do the same.
Obviously this details the Monster Hunter experience. Maybe add pick flowers just to make it sound cutesie.

Down to forward punch.
Street Fighter at its most basic.

Run around on rooftops, assassinate someone, then run on rooftops some more.
Assassin’s Creed for sure.

Ride around on a horse killing gigantic creatures one at a time.
Cult favorite, Shadow of the Colossus.

Right click, 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3. Loot monster. Replace loot in four levels. Keep doing the same thing. Get yelled at in pick up groups for no reason. Miss out on social life.
Pretty much any MMO, but more specifically World of Warcraft.

All you do in this game is look for sailors and collect toys from capsule machines.
Aww yes, the beloved Shenmue.

All you do in this game is talk to animals and collect furniture.
Animal Crossing of course!

Rolling stuff in a ball is you do, EVER!
Katamari Damacy!

Steal cars, run over hookers, and kill cops.
This one is far too easy, Cooking Mama. KIDDING! Just seeing if you are paying attention. Grand Theft Auto, obviously.

In this game you run around half naked ripping people apart and using on the screen button commands to kill bosses.
God of War, easily.

All you do in this game is catch cute animals and make them fight each other.
Pokemon!

Akbar's favorite pokemon?

In this game you move various blocks around trying to form rows.
Tetris… Ok that game is already pretty simple, but you get my point.

Now, imagine that I am a huge douche and I am not saying these things in jest. I mean, a good 95% of these games I am a big fan of, but you know somewhere some douche-bag is thumbing someone in the chest and telling them that their favorite game sucks because “all you do is shoot people”. This fanboy obviously believes his logic is true and he is the bee’s knees when it comes to video games. People like and dislike various games across the gaming spectrum, and that’s to be expected. Everyone is different, so why take a holier-than-thou approach to criticizing what others enjoy? If you’re going to bash a game, come up with something educated or more creative. Maybe the camera angles suck or you don’t like the story. That’s fine with me. Just don’t over simplify a game to make us feel silly. I am sure there is some game out there you love that when judged in its simplest form looks just as silly.

Aug 292010
 

If you are anything like me, you’ve probably heard very few things about the Ys series.  After doing some digging, I discovered that it has been around in Japan since 1987. It’s hard to believe Ys has been around for twenty three years.  The Ys games involve Adol Christin, the man with the fire red hair, going on all sorts of adventures. I was slightly excited to have the chance to play the Seventh game in the series. I wish I had gotten the chance to be the first to play my copy of the game, but a few “friends” grabbed my PSP when I was out… Watch the video below to see what happened. Continue reading »