After a long wait, Nintendo finally brought back the Nintendo World Championship in 2015. Though we didn’t have luck last year, they decided to bring it back again for this year! In October, at New York, you’ll be able to compete with the best players at modern and classic games both.
Escape Rooms have really taken off in the last few years. Several opened up near me in Northern California in 2012 and 2013 -- San Francisco has over half a dozen, Sacramento has three. I confess they did not appeal to me overly much, as they sounded like they would involve a lot of arguing and frustration depending on how competitive you and your friends are, or you, your friends, and the strangers you get paired with.
With EVO's Friday and Saturday being mostly lighthearted days of competition and convention-like time with a few finals matches thrown in, Sunday Finals feels like a completely different event. Once again, the Sunday Finals graced the stage of the Mandalay Bay Events Center, with some of the matches being streamed on actual television. The atmosphere was electric, not unlike seeing a more traditional sporting event, and I could not be happier to be there in person.
The Evolution Championship Series, or EVO for short, celebrated its 15th year as one of the biggest, hypest fighting game tournaments in the world this year, and I was lucky enough to be able to cover it from pools to finals.
Ladies and Gentlemen, It's here! Today brings us yet another Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer, but this time it offers us a significant amount of information.
Parappa the Rappa 2 was a pretty highly regarded cult game, and it's not without good reason. It's got a fun art style and catchy music, with a decent rhythm game mechanic. And it recently got a PS2-to-PS4 re-release, complete with trophies, but maybe there's a reason we didn't see more Parappa in its heyday.
The PS2-to-PS4 ports are a strange bunch. They're not "full HD" remakes in the sense that they got overhauled to take advantage of modern tech, but more like a re-targeted port that runs at 1080p(ish) and 30-60fps(ish). Which means visually, it's like a really fancy up-scaling, has loading screens, and pretends to have memory cards to save to.
Parappa the Rappa 2 is short. I forgot just how short. If you skip all the cutscenes, you can get through the grand total of 8 songs in like... 45 minutes. 45 minutes of okay-ish rhythm game. Fun, sure. Bright, colorful, quirky. But 45 minutes and I was finished. If I went through 2 more playthroughs on higher difficulties, what, 2.5 hours total? It sure felt longer when I was younger. Maybe I was bad at it in my youth and I'm better now. But unlike fighting games or other rhythm games from the era, there's no other characters to play, just the difficulties. Childhood seemed so great.
I don't think I can really recommend Parappa's PS4 port to anyone who doesn't have fond memories of playing the original PS2 version when they were young. It didn't age particularly well, and feels way too short, even by like "modern short indie game standards". If you can get it for a couple bucks, then sure, why not. But it's not something you should feel bad about skipping out on.
Parappa the Rappa 2 is available on the PSN for PS4 now
Editor's note: we've been really busy here at A-to-J and apologize for the timing of this review. It's not the writer's fault!
It's really hard to write a review about a game I couldn't easily take screenshots of, and one that has an outright request to keep things as spoiler-free as possible from the developer, but I'm going to try.
Platforms: PC (via Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
It’s really risky to take a series that has been a specific genre and then create a new entry in an entirely different genre. It’s oftentimes a recipe for disaster, since the narrative of a franchise is based around a specific gameplay theme, and adapting that narrative to fit a different type of gameplay can be extremely challenging. Ultra Despair Girls takes a visual novel/adventure game series and tries to turn it into a third-person shooter, of sorts. Spike Chunsoft managed to pull it off quite well.
Player(s): 1-4 (Unlockable Multiplayer)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Steam
Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku! Has all the trappings of a game I should be all about: good sprite work, lots of grinding, a myriad of character editing options, a breadth of gameplay offerings, a choice between a modernized soundtrack and a chiptune one, the works. I can be a girl with blue pigtails! Or a boy with blue pigtails! There’s so many classes to choose from and I can form endless parties for my dungeon crawling! Yet… I’m not having fun.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PS Vita
God Wars: Future Past is a Tactical RPG that is based on Japan's oldest historical book, The Kojiki, with Buddhist mythological figure Shaka. The premise of the game sounds very interesting. On concept alone it should work as long as there is a nice story to follow. Is it one to consider playing or perhaps even purchasing? Let's take a look.