PlayStation Exclusive Odin’s Sphere: Leifthrasir Coming Next Year

Atlus and Vanillaware are collaborating to release a PlayStation exclusive game called Odin’s Sphere: Leifthrasir. The game is releasing for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in Japan early next year.

Odins-Sphere

This is being coined as a remake of the original Odin’s Sphere rather than a remaster, with revised gameplay and new gameplay features to make a fresh experience. A western release for the game has not yet been confirmed, though that information could be coming within the next few months. Check out a trailer for the game directly below.

New Persona 4: Dancing All Night Trailer Is Freakishly Groovy

All of the Persona 4 characters are getting there groove on in this new trailer for Dancing All Night.

The Persona series is really weird, which is why it isn’t such a crazy idea of taking the RPG characters and putting them into a dancing game. Now, that game has received a new Japanese trailer that looks freaky and groovy at the same time.

The trailer basically gives you a rundown of all of the game’s characters while they strut their stuff. It looks like there will be a heck of a lot of characters to choose from and stages to groove on. The trailer mentions some special editions of the game that will be released at the end, as well.

Persona 4: Dancing All Night is developed and published by Atlus exclusively for the PlayStation Vita. It will launch in Japan on June 25th, 2015, while a release in the states has not been confirmed as of this writing. Check out the new Japanese trailer for the game below. 

Condemn O.R. Condone – Etrian Mystery Dungeon (3DS)

Etrian Mystery Dungeon has a steep learning curve, but if you stick with it then I dare you not to fall in love with it.

Mashups are a fickle thing, as many times they will pale in comparison to the series that the games in question represent. However, when you can take two series and then take only certain elements that blend well with each other then you have a recipe for success. This is exactly what Atlus and Spike Chunsoft have done, taking Etrian Odyssey and the Mystery Dungeon series and turning them into a surprisingly deep dungeon-crawling tactical RPG called Etrian Mystery Dungeon.

The game operates by presenting you with a series of dungeons that contain several randomly-generated floors, and you must navigate them while taking down baddies, picking up loot and managing your team of heroes. As you move one space along each floor’s grid the enemies will also move one space, meaning that if you do nothing then the enemies will do the same thing. However, if your entire team goes down then you are shipped back to town and you will lose much of your inventory. Thus, you really need to choose each and every move you make wisely.

It’s this style of gameplay that turns it into a more skill-based, strategy affair then a typical dungeon-crawling hack ‘n’ slash, as the location of your characters and how they deal with both battles and simple traversal of the dungeons is important. Each step you take sucks up your party leaders FP (Food Points), and if that meter depletes the leader will begin to lose HP. This requires you to constantly have other members of your team take the lead to share the load, but in doing so it puts them more directly in harms way.

This leader system is also the basis of the game’s battle system, where you will control one character while the other 3 will perform actions based off of AI subsets. You need to be careful in these battles, as if you leave a weaker character unattended you may find them stupidly take on a monster they can’t handle. Thus, making sure that your damage dealers and takers are near the front of the line and that your healers and debuffers are near the back to avoid any unwanted scenarios is a must. It’s a system that is limiting in a way, but I like how it forces you to think in advance when you know a battle is coming up. If your attackers FP is running low then you should consider putting your weaker character on the front line for a bit, but be careful that you don’t run into a room with strong enemies or that character is done for.

The classes that your party consists of is also imperative, as you definitely don’t want to go into a battle with 4 of one class. This is where the game really requires you to experiment with what works best for you by giving you access to many different classes that fall into categories like warriors (Landsknecht), tanks (Defender), healers (Medic), debuffers (Hexers) and more. It’s essential to really mix it up with the classes, as I eventually found that having two melee-centric characters followed by two ranged/healing-centric characters was the best formula to not only deal damage but also stay alive. It all really depends on your style of play, and the game allows you to craft the type of gameplay that works best for you.

As is the case with many roguelikes, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is tough as nails. The enemies that you face right from the get-go will give you a run for your money and will possibly wipe the floor with you. To make matters worse, if even one of your characters fall in battle then the monster who took them down will get MUCH stronger and make your life living hell. This means that the game will definitely require you to level grind and get better gear before soldiering on to the next dungeon, though leveling in this game moves pretty quickly and never becomes tedious.

At the end of a dungeon you will usually need to take down a final boss enemy, and these battles, thankfully, utilize a more hands-on mode of gameplay. Rather than having a leader that the AI follows, you have direct control of each one of your characters. Seeing as the bosses are definitely deserving of their titles, you really can’t afford to have any kind of auto-pilot actions going on and it’s smart of the game to make that change in these situations.

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While the game may seem like a simple enough dungeon-crawling tactical RPG at first, it just continues to get deeper and deeper the more you play it. You’ll eventually get to the point where you can build forts inside of dungeons, which results in the typically randomly-generated floor’s layout becoming permanent for easier traversal. Not only that, but these forts can be used to send your reserve characters to, which allows them to gain a solid amount of experience points and level up even though they are not in your party. These forts will become imperative in the later parts of the game, as the conflict becomes more prominent and these viscous beasts called DOEs come to wreak havoc on the game’s town.

Speaking of the town, Aslarga serves as your hub world as you return from each dungeon. It is navigated entirely by menus with a general aerial view of it being displayed on the 3DS’ touch screen. Even though you don’t actually get to travel through it, the character and area details that are shown when you go to a shop or inn are beautiful. The characters all have a very charming look to them, and each one is written well enough that interacting with them is a joy. Also, the game’s soundtrack is phenomenal and extremely catchy, with the town’s main theme getting stuck in my head on several occasions. As you progress through the game the town will open up more, as you have the ability to put money towards redevelopment for several different areas that will result in more quests, weapons, armor, inventory space and more. There’s always something else for you to work towards improving in the town as you return from dungeons, and this constant variety of gameplay is very welcomed.

While there is a semblance of a narrative that ties this whole quest together, the game is more about gameplay than it is story and it works in this case. It has an old-school feel where you are just focused on overcoming the next challenging obstacle and preparing as much as you can to do that. That being said, the brief character interactions that are on display here do their job of keeping you invested in what’s going on and caring for each of the characters. It’s all a very simple premise, but its simplicity is part of what makes it so endearing.

Etrian Mystery Dungeon is a game I enjoyed more the deeper I got into it, as the initially punishing gameplay began to click and became more rewarding. The game has tons of loot to be found throughout each dungeon, regularly giving you the potential to make your team stronger and better-suited to take on the next big challenge, which is a routine that never gets old for me. Seeing as the dungeons are randomly generated, even return trips to old dungeons while level grinding end up feeling unique. There’s definitely a learning curve to be had for newcomers, but if you stick with it then you’ll eventually reap the fruits of your labor.

RESPECTABLE

Attack On Titan 3DS Being Localized This May By Atlus

The 3DS Game based on the popular anime will be coming to the USA In May.

Attack On Titan: Humanity In Chains is on its way to the USA! Atlus has confirmed that they are localizing the 3DS action game through the latest Nintendo Direct show.

As far as what this game is all about, it takes place in a universe where these giant humanoid freaks have pummeled humanity to the brink of extinction. The game focuses on military personnel who are tasked with protecting mankind from these savage monsters by any means necessary.

The cool thing about this localization is that it is already a popular manga and anime series, and Atlus has confirmed that the first two episodes are available to watch for free through the Nintendo eShop. For those who get hooked from that, you can catch the rest of the episodes via the excellent anime streaming service called Crunchyroll.

Check out the trailer for Attack On Titan: Humanity In Chains below. 

Check Out The First Trailer For Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem

Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem is still a thing and we now have our first good look at it.

It’s actually happening! While the game seemed to fall of the face of the Earth for a long time, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem was shown during Nintendo’s latest Nintendo Direct show.

While the teaser video certainly isn’t lengthy and doesn’t give us any context on story or gameplay at all, it does give us a very solid look at the visuals and tone. Many were wondering how the two game’s worlds would blend into one game, and from this trailer it seems that it is very much Shin Megami Tensei heavy with some Fire Emblem flourishes thrown in. Check out the trailer below to see what you make of it. 

I’m stoked as hell for this game, as both series contain some of the best RPGs ever made. It remains to be seen what kind of experience this game will offer, but considering the two series involved and the fact that it’s being developed by Atlus has me very optimistic.

‘Citizens Of Earth’ Getting Console Demos Next Week

It may be a month after the game released, but according to the Vice President that’s right on time!

The critically-acclaimed Citizens of Earth released last month, but that doesn’t mean that demos would not be welcome to those who haven’t taken the plunge yet. Atlus has revealed that console demos are on the way thanks to the tireless efforts of the Vice President of Earth. Thanks VP!

As for when the demos will be released, North America will be getting it first on February 17th, while it will be coming to specific consoles on February 18th & 19th in Europe. So, the demos will be coming a month after the game released… right on time, Vice President!

Citizens of Earth is an RPG developed by Eden Industries and published by Atlus for the PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, PlayStation Vita and 3DS. Check out a trailer for the game below. 

Atlus Finally Shows The First Persona 5 Gameplay Footage

Have a look at the very first gameplay footage from the highly-anticipated Persona 5.

It has been a long time in the making, but Atlus has finally shown off the very first bits of gameplay footage from their upcoming RPG, Persona 5. This game has been highly-anticipated for quite some time, especially coming off of the heels of the fantastic Persona 4.

Below you can check out the new trailer that shows off much more of the game than we had seen up to this point. The game looks even more stylish than previous iterations, perhaps even surpassing the cult-favorite Catherine. You can tell that a lot of effort was put into making this as engaging of an experience as possible.

Persona 5 is developed and published by Atlus for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. An exact release date has yet to be revealed, but the game is expected to launch at some point this year.